Mainstream Linux

I talk quite a bit about Linux going “mainstream” in this blog. The mainstream thought on Mainstream Adoption is that a “mainstream” thing is something that is familiar to the masses. According to the wikipedia, mainstream is:

  1. Something that is ordinary or usual
  2. Something that is familiar to the masses
  3. Something that is available to the general public

Linux has #3 down. I’d also argue that it is becoming “the usual” in quite a few areas of business and computing…so we partially have #1…but Linux will never be ‘ordinary’ as it’s only ordinary if you use it that way. #2 is where Linux hasn’t made complete progress. It’s well on its way to doing this.

I give this definition because I want to clarify that when I say I want Linux to “go mainstream,” I’m speaking of it becoming familiar to the masses. I don’t care about businesses or money or markets or anything else when I speak about the mainstream adoption of Linux. The reason I don’t care about Linux in business or the market value or channels of Linux service providers is because even if all of these things didn’t exist…Linux would still be there on my desktop…and if Linux didn’t exist, none of those markets, channels, or businesses that base themselves on Linux would be there. They are completely reliant upon Linux; but the opposite isn’t true. Therefore, I don’t care much about directions they want to see Linux go. Nor do I care about how much money Linux is valued at or how much money it can make people. I just want to see use of Linux spread. The more people that use Linux, the better off Linux will become…if not for more people that Linux will inspire to become active in projects then for making more noise if some piece of hardware (like a printer) doesn’t work in Linux. Perhaps if there are more voices in our chorus, people and businesses alike will have a harder time not listening to the music.

Despite my earlier notions that Linux and mainstreaming are a bad combination, I’ve switched to the school of thought that Linux becoming mainstream is a logical progression of growth. Especially considering that anyone using Linux doesn’t have the right to stifle this growth…linux is what linux does with or without our opinions and stances on matters. After all, open source is OPEN…for everyone…and if we’re speaking FOSS, then it’s free for everyone too. That means we don’t have a right to keep someone from using Linux nor do we have the right to keep Linux from someone…so mainstream, here Linux comes :)

Read more, the GPL, and Ubuntu Contributors

Why oh why do people jump to conclusions without properly investigating things? I haven’t ranted in a while because, well, there’s really nothing to rant about as of late. However, this morning, I read this news article on violation of the GPL by a site called If you take a look at the article, it goes on to explain that Cipherfunk was offering patches to various bug reports in Ubuntu because Ubuntu hadn’t fixed the bugs (bugs listed: #36596, #38802…possible fixes for: #16873, #38181, #47775) quick enough for the likes of Cipherfunk. Interestingly enough, this is the beauty of Open Source right? If you don’t like how something works, you have the right to get the source code and fix it yourself! In this case, that is just what did. So what’s the big stink about? Source Code and $$$.

The problem is that two Ubuntu contributors asked for to comply with the GPL by removing cost associated with distribution of source code. This is harmless in itself and applauded by many in the community. However, it’s not the why they did it that is wrong…it’s the HOW they did it. How they did it is by first informing the that it was wrong to charge $$ for the source, and second by touting various sections of the GPL where they believed Cipherfunk was in violation. Why is this wrong? Let’s examine things a bit.

The big stink everyone brought up is not that Cipherfunk WASN’T distributing the source code…but that Cipherfunk WAS CHARGING for the source code which they believed was in violation. However, having seen this same case (where Warren Woodford and MEPIS distribute their sourced code for a cost) I know for a fact that the GPL allows one to do this. But let’s take a look at the GPL shall we?

Does the GPL allow me to charge a fee for downloading the program from my site?
Yes. You can charge any fee you wish for distributing a copy of the program. If you distribute binaries by download, you must provide equivalent access to download the source–therefore, the fee to download source may not be greater than the fee to download the binary.

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Perspective is as Perspective Does

Perspective. It’s what separates one opinion from another. A person who looks at a glass that is half empty may be despondent but a person who looks at a glass half full may be full of joy. I like to think “Hey! Who the hell put that glass on this table anyway?”. We all have different ideas that shape who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Often, these ideas blend into our interests and hobbies. With free and open source software (namely Linux) we see this frequently…especially when debating on the subject of libre and free.

Often, it’s attitudes, egos, and intelligence that make this gap between users’ perspective even wider. What’s interesting about all of this philosophy and debate is that it is more prolific now than it was 10 years ago. Why? Well, more users of course! Linux and open source are enjoying a very large following currently. Add more users to the fray and you’re bound to get more perspective…for the good things and the bad.

