Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Oh yes, I’m ABSOLUTELY going to tase you, bro.

Oh yes, I’m ABSOLUTELY going to tase you, bro.

If you want to see the hopped-up, adrenalin-junkie, exploitation-cinema version of a whiny UF journalism student, check out Kurt Russell crying like a little girl at the end of Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino’s contribution to this year’s Grindhouse. Even with 20 or so minutes restored to a film that originally ran a very jaunty 90 minutes or so in the theaters, I wouldn’t say the new DVD adds much in the way of depth. But then again, the story doesn’t need it.

Despite the purposefully thin B-movie plot line, QT manages to pull off twice what a lot of directors can’t do with ten times the budget — making you care about a cast of characters. In this case, said cast is on their way to a deadly run-in with Russell’s Stuntman Mike and his killer Dodge. Laugh-out loud funny, shocking, and culminating in the best car chase since The French Connection. Very highly recommended except maybe for prudes.

For the folks who prefer a quieter setting.

This sounds lame, but it’s been almost two decades since I went to a library for something other than to check out books. Last night I went to our public library early, about an hour before our LUG meeting (which is hosted there). I fired up Rhythmbox, plugged in some earbuds, and started banging away on the keyboard to the strains of John Williams’ “Superman” soundtrack. Forty minutes later I had the beginnings of a new segment in the Fedora Installation Guide covering alternate installation methods for current Linux users, to answer some enhancement requests received over the last months.

I fear that I may need to try my long-suffering wife’s patience by retreating there on Saturday afternoon to see if this was a fluke. Alternately, I suppose I could try buying a small writing desk for the small guest quarters in our basement. The added juice of the library is that despite the foot traffic and the mounds of tempting reading materials, there is very little in the way of easy distraction, provided I plant myself at one of the very visible tables on the main floor.

Too much time on my hands?

Speaking of books, I worked on one since this past winter, and it was released just a few short weeks ago. Since both Max and Shashank outed me, I might as well mention it here — Apress’ volume Beginning Fedora: From Novice to Professional. I served as technical reviewer for the book, and I even got my own little “about me” page right after the authors, which I thought was mighty nice. Shashank was great to work with, and I hope his book does well.

The only downside to working on the book was that all the writing for Apress was done in Microsoft Word. I experimented a bit with using the authored content in Fedora’s, and had pretty much no problems with the files, but didn’t pester the publishers about it since they were, in fact, paying me for the hassle. On the other hand, it made me much happier to get back to DocBook, where I didn’t have to waste time working around Word’s psychotic pagination.

Release the hounds. Er, notes.

Over the weekend I pulled the wiki beats, did conversions to XML, and sent out strings to our fearless translators for the Fedora 8 Release Notes. We had some very worthwhile contributions from folks (thank you Messrs. Keating, Overholt, Petersen, and Sundaram) that have gone out for translation for test3.

We don’t expect everything to be translated by then, but certainly you should see many languages finished for the final spins. Anything that doesn’t make it into our last push will be included in a Web and package update later.


  1. congrats on the book. that’s great… and fungible!

    i have set up a little doctor’s desk for my studies. i brought my tp600e laptop home and am going to run fedora solely for support of my studies.

    of course now i have to figure out how to get my ndiswrapper setup to play with WPA-PSK.

    oh yeah, and recompile to use the new kernel. forgot about that and wondered for about 2 seconds why there was no wlan0 when i recently pulled down some updates.

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