Archive for August, 2004

linux has a long way to go

August 26th, 2004 Tony No comments

i tried to install the latest firefox browser on my machine. i was unpleasantly surprised to find that there was no quick and easy installer. instead i had to download the .gz file, unpack it, unpack the tar, and run the install script. i had to guess which file actually performed the install because there was no README file.

i picked the right script and the GUI wizard launched. i thought i was on my way. WRONG. half way through the setup wizard i received the following error: “Couldn’t open xpistub library.” I googled for the phrase and found masses of folks with the same problem.

i found one reply to a frustrated user that stated that you needed a fairly recent version of RedHat for the install to work (WHY?). so i decided to upgrade my RedHat install since it is about 1 year old. i remembered that RedHat now has a handy update manager much like Microsoft so I figured this would be pretty fast. WRONG! I double-click the RedHat Network Update icon on my desktop and I receive the following exception!

Exception type SSL.Error

Exception Handler Information

Traceback (most recent call last):

File “/usr/bin/../share/rhn/rhn_applet/”, line 424, in refresh


File “/usr/bin/../share/rhn/rhn_applet/”, line 264, in refresh


I am also told to email this stacktrace to RedHat at a specific address which I did.

Finally I go to the RedHat website as a last resort to upgrade my OS so that I hopefully can get Firefox to install. When I navigate to I am greeted with:

Site Maintenance

In order to provide you with a better experience on we are currently doing site maintenance and upgrading our systems. We apologize for any inconvience this may cause. Please come back in a few hours for full access to our improved site.

To contact Red Hat Support please call 1-888-RedHat1.”


Bottom Line:

Linux has a VERY LONG WAY TO GO.

Can I figure out all the problems? Sure.

Do I want to? No.

I have more important things to debug.

Categories: Computers Tags:

using rsync to copy files from one server to another

August 17th, 2004 Tony 3 comments

if you need to move a lot of files such as moving your website to a new server, rsync via ssh is a super simple way to accomplish the task:

(execute on the new server)

rsync -av -e ssh username@oldserverhost:/home/old_home/ /home/new_home/

leave out the v parameter (verbose) if you do not wish to see the progress.

Categories: Code Tags:

us air boeing 737 wing missing a screw

August 11th, 2004 Tony 1 comment

as i peered out my window on a us air flight from raleigh to philadelphia i noticed a screw was missing in the wing of my boeing 737.

i pondered… just how many missing screws is considered acceptable for safe flight? makes me nervous.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: