Microsoft, Why Do You Treat Me Like A Pirate?

Do you see that picture on the right? I bought Windows XP when it came out. An actual legitimate copy of Windows XP Home Edition. It promised a lot of things that it eventually pretty much delivered after a couple of service packs. It’s moved from machine to machine as I’ve updated hardware. I’ve gotten rid of basically all of my old PC hardware and now it lives on my Macbook Pro. I’ve been reasonably happy with it. Except…

With such a long history, I’ve long-since passed the time when Microsoft accepted my key without question through internet activation. Do you know what happens when you pass that time? Painful crushing phone activation.


First, you have to call a number, and enter 9 sets of 6 digits (they’re kind enough to let you use the touch-tone phone to do it, instead of braving their voice recognition system). Then, on the 9th set, it always complains that it didn’t understand the last set of digits, until you’re forced to tell it to forward you to a human without finishing the automated input.

Then, since it didn’t . . . → Read More: Microsoft, Why Do You Treat Me Like A Pirate?

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KDE 4.1 Beta 1 for Mac OS X

With the help of a number of folks, I’m happy to announce the latest KDE/Mac snapshot, based on KDE 4.1 Beta 1. Also, while it’s been available for a while, I’d like to point out that KDE/Mac now has an official website, at, using Benjamin Dietrich’s pretty design.

Torrents are all seeded, and downloadable.

Note: Apparently bittorrent doesn’t preserve executable flags. 🙁 Before installing, run, in a terminal: chmod a+x *.pkg/Contents/Resources/postflight

As always, questions are welcome in the comments, on the kde-mac list, or in a bug report. =)

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KDE 3.5.9 in Fink Unstable

Now that KDE 3.5.9 is out, I’ve updated all of the Fink KDE/X11 packages to match it. Nothing new specific to Mac OS X or Fink, just a version bump with some bugfixes and a significantly updated kdepim.

It also includes a few things that are updated to understand Chris’s new libflac package.

As always, let me know if you run into any issues.

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DBus autolaunch on Mac OS X

I’ve submitted some patches to D-Bus to allow it to auto-launch on Mac OS X. This should let me remove some completely awful and distribution-specific code from kdelibs.

It’s got a few quirks to work out, but on 10.5, it’s rockin’! Even scarier, I wrote C code. I think it might even be halfway decent C code. Time to look out, Armageddon is clearly happening any day now. 🙂

Oh, and as an aside, this is the first time I’ve actually had to break down and finally learn how to use Git, since that’s what dbus uses, and it’s friggin’ amazing. Lightning fast, and well-suited to sending patches upstream.

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Stats Junkie

If there’s one thing I know about people who are involved in network management, it’s that they’re stats junkies. Case in point. (Hah, I mean, how cool is it to poll the weather in OpenNMS…) I put that to the test in the last week, most definitely.

I got slashdotted (and ars technica’d, and dugg) a few days ago, and despite being under the weather, it fired me up to do 2 things.

First of all, it got me excited about working on KDE more. I had a great time at the KDE 4.0 release event and for the first time got strong feedback from KDE folks on what I’ve been working on. I got a little bit of that at aKademy but I also still felt quite a bit like the outsider there. This time around there were a number of people who gave me great feedback, encouragement, and all-around made me feel like a part of the community.

As a result, the thing I’d hoped would happen most after getting the press did happen — the kde-darwin IRC channel is hoppin’ with . . . → Read More: Stats Junkie

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It’s time, once again, to look into the future of KDE/Mac.

The future, Ranger Rick?

That’s right, dear reader. Let’s look to the future, all the way to the year 2000!

So, in preparation for working on becoming an officially-supported part of KDE, I’m starting to move “my” project information into someplace that makes it easier to get the community’s involvement.

First, I’ve gone ahead and moved the wiki stuff to KDE techbase.

Next up is starting to offer up the torrents on, but I need to get access to it again.

And hopefully soon, we can get a proper KDE mailing list set up, rather than the occasional post to kde-nonlinux.

