Pioneering Adventures

I watched a documentary called Horatio’s Drive on KSPS TV this evening. It is a very well composed description of the conditions and events surrounding Horatio Nelson Jackson’s automobile trip from San Francisco to New York in 1903. I highly recommend it.

It is interesting that two underprovisioned and inexperienced men (and a dog) managed to drive an early automobile through mountains, mud, and dismal roads nearly six thousand miles across a continent with no preplanned supply depots along the route. Indeed, it is somewhat reminiscent of a fictional journey around the world made by Phileas Fogg and his assistant.

I wonder what it is about this type of story that so captivates the imagination. Perhaps it is the pioneering spirit, or the undaunted enthusiasm in the fact of great obstacles. Or, maybe, it is the sheer audacity of doing something that is thought to be impossible. Or perhaps it is something else all together. Whatever it is, it is likely a reflection of the human drive to push ever further down the road of progress.

Building Gnome

Does nobody actually ever try to use the published instructions to install gnome from source code on a clean system? I mean, how hard would it be to verify that it can be built in the order specified!

I have spent the past several weeks attempting to build Gnome 2.4.0 and have run into road block after road block in the form of dependencies that are out of order in the gnome build instructions. While this is not an issue with most of them because it is clear what package is missing, the latest one that slowed me down was the dependencies for gnome-media. It lookes for gstreamer-libs which is NOT a package anywhere and it is not clear where to obtain it. It turns out that this package is really “gst-plugins” although how the <bleep> a person is supposed to figure this out is a mystery.

The moral, people, is that if you provide an order to install the packages that are part of a larger project, MAKE <BLEEPING> SURE THAT THE ORDER IS CORRECT!

Stupid Verisign Tricks Redux Redux

I first commented on the Verisign nonsense on September 16, and then later on September 19. In the mean time, wheels have been turning consequences appear to be materializing. Today, ICANN insisted that Verisign cease the wildcard in .com and .net immediately.

I must admit that I had fully expected ICANN to do absolutely nothing. I applaud this action as far as it goes and hope they manage to enforce their decision. This is a critical test of their reason for existence. I will be watching with great interest to see how this all turns out.

Update at 15:00: Verisign has apparently capitulated. Note that an invasive registration procedure may be required for that link. Apparently Verisign is the victim. Yeah, right.