Tiny Tiny RSS solves Google Reader problem

As everybody knows by now, Google Reader is closing July 1st, 2013.  I’ve been using FeedDemon for my RSS news reading, and unfortunately it relies on Google Reader.  With Google Reader shutting down, the creator of FeedDemon, Nick Bradbury has indicated that FeedDemon will also be retired. Continue reading Tiny Tiny RSS solves Google Reader problem

My submission to the CRTC regarding 2011-14

I don’t normally get political on my blog, but this seemed incredibly important. The CRTC has proposed amendment 2011-14 which suggests:

The amendments address concerns raised by Parliament’s Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations related to the following provisions:

  • the prohibition on broadcasting false or misleading news;
  • the prohibition on broadcasting programming that contains obscene or profane language; and
  • the submission of information by licensees to the Commission.

Here’s my complete submission regarding the amendment: Continue reading My submission to the CRTC regarding 2011-14

Microsoft Linux: Why one free software advocate wants it – phoey

This is a response to:  http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/46840

There is an enormous difference between a lawyer and a software developer: lawyers charge hourly rates for thier expertise as applied to a specific individual while a software developer charges per product license.

Each legal case is unique, and each individual that requires a lawyer has unique needs and will pay a lawyer _hourly_ to help them in court, prepare those documents, etc.  I cannot imagine standing in front of a judge and saying, “Well, I didn’t want to pay for a lawyer so I’m just going to reuse these free documents that somebody else paid for your honour;  not being a lawyer myself I hope they’re relevant.  I will now rest my case”.  Lawyers do not charge you to produce documents, they charge you for their time and expertise.  The documents are a byproduct of that.

Convsely, a software developer can write a single piece of software (like an OS, spreadsheet, etc) that can potentially be used by millions of people.  It can easily take 1000s of hours to develop a single non-trivial piece of software.  For example, I’ve been working (more than) full time on my own software for over a year and its only 3/4 done.  However thousands of different people will be able to use it, and I certainly won’t be charging them all per hour.  Developers do not charge you for thier time, they charge you for their finished product.  Our expertise allows us to create that product.

So while a lawyer might spend 100s of hours for a single client (charging by the hour), a developer can spend 1000s of hours for hundreds , thousands or millions of clients.   Thus, the correct analogy between a lawyer and a software develoer would be if a lawyer got paid once for the first case and then volunteered for the 1000s of people that had an even remotely similar case.

6 days of recovery – days 1-5: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA (WD10EADS) Sucks (or I got a lemmon)

Well, it’s now Wednesday, a full 6 days after I bought a new hard drive after I decided to reformat my C:  (see  http://robertmccarter.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/ms-sql-server-2005-sp3-cumulative-hotfix-kb970892-painfull/ for all the gory details).

At first I bought a new WD Caviar Green 1TB SATA (WD10EADS).  I have NEVER had a brand new hard drive be such a lemon of a hard drive!  It was slow, but it was “green” so at first I thought that was okay.  Then I was using Image for Windows (which is a great product, I really like it) to restore my data drive and it took 24 hours to restore 200GB!!  It only took me 2.5 hours to create the image, so I started to worry.  So I let it run overnight.

But the next day when I tried to use it or defragment it things started going really, really wrong, and by wrong I mean SLOW.

So I started running speed tests on it, and sometimes the speed tests were abysmal and sometimes they were fine.  But then in Linux (I used the excellent SystemRescueCd) the speed tests were fine, so I kept trying to figure out the problem.  Then rebooting the computer started taking longer as the BIOS tried to find the drive the boot would pause for about 10 seconds.  At that point even the Linux speed tests started coming back slow, and so I knew the drive was bad.  Of course, because everything was highly intermittent and I was moving lots of data around and it was VERY slow (when it was slow) this entire discovery process took ages.

To make a long story short, I eventually decided the drive was a piece of crap, and that I would take it back.  Unfortunately, I first wanted to clean all my data off it, which is hard considering how slow the drive was.  I found this very helpful link:  http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2006/06/how-to-securely-erase-hard-disk-before.html.  This worked very slowly for the first 60GB, then it was VERY fast for the next 200 GB, and after that the drive gave out and never worked again.

I’ve never had a problem with a new Western Digital drive before (although I’ve had problems with older ones) so I was just unlucky and got a lemon.  So I took it back and got a brand new Seagate 1TB 7200RPM 32MB cache drive and life is good.  I restored all 200GB of my data in exactly 2:20 – nice and easy!  What a waste of 5 days.

Sigh.  As a small business owner I don’t have time to waste like this; I wish I could bill WD for lost productivity!