Fire in babylon ! ! ! !

 

I wanted to update last Friday but i was too shaken to make any sense of the words that blurted out. I don't know just how much information i am allowed to disclose about what is going on.. but its family related stuff and its pretty serious. When I drove to work I had my Ipod playing 'shuffle' when Sinead O'conners song 'Fire in Babylon' was on. And it just about covered the whole story. Maybe not the words but surely the way it is brought. To who want to know : Sit in a quiet dark room, alone and turn that song on.. LOUD , REAL LOUD. and then you get a little glimpse of all the stuff that went trough me during the weekend. Things in the world around me are shifting and tilting in impossible angles. When nature takes its course there is nothing you can do to stop it .. but still. If time is the fire in which we burn.. then there is fire in Babylon.

Age has draped its dark cloak over my shoulders and I feel the weight of worry draw phantom lines in the corner of my eyes. I feel old somehow.. no , not old , I feel i am aging. A part of my world is tainted with the ambers of mortality and its setting twilight overshadows the cloudless sky's of my soul. Not only I feel like I am getting older.. also the persons around me start to look at me differently. Being the Benjamin has given me the privilege of eternal childhood in the eyes of my elders and siblings. Only now do they start to realize I’m not a kid anymore. At the right time and in the right place I take up my place among the 'others' and make a crucial difference when en where it is needed.. I smile silently as I hear their surprised mumbles… 'He's not a kid anymore'. Tell me something that’s new. I've grown up a long time ago and my life was not always the playground you thought it was to me. I have seen my dire straights and have had my dark clouds.

I am stronger then you think and am gently getting fed up of having to prove it all the time. Respect and appreciation comes at the price of service i guess. I have given up shouting that I am no longer the child in me. I have given up trying to prove myself. I just let them slide and slip only to be the last and unexpected hand that stops them firmly from tumbling to their doom. My eyes lock gently upon them as i gracefully swallow my 'I told you so'. The one good thing about being underestimated is that you take people by surprise on a daily basis.

As the naive smile slides from my worried face I can only look towards the future in apprehension. I do not know what lies beyond the horizon but I already smell the burning rubble of what might lie ahead. As the shockwaves roll along the borders of my existence I try hard to keep my Mare Tranquilatis a true spot on the moon. Far away from everything and without the gravity of the whole situation to pull my hopes down…

I fight for my island of peace and try to find the subtle balance between getting involved and getting sucked in. Balancing on the event horizon of this inevitable black hole I fight the impossible demands that draw me in, and my conscience that would gladly tip me over the edge. I must stand my ground and find equilibrium between my own life and the one i came from. Between my own world and the world i sprang from. Looking for that one free zero-G orbit… As Babylon burns….

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Single point of Trouble !

I have just about had it. I won't go out on an all PC rant (again) but i must say i have just about had it. Every six months or so i go for a total redesign of my 'small' home network. I've just made up a little list what i still have to do since my last 'server-switch'. And i have come to realise i must be insane ! Sure , the complexity of my home network helps me keep my network-admin skills all sharp and fresh.. But the amount of 'workstation work' is enormous. Reinstall this , move that , download these drivers , update that etc etc. And this is presuming that the darn things will work properly (and the programs/system not going haywire). So I’ve decided it's been enough. I'm scaling down the whole shit and am going to switch to Linux or OSx where i can. I am setting up two pc's for sale and am going to round up all the hardware I don't need and yank it on Ebay or something. (so those of ya looking for a bargain : Point your ears my friends). The whole point is : You need computers to make your life easier. erm….. well , they are the one major source of trouble in my life. (they are the source of pretty much everything that is not nyana-related in my life) So its time to call in the cavalry and simplify the matters. ( So come over mr Jobs and give me one of those mini macs !). And where the Fuck is my Ibook !!!

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You cannot masturbate with transplanted genitals.

