Daily links for 05/31/2011

  • “Linaro was launched at Computex in 2010 by ARM, IBM, Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and TI with the mission of reducing fragmentation, increasing optimization and making it easier for OEMs and ODMs to develop Linux-based products.”

    tags: Linaro Linux ARM

  • Apple announced today that it plans to introduce the next generation of its mobile platform, iOS 5, as well as a new cloud service called iCloud at the Worldwide Developers Conference next week on Monday, June 6. This is a highly unusual move for Apple, which normally tries to keep their center-ring announcements secret until the scheduled event.”

    tags: apple ios

  • “What was going to become Linux 2.6.40 has, in the blink of an eye or a few clicks of Torvalds’ keyboard, become Linux 3.0.0-rc1. There had been talk last year about whether the Linux kernel development team should call time on the 2.6 version of the Linux kernel, with some having suggested that 2.8 should be the next major version number. Now Torvalds has made the decision that the next major Linux kernel release will be 3.0.”

    tags: linux torvalds

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Boat in the water, mast almost up

Today is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The weather this spring in northwest New York has been unusually wet with rain at least five days out of seven every week. Gardening is delayed, lawn mowing is catch-as-catch-can, and it’s been a chore getting our sailboat Amanda ready and into the water.

The boat came out of the water early last October slightly earlier than expected because of a frayed forestay, the cable that runs from the top of the mast to the front, or bow of the boat. Since I had no idea how old the other cables were, I decided to replace them all. That meant that the forestay, the backstay, the two upper shrouds, the two front shrouds, and the two aft shrouds had to go.

While I was at it, I ordered a new jib halyard and mainsail halyard, the ropes that raise and lower the two sails. All these replacement parts arrived during the winter and I stored them with the other boating odds and ends I kept inside for the winter.

Starting a couple of weeks ago, I began working on getting the boat, a 1988 Catalina 22, ready for the season. Last week my son Will and I completely removed the mast from the boat and put it on sawhorses in the garage. Then, little by little, I started taking things off and replacing them with the newer counterparts.

I began with the halyards because there were only two of them and I could claim progress faster. These ropes go entirely through the mast, so it is unwise just to pull out the old ones. Rather, for each halyard I used a needle and thread to sew together the new rope to the old, and then covered the joint with some tape. I then pulled the old halyard through the mast and out, the new one following it and installing itself.

The shrouds were more time consuming since I had to remove pins holding the tops of the cables. These were held in place by small cotter pins that were not easy to grab and then remove. I worked my way through them, along with the fore- and the backstay.

During the evenings this last week I refinished the tiller, the curved oak piece that moves the rudder and hence is used for steering. The finish on it was chipped and it had several rough spots. I removed all the hardware, sanded the tiller down to the bare wood, put on five coats of exterior grade polyurethane, and replaced the hardware.

For the rudder itself, I thoroughly cleaned it and put a new coat of antifouling plaint on the portion of it that stays under the water for the four month season. This paint contains copper and that’s now the color of the bottom of the rudder, though I have it on good authority that it will turn the intended blue after a few weeks in the water.

Yesterday and today I loaded the boat with all the other things I need on it: the battery, the gas tank, the GPS, the portable VHF radio, the above mentioned tiller and rudder, some water, soda, and some snacks. I also remembered to put on the new license plate that also arrived this winter.

Today I gave the boat a final scrubbing and then Will and I put the mast on top of the boat and strapped it down. I did not connect the shrouds to the boat at this point, though normally the center and aft shrouds would be for transport. We attached the trailer to the car, checked that the lights worked, and put the outboard motor in the back of the car.

Bob and Will getting ready to bring the boat to Lake OntarioTogether with my wife Judith we drove to our yacht club on Lake Ontario east of Rochester, NY. Once there, we removed the mast to make it easier to get the boat in the water.

