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Ch-ch-ch-changes

January 11, 2014 3 comments

OK, so now that it’s a new year and with new vigor, I would like to make some changes to the whole writing schedule thing, and maybe — oh, I don’t know — add a blog or two to Larry’s League of Extraordinary Blogs.

So starting this week, we’re going to adhere to a strict schedule (honest) every week going forward that is going to look like this:

Sunday: Larry the Free Software Guy

Yep, the commentary, punditry, and humor you’ve all grown to love — or hate (looking at you, Mark S.) — will come to you neatly wrapped on Sundays. A pointed opinion on all things FOSS-related will continue to be this blog’s bread and butter. And bacon. And cinnamon rolls.

Tuesday: Larry the CrunchBang Guy

Yep, CrunchBang, the small Debian-based distro which makes a big impact on just about everyone who uses it, is still on some of my hardware and, as such, I’ll still be writing about it. That will be on Tuesdays. But on Thursdays . . . ah, Thursdays . . .

Thursday: Fosstafarian

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a Fosstafarian — we all believe in the power of good behind Free/Open Source Software (and Hardware). We also know that there is more that unites us — Free Software and Open Source advocates alike — than divides us. So while the Free Software Guy tackles particular issues and foibles in FOSS circles, this blog takes on a more philosophical — and, yes, an almost religious — look at what makes us do what we do. Which leaves us the fourth, and other new blog, called . . .

Saturday: Larry the Korora Guy

For years — no, for decades — I’ve always been several steps behind in the technological race, never having the newest hardware to run the latest, greatest software. Until now. Now that I have a pretty decent laptop with more than one processor and more memory than I can eat, I’ve decided to go back to my Fedora roots. I have a history with Korora — I had given it a test-run back in the day when it had two A’s at the end of the name — and recently I’ve tried it with the KDE desktop. So since I’m using it, I might as well write about it.

So there you have it. Pick a day. Have a read. See you then.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy, Fosstafarian, Larry the Korora 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.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

And for 2014 . . . ?

December 30, 2013 3 comments

This is about the time of year where FOSS pundits decide to take a plunge and predict what the following year will bring. The only thing that is certain — and I can make this prediction with complete certainty — is that these same scribes will sit in the same place a year hence, shaking their heads and wondering what the hell they were thinking a year ago.

Of course, there’s no way I’m being left out of this exercise.

So what’s 2014 going to bring? Get ready.

Next year, 2014, will be the year of the Linux desktop.

OK, someone had to say it.

More likely, though, 2014 will be the year of the Linux gaming console, thanks to Steam OS and the hardware that Gabe Newell and his crew up in Washington state have announced will be released sometime next year.

We’ll have to see what’s in store there, but if that engine fires on all cylinders, then you can add wider acceptance of Linux in everyday life to the list of 2014 accomplishments, piling it atop the progressively increasing acceptance of Android, which is kind of/sort of Linux in spirit, if not in name.

The Steam OS/game console drama is going to be your big story of the year going forward, not some vaporware super-ultra-mega-smartphone or a TV console promised at CES a couple of years ago.

So remember where you heard it first.

Also in 2014 — and for many, this may be more of a warning than a prediction — I am going to be making some personal changes of my own, digitally speaking. Nothing earth-shattering, and the fact that the only way I’m using Ubuntu is only at gunpoint does not change (sorry to disappoint). You’ll have to stand by for news on that.

One more thing: While this is not FOSS-specific, it is still a good read. Melinda Byerley, a founder of Vendorsi, wrote this great blog post about how pattern recognition is, well, complete and utter bullshit, and we’d have a much better 2014 and later if folks seeking to fund and grow projects would stay the hell away from it.

Happy 2014, all, and don’t forget that SCALE 12X is coming up sooner than you think; February is right around the corner.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang 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.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Tuesday afternoon

December 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Well, forgive me, folks — there are a multiplicity of reasons for the delay of this blog item, but allow me the excuse of waiting for the release of Fedora 20 as one reason for writing this on Tuesday instead of on Sunday.

More importantly, however, I can also gleefully blame the delay of this item on this other, more important, factor: The Call for Papers for the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 12X closed Sunday night. Yours truly — along with the rest of the SCALE Team — have to go through close to 250 propsals for roughly 80-90 speaking slots for the event. No small task, but one that I wouldn’t trade anything to do. All the talk proposals I’ve read so far have been outstanding, and it’s going to be a chore-and-a-half to make the decision about who stays and who goes.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — I have the best job in the world as SCALE’s Publicity Chairperson, and it’s an honor to work with the folks who put on North America’s largest community-run Linux/FOSS expo. But between now and February, things will be a little hectic in bloggerville. Consider that a warning.

