Crap Nullpointer Exceptions

This is the blog of John Dulaney, a hacker of Fedora, SCAdian, player of Music, blacksmith, sailor, and consumer of Bacon.

Monthly Archives: June 2011

Why to not buy a Mac

So, I know that there are a lot of people out there that have love affairs with their Macs.  This made sense back when Mac had different hardware.  However, this is no longer the case.  The following specs are for comprable Dell and Apple models:

Macbook Pro 13 Inch (1)

  • 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR2 Ram
  • 320 GB SATA drive, 5400 RPM
  • 5.3 GHz I5 processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 7 Hour battery life
  • 13 Inch display
  • $1199

Dell Inspiron 14R (2)

  • 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR2 Ram
  • 500 GB SATA drive, 7200 RPM
  • 5.3 GHz I5 processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Could not find estimated battery life, but it should be comparable.
  • 14 Inch Display
  • $649.99

As you can see, the Macbook is slightly inferior in terms of hardware, and yet is twice as much in cost.  Now, some can say that the extra cost is for the operating system, but that is quite odd, since that can be freely downloaded from Apple’s website (3).  So, if you buy an Mac, you’re either overpaying for hardware by quite a lot, or you’re paying for free software.  Would it not be cheaper to buy the Dell and drop the Apple software on it?  Of course, the issue here is that much of the software that Apple sells is not Free, which warrant’s another discussion in and of itself.

Since the vast majority of Apple’s user base seems to believe in Creative Commons licensing, Freedom, etc., then why are they going with something that is (a) proprietary and (b) restrictive (compared to Free and Open Source Software)?  Seriously, what a load of fail.





PS, I might play around with creating my own binary-compatible spin to demonstrate to the Worshippers of Jobs.

I am returned

So, I got back into town in time for poetry night, and, for once, I am not impressed. Glen was, as usual, good, and after him went this dude that was going up for the fist time, thusly deserving some slack.  Now, however, there is a ‘guest’ that is ‘rapping’, and I must admit that I am not at all enjoying it.  Normally, I’m not a huge rap fan, anyway (with several very notable exceptions).  This time, it’s some girl that isn’t even in time, much less putting out anything really original or even marginally inspired.

<Rant>If you don’t like/want systemd (and I think most distros will wind up with it eventually) then don’t use Fedora 15.  Don’t go shouting on the Devel list about how it shouldn’t be installed by default.</rant>

Now that my anoyances are out of the way, on to SELF.  I reckon I’ll break it down to what I liked:

  1. All the cloud stuff.  That will be useful for QAing F16, and that alone is enough for me to have gone.
  2. Networking.  I met up with a couple of KDE devs (one of whom also does embedded and alternative architectures, in which I also have interest) that has gotten me to install KDE.  There’s some cool stuff there since the last time I messed with it.  I’ll admit, it’s been a while.  That said, I still prefer Fluxbox in terms of workflow.
  3. The Genetics talk was supremely interesting.  I would very much like to learn more on the subject, and may at some point dabble in the code some.
  4. I missed Spot’s talk because I was networking, but that was cool (see 2 above; I also talked about real estate (random)).
  5. Helping folks understand how Fedora works was decidedly win.
  6. Speevan back was fracking awesome, except for the hangover.

There really wasn’t too much I disliked except the aforementioned hangover, but since that was self-inflicted, I can’t complain, can I?  I also managed to bomb my kernel on Friday morning, but it wasn’t difficult to fix (those that were there know what I did).

I tried to introduce Ryan Rix to grits, but he was supremely uninterested.  I consider that the fail of the weekend.


Southeast Linux Fest So Far

Sitting here at the Fedora booth, explaining Harker’s Island English, installing KDE (/me is interested in what it looks like these days) and generally having an awesome time.  Earlier today and some of yesterday I attended some cloud sessions in anticipation of all the cloud stuff that will be coming out in Fedora 16.  I figure QA will be easier if I know a little bit about what all is going on.  Later on I intend to go to a talk on Advanced Regular Expression.

Hanging out with Sparks, Spot, Southern_Gentleman, jsmith, etc. has been tres interesting.  Last night’s burn party was pretty cool, too, especially the goings-on whilst DVD’s were burning.  Hanging with these folks and the exchange of knowledge that has resulted has been very, very good.

I plan to attend Spot’s talk on how we fail later on, and then afterwards party.

More later.

New kernel, New instrument

So, what do flutes and the Linux kernel have in common?  Me.  Specifically, once I start a big compile (such as the kernel), I’ll practice playing whilst my computer is bogged down.  Since I am now learning the flute, and since I’ve just recompiled the new kernel (3.0-rc1) due to leaving out a driver during my first round, I was playing whilst my computer was compiling.

Anyway, on to the kernel.  It’s running nicely, I haven’t had any issues other than leaving out the FAT driver (as I found out when I tried to use my USB flash drive, oops).  Since I left out the vast majority of the drivers available, the kernel as I’m running it is very small and seems to be a bit faster than the generic F15 kernel.  Of course, I’m not sure how much I’ll wind up using it in practice since for testing purposes I have to use whatever kernel is in the testing repository.

In other news, looks like my friend Larry is going to have a shindig tomorrow, so I’m going to be playing (sadly, not mandolin since that’s in the shop).  I’ll also be recording, so look out for that.  Expect to hear a bunch of folk, blues, some country, etc.  I imagine it will be pretty heavy on the Old Crow Medicine Show.

On the flute, I can sort of bang out something that with some (quite a bit, actually) imagination can be recognized as Yankee Doodle.  I’ll probably bring it and see what I can do about jamming with it.  I’m not quite sure how much I’ll be able to play, since all the notes I know are in the key of G.  Ah, well, I’ll get there, eventually.