Thursday, October 19, 2006

This has to be the most inspirational video I have ever seen...

A bit of history on the people involved:

For the past twenty five years or more Dick, who is 65, has pushed and pulled his son across the country and over hundreds of finish lines. When Dick runs, Rick is in a wheelchair that Dick is pushing. When Dick cycles, Rick is in the seat-pod from his wheelchair, attached to the front of the bike. When Dick swims, Rick is in a small but heavy, firmly stabilized boat being pulled by Dick.

At Rick's birth in 1962 the umbilical cord coiled around his neck and cut off oxygen to his brain. Dick and his wife, Judy, were told that there would be no hope for their child's development.

"It's been a story of exclusion ever since he was born," Dick told me. "When he was eight months old the doctors told us we should just put him away, he'd be a vegetable all his life, that sort of thing. Well those doctors are not alive any more, but I would like them to be able to see Rick now."

In 1975, Rick was finally admitted into a public school. Two years later, he told his father he wanted to participate in a five-mile benefit run for a local lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick, far from being a long-distance runner, agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair. They finished next to last, but they felt they had achieved a triumph. That night, Dick remembers, "Rick told us he just didn't feel handicapped when we were competing."

I once saw another clip where at the end of the race a reported told Dick that if it wasn't for his son holding him back he would have finished in medal position.
To this Dick replied: "Why would I want that? I'm only doing this for my son."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

FOSS people never ceases to amaze!

Just when you think there can't be anything stranger, then some people stand up to openly defy everything the corporate giants believes in.

For a while now we have had the privilege to see the tremendous grow of FOSS, like OpenOffice, Firefox, and a few other movers and shakers that rocked the software world.

But how about going at it the wrong way? Like Underground Linux? Just have a look at the packages included to give you a general idea of what this distro is all about (if the name didn't give it away):

  • X.Org 7.1
  • KDE 3.5.4 (most modules, including Kontact)
  • 2.0.3
  • K3b 0.12.17
  • Firefox
  • Ktorrent 2.0.2
  • Kmplayer 0.9.3-pre2
  • Streamtuner 0.99.99 (browser for internet radio stations)
  • DVDRipOMatic 0.95 (DVD-to-XviD ripping tool)
  • Easy network configuration, with wifi support (see docs)
  • Fixes in printing support
  • HP printing drivers
  • Fixes/improvements in the look and feel

Now I have nothing personally against people distributing this, but isn't it a bit stupid to go out seek trouble? That is like branding this distro as "I'm a pirate/underground Linux user". Why on earth would someone go and do something so blatant? ring a bell anyone?

The same tools are available for any other distro, but they do not openly advocate it. Download it, use it, become a dev and help them out but for the love of sanity why go out and openly look for trouble?

The hacker distros have cleverly coupled themselves with security, naming themselves stuff like "Inside Security Rescue Toolkit" and like all the rest here, and there is something most of us can learn from this. Make your distro "friendly" do not go out and look for confrontation, or you're going to get it...

Really, sometimes the FOSS community have the foresight of a 16 year old high on testosterone.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


If only I had enough time to do everything I liked to do...

There is still no mayor update on the gaming front since I have really not had any time to play and test some new games, but maybe the next month or so will be a turning point, anyone wanna help me out here?

What I have been testing out lately is the multimedia capabilities of Linux, i.e. the recording, editing and writing of video and music files (sermons of over 400Mb per track).

What really put me off is that it seems that Audacity seems to have taken a step backwards.
Nothing wrong with the recording, but the effects lack allot! For example, I could not get the default "amplify" plug-in to do anything, and the noise removal plug-in is useless! In the end I had to install all the 3rd party plug-ins to get the job done and 5 hours later I still could not get rid of that irritating "hiss". No fun at all...

This led me to search for a better alternative, and up until now I have yet to find one. What is sorely lacking is the ability for audio editors to import WAV, filter it and then be able to edit out the unwanted noise (hiss, click, etc.)

Sweep seems nice, although I cannot figure out how to get the above mentioned functions working in it. Maybe a little RTM would help?

Maybe someone in the Linux multimedia dev. section should take a look at GoldWave (still my favourite audio editing app in Windows) and try do get something similar in Linux. Come to think of it, all we really need is some very decent plug-ins for Audacity and all will be bliss!

Someone, take up the challenge and give us user friendly plug-ins to correct our mistakes!

On the other hand, the video editing software really amazed me since I last used it in early 2006. Kino has come of age and Kdenlive, Cinelerra and Avidemux make for a complete solution! What more could an amateur need?

Even creating the DVD is a cinch with QDVDauthor and Kmediafactory.

Go on, try them, absolutely stunning!