Who do You Trust with Your Computing?

Some of you may have read my friend and collegue’s blog named “Blog of Helios” and visited his website lobby4linux.com enough to have understood what he has tried and is trying to accomplish with regards to Trusted Computing and Digital Rights Management. Many of you probably respect this approach and support it as I do. Others may not have any idea what I’m speaking of. Allow me to background a bit:

A few months back, despite life threatening illness, Ken aka helios DROVE from Texas to Washington D.C. to talk to congressmen and women about DRM and TC. He did this on a shoestring budget because he knew the Linux community was counting on him to do something about legislation (he had raised money for the trip and felt obligated to go)…and he’d made a promise. That kind of drive and compassion you don’t find much in people…sure they can have a great opinion about something…but many sit on their hands and shout the opinions. Actions speak louder than words and Ken aka Helios is FULL of action.

Helios was speaking out against trusted computing (TC) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) that is humming softly at the hardware and software level inside YOUR computer right now. That’s right! Chances are, it’s already made it on a chip on your and my motherboards…but it’s there. Soon, if what can happen does happen…we’ll all be so very unhappy at being told how we can and can’t operate our PCs.

Some of you may be asking, “what the heck are you talking about? They can’t tell me how I can use my computer inside my own home”. Unfortunately, that statement is false. DRM chips are already on a majority of motherboards and even built into some processors (viiv anyone?). All it takes is a flip of the switch and you’ll do what Microsoft or any other company that wants to manage your rights for you tells you to do whether you like it or not. That is, of course, unless you use Linux :) Linux has always been about choice…we choose to compute in ways WE want to…not ways that are defined for us. If we don’t like something, we code it different ourselves and then release the change…chances are, someone else thinks like you do and will like that change also. With Windows, that’s not possible…you’re locked from the start…so you’ll be locked to the finish as well.

Read more

InfoWorld Employs Ignorant Journalists

NOTE: ComputerWorld Senior Online Projects Editor, Ian Lamont, has contacted me and asked that I provide a correction to the information contained in this post. The original article by Neil McAllister did not originally appear at Computerworld. It was first published by InfoWorld…however, there was no originating link published with the Computerworld posting of the article linking back to this original posting…so assumption was justified but wrong. Thus, Computerworld is not the employer of ignorance, rather, InfoWorld is :) It is important to note that Compturworld is a subsidiary (is that the right word?) of http://idg.net of which InforWorld is as well. Unfortunately, due to syndication, the title of this article is the URL and has been passed around at many, many different places.

So, I’ll be retitling and editing the article accordingly to provide seamless redirection. I apologize to Computerworld if in any way, shape, or form for my mistake did any character damage or incurred the rath senior editors and/or caused anyone to lose face or get made fun of (unless they’re dressed in horrible attire or didn’t brush their teeth this morning, in which case, they should apologize to everyone else). The original Computerworld syndication of Mr. McAllister’s article is located here. A copy of the original article I penned is available upon request via the comments section of this article. Thanks!


Articles like this one are so misguided. Giving you a brief overview what the article from InfoWorld says: Open Source supporters build fortresses around them that make them unapproachable and have infinite animosity toward Microsoft. Yep, that about sums it up. I’ll show you below how this article was written by an ignorant journalist…one that probably is too prideful to ask for help when writing his garbage. Next time you go to write something, why don’t you ask someone? Heck, ask me…I’d help you not to make a fool of yourself and stay accurate with the facts. Instead, InfoWorld shows mud on its face while pretending they’re subject matter experts.

I’d expect it from say…a standard blog discussing technology or perhaps a publication site that only has a technology section with a writer or two that pens just enough to wet the appetite of the computer savvy portion of its demographic. But InfoWorld? Come on! These guys should do a bit more research…afterall, they’re part of IDG which is the leading distributor of computer and technology based magazines and newspapers on the entire planet…you’d think that they might hire someone with a bit more knowledge in the arena of open source. They lead off the entire article with the following:

“If you support open source, one of the initial things you learn is that you must bash Microsoft.”

