Wednesday, August 31, 2005

DAW: SuSE 9.2 LiveCD -Audio Bittorrent

Updated: 06 Sept 2005: Magnet Link corrected, tested and verified.

Updated: 02 Sept 2005: Updated magnet link.

Updated: 01 Sept 2005 (I belive) I have figured out how to use the distributed tracker and can publish the LiveCD via magnet link as opposed to needing a standard tracker--hence the changes below. If the new link dose not open Azureus (or another distributed tracker wielding client) automagically, use File --> Open --> Location (or CTRL+L) and paste in the following in the URL field:



Ok, I am going to try an experiment with Azureus distributed tracker bittorent for:

If you use Azureus and are interested in this incredible audio-centric distro (which you will see me constantly refer to in these pages), please give it a try. Of course with Bittorrent, the more connections the merrier. I don't think there is a bittorrent for this .iso anywhere else, so why not? This may or may not work with other bittorrent clients. Heck, this is my first time trying this, it might not work at all. Feedback would be appreciated on the torrent and the distro itself.

Note: I didn't figure out how to go about "announcing" the distributed tracker so I used the internal Azureus tracker to do the job. However, should my box go offline, distributed tracking will kick in and transfers can continue--if I'm not the only one in the torrent.

The MD5 sum for the .iso is:

d228a942b5042cc2f0cd9e13a2eeef28  SUSE-Linux-9.2-LiveCD-Audio.iso

No Time To Lose

Words cannot express the destruction hurricane Katrina has caused.

I don't watch very much TV. I don't think I realized the scope & magnitude of damage this storm had caused until I saw the news reports this evening. I probably still don't grasp the damage that's been done--although I have no doubt that we will feel it's effects for a long time to come.

It's a time for prayer and a time for action. Hopefully (if we are in a position to do so) we will all do what we can to help those impacted by this terribly tragic event.

Please consider a donation to the American Red Cross.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

DAW: Dave Philips is the man!

I always enjoy his work in Linux Journal on working with audio applications under Linux. This guy knows what he's talking about, after all he wrote the book on it, right?

Well, in his latest column for Linux Journal he gives us a quick overview of some really cool items available to us in At the Sounding Edge: Dave's Distractions:
  1. A quick review of a The Rosegarden Companion (ISBN 2915925186).
    For those of you don't know about Rosegarden, it is an integrated audio/MIDI sequencer with advanced features, including extensive system control and impressive notation facilities. The program has been in development since the early 1990s, beginning with a GUI based on the Xaw widget set and coming at last to a beautiful Qt interface. But Rosegarden is not only a pretty face, and McIntyre is an excellent guide to what's behind the program's good looks... For the Rosegarden novice, the book is indispensable... The assessment is a little different for a relatively advanced user of Rosegarden... Nevertheless, even advanced users can learn something new and interesting. [Link added.]
    I definitely foresee adding this book to my collection in the near future, being a Rosegarden novice myself, I could use some help. This looks like the info I need. Rosegarden sure looks cool when I open it, I just wish I knew what to do with it! Be sure to check out the rest of his review on this groundbreaking work.

  2. Next, a quick look at a project I haven't seen before, DSSI: Disposable Software Synthesizer Interface. "DSSI can be considered the logical successor to the LADSPA plugin API, a programmer's interface for the creation of effects and other signal processing plugins. Alas, LADSPA was not designed to support the features needed for plugin synthesizers, hence the DSSI." What really caught my eye was his mention of a DSSI synth called Hexter. "Hexter models the FM synthesis sound of the Yamaha DX7, loading DX7 patch files--if they're in the correct .syx format--and even accepting DX7 system-exclusive messages for editing patches."

    Yes sir!!! This is what I have been waiting/searching for. Back in the day the DX7 was it. I remember musicians touring with loads of them. I always wanted one myself but at the time was not able to afford it. Then sampling systems took over and it seemed to me that FM synths just kind of faded away...

  3. DeMuDi replaces Planet CCRMA on his laptop. AGNULA/DeMuDi is my DAW distro of choice. Glad to see he was able to get it running on his Omnibook.

  4. To conclude he caps his distractions list off with another book review: Notes from the Metalevel (ISBN: 9026519753).
    [Notes... is] a more general text that explores the world of computer-assisted music composition by way of Rick Taube's amazing Common Music... It covers an incredible amount of material, some of which is rather complicated to understand, but the author maintains a consistently engaging writing style throughout. Difficult things are explained clearly, and the author has supplied hundreds of examples and projects, all of which are available on the accompanying CD... I carry Notes from the Metalevel with me at all times, there's so much to learn from it. And in my daily life, it has become a permanent and always welcome distraction.
    This one probably isn't for me (yet). Maybe in a couple of years? Dunno.
Although he does not review it at this time, Mr. Philips seems to be quite impressed with a LiveCD distro called Studio to Go! published by Fervent Software.This is a "pay to play"1 distribution so I can't give you my own take at this time. At any rate, (as I have stated before) the only Audio-centric LiveCD that I have ever had any luck with is based on and distributed by SuSE. I am hopeful Studio To Go! lives up to expectations--especially since it is installable to HDD (whereas SuSE Audio is not, quite unfortunately).

I would really like to give Studio To Go! a spin, the literature, screenshots and reviews are all encouraging. We'll see. I have just purchased a few guitar related books this evening to learn some advanced techniques, so the purchase of any distro will just have to wait. If they would like to send me a copy for review, I would be certainly glad to try it! :-)

1 Yes, they are abiding by the GPL but they have also added some proprietary items to the CD that make a free download unfeasible it seems. Modified source code for the GPL applications is available.

Thunderbird in Windows 2000

[Making Thunderbird "remember" that it is the default e-mail client.]

Every time I opened Thunderbird it asked me if I wanted it to be the default e-mail client. I would check the Don't Display This Annoying Message Ever Again (well it doesn't say that but...) and click YEEEEEEEES!

The next time I opened Thuderbird again, same inquiry...


What is the problem? I set it as default in Start --> Settings --> Control Panel --> Internet Options --> Programs Tab --> E-mail & Newsgroups, so what gives? That never changed, why doesn't Thuderbird get it?

