Archive for March, 2009

Finally a two car family again

After two long years of being a single car household my wife and I were finally able to purchase two vehicles. The van that we had was on it’s last leg and we were no longer comfortable driving it. It has been quite a while since we were in a position where we could make a purchase like this so it was pretty scarey signing on that line. However it did feel pretty good this morning driving my own car to work.

We purchased both of these from Enterprise Car Sales and I highly recommend them if you are in the market for a new vehicle. The entire process was very easy and pressure free.


Xorg working (finally)

On the last Free Linux Help Line show both I and another caller had an issue with getting an older model ATI card (ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV250 [Mobility FireGL 9000] in my case) to work with recent releases of the distros we like to use. I was able to find someone who was able to point me in the right direction to get it working though. Basically you have to set:

Option      "AGPMode" "1"

in the Device section of your xorg.conf. Once you have that then you can safely set the driver to be “ati”. I have tested this on both Debian Lenny and Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS. Note that this will really only work after the you get Linux installed on the system. In my case I used the alternate CD for Ubuntu to get it going.

More information can be found on the following pages:


Review of “Python for Unix and Linux System Administration”

I first got introduced to Python a few years go. Between now and then I mostly did some hackish scripts solving various small problems that me or my colleagues had. It has not been until recently that I started writing something that can remotely be called serious stuff that often makes its way to production environment.

I recently got my hands on a copy of Python for Unix and Linux System Administration. After reading it, I felt the time I’ve invested in reading it was well spent. The author introduced the reader to many different situations where python would help make their lives as system administrators easier, without confusing the reader with some complex forms or statements. My feeling is that this book is aimed at people who want to use Python to solve their problems quickly and efficiently, but only have a limited experience with the language – and the books fits that purpose well with its rather superficial approach that the reader can later extend later on with various available resources. It would only be fair that I too mention some of the shortcomings that I noticed while reading this book.


  • The author introduces the reader to ways that Python can be used.
  • Most of the time there will be more than one way to accomplish a task. The author at times presents a scenario and showed the reader how to do the same task with different modules. This places the choice of which to use back where it belongs, with the reader.
  • The book has a website (most do these days) where the code examples can be downloaded.


  • More time was spent on iPython than was really needed.
  • The case of a word is important in Python. For instance “import Sys” and “import sys” are two completely different things. There were quite a few occasions where a module name was used as the first word in the sentence and because of that it was capitalized.
  • There was once instance that I saw where a script example had no indentation at all. Trying to run it would have resulted in complete failure.
  • It would have been nice if the script examples were named instead of leaving it to the reader to figure it out based on the imports used in another example.

When all is said and done I think I would recommend the book to others if I knew that they had at least some background with Python. And I would highly recommend that they check the addendum and errata pages.


Gaming Night / LUG Meeting

This Saturday (03/07/09) from 4:00PM to 7:00PM (EST) the Blue Grass Linux User Group (BGLUG) along with the Ubuntu Kentucky LoCo will be hosting a gaming night / LUG meeting. The event will be held at Tates Creek Christian Church (see below for the map). Check out this thread on the BGLUG forums for more information on the games that we will be playing and the topics for discussion. Also attached is a flyer for the event.

If you plan on gaming remember to bring a laptop or desktop with all of the hardware you need to run it (monitor, power cords, keyboard, etc). We will have a game server there with the install packages available so if you don’t have time to get the game installed beforehand don’t let that stop you from coming.

We will be ordering pizza at some point during the night so if you you have it and are willing to chip in on the cost that would be great too.