This article is so important, in my opinion, that I’m posting a link to it on all my blogs.
This is about freedom, pure and simple. If you read nothing else the next month, you should at least read this article by Eric S. Raymond. It is 24 carat TRUTH. It’s not just about technology and the Internet. It’s about your future and the future of your children and their children. Read it!
Well, I don’t know who is bending over for whom, but there seems to be some strange bedfellow action going on here.
Gregg Keizer @ ComputerWorld writes:
Adobe today said that it would stop offering direct downloads of Flash Player for Linux, telling users to move to Google’s Chrome browser, which bundles Flash with its updates.
OK, well then… let me state my case plainly for Adobe: KISS MY ASS! You’ll NOT be dictating to me what/how I use my own equipment in my own home. I don’t think I’ll follow your orders to use Google Chrome. I happen to like Firefox, Opera, and Seamonkey. What’s that you say? No more Flash for me. Unless you figure out a way to disable my current Flash plugin, my Flash will be just fine.
Besides, there are open source alternatives out there. Ain’t it great?!
So, pardon me Adobe for being blunt here, but PISS OFF! And take your not-doing-any-evil-as-long-as-greed-doesn’t-count pal Google along with you.
There. I feel better now.
Further reading: Adobe to Linux users: Get Chrome or forget Flash from ComputerWorld
I’ve been busy designing a website for a client this past week or so.
I just wanted to pop in here real quick-like and tell you about a good article I just read over at Linux Journal. It’s a mini command line tutorial on how to backup CDs to .iso files. You’ll like it.
Learn something. It won’t hurt you none. I promise.
… I actually agree with something Richard Stallman had to say.
I was perusing my usual spots today and ran across an article on jalopnik.com regarding that annoying damned Check Engine light on your dashboard display. I’ve been ranting about the monopolization of the auto repair industry by the manufacturers for years now. Jason Torchinsky writes on Jalopnik about his war against the Check Engine light.
From the article Richard Stallman Weighs In On The Check Engine Light:
My fight against the check engine light still goes on, though, like an uncle with an extensive collection of pornography, I’m sure many of you were hoping I’d just keep it to myself. Well, like your pervy uncle, I won’t. I can’t. And, I’m not alone. Among the many emails I received, most suggesting I speak with my clergyperson, I received an email from Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement and the man who started the GNU/Linux operating system.
An email from Stallman himself! I’m impressed. Richard never emails me.
Jason goes on to quote Stallman:
I agree with you about the “Check engine” light, but that is a symptom of a broader and deeper problem: the owners of cars do not control, what the car’s computers do. These computers are running _proprietary_ software, software that controls its users.
So why should general drivers care?
Stallman responds in typical geek fashion with a bullet list:
1. So anyone can maintain the engine — including your choice of mechanic.
2. To protect against abusive features (see http://www.bostonreview.net/BR33.2/stallman.php). In this case, hiding information from you. With free software in that computer, people would make programs to give them more info than the Check Engine light gives. And you could use them even if you don’t modify your car in any way.
RAH! RAH! Sir Richard! I couldn’t have said this better myself. For years now the automotive industry has been attempting to kill the independent parts and service industries in this country by forcing automobile owners to go directly to the dealers for any and all service/parts that might be needed. How have they done this? With PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY, PARTS, TOOLS, TRAINING, etc. That’s how.
Nowadays, you almost always have to go to a dealer for even the most minor repairs or parts. This has killed the mom/pop auto repair/parts business in this country. It’s GREED on the part of BIG AUTO that has driven this to its current state; costing many their small business, and/or employment. How have we let this happen? The same way we let all oppression happen; through ignorance and apathy.
New cars are great if you can afford the maintenance agreements. If not, you better trade-in and get a new one once that warranty is up. Of course, this is exactly what BIG AUTO wants you to do. Vicious circle, huh?
Have a great weekend!
Image credits: check engine light from repairpal.com article - Understanding the Check Engine Light
Richard Stallman courtesy of Wikipedia.org
How’s this for strangeness. The F.B.I. has an extensive file on that dope smokin’ Steve Jobs guy.
FBI’s Steve Jobs file: He will ‘distort reality … to achieve his goals’ – from The Washington Post:
By Hayley Tsukayama, Updated: Thursday, February 9, 12:25 PM
Steve Jobs, being considered in 1991 for an appointment under President George H.W. Bush, underwent a thorough background investigation by the FBI, according to newly released files from the agency.
Definitely a must-read, folks. Be sure to check out the actual 190+ pages of documents being served in .pdf format by the Post (link in quote above). I wonder how many of us would come up squeaky clean in an F.B.I. investigation; not many, I’d bet.
Despite interviewees saying that they did not personally like Jobs, many said that they would recommend him for a position in government.
One section said, “It was [redacted] opinion that honesty and integrity are not required qualities to hold such a position.”
Honesty? Integrity? For a position in government. Wow! That would be a novel idea, huh?
Hey folks, I’m just zipping by here today.
I just wanted to post some links to some interesting reading I ran across this morning. Here goes…
Google’s speed-enhancing SPDY protocol lands in upcoming version of Mozilla’s open source browser.
