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Kristin Shoemaker

Member since: Dec 11th, 2007

Kristin Shoemaker's Latest Comments

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Download Squad112 Comments

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Flipping the Linux switch: Countdown to the dual boot (Download Squad)

Aug 20th 2008 12:40PM Yes, they do automatically add the Windows install to the boot menu (and I believe some not so modern distros do too... IIRC last Slackware install on dual boot did).

However, I am not entirely sure this is the case if Linux is not allowed (for whatever reason) to install the bootloader on the MBR. Linux might see the drive, but I'm not sure the bootloader could physically boot Windows if not placed on the MBR. If it could, it would not be necessary to switch between drives on the BIOS.

It's a bit unclear, but it seems as though the OP was indicating that a BIOS switch would need to be done prior to changing operating systems. I may have misread that.

But yes, now there are very few distros that won't detect a Windows install when doing a dual boot (or even add your Windows partitions to /etc/fstab). But there are still, I believe, peculiarities about where Windows wants to reside and what is needed to pull off a boot.

Flipping the Linux switch: Countdown to the dual boot (Download Squad)

Aug 19th 2008 1:08PM Hi pinkbuhny

That is correct (again, at least it was last time I dual booted, which was about three years ago. It's been Linux on my machine since). The bootloader installs onto the MBR. I have *very* rarely had problems with badly installed bootloaders, especially right after a new Linux install, but they are easily fixed.

Certainly the easiest scenario to set up is Windows on hda and Linux on hdb, no messy re-sizing of partitions. Things get a little trickier when Linux and Windows need to coexist on the same drive. It is easier to lose data or screw up during a resize in this case, but it's not THAT easy.

But other than the bootloader (and any necessary resizing, which, if defragged, will only take open space), Linux will make no marks on Windows whatsoever.

Flipping the Linux switch: Countdown to the dual boot (Download Squad)

Aug 19th 2008 11:50AM Hi Jason,

Great minds think alike:

If you have the inclination or ability, it might be to your advantage to install a second hard drive for your Linux partitions. This way, it's much less likely you'll wipe Windows out accidentally. ;)

The reason why I *didn't* suggest the method you are describing is that while you will have one machine with two OSes, generally bootloaders (GRUB or LILO) do like to be on the MBR (master boot record). It would boot Linux fine, but most likely wouldn't pick up the Windows install as a boot option (nor would booting Windows see Linux), and would require choosing the drive to boot from in your BIOS during boot.

So while I'd wholeheartedly recommend a second hard disk (can never hurt... ever) because less can go wrong, the only thing (short of reformatting your Windows drive, which most Linux installers will warn you about) that could go wrong in theory is a bad bootloader install. There are a few quick fixes for this, but no Windows "data" is lost.

Switching via the BIOS certainly works, but the beauty of GRUB or LILO is that you can set which OS to boot by default, and the amount of time they allow you to make your choice. Sometimes BIOSes require you be real quick on the F2 or Del button.

Dogs hide bones, Firefox hides useful tricks (Download Squad)

Aug 18th 2008 7:39AM Richard,

Give this a go:

Mycroft seems to developed a ton of search localization add-ons for a number of engines (Google included) that might make the right-click respond in the correct manner.

Although I agree that's it bizarre that the localization doesn't hold true throughout the browser.


Twitter - Fail = Rejaw (Download Squad)

Aug 8th 2008 3:54PM The truth, the hard honest, painful truth is this:

My five sisters and I, we will follow Lee Mathews anywhere. We will, as soon as the debt we're paying back to society for stalking is paid in full.

The Kids Open Dictionary Builder: Do they define better than they punctuate? (Download Squad)

Aug 8th 2008 7:58AM Hi Jeffrey,

Upon waking, I *do* see what you are saying. And I actually do agree: There are a few ways you can read and interpret the name (or overall scope) of this project and depending on the manner the name is interpreted, the name could be oddly punctuated, correctly punctuated, or just ambiguous.

The wiki nature being so pertinent to the project, and the general name clunkiness (officially: Kids Open Dictionary Builder, which would beg the question again... Is "Builder" the modified object, and "Open Dictionary" the modifier... but therein lies madness, I tell you!) and the fact that it can be interpreted a number of ways with varying degrees of grammatical correctness... And that I (and at least one editor here) interpreted it one way, and you interpreted the meaning another way entirely and we can both argue our interpretations to prove our points... is still an issue. A big issue.

It is an issue a project like this does not need, and realistically, should have taken into consideration. Again, I am very much onboard with your "but it's not my baby to name" sentiment. It's not mine either, and they are within their rights to call it what they want, and hey, spell, punctuate, or randomly throw in numbers if they choose.

Wikipedia has had a hell of a time getting respect in library circles, and I'm guessing probably other areas of education. Criticism might be deserved in cases, in many, it is not. But an encyclopedia is very different than a dictionary. And traditionally, encyclopedias were expensive and often inaccessible to many. Dictionaries have been relatively inexpensive (with the exception of the OED) and have been geared to age groups and disciplines since almost the very beginning (and the K-12 range presents a vast difference in comprehension and maturity, and I see no obvious or stated way in which they are accounting for this). It begs me to wonder why they are reinventing the wheel.