The Solution
  1. Right-Click on the Thuderbird shortcut
  2. Select Run As and open the application as Administrator
  3. When the question pops up, check the Don't Display Message... option and click Yes (or OK, whichever options sets it as default).
  4. Close Thunderbird
  5. Open Thunderbird again as yourself (not Admin)
Ta-da! No more annoying message, and you can verify that it is set by going to Tools --> Options --> General and looking in the General Settings section. You should find a check by Use Thunderbird as the default mail application.

If you don't get the same results... Well, I don't know what to tell you. Sorry.

IPCop: Cop+ Access Denied Display

Just a quick note for Copplus users. I noted today, as I clicked on a link to a page that hit the regular expression filter, that the "Access Denied" page displayed the regular expression itself (with all the naughty words it tests for) as the reason given for the flag. A little less detailed/explicit information for a ban that hits the reg. exp. filter would be much more appropriate in my circumstance. I certainly don't want my kids coming up to me and asking, "Dad, what's ____?" if they accidentally hit a filtered page.

Initially I thought that I would have to edit a Perl script to obtain a less detailed description of why a ban occurs, but the solution is far more simple then going through all that:
  1. In your IPCop web interface, Click the Services tab
  2. Click Content Filter in the selection listed
  3. In the DansGuardian Content Filter Configuration section, Click HTML Template file
  4. Scroll down to this section of the code:
    <p><font face="verdana, arial, sans serif" color="#000000"
    size="2">URL: <a href="-URL-">-URL-</a>

  6. Click the Save button
  7. Click the Return to Configuration button
  8. In the DansGuardian Content Filter Status and Control, Click the Restart button
Now the stated reason in the Access Denied page is: "Banned Regular Expression URL found." Much nicer...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A New Cop In Town

[IPCop is a popular Linux firewall distribution. I use it on a Micro-Tel/ Wal-Mart/ Lindows box (remember those from a couple of years back?) with an additional NIC installed (red & green interfaces. No DMZ.). The ipcop firewall addons project allows me to apply Dansguardian content filtering via the firewall for my little home LAN. It is fast and accurate.]

IPCop has released an installation iso and patches to 1.4.6 to take us to 1.4.8. If you use the Addon Server MOD and Copplus you will need to install a new version of Addons. Here is the scoop via addons-news:
26 August 2005

IPCop 1.4.8 is out.

And again the language entries of Addons Server and installed MODs are lost. You have to re-install Addons Server and MODs after 1.4.8 update.

We have a new Addons Server ready for 1.4.8 with the new language feature for addons. This feature will prevent the lang entry lost in next update.

The downloadlink for new Addons Server is:
[Link to download]


I blew up Addon Server/Copplus when I tried to update with the patches directly on my 1.4.6 firewall. I did a full reinstall with the 1.4.8 ISO and used the new Build 2 release of Addons Server. Installed Copplus with it and it's working perfectly. The previous Addon Server build did not work with 1.4.8 for me (hence my bothering to even post this--maybe I can spare someone else a little installation agony).

Good luck!

[Argh! I had a nice write up on this previously and it's gone! Stupid on-line editor! Doh!]

Friday, August 26, 2005

Gripe: OS Installs Compared

You know what is really starting to annoy me? Windows Operating System reloads for home users. It takes for-freakin'-ever! I can drop the latest Linux distros in and have them loaded up in no time at all, with (mind you) a full complement of applications of all sorts. With the Windows OS loads, you get to load the OS, apply updates (rebooting almost every single time), install security tools (anti-virus, firewall, adware/spyware removal apps, Firefox, Java, Flash & Shockwave, Thuderbird, OOo, Acrobat Reader, Winzip, DirectX, MS Core Fonts--thank goodness there are excellent free use versions of these for home users!!!!). Only then are you confident enough to turn the box over to the home user to install productivity & other apps (cringe. Pleeeeease don't blow it up, it took me forever to load!). It take hours, even on faster machines! Disgusting. 1 am and I am still loading/rebooting/loading. I should be almost done with the box I am currently working on, but I think some drivers are missing...

This box had a bad PSU so I will let the new one burn in overnight. I had to mod the case. It was the same dimensions as the old unit but the plug & vent holes were the long side instead of the short. This box is old. 366 Celeron. 4GB HDD. TNT or Riva video card. I added 64MB of RAM to give it a little boost (it's got 128MB total in it now).

The things we do for our buddies. :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Installing and Configuring PC-BSD - Parts 4 (& 5)

Opps, I missed this. Part 4 of the continuing series focuses on getting the following up and running on our PC-BSD/FreeBSD systems:
  1. amaroK: *nix music player
  2. Limewire: P2P file-sharing application
  3. Azereus: bittorrent P2P distribution application (my personal favorite bittorrent client, FWIW. Java required. See Part 1 to install it if you haven't already.)
  4. Streamtuner: internet radio stream directory browser
The author states that Part 5 (covering K3B, system updates, and other good stuff) will be out shortly. If you missed any of the previous sections here are the links:
  1. Part I
  2. Part II
  3. Part III
[Updated: 29 Aug. 2005.]

Part 5 in the series is now available!

Covers installing K3b which, as our author indicates, is"the greatest DVD/CD burning tool in the UNIX world." I agree, it is a wonderful frontend to CD/DVD mastering tools. Also covered is:
  1. Updating the PC-BSD system from FreeBSD 5.4 to 6 (Beta)
  2. Installing SNES9X--a Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator for *nix
  3. Inkscape--" Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format." This is one of my personal favorites...
  4. Bluefish--"...a powerful [web] editor for experienced web designers and programmers."
  5. chkrootkit--a system rootkit scanner. Michael provides instructions for scheduling automatic scans with cron and outputting the results to your home dir.

LTSP & Asterisk: Call Center On A Budget

Now here is a project worth noting. Linux Journal has posted an article detailing (as the title indicates), Building a Call Center with LTSP and Soft Phones.

This article discusses the installation and use of the LTSP [Linux Terminal Server Project] build environment to build Qt and KPhone so the staff members could run KPhone locally on their terminals. I do not discuss the installation of Linux or Asterisk here, but I have included the relevant context for KPhone, which resides in the Asterisk sip.conf file...

I know the company I work for would really benefit from such an implementation. I'm certain many more could as well. When software licensing costs more then the workstation you're deploying you know something's not right. With this approach, that software 'tax' is eliminated! Not to mention the fact that all the software maintenance for your workstations is done on one box (the server), not fifty.

[I submitted this blurb to a major tech news site. In the event they don't care to run it, I thought why not put it here? I am a major proponent of the LTSP approach to workstation implementation, K12LTSP being one of my favorite projects. If you have never looked into it, you should.]

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


[DAW: Digital Audio Workstation]

One of my favorite LiveCD variants is a specially configured Audio-centric version of SuSE Linux 9.2. From what I gather it was initially distributed by the German publication Keyboards (Run the link through Babel Fish for translation) and it has been available on the official SuSE mirrors since at least December 2004.

This disc is great! It provides all kinds of audio related applications, not just the premiere GPL'd DAW applications Ardour & JACK but also composition tools, sequencers, score editing, sound editors, synthesizers, drum machine, you name it... it's probably in there. All this combined with a customized Linux kernel to boost audio performance, links to demo scripts that you can run right from the CD to familiarize yourself with the audio applications, and you have yourself a very educational & useful introduction to the world of Linux Audio production.

When you boot the CD, hit F4 and select English, unless you are fluent in German. It will bring you to a KDE desktop, and a window will open with the links & descriptions of the demo scripts [file:/home/linux/doc/sl92audio.html]. Don't make the same mistake I did. When I first got the disc I ignored these scripts and went right to work confusing myself and wondering why I was not getting anywhere with the apps. The demos are very useful in getting to know the products available and how you can use them together. They also show you how JACK works to connect everything together internally and externally. JACK is your friend. You want to get to know what it does and how it does it. Once I realized the usefulness of the demos in teaching me how to work with JACK and the multitude of audio applications, I was simply amazed by the possibilities. Linux is poised to be a major force in audio (and other multimedia) production, IMO.

The only thing that this LiveCD lacks is a Knoppix-style installation to HDD script! I want this running from my HDD not the CD-Rom drive!!

Forgive me while I digress. Last night I replaced Ubuntu Linux on my mom's computer with SuSE 9.3 via the DVD package (available via Bittorrent or Mirrors. Remember, 4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend that you CHECK your MD5 sums on any ISO you download--especially from non-official torrents). While I love Ubuntu, SuSE is KDE based1 which I think will be easier for my mother to use in her transition from her current MS Win9x/Me environment to GNU/Linux OS. Also, YaST is hard to beat for GUI based admin tools. Both distros have a polished interface but one of the things I note regarding Ubuntu is that when adding applications from their repositories, sometimes they get listed in the programs menu, sometimes they don't. A GUI app should get a launch icon in the program menu IMO or most users will never know the option is available to them. But enough on that. Both distros are high quality and superbly maintained. I would easily recommend either to someone looking to move out of the MS world into Linux...

As I perused the packages on the 9.3 DVD, I noted that it appears that all the audio applications are there. So, I'll just do an install on the AMD64 with them and see how it works. I'm afraid, though, that a customized 2.4 kernel will have to be compiled with the low-latency & preemption patches to get the needed performance for an audio workstation. I've read that the 2.4 kernel with these patches outperforms the 2.6 series. Don't know if that still holds true or not. I'll just have to try and see. Keeping an eye on the number of xruns while running a heavy load of audio applications should give a clear picture.

I currently use AGNULA/DeMuDi for my Athlon XP audio workstation and it works very well. I've used Planet CCRMA (based on Fedora Core) previously but had limited success with it (probably because I didn't know what I was doing with JACK at the time. Remember, if you don't know jack, you're in real trouble! ;-). I have tried several incarnations of Dynebolic, but it never seems to like my hardware. In all my experimenting I have always wished SuSE would post an installable version of the Audio LiveCD, but it hasn't happened.

No more waiting. If most or all of the audio options I want are included in SuSE 9.3, and I can get the system tuned properly then I'm set. I'll have my SuSE cake and eat it with my favorite audio applications too!

Of course, I don't see any reason to remove DeMuDi from my main DAW system2. It works very well, and currently it is my favorite audio-centric distro. However, I am very interested to see my AMD64 box running SuSE 9.3 x86_64 as an audio production box--especially with the RME card in it that my good friend gave me. I'm betting it will ROCK! (There's that sad pun again. Sorry, I just had to do it. ;-)

A SuSE install is a no-brainer. Getting it tuned properly for audio work is the real trick, now isn't it?3

1Yes, I know there is a variant of Ubuntu Linux with a KDE desktop known as KUbuntu. I still feel SuSE will be a better choice in transitioning my mom to GNU/Linux operating systems.

2DeMuDi is a customized x86 distro based on Debian. It works very well and I highly recommend it. The application menu arrangement could use some work to make navigation more efficient, but once you get used to where everything is, it's not that big of deal. That aside, I would love to see an x86_64 version of it when Debian for AMD64 is finally added as an official Debian branch.

3When it comes to intense audio processing it certainly is! Hence the need for custom audio-centric distributions...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Inquisitive Kid

I was removing the old AC yesterday when J in perfect innocence asks me out of the blue, "What the hell are you doing?"

Stunned silence followed by his mother's (muffled) laughter. This is not something we'd ever heard from this seven-year-old before.

I ask K, "Did he just say what I think he said? J, what did you say?"

"What the hell are you doing?", he replied, again in total naïveté.

K is really not helping things at all now, she is totally cracking up while I am trying to be deadpan about it (and not crack up) so we don't confuse him. Thanks a lot K! :-P~~

I asked him, "Where in the world did you hear that?" J proceeded to explain in precise detail exactly where he heard it--Han Solo, Star Wars Episode 4. It seemed like a perfectly good question to him...

I, uh, explained to him that it would be a bit more appropriate if he just asked me "what are you doing?" in the future...

Hmm, too much TV I think...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Cool Breeze

Oh man! Is it ever nice to have a working AC back in the house. Sure, I have just blown all my overtime money on it, but what can you do? At least we're not melting now. My good friend Tony helped me install it and we were amazed when we fired it up. It got cold, fast! This new unit is far more efficient then the old one. I don't think K could have taken another day without it. I'm pretty sure it was 100+ F today...

Well, in other news, I am pretty much decided to replace the Ubuntu partition on my mom's HDD with SuSE 9.3. I love Ubuntu, especially on my AMD64. I just think the KDE interface and polished admin tools will really help make the transition to Linux more appealing. We shall see. Now that the AC is back, I can actually think about working on non-essential things around here. Otherwise, all we wanted to do was find the coolest spot in the house and not move. Spoiled? Yes, yes we are...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What'd Life Be Without A Little Drama?

