Dell Backpedals

Dell backpedals on its statement earlier this week to release a pre-loaded Linux desktop. The computer maker says it wont make a decision until one Linux flavor will become a business favorite. Dell added they don’t want to alienate other Linux flavors. Weak excuse. Translation. It will never happen. Open software thrives on offshoot developments which defines the existence of Linux. For Dell to ask a hesitant corporate world to pick a clear business Linux winner is a no-win situation. Let’s be clear, money is the motivating reason behind corporate decisions. It’s safe to say Microsoft was involved in this decision — by being itself, an Operating System monopoly. Whether it was directly or indirectly involved, that is another matter for discussion.

Dell Will Sell Linux PCs

Sweet, it’s about time. What distro will it be? Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo or Debian. I have a feeling it will be Novell’s Suse since Dell has a partnership with them, but anything can happen. Personally, I prefer Fedora. So, send in your request. The push behind Linux was a result of an online suggestion box by Dell called Ideastorm where 88,000 requests were placed for an alternate OS. Dell listened.

New Color Scheme

I have a new color scheme inspired by the Daily Color Scheme website. It is called Mountain Dawn. I recently added the WordPress Theme Toolkit to my theme. The toolkit is a script for making WordPress themes customizations. New color schemes can be applied via the Admin Dashboard without ever touching the CSS stylesheet. It allow users to change color schemes on the fly with just a few clicks. If you like to see it in action, you can download the latest Black-Letterhead 1.3 theme which comes equipped with the WordPress Theme Toolkit.

Firefox 2.0.0.2

If you are a Mozilla Firefox user, you may noticed an upgrade recently or if you haven’t yet, you will be getting a notice fairly soon. Firefox just recently upgraded their browser to version 2.0.0.2 to correct several security bugs. Here’s the release notes for the latest version. One thing I really appreciate about the Firefox browser is the speed and delivery of the updates which is unparalleled anywhere in the software world. Kudos to the Mozilla Firefox team for the job well done.

Keeping SPAM Out

Here’s a good article about spam from Information Week. Her last point was eye opening to me. She makes a very solid point.

Don’t open spam. Many pieces of spam contain HTML code which will open a connection to a Web server operated by the spammers. When you connect, you have verified that you opened the message. That informs the spammers that they have a good e-mail address, which — you guessed it — results in them sending you even more spam. Delete spam without opening it. Therefore, don’t use your e-mail program’s preview pane. Previewing spam is the same as viewing it.

Therefore, leave your spam messages untouched. Just delete it.

100 Miles Per Gallon

Calcars.org have several plugin hybrids or PHEVs cars that have mileages at over 100 miles per gallon. The main difference between a hybrid and PHEV car is the extra batteries that are charged overnight from a regular electrical house outlet. The extra battery boost runs the car for the first 10-20 miles. After that, it reverts back to a regular hybrid. Theoretically, if driven regularly at short distances, the mileage could possibly be greater than 100mpg.

A Cause Not Worth Pursuing

A couple of days ago, I tackled a project to clean up the WordPress wp_options table. A bold move on my part would you say. I downloaded the wp_options tables using PhpMyAdmin to view the wp_option table entries. It’s a mess like I suspected. There are over 1000 entries. The default wp_options table for WordPress 2.1 only comes with 70+ entries. Why so many entries you may ask? Well, I guess it makes sense after running WordPress close to three years and installing more than three dozens plugins and hacks. So, I went through the entries line-by-line to determine which one I can delete. I was able to identify several entries of plugins that I no longer use. I can delete those entries. But, the rest? I have no idea what they are for, which means I can’t touch them without possibly crippling WordPress. Restoring the wp_options tables is easy as long as you have proper backup. In the end, I decided it’s a cause not worth pursuing. Leave it the way it is. A spaghetti mess. It reminds me of the old adage, “don’t fix it, if it’s not broken.”

About Performance

Have you ever practiced flawlessly before a musical performance only to screw up at the performance. Well, that happened to me. I was playing Passapeid by Claude Debussy last Saturday and I had a couple of practice runs that were just flawless. The notes were all there and timing was just perfect. I was feeling good — then came the performance. I really don’t know what happened. I played one note a bit too long. I had to stop. I missed two measures. It’s a good thing, there was a break after that. It was just lack of concentration on my part. Well, I played it off as if nothing happened. I talked to several people afterwards, and no one even noticed. If they only knew.

Black-Letterhead 1.3

Black-Letterhead 1.3 is now available for download. The latest version comes Widget ready just like the previous version. Version 1.3 uses the WordPress Tooklit Theme allowing authors to create Admin Menus for customizing their themes. The latest features include the ability to:

  1. Select sidebar location: left or right.
  2. Select between two page widths: narrow and wide.
  3. Select whether to use header images or no header images.
  4. Ability to support rotating or random headers.
  5. Ability to modify theme colors such as main text, links and titles.

All these features are available from the Theme’s Configuration Panel. Give it a try. Download the latest from here.