Friday, November 17, 2006

I'd like to thank God, the academy, and Microsoft for making possible everything I've acheived to date... | Free Software Magazine

I'd like to thank God, the academy, and Microsoft for making possible everything I've acheived to date... | Free Software Magazine

You know how when people win awards, like an Oscar for example, they get up there and gush things like “I’d just like to thank my parents, and the academy, and my fifth grade drama teacher, and God for this award, omigod!!!”? Well, if I was put in a position today where I was going to have to gush on stage about, say, my computer use, then I know what I would say. There I would be, staring into the sea of admiring faces, and I would gush: “I would just like to thank my PC, the internet, and Microsoft... because as a Linux user I have naturally been complicit in intellectual property infringement and therefore owe Microsoft a good deal of money. Thanks baby, couldn’t have done it without you. Oh, and the cheque’s in the mail.”

Or that’s what Steve Ballmer reckons I should say, anyway.

What Does Free Software Really Cost?

What Does Free Software Really Cost?: "You've probably seen the many articles infesting computing publications that blather on about comparing TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and ROI (Return on Investment) for Linux and Windows, and trying to figure out which one costs less to run. I'm no analyst, nor am I a Fellow at some Institute, nor am I a pundit who is paid to pontificate. I'm just an old country system and network administrator who has been running mixed Linux and Windows networks for lo these many years, and since everything works OK and my customers keep sending me checks that don't bounce, I figure I'm entitled to a punditry or two of my own. The bottom line is Linux costs way less to run and works better. That's why I prefer it."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Programmers - here's a contest for you

The Programming Forums is starting a contest on November 15 with prizes worth $1100. The grand prize is $500 cash for the winner. is the place to talk about all things coding online. The contest is for using their forums. You get points based on how much you post, and how much you reply. And there are chances to get 100 points a pop for excellent posts to the forum. Second place gets $200. Third place gets $75. And that's just the cash prizes. Other prizes include hosting, web design, and banner ad designs. There are also 4 ThinkGeek T-shirts for honorable mentions. Good luck guys!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hack Attack: Set up and host a blog on your home computer - Lifehacker

Hack Attack: Set up and host a blog on your home computer - Lifehacker: "If you want to host your own blog, you can purchase a plan at a web hosting provider for a few bucks a month - or you can set it up on your home computer for free."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sun Lights the Way for Java to Reach the Source. The Open Source - Tech News - - Science & Technology

Sun Lights the Way for Java to Reach the Source. The Open Source - Tech News - - Science & Technology

After last week’s announcement concerning the collaboration between Adobe and the Mozilla Foundation, and the surprising close-up between Novell and Microsoft, it seems the open source movement becomes more and more attractive.

This is why Sun Microsystems decided to finally release its source code for Java to the wide community of open source developers.

Adobe to donate script code to Mozilla | CNET

Adobe to donate script code to Mozilla | CNET "Adobe will donate software to run JavaScript programs in the Firefox Web browser, the largest code contribution yet to the open-source Mozilla Foundation.

On Tuesday, Adobe is expected to announce the donation in conjunction with the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. The code will form the basis for a new open-source project called Tamarin, which will be governed and manned by developers from Adobe and Mozilla."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

InfoQ:Sun open sources Java SE, ME, and Glassfish under GPLv2

From the article:
"It has finally happened. Sun today announced that Java SE, Java ME, and Glassfish are being open sourced under the GNU General Public License v2 (GPLv2) with Sun today releasing an early build of the Java SE 7 HotSpot JVM, the javac compiler, and JavaHelp in the new OpenJDK project at Java.NET which will be the project site for future JDK development, releases, bug fixes, etc. The fully buildable Java SE 7 JDK classlibraries will be available in Q1 2007. "

CRMchump: 50 Open Source success stories in Business, Education, and Government

A rundown of success stories from all spheres that open source touches. Whether through profit margins, spreading the technology to areas thought well outside its reach, or just simply generating greater public awareness, the success of this truly world-changing technology is everywhere.

Cheap, hackable Linux smartphone due soon

Cheap, hackable Linux smartphone due soon: "One of the world's largest computer and consumer electronics manufacturers will ship a completely open, Linux-based, GPS-equipped, quad-band GSM/GPRS phone direct, worldwide, for $350 or less, in Q1, 2007. First International Computing's (FIC's) 'Neo1973' or FIC-GTA001, is the first phone based on the open-source 'OpenMoKo' platform."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gaim 2.0.0beta5 is out

You can get the latest beta of the Gaim multi-protocol instant messenger from their website.

Instant messengers are everywhere, cell phones, PDAs, video game machines, and - of course - computers. And just like most people now have several phone numbers, home, work, cell, fax, the computer's phone line, etc., a lot of people have several screen names on various IM clients. There are a number of them out there - AIM, Yahoo, MSN, etc. - and each comes with its own ad-ridden, spyware-bloated client.