  1. The previous week J gets stomach flu (fever, nausea, vomiting... the works)
  2. Next B gets it and misses his very very very first day of school
  3. Monday night I start feeling poorly--I've now got it. I load up on medicine to head off as many symptoms as possible. It works for the worst stuff, but I am still painfully ill.
  4. Late Monday night, early Tuesday morning K now has it, and bad.
    1. Which makes for an interesting time as for the next couple days we're both competing for the bathroom...
    2. This breaks one of our big rules--Both of us are NOT allowed to be sick as the same time...
  5. Kids are better but we are hating it. Both are in school and loving it.
  6. I start feeling better on Wednesday and work half a day. K is still hating it...
  7. I believe we were both pretty well off by Thursday & Friday but some of the symptoms are lingering. We'll live.
  8. Saturday, the compressor goes out in our main AC/Heater. (We live in an older home without central air and heat.) This is a very bad thing...
    1. I attempt to go direct with the power to the compressor, and it was getting voltage but would not kick on. It's really died this year. A replacement compressor is hardly less then a new unit.
    2. It is a very hot day and the dining room, kitchen and living room are warming up fast. Need to do something quick before we melt.
    3. The old window unit that we replaced in our bedroom is still around (the circuit board controller failed on it--again it would cost almost as much for that part as a new unit--we opted for a new unit. Very happy with it. Much more efficient then the old one.)
    4. While K goes out to look for a main unit replacement, I work on repairing the old unit mentioned above. Success... for a few minutes. I thought I would be tricky with it since the fan switching was still working on the circuit board. I connected the compressor power line to the high fan terminal so we could use it and the off button to, well, turn it on and off as needed. I had a feeling this was a mistake, and soon enough I heard "pop" and saw the "magic smoke" escaping from where the controller board was located. I quickly unplugged the unit and removed it outside for further inspection.
    5. A quick look at the underside of the circuit board revealed what I had feared (and should have known would happen). My trickiness had killed the board. The little trace on the board leading from the main power input to the fan switch was not enough to handle the current needed to drive the fan and especially the compressor. It had melted and smoldered away.
    6. I ripped out the circuit board all together and connected the High Fan & compressor wires directly to the main power connection.
    7. Plugged it in and sure enough it runs like a champion (albeit non-stop as there is nothing but cutting the power to it to stop it from running.
    8. We installed this unit in the window near the old main unit and attached it to a power strip (so we can shut it off with a switch rather then pulling the power cord from the wall socket). So there you have it. It's running. It's helping. But it is simply too small a unit to keep such a large are comfortable in the heat we are having...
    9. K and I both over did it I think. I felt terrible that night and she was not well the next day.

Well, so much for the MIDI/USB/touch-sensitive keyboard (or MIDI controller) I was going to buy. Another big chunk of change will be dished out to get the big unit we need. Too bad we can't retrofit the house with central air/heat but that is out of the question at this time.

So what, after all? The kids are fine, we are recovering from this flu and the cat can no longer destroy everything we own (she was declawed this week, I am not a fan of this procedure but this cat was tearing up everything. It was either that or she would have to go...) Life is an adventure. Everything can't always be perfectly easy. What fun would that be?

PS RE: The MIDI keyboard, I think I will NOT go with a controller. I want the boys and K to be able to play it without the need to hook up to the home-made DAW computer every time they want to play it. I would like all of us to become proficient at playing it. Making it readily available at any time someone would like to practice should facilitate this, I hope. In other news, J is not practicing his guitar. I don't quite know what happened. He was obsessed with my Strat and played (with) it whenever he could. Now that he has his own, the burning interest has seemingly dissipated. No worries though, I won't let him get away from it that easily. ;-)

PPS I take the boys with me to Sam Ash once in a while. Both boys are fascinated by the drums and while B looks like he has some natural talent for them, they are too loud for his taste. On the other hand, J doesn't care how loud they are (which is odd considering his sensitivities to loud sound) he loves to play them. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have the raw talent for them that his brother has. Not that he couldn't develop the skill. I just find it quite ironic...

It's not really an issue though because I can't afford a decent kit for them anyway, and would have no idea where to put it if I did...

Finally, I spent whatever time I had left this weekend working on my mom's computer. That is another post to work on I think. Suffice it to say for now, she's not getting back the same computer she sent me. The other PC I worked on simply had a dead PSU. I'll get that replaced and be done with it. Unfortunately, I have another one waiting for me in the wings.

I have done myself wrong. I was so good about insisting on payment for my extra-curricular computer work (which almost without fail stopped inquiries) but recently I've gotten back into the habit of saying, "Sure, I'll take a look at it for you." (Which translates to free work, and lost weekends.) My own fault. I will have to correct this again... "Certainly, I will take a look at your PC. That will be at the discounted rate of $70/hr., minimum one hour." That should let me get some sleep again...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Guitar: A Sweep Picking Epiphany

WOW! Sweep picking has opened up a whole new world for me. Forever I have worked my butt off trying to get the technique and speed I wanted for my lead playing using alternate picking, hammer-ons/pull-offs, etc. but this, this is a total revelation in my book!

The only time I recall being exposed to sweep picking was back in the late '80s when I saw a section tabbed for the song One by Metallica. It was just a couple of instances in one passage, as I recall. I thought it sounded cool when I was learning it, but I didn't grasp the relevance this technique could have in other areas of playing. Did I ever miss the boat on this one. I think I'm not the only one I'm sorry to say...

Most of the time I see the sweep picked phrases in this song tabbed as follows--you can see right off the bat the technique is not even indicated:


It totally misses the coolness of the phrasing in this passage of the song, which is really unfortunate. It should be something like this (if memory serves me right):


Sweep ....... Sweep ..... Sweep

(Tabs for instructional purposes only. Please, no one sue me! Internet Explorer users click this link to see the tablature rendered properly.)

It's a strange tale on how I came upon this "secret". On a whim, I ordered an "eBook" on improving lead playing (promising secrets of all the greats, etc. etc.). It wasn't well written, and my initial thoughts on the book were that I had wasted my money. I already knew most of this, what a waste. Well, the basics needed were in there to bring you up to speed with standard picking, and then I read the section on sweep picking and that got me to thinking (how dangerous).