Working with users at work who don’t even know how to place clipart in their MS Word docs (I sub in for helpdesk since we’re a smaller state agency) got me thinking the other day. Where does the new user fit in with this philosophy and debate? How are we to get their perspective across to programmers, developers, application hackers, and designers? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Linux has arrived at a point unprecedented in history…when a Linux desktop is usable and productive. As Uncle Ben said in Spiderman 2, “with great power comes great responsibility”. I feel the community is being irresponsible on this…and yes, it is all about perspective. So please read on…let’s see if we can change your perspective a bit and close the gap between new users and advanced users.

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The Dirt on Suspicious Digging at…

It seems that being one of the top 500 visited websites in the world has gone to’s head. Users are reporting that some articles that are submitted are being dugg by the same users in the same exact order to up their digg rating to get them on the front page.

When these users posted articles about this phenomenon, those articles are either deleted, the users are banned (Submitted & Banned Pics), or the story is buried (despite having 164 diggs at the time of this writing…not on the front page). There is even reports of users submitting an article who haven’t submitted before only to have another user who is ‘popular’ get the story posted despite posting it later. is supposed to have a duplicate url system in place preventing this…

Now can do whatever they want with their website. In fact, they can bully all the other websites they want to. However, they can’t build their community on a Democratic, Users-vote-for-the-story-and-our-editors-don’t model and then just drop it. They need to follow their own TOS (terms of service) to maintain their credibility or recant that part of the TOS and release an updated TOS. As of this writing, Digg insists that its content is driven by the users. With the information collected in this article, it seems that something is rank in the state of Diggmark. You decide.

For your perusal, I’ve collected all the links I can find with information on this issue. Please comment if you’ve found alternative links and I will update these as the comments come in. Please note that I belive was the first to post on this…they are listed at #1. Also please note many of the comments in these articles…users are pretty livid about this…and there is no response from yet.

  1. Digg Corrupted: Editor’s Playground, not User-Driven Website
  2. The Story that Got Deleted – The digg story that went pewf!
  3. Kevin Rose abusing Digg – links to google group tracking this story
  4. Suspicious Digging
  5. Google Blogoscoped – more on the google group
  6. Digg Corrupted – a user attempts to hold digg accountable
  7. Digg Abused? – Newsvine article on this
  8. Digg Army – Binary Bonsai
  9. Digg, not democracy after all – Yugatech Blog Post
  10. The J Spot
  11. Corruption. The House of the Digg Elite
  12. The Trouble with DIGG
  13. Growing Censorship Concerns at Digg – Just got slashdotted!
  14. Digg Army: Right in Line – More from Forevergeek
  15. 146 diggs, 57 comments, 6 hours and no frontpage at digg
  16. Non Response from – Forevergeek
  17. Explanation? – Kevin Responds? Sort of…
  18. BoingBoing’s Take On This
  19. The Guardian Picks Up the Story…
  20. The Inquirer Hops On
  21. Sitepoint Diggs in their Claws
  22. Blog
  23. Splasho’s Blog…Update on Digg
  24. Three Reasons Why Digg is a Crock! – Zdnet Blogs
  25. MonkeyBites Blog
  26. BlogCritics – A Must Read
  27. Thomas Hawkes Digital Connection – He has the most dugg story of all time…
  28. Odeo Podcast on the Subject
  29. ForeverGeek Comments Further
  30. Zippity Doo Dah – A Statistical Analysis of Digging Corruption? You Decide…
  31. CEO of – The Digg Backlash
  32. More from Techno Pinoy
  33. chimes in
  34. Is Digg Rigging its Diggs? – a Tech Writer from Toronto adds two cents
  35. Businesspundit
  36. Speaks of Digg
  37. ProBlogger – Digg Deception
  38. Newsome Blog
  39. RealTechNews
  40. Silicon Valley Sleuth – Social Websites have a Social Responsibility
  42. Search Engine Guide – is digg working with their own shovel?
  43. Publishing 2.0
  44. SuperGeekBlog – The Social Corruption of Digg
  45. Student-Rant Blog – Interesting Statistics on Editor Posting
  46. Virtual Thought
  47. CNET Podcast on the subject
  48. FG-DIGG Issue on TWiT @ Forever Geek

Why Ubuntu isn’t for New Linux Users

I was getting a bit tired of saying the same things over and over to friends on the net. I was getting tired of repetitiously posting in forums the same sentiment over and over. Yet, just like getting a second wind in a long and tiring race…my tiredness melts away and I find myself feeling refreshed and anew. What the subject of this rant has to say and what I have to say in the paragraphs below are NOT written to start a flame war. I am a user of Ubuntu and a strong supporter of all Debian based distros. This article is written to allow insight into where I believe Linux needs to go to succeed. I’m not out to win any popularity contests…I’m not out to garner a bunch of page hits to generate ad revenue. I’m just out to help the Linux community and rant a bit when I find a subject that strikes a nerve. The subject at hand is Why Ubuntu is NOT New Linux Users.

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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.