Jan 212003

Amazon, OSW, and my thanks

Welcome to a new year. Traditionally, that type of greeting would be reserved for the first article after Dec 31st. Unfortunately, I didn’t write that in that article. I’m not one always to follow tradition.

Yet more links to Amazon!

It was many months ago that someone wrote to me suggesting that I add more Amazon portals to my books page. At the time, I thought it was a good idea. Then someone suggested it in the forums. This time the suggestion coincided with an email from Amazon talking about a new feature for associates (The FreeBSD Diary is an Amazon Associate) and with a bit of spare time. The result is the addition of Amazon links to their Canadian, French, German, and United Kingdom websites.

Why did I do this? I could fib and say because I was asked. But that would not be the whole truth. I did it to increase the revenue my websites get from Amazon. It’s not a great deal of money (e.g. it won’t pay for a dinner out for two once a month) but what money it does bring it will go towards this website and associated efforts such as FreshPorts, FreshSource, and the infrastructure required to support them.

Another OSW plug

This coming weekend, I will be at the Open Source Weekend in the Ottawa Carleton Unix Users Group booth. We’ll have a small network of FreeBSD machines to demonstrate to those interested. FreeBSD Mall have donated FreeBSD CDs, DVDs, pins, and stickers. They’ve also given us some BSD horns to pass out to a select few. Also at the booth will be Dru Lavigne. She’s volunteered to come up from Kingston to help out.

Installing irony

I will also be running a tutorial on installing and configuring FreeBSD. I will demonstrate how to install FreeBSD, and various configuration options. Setting up a demonstration box was an interesting exercise. The box in question is my backup DNS server, but I can spare it for the weekend. I bought a new 30GB hard drive for it because I don’t want to be installing over the existing system. Also purchased was a CD drive, so I can demonstrate installing from CD. My test install yesterday went flawlessly, but the box would not boot. I spent an hour or so on that problem and finally packed it in and forgot about it until today’s OSW organizational meeting. Just prior to the meeting, I was telling one of the Linux folks about the problem, and he suggested that it might be the disk/BIOS issue. It was then that I realized my mistake. I had thought that the original configuration of this this box involved a 40GB drive. But it wasn’t. I remembered that it was using two old GB 1 drives. When I got home, I dug up an old IDE drive, hooked it up, installed FreeBSD 4.7, and found the box would boot up just fine, thank you. Then I went and read my email…. and found the 5.0-RELEASE announcement… DOH! I’m in the process of downloading the mini ISO now. For those wondering, older machines have BIOS which cannot handle larger disks. For some, a BIOS upgrade will fix this issue. In this situation, I do not want to tamper with the BIOS, when an easy fix is available. I have only so much time before the demo, and there are other things with a higher priority.

Thank you

I’d like to thank those people who have helped me out by various means. This includes donated cash via PayPal, providing much needed hardware, and for advice, ideas, and moral support. To a great year.