Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Saturday, March 13, 2010

  • Mar 13 / 2010
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Primal Scream!

AAAGGGHHHHHH!!! I let that other OS do it to me again. Yesterday I was giving my second lecture for my computer science course. I was using an XP machine on a cart as a terminal via RDP to my GNU/Linux terminal server.

I started up Impressive with a PDF slide show and some images to finish it off. I had set Impressive to show my progress bar for 20 minutes side to side. I had just got into it when a pop-up from the underlying OS intervened. It warned me that it would re-re-reboot in 14 minutes. “Cancel” was greyed out. I minimized my terminal window and it was still greyed-out. I didn’t want to interrupt my flow so I checked the time and decided I could finish in the time left. I dragged the pop-up to the side while roundly cursing that other OS.

You guessed it. I was on the last few slides when it pulled the plug. The only machine in the lab still running that other OS had bit me. It is on my hit list.

If that is not bad enough. I went around configuring machines to print to the photocopier which recently got a network interface and I found one deeply infected. No malware scanner… I set up one and found a mess. Not a huge number but at least one that could not be removed. Another scanner found even more, a different set. I have no confidence that it is fixable and I cannot contact the teacher to identify any files that need backup. After 15 hours of scanning with various scanners, everyone now says it is virus-free. I doubt it.

On the other hand, the 500 gB drives and monitors arrived but are in limbo while the bean-counters count beans.

  • Mar 13 / 2010
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SCO v Novell 2010-3-9

It was a great day. Novell scored a big hit by getting SCO’s witness to agree the copyrights did not transfer from Novell to Santa Cruz Operation. I think the jury will not be able to forget this little detail in all of the rest of the noise.

According to GROKLAW’s reporter,MSS2 , Frankenberg cross-examination by Novell yields many nuggets:

The BOD minutes contain a motion to approve the APA. It passed unanimously. The minutes said that Novell retained the copyrights. Frankenberg admits that that’s what the minutes say. He admits that the minutes are accurate.

Frankenberg did not read all of the APA when he signed it. He relied on the lawyers and his negotiating team.”

That pretty well blows SCOG’s case, doesn’t it? Their own witness revealing the fundamental flaw in SCO v Novell, that SCO doesn’t own the copyrights so Novell could not have slandered SCOG’s title.

There is more to the case than that but SCOG is paddling a leaky canvas canoe and will be soggy when they dance in front of the jury. The jurors will remember this little detail…

  • Mar 13 / 2010
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Review of Google-Chrome Web Browser

It took a little bit of familiarization, but I am really enjoying this browser.

  • It tabs the way I want, with a newly opened tab to the right of the current tab instead of 20 tabs to the right
  • It spell-checks so that I can see the error. FF’s redline was too thin for me.
  • It’s FAST!
  • 5.0.307.7 beta is stable for me except for some TinyMCE pages (HTML works, RTF crashes the page)
  • The current tab is brighter so I can work the tabs better. I tried all kinds of things in FF and got dim and dimmer tabs. Perhaps it’s the monitor or the eyes but Google-Chrome works much better for me
  • The menus are almost non-existent and it’s OK, because the mouse and keyboard can control everything.
  • I am not sure about security. It’s too new, but I would bet that the more recently a browser is developed, the more likely that care is taken to watch for potential security holes. Google Chrome is copyright 2006-2010 so it is in the era post-worm-waves.
  • Search works right from the address bar. You do not need to type a “g” prefix to get Google, for instance, just something not a URI will go to Google for searching. This saves clicks.

You can download it at no cost from It runs on GNU/Linux as well as that other OS.

I am considering pushing this out to my XP clients. I may convert my XP clients to GNU/Linux at the same time. Some consultation is in order. I have set up a backup server so staff can backup their files properly. I could wait a bit until the 500 gB drives ordered arrive to be sure there are no surprises. The boss has asked me to give a presentation on the migration and advantages of change at the next staff meeting. Administration of the thick clients and terminal servers for thin clients will be a lot easier using GNU/Linux. Chrome could be a big part of that. Anything that makes these five-year old PCs run faster is welcome.

  • Mar 13 / 2010
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First Week of SCO v Novell Jury Trial

I must say I am feeling better about the proceedings now. The judge seems quite fair in spite of the strange ruling of the Court of Appeal and the pre-trial motions.

There have been some clue-bat moments reported on GROKLAW:

  • Reporter cpeterson:”One highlight of today: when Ty Mattingly referred to Ed Chatlos’ testimony. (Cue sound of jaws dropping.) “How did you know what Mr. Chatlos said? How did you know that Mr. Chatlos had testified?” asked Brennan. After some stammering, and hunting for an answer, Mattingly said, “Lee Johnson told me.” Bad case of footgun, I think.“. The jury might de-rate that testimony, eh?
  • A filing reveals that Maureen O’Gara asked SCO for “war pay” because of the angry responses she gets from her readers and that Blake Stowell, PR guy for SCOG requested MOG to “send a jab PJ’s way. She is now listed as a creditor. The judge is considering what parts of her video-taped testimony to allow. see GROKLAW.
  • . Mattingly also testified that he found Novell documents in his garage. SCOG turned them over to Novell only during the trial, a Perry Mason moment which the judge abhors…
  • Judge Stewart has a motion from Novell that because SCOG was accusing Novell of slandering their title “to this day”, Novell could introduce evidence of findings under the previous judge who made summary judgements. SCOG has to prove Novell new it was wrong but they could rely on the opinion of a federal court judge. That was a foot-gun moment. Adding a phrase for emphasis repeatedly in questions to witnesses and in the opening argument cost them. Stewart had previously agreed to exclude this information from the jury.
  • Reporters describe the awkward moments for SCOG’s witnesses trying to state the copyrights were transferred even though the agreement says they were excluded. How cool is that? There was also news that one of the jurors may be a relative of a possible witness.

All in all, I think it was a good start to a bad trial. The appeal by Novell has reached SCOTUS but there is no word yet that they will hear the case. The lawyers agreed the trial should proceed because it may be a long time before there is any progress at SCOTUS. They also agreed that there is only a small chance of the case being heard statistically.