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Archive for September, 2008

I’m a PC . . . running GNU/Linux

September 25, 2008 1 comment

I don’t know if the same ad agency which made the obtuse Jerry and Bill ads is responsible for the current “I’m a PC” ad — frankly, I don’t really care — however the latter commercials are remarkably better than the former.

And, naturally because it’s advertising — and not only that, but advertising for Microsoft, which arguably can be considered redundant in the deception department) — it’s misleading. Shocking, I know, but still.

We could blame Apple for fostering the misconception that PCs equal Microsoft. After all they started this whole nonsense with their “I’m a Mac” ad pitting a cool guy, or so goes the perception, in comparison against a drone-like PC user. So the groundwork that PC equals Microsoft has been laid long ago.

However, the fact remains that PCs do NOT equal Microsoft. PC no longer really equals Intel, despite years of dominance by that processor.

Joe Panettieri reminds Microsoft that they are not necessarily “PC” with their PC ad in his blog at Works with U. Despite the fact I think Joe gives too much credit to Microsoft for making the personal computer available to all — items that are hashed out in the comments on his blog, so I won’t go into detail here — it makes the original point that — and I can’t stress this enough — (ahem) PCs DO NOT EQUAL WINDOWS!

Like Joe, I’m a PC. A GNU/Linux PC. I’m also a Mac, a GNU/Linux Mac if you must know.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Three strikes, you’re out

September 18, 2008 Leave a comment

Apparently, spending $10 million on Jerry Seinfeld and $300 million on an ad campaign in which both Seinfeld and Bill Gates try to show off their “human” side isn’t paying off, and Microsoft is pulling their ad campaign tomorrow, according to this blog item.

In fact, in a classic case of advertising euthanasia, a third episode in the ad campaign may not see the light of day.

Pity.

Not.

The fact is when you compare this ad campaign — which was as mysterious as it was offensive — to others, whether it’s the current “I’m a Mac” or even the legendary “1984” ad, you can see an interesting parallel: Just as Apple blows Microsoft out of the water with its technology — OS X versus Vista? You decide — it also parallels its superiority in its ads. Conversely, Microsoft shows it’s ineptitude both in their inability to hire and execute an effective ad campaign in the same fashion that it produces inadqueate software.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Thanks, Mike

September 16, 2008 1 comment

Mike Cassidy, the Silicon Valley Dispatches columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, did me, the Linux community and everyone who uses Free/Open Source Software a great favor today by writing his column about Lindependence and what we’ve done, so far, in Felton.

The column is here. Go ahead and take a look. I’ll wait.

[And if for some reason that link doesn’t work, just go to SiliconValley.com and click on the link with my picture next to it.]

I want to thank Mike for a.) having an artesian depth of patience with both Bob Lewis and me while we shoveled metric tons of history and general GNU/Linux information his way in the few hours that Mike stayed here (no, we didn’t keep him hostage), and b.) writing a column that I think captured the essence of Lindependence in Felton.

Karen Borchers also took great photos of me in the so-called “underground bunker.” My only regret is that she didn’t have her “slim-down-by-50-pounds” lens with her to make me look more like, oh I don’t know, Michael Phelps.

So, thanks Mike and Karen.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Strike two

September 11, 2008 Leave a comment

Arguably, you could maybe give the Jerry Seinfeld-Bill Gates a pass for not hitting one out of the park with their first ad, despite the fact that it was a bunt foul in the annals of advertising. And maybe I was a bit hasty with saying that the $300 million that they spent on this ad campaign is wasted

Or maybe not.

You be the judge of this, the next Microsoft ad in the series, which is probably as bad — no, it was as esoteric — as the first one. What’s even sadder is that it’s not funny.

Not only that, at least the Mac ads are humorous and — hey — the ads actually talk about computers.

It will be interesting to see what comes next. I could understand that you may not want to directly involve computers in an ad — it worked in this ad 24 years ago — but the way the current ad agency is handling Microsoft’s ad borders on criminal.

Good thing for us, too.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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This is what $300 million gets you?

September 5, 2008 Leave a comment

Bob Lewis, who I’m proud to say is my “partner in Linux crime” in the Felton Linux Users Group, sent me an e-mail this morning with a link to the first Microsoft commercial featuring comedian Jerry Seinfeld (whose dramatis persona, incidentally, spent several years as a Mac user on what can arguably be called the most watched comedy in television history).

If this is what Microsoft spent $300 million on, I think I’d ask for a refund.

On second thought, maybe that’s the point: Perhaps it’s payback for all the money people have spent over the years to migrate and update (or downgrade, in the case of Vista) and buy additional software (anti-virus ware, for example) to make Microsoft’s software, well, work. It also begs the question about how many times Microsoft intends to take it on the chin, in the public eye.

[I also sent the link to one of my best friends and best baseball buddy Pam Tao, and she got an error message on Internet Exploder. Poetic justice anyone? Here’s the message (thanks, Pam): “Internet Explorer cannot open the internet site http://justinflood.com/?p=528. Operation aborted.” If you get the same message, drop the ?p=528 and scroll down a few items on Justin’s blog.]

