Showing posts from January, 2009

Discovery Trail

Along the Trans-Canada Trail

© Darren DeRidder 2009

Free At Last

This week brought an interesting change to my desktop. I finally cut the ties to Microsoft's Windows operating system and went with a pure Linux install for my main work environment. I decided to go with Linux Mint and my experience with it so far has been, in a word, great.

I've been a Linux user for years and dabbled with Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu and others, but for various reasons my main desktop environment has always been Windows. It's been the defacto standard of IT departments at companies I've worked for, and at home I'm sort of stuck with Windows XP because of the music software I use (and paid for). I run CentOS and Kubuntu as virtual machines and spend a lot of time in those environments, but for presentations, communications and documentation I've always fallen back into Windows land.

I've basically been looking for any opportunity to ditch Windows, though. It started by swearing never to use Vista. Actually, a laptop running Vista sits on my…

I Can't Get Started

A tune I recorded while messing around with Pianoteq... pretty raw and unedited, but I kind of liked the mood of it. Random melancholy shots to go along with the song.

© Darren DeRidder 2009

Top 5 Music Picks of 2008

In 2008 I spent some time experimenting with audiophile-quality digital music playback. Still working on that, but in the process I rediscovered some of my favorite CDs and found some new favorites, too. Here's a list of what (I think) got the most rotation on my playlist in 2008:

Taylor Eigsti - Lucky to Be Me
Still a teenager when he recorded this album in 2006, Taylor Eigsti is an absolute monster on the keys. He's a serious, heavy player. I picked this one up in '07 and it has remained a fave all through '08 as well, getting lots of airtime in my car. Although his roots in fusion show through in several of the tunes, his unique interpretations and total command of straight-ahead jazz standards on this disc is awesome. His take on "Woke Up This Morning" is one of the coolest, most grooving tunes on any jazz CD I own.

Yellowjackets - Twenty Five
The 'jackets have always been and will remain for me one of... if not the... top favorite bands of all time…

Trac, Testlink and XML-RPC

Trac is a web-based project and defect management system that has gained considerable market share for a wide range of commercial and open-source projects. Easy to set up, configure and maintain, it's rich feature set offers some surprisingly advanced capabilities. It's highly configurable without being overly complex - in a word, elegant. And if the default functionality of Trac isn't enough, there's a trove of 3rd-party plugins available for it, including the XML-RPC plugin, which makes the Trac database queriable via -- you guessed it -- XML-RPC.

Testlink is a testcase management software bit. To be honest I don't like it because it's bloated and clunky. There, I've said it. But its probably one of the better open-source solutions for testcase management out there, so I won't complain too much.

Testlink offers some limited support for integration with Trac using the XML-RPC plugin. Unfortunately, if you're using authenticated XML-RPC in T…

Long Shadows

Huron Trail, Gatineau Park, Quebec

© Darren DeRidder 2009

Huron Cabin

Huron Cabin, Parc de la Gatineau, Quebec

© Darren DeRidder 2009

Patterson Creek

Skaters on Patterson Creek, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

© 2008 Darren DeRidder


Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

© 2009 Darren DeRidder


A young Palestinian Christian girl killed by Israeli forces in attacks on Gaza.  Before I saw this photo I didn't realize there was a fairly large number of Palestinian Christians.

Photo by Reuters