Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

Recovering From the Fortnight From Hell

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Two Mondays ago I came into work in the morning to find one of my windows servers no longer booted. The short versionĀ  is that all the data was fine, but the windows partition had got itself corrupted. I now have a linux server, and know more about samba and winbind than I ever thought I would need to. No big deal, you might say, but it has been a learning experience for me, and I’m very grateful to my colleagues for their patience whilst I dropped everything else and flailed around in the dark trying to learn the intricacies of samba config from scratch.

I do have one thing to say… if you’re using winbind, remember that it can take at least 20 minutes from startup to work properly. If I’d known that a couple of days ago I’d have posted this much sooner, if you get my drift!

Things that have crossed my path over the last few days that are worth a look:

  • Duh everyone has heard about this one already- Radiohead go open source and geospatial. If I liked their music, they’d be my favourite geeky band for sure. I’m certainly going to use this as light-hearted example of fun GIS things in courses.

  • Leif finally posts again with a very thought-provoking article on misrepresentation and whether archaeologists should provide support to the military in conflict situations. It’s quite long, but worth hanging on for, and as archaeologists we need to think about this kind of thing if we are to be taken seriously and have any chance of protecting the cultural heritage of areas under conflict.

  • Leif (again) and Paul and Tom from Wessex Archaeology finally have their paper on computers in archaeology publically available. Go read!

  • There’s also a couple of interesting white papers floating about. Activestate have one that debunks 10 myths about open source for businesses. I think it could be more positive about open source, and in particular the strength of the community and the lack of vendor lock-in, but (let’s be honest here) they are selling support. Finally, Microsoft have a beginners guide to map projection.aspx)– it’s a nasty aspx link so apologies if it dies. It’s a shame that it’s not available as a pdf (not that you can’t save it as one, of course).

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