This reminded of a brief instructional video I had recently viewed. It was some basic information on using a metronome to working on timing. At the end of it, the instructor was playing an A minor scale using 16th notes over a click of 120bpm. I was curious as to why my alternate picking wasn't getting me the same results. It looked so easy. What was I doing wrong? So I played it back a few more times, paying closer attention to his pick hand. Aha! There it was! He was NOT alternate picking when crossing strings, he was using sweep picking!

Now I know how the shredders are doing it! Amazing. Why didn't I pick up on this a looong time ago. You can apply this to all kinds of things: scales, arpeggios, etc. The key is obvious, play cleanly. If not, slow down until you are and then speed up. And, learn to employ sweep picking. Here is a nice quick lesson on using this method for playing arpeggio style runs. Google has a bazillion more links to check out as well.

Guess I should have payed more attention to those old guitar mags in the '80s when shredding ruled the world, but I was more interested in learning songs and rhythm playing at that time. Working on melodic leads and better soloing technique is a relatively recent interest I've acquired. I can write riffs and cord progressions all day but I would like to improve in other areas these days as well.

Let the shredding begin! :-)

PS If you want to really be amazed, check out this guy. Unbelieveable! Perfectly clean playing, no wasted motion. Outrageous technique, and if you watch his pick hand, guess what--yep, sweep picking. ;-) Michael Angelo Batio. I remember him too, from back in the '80s again. He had this guitar with two necks shooting out: one to the left & to the right. He could play them both at the same time. It was white back then, this new one sports a different theme...

[Updated 25 August 2005: I forgot a high D in my tab rendition above. It's been bugging me...]

[Updated 25 August 2005: Argh!!! I just found out that the tabs do not display properly in Internet Explorer at all!! I am updating with a png image of the text for IE users. In the meantime, I recommend they download/Install FireFox! It is the very rare occasion that it has problems rendering any page.
Safer, Faster, Better as they say.]

[Updated 17 October 2005: Fix tablature notation for new blogger template.]

[Updated 03 November 2005: Fixed the link to the Batio video.]

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I am NOT the Phone Guy!

Can I just say, I hate 110 blocks! They are junk. They don't last. I had to move the cross-connect for a fax machine at one of the stores and it was a royal pain trying to get it to stay punched down properly. In fact I had to go back and redo it because folks were complaining they weren't able to fax to the store. Well, it's working now, but man I wish they had 66 blocks at that site instead. They are just so much easier to work with.

In other news, I think everyone in the house is over the stomach virus (or whatever it was) finally! (And there was much rejoicing... Yeeeeah!)

Hey! My copy of Totally Guitar: The Definitive Guide arrived a couple of days ago! Yes! Books are good, I like books. This one really rocks (pun totally intended, and remarkably lame too, but I just had to do it).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Official Knoppix 4.0 LiveDVD Released

I've been checking the official Knoppix bittorrent tracker every day for this one since I first heard about it, and it has finally arrived! Loaded up with everything under the sun, this is the Live Disc every Knoppix fanatic has been waiting for! Start up your bittorrent clients and let the downloading begin!

A torrent for the 'light' Knoppix LiveCD 4.0 was not listed at this time.

Monday, August 15, 2005

About Our Kind of Luck

Unreal, but not unexpected...

J was sick with a stomach virus for a couple of days. He's better now. The problem is, B has caught it tonight. He marched into the bathroom and puked his guts up just a few minutes ago...

Just great. His very first day of school starts in about 7 or 8 hours from now.

We're praying for a really quick recovery.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Crushing Those That Oppose Us

I'm all about Open Source...

I'm Steve, and I'm a Super-Villan

OK, so this is a few years old, but I missed out on it. Guess I'm not geeky enough huh? Steve's my hero...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Battling the Bugs

Interesting. I have done the same thing the two previous nights--that is, I have stayed up until 3am working on other's home computers. Long overdue. I have had both of these in my possession long enough. I needed to get them done and back to their respective owners. The interesting thing about this is, they are similarly spec'd in hardware and both running that ghastly OS, WindowsME.

The first one that I worked on is a Compaq AMD Duron 790Mhz; 20GB HDD, additional RAM install (standard 64MB); TNT2 video; 10/100 NIC . An older box to be sure but one that would suit the owner's purpose well. All he needed it for was to access a remote desktop at work and, while it used to work for him, something happened and he could no longer connect through our security features. Now, it is not our policy to service home systems, but I told him I would take a look at it (on my own time at home) so I finally got around to doing it after far too long (apologies to my friend).

I worked on it from 9pm to 3am cleaning off viruses, trojans, worms, and spy/malware--there is an obvious moral here, no unprotected Windows boxes should be connected to broadband without Anti-Virus; Firewall; and Anti-spyware/malware applications in place! Manufacturers and retailer should supply these items when they sell a box. I know most do provide a time-limited AV solution, but it should BLAST a LOUD message when it expires. And, where are the other security applications?! It's simply not fair to the home user to send them away with a brand new PC unprotected and uninformed.

Anyway, I applied all the available updates for WinME and the updates for the (freeware) security software I installed. This box looked ready to go. Still, I could not connect to the remote desktop under his credentials. In desperation, I tried my own and it worked! Ah-ha! I thought I had it (and I was right it turned out). Something was different about the server he was trying to connect to and the one that I use. I sent an e-mail to the network gurus and went to bed...

The next morning, sure enough, there was a difference between the servers. The one he connects only allowed him to do so for 90-days. Once that was up, he was done. He wouldn't be able to access it again with this box (barring some drastic measures on it). It was suggested I issue him a company box which will serve the purpose and eliminate the issue. Problem solved but now he had no use for this old(er) PC. He asked me how much he could get for it, $100? I told him at best, if it was me, I'd give him $20 for it—however I also told him that it was a clean (no malware) box and still in good working order. He might get more from someone else. He asked me if I could use it, put it to good use and I said yes. So he let me have it for $20...

It will probably end up either as a desktop box for my sister or as a OpenLDAP/SAMBA PDC File/Print server. I am already using some of the parts to fix the next my next 3am saga...

Mom's Computer

Similar system in most respects to the one mentioned above. Same wonderful OS (WinME), however this box connects to the net via dial-up, not broadband. I won't go into details, but somehow a dialer was surreptitiously installed on this system and caused no small amount of grief for my mother. (There ought to be a law, and don't tell there is because I had her call the FBI with the info on the company responsible and they said there was nothing they could do.) Anyway, she had someone look at the system, and this guy supposedly knew what he was doing. He also (again supposedly) killed off all the bad bugs on the system. I had her send me the box so I could take a look at it myself.