Mozilla is taking a page from Google’s Chrome development and is gearing up to implement a new protocol to help accelerate the Firefox web browser. The open source Firefox 11 browser, which is now in beta, will include the SPDY protocol. The current stable release of Firefox is version 10, which was released last week.
Chaotic good is still chaotic
Has Google taken over the Internet? No, I’m not wearing a tin-foil hat, and I’m not looking for a secret villain’s lair when I am in Silicon Valley at the end of the month (though wouldn’t the “Eye of Sauron” be synonymous with “Mountain View”? Hmmm…). But there have been some incidents over the years that have made me stop and ponder a bit about the huge amount of quiet influence Google seems to have on commercial activity on the Web.
awk, sed, and grep are three of my favorite tools in the Linux or UNIX command line. They are all pretty powerful. Today we’ll look at how to get cracking with awk to help you ease into using it. Then we’ll look at some useful awk one liners to make things a bit more fun for you.
Read, learn, have FUN!
So, most of you GNU/Linux users have by now peaked into that File System directory on the left frame of your file manager, huh?
It seems that back in the day (early 70s), when Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie were at Bell Labs tinkering around with Unix in its infancy, how they came to name these directories was primarily determined by their available storage space at the time. Geeks just being practical; ain’t it great?
From busybox.net list:
Thu Dec 9 15:45:39 UTC 2010
When the operating system grew too big to fit on the first RK05 disk pack (their root filesystem) they let it leak into the second one, which is where all the user home directories lived (which is why the mount was called /usr). They replicated all the OS directories under there (/bin, /sbin, /lib, /tmp…) and wrote files to those new directories because their original disk was out of space. When they got a third disk, they mounted it on /home and relocated all the user directories to there so the OS could consume all the space on both disks and grow to THREE WHOLE MEGABYTES (ooooh!).
3Meg… WOW! Nowadays, we dash off inane missives that often exceed 3 Meg in size. We don’t even think about it. Can you imagine? I was 10 years old in ’71, running around in a neighbor’s overgrown yard playing “war” with my pals. Dennis and Ken were in their late twenties and using their genius to create the foundation for pretty much everything you see in front of you right now… the Internet, the operating system on your computer, the code that is the foundation for most of it, etc. Amazing, huh?
Thom Holwerda from his OSNews article laments:
Arguing that the UNIX directory structure is a horrible, horrible mess that defiles an otherwise elegant system is like trying to convince a floor tile to flip over. People are so used to their knee-jerk responses about how it all supposedly makes sense, they often refuse to even think about redesigning it for the modern age. Since the geek is a proud and stubborn creature, there’s little to no chance of this ever changing in my lifetime.
Thom is not a big fan of the Unix file structure. I can see his points. When you read how those directories actually came about, you begin to wonder, as Thom often does, whether the whole thing needs a reboot/rename. Well, it probably won’t ever happen. Hell, some of us still like to boot into a command line interface rather than a graphic one. Holwerda says that geeks are a proud and stubborn. Yup… mostly stubborn.
Read the article. Click on the links. It’s some interesting stuff, folks.
Once upon a time, when I was a relative newcomer to GNU/Linux, I found a wonderful little distribution, which was also new at the time.
Tomas Forsman, a member of the Foresight Linux team, probably doesn’t even remember me from back then. I frequented the old support forums for Foresight Linux back when it was in version 1.0. I think that was sometime back in 2006. I remember FL creator Ken Vandeen from back then. I found Foresight, a fork of rPath Linux, while perusing Distrowatch one evening. It looked intriguing. Besides, I liked the green color theme. Green is my favorite color, you know.
I’ve had Foresight on many of my systems over the years since v1.0. It’s never been my primary operating system. You all know that I’m a Slacker, but that doesn’t stop me from experimenting with other distros. I have my favorites that are never far from one of my systems. I can usually be found tweaking (often breaking) these distros on any given day.
I did a major system overhaul a year or so ago and never was able to get a working copy of Foresight installed. It wasn’t Foresight’s fault, though. Tomas knows that I’m an Xfce fan, so he provided me with an alpha of their Xfce version. It didn’t seem to like my hardware for some reason. Well, that was a while ago, anyway. Their Xfce 64 bit version is in final release now and installs and runs perfectly.
I know this because I just installed it a couple nights ago. I didn’t have any issues during installation. For any of you who have ever installed a GNU/Linux distribution on your system, you’ll not find any surprises with the Foresight installer. It’s pretty straight-forward and relatively easy.
Once I had FL installed, I did my usual tweaks here and there under the hood and with the Xfce interface. All went well. I have a completely updated and usable Foresight Linux installation on my system now. I made a quick custom wallpaper for it and took a nice screenshot for you folks.
If you’d like to give Foresight a tryout, you’ll find that the distribution has excellent documentation and a helpful support community. Tomas also visits Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux quite often. You can catch up with him there occasionally. Foresight is a stable, full-featured distribution with a sterling pedigree (RedHat, rPath). It’s suitable for a home system or a business server.
Stop on by the Foresight forums. Tell Tomas I sent you. He’ll get you up and running with Foresight in no time at all.
Have fun with it!
Image credits: Foresight Linux “eye” logo owned by Foresight Linux.