Ok , Its been a while and i must say its been a hectic week. But enough of that blah-blah : Blog is back. Hmm.. what have i been up to ? Enjoyed nice weekend with Nyana of course (non-computer related trips to the city combined with mega-server-stress cause I’m setting up a new server @ casa knight). Migration is stressful ! New mail server and old mail server are not the best of buddies, lots a data to be moved and i have drawn up another final solution in the 'what pc do it put where' department : Result : Reinstallation Galore ! (thank god for images). Promised myself to hook up my Linux system to a 17" TFT screen (no dual boot) So i'll just HAVE to learn. Friday : Went out (fun fun) Saturday : Morning : Got up and started configuring the new mail server (without a user manual of course) Its the quickest way to learn ( and to go from "I’m digging this" to "I’m losing it" in 15 secs flat). But two cups of cappuccino and one cd from faithless pulled me through : Result : mail server ready for use. Nyana dragged me away from the screen at 12:00 to go have a mega hot dog (jumzie !) and a trip into town. Mett up with a old friend of Nyana's (the girl gets more amazinly beautiful as the years go by) and had a little chit chat ( We'll call you !) and so on. Over to a friends place in the afternoon (fix up one f*** up pc, Evil Evil IE) and rushed towards Cherrymoons house in the evening. Ended up chatting about their and our wedding plans (i will not disclose ANYTHING .. top top secret) Very nice evening .. Nyana fell asleep in the car on our way home (she was not driving of course) and she is soooo cute when she sleeps in the car. Sunday ! Weekly dose of eggs and bacon in the morning combined with Cappuccino and two hours of Spongebob square pants in my pajama’s (sundays ROCK) Afternoon it was time to visit some friends (who are also getting married) and meet up with Karien. Chit chat about all kinds of everything (marriage/again and everything involved with that). Coolest quote of the afternoon : "If your genitals get transplanted to another person, that person can no longer masturbate because it is not his penis." Don't ask me how we got there it's just a nice quote. Had diner in a very yummie Pita Place we discovered in Hasselt (everybody should try it out) and maxed out in front of the TV (after i Told the new server to get bizzy formatting half a terrabyte worth of disk space). School starts next wednesday and that will leave me 'away from home' for two nights out of four. (not much left) So i do f*** hope my Ibook is going to get here ! Still no news from that front though. Even bought me an apple mouse this weekend (that is sitting on my desk , all alone.. it needs a buddy). Oh yea , snow has fallen outside. Wish i could go out for a walk but.. don't think so , still enough to do @ home :'( ..

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Happyness is not the default value.

We all think we'll live forever. we all think it will never change.

We all think everything is nice and good and that happiness is granted to us by default. We all think bad things happen to other people and never to us.

We are all wrong.

Today I stood by and watched somebody's world shatter.

I felt the core of her existence implode and watched the orbit of her universe shift forever.

I stood by and felt the icy cold shockwave pass trough my soul.

As all the hairs in my neck stood up I was amazed at how utterly useless and powerless i felt.

As debris rained down and the new reality set in I realized in horror how feeble the balance is.

We are all just one step away from the abyss.

Walking the tight rope of joy blindfolded by the arrogance that it will always be this way.

Hug the one close to you and tell them you love them. You never know what the next chime will bring.

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The big switch : A different view in teaching Linux.

The big switch : A different view at teaching Linux.

Introduction.

The first time I saw Linux was about five years ago, I believe it was a version 6.1 of Suse Linux. I remember being curious about the computer that was running it, and chatting up a colleague of mine (known as one of the company's uber-geeks) about what Linux was and how it worked and stuff. The story he told me dazzled me and for a while i really thought he was pulling my leg. He told me about a safe, secure and speedy operating system, that could run on machines varying from a “386” to a bigg-ass server. When I asked him what it could do , I knew he was kidding me, because he basically answered one word : EVERYTHING. My disbelief in an operating system that could be used for that enormous kind of diversity in purpose, gave him reason to explain to me just exactly how Linux was built, what the concept behind it was and how it was used. I sat down with him every lunch break for the next few days listening to his experiences with Linux and the things one could to with a “tux under the hood”. When the GNU license was explained to me, pointing out that the whole damn thing was free, I was ready to call the loony bin and have my friend planted in the funny farm. To those of you who come from a Win-world where Gates ( now Balmer ) is king and the only blue you see are the BSOD's on your computer, Linux DOES sound like an impossible utopia. And quite frankly , IT IS. There is one big big catch ! In order to protect its nest from predators, some birds make their nests high up in the trees. Natural predators do not have the ability to climb up so high without having to 1) Evolve some serious climbing skills 2) Overcome their fear of heights. And to those who are ready to make the switch to Linux , or are so fed up with the alternative there are some bounds to be broken. The big ass catch in switching from a “house of windows”' to “Torvalds Utopia” is having to drop the mouse. This trusty sidekick I have been using in my Windows based life for over ten years now (and that should be considered part of the human anatomy as an extension of the right hand) has been my palm-rest for almost half my life (i had an Amiga once, that one had a mouse too) To control an entire operating system via keyboard alone is too much to bare for some. They soon become 'ghosts in the shell'. And that shell is the other biggest scare of windows users. I started out with windows 95 where Dos was becoming a rapidly fading black-and-white-character-based memory. When i needed something i would just point and click. So when my Linux-geek-friend told me that i would have to unlearn everything i learned in a GUI enviroment, that i would have to drop my mouse and step into the dark void of bash.. I thought : I can do this ! Two weeks later, after hopelessly trying to understand the complex unix commands, getting trapped in VI once an hour and having to call for help to get me out, and basically getting NOWHERE.. I gave up. All the promises my friend had made, about what you could do with Linux , how fast it was , the great software you had etc etc seemed to reside on another planet. No way I could ever learn THAT. So I gave up and walked down the path of shame to my Windows workstation. Since then I have repeatedly tried to pick up Linux again. From downloading various versions to see which one i liked best, to actually BUYING three versions of Suse Linux, a lot of Linux books and taking classes about Linux in my local educational center.