It was at this point that I remembered that I left the key for the three locks on the boat at home. This was not a problem for the cabin since I had not locked it, but it was for the gas tank. Luckily a fellow club member walked by and told me about some bolt cutters in the utility shed. They made short work of the lock (scary, actually), and I had access to gas for the motor. Will and I then mounted the Tohatsu 6hp outboard.

With Judith directing and Will in the rear of the boat, we backed the trailer down the boat ramp and eased the sailboat into the water. The lake, like most bodies of water around here right now, is higher than usual and I didn’t have to get the trailer very far into the water to give the boat enough buoyancy to rise and move off. The motor started right up and we slowly moved the boat around the marina into our slip.

We set the fenders and the dock lines, placed the still-not-raised mast on top of the boat, and headed home.

On Monday Will and I plan to head back up the lake on Monday to raise the mast. Connecting the shrouds and the forestay will be easy, but we have a some work to do on the new backstay. Its configuration is different from the old one, so it will take some staring at the under-documented instructions and experimentation to get it right. After that, we’ll put up the boom and the mainsail.

If there’s a fair wind, we might even get Amanda out on Ontario, but I would settle for raising the mast and getting her ready to go.

Daily links for 05/26/2011

  • “People often ask us what license we recommend they use for their project. We’ve written about this publicly before, but the information has been scattered around between different essays, FAQ entries, and license commentaries. This article collects all that information into a single source, to make it easier for people to follow and refer back to. The recommendations below are focused on licensing a work that you create—whether that’s a modification of an existing work, or a new original work. These recommendations do not address the issue of combining existing material under different licenses. If you’re looking for help with that, please check our license FAQ.”

    tags: fsf license apache

  • “Today I’m happy to share something we’ve been working on for a little while: “How to choose a license for your own work” is a comprehensive set of license recommendations for new projects. This page explains what factors are important to consider when making licensing decisions, and suggests specific licenses for different scenarios. If you’re starting a new project (whether it’s software, documentation, or something else related) and unsure what license to use, you just need this one link to find our recommendations.”

    tags: fsf license foss

  • “If you haven’t sent in your design yet, there is still time. The deadline for submissions is this Monday, May 30, 2011. And, there is plenty of room for more ideas. One hint for all the designers out there: Remember the theme is the 20th Anniversary of Linux. By incorporating this into your design, you will increase your chances of being among the Top 5 finalists.”

    tags: linux anniversary

  • IBM‘s server revenues grew 22.1% in the first quarter, outpacing rivals as demand for the types of high-end systems in which Big Blue specializes picked up. Total industry revenue from non-x86 servers, including Unix and mainframe systems, jumped 12.3%, compared to a 10.1% increase in revenue from sales of servers that run Windows or Linux on industry-standard chips, according to numbers released Wednesday by market watcher IDC.”

    tags: ibm hp oracle server

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 05/25/2011

  • “I told you so. I knew that Steve Ballmer could talk all he wanted about how Microsoft would continue to support non-Microsoft platforms, but that there was no way he’d actually do it. The first proof is here. Digium, the company behind the popular open-source Asterisk private-branch exchange (PBX) program, has announced that Skype has unilaterally ended its deal that allowed Asterisk to work with Skype.”

    tags: microsoft skype Open Source

  • Fedora Linux not for everyone. If you’re an experienced Linux user who wants an easy-to-use desktop Linux, I recommend Mint 11. If you’re new to Linux and just want something that’s easy to pick up and use, I think you should give Ubuntu 11.04 a try. But, if you’re a Linux expert, and want to explore the outer limits of what’s possible with Linux, then Red Hat’s new Fedora 15 Linux is the distribution for you.”

    tags: fedora linux

  • “Unfortunately, it’s easier to mess it up than to get it right, and the result is that employees end up confused, frustrated, and stifled. Here are six things that a lot of leaders and companies do to stifle innovation. Keep in mind that a lot of these things are done for good reasons — organization, systemization, and efficiency. Nevertheless, the effect is the same.”

