Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama's Democratic National Convention Acceptance Speech (Aug 29 08)

Day 4 of the Democratic National Convention, August 28, 2008, 6:00 pm in the United States and August 29 in the Philippines, and Barack Obama delivers his speech accepting his nomination as presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. This is a great historic moment for America, the first time a black candidate will run for the highest office of the land. This is a chance for America to prove that it is a true democracy; that it can uphold in principle and in practice that all men are created equal, regardless of race, or sex, or religion. Here is MSNBC's video of Barack Obama's speech:

A report on this speech is given in FoxNews, but it is better to see the entire video of his speech. I am not American, and I can not tell the Americans how to vote in this election. But if the Americans do not vote for Barack Obama, then I believe that America will have lost another opportunity for greateness.

Installers for Debian Lenny (Debian Testing) (Aug 29 08)

The current release of the Debian distribution of Linux is version 4.0r4 and is codenamed "Debian Etch". This was released on July 26, 2008, and comes with kernel version 2.6.18. If you want a kernel and packages that are very well tested and works reliably, this is the Debian version to use.

If you are one of the Debian developers, you have to use the unstable release of Debian called Debian SID (still in development). This is the version in which packages are initially tested and if any of the packages breaks, the developers normally know what to do to fix the bugs.

Somewhere between the stable "Etch" and the unstable "SID" is the almost-stable "Lenny". Packages that have been tested in SID (don't break easily) are submitted to Lenny for further testing. After a package is tested in Lenny and found to be stable, it is promoted to Etch.

One nice feature of Lenny is that packages are almost bleeding-edge, and yet reasonably stable. For example, it uses kernel version 2.6.25, iceape (firefox) 3.0.1, and openoffice 2.4.1. That is why I love to use Lenny.

There are three different "versions" of the Lenny installers that you can use. These are (from most stable installer to least stable installer) Lenny Beta2, Lenny Weekly-Build, and Lenny Daily-Build. I recommend the use of Lenny Beta2 and Lenny Weekly-Build, but not the Lenny Daily-Build installer. On more than one occasion, I get install errors, and the installation could not proceed when using Lenny Daily-Build, and the behavior of the resulting partial installation on the hard disk is unpredictable.

Also, for Lenny Beta2 and Lenny Weekly-Build, you have the option of installing a 150MB netinstall iso image, or one or more 650MB CDs, or one or more 4.4GB DVDs. If you use the 150MB netinstall iso image, only the core os components are installed, and the rest of the installation is done by downloading from the Debian mirrors during the installation. If you have a 384KB SmartBro connection like the one I have at home, netinstall will require 12 to 18 hours to complete downloading, depending on the Debian mirror used, and on the packages that you selected to install. I like using the first CD or the first DVD to install Debian Lenny, so that only a few hundred more packages need be downloaded from the Debian mirrors during the actual installation.

You know that you are installing Debian Lenny, if you get the following initial installation screen:
The actual installers themselves can be downloaded from If you are having problems locating the installation images, you can use the following links. The Gnome, KDE, and Xfce CD installers for Lenny Beta2 are available from the following links:

The Gnome, KDE, and Xfce CD installers for Lenny Weekly-Build are available from the following links:

The 150MB-180MB Gnome netinstaller for Lenny Daily build, if you are bold enough to face possible installation breakage, is available from the follwoing link:

Whatever installation method that you use, you would not regret installing the greatest and the best Linux distribution: Debian Lenny.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vege-Sandwich at Starbucks (Aug 22 08)

On most Fridays, I have a breakfast of coffee and sandwich at Starbucks. Since I'm vegetarian (lacto-ovo vegetarian: milk products, eggs, vegetables) I have problems selecting a proper sandwich from the Starbucks menu. Recently, however, they started offering a sandwich of tomatoes, cheese, and basil on multi-grain bagel. This is high-protein food, with the protein coming from the bagel and the cheese. This would have been a non-cholesterol breakfast, if not for the cheese. The sandwich is really good, that is, if you are vegetarian like me.

Bon app├ętit!

Xubuntu Workbench: Wow!!!

During Ubuntu Loveday last Saturday, August 23, 2008, one of the presenters talked about Ubuntu derivatives. One derivative that he mentioned is Xubuntu Developers Workbench. I googled and found its download site in:

The installer is a 1.6GB DVD iso image, and since my DVD drive is not working anymore, I decided to use Unetbootin to prepare a USB stick installer from the Workbench DVD iso file. Unetbootin is available from:

Using the USB stick installer, I installed Workbench on our old Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop, on which I have 2GB ram. I believe that 2GB ram is just the right amount for program development. After installation, I got the beautiful desktop shown.

Some things worth noting: the base operating system is Xubuntu, so that you get a lightweight desktop environment. Workbench then adds in loads of developer utilities including Anjuta, Bluefish, Eclipse, Gambas, Geany, Glade, Lazarus, Monodevelop, Netbeans, SVNWorkbench, Umbrello, and wxGlade. Also added in are lots of different editors like Gedit, Cssed, gPHPed, HexEditor, ManEdit, Poedit, etc. You will find the desktop excellent and wonderful since you get a MacOS-Leopard-like dock, and your choice of screenlets like CPU meter, Clock, NewsFeed, Weather, etc.

After installation, I checked if all the tools that I needed are already there. I found that I had to install the following myself: manpages-dev, g++, gmp3, and mysql-server and apache which I need for LAMP-development (LAMP stands for Linux-Apache-MySQL-Perl for me, but Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP for others).

YouTube worked right away, which means that Firefox-3 has pre-installed flash. I'm still trying to get Totem to play DVDs, but I'm not sure if the problem is the lack of proper codec or my hardware problem with the built-in Sony DVD/RW.

I strongly recommend Workbench for students of computer science who have to do a lot of programming in various languages, and for professional developers.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Karen Celebrates 23rd Birthday

My daughter Karen turned 23 yesterday, August 10, 2008. We had dinner at "Fish Out of Water" in Glorietta 5. We were a small group: Karen and friend Jerik, Paul and wife Mia, oldest daughter Abigail, wife Dulce, and myself. Since my wife and I are both vegetarians, we had very few choices, but the choices we made were quite delicious: squash soup, saluyot-lettuce salad, eggplant parmigiana on spaghetti with pine nuts. The children had semi-hot prawns, pork barbecue, fried tilapia sliced butterfly style, and ostrich on shiitake-mushroom-rice. The bill was reasonable, the place has ambiance, and the service is excellent.

After dinner we had crepes and coffee in Glorietta 3. If you are not diabetic, you'll love crepes for dessert: peach-chococate-icecream, apple-icecream, and mango-cream. All sinfully sweet!

Happy birthday Karen.