Depth of Knowledge vs. Breadth of Knowledge

Update: I wrote this long ago, and since then, I have come to terms and even begun to appreciate being a generalist. There's a wonderful book called Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World that explains the value in having a breadth of knowledge even in an increasingly specialized world.

In a lot of circumstances, it can be useful to have a wide breadth of knowledge: that is, to know a little about a lot of things.  It's useful in my job, where I am the System Administrator/DBA/developer/etc.

That being said, I feel like I need to increase my depth of knowledge in one or more areas in order to be more useful to the Open Source and Ubuntu communities.  I feel as though my contributions are not as significant as I'd like them to be, but I'm also not sure in which direction to take them.

So how can someone who knows a little about a lot learn a lot about a little to be more useful in the community?

OfficeMax Cancels Orders Due to 'Typographical Error'

OfficeMax had listed a mediocre 19" widescreen LCD from AOC for a "Clearance" price of $53.74.  A friend of mine ordered one yesterday, but has since received a notice that his order was being canceled as that price was an "obvious typographical error."  For one, that price is not THAT exciting for a generic 19" monitor, and secondly, they did list it as clearance.  I do not believe that a company should be able to arbitrarily cancel orders because they decide that a price THEY set is no longer the price they wish to sell them for.  Essentially, they saw a number of customers rush to buy these and decided "hey, we could have made the price point higher -- let's cancel the orders and jack up the price!"

OfficeMax: congratulations.  I will never again shop at your store, regardless of price or convenience.  Staples and Office Depot will be the only suppliers of office supplies for me.  Hopefully, someone will file a class-action suit against you for this.  This is a classic bait-and-switch routine.  Cheap, unethical, business practices.

Details at SlickDeals:

Move Back to Wordpress

As you may have noticed, my site ( has moved back to Wordpress.  While I still support Drupal (and use it at work), it did not meet my needs for my site.  Specifically, the ability to create per-tag feeds was lacking, and it used a LOT of RAM for such a simple site.  (This site runs on a Linode-360.)  The theme is a stock community theme, but I hope to be switching that around some in the near future.  I'm also going to be starting a couple of new things on here, but we'll see how those work out.

Google Suffocates Android Development Community

Today, Google sent a C&D to Cyanogen, the maker of one of the most popular replacement firmwares for the Android platform. His firmware is based on the official Android firmware, but provides a few new features, like direct-dial shortcuts on the home screen, more home screens (5 by default) and root access.

The root access allows tethering from a notebook computer, so I can get 3G internet on something where I can actually read most of the sites. Looks like I might have to consider another platform.

Google: nice way to show how you can use FOSS to choke off an active development community. You should update your site where it says "Do no evil" to be "Do no evil, unless it makes even more money."

ALF 2009: A Success!

Atlanta Linux Fest 2009 was a huge success! We probably had 600+ people come through the door, which is just amazing for the 2nd year of an event that was only 125 people last year! 22 successful presentations, many of which were standing room only. Planning for next year is just around the corner, so stay tuned to

Big thanks go out to fellow planners Nick Ali, Jim Popovitch, Joshua Chase, and Amber Graner! If any one of us had been missing, I doubt things would have worked out. Also a big thanks to the spawn of akgraner for filling in the gaps and keeping us rolling in stitches!