    tags: innovation kill

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 05/23/2011

  • “The winner in the main-event novel category was Connie Willis, a celebrated favorite — and former teacher of Swirsky’s — whose two-part “Blackout” and “All Clear” chronicles a group of Oxford historians who become stranded amid World War II when their time-travel assignment goes awry. “It took me eight years to finish,” Willis said after the ceremony. “Around the five-year mark, people did start to point out that it was actually taking longer than World War II.””

    tags: nebula scifi

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 05/20/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My lilac festival

This last week was the annual Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY. Even though they had several rainouts, the cool and wet weather preserved the shrubs and their flowers. In some springs, early hot temperatures can cause the blooms to peak too early, but that was not the case this year.

We have several lilac bushes around the property and all are in flower this week. Here’s a sampling of what they look like. I plan to add more plants over the next few weeks to increase the variation, though these are quite lovely.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

Image of a lilac in upstate NY in May, 2011 Image of a lilac in upstate NY in May, 2011 Image of a lilac in upstate NY in May, 2011 Image of a lilac in upstate NY in May, 2011 Image of a lilac in upstate NY in May, 2011 Image of a lilac in upstate NY in May, 2011

May 18: Open Virtualization Alliance news roundup

Here are some of the stories around the Open Virtualization Alliance that was announced yesterday.

Also check out IBM’s Jean Staten Healy’s guest blog entry on IBM developerWorks.

Daily links for 05/18/2011

  • “Richard Dawkins has a new kids’ book coming out in October called The Magic of Reality, which explains just how gosh-darned awesome the actual scientifically explained world is, and how wondrous the universe is when considered as a material, non-supernatural phenomenon. And if that wasn’t awesome enough, the book is illustrated by the wonderful Dave McKean (whose work you might know from Neil Gaiman books like The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, or the US cover of my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town).”

    tags: dawkins book science

  • “The Summer pyGames project is a six-week long competition during which high school students develop open-source educational software and games to be used and distributed to schools in South Carolina. Many of last year’s competing teams presented at the FIRST Championship in St Louis. The program has also been showcased at the FIRST Robotics Palmetto Regional, POSSCON and INNOVENTURE Southeast.”

    tags: pygames summer python Open Source

  • “And although Apple isn’t known for its corporate focus or market penetration, it’s the leader when it comes to tablets: 83 percent said they would be using iPads. That compares to 17 percent for RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, 14 percent for HP’s Slate, 13 percent for Motorola’s Xoom, and 11 percent for Dell’s Streak.”

    tags: ipad apple

  • Fedora is in the process of retiring our old “Individual Contributor
    License Agreement” (also known as the ICLA or CLA) and replacing it with the new Fedora Project Contributor Agreement (FPCA). All Fedora contributors with accounts in the Fedora Account System
    (https://admin.fedoraproject.org/accounts) who have agreed to the old CLA *MUST* agree to the new FPCA by June 17, 2011 to continue contributing to Fedora.”

    tags: fedora linux license

  • “Starting on Wednesday, Film Forum is offering a double feature of the literal Dylan, made up of “Don’t Look Back” (1967), by D. A. Pennebaker, and “The Other Side of the Mirror,” Murray Lerner’s compendium of Newport Folk Festival concert footage from the early 1960s. Both films highlight the mischievous, mercurial aspects of Mr. Dylan’s personality, while also providing undeniable proof of his musical prowess and incidental proof that he was, indeed, a young man once.”

    tags: Bob Dylan film

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 05/17/2011

  • “As a demand for Linux-related jobs has jumped unexpectedly high in the last couple of years. LinuxCareer.com as a new Linux related job portal attempts to compensate for this sudden surge in demand for Linux skilled professionals and will surely accommodate both employers and job seekers.  LinuxCareer.com is not affiliated with any local or international company, nor is it a recruitment or employment agency and it is specialising only in Linux based careers and closely related Information Technology fields.”