They are taking some extremely volatile elements and mixing them, and interpretation of the name (or misinterpretation, which would lead one to believe it's incorrectly punctuated, or not even a dictionary, but a tool for publishing a dictionary online) is something that should have been considered.

I know that educational funding stinks nearly as badly as library funding, and that this group is probably doing this for a teeny amount of grant money and professional growth. But names can be as important as content or concept. The color and design of a *logo* can be just as important. And the concept is going to be regarded as tenuous, at best. I would not have left the name up for any interpretation.

But they are still, as you said, welcome to name it anything. It is their playground. Due to the range of arguable grammatical interpretations and ambiguous nature of the name, and the way I was trained as a reference librarian, I just couldn't recommend it at this point, and I am within my rights to call them on that.

It may be a free, open resource. I am really big into open, and I like free just fine. But if I'm recommending any source to a patron, especially a younger patron with possibly less developed critical thinking/analytical skills, I'd feel more secure with something called, "The Open Dictionary for Kids" or even "The K-12 Open Dictionary" as they clearly *mean* something and I'm not distracted by the punctuation, that might right or wrong depending on inflection.

If Little, Brown took the contents of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" and renamed and published it as "John's Treasury of Stuff People Said Printed on 50 lb. Weight Paper Stock" and sold it for a quarter, I could almost get behind it because the contents are (relatively) unchanged and proven, though I'd question the editor's sanity. This project doesn't have that luxury.

Dictionaries require authority, and even more -- clarity. With a project name that cryptic and open to a fairly wide berth of interpretation, doubts about all sorts of aspects of the publication will follow.

The Kids Open Dictionary Builder: Do they define better than they punctuate? (Download Squad)

Aug 7th 2008 11:55PM Good reference...

But... hear me out, it says:

If you can insert another modifer between the -s word and whatever it modifies, you're probably dealing with a possessive.

"Kids" is the -s word
"Open" would be another modifier, correct?
"English" we'll just throw in another modifier for giggles
"Dictionary" would be the modified word

This would in fact make Kids' possessive, according to the above rule (and yes, so past my bedtime, forgive me)

Okay, probably, it says. It would seem a lot relies on intent. It is a dictionary for kids (in which case a less awkward name would be in order).

And it isn't necessarily authoritative, but Google the exact term, childrens dictionary. Seems a lot of people (and mostly American publishers) go with the apostrophe and possessive in their books.

Cultural, fluid language... I am still pretty sure that there is something a bit fishy.

The Kids Open Dictionary Builder: Do they define better than they punctuate? (Download Squad)

Aug 7th 2008 11:11PM Hey again...

I believe in the cases you state, it isn't necessarily the initial noun (kids, or actors, or writers) modifying the object, thereby becoming an adjective. The Screen Actors Guild is a proper name. If you're going to talk about a generic actors' guild in a story you're writing, that would be grammatically incorrect. Another example: Kings Road. It is a proper name. In a way, I guess you could probably squint real hard and peg Kings as a modifier/adjective... But it is a proper name.

I honestly think that the notiion that the creators of the project decided to drop the apostrophe in Kids because they were okay with the idea of Kids Open Dictionary being a proper name is far-fetched. Beyond the realm of possibility? No. But unless they honestly intended for this to be the proper name (and some ways, regardless of this fact) kids, lacking the apostrophe, is incorrect.

The dictionary is for kids. A kid dictionary would be, I guess, one younger than an adolescent dictionary?

And is it grammar-nazi-ish? Maybe. But they are undertaking a project where, believe me, they WILL get a lot of flak, both deserved and undeserved, from all sides. It doesn't take a lot to proofread, or clarify that for whatever reason, that's the intentional proper name of the project.

The Kids Open Dictionary Builder: Do they define better than they punctuate? (Download Squad)

Aug 7th 2008 10:28PM Hi Jeffrey

So far as I can tell (consulting the American Heritage Dictionary) "kid" is only an adjective (and usually only singular) when used to refer to someone younger than oneself/a sentence subject. (My boyfriend's kid brother is annoying.)

You could say, correctly, a dictionary for kids. But putting the word "kids" before the object... Means it has to be possessive. It could be singular possessive (kid's) or plural, more likely (kids').

Can't speak for the SAG, but if it isn't disquieting that a few educators that have looked over this site in various stages (I'd assume) didn't catch really a pretty basic grammatical issue, it is at least ironic.

Really ironic.... not fake ironic like the stuff in that Alanis Morrisette song.

When on Twitter, beware the Pretty Rabbits bearing gifts (Download Squad)

Aug 5th 2008 2:51PM Hey Ed,

I responded to this once before, and it seems that our software is being difficult. Time to go flog the web guys.

Thanks so much for that... That's actually really interesting. It could be, then, that the BBC or Kaspersky or whoever coined the "Pretty Rabbit in Portuguese" name was actually missing a pretty key cultural reference. Pretty Playmate makes a bit more sense than rabbit in this sense.

Sweet! Thanks for cluing us in. Wow, our readers rock.