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Archive for September, 2007

Where’s my red Swingline stapler?

September 26, 2007 Leave a comment

And, no, you don’t need a cover sheet for your TPS Reports . . . .

Several weeks ago, as you may remember (or not), I started giving myself a plethora of busy work in order to avoid rearranging the living room to accommodate several computers that used to live there; the computers with which I do testing, (very) low-level developing and generally a lot of digital goofing off.

But with the availability of office space behind the Felton Trading Post in downtown Felton, California, I have moved the herd of computers — and my operations — out of my living room and into the cozy confines behind Kelly’s store and as a neighbor to the trading post’s other tenant, Melanie the bookseller.

So now, from the one-stoplight town six miles north of Santa Cruz and among the old-growth redwoods, I have set up shop. At 6396 Highway 9, Felton CA 95018 (phone number to come), the following entites are open for business: Open Source and Free Software Reporter, a publication keeping up as best it can with FOSS developments; the Tux Project, a national soon-to-be nonprofit promotional clearing house for all things GNU/Linux; and HeliOS Solutions West, serving the western United States as a model for franchisees to offer GNU/Linux installation and support services (as well as providing Santa Cruz County with the same services).

If you’re in the area, stop by. We’ll keep a pot of coffee on for you.

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

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Categories: Helios, Tux Project

Happy Birthday, GNU/Linux

September 17, 2007 Leave a comment

Sixteen years ago today, Linus Torvalds uploaded the Linux kernel 0.0.1 to the internet. He made the source code freely available to anyone interested in improving on it.

In some states, GNU/Linux is old enough to drive. In some Southern states, it’s old enough to marry its cousin.

To say that it has grown up quickly would be an understatement.

Getnix.com has created a place where you can personally thank Linus Torvalds, or Richard Stallman, or all of the Linux kernel developers for bringing GNU/Linux to the point where it is today. More importantly, you can also take the time to share with the world how and why you started using your Linux based OS.

On this day — Sept. 17 — every year, Getnix.com will be challenging you to take Linux with you into your everyday life. Wear a shirt, slap a sticker on something, wear a hat or button. Hand out Live CDs with your favorite flavor of Linux on top.

And make sure that all the candles are blown out.

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

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I CAN HAS FREEZOFTWARE?

September 11, 2007 1 comment

Forgive me for my ignorance. But I cannot fathom how a site like this garners the amount of eyeballs it gets, meaning millions. “I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER” — for those of you who have been living in a cave until now — takes pictures of cats, puts nearly undecipherable “English” onto the photos with cutesy sayings, and passes itself off as modern culture.

Okay, he says, taking steps backwards cautiously . . . .

I bring this up because in the realm of GNU/Linux, there is an effort afoot to promote the operating system — a few actually — and they seem to be gaining some solid footing. One is the Tux Project, in which I am involved, which will be gaining nonprofit status soon. This project acts as a vehicle to promote GNU/Linux where the larger corporate distros can’t — or won’t — promote the operating system, generally speaking.

The Tux Project joins other efforts already in place from the likes of  The *Nixed Report, which is trying to get air time on the radio for GNU/Linux, and GetGNULinux.com, which is flying the FOSS flag in Europe (which, incidentally, is responsible for pointing me to the source of most of the buttons below).

These are only a couple of examples of how some groups are getting GNU/Linux out there. There are others, and while they are taking more conventional routes, perhaps having a site with cute kitty photos with bizarre English, and calling it I CAN HAS FREEZOFTWARE might do better.

Or not.

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

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Miscellaneous ramblings

September 9, 2007 Leave a comment

Back to school: The last time I had a college ID, Gerald Ford was president, disco was ravaging the country and I — try not to laugh — entertained thoughts of studying architecture. Of course, Ford passed away and disco faded away (only to become part of a ’70s-based sitcom) and my all-but-non-existent math skills had no chance to fade away, guiding me from this failed endeavor to become the next Frank Lloyd Wright and propelling me into the writing field.

But 32 years after proudly graduating at the middle of my class from Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Opa Locka, Fla., I am a college student again, this time at Cabrillo College in Aptos, Calif., where my sole class to date is Intro to Unix/Linux.

Jim Griffin, a pretty enthusiastic and all-around good instructor, teaches the course. I have about 30-some-odd (meaning there are about 30, some of them odd) classmates and the course seems to be pretty easy, so far — that year of self-study masquerading as throwing myself into FOSS didn’t hurt. Needless to say, I will keep you posted on the class and my yet-to-be-announced efforts to start a Cabrillo LUG. Oops . . .

Born free: A couple of those who commented on the blog’s name change — as well as those of you who e-mailed me personally — seem to think that I am a recent convert to free software. Nope — I’ve always been on the side of “free as in freedom” (although I have absolutely nothing against free beer!) since I converted to the FOSS side. Again, with what’s being touted these days as “open source” not being so — or defined in a kind of “1984” doublespeak — and when even the OSI is having a hard time redefining what “open source” is, then clearly it was time for a name change.

RMS . . .SF . . OK?: Richard Stallman does a series of talks in Northern California this week: Stanford on Monday (Sept. 10), San Jose State on Tuesday (the 11th), Berkeley on Wednesday (the 12th) and the University of San Francisco (a block from where I used to live when I first moved to San Francisco) on Thursday (the 13th). The Berkeley event may need an RSVP, but the others are free — as in freedom and free beer. A schedule is available from the Free Software Foundation — click on the day of the week for the event time and location.

Hello, Columbus: For those of you Buckeyes (and those of you in the neighboring states) finding yourselves with free time on Saturday, Sept. 29, make your way to the Greater Columbus Convention Center for Ohio LinuxFest 2007. Fedora’s Max Spevack and Bradley Kuhn, of the Software Freedom Law Center, are keynoting. From what I’m told, it looks like it is ramping up to be a good event — don’t miss it.

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

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Eliminate DRM!

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