    tags: linux job portal

  • “For North American PlayStation 3 owners, you can choose any two of the following five games: Dead Nation, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury. The same offer applies to those in Europe, though with Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty replacing Super Stardust HD.”

    tags: sony psn

  • “Scholars, artists and other individuals around the world will enjoy free access to online images of millions of objects housed in Yale’s museums, archives, and libraries thanks to a new “Open Access” policy that the University announced today. Yale is the first Ivy League university to make its collections accessible in this fashion, and already more than 250,000 images are available through a newly developed collective catalog. The goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale’s vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available.”

    tags: digital images yales

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

KVM News Today: Meet the Open Virtualization Alliance

Today a whole lot of companies, including BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Inc. and SUSE, announced the creation of the Open Virtualization Alliance.

OVA logo

From the press release:

… today announced the formation of the Open Virtualization Alliance, a consortium committed to fostering the adoption of open virtualization technologies including Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). The consortium will promote examples of customer successes, encourage interoperability and accelerate the expansion of the ecosystem of third party solutions around KVM, providing businesses improved choice, performance and price for virtualization.

The Open Virtualization Alliance will provide education, best practices and technical advice to help businesses understand and evaluate their virtualization options. The consortium complements the existing open source communities managing the development of the KVM hypervisor and associated management capabilities, which are rapidly driving technology innovations for customers virtualizing both Linux and Windows® applications.

KVM virtualization provides compelling performance, scalability and security for today’s applications, smoothing the path from single system deployments to large-scale cloud computing. As a core component in the Linux kernel, KVM leverages hardware virtualization support built into Intel and AMD processors, providing a robust, efficient environment for hosting Linux and Windows virtual machines. KVM naturally leverages the rapid innovation of the Linux kernel (to virtualize both Linux and Windows guests), automatically benefiting from scheduler, memory management, power management, device driver and other features being produced by the thousands of developers in the Linux community.

Daily links for 05/16/2011

Groklaw 2.0

  • “Last month PJ announced that because SCO as we knew it is no more,” she would stop publishing new articles today, May 16, Groklaw’s anniversary. Now she’s handing the reins over to Mark Webbink, former general counsel at Red Hat, law professor, and board member at the Software Freedom Law Center, to create “Groklaw 2.0.” Here’s what she had to say about Groklaw’s past and her future.”

    tags: groklaw webbink interview pj

  • “Now that the battlefield has shifted from SCO attacking Linux to Microsoft using patents against it and from servers to mobiles, I realized that Groklaw needs a lawyer at the helm. So I asked Mark Webbink if he would take on this role, and I’m thrilled to tell you that he has accepted. He is the new editor of Groklaw as of today. Mark was General Counsel at Red Hat, as you know, and he is on the board of the Software Freedom Law Center. He is also a law professor, which as I’ll explain is a vital piece of what he has planned. Mark is a visiting professor at New York Law School where he runs the Center for Patent Innovations, oversees the Peer To Patent project run with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, has been active in seeking reform of the U.S. patent system, and teaches patent licensing. In addition, Mark is a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law where he teaches intellectual property (patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret) licensing. Mark has access to law students at those law schools and many others. In addition, Mark has remained interested and involved in free and open source software and related intellectual property issues and he is the author of the chapter on U.S. technology law included in a soon to be released book on free and open source software law.”

    tags: groklaw pj webbink

Open Source

  • “OpenLogic analyzed which open source licenses are most used by enterprises versus those preferred by open source developers. Over two-thirds of open source projects are licensed under the GPL, which has created the impression that the GPL is the most popular open source license. However, the research examined data about enterprise usage and found that Apache-license projects were the most downloaded and most used in enterprise applications.”

