Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

March 28, 2006

A Little Bit of Politics

Did you know that there is an Australian non-profit organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line freedoms and rights? Neither did I until Anthony Baxter made passing reference to Electronic Frontiers Australia in a post about the latest idiotic internet censorship policy proposal from the ALP.

Anyone whose stated aims include "... to protect and promote the civil liberties of users and operators of computer based communications systems such as the Internet, to advocate the amendment of laws and regulations in Australia and elsewhere (both current and proposed) which restrict free speech and to educate the community at large about the social, political, and civil liberties issues involved in the use of computer based communications systems" gets my vote.

I've joined, shouldn't you?

Posted by Andy Todd at 08:03 PM | Comments (0)

Python and Oracle

Congratulations to Catherine Devlin for her recent using Python with Oracle article at OTN. Keep up the good work.

I'd like to add that you don't need to running Windows or Red Hat either. You can install Oracle XE on Debian or Ubuntu and then compile cx_Oracle from source quite easily.

Just make sure that you've installed the appropriate development packages (gcc and build-essential). Then unpack the cx_Oracle source package, cd into the directory it creates and type;

$ sudo python install

It works like a dream for me and now I've got a development machine with Oracle, MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL all running on it. Which gives me plenty of scope for experimenting with cross platform code and comparing and contrasting features of the various databases. Hopefully there will be more on this subject here in the not too distant future.

Update: but wait, there's more. Thanks to Frits Hoogland I discover that Oracle have a Debian repository. I can add this to my /etc/apt/sources.list and keep my database sparkly and up to date. Marvelous.

Posted by Andy Todd at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2006

Comments Broken

Sorry, I've managed to break the commenting feature on this blog. The good news is that it keeps the spam levels right down. If you feel a burning desire to share something about one of my posts or just have a general chin wag you can email me on the usual address.

Posted by Andy Todd at 10:05 PM | Comments (2)

Minor Annoyances

My Powerbook is back at the dealers, again. This time they are replacing the airport card. When I get it back my wife will be slightly less grumpy as there won't be too many cables lying around our lounge whenever I'm about. The minor annoyance here is that the support centre took seven days to look at my machine. Once they did it was a ten minute job to figure out that they needed to replace the card - which I told them when it was booked in.

Meanwhile I've been using my work laptop. It really doesn't hold up well against the Powerbook, but is somewhat nicer to use since I've installed Ubuntu. My gripe here is with the Debian packaging of Thunderbird, my current mail client of choice. I use it to connect to my IMAP mail server and then switch to offline mode when I'm travelling or at work. Except by default Thunderbird doesn't come with this feature on Debian (and therefore Ubuntu). You have to install another package to activate offline mode. A feature I only discovered after I needed it. Bah. People of Debian, ubiquitous network connection is still not with us, offline mode should be included by default just like it is on the Windows and Mac OSX versions of Thunderbird.

Posted by Andy Todd at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2006

New web site

There's a new design at the official Python web site, apparently it was launched on the 5th of March after being announce by Guido at PyCon last week. It's been a while coming but I rather like it.

Sadly, it's not valid XHTML 1.0 transitional and the CSS could do with a tweak.

Posted by Andy Todd at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)