Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Brilliant Exposition Of The Basis Of Moral Arguments

The following was posted by gillbates on Slashdot. I have edited it only to make it a list of general questions and statements instead of a reply. See the link for the original comment.
  • If you don't believe your own beliefs are the one absolute true way, why would anyone else believe your beliefs?
  • How could you convince anyone to believe as you do when even you are unsure of their truth?
  • If you are even somewhat comfortable with not knowing the truth regarding morality, it is rather unlikely that you would ever stumble upon the one true way. Even if you did, how would you recognize it?
  • It is not arrogant to suggest that you know the one true way, if indeed that is the case. In fact, if you are an intellectual, and can discover the truths of the Universe regarding all things, morality included, it is false humility to suggest otherwise. Unlike science, where additional data may disprove a hypothesis, morality is absolute, and provable. Merely lacking the intellectual framework and experience necessary to objectively discover moral truth does not mean that such truth does not exist, or is unknowable.
This is the basis of any argument for a certain moral standard, which forms the basis of much of Christian apologetics, and even religious apologetics in general.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Family Force 5!

We got to interview Crouton and Chapstique from Family Force 5! They were hilarious in the interview, and drew a huge crowd. I got a picture with them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alive Fest!

I'm blogging from Alive Fest in Canton today. Red and David Crowder Band were awesome last night, in completely different ways.

Red puts on the highest energy show I have ever seen! The music was loud and incredible. The singer and guitarists were amazingly athletic and put all of their energy into the songs. They're going to have a new CD out soon.

David Crowder Band just won a new fan. Any band that does praise and worship, electronica, and bluegrass in the same concert (even the same song) has serious skill.

Both bands were even more incredible because they claimed none of the credit for their talent or music. They were up on stage praising God for their musical talent and pointing people to him.

Wish I could stay for Friday and Saturday. Oh well, seeing Red was worth the whole trip, including the lack of sleep.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

VoIP For Broadcast Radio Remotes

Yes, I work for a radio station. In fact, I just set up a new system for remote broadcasting using VoIP. Like all of our call-ins, we still use a DJ in the live studio, but we can now put our DJs that are out at events on the air crystal clear (think ISDN, it's the same codec). We use X-Lite on the internet computer in the live studio (this is not our automation computer), Ekiga on the Ubuntu laptop for remotes, and ekiga.net for SIP service. We have done several on air tests and they all have worked out great. Our first live event for this service is tomorrow. The Alltel wireless card I talked about in the previous post will be used for Internet connectivity at the event. Can you say "cool?" 8-)

Alltel UTStarcom PC5750 in Ubuntu

Again, this is a pain. A big pain. If you are stubborn (I am).
It actually doesn't have to be a pain at all.

I tried time and again to make it work with the airprime kernel module. I was sure that usbserial couldn't give me the bandwidth I needed for my application. (I'll talk about that application in my next post. It's VoIP.) I used wvdial with the script that is posted at Linux Screw for this card, changing the modem to /dev/ttyUSB0 because that's what I had. After tearing my hair out several times, I finally gave up and blacklisted the airprime module. (Add the line "blacklist airprime" without quotes to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.) I rebooted and voila! Using wvdial with the /dev/ttyACM0 device (which wasn't available before blacklisting airprime) now worked. (Make sure to run wvdial as root so that it can write your pap-secrets and resolv.conf). Adding wvdial to rc.local allows me to connect on boot. Bandwidth? Very close to the advertised bandwidth of the card actually. None of this nonsense about usbserial only giving 60k each way, A bandwidth test at www.dslreports.com showed 1.8M down and 120k up. (The card advertises 2.0M down and 144k up.) A test call with the VoIP using the PCMU codec both ways was crystal clear, though with approximately 150ms latency. For our application latency is of little issue.

The moral of the story? Don't use the airprime driver! Blacklist it and use usbserial. It autodetects, wvdial works, and the speeds are just fine.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Laptop's New Look, Part 2

I said yesterday that I would post the background for my laptop. This is an abstract, non-distracting background that goes wonderfully with a dark theme. I created it using the FG to Transparent gradient in GIMP, along with some filtering.

My Laptop's New Look

I have been busy all day modifying the Tenebrific GTK theme to work better with web pages, web forms, and HTML email. The result is Tenebluegreen, which I will post to Freshmeat later. Just to whet your appetite, here is a screenshot of the blogger page I am writing this post in:

And here is Rhythmbox and a terminal window:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7809

In short, this was not a fun experience, but it was well worth it. After hours of fighting with it, two things made it work.
Disable the LAN card in the BIOS, while you are using the live CD, and until you install kernel 2.6.24-19 from hardy-proposed.
Make sure your CD is error free. Otherwise you will get squashfs errors.

Also, the latest MadWifi drivers support the AR5007EG wifi card in the laptop, including under 64-bit kernels. Download the tarball from MadWifi and install it.

I'm currently customizing Compiz and Avant Window Manager. I will post screenshots and my custom background tomorrow.