    tags: openlogic gpl apache

  • “What needs to happen is pretty clear: we need more eyes on the ARM code, some determined work to clean up what is there now, and better high-level support to facilitate the addition of clean code in the future. Much of this work is already happening; the 2.6.40 kernel will certainly include a number of patches which consolidate duplicated functionality and make the code base smaller. There will be more review and guidance for embedded systems developers (who are often not full-time members of our community) as they work to get their code upstream. As the result of all this, we may well see the size of the ARM tree shrink, even as it gains functionality and supports more hardware.”

    tags: linux arm

Food

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The garden in late spring, 2011

I took a few minutes late in the afternoon yesterday to walk around and check on the state of the gardens. We had a very wet spring and I feel like I am weeks behind in weeding, edging, and planting. That hasn’t stopped the various trees, shrubs, and bulbs from blooming, and it also hasn’t stopped the dandelions from proliferating. I don’t do anything to them other than try to dig them up, but I’m clearly losing the battle.

The red buds (Cercis canadensi) have come into full bloom in the last few days. When we moved to this house yesterday we only had one. Thanks to the wind and the squirrels, we now have half a dozen of them and the original one is on its last legs.

I included a shot of the sailboat in the driveway. I have some work to do replacing the standing rigging but I’m still hoping to get it into Lake Ontario by the end of May.

Images from the garden in late spring, 2011 Images from the garden in late spring, 2011 Images from the garden in late spring, 2011 Images from the garden in late spring, 2011 Images from the garden in late spring, 2011 Images from the garden in late spring, 2011

Daily links for 05/13/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

2011 Road Trip: Nashville, TN, Day 2, and home

Two weeks ago was my son Will’s Spring Break from school, so he and I took a 1750+ mile (2800+ km) road trip from our home in upstate New York, USA, down south to Tennessee. Over several blog entries I’ve highlighted where we went and what we did. This is the last entry in the series.

Photo of museumOn Thursday of our week in Tennessee, William and I had the luxury of not having to drive anywhere. Indeed, the car sat in the hotel parking lot in Nashville from the time we arrived on Wednesday to when we departed on Friday morning. The hotel was located on N 4th Street just a few blocks from Broadway. This meant that we could walk to our first destination for the day, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

This is a large building that houses standing exhibits, limited duration special exhibits, the Hall of Fame itself, and, of course, a gift shop. Additionally, there is a restaurant and bar in the lobby. I emphasize the bar because it was very prominent and may be a key attraction for some.

Will and HankThough neither Will nor I are big country music fans, we enjoyed the visit. To give you an idea of my tastes, we went through the special exhibit on Hank Williams and his son Hank Jr. I very much like Hank Sr.’s music but couldn’t give a pig’s ear about Hank Jr.. I don’t understand or appreciate his appeal but that’s ok because we just skipped most of his section. (I was curious, though, about the part where he fell off the mountain.)

The museum is clearly aiming to get a younger crowd and there were several large photos and exhibits about Taylor Swift. She’s a bit young to be Hall of Fame material, but she’s a great singer and songwriter.

I largely focused on seeing the material on musicians up through the 70s and it was fun to see more detail about things I saw and heard peripherally in my youth. We didn’t buy much at the gift shop, though I thought the black cowboy hat looked pretty good on me. I finally decided that it wouldn’t translate well to upstate New York.

As part of the Museum admission we opted for the side trip to “historic RCA Studio B.” This was probably the highlight of our trip to Nashville. From the website:

Historic RCA Studio B is one of the world’s most important and successful recording studios. More than 35,000 songs were brought to life by the Studio B magic, including more than 1,000 American hits, 40 million-selling singles, and over 200 Elvis Presley recordings (by far more than any other studio). Step into the house of the hitmakers and discover the legend of this Music Row landmark.

Will playing pianoHere’s one reason why it was so much fun for us: Will playing the Steinway that was used on many of those hits and played by Elvis Presley. Unlike many museums and exhibits where the good stuff is cordoned off, we were encouraged to look around and touch things. Very hands on and very cool.