And no matter where you go, or what you do : There are some things that are the same everywhere. Things you encounter when trying to work with Linux, and ways Linux is taught to students. I will some them up for they are the underlying fundamentals for this 'different approach' to Linux.

Continue reading “The big switch : A different view in teaching Linux.”

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Podcasting Pearshaped and a row over Madge.

To start of today : A little bit of internet history. …"Linus Benedict Torvalds Oct 5 1991, 8:53 am show options
I'm also interested in hearing from anybody who has written any of the utilities/library functions for minix. If your efforts are freely distributable (under copyright or even public domain), I'd like to hear from you, so I can add them to the system. I'm using Earl Chews estdio right now (thanks for a nice and working system Earl), and similar works will be very welcome. Your (C)'s will of course be left intact. Drop me a line if you are willing to let me use your code. Linus"… Cool huh 🙂 Talk about modern history. Today Google featured a flashback into their news archives digging up some historic news posts. Like this one from Linus Torvalds announcing the beginning of Linux. Its funny to think that the internet has its own milestones in history (such as these ones) Perhaps someday kids in schools might get a historty assignment to find out who invented peer to peer file sharing and stuff like that. Its a cyber world :). ***

In other new my own podcasting adventures are apparently jinxed. Still no luck this weekend in getting the whole setup working. First I had big recording problems (not being able to record the audio comment and the background tunes and jingles together), then the Pc that had the whole setup installed suffered a main board blowup, NOW the new main board won't accept the Sempron Processor. So its off to the shop tonight to get me a new main board and reinstall the whole shit. Alternatives (like recording it on my new Ibook) have been canceled due to lack of Ibook (still no word from apple, its been 2 weeks). Needless to say I'm going hunka bunka with all this crap. But we will prevail. ***

Had a riot over Madge Weinstein when her comment on Adam Curry's daily source code was a bit over the line. She thought Cancer was something small compared to an itch in the groin. When replying on that comment on the Adams Forum all hell broke lose and I had to seriously defend myself against accusations that I was a 'narrow-minded right wing conservative bush-pusher 'To those who are interested : read the THREAD , listen to the SHOW or visit MADGE's site. ***

In other news the world around me seams to be going crazy as people with promising relationships suddenly split up, and people who have been together for ages suddenly call it quits and walk out the door.
You know these things happen all the time but when it hits so close to home its bone charring. We find ourselves caught between the two parties and have a difficult time choosing between diplomatic neutrality and our own feelings and convictions. When family's you think that will stay together forever suddenly fly apart (and it happens so close to you) its very disturbing. Trying to glue the peaces back together will result in getting cut by the flying shrapnel. However, taking cover is not an option either because everyone around you wants you to pick a side. Its ugly and I’m afraid this turmoil around us will only get worse. Our island of stability is surrounded by conflict and we do not want to pick somebody's side or make a stand. I know it all sounds pretty cryptically but I can't be clear about it all just now. Those who know what’s going on will recognize the situation.To top it all off I got blown of 2 times in a row by a friend of mine with the quasi same excuse for not coming over. I’m seriously disappointed. I don’t know what the hell is going on with the world around me these days but … It never rains…

But to cheer you all up , this cute movie about the cleaning lady we ALL want to have. She's cute she's innocent and she's a bit dangerous when you have a lot of silverware or electronics .. But you want her : BO ! CLICK HERE FOR THE MOVIE.