Well, I missed that memo. Last I checked on Sourceforge, there were around 6,000 pieces of open source software available for Windows and the Microsoft platform. Perhaps the author is confusing the term Open Source with Linux as many people do. They sit there and think that Linux and Open Source are synonymous. That just isn’t so. Linux is just one of many Open Source programs available…and one of many that can be said contain a philosophy biased against Microsoft Software. I always take note that some of the best programs out there that have a GPL License make my job eaiser on the Microsoft Platform at work. When you generalize things like this, you should at least get the generalization correct. In this instance, he didn’t.

Now…perhaps the author just opened up with the wrong sentence right? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and take a look at the second sentence:

It’s understandable; of all the
proprietary software companies in the world the one in Redmond takes
the cake for ill-will towards the open-source community. Just look at
the famed “Halloween documents” to see the extent of the bad blood”

Uh…last I checked the Halloween Documents were penned by Microsoft which was why they were so damning. So, the benefit of the doubt was given but shouldn’t have been. The author is implying that the Halloween Documents were somehow written by Open Source supporters in an attempt to bring ‘ill-will’ toward Microsoft. Funny isn’t it? This means that the author didn’t even read the Halloween Documents enough to know this simple fact. The author probably didn’t even read the Halloween Documents FAQ. Does it get any better later in the article?

Nope. Read on for the full digression.

Read more

LinuxWorld, Powered by Windows?

Did anyone else catch this? According to The Register, the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo 2006 web page is running powered on Windows Server 2003?! That’s a bit odd…so I checked things out myself by visiting netcraft. Yep, they sure are. Very odd. You’d think that someone who runs a Linux website would make sure that the host they went with and the designers they hired to do the website were Linux people instead of Windows. In fact, if it were me, I’d make damn sure I did it that way.

I looked at their site report from Netcraft and saw that they have just changed within the last month. As I’ve spoken about in the past, some of these larger linux websites/news agencies have really gone down hill. I used to think LinuxWorld was a really great magazine/website. Then they go and pull something like this. Oddly enough, their website has been suffering as of late: According to Alexa, they’ve been on a steady decline since 2004. In fact, my lowly blog here has been garnering more traffic than their site according to Alexa. You do the math…if they can’t beat my silly little blog in traffic, they’re going out fast.

Don’t worry though, I at least have enough sense to always power this site with Open Source and on the Linux platform…even though my primary job is with Microsoft Windows 2000 and 2003 servers. I may be good at Windows AND Linux but I’m no sell out. I bet LinuxWorld wishes they could say the same. I’d cancel my tickets and reservations if you have a spot at that expo. Make sure you check out the heavy hitters that are there too and express your opinions to them on this subject.

Of Vista, Linux, and the User Experience

I was reading this article earlier this week and thought that it was interesting. It announced the Windows Vista release as being delayed. I thought that this was just par for the course and something Microsoft always has done and will always do…delay. However, what does this mean for the Linux desktop? Does it mean anything at all? Probably not on the scale most are hoping.

It’s Opportunity, Albeit, a Small One

Does anyone else here smell that? It’s opportunity. Perhaps an opportunity to push Linux just a little while longer and to develop it into what it needs to be before Microsoft once again proliferates itself onto every PC in America and sets the standard to which all things are compared. I can just see it when Vista finally does release…all of the comparison articles that will sprout across the web between Vista and desktops such as Ubuntu and SuSe 10.X. Linux can gain ground only one way; if it can become about user experience versus user function. If it can do that, I think Linux just might gain some ground. Babysteps…that’s what it is all about.