After the museum we had a late lunch at the Big River Grille & Brewing Works. It was fine but nothing too special. Afterwards we headed back to hotel for a swim in the pool and then some down time. We skipped dinner, planning to get it after the show we were to attend at the Ryman Auditorium.

While the Ryman is not the current home of the Grand Ole Opry, it was for many years, and was used recently when flooding in Nashville in 2010 made their current building unusable for many months. The show we saw that night was called “Grand Ole Opry Country Classics.”

Ryman AuditoriumHere’s one thing I didn’t realize before we saw the show: it was being broadcast live on the radio. That meant there was an announcer who was the lead radio voice and who did the commercials for companies like Cracker Barrel and Humana, and a master of ceremonies. Larry Gatlin, of the Gatlin Brothers, was the emcee.

The show mixed some of the old time schtick of the Grand Ole Opry (e.g., someone doing the Minnie Pearl jokes and “HoooooowDeeeeeeeeee”), music, and chatting between Gatlin and the performers. It was an older crowd, shall I say, but they nevertheless behaved themselves.

Highlights for me were Dailey & Vincent and Mandy Barnett performing some songs from her “Always … Patsy Cline” show.

After the show we had a forgettable dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (at least it was open) and called it a day.

On Friday we set off from Nashville for the long drive home to upstate New York. Bad weather was brewing up toward Louisville, the same nasty stuff that led to the St. Louis tornadoes, so I slanted up to the northeast through Lexington, Kentucky. Traffic picked up significantly as we approached Cincinnati and didn’t abate until well past Columbus. Soon after we stopped for the night.

We finally arrived home after lunch on Saturday, road-weary but happy that we had such great experiences. It was 1750+ miles and we had avoided torrential rain and tornadoes, though the South would not be so lucky in the days and weeks that followed.

Next year we fly.

The Entire 2011 Road Trip Series

Daily links for 05/12/2011

  • “Should Microsoft worry? Yeah, I think so. They’ve got Apple making in-roads on the business desktop front with tablets and smartphones, may other companies, like HP, are also going after the business desktop with tablets, and now Google has finally thrown down the gauntlet on the business desktop. Dare I say it? I think for the first time in decades, Microsoft is facing real trouble on the desktop. Seem unlikely? Remember when everyone used Internet Explorer and then along came Firefox? I see the desktop market at a similar tipping point.”

    tags: linux google microsoft

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Finished: “The Windup Girl”

book coverI just finished reading The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi and I have to say it was an excellent, excellent novel. It happens to be science fiction because it is set in a future Bangkok after most of the petroleum reserves have run dry and gene-ripping monopolies have tried to corner the market on “calories” while unleashing plagues that have destroyed the competition, but it’s a great human story as well. Highly recommended.

Like many of the books I’ve read recently, I read the e-book version on the Kindle app on my iPad.

Next up I might tackle one of the books on my Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Reading List, or I may go back and work on A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. What’s most likely I think, is that I’ll go steampunk for a few days and read Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Yay, zombies.

Daily links for 05/11/2011

  • “OK, it’s not too surprising that Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has switched to OpenStack for its Ubuntu cloud foundation technology. After all, Canonical started flirting with OpenStack back in February. What is surprising is that Neil Levine, who as Canonical’s VP of corporate services, which included the cloud, has jumped ship to start a new company, Soba Labs.”

    tags: canonical linux ubuntu cloud eucalyptus

  • “The Ubuntu project announces today that future versions of Ubuntu Cloud will use OpenStack as a foundation technology. The Ubuntu project is gathered in Budapest, Hungary to discuss future development plans that will culminate in the October release of Ubuntu 11.10. This announcement will move OpenStack to being a core part of the Ubuntu Cloud product, which enables users to build an open source cloud.”