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Giant colliding clouds and itsy titsy computers.

Just a Tidbit of techtalk today, Cause basically its been all techno-blabb all week long. As said in yesterdays podcast : The Minimac is out. I've found this hilarious review http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/hardware/mac-mini.ars/1

with some excellent quotes : " A 1.25 or 1.42 GHz G4 (pathetic 167 MHz FSB included), and, sure it would have been nice to have a G5 inside, but it would be nice to have a PowerBook G5 and a flying car too…." "… in the real world, the Mac mini, with the included software, does everything people need, while not doing things they don't need, like becoming infected with mall-ware…" The funniest thing is that TODAY a company released a special PC for older people called SYMPC http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/01/11/new_pcs_for_old_people/ I'm wondering if this is the beginning of a trend. The trend that computers should be made simple enough to USE. So you don't end up spending hours of your time MAINTAINING and DEBUGGING. Going back to the principle that the computer is a TOOL you use, just like a fork or a knife, without the hassle and the crap that comes from owning a computer system these days. In other news my own Ibook has been set back a WEEK ( frustrated moan ) so I’ll have to be patient some more.

 

Syl and Pretorian have been on a sleep-over adventure yesterday, and I must say it's pretty weird having those teenagers around the house. They are very well behaved and we have no trouble with them whatsoever and we have a lot of fun. Personally I just love the constant bitching and bickering Pretorian and Nyana do ALL THE TIME. I'm always waiting for an all out fight between them, its hilarious. Yesterday there mom called and asked what they where doing. Syl's reaction was very typical : " We're at Uncle Joe's, what do you THINK we're doing : We’re on the computer of course ". It made me smile 🙂 Are we an obsessed cyber-household ? yes we are :).

Outside the weather is very pretty these days. Clouds are coming in from the east right now, and they are these big ass cumuli-clouds. They are kind of low in the sky so you can look 'over' them and see how they tower in the sky. Its like looking at a giant mountain flowing by. One can imagine just lying on one of these gigantic slopes.. Skiing down.. Or just sitting in the sun.. Coasting miles above a busy world. The view must be awesome up there. Seeing the slight curve of the horizon slide away into nothingness. Gazing at the other gigantic clouds colliding and flowing by. Just look up into the sky and daydream from time to time. I wish I had more time to do that. More time to dream from time to time.. Or just watch the clouds go by. I think we should all do that some more

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Freewared Friday :)

Ok , Its been my new years resolution, and so far I’m totally diggin' it. I promised myself to use as much open source software and freeware as i could. And so far that promise has led me to using products like : FreePDF, Firefox, Thunderbird, AVG Antivirus, Freecommander, Deepburner, Openoffice and soon : Firstclass. Its amazing what you can find on the internet if you look for it. Take Firefox for example. I started using it about two months ago, and now i'm SOOOO hooked on the tabbed-enabled-ultrafast-googlesearch-barred superbrowser, i NEVER EVER wanna quit it. Played around with MS office 2003 yesterday and I’m soooo sick of it all that i decided to make the invoices for my company in Open Office this year. Enough MS based crap. Now I know i should not bitch MS around all the time , Its like Swift said : "ANY operating system that we work with as intensively as we do, will give us a hard time". True, but still its nice to know there IS an alternative. Ok , I still use MS a lot (maybe to much) and I still haven't made the big step to Linux as yet. ( using it for ALL my needs) The thing that keeps me on the MS box is that I'm just no good on the Linux Shell. But when i think of it : Who the hell says I can't use Linux from the Guy. Let's say I want to become a Linux DESKTOP user. not yapp around in the shell all night long, BUT actually USE Linux as a desktop alternative. And so far I’ve tried that often and surprisingly it works very well. So why the hell don't I start making' the switch. I'm already gearing op to hop onto OSX (when my Ibook eventually arrives) and i'm not going to go command line on OSx, So perhaps i'll explore Linux as a Desktop system a bit more. Meanwhile I’m getting ready to switch from my exchange mail server to FIRSTCLASS mail and 'Tuuke' was gonna come over and help me out. So I’m pretty exited about that too. The way it looks like right now is that for more and more proprietary MS products, I’m finding better and free alternatives. The list so far ?

Internet explorer Mozilla Firefox.

