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new blog title and what Linux needs to go to the next level

On the way back from Chicago this evening I thought a lot about openness.  I was asked recently what my ultimate goal is.  I think the answer is that I’d like for institutions with which I or my friends and family are affiliated don’t waste money on proprietary software.  Proprietary software can be good, even great software, but all software has bugs and security flaws.  Why not have the ability to fix them yourself?  As was recently ask at BarCampMilwaukee3 by another participant, “why pay for buggy software?”  Well, the answer may be that it’s the best, but I urge you to think about the total cost of ownership, and I don’t just mean for Windows Vista or Windows XP, but for staying in the Window paradigm.  I’m 25.  In 40 years, how much money will companies I work for spend on Microsoft?  If you gradually phase in FOSS alternatives, how much money can be saved?  How much more control will we have of our software, leading to increased productivity?  Switching is difficulty, but the switch is better done now than later.  To make that transition easier, I think Linux needs Photoshop and iTunes.  I don’t think either of these companies has anything to fear from Linux, but they both have something to fear from FOSS.  Legitimizing FOSS is putting one foot in the grave for these companies, at least on a software level.  However, even if Adobe did release Photoshop for Linux, it would be a long time before GIMP overtakes Photoshop.  In fact, moving to Linux could free up software dollars in budgets for more people to buy Adobe products.  Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Acrobat are industry standard software and are going nowhere soon. It’s hard to say what exactly would happen to Apple if it put iTunes on Linux.  In the short term, they could expect more iTunes sales.  Despite all the closed things Apple does, basing OS X off of BSD seems to have made a lot of folks in the FOSS community happy.  Apple also does some great things for FOSS with their support of Apache, MySQL and PHP.  And, of course, there’s the mutual enemy.  While I don’t see either happening any time soon, I do think that more software needs to make it to Linux for Linux to make the next step.

As for me, I’ve recently gotten an Ubuntu machine on our domain.  The next step is to be able to access domain resources.  That way, I’ll be able to be more productive while saving my employer some money on Microsoft licensing.

The point of all this rambling is, I changed the site name to better reflect the things I feel I should be talking about.

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BarCampMilwaukee3 and some Vista issues

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on here, but while I’m 100% Linux at home (not even in a virtual machine), my desktop at work is Vista.  I’m working on getting a tablet going with Ubuntu and I have an Ubuntu HP 6910p, but Vista is what I am using mostly.  At 4GB RAM, I don’t have much to complain about.  If I had this bad boy, I’d even have less to complain about.  It might work as a pretty good heater in the winter too.

So, I finally have a SATA hard drive.  This is going to be so sweet.  And, it’ll finally give me a chance to get rid of my last NTFS partition, which seems to be pretty flakey.

Ok, on to Vista issues.

1) Maybe this is an issue with XP too, but when I RDP to my machine the taskbar and my icons move to the other monitor.  It’s not that big of a deal, but it is annoying.  I use a VGA splitter and while the two splits are labeled 1 and 2, RDP defaults to 2.  I haven’t been able to find much online about it.  This guy fixed his problem, and it’s the closest I can find, but it’s not the problem I am having.

2) I have a Motion Computing tablet and this thing is a royal pain to upgrade to Vista.  It must be upgraded, not a fresh image.  The fresh image doesn’t have wireless drivers and the company doesn’t really support this model with Vista.  The only problem is our only employee with one of these has Vista (he has a 1700 rather than a 1600) and I can’t reproduce the problem in Vista or XP.  He is having delay issues on digitally signed e-mails in Outlook 2007.

Ok, since I tagged this mostly as variations of BarCampMilwaukee3, I should at least say a little something about it.  There’s a pre-party tomorrow night.  I won’t be there.  I will be there at 10am on Saturday morning and plan on staying until the end.  I’m sure there will be some down time for a blog post, if we don’t have wireless issues like we did at BarCampMadison2.  Also, at BCMad2, I went home since I basically live in Madison, meaning while I slept well, I missed out on some of the night craziness.  The Saturday of BCMad2, I went to the Dillinger Escape Plan show at The Loft on Washington with some friends.  Crazy show…even crazier than the last time I saw DEP, though that concert in Raleigh was a pretty crazy night, just not as much so during DEP’s set.  So, if you’re in Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago or the surrounding area, I highly encourage you to attend BarCampMilwaukee3.  I’ll be leading a discussion on pairing FOSS with proprietary, not because I like proprietary at all, but because that is the reality of the situation at current.

EDIT: I see that I mentioned the motion computing issue back in August.  Yep, still working on it.  I need a USB CD drive that gets along with motion computing.

window decoration issues in Linux/wireless issues in Vista

So, I’m finishing up my first week with the pager and so far so good!

I actually fixed my window decoration issue in Linux over night.  I wrote the title to this post and left it open over night.  Turned out the fix was just metacity –replace.  You can see the thread at http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=823245.  Unfortunately, once I turn compiz back on the window decorations disappear, so the battle is won, but the war is not over.

As to the Vista wireless issues, I’ve got a Motion Computing LE1600 that will not update all the Windows Updates, namely “other hardware -Motion Computing Tablet PC Buttons” released 8/17/2008.  On top of this, I cannot find drivers for wireless (device manager calls it “Ethernet Controller”), Multimedia Audio Controller and Unknown device.  Thanks Vista, that’s helpful.  I don’t care much about any of these except the wireless.  You can read more about this issue at http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AlQKmN6AIe6Ex8JKm5U696rsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20080828171212AAEhZKW.

So, the only other Linux person in CaTS is leaving today.  Despite him not being able to help me with my dual monitor issue, he did try to help and someone willing to try is worth their weight in gold.  However, hopefully I won’t have any other issues once I get compiz working.  However, I do have two dead/dying hdd’s, so I doubt that will be the case.  I also have a new motherboard to install at some point, so that will likely have some issues too.  I think I can find people here to help me with hardware issues though, should I need help.  An hour and 13 minutes left of pager duty!

change working title?

So, I am done with Vista for at least a month in between jobs.  I hadn’t been using Vista my last few days at work in favor of Ubuntu anyway.  I am planning on installing Fedora 9 on a virtual machine on my laptop. Here’s a run down of what I was running:

Office desktop: primarily ubuntu, SUSE in a virtual box and Vista dual boot

Office laptop: primarily XP, ubuntu dual boot

both of those boxes are gone.

Home desktop: ubuntu only

Home laptop: ubuntu only

test box: I haven’t used this in a while as I’ve been busy, but I think this is also ubuntu only.

Now, my brother just installed Vista to test and he had been an XP guy while testing ubuntu too, so next week after he moves home I might be seeing it more.  At home my dad has an OS X work laptop and they have a very slow XP Dell.  I think they might have a DOS box in the bedroom, but maybe Windows 3.1.  They had both for a while and I’m not sure if they still have either.  Oh, my brother has a desktop too, and I think it is ubuntu only also, but it gets little use.  Should I go to Wisconsin (likely), I’ll have to get MS certified.  I’ll probably soon be looking to get Red Hat certified too for job reasons (why I’m installing Fedora in virtual box).  The next few months of life should be exciting one way or another.

This brings me back to the main point.  While this blog has never been exclusively about Vista and more about my job related issues in general, since I am no longer a Vista user, it seems strange for the blog to be titled that.  Thoughts?

Been a while

This is a post I apparently saved a while back, but never posted:

“So, I haven’t been using Vista for the last little bit since my last computer wasn’t up to the task. I’ve now got a Dell 755 which runs Vista/Office 2007 at great speed.”

I should add that we went through a saga with the video card in that machine.  In the end, Dell came through.