Star Wars in a telnet session

It is crazy where google leads us. I was looking for a way to make a
linux screensaver display a webpage. I thought this would be a good way
to distribute information in hospitals. At any rate, completely
unrelated to that quest (which has not yet been completed, lazyweb?),
but discovered along the journey was this:


Go ahead try it. On windows you do start->run and then type in the
above. Linux people already know how to telnet.

Under the hood of the hundred dollar laptop

One of my favorite bloggers, Ethan Zuckerman wrote an in-depth review of the new one laptop per child. Frequent readers of my blog, know that I have an infinite appetite for information about ultra cheap world changing computing devices.

There is some interesting geeky stuff in here about flash disk file systems, power consumption, hinge design, and perhaps my favorite, the subversive power of the wiki:

Wikis are important to the architecture of the software for another reason - they’re part of the subversive strategy behind the machine. The OLPC team won’t have control over what content is loaded onto the laptop in different countries - that’s the decision of individual education ministries. But by using wikis as a content management system - rather than, say, a PDF viewer - the team manages to sneak in the idea of user-generated content into schools. Perhaps most textbook pages will be protected in a wiki structure - wiki features like discussion pages will still exist, opening new possibilities for how kids interact with schoolbooks.


Web development extension - Firebug

The Web Development Toolbar, and the DOM Inspector are
two Firefox plugins that I always considered to be must haves for any
type of website development. Recently, however I discovered Firebug. It
also lets you browse the DOM of a page, and view the source as it is
currently rendered by the browser, but it also has a full on javascript
debugger that can set break points. Amazing! Every day I seem to
discover a new hoop it can jump through. Highly recommend it:

Running windows under Ubuntu

Installing Windows (XP, 2000 whatever) under Ubuntu:

Install vmplayer:
sudo apt-get install vmware-player

Make a directory for windows and change into it:
mkdir windows;cd windows

Create an empty vmplayer disk image:
qemu-img create -f vmdk windows.vmdk 2G Formatting 'windows.vmdk',
fmt=vmdk, size=2097152 kB

Put a vmplayer configuration file in the directory. Get mine by running
this command:

Put your windows CD in the cdrom drive. (See configuration file for
dealing with iso files instead of CDs)
Run it:
vmplayer Windows.vmx

Some people are having trouble finding vmplayer in their repositories. I think I know why. After I installed Dapper, I edited my sources.list file and made sure restricted, universe, mulitverse were enabled by uncommenting the entries that were helpfully placed there. But it wasn't until I used the GUI (Synaptic Package Manager->Settings->Repositories) and edited the first Ubuntu entry to include main, restricted, universe and multiverse that I was able to get everything I was supposed to be able to get. This caused the first line in sources.list to look like this:

deb dapper main restricted universe multiverse

So if you are getting "Couldn't find package vmplayer" or anything else that you think belongs in one of the Dapper repositories - try changing to the above.
updated update
Looks like I just had the package name wrong. It is vmware-player not vmplayer!


Guest blog! My mother-in-law wrote the following poem after visiting her daughter in Nicaragua, and I thought it worth sharing:


Esperanza, standing in front of her hut in Nicaragua,
teacher of many,
mother of two,
two daughters, Lucia and Maria,
18 and 20 years old,
strong and proud like their mother.

Esperanza, how can you let them go?
“How can I not let them go?
no work, no money,
their future here -
a husband with no work,
many children,
no money for shoes,
no way to walk to school.�

I love them - I have to let them go

Esperanza - where are they going?
“To the U.S.
to work, to save, to learn, to build a future.
They will go to a place
where they know people,
people from here,
people who will help them.�

I love them - I have to let them go.

Esperanza - in the U.S. - they are not welcome!
“I know - but they only want
what everybody else wants -
they want to work.
My girls will work day and night
to make some dollars,
to save money to come home or
perhaps to stay
and make a life there.
What’s wrong with that -
wanting to work?
no handouts - no never,
just work.�

I love them - I have to let them go

Esperanza - when are they going?
“Saturday morning, early dusk
secretly, nobody knows in the village.
I’ll walk with them to the river
and then we will part and I’ll wave.
My heart will break, but I will not cry,
I’ll stand and smile
and I’ll say - “you’ll make it.
I am proud of you.
I am with you all the way.�

I love them - I have to let them go.

Esperanza - how will they get there?�
“They will walk to the next town and from there they will hitch a ride
to Honduras and to Mexico.
We have saved for a long time,
wherever they go,
they will pay bribes
to policemen and coyotes -
coyotes will take them through the desert
and I’ll pray.�

I love them - I have to let them go.

Esperanza - are you afraid?
“Afraid, no! Horrified, yes!
Day and night,
I see them lying in the desert,
no water to drink,
no way to survive in the heat,
snakes and wild animals around them
and I am helpless,
helpless here�.

I love them - I have to let them go

Esperanza - what will you do?
“I have my land,
my goats,
I’ll teach children,
and I’ll wait,
wait to hear from my daughters,
hear that they are safe
and that they do what they had planned -
to make a life for themselves -
this is my hope.�

I love them - I have to let them go.