Meanwhile, as mentioned and linked earlier, Fedora 20 is out and available — for those of you who want to give Heisenbug a run, feel free to do so.

Also, it may be the holiday season, but it’s not too early to register for SCALE 12X if you’re mapping out your expo-visiting plans for 2014. SCALE 12X is going to be a good one — I know I say that every year, but have I ever been wrong about this?

Not much else to report on this week, so be excellent to each other. Not because it’s the holiday season, but because it’s the right thing to do.

See you Sunday, or thereabouts.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang 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.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Are you a fool?

December 11, 2013 5 comments

Mark Shuttleworth thinks you’re a fool. It’s up to you whether you prove him right or prove him wrong.

Yesterday, C|Net posted a story about how Ubuntu Touch OS has found its first smartphone partner, complete with a photo of a fully bearded (about time) Mark Shuttleworth beaming from ear to ear.

Fantastic. Which carrier/partner/vendor would this be so I can line up and get the hardware? From the article: “He wouldn’t say which company has agreed to use the Linux-based OS, but said it will be offered on high-end phones in 2014.”

Oh. He won’t say. OK. This, of course, would elicit from the most skeptical of us this simple demand: “Partner, or it didn’t happen.”

It goes without saying that we’ve heard this before — grand announcements from Canonical which are only that and nothing more. A huge fanfare at CES in 2012 for Ubuntu TV and nearly two years later, just in time for next year’s CES, it’s not here yet. Two more words: Ubuntu Edge.

And with every grand announcement from a self-appointed leader in the FOSS world, you have to ask yourself how this plays to the wider world outside the Open Source paradigm. If — as some people claim — Canonical/Ubuntu is the “leader” of Linux promotion to the wider public while consistently failing miserably in producing on the projects it proposes, what are folks left to think? One takeaway is that FOSS is a failure because Canonical/Ubuntu can’t or won’t deliver.

Shattering credibility, in large part, is Canonical’s profound “contribution” to Linux and FOSS as of late.

Speaking personally, I’ll just pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, and I’ll get on my knees and pray . . . .

What will it be? Are you a fool?

See you Sunday, if not sooner.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang 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.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

When Indiegogo works . . .

December 9, 2013 1 comment

There’s a scene at the end of the film “The Candidate” where Robert Redford, the newly elected Sen. McKay from California, corners his campaign manager and says, “What do we do now?”

I can imagine that Andrew Gregory, Mike Saunders and Ben Everard, clearly three happy men right now, might be asking the same thing. Their magazine — Linux Voice — was fully funded thanks to contributions garnered in their Indiegogo campaign, crossing the 90,000-pound threshhold two weeks before the deadline.

The trio of former Linux Format writers now will follow through to produce Linux Voice, scheduled for a February 2014 release.

As I outlined in an earlier post, the unique twist for what the three plan for Linux Voice is the following:

Half the profits will go back to Free Software and Linux communities, and our readership will choose where the money goes. As it says on the site, “We want to sponsor projects, events, developers, and evangelise the cause. We want to build long-term relationships with the people we sponsor, so there’s less uncertainty for projects year-on-year.”

Content will be published for free after 9 months, and they aim to use an open source/Creative Commons licence. “We want to create a library of our tutorials, interviews, features and code that is accessible to everyone, whether that’s a Python tutorial for a 10 hour flight, or a Raspberry Pi class guide for a school club. We don’t believe in charging several times for the same ‘evergreen’ content,” the proposal says.

So come February, we’re expecting great things from Messrs. Gregory, Saunders and Everard. Congratulations, guys, and remember — on your cover mock-up, you have an article on CrunchBang. It would be great to see that in your inaugural edition (also, I know someone who can cover the U.S. stories for you . . . :-) )

There is still a fortnight left on the campaign, and if you want to contribute, click on the item below.

linux-voice

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang 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.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Getting the show on the road

December 9, 2013 2 comments

While we’re approaching mid-December, it would be prudent for me to point out that preparations have been under way for several weeks now for the Southern California Linux Expo, known this year as SCALE 12X.

