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Upgrading to Sarge (Wednesday, August 10, 2005)

So I successfully upgraded all of my Debian boxes from Woody to Sarge today. I had been putting it off because I was worried about things like my custom exim package. So anyway, it completely hosed itself, just like I thought. But I figured out that you can create a dummy package using the Debian 'equivs' package. This package provides the mail-transfer-agent, so that apt won't try to blow away my custom exim installation every time I turn around.

I was also successful at upgrading MySQL from version 4.0 to 4.1 which allows me to use subqueries at long, long last. And that means that I no longer have to worry about installing any fancy schmancy databases to do most of my fun projects or my work projects, for that matter.

On a completely unrelated note, I started reading Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende this evening. It's a book about an MIT graduate who felt that technology was going beyond making our lives easier, but actually controlling our lives. So as an experiment he decided to live in an Amish-like community for eighteen months to see if technology truly made life easier, or if he could live just as well without it. His end goal (as nearly as I can tell) is to determine what level of technology, if any, is necessary for life to be comfortable, but without the technology taking over his life. So far it's an entertaining read, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of his adventure, and learning what conclusions he was able to draw from his experiences. So far, it pleases me that he is able to approach it from the perspective of an experimentalist looking for a balance, rather than as an activist or a socialist. Namely, he's not out to save the environment or create a new social order — he's just trying to improve his own quality of life with the hypothesis that more technology isn't better.

—Brian (8/10/2005 12:15 AM)
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