Friends don’t let friends use Papryus.

At least they are not using Comic Sans. That would get a wicked visceral reaction!

I’ve seen too many congregations that used the Papryus font in their bulletin, mainly to evoke feelings about the timelessness of the Christian message. Worse yet, restaurants that want to have an upscale image would use that overused font in their menu. Stop it, guys. When even the creator complains about overuse, you know that is time to use a more appropriate font.

Let me recommend a good font site. I usually buy fonts from and look at the specials. A 25 dollar investment can do great wonders with printed material.

Dear Margo: You just got trolled.

I call shenanigans on this letter based on several inconsistencies:

-First, there is inconsistent syntax. The letter was written like a Evangelical Protestant would have done: “We raised her with strong Christian beliefs”, “I’ve prayed over her at night while she sleeps, enlisted friends in a phone prayer tree”, “God-fearing”. What threw that off was when the letter-writer mentions that she has contacted her priest. Evangelicals do not refer to their clergy as “priests”…they call them “pastors” or “preachers”, depending on their denomination. Anglicans do have priests, but the syntax just does not fit.

-Second, Catholics do not conduct exorcisms regularly. Note this sentence: “…spoken to my priest about the possibility of an exorcism.” What did the priest said? I cannot ask the parish priest down the street and have him and his colleagues come by the house in a few days. In order to have one, you must ask the diocese bishop for permission. Same thing applies with Anglican priests. Any of the priests will rule out any psychological factors before they determine that it’s supernatural. They would advise the psychologically afflicted to go seek professional help and give them a blessing. And good luck telling him that you want an exorcism for your non-believing daughter. You might as well ask them to exorcise Dr Stephen Hawking for his unbelief. Also…Protestants who performed such services do not call them “exorcisms”…they call them “deliverance sessions”.

-Third, most clergy agree that it’s a matter of free will to reject Christ. They might chat with the daughter about where’s she’s at spiritually, but ultimately, it’s up to the questioning person to figure things out. By the way…if you are parents of a college student, why not visit the campus churches and see what they can offer for your student?

-Calling the FBI seems over the top. Atheism is not a thoughtcrime and is protected under the 1st Amendment. The days of J. Edgar Hoover are long past, and I’m sure that there are dedicated FBI agents who are questioning or non-believing. The only way they would respond is if she does actual crimes like movie piracy, trafficking or terrorism.

-Finally, why would this conservative Christian write to a secular agony aunt? The sort of person writes or calls Focus on the Family, EWTN (if Catholic), or even the 700 Club for advice before she considers asking someone outside the faith. Ergo… this letter is a troll.

Going for regional conferences

Got e-mail from the folks at O’Reilly about their 11th annual OSCON in San Jose. The Prediger and I put our heads together and after crunching numbers, checking our schedules and prayerful consideration…we decided that we are unable to attend this year’s conference.

I loved attending OSCON, as it is the yearly event in which I saved and scrimped to get there. The people who organised and coordinated the event are excellent folks. I’ve met wonderful people, learned more about the Open Source movement, and I get to take home the enthusiasm. From what I’ve heard, OSCON is more technical and nuts & bolts than the slick and marketing-heavy LinuxWorld. If I can, I’d take the Prediger to the 2010 OSCON.

But consider this: For those living and working in the Bay Area, it’s little problem to attend. However for Midwesterners, they have to fly out to the West Coast in order to attend. Then they need to rent a decent hotel room for 5-7 days at $189, plus a 10 percent tourist tax. Add meals and incidentals…NOT including the registration fees, that’s about $1800. That is more than the $1500 total I spent when I was at Portland 2008, including the student admission fee at $609. One presenter at that OSCON also mentioned the environmental effects of attending a cross-country convention.

No wonder why we should push for regional conferences like SCaLE in California. The Portland crowd has replaced the gap OSCON left with its own conference, the Open Source Bridge. For the low price of $250, you can attend all of these exciting sessions by the people who get into the nitty-gritty of the movement. I wish we can attend that as the Prediger has not been to Stumptown and I wanted to take him to Powell’s.

And now…here is what I’ve been doing when not studying PHP and CS4. I’ve been asked to join the planning committee for this year’s Ohio LinuxFest and we are planning neat exciting things. This year, we are celebrating 40 years of Unix. If you live within 3-5 hours of Columbus, Ohio…you should come. If you want to hear and learn from passionate people who gave their time, talent, and treasure in the FLOSS community…you should come. If you know a thing or two and you know it VERY well…drop us a line and we’ll contact you. And if you want to promote diversity in our community…you should come.

Best of all… you can register at the starting price of FREE. If you want to support our event, we have a $65 pass and a $350 for professional tutorials, and I highly recommend getting the supporter’s pass as you will get a shirt, some eats and drinks with that.

This year, consider making the regional conference your BIG conference.


Here is a nice collaboration by Stan Ridgway (Wall of Voodoo) and Stewart Copeland (the Police), from Coppola’s Rumblefish.

Windows 7 RC Installation

Ever since I’ve installed Vista Business onto my lappy, the DVD-ROM drive does not work, even with removing some of the registry entries.   It was not a hardware defect: I can use the drive when I booted to Ubuntu 9.04.

The Prediger has given me a wedding anniversary gift: the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium Student Edition.  (If you have a student ID and presently are enrolled at a college that grants degrees, you can get a 80% discount off the price of CS4.  Add the 15% off coupon code I’ve found at Retail-Me-Not and I got free shipping!)  The problem was that it came in DVD form and I cannot download the CS4 from Adobe.  Plus, Adobe does not have a Linux format.

There was a solution that came at a fortunate time:  Microsoft has made Windows 7 Release Candidate available for free, with a option to buy after a year.  So I’ve downloaded the ISO while booting from Ubuntu, burned it and installed the RC.  Since installing erases the Master Boot Record so I cannot choose to boot up Ubuntu, I have to reinstall GRUB from a live Ubuntu CD.

The DVD drive is now working under Windows and I’m happy with that. I’m using the Basic theme instead of the Aero interface so the lappy won’t get overworked with the graphics. It’s smoother than Vista, that’s for sure. The only drawback is that I will have to purchase Windows 7 when the RC cripples use in March 2010.