Archive for March, 2008

Patience, Grasshopper

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

What a day yesterday. Not only did I get the news that the latest Inkscape 0.46 was released early for Ubuntu users, but the latest release of my CAD system, Autodesk Inventor 2009, was delivered too. I wasn’t expecting the latter for another couple of months so I was very surprised.

Unfortunately, I cannot install Inkscape until there are proper Windows and openSUSE packages. I already installed it on three of my Ubuntu installs. Love it already. There are so many new features that I know I will start using.

In addition, I cannot install Inventor because I am nearly out of hard drive space on my workstation. Had to order an additional hard drive and now I have to wait a day or two before I can install it. Ships with 4 DVD’s. Who the hell knows what’s on ’em. Perhaps the first DVD is the application and the last three are the Star Wars Trilogy.

Sheesh…I feel like I have two presents and I’m not allowed to open them. Maybe a donut will make me feel better. Who’s buying?

Happy Dyngus Day!

Monday, March 24th, 2008


Episode 056 – Web Badges

Friday, March 21st, 2008

In Episode 056 I demonstrate how to draw a web badge. I have a few of these things plastered on my personal website. I thought it would be neat to illustrate how it’s done.

It is not a requirement that you use the Silkscreen font for web badges but this font has pretty good legibility on really small images. You might want to give it a try. Also, in the tutorial I explain that one can find various Linux related logos in the openlogos font over at

Below is an example of what a web badge looks like.

Peace out!

Slax to the Rescue!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Our company President’s computer took a complete shit on us this morning. Honestly, I’m happy that it finally did. In the last month I have formatted it and repaired it twice. It’s a Windows XP desktop. I could not for the life of me figure out what was wrong with it. Nothing remained stable for very long before a crop of system errors popped up rendering the operating system useless. It could be bad ram, could be something on the hard drive, or maybe even something on the motherboard…I don’t know and I’m glad that I did not have to worry about it any longer.

I ordered a new computer for him today. In the meantime I was able to get a Slax live-cd running on it. Slax wasn’t my first choice though. I thought that I would just stick an Ubuntu Gutsy disc in it and let him run live without installing anything. That was the laziest approach that I could think of since my Gutsy CD was sitting on top of my computer. Unfortunately, Gnome was just to damn slow on his computer. That’s when I moved on to Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux. However, those were a little too geeky looking for someone who has never used Linux before. I didn’t think it was well suited for him. Those distros are light and fast but it’s more of a functional desktop rather than a pretty one. That really didn’t matter much to me but I didn’t want my boss thinking that this was what Linux looked like. I wanted to leave a good impression.

After I crashed and burned a bit, I stomped out the fire and hit the ‘net. I landed over at Ah, Slax…I had forgotten about you. I haven’t dabbled with Slax for a pretty long time. It has to be one of the fastest if not the fastest KDE based distros out there. Slax is light, and takes a modular approach to adding software. It boots pretty quickly and once the KDE desktop loads up it fucking smokes for a live-cd. I was shocked. I fainted soon afterwards. πŸ™‚ Live-cd’s aren’t usually that fast, at least in my experience they haven’t been. I’ve tried quite a few of them over the years. I use Knoppix on a regular basis as a recovery cd at work. Knoppix moves along well but no where near as fast as Slax. Knoppix is also what I use to judge other live distros. Perhaps that’s not fair since Knoppix takes the kitchen sink approach to live distros. On the other hand, that’s what makes Knoppix so darn handy as a recovery disc.

I didn’t get a chance to get an evaluation from my boss after he left for home today. I did walk by his office periodically through out the day and I noticed that he was sitting behind his computer. Of course, he might have discovered the game Patience, I don’t know. Perhaps he wasn’t working at all. πŸ˜‰

Inkscape on Tekzilla

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Inkscape was featured on this weeks episode of Tekzilla at Revision 3. Although the plug was rather short it was nice to see it get some exposure.

[sarcasm on]According to Tekzilla, there is a bit of a learning curve for Inkscape users as compared to Adobe Illustrator.[sarcasm off] Personally, it should be the other way around and I speak from experience. Inkscape might not have all of the bells and whistles that draw for you but I think it deserves a break. It’s very young compared to it’s competitors. After all, it’s not even a 1.0 release. It’s not even a 0.50 release yet.

