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Where Dogma Ends and Friendships Flourish.....

Helios Blog - Thu, 2013-10-10 12:11
I have a good friend that does CGI work and has worked for some of the biggest houses in the business.  He has a fantastic family and even lived in Austin for a year or so.  We would go to their house on the occasional Sunday where Diane and his wife would talk and we would sample from his extensive Scotch collection.

A fun time was had by all.

As all good things do, this came to an end when he was offered a much better paying job with a California production studio.  While he left Texas, we've kept in contact.

He is a good friend.  Hell, he's more than a friend...I feel as close to this person as I do with my siblings.

That's why his latest email bothered me a bit.  I mean, it didn't bother me as in me emailing him back to argue with him.  Rather, it was the wording of the email.

You're going to berate me for this, but I'm sure you're wondering why I'm getting a new visa. I am starting a new job, in Washington state, you've probably made the jump already, it's in the city of Redmond. Yeah. It's with Microsoft.

I'm joining their incubation team. Inventing random new stuff. The same group who made the kinect...

And that's where known strong political or personal stances can come back to byte you in the backside.

Since 2004, I've been known first as a Linux Advocate.  Everything I do on a professional and sometimes personal level, substantiates that fact. There are some that consider their friend going to work for Microsoft akin to your brother joining the Confederacy while you and your other brothers are in the Union camp. 

See...that's where personal and political dogma gets questionable.

Do you shun this person for not agreeing with you on principle or do you wish them the best of luck and move forward.

That's easy to answer, but in a minute...

I won't deny that I despise Microsoft...but I don't despise the entity because of the people that make their living there...I think they are reprehensible for their bullying business practices and their stranglehold they hold on the Enterprise.

While that later is changing, the damage has been done.

So while it may be flawed thinking to believe that those employed by Microsoft are culpable in Microsoft misdeeds, those pointing to the error are forgetting the first and most important factor in any decision.

The Human Factor.  In this case.....

A man who is doing what is best for his family. 

Emotionally. any dislike for someone that has seemingly "joined enemy ranks" would seem the right thing to do, and maybe so if it were something much more important...

But in this case, I would rather encourage my friend and maintain that precious friendship than damage it over something, that in the universal scheme of things.....

Really doesn't matter at all.

And by the way my friend...Let me know what cool things you design and I'll keep it under my hat.

You can count on that from one friend to another.

And hurry back when you can.  I have an unopened bottle of 21 year old Glenlivet just waiting for your return.  One of the best Speyside's I've ever tasted.  And you know that's been quite a few.

All-Righty then.

Categories: Computers

The Perfect Microsoft CEO You Haven't Considered

Dvorak Insights - Wed, 2013-10-09 08:02
It's obvious who Microsoft's next CEO should be, but you've probably never considered him.
Categories: Computers

New User Barrier To Linux - I Think I Found The Problem....

Helios Blog - Sat, 2013-10-05 10:35
This is nothing new.  I talked about this during my Keynote at Texas Linux Fest in 2010.

It's one of those things we all know but we really can't do anything about it.  It's time we did.

In the realm of Open Source software development the adage "good enough" is  often interpreted as this software is good enough for general use.

It should read "good enough for me", speaking only from the software author's perspective.

Here's what I mean.

I recently received a call for help from one of our Reglue kids.  Mitch is a bright 11 year old that wants to be a fighter pilot like his dad.  Needless to say, he's loving different flight sims.

But his problem wasn't with his software...he was needing to traceroute a server for his dad.  I haven't run traceroute for a while but I know that it pulls in curl and some other libraries so I just decided to show him how to use Traceroute the GUI.  I've used it in Windows before and it is an adequate tool.

He downloaded the app from Sourceforge and we could go from there.  Since it was in tar.gz format, I did a quick search for the instructions without invoking the ./package_name at the terminal.

Oh, I found the instructions.

You gotta be kidding me...right?

Whether or not this author was the author of the software or just the author for the tutorial, the "good enough for me" rule applied here perfectly.  At the risk of boring you, let me paste those instructions here for you to see:

Download and install Open Visual Traceroute
Open the Terminal window and enter :
mkdir /tmp/OpenVisualTraceRoute
cd /tmp/OpenVisualTraceRoute
Then for 32bit and 64bit systems download and install the latest version with :
wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/openvisualtrace/files/latest/download
sudo unzip download -d /opt/
Extract the application icon to be used for the launcher and set permissions with :
cd /opt/OpenVisualTraceRoute*
sudo unzip -j org.leo.traceroute.jar */internet.png
sudo chmod +x startLinux.sh
3. Create an Open Visual Traceroute launcher
To create a Ubuntu Unity Desktop Launcher, create a desktop launcher file with :
sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/open-visual-traceroute.desktop
Then add the following information and save :
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Open Visual Traceroute
GenericName=Open Visual Traceroute
X-GNOME-FullName=Open Visual Traceroute
Comment=Open Visual Traceroute
Exec=gksudo /bin/sh startLinux.sh
Then add the path to the latest version and icon in the launcher with:
cd /opt/OpenVisualTraceRoute*
sudo su
echo "Path=$(eval pwd)" >> /usr/share/applications/open-visual-traceroute.desktop
echo "Icon=$(eval pwd)/internet.png" >> /usr/share/applications/open-visual-traceroute.desktop

And for the record, we did install traceroute at the command line and we ran traceroute domain.com.  He now knows how to do that but to get this GUI up and running?