MS Media Player BSplayer

Outlook Express Thunderbird

MS office OpenOffice

MS Exchange Firstclass

MS Desktop search Google Desktop search

MSN Hotmail Gmail (duh!)

MSN Messenger Jabber/gaim (ok, no webcam-coolness, but it works)

Nero Deepburner

Photoshop The Gimp

Norton Antivirus AVG Antivirus

Adobe PDF writer Free PDF

Winzip Powerarchiver

And it goes ON this way , all these programs have been personally tried , tested and approved. So if you're looking for some MS-alternatives ? Time to make the SWITCH !

Ok , I’m on a computer rant again, but the last couple of weeks have been SOOOO stressful in dealing with this whole PC shit. I'm so fed up having to spend hours and hours in a row just updating, repairing, securing, debugging the whole PC park at home.. I've just about had it. I want to work WITH the damn things, not FOR them. To those of you who are wondering just how many computers i have at home (counting EVERY pc ? ) That would be around 10

1 firewall

1 server

3 laptops (one lame ass 486 laptop)

4 desktops

1 test system

Ow f*** I'm such a geek.

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www.knightwise.com beats Slashdot to the story :)

Oh yes ! A quick update : SLASHDOT http://www.slashdot.com has JUST posted their article about the Mini Mac (Posted by samzenpus on Thursday January 13, @08:00AM) : That means that you could HEAR about the Mini-Mac HERE, YESTERDAY. So we BEAT SLASHDOT IN A HEADLINE !!!! How Geeky is THAT 🙂

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Another day.

Ok , got the first podcast up yesterday evening. Finally got around to
reinstalling the damn thing and scheduling it to boot up every morning
to download my Podcasts, Sync my Ipod and Download my appointments
from an to my PDA (something I just don't get around to manually
everyday). So this morning it worked out nicely and I have all the
stuff i need by the time the cappuccino machine does his thing. Upped
the first podcast last night (thanx Marco, for helping me test it) and
am kinda nervous how people are gonna react. Nyana laughed (of course)
but also gave me some pointers (she is SOOO sweet) and I’m gonna take
it into heart next time I do a cast (probably this afternoon on my way
home in the car). But enough about that. This website is not about
this website and our podcasts aren't about our podcasts.. Now are they
? Ps : my ambition in becoming the first podcasting site in Belgium ,
http://www.podcasting.be/ Don't think so :§. But hey : THEY didn't
invent the PRINCE OF THE POD title now did they :). Ps : To those who
gave nice feedback to the site : Thank you , but don't hesitate to
tell me what you think of the CONTENT.

 

Got an email from my former work buddies at HH-Hasselt ( from the
no-marriage/no-kids club i was a member of). Of course they where
surprised to find out me and Nyana where going to tie the knot. And
I’m kinda mulling this over in my mind as to why we are getting
married.. and its very hard to explain. Perhaps that is just enough
reason. "Because it feels right". I might be a big blab on the outside
but on the inside I’m one soft hearted romantic. We might appear very
skeptical on the outside but between me and Nyana there is a very
subtle and sensitive romantic connection that we hardly ever show to
others. On top of that we give our own interpretation to the whole
'marriage thing'. Those who are thinking 'classic stuff , white dress,
lots of similar cars and rice throwing : think again) We'll do this
our own way ( Invitations will probably be E-mailed, those who have
not been invited can probably follow the on line web-cam-cast over the
internet). Not only the 'procedure' but also the 'meaning' is
something that is unique to us. Its a duality. Its about telling
each other we are ready to tell the outside world we have chosen our
mate. Am I making any sense here ? Guess not. The bottom line is , Its
because we don't need to get married , we want to get married. And its
more about the "bond" between the both of us, then about what the
world around us makes of it. (I can tell you , those are two TOTALY
different things). People who start to push us into parties, dresses,
and confor-mality will meet a very defensive Knight and Nyana ! (So
don't even TRY !) Perhaps this union is about something we cannot put
into words or explain. And that is reason enough : We can't say why..
It just feels soooo right. ( And don't worry Katleen , of COURSE you are still my back-up 😉 )
To rest worried minds assured our opinion about children STILL has not changed. Whenever somebody wishes us : 'lots of baby's in the future' , for us its the equivalent of ' we wish you both an itchy annoying skin disease' Not that we don't like children , but its just not our thing. So if you don't want to insult us when giving your new years wishes : Don't mention uterus-related-prophecy's.

 

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