2007-11-06 21:45:15

Don't Trust Linux 2.6.24

While upgrading Linux to version 2.6.24-rc1 on a test machine, I noticed that the network card (Intel E1000) was gone. It did not appear in dmesg and was not in lspci either.

Ok, I thought, maybe a bug, and so I went back to the old kernel. However, the same problem occurred here: the NIC was not in lspci and was not detected by the kernel.

So I put it into a different machine: still dead. So I simply took a known good E1000 from the stack and put it into the machine, fired up Linux 2.6.24-rc1 – the NIC came up dead, and remained dead afterwards. Booting Linux 2.6.24-rc1 on a different test machine killed a third E1000.

Looking around a bit I found an entry in the Linux Kernel bugzilla describing how Linux 2.6.24-rc1 kills network cards. It is unresolved as of now, but has been reproduced with Realtek 8169 Gigabit cards. Sometimes it appears to help to turn the power off completely for a while, but I cannot confirm this resolution.

Considering the fact that the hard disk eater bug is unfixed since Linux 1.3.26, I am wondering if Linus is going to wait for a fix to this bug before releasing the next version, and if the kernel is going to undergo serious testing. I am expecting to see a half finished band aid going into the code again, which will continue to toast a NIC once in a while – just like it happened with the hard disks. In any case I urge every Linux user to boot 2.6.24-rc1 with great care and on computers inside warranty only, and continue to be happy about my choice of NetBSD and OpenSolaris as my main operating systems.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: programming

2007-11-03 20:14:05

OOXML: Not Beneficial (says KOffice team)

The KOffice developers, most of them individually known for their first implementation of a reader and writer for the Microsoft Office binary formats, released a clear statement that supporting OOXML is not beneficial. According to the article, the specification is too complicated and offers no advantage over the currently default Open Document Format.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: programming, standards

2007-10-31 00:42:11

EU Commission: Microsoft patent pledge "incompatible with Open Source"

In an article about Microsoft's Patent Pledge on iDABC, the European Commission quotes itself acknowledging that the patent pledge does not help the interests of Open Source software.

After 2004's antitrust decision against Microsoft, declaring the company a monopolist, many voices have been raised that the imposed sanctions do not satisfy the requiremends of effective procurement. Concerns have been raised that the sanctions would not help to change the behavior of the corporation in question.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: politics, standards

2007-10-23 09:13:47

Invitation to the 2nd Swiss FOSS compatible lobbyists meeting in Berne

I would like to invite all people who have an interest in political activism for the benefits of Open Source and Free Software as well as aiming at a free and open information infrastructure (open standards, etc.) to the second Swiss FOSS compatible lobbyist meeting in Berne, in the conference room in the railway station. The meeting will take place on

Monday, November 5th, 2007 18:00 (that is 6pm)

in the conference rooms inside the railway station of Bern, Switzerland.

The place is easily reached by taking the train to Berne and leaving at the central station. If you are planning to go there by car, there is a parking lot (surveilled) right above the railway station (Universität Langgasse).

If you have comments or don't know how to find this place, call me under TL1733-RIPE or +41.793790549.


  1. Salutation
  2. Review of the situation since the first meeting
  3. Analysis of failed projects
  4. Introduction of working groups and creating member lists (see next headline)
  5. Working group agenda discussion
  6. Outlook on likely items for the year 2008
  7. Maybe drop by at the Altes Tramdepot or something similar to have a drink

Proposed woking groups

The following is a list of working groups which are deemed helpful for the organization of the upcoming campaigns:

Currently debated items

  • Office OpenXML standardization
  • Copyright Revision (cleanup work)
  • Federal Surveillance (trojan etc.)

Generic Working Groups

  • Open Standards
  • Amendments
  • Lobbying
  • Intelligence
  • Press
  • IT (Yes, there are lots of things to do in this area too)

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: chaos, politics

2007-10-23 08:52:54

When Worse than Failue fails

Instead of the daily Worse Than Failure, a weird message can be read today on the home page:

An Error Occured

Not sure what it was, but it was logged. A human will eventually look at it. If the problem persists, please Contact Us. If the problem is on the contact form, then ... well ... that pretty much sucks. You can email instead: alexp-at-WorseThanFailure.com.

Seems these people should look for some software which is not based on ASP.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: general, network