Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

Moved to SF

So I've moved to SF.

I rented an apartment sight-unseen for an unbelievably low price (at least for SF). The big question in the back of my mind has been "ok, so what's wrong with it?" Of course, it's tiny, but that alone doesn't disqualify a place from stratospheric rents in this town. The rub is that my new place is above a mortuary, and in the projects.

No, I can't make this up. My landlords are undertakers.

Let's hope the job search goes slightly more...um...predictably.

Last Day

Tomorrow is my last day at SecurePipe.

Two weeks ago I decided that needed to move to San Francisco. I'm a patient man, but a year and a half of being long-distance with Jennifer is enough to wear even me down. Since then, I've updated my resume, spent a lot of time wondering if I'm insane, and started to actively contribute to any latent insanity by worrying about logistics for the move.

I'll be on the road all week next week, so updates are likely to be sporadic, but if we stop at any roadside attractions of note, I'll be sure to keep posted.

And if you know of anyone in the bay area who needs a good security geek, let me know!

Week 2

Almost 2 weeks into my OS X odyssey, I have a lot of thoughts about my new desktop OS. Before I get flames from "Mac People" (you know who you are), please understand that I fully grok that my needs in an OS are not "ordinary" by any measure. That said, my primary expectation of a computer is that it will do things for me and will not get in my way. Given any particular task and any particular user, what is implied by these goals will be different. What follows is a list of things that I, a security and Unix geek like and dislike. Take or leave them, but please understand that my criticisms are dependent on the context of my mind and are in all likelihood not portable. Also, I realize that many of my problems with the OS are going to be addressed in 10.3, but I'm not running 10.3, and so these things still annoy.

So first, the things I love:



Now, for the things I hate...


I'm sure I'll have more thoughts come as I get more comfortable with my setup and do more "real" work on it, but I think that 2-weeks is plenty of time for a power-user to decide whether or not he can live with an OS. To Apple's credit, I haven't ordered any Yellow Dog Linux CDs yet, but there are some things about the OS that make me seriously consider it from time to time.

So what's my final rating? I'd say that on a scale from one to awesome, OS X is "uber-cool". This doesn't imply that it's the most useful thing ever, but that it has a lot of things that would be nice to see in other places. I don't realistically expect Apple to suddenly to cater to Unix types like me, but I can dream.

Typo

Oh Blarg.

I just fixed my Kmail+GPG problem. Seems I had a typo (or 3) in my fink.conf file, so the unstable ports weren't being searched. Kmail required gpgme for GPG integration, and it's only available in unstable. With the correct package search paths, the pre-built KDE binaries work just fine using gpgme.

Despite a healthy serving of crow, I'm now quite happy with the arrangement. Mail is my primary window to a lot of things, so having my mail the way I like it is important to me. Nice to know that OS X cooperates.

KMail, OSX, and GPG

So I'm loving Kmail on the OS X box, save for one minor (ok, so not really minor) hangup: GPG integration seems borked. It seems that even though my GPG keys are correctly placed, Kmail doesn't know how to use GPG in to encrypt mail. So now I'm halfway through re-building Kmail (and half of KDE) from source via fink. Here's to hoping.

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