Today I bow my head in shame. Shame shock and awe. Somehow unable to process the events that took place in our little country. Ashamed to be Belgian, Shocked at what happened. Speechless to mouth any words that could sooth the suffering of all those involved. The dawn of Januari the 24st awakens us in a different world. A world that has perhaps lost a part of its "safe surroundings". A world that seems to have lost part of its sanity. While some parents might be awakened by the screams of their hungry youngster.. There are others that may awaken to the terrible sound of silence. That will find pacifiers on the counter, but no use for them any more. Each of the thousands of memories of their child, cutting up their soul like glass.
Somewhere in a police station awakens a young man. His face still painted white, his eyes rimmed with dark makeup. On his lower arm he spots a dried bloodstain, overlooked when he washed his hands after his actions. The blood is that of a 2 year old baby he stabbed last morning. His throat hurts from the hours of interrogation he went through yesterday, after the police plucked him from his bicycle. When asked for his name he has given them three allready. When questioned he mocked the men in blue by giving them false answers. He feels light somehow. The weight of the bullet proof vest he wore has been lifted as they took it away from him. Together with a backpack full of knives. This is the 20 year old man that shocked the reality of a nation. On Januari 24th 2009 at ten AM he entered a daycare facility in Dendermonde. Out of nowhere he pulled a knife and started stabbing . One 50 year old caretaker tried to stop him. She fell at his blade. 2 more babies suffered the same faith. Their lives whisked away by his cold steel. Their innocence hushed out like a candle in a storm. As pandemonium ensued he managed to stab 10 more babies before fleeing the crime scene on his bicycle. Exactly one year ago Heith Ledger committed suicide.
We watch this young man in his cell. His giggles , jibberish talk and his makeup .. make him look like "the joker".
This is not fiction, this is not a short story, this is cold and hard reality. A reality that has forever changed this nation and our beliefs in safety and security. This drama unfolded in my own little country yesterday. One cannot begin to comprehend the how and the why. One can only shudder with fear and loathing at what has transpired. As the media circus unfolded and parents rushed back to the daycare centre to pick up their child… Some found it unharmed, Others found their child stabbed and wounded. 4 parents found that they had lost their child.
Once again, a little time on the road in between one assignment and the next to gobble up some food and whip up the Netbook for a short writing session. After listening to several podcasts over the last few weeks where people babbled on and on about their favorite text editor, note taking software and cloud-based office-replacement, i feel embarrassed to disclose on what fancy piece of software I am rattling out this little post.
As openoffice and abiword watch me (no doubt fuming with anger) as I type away on my favorite text editor of choice, i hear their taunts. “Primitive, quaint, no spell checker, no text layout” .. and a slew of foul names is but all what comes from their mouthes. True : My little text editor of choice is by far as featured or as advanced as these applications, but yet I find it blisfully simple to type in.
Yes .. my name is Knightwise and i’m typing this in nano. Nano ! The blissful changeling that nuked out VI in the Ubuntu distributions. My personal lord of simplicity when it comes to working with and even creating textfiles. From logfiles to conf-files to blogposts. Nano is the thing for me . its quick and easy interface, its soothing command line home and its CTRL-X to close option is so wonderful to work with and so fantastically un-alien like its cousin VI (i HATE vi)
So today I salute all of those who said they loved WP 5.1 over Word 2007. As clippy’s ribbons, wizzards and rulers are absent from my screen the only focus of my existence is … my own words.
Thank the matrix for Nano
With a few minutes to spare before I have to be on my first appointment for the day, its perfect timing to test my latest toy. Of course i’ve had my Acer Aspire one for quite a while, but yesterday I blew away the old Ubuntu 8.04 / XP dual boot situation on the machine, and went for a fresh install. Googling around a little bit had brought be well written out answers of what one needed to do to get Ubuntu Intrepid working without a glitch on the Acer Aspire One. Most of the things would work out of the box while others needed extra tinkering (read Copy-pasting from the howto into the command line and praying one knew what one was doing.) But being in an exceptionally lazy mood I thought I was not going to go down that path tonight. Too much of my time is spent reinstalling operating systems or tinkering with Linux to get it “working right” and for once, I was looking for an “out of the box fix”
This fix came in the form if “Easy Peasy” Linux, (formally called EEEbuntu but re branded for issues of … well legal stuff). Easy peasy linux said to offer the ability to install a pre-packed version of Ubuntu 8.10, supporting the major netbooks out there. Who was I to pass up on the offer of testing a new OS with the convenience of being able to have once netbook installed out-of-the-box. So I downloaded the ISO from their website and went looking for the application ‘unetbootin’ enabling you to take an ISO, write it to a usb stick and boot it from there. Just a little tinkering (i had to make the script “executable” to get it to work) and before I knew it I was running the whole shebang of my big-ass memory stick. (for you Windows bunnies out there : there is also a Unetbootin application for windows) It does make me wonder if I could make a bootable version of an XP install Cd or another version of Linux using this app. Hmm.. must test this.
