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Archive for May, 2004

Upgrading to Mandrake 10.0

Posted by Ed on May 28, 2004

Recently I upgraded my Mandrake box from 9.2 to 10.0, which, despite not going completely without a hitch was relatively painless. Here’s how (from PC Linux Online via Charl, although I can’t find the article any more) to do it using urpmi:

  • become root (if you don’t know what this means you should probably phone a friend);
  • delete your 9.2 sources with ‘urpmi.removemedia your_old_sources’;
  • add your 10.0 sources with ‘urpmi.addmedia your_new_sources’;
  • do ‘urpmi.update -a’ to bring all the sources up to date;
  • do ‘urpmi –auto-select –no-verify-rpm –auto’ to automatically upgrade all the packages that need it;
  • do ‘urpmi kernel’ at which point you will be asked to choose a kernel version; swallow hard and choose 2.6;
  • reboot.

Now, in theory this should bring you back up in a shiny new 10.0 environment. In my case however, it got a bit confused and nuked my display manager and the control panel, so all I had was this old shell. After a bit of hacking about though, it became clear that I had quite a few old 9.2 thingies (actually KDE 3.1) floating about, popping up where they really weren’t welcome. So I removed everything KDE and reinstalled what I needed from KDE 3.2, including the control panel, which then allowed me to retrieve, amongst other things, my display manager. I’m not sure why this happened, but I’ve heard say that you’re supposed to manually remove KDE 3.1 before doing the upgrade.

Anyway, now I have a shiny new Mandrake 10.0 installation with which I’m very happy (see next post).

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Presidential photo

Posted by Ed on May 22, 2004

George W Bush was kind enough to send me a personalised photo of himself and his wife this morning, along with an invitation to send him money to help deliver the message of his “positive, optimistic agenda”, which the “liberal national media won’t deliver”.

Quite put me off my cornflakes, actually. At least the postman had the decency to fold it in two when he put it in the letterbox, despite the prominent “Do not bend! Presidential photo enclosed” warning. Nice one, Postie! Obviously I sent the form back, with a promise to donate zero dollars, thereby removing another 37 cents from their coffers.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

Digital photography

Posted by Ed on May 8, 2004

A few weeks ago, I said that the digital camera had come of age. I was wrong for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the small sensor size. This time, however, I’m right. The Nikon D70. Check out my first ever digital photos here.

Posted in Photography | 4 Comments »

On abuse of prisoners

Posted by Ed on May 6, 2004

Calls for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld seem to be getting louder by the minute. The Washington Post, which today posted more pictures of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, has a strongly worded article putting the blame squarely at Rumsfeld’s door.

THE HORRIFIC abuses by American interrogators and guards at the Abu Ghraib prison and at other facilities maintained by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan can be traced, in part, to policy decisions and public statements of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. Beginning more than two years ago, Mr. Rumsfeld decided to overturn decades of previous practice by the U.S. military in its handling of detainees in foreign countries. His Pentagon ruled that the United States would no longer be bound by the Geneva Conventions; that Army regulations on the interrogation of prisoners would not be observed; and that many detainees would be held incommunicado and without any independent mechanism of review. Abuses will take place in any prison system. But Mr. Rumsfeld’s decisions helped create a lawless regime in which prisoners in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been humiliated, beaten, tortured and murdered — and in which, until recently, no one has been held accountable.

The Economist, The New York Times and others are carrying similar articles.

Meanwhile, Wolfowitz condemns the soldiers responsible on behalf of Rumsfeld, who strangely was unable to attend a scheduled meeting.

I was going to write a commentary on this, but there seems little to say really. It comes as no surprise from an administration (particularly Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz) which has clearly demonstrated over the past two years that it has no morals. I don’t expect any resignations, self-examination or policy changes in the near future.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »