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Archive for August, 2011

License and registration, please

August 22, 2011 3 comments

Now that LinuxCon North America is over, and it was quite a show, I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the gangster-themed gala and all the great presentations that were given at the event. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

Over the weekend, I got a what I thought (and still think) was an innocuous linkback to my last blog item about The Elmers. I allowed myself a moment to be flattered and approved it. Shortly afterward, I looked at the link because it is one I hadn’t seen before, and apparently the person who owns this site likes to take it upon him/herself to repost things without identifying where they originate.

Don’t take my word for it. Judge for yourself here (Blogger’s note: The site is down now). This could be a “test” page, judging from the URL, however if it is a test page, it’s getting out in the public. Otherwise, why would it ping back to me?

I don’t mind so much being reposted — in fact, as I mentioned before, I’m flattered someone likes my work so much that they’re moved to actively put control-v to work — and I welcome those who repost Linux news and commentary items (my hat is off to you, LXer.com and tuxmachines.org, and thank you for posting my stuff that links directly back to this blog).

However, posting items from other blogs verbatim without either linking back to the original or without attribution? Not bueno.

This blog appears under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. Download it and share it as long as you credit me as the author, but don’t change it or use it commercially. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Want to use it commercially or an any way that is different from what’s outlined in the license? I’m flexible and you can e-mail me and, chances are, I’ll be OK with it. But ask first.

You’ll be seeing the license information below from here on in. I find it unfortunate to do this, but since I’m now appearing on a blog that has no clear identity, it’s necessary.

As for the owner of this blog, I’ll let you off with a friendly warning: If you add links to my items you posted, as you did with the Apache and WordPress items on your site, then we’re OK. Otherwise, we’re not OK, and you’ll have to remove them as soon as possible.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the current version of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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Bring back The Elmers

August 18, 2011 3 comments

Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

Brian Proffitt posted an excellent story from LinuxCon North America this morning expanding on the FUD — Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, for those of you keeping score at home — that has followed Linux over the past 20 years.

Rather than repeat them here, go ahead and check out the story here.

Back in 2007, I proposed — and had a list of nominees — having an award called The Elmers. This award, of course, was named after Elmer Fudd (two Ds, I know), and is given to those who presented the most outrageous and ridiculous FUD. I even missed some of the more classic FUDmeisters in the first item, so I corrected that here.

Now if we could only get Rob Enderle and Ken Hess to be presenters . . . .

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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Spending the day with an Ocelot

August 14, 2011 3 comments

Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

First things first: No one in their right mind would review an alpha version of a distro, just as no one in their right mind would take the advice in a review of an alpha version. I can’t remember who said it recently — for some reason, Jeff Hoogland of Bodhi Linux comes immediately to mind (and if it wasn’t you, Jeff, I apologize) — but reviewing an alpha version is like telling someone how a cake tastes after just trying the batter. So let me make it perfectly clear this is not a review — I repeat, “This is not a review!” I mention this because to the first person that says, “Larry the Free Software Guy reviewed Oneiric and he said . . . ” I’d like to remind you, ahem, THIS IS NOT A REVIEW.

Got it?

After reading a few articles about the Alpha 3 version of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and finding that it was available (though it’s a little hard to find — perhaps by design — on the Ubuntu site), I thought I’d give Oneiric Alpha 3 a try since I had a day to spare — actually a unusually slow day at work — and not much else to do with it. Such is my life on a Saturday.

The caveats: I didn’t install Oneiric but ran the distro on the ThinkPad T30 from a USB stick. Also, sucking it up and taking a deep breath, I promised myself I would resist rolling my eyes this time and took a proactive approach to the Unity desktop environment, brushing up a little on Unity before going back in there to avoid repeating my disastrous introduction to it.

I still think that Unity leaves way too much to be desired, however the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 3 remarkably behaved like a version of a distro well beyond the alpha stage. Programs come up quickly — bear in mind again that I’m running this from a USB stick — and there were no noticeable hiccups normally associated with early pre-release versions.

However, I did encounter a crashing program for which I was prompted to file a bug report through Launchpad, which I attempted to do. Unfortunately, when signing in to Launchpad, I was told that I was “stale” — no truer words were spoken, perhaps. After “freshening up” my account, though, I wasn’t able to reproduce the glitch, so I wasn’t able to file a bug report.

But on the whole, if this alpha version is any indication of what Ubunteros have to look forward to in October, this should be a good release.

