Friday, September 30, 2005

Libranet restructuring

Okay, so first some basic background for clarity. Libra Computer Systems was started by my father, Jon, in 1984 (one year after I was born). In 1999 Jon became interested in Linux. He had never been satisfied with DOS or Windows having come from a Unix background, and began to explore using Linux as an alternative. In the process, he decided that Libra Computer Systems' next project would be to create an easy to use Linux system for desktop users. I first became involved with the project as a casual interest in what Jon was doing, but I soon became drawn into the world of Linux and started to become involved in the product.

As Libranet progressed in development, I became increasingly involved in both the development and technical support of Libranet. In the six years that Libranet has been around we have released well over 10 versions of the Libranet distribution, each improving over the last.

Unfortunately, in late 2003 Jon was diagnosed with cancer. As he became progressively sicker in the year and a half following his diagnoses I began to take a larger and larger responsibility in not just the technical development of Libranet, but in the running of the business as well. Jon's death left the running of Libranet solely in my hands.

Libranet has been a wonderful learning experience for me, and would very much like to continue the legacy that is not just my father's work, but very much mine as well. However, changes will be needed to move Libranet forward, and this is the point where I am now. I need to catch my breath then figure out how to move on.

I feel that Libranet is unique in the Linux world, not just because of its technical achievements, but because of the philosophy that is behind the Libranet system.

I hope that the strong Libranet community will be patient while the process of moving Libranet onwards takes place. I do not at this time know how long it will take or exactly what the outcome will be, but I will endeavor to keep the Libranet community informed.

As always I welcome correspondence from the Libranet community. Feel free to email at

The Libranet Blog and Libranet Newsletter are the community's best resources for staying up to date on what is happening.

Daniel has posted his thoughts on the changes happening at Libranet.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Laptop goodness

So I finally did it. I ordered a Dell Inspiron 9300 today. The low down:

  • Pentium M 760 2.0GHz
  • 17" TrueLife WUXGA (1920 x 1200) screen
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 256MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800
  • 100GB 7200RPM hard drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW drive
The 7200RPM 100GB drives are on backorder so the laptop should take about a month to reach me. The decision on which model to go with was a tough one, but I think I made the right choice. A comparable laptop from another manufacturer would have cost a lot more than the Dell at least once an international three year warranty comes into consideration. On top of that, I got a pretty good deal on the laptop (I managed to get over $500 off the full price).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Dancing away from piles of paper

The past several days have been kind of slow work wise. I've doing lots of administrative and paperwork type things which have to be done, but aren't really that fun.

On the bright side I'm now dancing four days a week which is lots of fun :)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Changed my mind

It was a tough decision to make, but I am, for the first time in 16 years, no longer a vegetarian. If you asked me 5 years ago if I thought that I'd be eating meat and fish again, I'd probably have said "no way", but my outlook on the topic has changed over the past two years or so. I feel good about my decision, and don't think I'll be looking back.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Libranet Blog

Libranet now has an "official" Libranet Blog. Updates on Libranet happenings will be posted here by Daniel and I.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Do you think you can dance?

I've been following the TV series So You Think You Can Dance. The premise is to find "America's best dancer" and reward them with $100 000 and a fancy New York apartment for a year. has summaries of the shows outlining what happened in each episode. I have commented on week 7 and week 8. This is the first "reality" show that I've followed, and I have to say that I'm really impressed with both the talent on the show and the format and production of the show.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Have laptop will travel...

... or at least that's the hope.

I'm looking to purchase a laptop. Unfortunately I'm quite picky on what I need:
  • NVidia graphics
  • 100GB or more HD space
  • Pentium M 1.86MHz or higher
  • 3 year warranty valid overseas (hopefully with something like Dell's Complete Care)
This seems to put me into the rarefied territory of "multimedia" laptops. My short list so far:
As far as I know Linux support is fine on the Dell, but I don't know yet about the Toshibas. The Dell has a much higher resolution screen than the Toshiba laptops, but I've heard some reports that it may not be as good.

The thing I like about the Dell is that I can configure a machine to my specs on Dell's website that beats the pants off any of the Toshiba offerings, but it ends up being very pricey. Also, the battery that comes with the Toshiba laptop is insufficient for this class of machine, so a CA$250 battery upgrade is going to be necessary.

On the other hand, if I drop the NVidia requirement from my list I can probably find a cheaper HP or Compaq laptop that will fit the bill. I'm just not sure if it's worth risking not having first class 3D support. ATI's drivers are notoriously sketchy especially when it comes to their mobile products.

The thing about laptops is that you basically have to order them as you want to keep them. Unlike a desktop computer upgrading select components later is either prohibitively expensive or just plain impossible.

So that means:
  • Go cheap and upgrade often
  • Go top of the line and get a laptop that will last a while
So far I'm leaning toward the second choice.

So far nothing has been able to beat the Dell on the perfomance/dollar aspect from what I can tell.

I'd love to hear anyone's comments, but remember if you are suggesting a laptop it has to be available for purchase in Canada.

Older than before

I had a fun weekend. I turned 22 on Saturday (yay me!) and celebrated Friday night with friends and on Saturday with family. It's amazing how different my life is since this same time last year.

Monday, September 05, 2005

New website draft

I've been working up on a new look for the Libranet website. Check the thumbnail for what I have so far. The challenge is to come up with a design that is simple yet striking. Technology wise the site is XHTML 1.1 + CSS 2.0 (same as the old design). Not sure if this will be the final new design. It still needs some work and testing before it will go live if this is the design that I do end up going with.