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Drove my Chevrolet to the levee . . .

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Yeah, I said it. Not only that, I meant it.

For those of you who have asked, there’s a very good Q-and-A interview with Ken Starks, a.k.a “helios” of blogging fame and someone who I’m proud to call a brother-in-arms in the FOSS revolution, as well as someone with whom — truth in advertising — I’ve gone into business at HeliOS Solutions, mirroring what he does in Austin here on the Central California coast.

While discussing the Linux and GNU/Linux debate, Ken said that I said this: “Look, my counterpart in California (that would be me) spelled it out best. You don’t call a Chevrolet a Chevrolet every time you say it. Here in the states, it is most often abbreviated to ‘Chevy’.”

And I did say that.

For those of you who have been “calling me on it,” let me remind you that I am merely making an observation on people’s general laziness; if you want to twist this into my lack of advocacy for GNU/Linux, then you might have a future as a Fox News talking head.

I don’t call the OS “Linux” — I make a point of calling it GNU/Linux which, in my opinion, is as it should be. Not only that, I urge others to do the same. However, I’m not going to tar and feather someone for not saying GNU before Linux, for whatever reason. If you drop the GNU because you’re lazy, that’s your business. If you do it because you don’t think GNU deserves to be there, I think you’re wrong and would urge you to rethink your position; regardless, I would defend to the death your right to be “wrong” about this.

Give the GNU its due. That’s my mantra. Incidentally, you’ll notice on the row below has no penguin — a mouse, a sunflower, a Steal Your Face logo . . . oh yeah, and a (ahem) GNU.

So, as helios would say, “all righty then.”

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Is it just me . . .?

November 3, 2007 Leave a comment

A lot of times we see or hear things and wonder whether we’re the only ones who get the peculiarity or irony in what has revealed itself.

Like:

Is it just me, or has Ubuntu 7.10 made a significant number of people hit a proverbial “speed bump” in this latest upgrade? The reason I ask — my “upgrade” resulted in getting only a shell that I had never seen before, and as a result I had to revert to reinstalling the prior version of Xubuntu running on this machine — is because others who had done the upgrade had significant problems with their machines shortly afterward (many of whom, of course, righted their machines after a significant amount of adjustments, but is that how upgrades are supposed to work?). Don’t get me wrong: I like all the flavors of Ubuntu, even Kubuntu, but rather than drinking the Kool-Aid, you have to bring this stuff up when it happens for the good of the distro.

Is it just me, or do the these two people deserve more credit than they’re often given: Pamela Jones of Groklaw, and Ken Starks of HeliOS Solutions (also the blogger known as “helios“)? The former has earned my unwavering respect for doing what those in the both the legal and journalistic professions, by and large, have stopped doing; i.e., stopped doing the right thing in their professions. The latter — who as I’ve blogged in the past I have joined in a business venture — is tireless fighter for FOSS in the face of health issues that would floor the strongest of us.

Is it me, or is blogging, as I perceive it, harder than it looks?

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

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Eliminate DRM!

It’s official

October 10, 2007 Leave a comment

It’s official:

Steve Ballmer is an world class, Olympic-caliber asshat: Most of us already knew this, of course. But if you’re the CEO of what’s supposed to be the largest software company on this planet, if not the galaxy, shouldn’t you be more concerned about how your newly-released-but-in-the-toilet Vista operating system is (under)performing rather than raising, once again, the laughable specter of suing for patent infringements? Not Steve. Uh-uh. He’d rather talk about how Google reads your mail and how that McCarthyist list of 235 patent violations — which we haven’t seen yet, incidentally — are ready for prosecution. Have you no shame, Mr. Ballmer?

Ken Starks, a.k.a. Helios, is a hero: Most of us already knew this, of course. Apparently, it’s official now, as Carla Schroeder writes here in this LXer.com article praising Ken, whom I am proud to call a brother-in-arms in the FOSS wars, and with whom I am proud to be a partner in flying the HeliOS Solutions flag in the Wild West.

I’m a flake: Most of you already know that, of course (hey, wait a minute . . .). You would think that as editor and publisher of Open Source and Free Software Reporter, I would take the time to meet with OSFSR New Zealand correspondent Penny Leach after she flew all the way to San Francisco — for her work at Catalyst, that is, not to see me (an aside: the days when women would fly great distances to see me are, sadly, long gone — and I’m at peace with that) — but noooOOOooooo. I completely blanked the dates that she was visiting to promote Mahara and Moodle (very cool, check them out), even after recording it on my page at jott.com. My sincerest apologies, Penny. Next time, I promise.

Ubuntu makes it to the NBA, sort of: Tom Krazit, of C|Net, writes here that the Boston Celtics have adopted “ubuntu” as their rallying cry this season. A bunch of 7-foot GNU/Linux users? Not quite. Celtics coach Doc Rivers apparently chose that word “ubuntu” after learning of it while reading about Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For those of you keeping score at home, “ubuntu” has its roots in the Bantu languages of southern Africa as meaning “a philosophy of life that promotes the greater good rather than individual success.” Of course, with the upper case U, Ubuntu is a damn good GNU/Linux distro, and a slam-dunk for anyone using GNU/Linux.

Bonnie Raitt was born to sing ‘Angel From Montgomery’: No, this has nothing to do with FOSS, but there is no one more more suited to sing John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” than Bonnie Raitt. Period. Don’t take my word for it — see it on YouTube here, and hear a duet with Prine here (note, the latter is not a performance video, but a montage of photos with the duet in the background).

The phone is silent . . . for now: 831-335-7303 is the number for HeliOS Solutions West and for Tux Project in beautiful downtown Felton. When you’re here, don’t forget to grab a cup of joe at the White Raven.

[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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