An update on the health of troubled HAM satellite Oscar 40; a bit more on free online books -- but this time all good news; a nice in-depth report on the state of Mandrake's latest offering; and an earth-shattering change to the previously reported report from the Real-Time Linux Workshop. That (and absolutely no expression -- none whatsoever -- of wishes for you to experience a pleasant millenium turn) is what you'll find below in tonight's Slashback.
Reversing the dilithium crystals is not an option in this case. $FFh writes: "AMSAT-DL President (and P3D Project leader) Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, provided ANS with additional information regarding AO-40's recent S-band transmissions on 2401.305 MHz:
Ian, ZL1AOX, has succeeded in loading IPS software and a minimal operational package into AO-40. As a consequence, AO-40 is now sending telemetry (A blocks) that will enable an analysis of the status of the spacecraft.
A first (quick) look has revealed that some temperature sensors and possibly some current sensors have been lost by whatever incident caused the telemetry transmissions to stop. However, the power situation, in particular the battery voltages, look nominal.
We will now start a detailed analysis of the situation; the command stations will continue to follow a conservative philosophy with the primary target of not causing any additional damage along with retaining as much evidence as possible for the analysis of the incident.
Furthermore, command stations will now try to uplink the entire operational software package, which in particular should establish positive control over the power generation system. From there on, the communications capabilities of the spacecraft will be explored. The 2-meter transmitter is considered off limits for the time being (in case that it may have been damaged and thus might have the potential to cause the IHU to crash). The risk is too large before the Warte-Orbits and Command-Assist programs have been updated to reflect the actual capabilities of the satellite available after the incident.
In summary, we can state that the command stations have now regained control over AO-40. During the next few days we hope to learn to what extent the satellite was damaged and to what extent this will impact mission targets."
Read up -- then spread some praise or some griping! bcrowell writes: "The Assayer is a web site for user-contributed book reviews, with a focus on free books. All reviews are free information. We now have 35 free books on computer science in our database, almost all without reviews. A common argument against free books is that without a publisher, there's no way to filter out the junk -- if you'd like to prove otherwise, it's time to do some reading!"
Dissecting Mandrake 7.2: Beyond Eye Candy Linux Tests writes: "Linux Tests published their first review of a distribution. Linux-Mandrake 7.2 was chosen as the first victim -- umm -- first distribution. Linux Tests did the installation several different ways over several weeks timeframe in order to answer the age old question, "Is this right for someone new to Linux?" Find out if this distribution answers the question well."
Their review reflects my experience with Mandrake 7.2, as well -- some glitches, a lot of slickness, and some problems with the manual vs. reality. (On the other hand, Mandrake remains one of only two distributions I would recommend to parents and siblings at present.)
The Linux Tests' site looks like a great resource, too -- three guys grousing is a cool basis for a web site! It will be nice when hardware manufacturers realize that a perhaps small but significant fraction of their buying audience is paying a lot more attention to their products then they may be used to. Publishing specs is always nice, eh?
Now kiss, make up, and have fun, ok? DaGoodBoy writes: "John Roderick, the Director of Rosen Interactive, contacted us with a rebuttal to some of the statements our member Kenneth J. Hendrickson in his recent "Report on the 2nd Real-Time Linux Workshop" which ran here on Slashdot. Details are available here"