the value of X

how to run a modern OS on steam-powered hardware

I am updating the Darwin installation on my circa 1995 Mac PowerPC 9500, for no other reason than to see how complicated the process is. XPostFacto exists to make this possible, so perhaps documenting My Struggle with this will be of use to someone else.

The hardware isn’t supported in Darwin releases since the last 10.1 release (10.1.5) prior to Jaguar, with the corresponding Darwin version number being 5.5.

Installing the OS itself was easy: XPostFacto is a control panel in OS 9 and worked like a champ. Next up, I am trying to install DarwinPorts, since a. the Darwin team have a relationship with Apple and b. I have tried fink in the past and found it wanting in some ways. But as things are working out, I need to use fink to get DarwinPorts installed: tcl is what DarwinPorts uses (FreeBSD‘s portupgrade uses ruby, and fink uses perl) and doesn’t exist in my old version of Darwin. Looks like I’ll have to build it.

observations’s dirty secret

Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things

The guy who donated bandwidth to (about two brothers who spraypainted complaints about lousy batteries on iPod posters) is pissed a plenty:

Gee, you don’t suppose they’re doing this for a little free publicity?


virtual reminders

Wired News: Gizmo Puts Cards on the Table

Researchers in Dublin, Ireland, have developed a way to help people who are far away from their loved ones feel a little closer, using a pair of kitchen tables equipped with radio tag readers, projectors and computers running on Linux and Macintosh operating systems.

The kitchen table is the holding place for keys, wallets and pocketbooks at the end of the day. It’s also the place where many families gather for meals and coffee breaks. By allowing distant friends and family members to participate in these activities, albeit virtually, researchers at MIT Media Lab Europe say they can provide an added sense of context for those who are communicating.

I can’t get this story out of my head. This came out around the same time David Pogue was extolling the virtues of iSight and iChat . . . .

Only connect . . . . we keep finding more ways to do just that, and that can’t be bad.

Darwin on Olde Worlde hardware: a HOWTO

localfeeds working

Localfeeds is now working for me. I got a note from the proprietor explaining where the problem was.

I fixed the problem you were having with Localfeeds– it was partially my fault and partially yours.

Even though I don’t advertise the fact, Localfeeds reads geo.position as well as GeoURL-style ICBM. Since your geo.position comes after the ICBM, it was overriding the perfectly valid ICBM with an invalid geo.position.

Your geo.position tag is invalid because the tag is not supposed to include the compass directions “N” and “W” , as you can see with these examples:

What I did to make this work is make it so my script does not read geo.position if ICBM has already been defined.

I think I have a mish-mash of stuff defined in the head section of my pages, using information from different sources. But for now, it seems to be working. Thanks, Ross.