ThinkPad arrives early

Much to my shock the ThinkPad T42 I ordered arrived at my office the day after it shipped. It was so distracting I had to go put it in my car in the parking deck so I could stay focused on work. I am watching it pull down the last of a few hundred megs of initial install packages, eagerly awaiting the reboot into gdm before hitting the sack.

My last post about Apple’s Mail application got quite a bit of traffic both via comments and email. Thanks to all who responded, even the crabby ones. 8^) Some of my Debian associates pointed out that I could have set up an temporary IMAP server and moved the mail over via my client. As one other Debian person pointed out on the #debian-devel IRC channel, setting up an IMAP server is worth way more than US$25.00 at this stage of my life.

Google shows that quite a bit of documentation is on the web for running Linux on the T42; a welcome site. If any of you long-time Debian ThinkPadders have recommendations or favorite hacks/tunings, feel free to share.

Now I have to make sure and get my contact email like I promised Martin Krafft I would.

Apple Mail in Tiger can kiss it

Man. So I’m migrating my data from Mac OS X to Debian, right, and it is time to move my mbox files over. Wrong! Tiger silently upgraded my mail files to some bastardized, proprietary format Apple has invented for use with Spotlight. Each message is in a single file (maildir, anyone?) that has this proprietary, undocumented format.

Thanks to Google I found this one solution to convert the .emlx files back to mbox, Emailchemy. Heck yeah, I’ll give some guy US$25 to get my years of mail data back into an open format.

Good grief, I cannot wait to have everything back in Debian. The funny thing is, even users wanting to move from a Tiger install to any previous OS X version would face this same issue.

The move back to x86 architecture

I know, some of you are going “No way, Barry is moving off of his PowerBooks?” Well, Apple is moving off of PowerPC chips, so yeah, the whole choice of laptop is up for discussion. As some of you may remember, I may have been saying for a couple of years that if I ever bought an x86 laptop it would be and IBM Thinkpad. Well:

1 – IBM Thinkpad T42 SMB Centrino -1.7G5 XPP 15-SVGA 60GB DVD/CDRW BLUGBE

That baby is on order from Looking forward to its arrival. Meanwhile, I plan on moving everything back to a native Debian install on one of my Titanium PowerBooks this weekend. This trying to work through an x86 Virtual PC Debian instance is ridiculous.

Service Oriented Architecture; the latest final solution

At this month’s meeting for my Java(TM) user group, we had a presentation from the CEO of Blue Titan Software, a leading company in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). In the presentation he and his associate insisted that the craftsmanship aspect of software development was a thing of the past, replaced by SOA based solutions. It was an impressive presentation, with impressive customer names being dropped and everything.

If things do ever get to that point, then I may have to find a new profession.

And I think they’re full of it. If anything, SOA is a concept that calls for master craftsmanship, and it’s not something they have a monopoly on.

On a separate note, using OS X to attempt to redeem the time was frustrating compared to when I had native Debian running. Just changing my wireless settings was a hopping around through settings panels, a browser, back to settings, back to browser; all of it happens in a shell script when I’m in Debian. Grrr…

Breaking the silence

Wow, almost a month with nothing on the weblog. It is not that I haven’t had stuff to write about, but there was a sort of inertia after getting back from vacation that was not limited to blogging.

I think part of the inertia has come from feeling disconnected from the Debian community. Just before going on vacation, I reverted my PowerBook to having only OS X on the drive, with the plan to use Virtual PC to host an x86 emulation instance of Debian. With Apple’s move to Intel, I have little to no interest in carrying the PowerPC Linux architecture banner anymore. It was already a hardship when PowerPC was in the foreseeable future with Apple hardware.

While I was away the dpkg changes broke java-package in a pretty major way. If I had been more watchful just before going on vacation, I probably could have prevented that. I guess that’s where my “newness” as a new maintainer really showed.

When I got back, there was a huge backlog at work and setting up the Virtual PC instance has been a less-than-stellar experience. Week 5 back on OS X, and it’s feeling a bit tenuous. So, I am behind on what I want to get done in Debian and swamped at work and home, and how fun is that to write about?