Tux500 YouTube Video

Some of you may know that my friend Helios (aka Ken Starks of Lobby4linux.com and Blog of Helios) has been working on the Tux500 project which is geared at getting Linux on a car in the Indy500. Take a look at this video made by Tux500.com that explains a bit about the Indy500 and why it is important for Linux to be there.

Very professional. Make sure you Digg the video as well!

Penguin Pete’s Blog, your source for FUD about YALB

If any of you read Penguin Pete’s last two blog entries [1] [2]…you’ll find two of the most FUD filled posts about YALB on the web. He’s on the warpath…for no reason at all and has begun a smear campaign against me here. I haven’t done anything to attack him personally…yet that’s exactly what he’s done with his latest blog entries. Pete claims I’m a partner with the tux500.com project and that helios from Blog of helios and I are perpetuating this as a scam
across the web. Let’s get some facts on this topic immediately:

  1. I am not part of this project
  2. I do not collect money or have access to collected money on this project
  3. I will not be part of this project as my plate is full
  4. I’ve posted a single blog entry about said project that was syndicated at various places around the web…this is normal…there are many sites that mirror YALB such as Swik and the Linux Blog Aggregator.
  5. I submitted this single blog entry on Lxer.com who published it
  6. Tuxmachines.org also published this same post
  7. The project is being tracked monetarily by Linux Today’s editor, Brian Proffitt, and Lxer.com’s editor-in-chief, Don Parris. (why hasn’t Pete went to them on this? Are they part of the scam too?)
  8. Ken aka helios is my personal friend and I posted my previous entry as support of his project like any good friend would do.
  9. If I found out the project was a SCAM, I’d shut it down. I host lobby4linux.com and could snipe it out in one fell swoop. If anyone has concrete evidence that it is a scam other than pure speculation, please email me devnet at mypclinuxos.com

So Pete is trying to draw major correlation between me and this project so that he can lump me in as part of his theory about it. I wouldn’t normally care, but it seems that he can’t stand up to the criticism he’s getting as he’s disabled comments. The interesting thing is he’s referring to it as comment SPAM when he has captcha enabled…which means he was getting a ton of comments he didn’t like and shut them down. He could also turn on moderation (I have automoderation after a specific time here) so that he could catch the offending spammers and publish everything else. I do that here as well.

See, when I blog, I open myself up to positive perspectives like those from avid readers. But I also open myself up to negative perspectives like those from Mr. Pete. That’s fine..he’s welcome to post anytime on this website’s comment system. He’s welcome to trash any topic of discussion I post about. I’ll never disable comments on any article because I do not have to censor anything anyone says to fit my message or make me appear to be right. If someone has a problem with a post…by me posting it publically, I have opened myself up to what they have to say. People are free to respond as they see fit to whatever topic of discussion I post about. It seems that by shutting down comments to his latest posts, Pete proves that he does not have these standards for freedom that I do.

So bookmark it folks…those two entries in Penguin Pete’s blogs can say whatever they want about the Tux500 project…that’s his right. But trying to lump me in with it is an outright lie. It’s untrue libel and FUD. Those two posts are your helping of FUD for the week. Hopefully, you see past it. Comments are open on this post and I’ll answer whatever questions readers have.

Dell and the Linux Desktop

There’s quite a bit of speculation going on at what distribution of Linux Dell will choose to put onto its desktops or if they’ll even attempt to put Linux on the desktop.

In my opinion, it would be smart for them to do this…mainly because there is so much marketing momentum behind this right now they’d be a fool not to take advantage of it…and they didn’t have to pay a dime for it either. Most companies would kill for their blog to receive as much attention as the Dell Linux Blog and Idea Storm has gotten in the past few months…and they’d kill for the huge amounts of media attention the Dell Linux Survey and Announcement of Certified Linux Computers are also getting.

I think Dell will ride this Linux wave in…but not how most people think they will. Most people think Dell will listen to tons of people filling out the surveys telling them Ubuntu. But examining this from a business perspective and Ubuntu becomes the lowest choice on the totem pole. I believe they’ll surprise everyone with a different move that would get them the most out of their business AND personal Computer lines. I think they will (if they choose any distribution at all) choose Fedora Core or RHEL Desktop and not Ubuntu.

Why would they do this? To be tied to Red Hat more of course. This allows them to do less to certify their hardware for Red Hat and you can bet that if Linux is on the desktop pre-installed that they’ll offer it on the server. I think this would be a good deal for both Red Hat and for Dell…even though it’s Fedora it opens the door a bit and since Fedora is a test ground for RHEL, choosing it is beneficial all around.

I believe (since we’re speculating here) that Dell will snuggle up to Red Hat as much as they possibly can and that it will benefit both of their businesses in a HUGE way.

