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Fedora Core 5 released

It’s official – Fedora Core Release 5, also known as Bordeaux, has been released. I have been playing around with Fedora Core 5 Test 3 (the equivalent of the third beta), but now it looks like I’m downloading an additional 3 gigabytes (it comes on one DVD). At the moment there’s not enough seeders on the official torrent (yes, there are legal uses for BitTorrent you know), so I’ll probably wait until more people have downloaded it, and choose a time to download when there’s less people online, like tomorrow morning.

Anyway, can’t wait to (not) see the bugs they’ve fixed. Good work and well done to the community and of course to Red Hat to getting out a great OS.

Yearbook Comment Creator

Whew, what a day!

Just rolled out my first web application (PHP/MySQL of course) which was used by more than 100 people in just one hour. Now for all you professional developers (yeah, like professional developers read my blog) out there, that doesn’t sound like much, and, well, I suppose it isn’t.

But, nevertheless, it was about an 80-90% success, and I’ll explain why. It was a simple web app to collect comments to go under people’s names in our school yearbook. Well, a problem I didn’t anticipate (and really I should have) was that we would have MD5 hash clashes. Not through the algorithm, but the fact that I only generated the hash from a secret word and the current timestamp. That meant that anyone who submitted in the same second as someone else was assigned the same hash, and, needless to say, this caused problems. I should have used microtime() instead of time(), and also used some other unique data to generate the hash. Ah, well, never mind.

That was basically it, that just caused semi-major problems, most of which I could manually deal with. Other than that, the system worked exactly as I planned it to, collecting about 110 comments.

So, learnt my lesson, use microtime() and some other data. I’m off to relax…

PATH_INFO problem fixed

Yesterday evening I actually stepped away from gaming for a second to fix a fairly major problem with Project Krystal (which I haven’t talked about for so long, I better tell you it’s a Website Management System and it renders your website from a MySQL database setup).

The problem was in the way that some pages used data after the .php bit of the URL, for example: http://server/products/chainsaws.php/4. In either PHP 5.x (or our remote server setup), the $_SERVER[‘PATH_INFO’] variable wasn’t getting passed to the script, so I devised a slightly messy workaround:

$pro = strstr($var, strrchr($var, ".php/"));
$pro2 = substr($pro, 5);
// echo $pro2;
// die();
$featureidrq = $pro2;
if (empty($featureidrq)) {
 $featureidrq = "";

Again, if anyone can do any better I’d love to see you add a comment with your code.

NFS Most Wanted

I haven’t posted for a while mainly due to the fact that I got a new game on Friday, Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Naturally I bought it for PC (“Real gamers choose the PC, real geeks choose Linux or *BSD”) and on my mid-range gaming system it runs well (i.e. it maintains more than 25fps) at full detail level at 1024×768. If you’re interested in my gaming box’s spec it’s:

  • Intel Pentium 4 3.00 GHz with Hyper Threading (not Dual Core, though)
  • 1024 MB RAM
  • 256 MB Geforce 6600 GT
  • 19″ CRT monitor

So, nothing special, but it does me fine (I don’t really get hyped up about the difference between 30 and 75 fps, what human can tell anyway??). I’ll attach a screen, but I’m sure you clever people can use Google.

OK, more webdev news including Hybrid stuff will come soon.

Hybrid is so close…

The new Hybrid site is so close now. The domain has been registered, the layout is almost done. Read the news here

Fedora Core 5 Test 3 Experiences

I’ve just started playing with my newly downloaded copy of Fedora Core 5 Test 3. It’s essentially the latest beta version of the popular Fedora Core distribution. I hope that at some point I will be doing a proper review of my experiences with Fedora Core for the first time, which I might submit to a few sites.

In the meantime, have some screenshots.

My Zoomcloud

If you read this, you might want to see the ZoomCloud for this blog:

Cool Windows Vista speech recognition video

Here’s a video of one of the really cool features in the upcoming Windows Vista, speech recognition.

Interestingly this video was filmed using Vista build 5270 (the latest build being 5308), but nevertheless it is interesting to see that the features are quite well developed in this build, including quite a nice UI for the speech recognition panel. It certainly beats the current look if you use Windows XP + Office 2003 recognition, where the somewhat irritating Language Bar becomes even more bloated with buttons.

The original story, with a link to the video is here.

(this is a cross-post at Gizbuzz)

New computer

I finally now have a dedicated box I can use as a server. Specs follow:

  • AMD Sempron 2600+
  • 512 MB RAM
  • (at the moment) 8 GB HDD (will be upgraded at some point)
  • SUSE Linux 10 (will be Fedora 5 when it comes out)

It’s going to be great to finally be able to test out stuff not on my primary machine and to constantly install and then reinstall Linux distros etc.

Can’t wait…

UPDATE: Just upgraded the RAM to 1.5 GB for all those VMware Virtual Machines. See the photos below of the insides.

Linux should be in every school

Linux is doomed as a realistic challenger to Windows on the desktop if open source activists (yes, that would include me but I’m still in school) don’t get Linux into schools.

With the growing number of desktop-friendly, easy-to-use distributions like Ubuntu, I see no reason why the government shouldn’t at least carry out a pilot study into running Linux on the desktop in schools. Think of the money that the taxpayer could save on Windows licences. Yes, OK, getting Linux people to support the networks might cost a bit more, but it is worth looking into this possibility.

I think more home users would be convinced to use operating systems other than the mighty Microsoft Windows, if they knew about them. With the open source community virtually unable to advertise Linux as a desktop platform (we need a corporate sponsor here *cough* Red Hat *cough* Novell), it will be very hard to actually get people to realise that there are alternatives to running Microsoft Windows on their desktop.

Not only do people not know about the alternatives to Microsoft Windows, people in school (speaking from my personal experience) aren’t adequately educated about the whole open source movement. ICT (why the extra C?) seems to be all about how to use Microsoft Office, and I understand that using an office suite is an important skill, but who says it can’t be OpenOffice? The open source movement just isn’t in the curriculum.

I’m not saying Windows should be banished from everywhere. I’m an open source kind of person, but I do believe there is still a place for proprietary software. So before you judge me as a Linux geek with no flexibility of mind, I use both Windows (and not *just* at school) and Linux every day and I think there is a place for both in the world. I just think Windows shouldn’t completely dominate it.