I'm tired of Ubuntu 9.04 and its random crashes. I am evaluating alternatives:
— Zenwalk: Slackware based, fast (xfce, i686 optimized, kernel) comes with pretty good and updated software list (digikam 1.0beta 4, scribus 1.6.4..), responsive commuity, central package repository. However the package manager is far away from something like apt. Sometimes you install a software but it won't work due to some missing libraries. But still a good product for people willing to learn a little bit.
— FreeBSD 8.0 (coming up end of the month): Rock solid system and package management, ZFS support. Not as mature for desktop usage (ease of use and software selection). There is an going development of Virtualbox for FreeBSD which would open a world of opportunities. Managing a FreeBSD is rewarding but requires some involvment. The good news is the system is much easier to understand and configure. Latest version have simplified system administration by offering binary system updates. Lastly my heart goes to BSD licence rather than GNU.

Diving in the Red Sea is just great: colors, plants, fishes. During the past three days the schedule has been pretty simple: wake-up @ 8:00, breakfast, first dive, lunch, nap (oh yeah), second dive, re-nap, third dive (night one), shower and dinner. I've seen clown fish, turtle, dolphin, barracuda... The most exciting one was meeting a tiger shark @ 40m deep. Well it kind of stayed far away from us...which is a good thing!

After a week spent in Nantes I´m now in a train to Paris so I can catch my flight to Egypt where the underwater life is waiting for me. Although I still have an issue with my luggage. I can carry up to 20kg but I have 22kg only for the underwater gear itself : wet suit, BCD, fins, camera housing & arm, flash, torch and so on...But no clothes! There will be some serious dispatch in Paris with my friends so I can get rid of the few extra kgs.

That's my little girl. Picture was taken at 11am with a strong sun in the back. However to maintain a good overall contrast I went manual, stepped down the aperterture to F5 and speed to 1/2000 s and used an external flash to light the subject. That generates a deep blue for the sky and no hard shadow on the face despites the hat.

Couldn't do scuba diving this week-end as I had to digg into boxes (moving out in September). Found a nice box full of 3.5" floppies and also 5 1/4" ones. However I couldn't put my hands on my collector one, a 8" floppy with a capacity close to 500KB... Altought I did find another box full of *high" capacity hard drives (from 10MB to 80MB)... Yes Bytes and not GB or TB!

Eau à 22°C et air à 31°C. Comme la mer était moins agitée j'ai pu aller faire du ramassage d'ordures sous-marines. Enfin j'ai essayé car la visibilité était nulle. C'était comme nager dans un bol de soupe. J'ai ramassé seulement 3 canettes en aveugle (la pire récolte à ce jour) et ceci en allant au fond et en tatonnant pour trouver des bouteilles et canettes. Je ferais mieux la prochaine fois.

Please see below a collection of Jabber bots that have had fun with.

This is one impressive bot that, besides talking natural language, also provides the following services:
— Command line Google search
— RSS feed alert
— Task manager
— Monitor web page change
— Online bookmarking
— Calculator
More info at clisearch.net

— Online dictionary search
More info at techie-buzz.com

tobo.bot@jabber.org (v1)
tobo.bot@gmail.com (v2)
— Todo list manager
More info at dendiz.verisux.com

instacricket@askme.im — For live cricket scores
astro@askme.im — For your daily horoscope
weather@askme.im — For your daily weather (India only?)
stocks@askme.im — For latest prices of stocks (India only?)
url@askme.im — For URL shortening
movies@askme.im — For movie reviews
jokes@askme.im — For Jokes
quotes@askme.im — For quotes
calc@askme.im — For calculations
reminder@askme.im — For setting reminders for yourself
fx@askme.im — For converting between currencies
gcal@askme.im — For adding events to your Google Calendar
twitter@askme.im — For posting to your twitter account
facebook@askme.im — For posting to your facebook account
post@askme.im — For posting to your posterous account
add nc@askme.im — For information on pending criminal cases against sitting MPs (Indian parliamentarians)
More info at askme.im

Create your own Jabber bot
Example of use: nearlyfree.org

I got an interesting question in my previous post from @longedok : "Why do you choose Juick, instead of twitter for example?"

Well, that is an interesting question. Let me give you some of my background first. I dumped MS Outlook in 2000 when I lost about 1.99GB of data due to a known feature. Since that date I switched over to Thunderbird and never looked back. Same thing for emails hosting and other online services. I got screwed so many times with promising websites offering free services. In the end they either charge you or run out of business. In the meantime they do take over control over your data. Because I want to stay in control I now pay for my email hosting like for my web hosting. So online email services such as GMail, Hotmail and so on are considered as evil to me. After so many years I finally have had the opportunity to dump MS Windows on my work laptop for Linux. That was about 8 months ago. At the same time I decided to disconnect from Skype as well as I really don't like this large corporation digesting all my conversations without opening the communication protocol. I'm not much paranoid but I feel important to be able to keep control over personal data and privacy. I'm electronically signing most of my personal and business emails and tend to encrypt them as soon as I have a recipient that is able to deal with that. What makes me mad is to see how people in so called modern countries such as France or the US give up on privacy. Let's say you tell someone that all his emails will be read for his own protection or for national security. Most of the time the answer will be "I don't have anything to hide. I don't do anything bad!". Well, to me privacy is a fundamental right that some countries have hard time to deal with. Ultimately I believe I have the right to encrypt an email to my mother containing an apple pie receipt. Bad people know how to exchange information in a very secret way anyway. Coming to IM, Jabber was the obvious choice to stay free even if it means to losing some contacts (I don't use gateways). I've never had a blog. I always gave some thoughts on having one but maintaining one on a daily basis scares me. I never really paid attention to Facebook or Twitter (how good is a 140-character message?) for multiple reasons including privacy and also because you need to register even to see what's inside. When I switched to Jabber I randomly found an article that talked about Juick. I went to the website and got initially scared because it was 98% in Russian. There was an English button on the right but it would only translate one or two of the help pages. I discovered that no registration was required...THAT IS SWEET! and that everything can be controlled from Jabber. That is truly powerful and innovative. Micro-blogging can be done on-the-fly via a PC or better via a mobile phone. The second reason for being on Juick is that it will help me to evangelize Jabber because at some point one will want to post and to post you need a Jabber account. Long answer for a short question!