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Mandriva Linux 2008: A quick rundown August 27, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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This is just a quick rundown.  Im not going to do a full blown review since its still a very beta release and since its not feature complete.  Mandriva Linux 2008 codenamed Galilee is a very interesting release.  It finally fixes the hang issue I had with Mandriva Linux 2007 on my Dell PowerEdge 500SC.  A lot of speed improvements even on older hardware and to me, PowerEdge fix or not brings Mandriva back on the map.  For the next release the Mandriva One, solo CD installer is coming back.  The plan is to bring an XFCE based Mandriva One image into the works as well.  From my tests with the three CD set, Mandriva 2008 is definately a contender.  When it is released I will do a full blown review at the time.  For right now, an interesting plaything.  Look at the Whats coming section of the wiki for a great overview of what will be coming.  As well as have a gander at some of the Tech specs page.

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Asus set to debut volume shipments of the $199 EEE PC August 24, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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ArsTechnica has released information on the Asus $199.00 PC it has some interestings specs

  • 7″ LCD Display
  • 900MHz Celeron-M ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) 353
  • Intel 910 Chipset
  • 512MB DDR2-400 RAM
  • 4, 8, or 16GB solid-state storage
  • ASUS-customized, Xandros-derived Linux OS
  • Dimensions: 225x165x21-35mm
  • Weight: ~2 lbs
  • Colors: White, Black
  • More info here

    OSI List gets Catty over Microsofts Permissive license request August 19, 2007

    Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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    The OSI mailing list came alive with questions and clear outrage over Microsofts submission of its permissive license.  The most outraged mail on that list came from Google Inc. Chris DiBona who handles the Open Source stuff at Google.

    I would like to ask what might be perceived as a diversion and maybe even a mean spirited one. Does this submission to the OSI mean that Microsoft will:

    a) Stop using the market confusing term Shared Source
    b) Not place these licenses and the other, clearly non-free , non-osd
    licenses in the same place thus muddying the market further.
    c) Continue its path of spreading misinformation about the nature of
    open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL?
    d) Stop threatening with patents and oem pricing manipulation schemes
    to deter the use of open source software?

    If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company who has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend a communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness?

    First, I dont dislike DiBona, I dont know him.  I have heard of him but no disrespect intended but Chris, get your head out of your ass.  Your whole message stinks of Open Source zealotry and fanaticism.  First, I agree with Bill Hilf.  Microsofts marketing and legal happenings have nothing to do with the OSI submissions.  The issues DiBona raises have absolutely nothing to do with Microsofts license submission.  He made the comment later on in a reply post: “Note that trying to turn this into a discussion about FSF or Google or me completely dodges the issue, so , you know, nice try and all.”  Unfortunately thats what you turned it into DiBona,  Bill didnt do it you did.  Microsoft doesnt have a stranglehold on the OEM’s much anymore.  Dell, Lenovo and Acer plan to distribute the Linux OS on their hardware, some of them already bundle alternatives to Nicrosoft Office whether it is WordPerfect or OpenOffice/StarOffice.  Microsoft is planning to distribute Works 9 for free does that mean they are trying to kill OpenOffice?  Microsoft patent protection is a good thing.  Microsoft has gotten bitten in the past few years with Patent infringment claims from partners.  The Linux community should be welcoming the patent protection deals.  Through these deals we have some distributers who can offer ClearType technology, Windows Media Codecs and great work being done in the area of interoperability and code actually being delivered.  Microsoft is simply asking for their IP rights be honored.  When Microsoft first came out with this permissive license everyone was telling Microsoft, submit it to the OSI.  It meets the criteria of an Open Source license.  Now that Microsoft has officially done that, whats going on?  The same thing I knew and warned that would happen.  Bill Hilf had an excellent counter which I will post here in closing.

    I’m unclear how some of your questions are related to our license submissions, which is what I believe this list and the submission process are designed to facilitate,” Hilf wrote. “You’re questioning things such as Microsoft’s marketing terms, press quotes, where we put licenses on our web site, and how we work with OEMs – none of which I could find at http://opensource.org/docs/osd. If you’d like to discuss this, I’d be happy to – and I have a number of questions for you about Google’s use of and intentions with open source software as well. But this is unrelated to the OSD compliance of a license, so I will do this off-list and preferably face to face or over the phone.

