Mine the Harvest


Oh Ubuntu, Why Hast Though Forsaken Sun Java?

by on Apr.20, 2010, under Uncategorized

With Lucid, the standard Ubuntu repos no longer contain the Sun version of Java, having opted instead to just go with openjdk. While I can certainly understand the desire to have openjdk be the truly open solution, I am accustomed to the Sun version. Also, when using java-6-openjdk , I ran into a very annoying situation where apt kept running into the following issue when you attempted any transaction:

error adding signet.pl/signet_ocspklasa3_pem.crt
error adding signet.pl/signet_pca2_pem.crt
error adding signet.pl/signet_pca3_pem.crt
error adding signet.pl/signet_rootca_pem.crt
error adding signet.pl/signet_tsa1_pem.crt
error adding spi-inc.org/spi-ca-2003.crt
error adding spi-inc.org/spi-cacert-2008.crt
error adding telesec.de/deutsche-telekom-root-ca-2.crt
failed (VM used: java-6-openjdk).
dpkg: error processing ca-certificates-java (–configure):
subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1

In addition, I was having trouble with the openjdk in Eclipse with Subversive and was longing for the Sun Java version. But it was nowhere to be found in the repos. Sigh.

I Googled about and saw a lot of similar difficulties and frustration that the Sun version was not available. Sure, you can install it and the browser plugins, etc. manually, but really – why? Fortunately, I was able to find a simple solution to install sun-java6-jdk on Lucid!

This very simple fix came from this blog site.

Just remove openjdk if you already installed it:

sudo apt-get remove  openjdk-6-jre icedtea6-plugin

Now, set up the partners repo and install Sun Java from there:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository &#34deb http://archive.canonical.com/ lucid partner&#34
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install sun-java6-jdk
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-plugin


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Simple SSH Pass Phrase Manager for KDE4

by on Feb.20, 2010, under Uncategorized

I’ve finally gotten around to using ssh pass phrases on the ssh keys I uses to authenticate with, and recently was using a nifty applet on Gnome that managed the pass phrase for you when you log into your Gnome session.

Since I mainly use KDE, I found a very simple little app mentioned on this blog that does the same thing for KDE4, ksshaskpass which you can get from here

Compiling and installing is extremely easy, it is a very light app and uses cmake for the build, and builds in seconds.

(Note however that  you need to have cmake installed, and if using Ubuntu you also install build-essential and kdelibs5-dev if using KDE.)

Also, please see the readme describing the script to make in your ~/.kde4/Autostart directory setting your SSH_ASKPATH variable to point to the ksshaskpath binary.

After that you are good to go – when you first use your key a GUI window prompts you once for the password, which gets associated with your Kwallet for the remainder of your session.

Very nice.

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by on Feb.06, 2008, under Uncategorized


We have been enjoying the second season of Torchwood, currently playing on BBC 3 and your local bit torrent channel for everyone living outside the UK. The BBC page is here.

Torchwood is a spin off from the new (and wonderfully done) re-installment of the classic show Doctor Who. The BBC has done a completely admirable job reviving this classic sci-fi show I enjoyed so as a lad – but this post is about Torchwood – which is definitely not Doctor Who.

Torchwood: Outside the government beyond the police. The 21st century is when it all changes – so you had better be ready.


So describes Capt. Jack Harness, the leader of the Cardiff branch of Torchwood. They operate with near complete impunity, doing what they can to protect earth from one pending alien disaster to the next. Jack is a time agent from the 26th century – though he was from the WWI era originally. Time has made him a touch edgy. (Click for larger images.)

Jack Harkness

While much of Doctor Who takes place on other worlds, Torchwood focuses on Earth – with its unique population and all its flaws we as humans all have. The characters are all pretty messed up people, and their job is not exactly helping.

It is fairly violent and certainly illustrates the character flaws we as humans all have. The characters are all pretty messed up people, and their job is not exactly helping attain greater inner peace.

Torchwood Cardiff

If you like good sci-fi with a bit of a bite to it, check out Torchwood. You’ll come away realizing that your life is a lot better than it could be.

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Christmas in Colorado

by on Jan.01, 2008, under Uncategorized

For Christmas / Yule this year Syd and I went to Colorado for a visit with friends and family. We took a week off and had a great time. First we flew into Denver and stayed the night with some very good friends, Erich and his wife Kristin. (Erich has been know to read this blog and comment so I have to be nice . . . hehe) Actually, we have known each other for about 23+ years (OMG!) or so but I don’t get to see him much these days, so it was a real pleasure seeing them. We had a great time playing some board games and visiting. Can’t wait to see you guys again.

The next day we spent the morning with some old time friends in south Denver, the Vickland / Valdez clan. It was wonderful to see everyone and Juanita prepared a wonderful traditional Mexican lunch for us, home-made tortillas, carne and delicious deserts. It was so nice seeing everyone.

Then it was time to drive to Gunnison. We like the drive from Denver to Gunnison, it is a pleasant 4 hour trip. I’ve done it so many times I think I could draw a topographical map of the route. The scenery was beautiful as always and the blizzard they had just had a few days before posed no problem on the roads. We arrive at my folks’ ranch the evening of the 23rd.

Spending Christmas at the ranch with mom and dad was perfect. There was tons of snow – far more than usual – and it made for quite the Christmas spectacle. It was a very classic Colorado Christmas. Here are a few pictures of how it looked, though they of course don’t due justice. (Click for larger view.)

Ranch Christmas         Ranch Gate       Buried Truck

(continue reading…)

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Product of Exercise?

by on Sep.15, 2007, under Uncategorized

Syd read an article recently stating that each hour of exercise had been shown to extend your life by an hour. This made her think: doesn’t that just cancel each other out?

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