The thing that makes me think this is Red Hat’s sudden (re)interest in the desktop has odd timing. Is it purely coincidental? Is it random chance? Is it just speculation? Who knows. One thing is for certain…when a company get’s big, nothing it does is pure chance.

And what of Novell? If we truly want to speculate, Novell is also a better choice than Ubuntu…because of the existing agreement with Microsoft, Suse also looks better for Dell because of their own ties to Microsoft. So, we’ve got two distros that have more going for them than Ubuntu does…which may or may not be a good thing. So who will Dell choose if they choose at all?

Anyone else care to speculate?

Activism and Promotion


Something that is really counterproductive in many Open Source communities are people who are so rabidly fanatical about one line of thinking that they try to pressure everyone into their line of thinking. One long standing example of this is the whole FLOSS vs. FOSS concept. Some outspoken individuals try to lash out at all people who don’t take their view on Free and Libre Open Source Software…that is, software that is Open Source, Free, and Libre (aka without proprietary parts included). It’s really sad because this shouldn’t be an issue in Open Source and Linux communities but it often is.

There are two labels that can be applied to these stances…promotion or activism. A majority of the people who love and support Open Source software are promoters. They’re the ones that always put in a plug for their distro during tech conversations or tell their co-workers excitedly why they don’t have viruses. The others are activists who lobby congress (like lobby4linux.com), sue for GPL violations, and take an active role in the proliferation of Open Source. Both of these stances and labels are needed in Open Source and to proliferate Open Source. But just like the old saying, “too much of a good thing can kill you” so can too much activism or promotion inside Open Source.

It’s my experience that there are more of the promotionists than the activists. Of course, activists are needed with Open Source as well. They’re the informed individuals that debate the GPLv2 and v3 until they’re blue in the face…they’re the ones that force GPL compliance on those not observing that license. They ARE needed. It’s the extreme fringes of both promotionists and activists that we don’t need. When someone goes over the top and over-promotes something…their promotion becomes counterproductive because of over saturation. The same is true for activism…no one wants to hear about how wrong they are for using X or not installing X.

So which group would be worse? It’s really up in the air. Over saturation means that (when people hear about Linux after a promotionist has filled their ears to the brim with how great it is) a person will more than likely ignore something with Linux or not consider it when it would be worthwhile to them. On the contrary, activists may distract new advocates and new users by focusing them not on promotion of using Open Source but rather, debating on Libre vs. Non-Libre or whatever their argument might be (as Libre vs. Non-Libre is not the only area that has activists vs. promotionists). Remember, we’re speaking of the rabidly fanatical end aka fringes of the spectrum…not generalizing here. People can be rabid on the promotion side of things too…it’s important to note that when you’re on the extreme side of either, you’re counterproductive to the proliferation of open source software.

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Why I Choose PCLinuxOS

There’s been quite a few postings and articles on new users and Linux flourishing during the past year. The reason I believe this to be is that desktop Linux is approaching or has arrived at the tipping point where it can gain mainstream adoption. People are seeing Linux as a viable alternative to Microsoft. My wife recently had me nuke the dual boot computer and go with Linux due to Windows Media Player 11 restrictions set to come out when it is released. Her main concern is being told by companies how she should be able to listen to her music after she’s bought it…kinda like buying a car and the dealer tells you where you can drive it and how you can. She’s in the process of converting all her mp3’s to ogg’s to 1) save space and 2) because they sound better and are in a free format. Thus far, she’s not missing Windows.

Many blogs also have taken up this topic and, when determining the best Linux desktop, gushed about Xandros, Freespire, Ubuntu, and MEPIS. The thing I find odd is that they forget the little guy that’s outpacing all the others…and that little guy is PCLinuxOS. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why PCLinuxOS is, IMHO, the best Linux flavor for new users.

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PCLinuxOS .93 xorg.conf problem quick fix

If you’re like me, you change things constantly in your linux desktop. I’m always entering in and tweaking .conf files to see what I can do and where the limits of things might be. In my attempt yesterday to get my EXACT monitor supported in PCLinuxOS, I hosed my xorg.conf file which is where all the Xsession settings (or Xwindows session) are stored (like mouse, keyboard, monitor, and graphics driver settings). Since I hosed this up, my graphical user interface and window manager would not start. So I was dropped to login via the shell. This might be daunting for some new users in Linux so I figured I’d write up this little how-to that would get them back on their feet.

First, don’t be intimidated by the shell. It’s more powerful than a cmd line in windows and you’ll have complete control of your computer from the confines of this awesome tool. Plus, you’re about 15-20 seconds away from having your desktop back up and running by executing only a few commands.

In order to fix your xorg.conf file, it’s important that we become root…so login as root and let’s fix your xorg.conf file in 4 commands.

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