Open Source Personal

Notepad Killer

I’m a pretty pathetic note taker. I’m not great at it, my note management skills aren’t that great, and I take a lot of notes during the day. My computer’s desktop is littered with notepad files all the time. Just ordered and unordered lists of things to do, snippets of code, URLs and other details. It’s a giant mess. I’ve tried various products to organize it, and nothing has worked. It doesn’t really hurt me, but it does drive me nuts. There’s got to be a cleaner way to do this.

Since I have a webserver on my computer at all times, I decided to just install media wiki (the software that powers among other sites) as my new notepad. So far this idea is working rather well. Everything is in one place, off my desktop, and pretty organized. Thanks to being in a wiki, I can link things all over the place rather easy.

I’ve never been fond of the wiki syntax, personally I find it a bit awkward, but I guess I’ll get used to it in time.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone but a handful of people. For me at least, it seems to be working rather well. Much nicer than a bunch of notepad files littering my desktop… now if only I can manage to get rid of all that other junk.

I’ll try and post in a few weeks how I feel this serves as a solution to my problem. I have a feeling this will work very well. It’s organized, and in the web format I’m most comfortable with.


Windows XP on Intel Mac

It looks like someone may soon be declared a hero. Hopefully some verification of the process (and the process itself) will be made public soon.

Edit [3/16/2005 @ 1:17 PM EST]: Here are the instructions/downloads what you need to use Windows XP on an Intel Mac… now if only I had an Intel Mac.

Mozilla Security

Symantec on Firefox vs IE

Many remember a few months ago Symantec came under fire for suggesting that IE was more secure than Firefox, because it had less security issues. Immediately many pointed out that Symantec’s methodology in the research was flawed, since they focused on vendor acknowledged security issues. That essentially lets the development teams decide how many security issues they want to have.

Symantec has now revised their research to include how many non-vendor confirmed security issues were reported. This puts things a bit more level of a playing field. Naturally you’d expect Firefox to have more confirmed flaws, because development is transparent. The IE team has the ability to selectively choose what’s “critical”. That’s a big advantage in the old comparison. They don’t seem to declare a “winner”, they just lay out the data.

Moral of the story? Data is only accurate if the research is well done. Symantec realized their research was flawed, and corrected it in a way that seems pretty fair, considering Firefox and IE have totally different development situations.

Hardware Software

2 failures in a week

Last week my private server had some corruption on the system partition. Seems to be related to the system log file from what I can figure out. I’ve got it back up and running, mostly. Though not 100%. If it was running something newer than 10.2 Jaguar, I’d likely be in better shape. Not much work, but because it’s 266MHz, it takes a year to do something as simple as upgrade perl. Despite that, the tough little box is still chugging away. Thanks to partitioning, and putting the drive in an external enclosure and hooking it up to my Mac Mini with Mac OS X 10.4, all user data is intact. That’s really what’s important.

Now today a Windows XP system decides to corrupt itself. Not quite done with evaluating the damage and repairs. I got it to boot, not sure what else is hiding under the murky waters of Windows XP. That’s the goal for tonight.

What did I learn? I really need to get some better backup systems working on these two computers. I’m sick of doing this.

Security Software

Backdoor? “Over My Dead Body”

Niels Ferguson of the Security Integrety Team had this to say about the idea of a backdoor being implemented in Windows Vista’s new Bitlocker security system:

Over my dead body.

Well, maybe not literally—I’m not ready to be a martyr quite yet—but certainly not in any product I work on. And I’m not alone in that sentiment. The official line from high up is that we do not create back doors. And in the unlikely situation that we are forced to by law we’ll either announce it publicly or withdraw the entire feature. Back doors are simply not acceptable. Besides, they wouldn’t find anybody on this team willing to implement and test the back door.

Very good to hear. If there is anything of the sort in Vista, it’s only a matter of hours before someone (bad cop, someone on vista team) leaks enough info for hackers to figure stuff out. That changes the product from a “security” product to an “obscurity” product.

Security is important in computing. “Backdoor” is just a public relations spin on “security hole”. Nothing less.

Apple Hardware

Mac Mini 2.0

I have my G4 Mac Mini… but now it’s outdated because, it’s now available as a Intel powered Mac Mini. So cool in just about every way, except the Intel Integrated Graphics, which even Apple agrees is junk. I do like the audio in put (which was missing on the G4 version), and support for FrontRow. I wonder how many will be stacking them, so you can swap between the two architectures with a KVM switch.

Also saw a MacBook Pro the other day. Oh so very sexy. Very slick as usual.

Now what I really want to see (and have) is the replacement for the PowerMac. In my dreams it’s quad core, ships with 2GB RAM, dual SATA hard drives, and has a pretty similar design to the current PowerMac line. Oh yea, a 2nd media bay for another drive or accessory. I don’t like having a whole tower and 1 bay.