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Random thoughts to live by

September 4, 2008 Leave a comment

While writing and doing other things that come with everyday life, I came across (or actually had a hand in) the following things:

Lindependence heads north to Portland: I’ve outlined this more in the Lindependence 2008 Diary blog, but it bears repeating. Lindependence takes a trip to Portland become a different kind of Trail Blazer; that is, bringing GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software to northern Oregon. David Kaplan, the organizer up there for Lindependence Portland has a Web page here for the event itself, and if you’re in the area, by all means stop by. I’ll be talking more about this as time goes on, without fail.

Happy birthday to GNU: GNU leaves the 18-24 demographic behind and joins the adult world in turning 25 years old on Sept. 27. It was on that day in 1983 that Richard Stallman (who I had the honor of chauffeuring around Northern California in February) announced that he intended to create a Unix-like system that would be completely open and hackable, giving anyone the right to modify and distribute it. British comedian Stephen Fry — known to some as the comedian Dietrich in the movie “V for Vendetta” (although his oevure is far more extensive) — has made this video outlining the history of GNU and its place in the digital realm with aplomb.

Chrome dome: For the past seven hours, I’ve been using Google’s Chrome on the Wintel box at my desk at the Santa Cruz Sentinel (which I mention so this blog pops up on the Google search by my boss, Marc DesJardins — Hey, Marc!), and I have to say that it has done everything I’ve asked it too so far, except run the Stephen Fry video. What I did get was the message saying that there was an error and that the browser had to shut down. Uh oh. So long blog entry. But what happened was that Chrome actually just jettisoned the offending tab, leaving the other four intact. Very cool, Google. Here’s hoping that the Linux version of Chrome is better than the Linux version of Picasa.

Film, as they say, at 11.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Press release

September 2, 2008 Leave a comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2008

CONTACT: Earl Malmrose / ZaReason
510-931-6313 / earl@zareason.com

ZAREASON RELEASES ULTRA-EFFICIENT, ATOM-BASED BREEZE 3110 COMPUTER FOR $299

BERKELEY, Calif. – In keeping with its reputation of providing cutting-edge Linux-based computers, ZaReason introduced on Monday its latest desktop model which has a lightness, efficiency and quiet that lives up to its name.

The Breeze 3110, utilizing the Intel Atom 1.6 GHz processor, is a small and quiet computer that comes with 1GB RAM, a 160GB hard drive, a CD/DVD drive, Gigibit Ethernet and the latest Ubuntu Linux 8.04.1 operating system.

What sets this model apart from others is its size: The Breeze 3110’s minitower desktop case is 9.5” by 2.5” by 12”, about the size of a box of cereal, and it uses a minimal amount of power – an unrivaled 30 watts of power while running typical home computer tasks.

“Customers have been asking for ultraquiet systems and they have also been asking for the Intel Atom processor,” said Earl Malmrose, Chief Technology Officer of ZaReason. “And this system has proven to be exceptionally durable and has beat our expectations across the board. This makes it an ideal system for a home media server, a family home computer, or a small business office desktop.”

With its Intel integrated video with accelerated 3D, the Breeze 3110 supports monitor resolutions of up to 1920 by 1200. The model also has a four-in-one card reader; rear ports include 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 VGA port, 1 RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O jacks; and front ports include two USB 2.0 ports, one speaker port and one microphone port.

Optional upgrades by ZaReason for the Breeze 3110 include 2GB RAM; 320GB, 500GB and 1TB hard drives; a CD-RW/DVD-RW drive; and a choice between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Ubuntu Server operating systems.

ZaReason also offers their innovative open hardware warranty on the Breeze 3110 which allows the customer to open and explore their system without voiding the warranty. ZaReason is located near the University of California at Berkeley campus and enjoys the benefits of being near the top tier hardware component manufacturers.

The Breeze 3110 can be found on the Web at http://www.zareason.com/shop/product.php?productid=1618 and ZaReason can be found at http://www.zareason.com

ZaReason Breeze 3110 Specifications

  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor

  • 1 GB RAM standard (2GB RAM optional)

  • 160GB hard drive (320GB, 500GB and 1TB optional)

  • CD/DVD ROM drive (CD-RW/DVD-RW optional)

  • Ubuntu 8.04 operating system (Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Ubuntu Server optional)

  • Drive Bays: 1x 5.25″, 1x 3.5″

  • Front Ports: 2x USB 2.0 Ports; 1x Speaker; 1x Mic

  • Rear Ports: 4x USB 2.0 Ports; 1x VGA Port; 1x RJ45 LAN Port; Audio I/O Jacks

  • 4-in-1 card reader: SD/MMC/MS/XD

  • CF card slot internal

  • Mini PCIe card slot

  • Power Supply: 65W External

  • Color: Black

  • Dimensions WxHxD: 9.5” x 2.5” x 12” (240 x 65 x 300 mm)

Categories: ZaReason Tags:
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