The Ultimate Lock-In

I just read an intersting article on osOpinion about the Microsoft's file format lock-in tactics. Basically, it discusses Microsoft's current dominiation of the Office Suite environment, how it is largely due to their proprietary file formats that prevent people from switching to other suites (hence the term "lock-in"), and where this is headed in the next versions of Office and even Windows. Hint: It's not good.

The bottom line is that now is the time to begin looking at and switching to alternatives. I recommend OpenOffice to get started. You can and should read the full story below.

phpMap 0.1 Released

This is a late announcement here, but phpMap 0.1 was released a couple weeks ago. Why am I announcing it here? Becuase it's my project! What does it do? It's an online, php-based map program. Right now it's still in very basic form (it only allows image zooming and navigation), but in the future it will also include location recognition, database tie-ins to retreive additional information, location pinpointing, a menu-based navigation system, etc.

For more information, see the phpMap web page. To see it in action, check out the Ole Miss Campus Map. Remember, though, that most of the features in the Campus Map are not currently present in phpMap.

Installing Gentoo Linux

I've finally completed my latest HOWTO, Installing Gentoo Linux. As the name implies, it's basically a walkthrough for getting Gentoo installed and configured, and should be especially useful for first-timers. Be sure to check it out in the Open Source section.

Open Source Software / Free Software page

I finally got around to putting up an Open Source Software / Free Software page on my site.  It's intended to be a general resource for newbies and experienced users alike.  It's still under planning and construction, but so far I have four main areas:

  • What is it? - written to provide decent introduction to the whole concept of OSS and FS for those not already familiar with it
  • The Case for OSS - points out all of the benefits for using OSS/FS in the home and at work, including why it's a "Good Thing"  (still under construction)
  • List of Applications - contains a list of and links to the applications that I personally consider to be among the best OSS/FS available
  • Tips and Tricks - contains HOWTO-like documents on various topics that I've written to make things easier/better

This section of the website will pretty much be under permanent construction, with the apps list and howto section updated as often as I discover a new app or write a new document.  Of course, I'm always open to suggestions, so PLEASE e-mail me about anything you think could improve the site, including corrections, new apps, new HOWTO suggestions, etc.  Also, please feel free to drop me a line just to let me know what you think about it.

Intel, AMD chop chip prices -- good for us, bad for them

Intel reduced the prices on all its desktop Pentium 4 processors by as much as 21 percent Sunday. Meanwhile, AMD cut prices on select Athlon XP desktop chips by as much as 32 percent Monday.

Link to article on Zdnet

--looks like ill be getting a new athlon after all... now if only the motherboard prices would go down ;)

Add your favorite comic to DailyStrips

All of you should be familiar with my DailyStrips module. I chose the group of comics shown there each day simply because they're the ones I've always liked growing up. If you'd like to see your own favorite comics on there, just let me know. Choose from this list.

As a side note, I do intend on developing this module further so that each user can customize it to their liking, but that's going to take some time. PostNuke modules are especially rough (for me, anyway), and I haven't even figured out how to allow myself to set the comic selection list through the web yet. :-)

Hey! Old Guys Can make a difference

Thomas Bayes, one of the leading mathematical lights in computing today, differs from most of his colleagues: He has argued that the existence of God can be derived from equations. His most important paper was published by someone else. And he's been dead for 241 years.

Wow, tells you that sometimes old ideas are good ideas still.

Here is the news article from C|Net