Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Reprieves, Successes and disappointments

Reprieve, with the death of my laptop I was left without the tool I use for most of my tech projects, including my blog and many other advocacy activities and open source activities. The main reason the loss was so crippling is that much of the spare time I find to work on such things is during my daily commute, 2 hours a day on the subway is a great time to work on such projects. The other reason the loss of the laptop was so annoying was that my laptop has for sometime also been my music player, so I've been faced with sitting in abject silence each day during my commute. Thanks to the astounding generosity of my parents I have been granted a reprieve in the form of the lone of their laptop, a barely use IBM R31.

Not only is this a reprieve it represents one of the advocacy successes I am most proud of, one of the conditions of the lone is that the laptop should be returned running Linux, and specifically a Gnome based distro upon its return. This decision reached after consultation with my dad, a former computer consultant for the board of education and adult education specialist, about how we could make the computer less threatening to my mom, who is in her 60s and the very definition of a computer n00b. After examining a number of desktop options, Windows, KDE, XFCE, Symphony OS, and of course Gnome we came to the conclusion that Ubuntu with Gnome was probably the best option for someone completely new to computing, Good work Gnome and Ubuntu boys!

Another recent success came at work, a co-worker and friend asked if I knew a way a group of guys he's working to set up a game development start up with could share documents over the Internet, I mentioned a couple of options including Novell iFolder (the solution he ended up picking). He then started asking why I was such a advocate for Free software, I explained about the 4 freedoms and how you should be free t run software anyway you want, how you should be able to learn how the software works by looking at the code, how you should be able to modify the software to fulfil your needs and how you should be free to share the software by distributing it, he got very excited by these ideals and I have been receiving regular reports on his explorations of Free software ever since, I think we may have a convert.

As for disappointments I guess the big one is that I won't be able to make it to Lugradio Live once again this year. None the less I want to take this opportunity to pimp this great event to the world, if you are anywhere near the UK get your ass to Wolverhampton this weekend, LRL 2006 sounds like it will be the FLOSS event of the year. Also if you are planning to attend LRL and are experiencing issues due to the impending UK rail strike check out the car pool page on the Lugradio Wiki.

Another disappointment is that the next Lugradio broadcast will be the last one of the season, it will be a long boring summer in their absence, thank god that Reverend Teds fantastic Novell Open Audio will be providing some cool listening materials over the summer.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Tragic Loss

I regret to report the untimely death of my laptop, my IBM t23 has gone to laptop heaven, the video cable between the base and the monitor has broken inside the hing. After consulting with a team of top nerds it was decide that there was no surgery that could save the patient. You will be missed faithful friend.

Bono is a knob end

Some people may have wondered why I haven’t blogged about the new Defective By Design plan to petition former musician and left wing political thingy, Bono, to join the fight against digital restriction management. This is one campaign I will be sitting out, though I still believe the fight against DRM is an important part of the effort to create a truly free world culture and vital to the Free Software movement specifically and I will support defective by designs efforts in the future. I have two reasons for not supporting this petition, firstly Bono was long ago yesterdays man in the music industry and his left wing political views make him an inappropriate representative in either Washington or Ottawa these days. The other reason I won’t be petitiioning Bono is that the man is a knob end, if the mere fact that this foreigner would come to Canada and try to tell Canadians how to vote wasn’t offensive enough, his smarmy self serving speech at the Liberal leadership Conference a few years ago would have stripped away any lingering respect I might have had for the man. Twat