    tags: ubuntu cloud openstack

  • “While Darrell thinks that Microsoft buying Skype in a $8.5 billion deal is probably good news for video chat users, there will probably be some Skype customers who are worried about the implications of the acquisition and may be looking for alternatives. While there’s probably no one service that provides a feature-for-feature replacement for Skype, there are plenty that offer great VoIP and video calling services, some of which are even better than Skype’s. Here is a list of some of our favorites”

    tags: skype alternatives

  • “There was a time when daggers were drawn on Linux and its demise was plotted in dark detail.  At that hour stepped out a shieldmaiden with a blog, and that blog was Groklaw.   Eight years later, we hear the news that Groklaw will cease new postings after May 16th.  My sadness in hearing this news is more than equaled by my gratitude to PJ and her community of researchers and commentators, for their enormous effort and unparalleled achievement over these years.   The world is a better place because of PJ.  Who can hope to say better?”

    tags: pj groklaw

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

2011 Road Trip: Nashville, TN, Day 1

Two weeks ago was my son Will’s Spring Break from school, so he and I took a 1750+ mile (2800+ km) road trip from our home in upstate New York, USA, down south to Tennessee. Over several blog entries I’ve highlighted where we went and what we did. This is the next to last entry in the series.

Will and I arrived in Nashville around 2 in the afternoon on an overcast and occasionally rainy Wednesday afternoon. The plan was to stay in Nashville until Friday morning and then start the long drive home to upstate western New York. Due to the Eastern to Central time zone difference and a skipped sidetrip, we were in Nashville earlier than expected, but we figured there was more than enough to do in the city.

After checking into the Doubletree on 4th, we headed out the door with the intention of getting to lower Broadway, the heart of the Nashville live music scene. Along the way we walked past Red’s Classic Barber Shop and since Will needed a haircut, we made an appointment for later in the day. It was rather an odd thing to do on vacation, but it was convenient and intriguing.

Beyond Red’s we continued down 4th and passed the Ryman Auditorium, home for many years of the Grand Ole Opry. Aside from my getting yelled at by a guard when I tried to go in and grab some pamphlets after closing hours, we didn’t spend much time there. We had tickets for the Opry at Ryman for Thursday night.

Ryman graphic

When we finally got to Broadway it was clear that this was where the action was. There were restaurants up and down the street, bars with live music, record shops. Will and I walked up and down the street, stopping in any bar that didn’t have a “21 or over” age restriction during the day.  We didn’t drink, obviously, but we stayed for a few minutes at each and listened to the music.

At one bar in particular, there was a particularly good band with a young man playing a tele, a female vocalist, and two older men on bass and rhythm guitar. We didn’t stay long because Will felt uncomfortable hanging out with “old people getting drunk in the middle of the day.” I didn’t blame him and didn’t push it.

logoWe had lunch at Jack’s Bar-be-que and it was excellent. I regret that we didn’t go more than once and we didn’t buy some bar-be-que sauce while we were there. Next time.

We pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the shops. Around 4:30 we went back to Red’s and each got haircuts, and quite good ones if I do say so. The people there were very friendly and talked about their business plan of setting up shops in “small but livable” cities like Nashville and Indianapolis.

Wildhorse Saloon logoIt had been a long day by then so we went back to the hotel to relax for a while. Around 6 pm we headed out again, this time to the Wildhorse Saloon for some dinner, some line dance watching, and some live music. We stayed for about 90 minutes and called it a night.

I’ll conclude the road trip story in the next entry and talk about, among other things, how Will got to play a piano also played by some guy named Elvis.

The Entire 2011 Road Trip Series

Daily links for 05/08/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 05/06/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 05/04/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Visit your local farmers market

There was a very good article today in our local newspaper, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, about farmers markets in the area. The paper listed many of the local markets along with the days they start their seasons, when they are open, contact information, and, often, websites.

Even if you do your own gardening, farmers markets can be a great place to pick up local prepared foods like baked goods, jams and jellies, as well as crafts. It helps you support your local economy and cut down on the carbon cost of getting your food to you.

The US Department of Agriculture maintains a website that will help you find a market near you.