To stay connected, someone might have as many as 4 or 5 IM programs running at once. This not only eats away at their RAM, but exposes them to security risks, makes their privacy more vulnerable, clogs up their screen, and can be very confusing. Enter GAIM - a single IM client that handles all the main IM protocols (or networks) in a lightweight, easy to use, ad-free interface.

Let's consider the plight of my friend "Brad Schmidt". Brad is a hip guy when it comes to technology. He has a computer job, and he has to stay connected all the time. He's got broadband connectivity at work and at home. He's got "Friends" that he's known for years, but has never seen their faces or heard their voices. They are all online. Brad has used various ISPs over his online-life, and has even been relegated to using the library's computers as his only means of surfing during a tight financial period. As a result - Brad has many screennames on many IM networks.

Brad doesn't want to get rid of his screennames or get off any of the networks, so he has three clients, AIM, Yahoo, and MSN. When checking his Task Manager one day, Brad notices that his official AIM client is using 19 MB of RAM. His Yahoo is using 23 MB - and MSN is using 20. - That's a total of 62 MB of RAM - almost half a stick. Not a big deal, since Brad has 512 MB, but still a good chunk.

I tell Brad about GAIM, and he tries it. He turns off all of his other clients - even turns off their option to load on start-up - then tries GAIM. He has no problem figuring out how to log on - to all three clients at once - then he checks his RAM usage. GAIM is only using 16 Megabytes! That's less than any *one* of the other 3, and it does the work of all 3 combined.

Brad quickly deletes the other clients. Welcome to open source, Brad. ;-)

Gaim works on more networks than the 3 my friend was used to using. Gaim supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and Zephyr networks.

Gaim users can log in to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on AOL Instant Messenger, talking to a friend on Yahoo Messenger, and sitting in an IRC channel all at the same time.

Gaim supports many features of the various networks, such as file transfer, away messages, typing notification, and MSN window closing notification. It also goes beyond that and provides many unique features. A few popular features are Buddy Pounces, which give the ability to notify you, send a message, play a sound, or run a program when a specific buddy goes away, signs online, or returns from idle; and plug-ins, consisting of text replacement, a buddy ticker, extended message notification, and more.

A user can easily import existing buddy lists with just a couple of clicks - since most networks house the lists on their servers anyway, it is often done automatically on the first login. To make it easy to keep your friends clearly defined, all users have icons next to their names that designate the network they are using.

So if a user knows a CoolGal2004 on AIM and a CoolGal2004 on Yahoo, and the user is pretty sure the two are different people, the icon can display which is which. Of course, one can always give one's buddies aliases, or use their real names on the buddy list. Also, more info, such as usernames, idle times, or warning levels, is available by just selecting a name and clicking the Get More Info button. The info available per buddy depends on which network that person is using.

Gaim comes with the typical IM features one would expect to find - like adjustable font sizes and colors, the use of emoticons, spell-check, customizable away messages, and so on. The emoticons change according to which IM network is being used.

Gaim also lets users tailor the privacy settings for each network. A person can choose who is allowed to contact him: all users, only those on a specific list of users, or just people on his buddy list - the same goes for blocking users. Conversations can be logged for future reference.

Gaim also comes with some unique features, like tabbed chatting, which lets users put all of their conversations in one window. This is great if one doesn't like a billion pop-up IM windows all over the place!

Gaim runs on Windows, Linux, and even some hand-held OSes, like iPaq and the Sharp Zaurus - so a user can have a familiar client on multiple OSes.

To learn more or grab your own copy of Gaim - which includes the latest GTK+ Runtime environment in the Windows installer (which means it's easier to install than GIMP - of course, you can always install Gaim first, and then grab the GIMP without having to install GTK+ separately) - just visit their website, The downloads are here -

Friday, November 10, 2006

Open source earns legal victory

This is great news!

The open source software operations of IBM, Red Hat and Novell need not fear prosecution under antitrust laws, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

TrueCombat:Elite - Open Source does Games

TrueCombat:Elite is a team-based realism modification, based on the free and popular Enemy Territory. It's open source, free, and cross-platform (Windows, Linux, and Mac). If you like open source, and you like games, you own it to yourself to check it out.

Open source ain't just for hackers - it's for gamers too.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Linux on the Desktop

I love Linux, but I'm not sure it will ever replace Windows as the number one desktop operating system.

It has become something of a cliché that Linux has reached a critical point in its development and adoption. However, this is especially true now when we look at what events are lined up to occur in the near future, and particularly in the desktop area.

Perhaps the most visible event is the impending launch of Microsoft's Vista. Try as they might, this new OS shows every sign of needing hardware replacement, some user training, and considerable support staff training to be truly effective in deployment. Particularly note the last two, often cited as reasons why moving to Linux is expensive and fraught with danger. Of course, Linux doesn't have the added disadvantage of needing a hardware upgrade."