July 21, 2003

Shirky on on-line Groups

I finally got around to reading Clay's A Group Is Its Own Worse Enemy piece. And I'm still not done. But I can already tell he's done a very good job of explaining what's revolutionary about all this stuff (blog, wikis, instant messaging) that many of us take for granted.

It is now possible for every grouping, from a Girl Scout troop on up, to have an online component, and for it to be lightweight and easy to manage. And that's a different kind of thing than the old pattern of "online community." I have this image of two hula hoops, the old two-hula hoop world, where my real life is over here, and my online life is over there, and there wasn't much overlap between them. If the hula hoops are swung together, and everyone who's offline is also online, at least from my point of view, that's a different kind of pattern.

"I never really thought about it that way." I find myself saying that over and over as I read.

Check it out.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:16 PM

Exim on the TiBook

Jon Udell points to a GUI tool (Sendmail Enabler) for making sendmail work on OS X.

Yet another reason I'm glad I installed Exim on the TiBook last night. It took all of 10 minutes (including compile time). And now I have secure (thanks to OpenSSL) and authenticated relaying to my favorite mail server. It works from anywhere in the world.

Of course, it was Exim version 3.36. I really need to get on the Exim 4.0 bandwagon one of these days.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:41 PM

Thinkpad in the Shop

IBM tech support rocks.

Earlier this year, I picked up a Thinkpad T21 from eBay. It was one of those corporate off-lease refurb deals from a reputable dealer. I got a good deal. It was roughly $600 for the machine with on-board ethernet, 256MB RAM, 20GB disk, etc. The battery was even in good shape.

But then I tried to add memory to it. I installed a second 256MB SO-DIMM to max it out at 512MB. But the machine wasn't happy. It locked up a lot. So I figured the DIMM was bad and swapped in an older 128MB DIMM that I knew was good. Same problem.

I busted out a copy of memtest86 and verified that both DIMMs where bad.

Then it hit me. Rasmus had described a very similar problem with his T21. He had to send it back about 6 months ago because "it kept frying memory."

After some digging, I found the number for IBM's Thinkpad support (1-800-772-2227) and talked with Ron. I explained the problem and he gathered some info from me. After he go the model # and serial # he informed me that "as far as IBM is concerned, it's still under warranty."


He had me run a few more diagnostics to make sure nothing else was wrong and then agreed to send out a box so that I could ship it to IBM. He asked that I leave the hard disk out but install the bad memory and mark it as such. Airborne Express picked up the box today at work. I hope to have it back by Friday.

This is cool. IBM never hassled me about not having "registered" the machine, or the fact that I bought it used, or the fact that I installed "non-IBM" memory in it.

Hopefully they'll do what they did for Rasmus, swap the system board, and ship it back to me without further trouble. If I'm really lucky, maybe they'll even replace the fried 256MB DIMM.

We'll see.

This is one of four Thinkpads I've owned (380D, 600E, T21, and T23). I love Thinkpads. I hope IBM doesn't let me down.

Meanwhile, I'm using the TiBook while it's out. I got the latest Developer Tools and Fink installed last night. Then I built and installed mutt and Exim. So I can at least keep up on e-mail... Well, sort of. That implies that I was caught up before this happened.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:51 AM