I realize that this person did his best and really put a lot of work into getting this done, but it's obviously not the answer for any new Linux User, regardless of age.

What did I do?

I had him download and extract the tar.gz into his home directory then open the  folder and right click on startLinux.sh.  From there I had him choose properties and then permissions.  I told him to check the box that said "allow executing file as program."

While I did show him how to change permissions using the chmod tool, I just had him click on startLInux.sh in the file browser and we were off and running.

How friggin' easy was that?  Why are people supplying instructions that are way too complex for the new user?  I know the answer to that question.  It's rhetorical in nature.

"Because it's good enough for me"

Folks, it doesn't always have to happen the hard way. When we're providing tutorials or help on the web, remember you don't know who's going to be reading it.  I think making sure you provide an answer to suit all levels of users might be a good idea.

 I'm no longer concerned with Linux "world domination".  I want new Linux Users to feel comfortable in their environment.....

Not scare them away from it.

All-Righty Then.

Categories: Computers

Open Source Software and New Users

Devnet's Blog - Wed, 2013-10-02 11:54

Free/Libre and Open Source software versus closed and proprietary software doesn’t matter.  It’s not the answer to solve all our problems.  It’s not the question we need to ask anyone and everyone either.  It simply doesn’t matter.  Well, it might matter to you and I…but it doesn’t matter to most people out there.

No matter what you say and do.  No matter what ideals you preach to people.  No matter what concepts about freedom you tout to them…it just won’t matter at all.  They want what they want and when they want it.  They turn a power button on and a device powers up giving them the functionality they need.  They open up a piece of software that gives them the features they want.  They don’t care whether they pay for it, if someone can alter it, if someone can distribute it, or if it was free.

It sucks that people don’t care about their own freedom with programs/code, but it’s true.

The Great Debate

The debate that rages on is usually one or two camps that support Free Software, Libre Software, or Open Source Software (or a combination of them) and those folks will lecture the end user who doesn’t care.  Have you ever been lectured about something you don’t care about?  Usually, you won’t remember anything about what is said to you when that happens.  The same is true for end users that couldn’t care less about what software they’re using…as long as it works.

Instead of lecturing these folks and talking down to them about the benefits of FOSS/FLOSS/OSS…I say we try a different approach.  I say we identify with them.  Establish a common ground.  Less like a bull in a ceramics shop.  A common proverb here in the US is that “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.  Being tactful and pleasant instead of overbearing a sharp is a good way to win people over to view things as you do.  Education is key…if you see someone using a locked in device, you could tactfully let them know of alternatives and why they might choose them.  I’ve seen the untactful approach and it does nothing but push the person farther away from free and open source software.  Less is more in these cases…no one wants to come off as a know it all…but that’s exactly what I’ve seen happen many times.

The Importance of Free and Open Source Software

I’m not trying to downplay the importance of Open Source software (Free software or Open Source software) but I am trying to downplay the importance/intensity of the debate between the various beliefs (FLOSS/FOSS/OSS).  I’ve seen people get very livid about the idea that all of their software should be completely open source or that it should be free AND open source or else they won’t use it.  I applaud these people for having a stance and sticking to it and I believe the world would be a much better place if we had more of this type of software that everyone could work on collaboratively.  I think it would spur innovation and bring people together.  But here’s the kicker…the end user DOESN’T CARE about your debate.  While it’s great that it means something to you, 9 times out of 10 it won’t mean anything to the end user.   If they’re completely new to these ideologies try easing them into understanding.  This isn’t sink or swim…everyone starts off in the shallow end first and when they’re ready they move into the deep end.  Don’t expect everyone to care right away.

If you have a user of software who will only use Open Source software…a person who staunchly supports this concept…and that person defends their stance any chance they can get, most people see it as a good thing.  In my opinion, rabid defense of ideology is sometimes not a good thing…because many times people lose the defensive stance and go on the offensive one.  The same is true for those who will only use Free and Open Source software…they become incensed at the idea that anyone would ever use anything else or would want to use.  Both of these camps tout altering the code, collaborative design, vendor lock-in, high prices of upgrades for proprietary software, and other ideological points of contention.  As I said, it’s great that these camps are so invested in their ideals…and there is a point where you do more harm than good.

