The Haus

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Mandrake Releases to Have One Year Lives

I received an email from MandrakeSoft indicating that they are following Red Hat's lead and giving releases a 12-month lifecycle. After a year has past, Mandrake will no longer release official bug and security fixes. So basically, you either upgrade your OS or patch it yourself.

I can see why Red Hat and especially Mandrake have started to do this. In a company with limited cash flow, supporting old releases takes up a lot of valuable resources. However, it might not always be practical to upgrade the whole OS once a year. Having said that, I usually upgrade frequently just to get the "latest and greatest." After all, it only costs a couple of CD-Rs. I wonder what the rest of The Haus staff thinks? Hmm . . .

J.t.Qbe comments: I'm surprised that this hasn't been the policy already. Now that I think about it, though, this might hurt Mandrake's chances in IT departments. My boss just settled on Red Hat 7 as our standard; he doesn't want bleeding edge releases because we have to be confident that the platform is stable and reliable. Mandrake's always been more of a bleeding edge distribution than Red Hat (and I have a Mandrake 9 machine myself), but expecting an upgrade every year wouldn't fly at my company.

Personally, I do grab most new releases of Slackware, Mandrake and FreeBSD, even if I don't use them before the next rev. CDRs are cheap; the time it takes to find an older version of a distribution is much less cheap. That said, I haven't fired up Linux since I got the new version of VMS for my VAX. . .

Key3Media Files for Chapter 11

Key3Media, the company that puts on the Comdex trade shows, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This should come as a surprise to precisely no one. I went down to Comdex Chicago last spring and was underwhelmed. The road trip made it worthwhile, but none of the big players were there. According to the article, Comdex will go on as planned. Thanks Ars Technica.

Monday, February 3, 2003

Pondering the Imponderable

OK, so I complained that everything looks weird around here without any snow. I didn't know that would mean that we would get a mile and a half of the stuff. I will say this--it looks a lot prettier than dead grass.

Dare I say, w00t!.

MP3 Mania

I've been enjoying my birthday present which I got for myself last week, a Kenwood KDC-MPV619 CD/MP3 car stereo. I've been keeping my eye on this one for a while, but couldn't justify the $300 plus installation for it. Last week, Best Buy (no affiliation, yadda, yadda) had it on sale for $199 installed. Sold! They even offered a free Sirius radio receiver, but I passed on it. Unfortunately I have to go back in today because they didn't install it quite right. The dash wasn't put back properly and it doesn't dim itself when the lights go on.

Other than that problem, the deck itself is great. It reads and displays ID3 tags. It is very easy to navigate from directory to directory which you can do while an MP3 is playing. It starts playing tracks quickly when a disc is inserted and moves quickly between directories. For that "ooh, aah" factor, you can choose any of 67 colors on the display or have it cycle through them all. If you are looking to replace your car stereo, snag this one. I assume a newer model is coming out, so you should be able to get a screaming deal on these.

By the by, I've been using the very excellent Grip to rip my CDs which then calls Lame to compress the tracks into MP3s. That's the very best program that I've ever found for doing this. If you like MP3s and use Linux, you owe it to yourself to try Grip. One of these days, I'm going to review it for The Haus.

No Old News

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