Sure enough, my own scans revealed that it was NOT clean, and I removed trojans and spy/malware from the system. It is clean now, so I started looking into the HW to see what I could do to increase the performance. What do I find but the HDD is dying. Many physical errors on the drive. Not to mention the capacity is far too small. So, here is my plan:
  • I removed the 20GB HDD from the PC above that I just purchased which I will install in my Mom's computer.
  • I will copy my family's docs to CD-R, and reinstall WinME on the new drive (unless she opts to purchase a newer OS).
  • I grabbed the CD-RW drive from the same newly acquired box and will put that in this one as well--they they need a backup solution for their user docs (especially for my sister's writings--backing up to FDD is soooo last millennium, and must be unbelieveably slow!).
  • Install at least 256MB more RAM in it.
  • Install an Ubuntu Linux partition. (They need a real OS and once they get used to it, I'll bet they dump WinME altogether. Ubuntu is by far the friendliest distro for newbies, IMO.)
  • Create a drive image for a quick restore CD (I'm hoping Mondo is available for Ubuntu) and send it on it's way.
Intriguing that a box connected via dial-up could be attacked so viciously. Who would have thought? That will be a non-issue (as least for a while) when I send it back. That is certain.

Funny. I'm dying from lack of sleep by staying up until all hours working on these two boxes, and what's going to happen? I am going to end up completely nuking the HDD with low-level formatting and reloading operating systems on them. Sounds just about like my usual luck. LOL

Recommended Security Software (free for personal/home use only, see the licensing agreements for more information):

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Partly Rough Day

Generally we hear people categorize their day as being a "good day" or a "bad day". B told me this evening that he was having a "partly rough day." I can understand why...

Wearing the Darth Vader cape and his trusty lightsaber in his belt he was ready to do battle with the dark forces of the Empire (the Vader cape was his Jedi cloak today). That's when he sustained his first "battle wound"--his lightsaber fell out of his belt and landed on his toe. He didn't like that a bit.

As if that wasn't bad enough, his next hurt was incurred by his fellow Jedi Knight, Master J when they were fighting together against the evil Master Dad. J was swinging his lightsaber furiously against me (which he's been told NOT to do on several occasions) and accidentally whacked B in the face. Master B went down and was quite upset for a little while. He recovered with the help of an ice pack soon enough and was back in action, ready for more. Just as he was ready begin his next battle, his buddy (slightly) knocked him in the head again. He said he was fine but I called it. That was it. No more dueling for the rest of the night...

Fine. He and Master Jedi J would go take off on their spaceship in their room. Off they went to the top bunk to make their escape...

Several minutes pass when I hear a 'thunk'... The next thing I know, B is hollering. Not the "Ouch! I got hurt but I'm really ok" holler, this was the "Man! This REALLY hurts!" kind of holler. Trouble. I march in to see what's happened. (I think I knew before I walked through the door.) Sure enough, somehow he'd gotten too close to the ceiling fan and it clocked him in the head (it's not that close, I am not quite sure how he got to it but he did).

I picked him up and got another ice pack. This time he was really not happy, and he got a nice goose egg on the side of his head. I held him with the ice pack and we kept him talking so he wouldn't go to sleep (in case it was really serious)...

As I put him to bed tonight he asked, "why am I always getting hurt today?" I told him I didn't know, but that we need to be careful. We talked about his day and he said he'd had a "partly rough day". I guess that means a partly good day too. Not a bad attitude all things considered.

His brother needs to learn not to flail about wildly with his plastic swords, and B just needs to learn to parry better (even against guys on his own side), that and stay away from ceiling fans (if he ever dares venture to the top bunk again--I don't see that happening in the near future).

Patent This!

Oh brother! Virtually every day there is a story coming out about how some corporation or another has patented the most obvious thing. It is simply outrageous. Particularly when it involves software. Software patents are a bane on society. Just one quick example: Microsoft patented the smiley :-) ?!? It's so unreal. But no... it is for real. (Groklaw has an excellent article on this issue. A must read, IMHO. I really like this quote by Rupert Goodwins in this piece, "You can only patent things that make physical changes in the world: these can contain software, but that software is not of itself patentable." Doesn't that make perfect sense? It does to me. Read the article, I think you will agree.)

I've meant to gather up a list of the stupidest patents issued over the course of just 2004-2005, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm sure someone has already done it. Maybe the idea of doing it has already been patented? Who knows? Go through this list, some of these are so patently (har har) funny, you'll roll out of your chair laughing... But, then it will hit you. These guys want it all, and they want it all right now--that's when this comedy show that is the US Patent Office suddenly becomes a terrifying nightmare that seems to have no end in sight... (At least not until they get bitten by their own handiwork perhaps? Check out the link. How ironic it would be...)

Today's news comes from Techdirt which points out that Trend Micro has a patent on the server-based anti-virus protection concept (stopping viruses at the server level). At least one company has been issued a court ordered ban on providing this type of product to their customers in the face of this patent. Who will they go after next? Symantec? McAfee? You?

It seems obvious to my simple mind that the only folks that benefit from software patents are lawyers and big corporations. After all, it takes $$ to pay the lawyers to sue. If you are a small business with software patents you really cannot go that route, you won't have the funds to stay the course. If you're "lucky", someone will just buy you out for your patents I guess... if the patents are worthy enough. In the end, it's still the lawyers and the big corporations who get all the cheese from software patents. They do absolutely nothing to benefit the rest of us. Copyright provides enough protection and is sufficient for code.

The European Union really (and barely) dogged a bullet on this issue just recently. They almost had software patents foisted upon them by their own bureaucrats, but the outcry was so massive it finally stopped the proponents of this diabolical entrapment. It came down to the wire though. They were stopped, for now. Next time around, Europe might find itself in the quagmire we are facing. It seems only a matter of time before the corporate interests win out over there as well. After all, they have very deep pockets and there is always next year...

This won't be the last time I bore you with this topic, I'm sure of that...

Hmm, I think I will go burn my Trend Micro T-Shirt now...

Creative Commons Tagging

Creative Commons has to be one of the most important innovations since digital publishing came of age. By including a simple link on my blog here I let you know that while yes this work is copyrighted (as is anything you write), here's what you can do with it. You don't need to e-mail me, or ask my permission to use my work you simply click on a link and you know exactly what you can and cannot do with my work. (Not that I really think anyone will be interested in copying any of this, but you get the picture.)

