15 Minutes and 150MB of RAM to Compare Unix and Linux

Posted by Eric Fri, 20 Jun 2003 00:00:00 GMT

SCO has recently made two accusations: (1) IBM has contributed IBM employees' code to Linux in violation of certain SCO/IBM contracts, and (2) some proprietary Unix code has somehow been illegally contributed to Linux. I'm not qualified to comment on whether or not IBM owns the code IBM wrote--though on behalf of software authors everywhere, I hope IBM does. However, I've written a tool which will allow SCO to find any code shared between Linux and Unix in about 15 minutes. What SCO does with this tool is up to them.

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Checking Code Ownership

Posted by Eric Fri, 30 May 2003 00:00:00 GMT

SCO claims that hundreds of lines of their Unix SVR4 code have somehow been mixed with the millions of lines of the Linux kernel, and that SCO should therefore receive a billion dollars from IBM. (Or something like that. Novell says that SCO doesn't own SVR4, SCO says they do own SVRx, Eric Raymond says that SVR4 contains misattributed BSD Unix code, and Darl McBride of SCO says something different every week.) I'll let you in on a dirty little secret: Many large software systems contain stolen or misattributed code. This is true of both in-house software and shrinkwrap software.

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Tomato Progress

Posted by Eric Fri, 30 May 2003 00:00:00 GMT

I have 33 tomato seedings, ranging from 2 to 6 inches in height. The Amish Paste, Orange Banana and Glacier tomatoes look pretty healthy (perhaps a bit too tall). The Brandywine are still very short; I received these from a friend, and I suspect they're a long-season tomato. I'll need to transplant the tomatoes into the garden sometime in the next few days.

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Update on the Strange SCO Case

Posted by Eric Fri, 14 Mar 2003 00:00:00 GMT

Eric Raymond is preparing an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief for the SCO case. Some highlights:

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SCO Goes Nuclear

Posted by Eric Mon, 10 Mar 2003 00:00:00 GMT

SCO is making all sorts of outrageous claims about Linux, planning to revoke IBM's AIX license in 100 days, filing misleading court paperwork, and making dramatic but improbable claims to the press. What are they thinking?

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Communism Isn't Dead

Posted by Eric Wed, 22 Jan 2003 00:00:00 GMT

One of my European friends recently told me that work was a "scarce resource". He said a French philosopher argued that (1) everybody should receive a salary from the government, and (2) those people who wanted to work should pay for the privilege.

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones--I have a surplus of work. If you're a competent programmer, and you would like to pay me for the privilege of doing some work, please use the e-mail address on the bottom of the page to contact me.

Tomato Advice

Posted by Eric Tue, 21 Jan 2003 00:00:00 GMT

I spoke to my mother about growing tomatoes last night. Her advice: Purchase the yummy-looking varieties, but also some early ones. The growing season in Maine is all too short, and a September frost can kill the late-bearing varieties. If this happens, you need to pick all the green tomatoes and take them inside, where they'll turn red--but never properly ripen. So if you want to be guaranteed that ripe tomato taste, you should plant at least one variety which ripens early.

My mother, like every other New Englander I've asked, agrees that tomatoes are the one plant worth growing at home.

In related news, Fedco Seeds is running low on Orange Banana tomato seeds. I'll have to order this week!

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Double Standards

Posted by Eric Tue, 21 Jan 2003 00:00:00 GMT

When a CEO lays off thousands of workers and gives himself a $10 million dollar bonus (and a private jet), it's simply the free market at work. When the government throws a single mother off welfare, it's teaching her personal responsibility.

When the Federal government gives billions of our tax dollars to large coporate farmers, it's a vital investment in agriculture. When a state seizes private land to subsidize a sports stadium, it's a savvy business deal.

The current leadership of the Republican Party is very anxious to teach personal responsibility to the poor. But they understand that free market can be a cruel place, so they're always willing (after careful consideration) to provide a safety net for the rich.

Last of the Tomatoes

Posted by Eric Mon, 20 Jan 2003 00:00:00 GMT

Last night I cooked some spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. This was a good dinner, but also a bit sad--I used the last of the tomato sauce from this summer. This summer, we got most of our vegetables from a local farmer, who arranged for someone to leave a big weekly basket on our doorstep. As is typical in New England, we got way too many fresh tomatoes, and decided to boil the surplus into sauce.

But now it's the middle of January, the ground is buried under three feet of snow, and we're out of tomatoes. Oh, sure, the grocery store would happily sell us tomatoes from Mexico, or Europe. But those tomatoes are bred for long-distance transport, not for flavor. Since ripe tomatoes are too soft to ship--but unripe tomatoes are quite sturdy--the multinational seed companies long ago bred tomatoes which turn red without actually ripening. If your tomatoes are crunchy and non-acidic, you're getting ripped off.

Fortunately, I've got a Fedco Seeds catalog with 50 varieties of tomatoes. The most tempting is the "Orange Banana": I never would have believed that the best tomato sauce comes from an orange tomato. But the proof is in the eating and the Orange Banana was the clear winner in our annual paste taste at the Shipmans... Its amazing sprightly sweet flavor, reminiscent of Sungold but with more depth and diverse tones, makes an ambrosial sauce by itself and adds a vivid fruity complexity to any sauce with other tomato varieties. When you're locked in the depths of winter, this sort of catalog copy can be seductive.

Of course, I've never grown tomatoes before, so I might be getting a bit out of my depth. Stay tuned to see how it all turns out.

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wxWindows Multimedia Work

Posted by Eric Mon, 20 Jan 2003 00:00:00 GMT

I'm still working on my employer's multimedia authoring system. We've officially decided to port everything to wxWindows. As part of this project, we're working with several people to improve wxWindows' multimedia support.

wxWindows is a co-operative project. Much of the code is contributed by companies using wxWindows to build commercial or in-house applications.

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