I just got this link from Gavre. She linked me to this site after I told her I had put a Hartz Flea collar on my cat to prevent him from picking up fleas from a dog I did a rescue on yesterday. Apparently, there are severe detrimental affects associated with this companies products. Mostly, the cats affected have suffered from skin irritations to poisoning. The pesticides used are not what one would expect with a product labled to be good for your cat and to help protect him from parasites. I thought something was wrong all day since Walter has been much more lethargic then ususal. I’m taking him to the vet tomorrow and dealing with the issue.

If I’m over reacting then let me over react instead of end up with a sick and dead cat. Other wise check out this website if you have cats and have used Hartz products before.


Banshee vs Amarok

One of the big things a lot of folk want in Linux that really is easier in Windows is music. I’ve used two programs extensively, and they had to do a few things. First was obviously be easy to work with to just listen to music. The second was playlist handling, how they handle them and how easy it is to make them. Organization of my library is another big issue I needed to be sure of. I use grip to rip my music most of the time, but a way to transfer in the program is nice. And the biggest thing for me, I have to be able to use my iPod easily in the program. I don’t like using GTKpod even though it does work rather well. I want to be in the same program.

Which brings me to the two programs I stated above. They both have good and bad to them.

First Up, Amarok. This program is one that relies heavily on KDE libs, and is in fact the KDE default media player. It has a great organization system for your music library. It can sort them by the usual criteria like album, artist, genre, or combinations of those. It’s easy in this program also to plug in an iPod and sync between your library and your music player. The program can also handle Nomad Jukebox type devices so I hear, but I have none to test with so you will have to enlighten me.

The one thing I wish Amarok did in the program is importing CD’s. It doesn’t do it at all and is a function I would like to see added in instead of left to Konqueror or some other program.

Which brings me to Banshee. This program has a layout that will be familiar to a lot of people, because it looks a hell of a lot like iTunes. You can import your music directly in the program, which makes use of gstreamer. Banshee is a program written in .Net so you will need Mono installed, and as it is a GTK based program all the requisite dependencies are required. The downside to Banshee however is that for now you can’t do anything like you could with the browser in iTunes. You can use your iPod in Banshee and sync between your computer and library, however I have found it difficult to get playlists over to the iPod from Banshee. Also, sometimes Banshee doesn’t exactly handle a sync operation too well.

For now, I’d say Amarok is the best of the two, but both are always being worked on. I want to see Banshee support a browser similar to iTunes and an easier way to transfer playlists from your computer to the iPod. Amarok needs a built in way to import CD’s, but that is the smallest issue I’ve found so far. With that being the only issue, sticking with grip for now isn’t a bad option.

We’ll see how both projects develop over time.

Enlightenment DR17 Modules Reviews Pt 1 – Engage

So far I’ve been trying to make my laptops as small on the footprint as possible. So what I did was remove gnome and put Enlightenment DR17 on the Dell E1505. One of the things I’ve been looking at once I got E17 running was the use of icons and taskbars. Welll, Engage is a pretty decent program that comes with DR17. anyone who uses will notice something right off the bat. It looks a hell of a lot like how the programs are found in Mac OSX. Thing is, it’s a pretty decent program for Enlightenment. Problem is, all the icons and commands are saved in a binary format for DR17.

Engage toolbar
Engage with a basic setup. Click for High Res.

Once you know how to edit the appropriate file you can put anything you want on there. There’s a lot of information available at Get-e.org and Enlightenment.org.

JPEG Patent DENIED! Also, Bloggers as Journalists

Groklaw is reporting a few things today. The biggest thing is the ruling by the US Patent Office (USPTO). The USPTO has ruled that Forgent’s claims for the patent on the jpeg format are invalid and that Forgent knew about the prior art that was brought up by the Public Patent Organization (PubPat). There is a chance that Forgent could appeal, but they got some work ahead of them.

Another big thing that some folk might like to know. The Appeals Court handling the case that has been called Apple vs. Bloggers by some on Slashdot ruled bloggers are journalists and are able to claim the protections of the first amendment. This is some big information and for some a big thing. Anyone who writes a blog now that ends up getting sued for their sources can end up like Woodward and Bernstein. Check out Groklaw for more information.

On the USPTO case, I’m hoping PubPat will win many more cases on software patents. The more that are struck down the safer a lot of folk will be from shit like what SCO is pulling against IBM, but IBM is holding it’s own real well. Hell, SCO is pretty much grasping at straws now. We’ll see when that one when it’s done.

Gentoo Linux running on a Dell E1505

I recently got a new Dell E1505 since my desktop fried beyond belief. So I got it here, stripped Windows XP Media Center and put Gentoo on here. I did this a few times and ended up with my current build. I’m using Kernel 2.6.16-r8 and X.org X11 7.1-rc2. SO far things work fine except video ends up one shot only,cause when I close the player it does something and makes it weird colors.

Here’s a screen shot of what I have so far.

Screenshot of Enlightenment DR17
E DR17 running ETerm, Gaim 2.0 beta 3, and Xchat. Click the Image for a High Res version.

I like this setup honestly. I haven’t been able to completely cut out Gnome or KDE due to libraries other programs use,but I do like what I have for DR17. any questions just ask.