Miscellaneous ramblings

BoliviarianViva Venezuela: A big muchas gracias goes to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez for having the VIT (Venezuela de Industria Tecnologica), and the Venezuelan Ministry of Light Industry and Commerce produce the Bolivarian computer (named after the South American anti-imperialist revolutionary Simon Bolivar, for those of you who caught up on your sleep in World History class). The Bolivarian computer runs on GNU/Linux, further thumbing the Venezuelan nose at el norte. Bear in mind that this is a nation that offered to supply freezing Northeasterners heating oil this past winter when the White House and Congress would just as soon let them shiver, and they’re also offering to export the machines as well (are you listening, Michael Dell?). A detailed story on this computer and the country that brings it to you can be found at Venezuelanalysis.com.

Speaking of Dell . . . I went to put my money where my mouth is, and they wouldn’t take it. Having blasted Dell — rightfully, I think — over the years, I wrote in an earlier blog posting that I’d get a Dell laptop if they offered Ubuntu. Well, they kept up their end of the bargain, and when I went to buy a laptop on-line (apparently the only place where you can get the Dell-with-Ubuntu deal), my credit was rejected. Reason: Insufficient credit history, which is true. I swore off credit cards in the late 1970s, but I thought having a clean slate would be a good thing. Apparently not, according to our friends at Dell. Being a man of my word, I’ve been putting together a fund to buy one, but now it will take a few months.

Heroes and wankers: Here’s something out of a college professor’s playbook — Read the items at the following links. Compare and contrast these two distro “executives” and explain why one is a hero who leads a growing and vibrant brand and the other is a world-class wanker who, with a stroke of a pen, sent his downwardly spiraling distro into further obscurity and probable extinction.

Mark Shuttleworth on not signing agreements with Microsoft

Kevin Carmony on selling out Linspire

Correct answer: Shuttleworth=hero, Carmony=wanker. If you answered this way, then go to the head of the class.

linuxmintMinty freshness: Linux Mint has removed the proprietary software from its version 3.0 “light” version. “Cassandra Light edition was released and is available for download,” announced Clement Lefevbre in a release. “The purpose of the Light edition is to bring an edition of Linux Mint which doesn’t contain: proprietary software, patented technologies and support for restricted formats. In some countries where the legislation allows software patents to be enforced, the Light edition provides a way for users to legally download Linux Mint.” Also, you did it for those of us who would prefer not to use proprietary software too, right Clement? Thanks, Linux Mint!

Got it! I broke down and bought a personalized license plate in California for an extra $60 a year. My car, a burgundy ’94 Volkswagen Jetta, will bear “GNU LNUX” front and back once the plates arrive. Film at 11.

[FSF Associate Member](Larry Cafiero, editor/publisher of Open Source Reporter, is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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  1. June 18, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Wohey! I usually don’t enjoy number plates but this is definitely one I’d buy ;-)
    Interesting thoughts about those two CEOs. Indeed it’s easy to spot who’s marching his way, and who’s jumping on any bandwagon around. Time will tell who’s right.

  2. June 19, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    At last! Good news from my country.

    Yes, I must admit Chavez’ government has been doing a good job for the free software community.

    However, they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do: Chavez has ordered that government-dependent organizations must only use free software and many (or most?) of them don’t comply with such a decree.

    Cheers!

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