Back to business. Easy Peasy boots up as a live cd, offering you the full netbook shwagg ( With the simple “Optimus” launcher etc) and starts the installer automatically. ” Next Next Next ” is the answer to most of the questions (unless you have forgotten in what country you live, in that case you need to get out more). Just the question of partitioning had me intervene with the presented option. Since i’m running it on an SSD drive and I was told extensive swapping is bad for the soul (erm .. Drive that is) I disabled the swap partition , hoping that the 1.5 gig of system ram would do it for me.
After the installation EVERYTHING worked ! Wireless, sound , network, even the flash plug-ins and restricted extra’s came out of the box. Sure I had some tweaking to do (disabling the “auto setup” from the sessions menu and getting rid of the “optimus menu” cause I don’t like it) but for the rest of the matter : this was a well written distro. Albeit alittle slow on the wifi side (must be the driver) but for the rest ? love it !
So this is for me how Ubuntu should be packaged. Yes you purists, its not a “pure Ubuntu” Some of you Stallmann fans might be shouting “foul and non free is your soul you sinner” but since my stuff worked right out of the box you can go stuff yourselves. While you compile your puritan ways from source, I am done for the day and am of to go and make passionate love with a real girl up in my bedroom. Eat that nerds.
So : Easy Peasy ? Supah Simple ! Mucho Bueno ! Get it HERE.
According to Wikipedia A hybrids are mythological creatures combining body parts of more than one real species. They can be classified as partly human hybrids (such as mermaids or centaurs), and non-human hybrids combining two or more animal species (such as the griffin). Hybrids are often zoomorphic deities in origin who acquire an anthropomorphic aspect over time.
Now this article is not that much about mermaids or Centaurs, but more about operating systems. This morning (even before we dashed out for our morning walk) I dove down into my underground laboratory for some state of the art gene-splicing. Crossbreeding operating systems was not an easy task to do but by the time my second cappuchino had been consumed I was ready to storm out of my laboratory yelling ‘ ITS ALIVE ‘ while holding my notebook skyward. But seriously. Here is what really happened. Yesterday I was complaining on twitter that I missed my Macbook Pro (its still in the shop for repairs) and one of my cool buddies TECHANDLIFE ( www.techandlife.com ) shot me a Tweet with a howto on turning your Ubuntu into an OSX look-and-feel machine using THIS howto. The manual explains how to download the Mac4lin package to provide your Ubuntu install with the needed theme, icons and mouse pointers to give it an "Mac look and feel" But it goes a little further by using packages that are available in Linux like Screenlets and Compiz to turn your machine into something that realy feels like a mac.
But you know me ! 🙂 Why stop at an imitation if you can go even further. So I have spent the remains of my morning tinkering and tuning with the Screenlet ‘widgets’ and the various compis-fusion settings to go beyond the " design limitations " provided by this manual. So right now I have a machine that could hardly be named "a ubuntu box" any more. Neither would it answer the call if you called it an OSX. Its kind of something in-between , and it runs on my Work-Dell machine (A D820 with a screen res of 1900 by 1200 !). In true form result is a little more then the sum of just its parts. Its a hybrid, no a "sinergy" of the power of an intell based computer (that is designed to run XP) an open source operating system (ubuntu), the OSX look and feel interface and the addition of the standard ‘web technology’ that I use everyday (Twitter, Firefox, Gmail, etc etc). A very nice experiment indeed.
So if you want to go and try it out : Use the manual , but please : Don’t stop there. Go beyond and build your own little operating environment and become a cross-platform user in the true sense of the word. Who ever said that operating systems needed to differ in look, feel and mode of operation ? Fire up the creative furnice of your imagination and create your own melting pot of