Archive for the 'Computers' Category

Forwarding Address…

OK, it’s clear that the title (and original intent) of this blog is too limiting, and I’m no longer following either.

Check out my further adventures at Seeming Verb.

Bike chain formula

Well, this is partly about the bike chain formula, and partly about the nifty titanium road bike frames for not-a-lot-of-money at Habanero Cycles. The Team Issue Nuevo frame comes in my size (not made-to-order, but close enough for the $300 difference). I’ve been in correspondence with Mark (see the “who’s who” at the bottom of the page), and I can “part out” my current bike onto their frame. Then I could just replace parts as they wear, and I’d never have to buy a new bike again; Mark wrote, “Your grandchildren will be riding it.”

However, there’s a difference in the chainstay length between this frame and my current frame, so I’d have to shorten a chain to the right length (you knew I’d get to the title of this post eventually, didn’t you?) (…and the chainstay is one of those two pieces of tubing that run from the pedal-crank housing to the rear axle; most bicycles have two of ’em). So how long of a chain would you need? Well, Park Tool to the rescue. They’ve got a page for figuring chain lengths, with the “use the old chain as a guide” method, the “wrap it around and figure it out” method, the “this formula is close enough for most purposes” formula, and the “this is the real formula, but it’s so complicated, we hoped we wouldn’t have to put it here” formula (check out the page, and see if I’m kidding).

Well, this is a challenge to which I must rise… and it’s what spreadsheets are made for. I made a spreadsheet in OpenOffice.Org Calc, where if you know the three variables (chainstay length, number of teeth on largest front gear, number of teeth on largest rear gear), you plug the values into the greyed-out cells in the spreadsheet, and you get the chain length in inches. And I added tabs so that you can use the chainstay length in inches, centimeters, or millimeters. Get it here (right-click & “save as”).

(No, I won’t do it as an Excel file. First of all, I refuse to participate in Microsoft’s monopoly of the office desktop. Second, if you go get Openoffice.Org – it’s a free [as in free beer] office software suite, and it runs on most of the operating systems of any readers of this deservedly-neglected blog – you can save it as an Excel file, because in many ways, Openoffice.Org is more robust than MS Office. And, of course, if you go get Openoffice.Org, eventually, you might find that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars enriching Microsoft, because the free program does everything you want it to do.)

iphone killer – & it’s open source!

open source sledgehammer!

I quote from the page at Wired Magazine:

Designer Ronen Kadushin says that the “iPhonekiller is an Open Design, meaning, its design CAD files can be freely downloaded, copied, modified and produced by anyone, without special tooling, under a Creative Commons license.”

And the best part? It’s guaranteed forward-compatible:

The killing machine is not only compatible with the all iPhones today, but “also the future ones, and with iPads.”

Ubuntu one fail

It’s supposed to work… but it doesn’t.

it’s been a while…

… it’s been a while, but I’m moved to write again, because the fsck hangup that was so problematic on the main computer reared its ugly head on the netbook today.

Also, the Essential PIM USB organizer program that was doing so well under Wine has developed an error, which I doubt the programmers will bother to address.


An unintended consequence

With all my troubles with the fsck, and trying to correct them, I’ve run fsck on the main computer about a dozen times since I upgraded to Lucid.

My hard drives must be sparkling!

Maybe Fedora?

I am really disappointed over the problems I’ve had with the Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 installation on the main computer. I’ve started to do some research on Fedora 12. (Fedora 13 is due out in about 2 weeks, but I’m not eager to install another brand-new-but-not-ready release.)

Here’s what I’ve been looking at:

  • Software availability: most of the stuff I’m using in Ubuntu seems to also be available in Fedora.
  • Flash: seems like it’s not a problem for Fedora.
  • Java: My work websites require java, and the FOSS versions don’t work. Installation of java is a pain under Fedora.
  • MP3 & other codecs: These appear to be available under RPMFusion (and maybe livna), but I’m not sure what’s offered or how to install. (OTOH, I didn’t know about Medibuntu when I started with Ubuntu. There’s a learning curve to everything.)

I see from running the Live CD that I can probably set up a dual-boot with Fedora and Ubuntu Lucid. Maybe I’ll try that.