Things I liked about Oneiric (bearing in mind it’s an alpha) :

  • Despite running from a USB stick, programs respond quickly with a “right out of the box” feel, almost as if the distro is installed on the hard drive.
  • LibreOffice, Firefox and Thunderbird native to Ubuntu 11.10 (though I am told that LibreOffice may not make the Live CD. Rethink that one, guys and gals)
  • Things I didn’t like about Oneiric (and, remember, it’s still in the alpha stage) :

  • Unity (yes, I know you can opt for Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu, which I would do if I were an Ubuntu user; probably using Xubuntu)
  • This is probably more of the fact that I’m using old hardware, but the splash screen as the laptop boots looks like a bad acid trip (not that I know what this would be like first hand — no really!)
  • Unity. Oh, did I say that already? Sorry.
  • A pet peeve: I don’t want to use Empathy for IRC, and I know that space on the Live CD is scarce (and I know I can just get it after installing the distro), but you could stand to put something like Xchat or Irssi on for the hardcore IRC types. Just sayin’ . . .

    As the auto ads say, “Your mileage may vary,” and you may have a completely different experience with Oneiric. However, with Alpha 3 being a solid release, with the upcoming tweaks in the next months finalizing it when it’s unleashed on the public in October, there’s a good chance that Ubuntu 11.10 will be a strong, solid release.

    [Want to comment? Please do, but you're going to have to give me a name -- it can be an IRC nick -- and a legitimate e-mail address. If not, it won't appear. That plain, that simple. "Anonymous," "anon" or any variations thereof get held immediately -- if I can't reach you to confirm, then it doesn't run. Same with any suspect comment that can't be confirmed. So let's be above board here.]

    This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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  • Does it matter what Linus uses?

    August 11, 2011 19 comments

    Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

    First things first: I’m certainly not calling out Marcel Gagne for getting it wrong in a recent blog post — the “it” in question is that Linus Torvalds uses Linux Mint. On the contrary — to his credit Marcel corrected himself and, hey, it could have happened to anyone.

    Also, we’re not going to go to the GNOME thing right now, at least not right way, despite the fact there has been a parade of “me toos” following Linus’ unhappiness with GNOME’s new desktop offering.

    But it occurred to me today after reading Marcel’s mea culpa that, in the grand scheme of FOSS things, it really doesn’t matter what Linus uses. Before you all collectively brand me a heretic, allow me to explain.

    Linus has been quoted in the past as being a Fedora user, because it worked on the PowerPC hardware he was using. That’s great — he joins thousands of others using Fedora. He may not be one now, and if that’s the case he’d join thousands of others not using Fedora. There’s also an instance in the past — the distant past, as opposed to a week or two ago — where he switched desktop environments.

    All that’s OK.

    It means Linus is like us.

    Think about it. Which of us has not switched distros or desktop environments? Which of us has not expressed extreme displeasure over a program or desktop environment and made that dissatisfaction public on mailing lists and/or forums? We certainly allow ourselves the luxury of making these switches — on a whim or more — so shouldn’t we grant that same right to the man who brought us where we are today?

    The question isn’t so much “What distro does Linus use?” as much as possibly “How many distros does Linus use?” Think about it and put yourself in Linus’ shoes. You have your favorites, and so does he. If you have a chance, and the hardware, to use more than one distro, wouldn’t you? I bet Linus would.

    Or not, if you — or Linus — are really enamored and happy with one and truly want to stick with it.

    I am primarily a Fedora guy — that has been mentioned in this blog often in the past. But while Fedora KDE runs on my constant companion, also known as “the football” and the laptop that never leaves my side, I also have machines running Debian, Kororaa and CrunchBang (we’re going to need a moment of silence for a recently departed Fujitsu laptop once running Bodhi Linux, which went to its final rest through no fault of the distro).

    Why four different distros? Simple: It’s because I like those distros and I have the hardware that will run them.

    And that’s as it should be.

    This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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    Batter up

    August 10, 2011 1 comment

    Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

    I’ve never met Esther Schindler, but I recognize her name when it comes up in posts of the mutual friends we have on Facebook — these friends, of course, are the tech writers who’ll have Larry the Free Software Guy as a pal.

    Nevertheless, despite being an Arizona Diamondbacks fan (Note: I found this out by requesting we be friends on Facebook), she can manage my team anytime.

