Category: technology


Written by Barry Warsaw in technology on Wed 02 December 2009.

I really need a new laptop. While I love my 3.5 year old Mac Book Pro, it's by now showing its age and the abuse I've given it. It runs Fusion to give me an Ubuntu desktop, but because the disk is almost full I have to run that from a USB drive, so it's slow. I know I can upgrade the disk, but the machine is a Core Duo only, so that probably wouldn't help much. I also have an old IBM Thinkpad X40 which has an excellent form factor, but a small screen, and the motherboard power jack has an annoying habit of screaming at a high pitch when plugged in, so it lives in its dock, making it heavier and much less portable. And this thing is really slow.

What to do? Well, I've been looking around and with Cyber Monday (do you hate that marketing term as much as I do?) I knew there'd be some great deals around. One of the best, which if you're reading this the same day I post it, is on Lenovo computers (formerly IBM), including steep 35% discounts on Thinkpads. I know, I should get one of those!

I looked at the x200s and the x301, the former being closest to the X40 form factor, but with a WXGA+ 1400x900 screen (yay!), no trackpad (boo), and no built-in webcam (boo). The latter has the same WXGA+ screen (yay), a trackpad (yay), a built-in webcam (yay) and default solid state drive (yay). It's still under 3lbs (yay) and only .5lbs heavier than the x200s in its stock configuration. But it's about $800 more before you start customizing it. Still the discounts really bring both computers into the realm of possibility, especially for a work computer that I'll be using constantly …

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Mailman and LMTP

Written by Barry Warsaw in technology on Sun 29 November 2009. Tags: mailman,

So, I spent quite a bit of time this weekend making sure that Mailman 3 works with LMTP delivery from Postfix. With some help from Patrick on the mailman-developers list, I've gotten this working pretty well. I also took the opportunity to play with virt-manager on Karmic. It was pretty darn easy to create a virtual machine, load it up with Ubuntu 9.10 server and test Mailman in a fairly pristine setting. The one gotcha that I ran into was having to run virt-manager under sudo, otherwise it could not create the VM files under /var/lib/libvert/images.

I'm going to release Mailman 3.0.0a4 today. It really took me much longer to get this out than it should have. I removed the dependency on setuptools_bzr because it really sucked having to build bzr just to install Mailman. The whole reason for the setup dependency on setuptools_bzr was to allow me to be lazy in creating the file. I bit the bullet and created that file, but it took surprisingly many iterations to get it right.

On another front, after my bout with the flu and trip to Dallas, I'd been pretty remiss in updating my two Gentoo servers. They were way behind on patches, so I finally updated the public one, which was a royal pain in the butt. Still, it was doable. The internal server is running EVMS which is no longer supported by IBM or Gentoo. I think this will be the final straw that forces me to install Ubuntu on that machine. I'm dreading moving all the services and files off of it in preparation for that. It's going to be a time consuming job. Fortunately, I have a spare box that I can bounce the services to, and backups of …

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