The Perspective of the Uninformed New User

It’s hard for new users to understand the perspective and ideological camps behind  free and open source software because there is nothing else like it in the world.  Insisting that someone adapt immediately to the ideals put forth by FOSS is, in my opinion, an unrealistic expectation.  When someone is new to a group or community, demanding they adhere to a set of rules they don’t understand can be overwhelming.  In my opinion, a welcoming stance from the community members followed by a path of self discovery is what develops new users into the strongest supporters of free and open source software.

The attitudes and behavior new users face when initially embarking on their open source journey will stick with them and will shape their opinions for years to come.  A few years ago, I wrote an article titled “A New User Guide to Linux Communities“.  Despite being written in 2008, it is still applicable today.  New users need patience, tolerance, understanding, and empowerment when first trying FOSS.  If we can give them a positive and up-building experience, they’ll definitely come back for more and become more avid supporters.  Leave the politics and ideologies to the wayside.  Try helping the new user without trying to indoctrinate them.  Let them come to the discovery that FOSS is where they should be at.  Let them learn things on their own time and pace.  In the end, if they come to the same conclusions we have as FOSS users on their own, they’ll be more likely to stay that way and more productive community members in the future

Open Source Software and New Users originally appeared on Yet Another Linux Blog on 2 October, 2013.

The post Open Source Software and New Users appeared first on Yet Another Linux Blog.

Categories: Computers

iPhone Users Vulnerable to Suggestion and Mass Hysteria

Dvorak Insights - Wed, 2013-10-02 08:02
Hordes of iOS 7 users are claiming the new interface is making them nauseous. Is this legit?
Categories: Computers

High-Availability Storage With GlusterFS 3.2.x On Debian Wheezy

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 18:15
This tutorial shows how to set up a high-availability storage with two storage servers (Debian Wheezy) that use GlusterFS. Each storage server will be a mirror of the other storage server, and files will be replicated automatically across both storage servers. The client system (Debian Wheezy as well) will be able to access the storage as if it was a local filesystem. GlusterFS is a clustered file-system capable of scaling to several peta-bytes. It aggregates various storage bricks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect into one large parallel network file system. Storage bricks can be made of any commodity hardware such as x86_64 servers with SATA-II RAID and Infiniband HBA.
Categories: Computers

Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' with MATE Desktop Environment Overview & Screenshots

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 17:28
Each Linux Mint release usually offers four flavors, to say nothing about LMDE: Mint Cinnamon, Mint MATE, Mint KDE and Mint Xfce. The MATE edition is based around a desktop environment forked from GNOME 2, featuring a similar interface and a familiar user interaction experience. MATE started as a need of some users to have the classic GNOME 2.x interface once GNOME 3 was released with huge interface changes. MATE does offer a classic, solid and familiar interface, and it also provides a compositing window manager for graphical effects and transparency.
Categories: Computers

How to install custom fonts in Linux desktop

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 16:40
One way to add personalization to the documents or presentations that you create in Linux desktop is via using custom fonts. In Linux desktop, you can download and add custom fonts to the desktop system as you wish. This tutorial describes how to install custom fonts in Linux desktop environment.
Categories: Computers

elementary OS Daily 20131001 Screenshot Tour

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 15:46
This PPA (Personal Package Archive) contains the newest and most unstable development of elementary, it's useful only if you are a developer and are not afraid to encounter CRITICAL BUGS. Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution. Some of its more interesting features include a new GTK+ and icon theme for GNOME, the Midori web browser, new applications developed in-house (e.g. Dexter, an address book and Postler, an email client), and Nautilus Elementary, a simple file manager.
Categories: Computers

“This message has been intercepted by the NSA: the only branch of government that listens.”

Lew Rockwell Blog - Tue, 2013-10-01 15:32

Lance loved Mark Higdon’s tagline on emails (Mark tells me he didn’t write the motto, just saw and appropriated it) — so much so that Lance adopted it as his new signature, in bright red italics just so no one misses it. He writes, “Think how subversive it would be if this spread like wildfire and EVERYONE put this as a signature in their email.  It would be an automatic, constant, and never ending reminder of the truth about our government.  Let’s see if we can get as many people as possible to do this.  It could be unstoppable, particularly if it spreads worldwide.”


Categories: Politics

Valve: The Linux Steam Engine That Could?