Daily links for 05/03/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Video of my POSSCON keynote is now available

logoThe organizers of the Palmetto Open Source Conference (POSSCON) that as held this year in Columbia, SC, in March, have posted videos of my keynote on YouTube. The talk was called “Landmines for Open Source in the Mobile Space”: Part 1, Part 2. My slides are available online as well.

Here are the videos directly:

Daily links for 05/02/2011

  • “Starting today, AT&T will begin restricting more than 16 million broadband users based on the amount of data they use a month. The number-two carrier’s entry into the broadband cap club means that a majority of American broadband users will now be subject to limits on how much they can do online or risk extra charges as ugly as video store late fees.”

    tags: at&t broadband cap video

  • “If you ever need to partition or edit the partitions on your hard drives without an existing OS on the computer, then GParted Live should be in your PC toolbox. The free GParted Live is based on a live version of Linux, (i.e. one that will boot from a disc or USB drive), and the Gnome Partition Editor, a.k.a. GPartEd, or more commonly GParted. GParted Live boots quickly, and handles virtually any partition type, including nearly all Linux, OS X, and Windows types.”

    tags: gparted partition linux

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

2011 Road Trip: Oak Ridge to Nashville, TN

The week before last was my son Will’s Spring Break from school, so he and I took a 1750+ mile (2800+ km) road trip from our home in upstate New York, USA, down south to Tennessee. Over several blog entries I’ll highlight where we went and what we did. This is the fourth entry in the series.

Having driven hundreds of miles from upstate New York to Tennessee, visited Dollywood, and seen the Great Smoky Mountains, my son and I had one more place to visit before we moved farther west to Nashville. I had purposely chosen our hotel the night before so we could visit Oak Ridge.

During World War II, the US government selected Oak Ridge, TN, as the location for a “secret city” that would be a critical part of the Manhattan Project. The population of the area expanded from 3,000 to 75,000 in a 3 year period starting in 1942.

Construction included the necessary infrastructure for all those people, including living quarters, roads, and stores. The scientific/warfare purpose of the facility was the separation of uranium 235 from natural uranium. This was eventually used in the two atomic bombs used against Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A good deal of the original site is now the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Access is limited for the laboratory, though eventually more of the buildings will be rehabilitated and made available to the public for industrial research and offices.

AMSE logoSo Will and I did not go to the Oak Ridge government site per se, but we did visit the American Museum of Science and Energy in the city of Oak Ridge.

The museum is evidently a popular destination for elementary and middle school field trips and it is, in fact, and excellent resource. I’ll confess, though, that Will and I changed our visit strategy several times so we could see the exhibits at our own pace and in relative quiet.

For me the highlights were the story of Oak Ridge, an entire room of photos, exhibits, and the chronology of the wartime work; the story of the U-2 project including the downing of pilot Francis Gary Powers; and an original “flat top” mass-produced house that is behind the museum.

The gift shop was simple, though they had an ample supply of freeze dried “space ice cream.” I suspect being able to purchase this was one of the highlights of the entire week for Will.

We finished at the museum right before noon and decided to start driving west to Nashville, our next and last major stop for the trip. I was surprised that the GPS said we would be there at 1:45 pm since we had 165+ miles to drive. I then remembered that while Oak Ridge was in the Eastern time zone, Nashville was in the Central time zone. That explained the apparent time gap, though it meant that we would be getting to the hotel much earlier than I expected.

map

In the interest of brevity: we drove to Nashville, there we many large and fast trucks on I-40, it rained, and the hotel had our room ready. Due to the rain, I opted not to go to Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage estate, something I would later regret.

The GPS wasn’t very useful in Nashville but given the grid and some landmarks I was able to navigate to the hotel without too much time lost. We had several hours to start our sightseeing and do something that I’m sure many visitors do in that city: get haircuts.

It did get more exciting. Next time I’ll dive into what Will and I did in Nashville.

The Entire 2011 Road Trip Series