Ubuntu UK Podcast

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

New Ubuntu podcast here. πŸ˜‰

Official openSUSE Forums Coming

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

I have always considered my official Suse forum because it’s where I got started about 5 years ago. There was a rift in that forum a few years back causing many to break away and create another Suse forum at Although I am a member of both I never really got into the newer forum. Too bad for me because I missed some of the community members that broke away.

Nevertheless, they are merging once again along with to create one BIG community forum. This is going to be good for us Suse users. Especially so for the new users who aren’t sure which forum to join.

Here’s the official announcement.

Episode 055 – RSS Icon

Monday, March 10th, 2008

In Episode 055 I demonstrate how to draw an RSS icon. The idea for this tutorial came from a post on the “Unofficial” Inkscape Forum website. It was simple enough to make a screencast out of so I went for it. πŸ˜‰

Lately It seems like I have been backlogged with screencast ideas and little time to record anything. I must have been in the right frame of mind for this RSS screencast because it came together pretty quickly. I guess I got lucky. Plus, I like illustrating web graphics. By the way…I found 1,786,345 RSS icon tutorials on the Internet so I hope you don’t mind one more.


“Calgon, take me away!”

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

I’m in one of those moods this morning where I am so buried in work and no end in sight that the only thing keeping me from going ballistic on someone is music. When I am busy the day goes by quickly but that doesn’t reduce my stress levels. For me, listening to some tunes seems to calm me down a bit while I work. It was like that for me growing up as well. Whenever I was doing homework (grade school through college) it always seemed like I had my stereo on or a television going in the background.

I go through spurts and phases with my music collection. I get into new stuff and then I fall back on the β€œclassic” stuff…the stuff I grew up with. I really like a full range of music too – the blues, southern rock, pop, new wave, techno/electronic, classic rock, alternative, mainstream alternative, and indie rock just to name a few popular genres that I listen too. Of course I am not good at classifying music. I never know what genre it is. Don’t care either. Just know what I like.

So today it’s The Black Crowes and The Elms all day. The ‘Crowes have been around for a long time. They’re part of the reason why I learned to play guitar. They need no introduction. The Elms are a kick-ass band from my home state of Indiana. I hadn’t heard of these guys until I got a tip from my brother-in-law a couple of years ago. Now I’m hooked. They’re a great band. If you like bluesy rock then both bands will satisfy your fix.

Now, if I could only get through an entire song without pausing it due to my phone ringing off of the hook then it would be even better. πŸ˜‰

Browser Issues with Opera Stable

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

It was brought to our attention yesterday, thanks capnhud, that Opera versions 9.24-9.26 do not work properly on both our Episode site and our Blog site. Both of our sites share pretty much the same code so it makes sense that both share the same problems. I hadn’t noticed this since I stopped using Opera Stable when the Opera Beta (version 9.50) was first released some time ago. I definitely prefer the beta version over the stable version. Because of that preference I have moved over to Opera 9.50 on every one of my computers. For obvious reasons this is why I had not noticed any errors before.

What is odd about this is that I am not even an Opera user. I use Firefox pretty much exclusively. I do dabble with Konqueror and Epiphany but only as much as I dabble with Opera. I also check things with Safari and IE6/IE7 from time to time. Furthermore, I have Firefox 3 Rev 3 installed on my Ubuntu laptop and since it’s stable I’ll probably be moving to that pretty soon.

One of the byproducts of moving over to WordPress instead of writing static html pages and css was that the theme that we chose to modify was very compatible across browsers. Amazingly compatible. Apparently it wasn’t compatible enough. There might be other broken elements but the most noticeable (I guess) is the “Older Entries” link at the bottom of the page. It doesn’t work. Whoops!

That was the only responsibility that Richard had too. He was to make sure that the “Older Entries” link worked in Opera Stable. Fuu…! That cat can’t do anything right. My job was to make sure the background was a dark shade of blue. I don’t see any problems with that. Jeez! πŸ˜›

Anyway, what do you Opera Stable users think? Have you noticed this? If it weren’t for capnhud we probably never would have noticed.