...making Linux just a little more fun!

The Linux Launderette

By Jimmy O'Regan

Editor's Note

I'm back again this month, and, after a trip to Poland, am a little bit less stressed than I was before... though if it wasn't for my son, I would have looked for a job, so I could stay there (though I think if I had asked anyone where I should go to look for a job, they would have said "Try Ireland" :))

Slightly on-topic: I was pleasantly surprised in an arcade to see a Tux Racer arcade machine!

TuxRacer arcade machine

(Oh, and this: I had a single room for most of my stay, but on my last night, Friday, I had to share a room. The first thing I noticed among my roommate's belongings was a Kubuntu CD :))


Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Wed, 3 Jan 2007 18:44:50 -0800

In September, I wrote:

> [1] I have a half-written essay called 'A Man Named Fred', that is
> partially a salute the late Fred Korematsu ....

Sometimes, I do finish projects. If interested, see: "A Guy Named Fred" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Essays/

[ Thread continues here (2 messages/1.71kB) ]

Copy Editors and Light Bulbs

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Fri, 29 Dec 2006 03:08:22 -0800

I was just copy editing articles for the upcoming issue, and suddenly remembered to pass along this piece from my wife Deirdre (who knows me entirely too well).

----- Forwarded message from Deirdre Saoirse Moen <deirdre at deirdre.net> -----

Cc: Karsten Self <karsten at linuxmafia.com>, sanehatter at gmail.com
From: Deirdre Saoirse Moen <deirdre at deirdre.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 17:47:39 -0800
To: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.752.3)
Subject: Copy Editors and Light Bulbs
Deborah J. Ross
Date:   Fri 15 Dec 2006 10:08:31a
I passed this on to a friend who edits scientific articles, and this is her response:

Q: How many copyeditors does is take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: That sentence isn't clear. Does it mean to have sex in a lightbulb, or to place a lightbulb in its socket? Please clarify.


(1) Sentence as written is ambiguous. Does it mean to have sexual intercourse inside of a lightbulb (in which case, pls clarify size of bulb), or to place a lightbulb in its socket?

(2) The phrase "does it take" is messy. The anticipatory pronoun has no reference. Who or what is doing the taking? Pls recast.

(3) The term "copy editor" is a not complex noun, and thus has no excuse for being set as a single word. It is an adjective (copy) and a noun (editor). A dress the color of mammalian blood is not a "reddress"; it is a "red dress." Note also that, when set as two words, "copy editor" does not take a hyphen, unless the phrase is being used as a complex (non-predicate) adjective, as, for example, "a copy-editor hissy fit."

(4) There is an obvious typographical error. Suggest you proofread manuscripts before submitting them as final.

_Deirdre                                             http://deirdre.net/

[off-topic] Weather in Denver

Benjamin A. Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]

Fri, 2 Feb 2007 08:11:06 -0700

Quoting from weatherunderground.com:

Mostly sunny. Windy. Patchy fog in low lying areas this morning. Highs
11 to 17. Wind chill readings 15 below zero to 30 below zero this
morning. Northwest winds 15 to 30 mph in the afternoon in locations
right near the foothills and near the Wyoming border.
I'm so glad that I'm leaving today... although I don't know that Boston, where I'm going next, will be any warmer. I've lived in NYC, where it snows every winter, but this crap brought Moscow to mind. :)
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://LinuxGazette.NET *

[ Thread continues here (6 messages/7.95kB) ]

New bike

Benjamin A. Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]

Wed, 27 Dec 2006 01:10:53 -0500

So, we went out to do some chores, and stopped by a place where Kat used to work. One of the businesses there is a used car/boat/motorcycle dealership, and they just happened to have this nice bike for a decent price - and I just happened to be in the market, ready to trade in my Nighthawk 750 (which was getting a bit old and tired). So, after a bit of horse-swapping, here's my new ride:

2003 Triumph "America" 800cc


(Mine's shinier, though. :)

[ Thread continues here (3 messages/3.00kB) ]

[svlug] SVLUG newsletter

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Thu, 4 Jan 2007 22:31:39 -0800

(Please do understand that I was aiming the quip at the end at myself, only.)

----- Forwarded message from mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us -----

Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2007 22:50:30 -0700
From: mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us
To: svlug at lists.svlug.org
Subject: Re: [svlug] SVLUG newsletter
Hi all, When considering on-line, community-published Linux newsletters what comes to my mind is, of course, The Linux Gazette. http://linuxgazette.net/index.html Several of the Gazette's authors are local to Silicon Valley and also members of SVLUG. But the Gazette's contributors and readers are from all over our globe. Collaboration with the Gazette might be useful to all and there is a existing body of knowledge in the Gazette about how to produce newsletters. They are an excellent outfit. Mark


> Bill Ward has mentioned (and I agree) that this could be a cross-LUG effort,
> with support coming from CABAL, EBLUG, PenLUG, even NBLUG and
> LUGoD.
> :-) I'm liking the positive energy.  A community-published Linux newsletter is a pretty compelling idea. 
> Thanks everyone!
> -Paul Reiber
> President, SVLUG
> http://svlug.org
----- End forwarded message -----
----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> -----
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2007 21:54:48 -0800
To: svlug at lists.svlug.org
From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
Subject: Re: [svlug] SVLUG newsletter
Quoting Mark Weisler (mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us):

[Linux Gazette:]

> They are an excellent outfit.