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New KDE/Mac Snapshot

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Just in time for the KDE release event (grin) — a new KDE/Mac snapshot is available. I will be demoing it at the release event, thanks to Google and the KDE release coordinators for arranging free lodging, and my employer, OpenNMS, for covering my travel!

On to info about the snapshots.

Qt is updated to 4.3.3, and my build tools have been updated to use the KDE 4.0 branch now that 4.0.0 has been tagged. This does mean that kdepim and kdevelop are no longer being built (for now). Also, I’m not building Amarok right now since it has some compile issues, and I need to get with the Amarok folks to figure out what to do about some architectural issues (no Plasma on OSX).

Nothing huge code-wise has changed from a Mac point of view, other than all of the general updates that have gone on in the KDE codebase since the last snapshot. It appears that kdeinit4 and kded4 both have some crashing issues related to something deep in Qt, I will be investigating it when time permits. . . . → Read More: New KDE/Mac Snapshot

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It’s Been a Crazy Couple of Weeks

Figured it’d been a while since I did a general “status” post about what’s been going on.

First and foremost, as I mentioned before, much of my spare time has gone into fixing up the Fink package database. It’s now much easier on our web server, and uses a combination of PHP and a really spiffy Lucene-based full-text search engine called “Solr.”

Also, I did some work on making Fink play nicer with the new Xquartz releases. It’s still in testing, but in the meantime, their 2.1.1 release provides a workaround to allow Fink users on Leopard to run without issue.

I’ve also been wearing my hat recently, and am working on some spiffy customer-management tools for keeping track of our support work better. I’m a big fan of Ruby on Rails, and am mocking it up in that — on top of JRuby, of course.

In the process, of getting my development system set up to do rails development, I updated all of the Fink packages for rails 2.0 and related stuff, as well as taking over rubygems from . . . → Read More: It’s Been a Crazy Couple of Weeks

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(Finally) New KDE/Mac Snapshot

So I’ve finally gotten a full KDE/Mac build done, and new snapshots are available.

The kdeaddons package went away, and QCA is now part of kdesupport (since they’ve gone on and done new development that isn’t compatible with current KDE trunk). I’ve done some spot-checking, and as always, things that are simple tend to work better — most of the kdegames stuff looks great as always.

Everything in KOffice is unfortunately failing with the error:

11/17/07 12:36:56 AM [0x0-0xb50b5].kspread[11258] ASSERT: “not isInitialized” in file /Users/ranger/cvs/kde-mac/, line 70

I haven’t yet figured out why it’s happening yet, but expect an update once I do.

Amarok actually runs and plays music, although it inexplicably loses it’s menu bar completely, so there isn’t much else you can do with it. I suspect it might be the splash screen stuff confusing Qt, but I’m not positive.

BUT, the big news is that it actually works on Leopard too. 🙂 I’ve made an ugly patch that fixes the CoreFoundation fork/exec issue and I was able to open pretty much everything (well, everything that didn’t crash for other reasons… <grin>). . . . → Read More: (Finally) New KDE/Mac Snapshot

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Fink + Leopard Potpourri

Just wanted to give a quick update on a mix of Fink and Leopard issues.

First of all, if you get the error, “Failed: Can’t fix GCC after Repair Permissions” it’s because the XCode installer decided not to bother erasing your /usr/sbin/gcc_select even though it shouldn’t be there anymore. It should be safe to erase it, but if that scares you, you can upgrade to 0.27.8 and your problem should go away as well… (Fink does not use gcc_select anymore on 10.5 as of 0.27.8.)

Also, people have been coming out of the woodwork hitting the OpenGL bug (“ld: cycle in dylib re-exports with /usr/X11R6/lib/libGL.dylib”) so I want to mention it here specifically for search engines to make it easier for people to find the fix.

The fix is to add the following line to your linker command: -Wl,-dylib_file,/System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libGL.dylib:/System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libGL.dylib

It should be a perfectly safe no-op on older Mac OS X releases, but makes sure that the XCode 3.0 linker doesn’t get confused and try to be too smart about finding the correct libGL.dylib.

I’ve also been trying to solve a new-on-leopard issue where . . . → Read More: Fink + Leopard Potpourri

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