VMware server now free

February 19th, 2006

As of tomorrow, there will be a free version of VMware server available.

This is good news – VMware have a great product – and it’s particularly interesting for us at Ndiyo. We’ve been starting to plan some experiments using a single machine to serve terminals with a mix of Linux and Windows – an organisation where one user really has to stay on Windows software could then still make a switch to a predominantly Linux system. Another option is that somebody with a Windows machine might be able to run a virtual Ndiyo server, and support multiple Nivo-based users, without having to pay any more licence fees.

It’ll be interesting to see whether any of this is viable on a modestly-priced PC.

Jose, can you see, by the dawn’s early light?

February 19th, 2006

I have happy memories of a small backpacking hostel in Indonesia, where, in the evening, the owner and some friends sat around strumming guitars.

I joined in, in my amateurish way. We played variations on the greatest hits of Eric Clapton – the variations coming from the fact that they, without much knowledge of English, often misheard the original lyrics and were very keen to check with me that they were getting them right. They knew the basic sounds, and I remember one guy earnestly singing, “Snog, snog, snogging on the seventh floor”, where I think Clapton had intended to convey the concept of knocking on heaven’s door.

But I’ve been guilty of some of these, too. I remember being puzzled, in my youth, by the Toto song ‘Africa’ which stated that “there’s nothing that a hundred men on Mars could ever do”. (It’s actually ‘a hundred men or more’.) And, at a rather earlier age, my somewhat parochial horizons could be deduced from my belief that the Abba lyrics, “I was sick and tired of everything / When I called you last night, Francesco” actually referred to somebody calling ‘last night, from Tesco’ (a big supermarket chain here in the UK). Rose thought it was nice that Paul Simon could report that “Rene and Georgia agreed with their dog after the war”.

Anyway, I discovered today that such mis-hearings have a name. They’re called Mondegreens. Rose found a nice section on this page entitled “The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind” which explains the name, and, of course, there are quite a few on Wikipedia.

But, go on – add your own favourites in the comments. The original ones are the best…

Mysterious

February 19th, 2006

What’s this?

Curlew at Woodbridge

It’s my attempt to photgraph this chap using a cheap camera and a cheap pair of binoculars:

Curlew at Woodbridge

I actually got some rather more successful shots, but they weren’t so pleasingly mysterious :-)

Any colour, so long as it’s Windows

February 19th, 2006

Some recommended weekend reading for you:

Why the net should stay neutral by Bill Thompson:

A canal has no idea what is being carried in the narrow boats, and it doesn’t really care.

and John’s column in The Observer highlights what happens when market forces go wrong.