Eh, their proofreading sucks. ;->

----- End forwarded message -----

[ Thread continues here (3 messages/3.53kB) ]

Some patent absurdities

Kapil Hari Paranjape [kapil at imsc.res.in]

Tue, 6 Mar 2007 07:13:01 -0800


One friend (Rahul Basu) forwarded a link to the Alcatel-Lucent MP3 patent story and I found a blog that seems to have figured out whats going on: http://www.edn.com/blog/1690000169/post/1200007120.html Now it's clear to most of us that software patents are absurd and this story is a consequence of that absurdity.

... but (in the USA) you seem to have got an ever expanding patent regime. Another friend (Rahul Siddharthan) forwarded this blog:


Today the USA, tomorrow the rest of the world.[*]

Einstein in the patent office was not a mistake. We will need Einsteins in the patent office soon.

Q: Do you think Bekham and Roberto Carlos can patent their free-kick techniques?

They do make money based on these techniques and they can probably teach these techniques to others (for a fee!).



[*] For example, there have been repeated attempts to change the patent law in India at the behest of the multi-national pharma companies.

Where the rubber hits the road

Benjamin A. Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]

Sat, 27 Jan 2007 00:32:45 -0500

I'm breaking out in bikes all over these days. Here's my newest toy:


(Mine doesn't have all the graphics, but everything else including the color is right.)

Yep, I've sold the Triumph - too much of a cruiser for my blood, and [cough] I can only stand so much British engineering. Seriously - when the manual starts out with cleaning instructions, and has lots of BOLD letters and exclamation points telling you how crucial that part is and how it must be done every single time... well, that's the very definition of "not a bike for the Benster". [shrug] I made money in trading in my old bike, I made more in selling this one, and I got a damn good deal on the new one. And I got to play with a bike that was completely different from anything I've had before. I call that a win all around.

I rode the Katana home today and got off with a huge smile. Hellllo, higher insurance premiums...

* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://LinuxGazette.NET *

Part Time Job Offer

James NameRemove[j_nameremoved at hotmail.com.invalid]

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 05:31:29 +0100

[[[ A similar scam, using the same institute, is discussed here: http://www.scamfraudalert.com/showthread.php?t=3293 -- Jimmy ]]]

[ Thread continues here (2 messages/2.41kB) ]

Another funny spam

Mike Orr [sluggoster at gmail.com]

Tue, 20 Feb 2007 10:19:40 -0800

`` 220 nsvinl1.vanderlande.nl ESMTP TUNIX/Firewall Mail Server 221 Error: I can break rules, too. Goodbye. ''

Mike Orr <sluggoster at gmail.com>

[ Thread continues here (2 messages/0.88kB) ]

C/C++ Applications Developer

Sam Modi [smodi at somespammer.invalid]

Fri, 5 Jan 2007 18:45:43 -0500


We have C/C++ Applications Developer multiple openings in different locations.

[ Thread continues here (3 messages/3.73kB) ]

Another wire-transfer scam

Mike Orr [sluggoster at gmail.com]

Fri, 29 Dec 2006 10:36:38 -0800

On 12/29/06, visa at vmaster.spammerscammer.invalid

> FELICITATIONS  (Xmas/New Year Bonanza)
> Serial No:         DPA810-557NL
> Batch No:          Batch No: EUR/768-DPL
> Ref No:             EURML/214-dpa/6997/EU
>  Kind Attention: Winner,
> We are pleased to inform you the result of the computer random selection for
> The VISA/MASTER CARD International program held on 24th of December,2006.
> Your personal or company email address, attached to serial number
> DPA910-77NL drew the lucky numbers 7-9-5-3-9-11-5, and consequently won the
> lottery in the 2nd category.
> The email lottery draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 600,000.000
> e-mail addresses of individual, companies, and corporate bodies picked by an
> advanced automated random computer search ballot system from the Internet.

Wow, that sounds special.

[ Thread continues here (2 messages/3.54kB) ]

Getcher penguins hyar!

Ben Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 00:04:36 -0400

In an interesting bit of synchronicity, I got one of those emails that Kapil was talking about - no spam content, just... stuff. This one, however, seems to have hit it's mark (Mike Orr would be choking from laughter by now.) The subject, in Russian, means "ALL for the purchase of penguins" - and the content is just "penguin".

Silly spammers... why would we want to buy one after they've already sent us a perfectly good one???

----- Forwarded message from Emmie Warner <xxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx> -----

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 23:23:07 +0200
From: Emmie Warner <xxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx>
To: mirrors@linuxgazette.net
Subject: [SPAM] VSE na pokupku pingvinov

----- End forwarded message -----

[ Thread continues here (3 messages/2.45kB) ]

Really free spam

Mike Orr [sluggoster at gmail.com]

Sun, 18 Feb 2007 23:05:44 -0800

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Subject: download huge collection of free ebooks for free
Mike Orr <sluggoster at gmail.com>

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang

Bio picture Jimmy is a single father of one, who enjoys long walks... Oh, right.

Jimmy has been using computers from the tender age of seven, when his father inherited an Amstrad PCW8256. After a few brief flirtations with an Atari ST and numerous versions of DOS and Windows, Jimmy was introduced to Linux in 1998 and hasn't looked back.

In his spare time, Jimmy likes to play guitar and read: not at the same time, but the picks make handy bookmarks.

Copyright © 2007, Jimmy O'Regan. Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 137 of Linux Gazette, April 2007