The Royal Game

In recent months, I’ve started taking up one of my on-again, off-again passions seriously: chess.

I started playing very young; I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know the rules. Growing up, my usual outlet was in reading my dad’s chess books and getting trounced by him in over-the-board play. In my adult life, chess became an occasional diversion. I taught my kids, and played them occasionally, and would sometimes check out new books or play around with portable electronic chess games.

Now I’ve decided to take it a little more seriously. I’ve gotten involved in the local chess club, and joined the US Chess Federation so I can play in tournaments. (You can even see how I’m doing online.) I’ve also joined an online chess site,, which does online correspondence chess. And my wife has been very supportive of all the new equipment purchases and gift requests: a chess table, new set, clock, books…

And, wonder of wonders, the chess world is quite an interesting one, with stuff going on. Unfortunately, a lot of it has been negative of late. The great champion Kasparov has retired from chess (a real loss; his play was some of the most spectacular seen since the Fischer-Spassky championship match in 1972). The world championship has reunited, but under a cloud. Cheating allegations have multiplied since then. Both the USCF and the World Chess Federation (FIDE) have been mired in controversy over leadership issues.

So, it looks like there should be plenty to blog about, both of a personal nature and in general chess news. I have a long road to walk; my current provisional rating after two tournaments is below 800, which means I get beaten easily by talented children. But it should be fun, and should keep my mind sharp, neither of which are bad things.

Getting the Message Out

From a Fluendo employee:

Are we evil that we don’t take more hours out of our day to build on glibc 2.3 ? You bet, we are cold heartless bastards. But in reality 90% of the people on glibc 2.3 are users that have an upgrade path to a more recent version of their distro; the other people are future Debian Etch users. I’m sure the Etch releasers have convinced themselves of the usefulness of not releasing with a glibc 2.4 that is more than 15 months old, and instead opt for an even older series, even before they actually release. But I am starting to wonder more and more who the people are that are waiting for a release like this.
Realistically speaking, it is possible that we may add glibc 2.3 plugins in the future if we see that more than just Debian is affected. We are not against taking your money for giving you a service that works. But the hours in our day are just as scarce as they are in yours. I just wanted to explain this to people that want to know, to take away your incentive to complain about a nameless faceless Company being Evil to you.

Elsewhere, we learn why Debian is so “backward”. In sum: upgrades from the current stable would break with 2.4, and not all Debian architectures are supported well by 2.4.

I suspect the market for Linux multimedia plugins isn’t a huge one, and Debian is still popular both for end users and as the basis for other efforts. Given that, doesn’t it make sense not to artificially exclude a whole chunk of your potential market?

Of course, I think I know of someone who could help here…