    Esther wrote a great blog item entitled “3 Things Software Developers Can Learn From Prince Fielder and the Home Run Derby.” There’s not much more to add to that, however the blog outlines how Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers put his friend — Rickie Weeks — above the objective — actually winning for the National League — when fielding a team for the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game this year.

    Oh, if you’re keeping score at home, the National League got killed in the Home Run Derby. Good thing San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy led the team to a victory in the All-Star Game itself. But I digress . . .

    “Be wary of hiring your friends,” Esther writes. “It rarely ends well. Most of us learned this in 8th grade.”

    A certain first baseman must have slept through that subject in the 8th grade.

    The blog makes some excellent points that translate to life in the software/IT realm. Rather than spoil it by summarizing these points here, click on the link above and take a look. I’ll be here when you get back.

    And Prince Fielder? Despite the fact you’re a thorn in the Giants’ side and despite being remarkably good with a Louisville Slugger (also, I have a story about your Dad which is kind of humorous), you need to read Esther’s blog, too.

    Batter up.

    This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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    But wait, there’s more

    August 8, 2011 7 comments

    Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

    Because there’s no proverbial hornet’s nest to stir up in the near vicinity, I guess I’ll just touch on a few topics and issues that have popped up on the radar as of late. Like

    Ohio Linux Fest: There’s some big to-do up in Vancouver next week, something about twenty years of a widely used operating system that puts Windows to shame, a guy named Linus who doesn’t like GNOME 3 and other luminaries in the Linux constellation of stars, blah blah blah. But for those who can’t make that, you might want to head to Columbus, Ohio, to discover the Ohio Linux Fest next month. The event runs from Sept. 9-11 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus. The keynoters are Cathy Malmrose, of ZaReason fame, and Bradley Kuhn, of Software Freedom Conservancy fame. As this is the last big event of the year now that Utah Open Source Conference is in mothballs this year until next spring, it might be a good chance to get in a show before the year’s out.

    But wait, there’s more.

    Weighing in on SCALE: The folks at the Southern California Linux Expo — that’s SCALE 10X in January (that’s right, I said January) — plan to pull out a few stops for the show’s 10th anniversary. Rather than divulge what I already know, I can tell you they’ve moved up the show to Jan. 20-22, which is on the tail end of linux.conf.au — LCA2012 if you’re keeping score at home — which runs from Jan. 16-20. Can two different hemispheres handle two big expos back to back? Oh, easily.

    But wait, there’s more.

    Tails, you win: Another candidate for the distros-to-try-when-I-get-some-free-time list is called Tails, which stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System. Michael Reed of Linux Journal writes a rather in-depth article about it on the LJ web site. While it sort of mirrors the latest OS offering from our own Department of Defense, it goes a few steps further for those who are not government workers and/or who want to take those few extra steps in the way of ensuring privacy.

    With that, it’s time to hit the redwood trail.

    This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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    Debaters gonna debate

    August 5, 2011 1 comment

    Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

    For about a half-hour, I had a comment on my last blog saying simply, “Haters gonna hate.” I responded to it, but then later thought about it and took both of them down; not because of anything that was said on his part — I’m assuming it’s a “he,” but I don’t know for sure — nor was I unhappy with my response.

    In fact, the comment by “Larry the Lamer” is textbook proof of what I mentioned in the first paragraph of my previous blog: If you don’t have a valid argument or contribution, say something stupid. The reason I had approved it was that I wanted to prove this point, but then it would be violating a policy I have regarding comments to this blog which I’ll talk about a little later.

    Regardless, the real reason I took it down was because “Larry the Lamer” posted it with a fake e-mail address — @asswipe.org probably took a lot of thought. The IP number, if authentic, is somewhere in Belgium.

    I have a simple policy here: You want to comment? Provide a valid name and a valid e-mail address and you’re in — if it’s your IRC nickname I’m good with that. As an aside, I had two great responses to a blog item about Debian several months ago, but because the folks who posted were “anonymous,” or something like it, they still sit in the queue, even after an e-mail asking them to repost with a real name.

    I’m cool with being called names: I’ve been called much worse, chances are by better people, and in many instances to my face. I also don’t shy away from a debate, discussion or argument. But when I do take up an issue, I do it as me, with my name, without hiding behind some alias.

    Debate is good and, more times than not, the end result is progress.

    So “Larry the Lamer,” you think I’m lame? Get in line — a long one, more than likely — with a lot of other people. Want to try again using a real name and e-mail address? Go for it. Otherwise, have a nice life.

    This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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