    Personally I dont think Microsofts submission will be successful.  To many people in the OSI dont like Microsoft and are not taking this as seriously as if Google would have submitted a license.  Its a bad thing and just shows the immaturity and how unprofessional the group is.

    Novell not SCO Owns Unix August 16, 2007

    Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.
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    So the courts came out and said Novell owns the UNIX copyrights and that SCO basically lost.  While many in the Linux community feel this to be a good thing I feel a little at ends.  None of the original questions were answered.  Does Linux violate UNIX copyrights?  Is Linux an unauthorized derivative of UNIX?  That is a question we will never have answered.  Why never?  Novell has said they dont plan to pursue any action.  I think it has less to do with there being no UNIX IP in Linux, it has something to do with the $50 million dollar investment IBM made in Novell a few years ago.  Im sure there were some back alley deals signed and IBM did help em out.

    So is possible the Linux developers got away like thieves in the night and  pulled off one of the greatest heists in history (Note I said one of the.. Not the biggest heist).  Sure Novell could go back and say “We analyzed UNIX and Linux and found there to be no IP infringement’s” but with their released statement that they basically could care less, I wouldn’t believe them.

    In the end the courts ruling doesn’t clear Linux of any IP infringement it just gave the copyrights to an entity that doesnt give two craps about UNIX.  So expect more UNIX in Linux very soon in the near future.  This ruling is basically paving the way for the equivalent of Xerox and Apple.

    BTW, Comments have been disabled for this topic.  I have better things to do than to babysit the comments section.

    ***Please not, these are my opinions and does not necessarily reflect those opinions of my employer.

    Freespire 2.0: First look and impressions August 14, 2007

    Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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    I got my hands finally on Freespire 2.0 which is the foundation of Linspire 6.0.  I have been test driving this release just to see how good it can be when stacked against other Linux destop distros such as Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS and Fedora.  Freespire has some to be desired but looks to be on the right path.

    Installation:  Installation is the same as the old versions of Linspire, user friendly and pretty straightforward.  I didnt see any improvements in this area at all.  Looks, speed, everything appears to be the same.  Timing on a fresh install was pretty speedy.  The dialog follows in the tradition of Linspire and not Ubuntu’s installer.

    Looks:  Linspire has a drop dead gorgeous theme and its good to see Freespire doesn’t differ.  Im glad to see KDE as the default desktop. The only difference is instead of a L at the bottom there is a 3D F.  Icons are the same yet kind of a mix between OS X and Vista.

    Package and Package selection:  Freespire has a wealth of packages available and since the CNR service isnt available that would be the only downfall.  Officially wait until CNR, unofficially all the Ubuntu repositories work and work well with Freespire 2.0.  I havent found an Ubuntu package yet that doesnt work including Wine, Scribus among many others.  I havent tried Automatix yet, but since Linspire already includes the codecs and proprietary drivers is it really needed?

    Performance:  Performance thus far has been great with little to no performance hits.  One little tip, dont copy the security fixes repository to your sources.list otherwise you will hose your system.  I will post my repository lists soon.  One thing I like about Freespire is that it fixes the retardness of the official Ubuntu release.  It includes ndiswrapper, hardware works well and no undetected devices that were detected in previous versions.  No unexplained crashes or kernel panics yet.  Freespire is rather quick and using Ubuntu repositories you can tailor your system to whatever you may need.  A development workstation, artists workstation, server etc.  No Zune support yet and since Microsoft and Linspire are buddies it better be coming.  I do like the custom themed Web browser and Mail application.

    Freespire and Linspire also appear to be more long term, vs the short term availability of Ubuntu releases which is a good thing every six months upgrading is a pain in the rear.  Overall a good release if you are looking for a good desktop distribution that can handle Ubuntu packages and if you want the convenience of CNR, eventually, and a better Ubuntu then Ubuntu.   Freespire and even Linspire 6.0 are good choices