Microsoft’s OS has always been a rip-off of the work others do. OS/2 did things before Microsoft…Macs did things before Microsoft. They’ve been playing constant catch up since Windows began. If developers and users seize this opportunity in Linux to develop their distros in new ways, it can give Linux a slight foothold onto the desktop. Notice I said slight foothold. That’s because Linux will never storm onto the desktop. It will chip away slowly at the desktop until it gains acceptance. Linux has been granted a small door to the desktop and there is a set criteria for those distros that want to go through it. Will your favorite distro be able to go through the door? Can it provide the user experience needed to win people on the desktop over?

Read more

Speed up your Windows XP Computer!

If you’re like me, you get frustrated on a daily basis with your XP box. I hate to see people slow themselves down with spyware, adware, and virus’ so I have decided to share my secrets to speeding up your Windows XP Computer!

  1. Boot into Windows XP
  2. Hit F8 every 2 seconds until you’re given the option to boot into ‘Safe Mode with Networking’
  3. Now your computer should be blazing because none of that nasty spyware is running.

Now that you are able to finally operate your computer, let’s speed it up even more.

  1. Download This File (note: it may take quite some time based on your connection speed)
  2. Once the download is finished, get This Program, and install it.
  3. Using the program you installed from #2, burn the file downloaded from #1 to CD.
  4. After burning is finished, put the disc back in your CD tray and reboot the computer

Now you’re halfway done! Soon your Windows XP computer will be operating very fast with zero virus’ and absolutely NO spyware!

  1. After reboot, enter into your BIOS…if you don’t know how, there is a list on this page that contains which key to hit to get into your BIOS.
  2. Set your computer’s boot order to: 1. CD 2. Hard drive 3. Whatever else you may have.
  3. Exit and Save the BIOS.

Allow your computer to boot. If you’re presented with the opportunity to enter text onto a line, just hit enter. You should see much text flying across the screen. Rest assured, this is part of the remedy of a slow XP computer. Soon, you’ll come to a screen that looks like this:

  1. Click the guest icon and enter the password ‘guest’
  2. Allow the login to take place.
  3. YOUR improved Windows XP Computer is complete! It will now operate without virus’, spyware, adware, and will be extremely fast and efficient! Enjoy your new and improved speedier desktop!

Disclaimer: The above instructions allow you to use the PCLinuxOS LiveCD and is intended for educational purposes only. These directions are provided to you ‘as-is’ and since they are for educational purposes only, they should be attempted only by those that desire to be educated. Do not try this at home unless you feel really really ticked off about Virus laden, spyware riddled, adware inundated Windows computers. I am not responsible for how you use the above information, use it at your own risk. If you’d like to install this operating system onto your hard drive, please see this link for more information. Please rest assured, this article is for entertainment and exposure purposes only.

Linux-Blog: Gartner needs to get a clue ASAP

Gartner: Linux ‘five years away from mainstream use’ I read that little gem above and laughed aloud. Mainly because if you’ve been living under a rock for the past year you might agree with that. However, with Novell entering the community with SuSe, Red Hat’s Fedora, and Mandriva’s 2005/6 editions I don’t think we’ll have to wait 5 years for things to happen. It’s obvious that Microsoft doesn’t think so either…otherwise, why are they advertising on television and launching a major ad campaign? Don’t you usually do this when sales are slow or interest is abysmal? By the way, who is it that they are competing against in the desktop area again? Oh that’s right, 90% of all desktops use Windows already. So in this case, they are either A) beating a long dead horse, B) slightly worried, or C) all of the above. When in doubt, choose C. So Microsoft might be slightly worried by Linux/Mac/BSD intruding into the desktop arena…and subsequently mainstream. But Gartner doesn’t seem to think that it is an issue until 2010. If you’d have caught me in about 2002 or previous years I might have agreed with them. However, there are some things that are making Linux into a force to be reckoned with. These are small programs that have begun to make desktop Linux exciting. These programs are often referred to in group by the label “Project Utopia.” Basically, what they do is work with each other to automatically add any device you plug in to your computer.

Read more