It's the concept of "Some Rights Reserved" instead of locking up everything. What is the point of that on the internet anyway? Wouldn't most authors or artists want their works viewed? Sure, sometimes they may not want you to incorporate their piece in something else, but go ahead and share it with your friends--spread the word. Well, with a CC license the author/artist lets them know they can do that if they wish, no problem. What a simple concept. It's when I see "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED" that I might get nervous. Opps, better not touch that or share it with my friends, might get into trouble...

So now, what if I create music, images or video and want to release them under a CC license so others can copy them, use them in their own work or whatever is specified in said license? Do I put a text file on the CD or DVD? How would they see it? Do I spell everything out on the label? What if it's posted on the internet? Do I have to zip it up with a copy of the license? There must be an easier and/or better way...

Creative Commons has developed an easy to use application for Windows & Mac (where's the *nix version?) called CC Publisher: "...a tool that does two things: it will help you tag your audio and video files with information about your license and it allows you to upload Creative Commons-licensed audio and video works to the Internet Archive for free hosting. You also have the option of publishing the licensed and tagged audio works on your own site."

I knew there was a better way! I guess you would still want to print the license or a link to the license URI on CD or DVD labels if that is your means of distribution, but otherwise this appears to be ideal for publishing multimedia on the internet.

Creative Commons licensing eliminates consumer confusion. They know what rights of reuse/redistribution/etc. they have to any given work without going through the arduous process of contacting the copyright holder for one-off permissions. They know that if they abide by the license their reuse/redistribution/etc. is all perfectly legal and they can enjoy the work without fear of frivolous litigation.

PS Magnatune is a perfect example of musical artists of various genres utilizing Creative Commons licensing to market and promote their works. As far as I can tell everyone has benefited from the Magnatune business model.

OpenSuSE: Open for Business

...or more specifically development and bug testing.

Yes, RedHat did it first with the Fedora Project and that endeavor is moving along quite well. Remember how we all bemoaned the loss of RedHat Linux? And, in the beginning there was much concern over FC's stability but IMHO everything is working out just fine. FC gives you bleeding-edge technology and is pretty stable, at least in my experience. It is amazingly fast (especially with my old GeForce4 card when tainting the kernel with the nVIDIA drivers ;-). I currently use Fedora Core 3 with packages from FreshRPMS and others for desktop and multi-media applications. It works great! If you need an enterprise GNU/Linux solution along the lines of RHEL but don't need a support contract, CentOS builds a fine distribution.

At any rate, RedHat took a bold step in the Fedora Project initiative and I think they deserve a lot of credit for it, especially for all the heat they took over it.

Novell/SuSE has obviously seen the advantages of the this approach and is reaching out to the community in opening up SuSE Linux to outside contributors. This is a huge step, but not unproven. I think it was a very wise decision which will benefit both the company and the community. Thanks SuSE!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Picture Perfect?

J said, "I need a haircut." I said, "Yeah, you do. We'll get your mom to do it when she wakes up from her nap."


J walks back in here. "See, I'm being silly." I turn to look at him. Something's wrong. He looks different. What is it? He's smiling. I'm probably frowning because I can't figure out what's wrong. He puts his hands to his temples. Then I realize what happened. He looks like a miniture version of a guy in his thirties with hair beginning to recede!

He's gotten into the hair clippers again! Argh! >:-(

With no guard on it, he shaved a few inches from the front of his head all the way to the scalp. He's starting to cry because he knows I'm upset. Man. I hope his mom can fix this. School starts in just a few more days.

I tell him I love him, that it's ok but he should NOT cut his own hair anymore. I should take a picture, someday he would get a kick out of it.

This isn't the first time he's tried to be his own barber, somehow I think it won't be the last either...

Updated: Aug. 8, 2005 12:26am
Too late for the picture. His mom already fixed his self-imposed hair-styling...

FreeBSD Installation Made Easy, Part III

This is the one I think we've all been waiting for. In Installing and Configuring PC-BSD - Part 3, Michael R.M. David helps us get the Thunderbird e-mail client going and playing nicely with GPG public key encryption using the enigmail extension. He also shows us how to get the gFTP client installed and running, but best of all he provides info and scripts for getting installed on our freshly minted PC-BSD/FreeBSD operating systems! What's an open source Desktop without OpenOffice? :-)

Once again. handy build scripts and screenshots are provided. Stay tuned for part four of this on-going series. Again, many thanks Michael for this excellent series!

PS. For those who missed them, you can find the first two articles here:

Friday, August 05, 2005

Finding Balance

I have recently had a conversation with a friend about the need to find balance in life. An elusive goal that has ever been my quest to obtain. Here are some quick thoughts. I wrote:
Addictions. Get over one thing only to find yourself consumed by something else, be it music, computers, cars, whatever. Spending too much time thinking or doing one thing (even if that one thing is generally positive in nature) can still be detrimental to ones soul & body. Addiction and obsession are virtually [synonymous] in essence it would seem....

I have to quit staying up until all hours of the night working on music and/or computers. It's not healthy.

AD replied:

I think the trick is to find something to replace the addiction, however, ensure that it is in moderation and balanced with the rest of life. Possibly have 2 - 3 things that are safe to do instead of.

I responded:

I think that is right. I have been spending way too much time experimenting with various computer projects, but I will say this: it's better I do that then it is for me to sit in front of the TV letting my brain turn to mush. Balance is the key, finding the key is the real trick isn't it? [Emphasis added]

I've always been a work-a-holic and that has had negative impacts on me personally in all areas of life. Obsession with hobbies can be just as bad. Being able to balance all the priorities in life would be helpful to me--and a few others too, I'll wager.

For instance, last night I installed Damn Small Linux 1.4 on my HDD to remaster it with my own customizations but when I booted to that partition the wireless keyboard wouldn't work, so I...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Internet Explorer 7! [Yaaaaawn]

Wow! Internet Explorer 7 will have tabbed browsing! What an innovative and novel idea!


Slashdot pointed to this story about why IE7 could have been a great product, but mired in all their non-standard legacy extensions and continued non-conformance to current web standards it will just be more of the same. The author suggests boycotting IE7 all together.

