Windows 7 – Touching Places it Shouldn’t

If you’ve read some of the recent news on the web, you’ll find at the top of many tech news sites a preview of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7. This new operating system will bring multi-touch technology to the masses. Of course, this is a Linux Blog, so what am I doing talking about Microsoft?

Because this new operating system will be the nail in the coffin for Microsoft. If you think Vista was a downward spiral, think again. Perhaps you’re wondering why I seem to think this will happen. I’ve got a few reasons and I think other alternatives like MacOSX and Linux will fill in the gap that is created by them.

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OLPC Mission Has Changed

Has the mission of OLPC changed so much? I say it has. No longer are the five core principals initially employed when the project started valid. The original Five Core Principles were:

  1. Child Ownership
  2. Low Ages
  3. Saturation
  4. Connection
  5. Free and Open Source

It’s important to quote what is under #5 above:

The child with an XO is not just a passive consumer of knowledge,
but an active participant in a learning community. As the children grow and pursue new ideas, the software, content, resources, and tools should be able to grow with them. The very global nature of OLPC demands that growth be driven locally, in large part by the children themselves. Each child with an XO can leverage the learning of every other child. They teach each other, share ideas, and through the social nature of the interface, support each other’s intellectual growth. Children are learners and teachers.

There is no inherent external dependency in being able to localize software into their language, fix the software to remove bugs, and repurpose the software to fit their needs. Nor is there any restriction in regard to redistribution; OLPC cannot know and should not control how the tools we create will be re-purposed in the future.

A world of great software and content is necessary to make this project succeed, both open and proprietary. Children need to be able to choose from all of it. In our context of learning where knowledge must be appropriated in order to be used, it is most appropriate for knowledge to be free. Further, every child has something to contribute; we need a free and open framework that supports and encourages the very
basic human need to express.

Give me a free and open environment and I will learn and teach with joy.

No longer is it about empowering a generation of children from poorer nations and letting them learn with the ability to help improve the platform they operate on…what it’s now about:

“‘The OLPC mission is a great endeavor, but the mission is to get the technology in the hands of as many children as possible. Whether that technology is from one operating system or another, one piece of hardware or another, or supplied or supported by one consulting company or another doesn’t matter. It’s about getting it into kids’ hands. Anything that is contrary to that objective, and limits that objective, is against what the program stands for.'”

…just like a fun toy right? <sarcasm>Let’s drop Nintendo DS gaming systems into their hands…laptops, laptops, laptops…that’s what it is about…because we’re all about getting the technology to the kids. </sarcasm> We’re not about empowering them to learn about computers, networks, and software. We’re not about them learning on a system where there are no limits. As RMS states, “Teaching children to use a proprietary (non-free) system such as Windows does not make the world a better place, because it
puts them under the power of the system’s developer.” That developer is Microsoft.

Congratulations go to Microsoft for bringing proprietary lockin to millions of kids worldwide who will no longer be able to take pride in their own contributions the the core OS, who will no longer feel community ownership, and who will no longer be the sole operator of their own open source software based XO.

Our children our the future and what we aren’t teaching them with closed source software is just as important as what we ARE teaching them.

Botnets: Storm, Rbot, and Bobax – How to Beat Them

If your Windows based computer is running slow, having random popups, and doing all sorts of weird things…chances are you’re a member of a botnet. Hackers are using your computer to email, spam, and infect other computers and users around the globe. You’re being used by these people to make money on the misfortune and deception of others. There is hope though…you can be rid of this. You can win against them.

Install Linux on your computer today and all that will disappear. Linux doesn’t have botnets. Linux doesn’t have viruses (only a few known and you have to actually type a command to start the virus running). Linux has no spyware. If you’re just getting your start, I recommend PCLinuxOS, SimplyMEPIS, and Ubuntu.

If you don’t want to install Linux, you can buy a computer with it preinstalled from various vendors here at the Pre-installed linux vendor database.

Once you are set free from having to worry about being infected by some virus, you’ll be able to concentrate on getting things done. No worries, no hassle. Join the thousands of us who are already there. Compute on your terms, not ones dictated to you by a product full of security holes or a virus author. Take back your computing!

The New Linux Distro

How much does it cost to buy you? Do you have a price? Can you be paid off?

I’m sure many of the CEO’s and CTO’s of various Linux companies are now asking themselves this very question this week (or should be asking themselves) as Microsoft announced yet another “patent deal”…this time, with LG Electronics.

With this, the Xandros deal, the Novell Deal, and anything else Microsoft has up its sleeve (I look for several other distros to “indemnify” themselves in the next few months…for example, Linspire and Mandriva are two prime targets for MS…the bullseye is probably painted) I think that Microsoft has created it’s own “Linux Distribution” so to speak. Let me share with you why I think they have…

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Installing Linux INSIDE of Microsoft

Are you leery of installing Linux onto your Windows PC? Would you like to try out this Linux thing but are you reluctant to make room for it on your current hard drive for fear of messing something up?…Good News! You can now install Debian (and Ubuntu) safely from your Windows desktop WITHOUT MESSING UP YOUR HARD DRIVE! How? Simple. Visit either of these websites:


Install Debian in Windows


Install Ubuntu in Windows

Follow the instructions and enjoy Linux safely and securely without nuking Windows. It’s like a crutch for those of you reluctant to put the full weight on that one foot. If you are confused about what this Linux thing might be…visit this flash presentation to get an idea and welcome to the world of Linux! We’re glad you came aboard! Hopefully, you’ll make the choice many have already made to run Linux exclusively on our PCs 😀

Guilty by Association

I remember a time in high school when we had a substitute teacher. This teacher was previously retired but still subbed in from time to time. His look on things was of the old school circa 1960…so he ran quite a tight ship and didn’t appreciate any adverse feedback or smart remarks from the students. I never had a problem with him until the day that I chuckled at a fellow classmate who was in a tug of war match with another student over a text book (evidently, one of them stole the other student’s textbook…whatever) and the teacher decided to get in the fray…so here we have 2 students and a teacher pulling on a textbook in three different directions. I laughed aloud…it was silly to see an older teacher and two ‘punks’ as he’d call them pulling on that book.

I was immediately reprimanded and given detention. When I asked what I did, the response was “apparently nothing but you’re going to stay after anyway”. When I pressed harder for an explanation, I was told that since I thought ‘my two buddies’ were funny, I was staying after. I had been caught in a perplexing situation many people, groups and companies find themselves in…I was guilty by association.

I was reading an article at Linux Today earlier and saw this line from the article, which was penned in defense of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (and rightly so…I have no idea why people would call SJVN a shill…he’s the farthest thing from it). I’m not so much concerned with people attacking SJVN so much as I am with the editor’s (it’s an editor’s note) second item that he’s bugged by:

“The other reaction that bugged me was this guilt-by-association that’s been glommed onto openSUSE. Why does this product and its developers suddenly have to take the fall for the actions of Novell?”

So…people shouldn’t do this. We all know that it isn’t fair…but the main fact is they are doing this and have always done this, just like that teacher of mine in high school. I wanted to understand why people aren’t making the connection that openSuse shouldn’t be held accountable for Novell’s actions…but then it hit me…The technology and code being sunk into openSuse as a test ground will one day make it into the Novell Desktop…which, as part of the now famous deal, will make money for Microsoft.

When you look at it in this logical manner, I don’t blame the people the article is condemning for targeting openSuse and I don’t see how anyone can blame them. How many Linux users out there do you know that want to bankroll Microsoft?

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