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 14:49
This is another example of Linux moving into a sector and taking over," suggested blogger Kevin O'Brien. "The proposed new Steam Box is good, but for any dedicated gamer, PCs are where the real action is. I think this can benefit all Linux users by getting Nvidia to open their drivers. Nvidia may not care about Linux users, but they won't ignore Valve.
Categories: Computers

Attacking Her Benefactors

Lew Rockwell Blog - Tue, 2013-10-01 14:42

Marina Shifrin made an awful rap video, using her employers’ property, to attack those who had hired and paid her, in an entirely voluntary relationship. She doesn’t think they are good enough for an artiste. But since they are her benefactors, I say, good riddance to this disgruntled ex-employee.

Categories: Politics

The Regime Is Through

Lew Rockwell Blog - Tue, 2013-10-01 14:17

The state apparatus is dying, worries a liberal. How right he is: young people, implicit anarchists, are rejecting the evil of electoral politics. And say, can I get a ticket to the regime’s funeral?

Categories: Politics

Interview with Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon on the changing role of IT leadership

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 13:52
This article is part of an interview series highlighting the speakers of the upcoming All Things Open 2013 conference in Raleigh, NC. The consumerization of IT—with employees bringing their own devices and basic IT services like processing, storage, and networking becoming easily purchasable—means that CIOs have an opportunity to do more than keep the proverbial lights on. CIOs increasingly have the opportunity to become strategic partners within their organizations. And that’s exactly what Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon is doing.
Categories: Computers

Keep It Up, Obummer!

Lew Rockwell Blog - Tue, 2013-10-01 13:40

The White House is defending the National Security Agency following a new report that the agency has been scanning the data it collects to map out some Americans’ social connections.”

Way to go, you stultifying communist. You’re awakening more and more people every day, teaching them to hate you and Leviathan. Indeed, the longer and more vehemently you excuse the NSA, the more recruits you draft for liberty! But don’t take my word for it: read the comments at the link above and even here, at a site formerly replete with sycophantic progressives thrilled that a “man of color” was lording it over us. Wow, but you disillusioned them, didn’t you, proving that you’re as corrupt, evil, totalitarian, and power-hungry as any starched white guy.

Categories: Politics

GNOME 3.10 Gets an Overhaul: Top 10 New Features

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 13:28
The GNOME 3.10 desktop, which was officially released Sept. 25, provides users with a number of user interface enhancements as well as new applications and under-the-hood improvements for developers. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at what is new and what is improved in the open-source GNOME 3.10 desktop
Categories: Computers

From His Lips to God’s Ear

Lew Rockwell Blog - Tue, 2013-10-01 13:17

Caspar Bowden, who between 2002 and 2011 was in charge of the privacy policy for 40 countries in which Microsoft operated – but not the US – told a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland” that ”The public now has to think about the fact that anybody in public life, or person in a position of influence in government, business or bureaucracy, now is thinking about what the NSA knows about them. So how can we trust that the decisions that they make are objective and that they aren’t changing the decisions that they make to protect their career? That strikes at any system of representative government.”

Oh, I hope he’s right! And I vote for “anarcho-capitalism” to replace failed “representative government.”

Categories: Politics

Hayden the True Culprit

Lew Rockwell Blog - Tue, 2013-10-01 12:59

Former director of the US National Security Agency,” Michael Hayden, is out there again, trying to blame individuals for the State’s evils.

“Speaking in [London] at an event organised by the Henry Jackson Society,” this unspeakably wicked thug who justified torture alleged that “now the things that fundamentally affect citizens most, like cyber attacks, terrorism and transnational crime, are not the product of nation states. They are the product of nation state weakness or nation state absence.”

Really? The government of the United States has “produced” the biggest “cyber attack” of all time: it is aggressively spying on the entire world. And the president of Brazil just blasted it at the UN for its cyber-espionage against her personally as well as her nationalized oil company.

Terrorism? Bingo: the Feds win again. From the false flags of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon to the poison-gas in Syria and the CIA’s innumerable skullduggeries around the planet over the last 50 years, the crimes of DC’s sociopaths far outweigh those of any “product[s] of nation state weakness or nation state absence.”

“Transnational crime” comes no bigger nor more devastating than war. And here the Feds lose their superiority: they must share the title with many other “nation states.” (Geez, Hayden, lose the jargon.)

For what it’s worth, this serial liar would ask Congressmen, “Why didn’t you read the letter sent to all of you in 2009 and in 2011 before you reauthorised the Patriot Act, which clearly says the NSA was collecting metadata on all phone calls in the United States.”

Yo, Mike: it’s not that they didn’t read it. It’s that they have no more morals nor concern for the Constitution than you. But still, thanks for outing your cronies as liars. The next time any of them claim, “But we didn’t know the extent of the NSA’s nosiness,” we serfs will simply laugh.

Categories: Politics

Proposed changes to WHOIS system called 'extremely disquieting'

LXer - Tue, 2013-10-01 12:31
A working group for Internet regulators is under severe criticism for a proposal that would put an end to the openness of the current WHOIS system for domain name registration records.
Categories: Computers
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