You would think this is just a rant from some anti-Microsoft fanatic but it isn't, Microsoft needs to come into compliane with web standards so developers can write proper code foa all browers to parse. Isn't MS a member of W3C? Don't they help set those standards? I thought they were. Maybe I am wrong.

I have used FireFox almost since it's inception (when it used to be called what? Phoenix? I don't remember now, it's gone through a few name changes). Konqueror in Linux and dabbled with Opera. All solid, secure and compliant browsers (with tabbed browsing, btw). I only use IE for work. Why? Well it's simple, the non-standard Microsoft-centric extensions that we've used in our intranet break in compliant browsers. :-|

Use a real browser, write standards-based web code.

Updated: Aug. 4, 2005 at 1:36pm
In the blog posting used as reference by Paul Thurrott in his column, Chris Wilson ended with this comment:

We fully recognize that IE is behind the game today in CSS support. We’ve dug through the Acid 2 Test and analyzed IE’s problems with the test in some great detail, and we’ve made sure the bugs and features are on our list - however, there are some fairly large and difficult features to implement, and they will not all sort to the top of the stack in IE7. I believe we are doing a much better service to web developers out there in IE7 by fixing our known bang-your-head-on-the-desk bugs and usability problems first, and prioritizing the most commonly-requested features based on all the feedback we've had.

I do want to be clear that I believe the Web Standards Project and my team has a common goal of making the lives of web developers better by improving standards support, and I’m excited that we’re working together to that end.

Read both posts and decide for yourself whether MS is making strides to better standards compliance or not...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Darth Vader Lives!

It's not always easy remembering what it was like to be a kid. Having kids helps even if times and circumstances are vastly different from when your were a child.

I remember when Star Wars Episode IV came out originally; or just plain Star Wars as we called it back then (who knew why they said it was number 4? Who cared?). I don't really remember seeing commercials for it on TV but I do recall that both my Dad and I wanted to see it. We just knew this was going to be good. Good? Good doesn't even begin to describe it! This was monumental. Revolutionary. Never seen anything like it before kind of stuff. It was fun and exciting. It had a scary guy in a black suit. A rebellious cat and his dog-like companion teaming up with a young ambitious hero ready to take on the whole universe. Aliens. Laser swords. Blasters. The coolest space ships we'd ever seen. Daring rescues. Edge-of-your-seat suspense. Man! For a kid it was every cool thing you could imagine, right? Remember?

I recall that they played the audio track over the radio and my Dad taped it on reel-to-real audio tape (does anybody even remotely remember or know what that was)? I listened to it so many times I knew all of the lines and sound effects by heart (I still remember most of it from those tapes today).

Times have changed indeed. Kids are much more sophisticated. We were so naive. They could probably tell you what would happen before even seeing the movie. And, listening to just the audio? What-ev-er. Please, Star Wars IV? Yawn...

I am happy to say this is not the case everywhere. There's still some hope left. We have all five available DVD's. J & B eat them up. I think they could watch all of them every day all summer long and still have questions, still be in awe (granted, they are much younger [relatively speaking] then I was when I first saw it in the theater but still I think they've caught the bug).

The really interesting things to them are Darth Vader and light sabers. Vader is their hero, even though they realize he's not a nice guy. They don't quite get how he turned bad (since they have seen I & II but are much too young to see III-- it would scare them to death) and they really would rather he were a 'good Darth Vader'. But anyway, he's their man. They have pictures (hand-drawn & collages made from magazine photos) of him all over their room. Sure, they like Obi-Wan and Luke, Yoda is a particular favorite. Yet still, none can compare to the big D himself.

One of them has a Vader helmet that 'talks', the other has a half-face Vader mask (he doesn't like the full helmet). Everybody has a light saber (except Mom--the boys want to find a purple one for her but no luck yet). They constantly duel with each other and drag me into it too. It's a blast, and they're getting pretty good at it. I don't know how long the plastic sabers are going to hold up to the beating they are taking but it will be great while it lasts (and, I'm certain, tragic when one breaks. Oh the drama!)

Vader helmet image courtesy of

B has the green Yoda saber. J has the red Vader saber, and they got me the blue one (I get to be the good guy most of the time in the duels). They inform me, "“Your powers are weak..." just before they strike. :-)

I find it somewhat bewildering that Vader is their hero, and I can see them struggling with the fact that he should be a good guy. In my day Luke and the gang were cool (although I always thought the Storm Troopers armor & blaster were awesome). They were the heros. I guess Lucas achieved his stated goal that these shows are about the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. At least that's what he has these boys wondering about at some level. I guess some things really do change, and some remain the same...

Monday, August 01, 2005

The BIG Book of Guitars

A quick review of Totally Guitar: The Definitive Guide

Image courtesy of Advantage Publishers Group

A friend and fellow guitarist lent me this book recently and I was so thoroughly impressed I ordered my own copy the same night! From what makes a guitar a guitar, guitar history, amps and effects, set-ups to playing styles--—I do believe this tome has it all. Thousands of photos of guitars, guitar accessories, players, you name it. I am starting to wonder, "“if it isn't in here, did it ever really exist?”"

The in-depth articles on guitar care, maintenance and set-up alone are very informative, useful, and in my (limited) experience dead on accurate. I have two other books on building and customizing solid body guitars, and I've read dozens of articles and tips on the subject. The treatment of this subject is first rate, including tips from some of the premier luthiers in the world.

For the electric guitar fanatic, the profiles and histories of over one hundred major guitar manufacturers and the various models they produced is fascinating, entertaining, and even sometimes bizarre. The Gibson and Fender models are in there of course, but you will also find some of the strangest creations ever to be labeled "guitar"”. (You have to wonder what some of these guys were thinking.)

This large format hardcover book is no knock-off. It is over 600 pages, well laid out and filled with photos, playing examples, tips, insights and information of all kinds. If you are into guitars Totally Guitar is totally for you. Find it on Froogle and order your copy today, you'll love it!

Totally Guitar: The Definitive Guide; Edited by Dave Hunter & Tony Bacon; Thunder Bay Press (October 2004); ISBN: 1592231993

FreeBSD Installation Made Easy, Part II

Michael R.M. David has posted another installment in his continuing series, Installing and Configuring PC-BSD. This time around he covers installing fonts, an HP Office-Jet, xsane (for using your scanner), and setting up printing. This transitions nicely into what will be his third installment which will cover "word processing, email and other goodies."

Keep up the great work Michael!