You’ve heard me brag about the fact that SCALE, now in its 12th year, is the largest community-run Linux/FOSS show in North America. You’ve heard me repeatedly state that it’s the first-of-the-year Linux/FOSS show on this continent as well. I could say that I do it because I’m the publicity chairperson of the event. But even if I didn’t hold that position, I’d still say it.

It’s by far the one Linux/FOSS event of the year I look forward to most and the one around which I plan my year. It’s like in NASCAR, the biggest race of the year — the Daytona 500 — is first and kicks off the season. Going forward, I should also give fair warning to shows and expos east of the Rockies: I plan to submit presentations and make it to as many shows as possible in 2014, even if — gasp! — I have to get to second base with TSA agents and actually board an airliner to accomplish this.

But let’s put that tortuous visual aside for now.

As the SCALE Team starts putting together the 12th annual show, I should point out to readers that the Call for Papers closes six days from today’s writing — we’re at Dec. 9, by my calendar, so that means at midnight Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 15, your proposal will turn into a pumpkin if you haven’t submitted it. And you should — with the wide range of topics proposed in this informational link, you should have no problems finding an audience for your talk.

Want to be a sponsor at SCALE 12X? Easy enough: Send an e-mail to sponsorship-at-socallinux-dot-org (not using an e-mail link because, well, you know) and someone will help you out with that. Are you a dot-org and/or a nonprofit and want a booth? Gareth Greenaway is your man at gareth-at-socallinuxexpo-dot-org — drop him a line and say that Larry the Free Software Guy sent you.

Maybe you’re not presenting and maybe you’re not sponsoring and/or hosting a booth of your own, but there are two other things you can do.

The first thing you can do is attend. Yep, like life itself, 90 percent of attending SCALE 12X is just showing up — and, like life, it’s what you do with the other 10 percent that counts. Registration is now open by going here.

Want to help? We can always use it and we can always utilize a wide range of talents. Tell us what you can do and there’s a good chance we can find a place for you on the SCALE Team. E-mail us at staff-at-socallinuxexpo-dot-org

It’s a huge team effort every year that makes SCALE, and all the other shows around the continent (or, for that matter, the world), work.

You’ll be hearing more about SCALE on this blog going forward. And I look forward to seeing you all in February.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang 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.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Random Tuesday thoughts

December 3, 2013 2 comments

Not being one to let the calendar get in the way of when I post, I had a few random thoughts after visiting the normal digital hangouts and haunts during the course of an increasingly cold Tuesday. Like . . .

FOSDEM’s seeking a few good distros: Joe Brockmeier passed along to me a message about FOSDEM hosting a cross-distribution miniconference on Feb. 1-2, 2014, seeking submissions of talks, Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions, or round-table discussions from any interested representatives of Linux distributions or individuals who have a topic of interest related to Linux distributions. Got a proposal? Go here and submit it through Pentabarf, the FOSDEM proposal system (though it would be a good idea to check with Joe first — Joe outlines all of this here on his blog). Good luck in Brussels!

Test, test . . . is this thing on?: Chris Smart, the lead developer at Korora, is looking for a little help in testing Pharlap, a new driver manager for Fedora and a replacement for Jockey in the next version of Korora. Pharlap is shipping with Korora 20, and Smart hopes to get it into RPMFusion down the line, but it needs some testing. He talks about it in his blog, and if you have the time, the skills and the inclination, you might want to help out.

Unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, Ubuntu TV: One of these things is not like the others. Oh, wait: They’re all alike. Christopher Tozzi, whom many of you know as The VAR Guy, talks to Canonical in his latest item, “Canonical: Ubuntu TV Lives, But Linux Smartphones Come First.” The definition of “life” being broad as it might be, yours truly still would like to call shenanigans with impunity on the folks from the Isle of Man. Why? Simple: Canonical featured Ubuntu TV last year (2012, for those of you keeping score at home) at CES — not a small, inexpensive venue for a coming-out party — and now Jono Bacon follows up with a quote in the article that Ubuntu TV is “still not as complete as we liked it to be” nearly two years after the fact. If Ubuntu TV lives, that’s really not much of an existence, is it?

One more thing: The Linux Journal Readers’ Choice Awards are out. Not a lot of surprises, but something that deserves special mention is Aaron Seigo reflections on KDE’s excellent showing — a leader at 30.6 percent, putting together votes for KDE and KDE Plasma — in the Desktop Environment category.

See you Sunday, if not before (and Felton LUG members, bear in mind there’s no meeting this Sunday. Enjoy the yuletide holiday instead and see you in January).

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang 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.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

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