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Like a box of chocolates

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Linux for the GNU South — it’s coming up so attend if you can.

A glorious day indeed, filled with a variety of thoughts: While I was out enjoying it, I got to thinking about both the grand-scheme and minutiae goings-on in FOSSland, much of which has everyone asnitter moreso than atwitter.

There’s the OpenOffice.org handoff — or as some would put it, the OO.o drop kick — to the Apache Foundation by Oracle. This comes as no surprise. If Oracle were a good FOSS citizen, they’d have given it to the Document Foundation and LibreOffice would be its rightful heir. But this is Oracle we’re talking about, right? With Oracle finally washing their hands of OO.o, it remains to be seen what becomes of it. But since the barn door has been open for quite some time and the LibreOffice horse is at home out in the pasture, I am not sure if keeping OO.o around would be worth it.

Incidentally, LibreOffice is an outstanding program which kicks serious butt, just as OpenOffice.org did, and it’s nothing short of miraculous that the fork hasn’t missed a beat in transitioning from OO.o. So far, that’s the story of the year for 2011. I use it. I like it. I’m in their camp.

Walking among the redwoods, it’s hard to be annoyed at the new desktop wars: Not GNOME versus KDE, but the systematic “simplicity” of desktop environments like GNOME 3 and Unity. For netbooks and other mobile user interfaces, this may work and may be necessary. I don’t use netbooks or smart phones — I use a desktop or a laptop, and I’d like my desktop environment to look and function like a one. Call me old school, but desktops like KDE — which I’m using more and more as of late — and Xfce are looking better and better.

Also, I don’t assume that people who are new to Linux are complete morons who need a dumbing down of the desktop environment to convince them to join the ranks of FOSS users. But that’s me.

Finally, I live in a great area at the western foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the small range that separates the ocean from the Silicon Valley east of here. Not only is the proximity of the Valley a boon, but another of many perks in living here is having folks in the area like Cabrillo College networking professor and Cisco author Rick Graziani. Rick is opening his IPv6 seminars this month to the public — “Everyone is welcome! You do not have to be a former or a current student. All you need is to have an interest in learning more about IPv6 and don’t mind listening to me for a couple of hours,” Rick writes (though prior knowledge of IPv4 is required).

The talks are Thursday, June 23 — Intro to IPv6 — and Friday, June 24 — Intro to Routing IPv6 — at the horticultural building room 5005 at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Both talks run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

You do need to RSVP to Rick at graziani-at-cabrillo-dot-edu to attend. Tell him Larry the Free Software Guy sent you.

Forrest — Forrest Gump — was right: You never know what you’ll get.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. He is also one of the founders of the Lindependence Project.)
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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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