Old Friend

Talk about serendipity...

Today I presented a talk on PGP/GPG for the Charleston SC Linux Users Group. Later, I discovered a member was a robotics fan. It made me reminisce about my "days of olde" and I started googling things.

The first result took me here:


I'm truly amazed. I'm also very disappointed that I didn't find it a week ago.

For those that don't know, I'll fill in with the back story. It'll also give you some insight into LabThug.

That item is MARVIN -- Mobile Autonomous Vehicle with Intelligent Navigation. He is a CyberMotion (now defunct?) NavMaster K2A mobile platform. That was the star of USC's (now defunct?) mobile robotics lab. That lab was the birthplace of LabThug. See back when I was a student there, I was lucky enough to work-study for that lab. I worked on MARVIN: reprogrammed him to navigate mazes, showed him off to visitors, assisted in hardware repairs, etc. I lived in that lab for 3-4 years. I made friends there. MARVIN was one of them. I wanted to take MARVIN with me when I left. I would have paid (and still will) more than $180 to do so.

LabThug was created because people/things in that lab were being bothered by freshmen (or was it sophomores). So, we decided that a friendly "leave us alone" message would assist in keeping things on the up-and-up. So we made a sign, a copy of which makes up my homepage. It was at moment, within that lab, with MARVIN at my side, that LabThug was born.

And, the rest they say, is history.


Updating Firefox the other way

OK, I just got around to updating a PC to FF3. While they reached their total without my help, I had heard about problems.

Instead of doing the download thing, I tried the built-in update option. Actually, I tried the start-it-and-see-if-it-tells-you-a-new-one-is-available thing. I've gotten spoiled by that feature. Well, Firefox seemed to over look a few things for people trying to update this way.

It told me I was out of date, which was right; but told me to upgrade to This was fine I thought, "Sometimes to jump major releases, you need to hop through the most recent point one." Of course, imagine my surprise when I restarted and got this:

Haha I thought, let's just try the update again. No dice!

So, apparently you can't update from 2 to 3 this way...at least yet.

Charleston Parks Conservancy

For those that didn't show ...

I attended a "bloggers event" today, at least that's what the computer printout said. It was in the upstairs of 39 Rue de Jean. Here's how it went down:

I could hear distant talking as I walked up the stairs. Suddenly a blonde in green came into view to welcome me. There were two others just like her. If they said names; I forgot, sorry. A quick scan of the crowd revealed some people I knew, which is always a good thing. Before I made it over to them, the host, Lyn Mettler introduced herself. She also pointed out the food and drinks.

The guy at the bar never told me his name; but when I told him I don't drink and asked for tea, he suggested water. I got a few lemons too, it helped to cover the Cl.

The spread was quite nice: grilled squash & zucchini with ranch, fried artichoke hearts stuffed with 3 types of cheese & marinara, fruits with chocolate sauce. Oh, and little bread chips. Those rocked.

From what I gathered, Lyn was introducing Jeff (or was it Jim...I'm really bad with names) from Charleston Parks Conservancy (CPC). This guy was teaming up with Paul (I'm pretty sure..that or Phil). There was also a guy from Brains on Fire. He was....damn, I have to start stocking up on that Ginkgo Bilbao stuff.

What CPC is trying to do is improve local awareness of the city's 120 parks. They are planning on doing this through their website and a host of other "grass-roots" efforts. In addition to picking 5 Park Angels, they want to create a wiki with each park in detail so users can share stories, etc. They are loosely affiliated with the City's Parks and Recreation Department. They also said they modeled themselves after the Central Park one.

There was also a small presentation hosted from a Mac. It had some sort of iPod hook-up to play relaxing Muzak.

There were questions, but I don't remember them now. Overall this project has a lot of potential, I hope it pans out -- we'll see what happens.

They gave out a copy of the press release, and had a few buttons (I kept the let's get dirty one). In addition, they gave away a crinum bulb. I'm thinking it would be fitting for me to plant it in the park across the street. We'll see how that goes.

Kyle and .... ooh, what was her name, were there handing out pins for thedigitel.com. From what I understand, it's a local news aggregator. Right now, they're just focusing on Charleston, although I'm sure their model could be extended to other cities quite easily.

And hey, guys and girls reading this. If you have the names straight, leave them in the comments :-$.


Why I love Linux

"smb_fill_super: missing data argument"


"CIFS VFS: cifs_mount failed w/return code = -22"

apparently mean the same thing:

"you need to `apt-get install smbfs`"