The Symple Life

Yes, the technology I often used in schools, recycled PCs, is now available to everyone.“for business use, the Symple PC is a no-brainer for most everyday office purposes. Why? How about the fact that you can buy five of these for about what you’d pay for one from the name brand folks — with about the same warranty and no software licensing fees. Also, it’s uniform physical form simplifies the logistics of setting up workstations, and it can handle just about any task you’re likely to throw at it.”
See Kicking the Tires on an $89 Symple PC.
This is good, because it works and reduces the load on landfill/natural resources. The older equipment may be a bit wasteful on energy consumption but that can be beneficial in the basement or colder regions… and since most people are shy of tinkering with the innards of a PC, this is something that has a place in the market for PCs. Wintel certainly can’t compete with that price.


They even have bulk-pricing which would be great for schools limited by CFSL and other organizations with much lower limits. There is a graduated scale moving to $84.15 for 250+. 100 would be easy to fit into next year’s budget at only $8584. Heck, a couple of Bingo’s would do that where I’ve worked.

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OMG! Desktop GNU/Linux in Bahrain Goes Critical

See Top 7 Desktop OSs in Bahrain from 1 July 2008 to 17 Apr 2015.

What on Earth are the Bahrainis doing with Desktop GNU/Linux?

According to the ITU, they are among the top countries in ICT development. Good for them. Despite being fabulously wealthy, they appear to be doing IT the right way with lots of FLOSS.

MacOS is also gaining but it’s That Other OS that’s the big loser, especially on weekends. This suggests there is a source of retail GNU/Linux notebooks in Bahrain. sells them.

The peak of GNU/Linux usage so far was March 27, a Friday in a muslim country which has a day off work for many, at 5.38%. The following Wednesday, the share was 3.28%. It’s too bad GNU/Linux is not getting more of the share of M$’s decline but it’s their choice. It’s good they have a choice.

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Uruguay By Quarters – The GNU/Linux Desktop Share

While all over the world we see more or less cautious adoption of GNU/Linux on the desktop,Top 7 Desktop OSs in Uruguay from Q3 2008 to Q2 2015. Uruguay is an outlier. For the last few years, Q4 has been a new high share of page-views according to StatCounter. I see a trend and Q4 for 2015, the year of the GNU/Linux Desktop, should be wonderful, the envy of the world.

Uruguay is one of the countries that has pushed GNU/Linux in education and that effort is paying off. GNU/Linux is growing every year and more rapidly every year in Uruguay. It’s all good, something to emulate if we want the best IT for the lowest cost.

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Higher Education Sees The Light

It’s about time. Schools at all levels have been promoting non-Free software from the likes of M$“last year, the Hungarian government decided to promote the use of EuroOffice and ODF in schools and universities. “It is an important policy change … The previous 15 years the Hungarian government helped popularise software from US-based companies.”

See Hungary universities move to EuroOffice and ODF.
but now they are seeing the light and using FLOSS applications. The world can and does make its own software. Why shouldn’t they?

This will also pave the way for other FLOSS like GNU/Linux on the desktop instead of That Other OS. Altogether this could save half the cost of desktop IT or permit more/better IT for the same money in Hungarian universities. What about your local university? This is yet another indication that this is the Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop. Hungary as a whole is not doing badly on GNU/Linux desktops (1.48%). It’s time the universities pulled their share up.

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Dutch Parliament Kicks Butt

It’s outrageous how much governments around the worldGoogle Translation
“33 326 Parliamentary investigation ICT projects in government


Presented April 14, 2015

The Room,

heard the deliberation,

noting that the motion Vendrik already in 2002 called for compliance with open standards in 2006, and ambitious targets for use of open source software;

noting that the Monitor Open Standard Policy 2014 the ICTU appears that in tenders only a limited part of the relevant open standards and is asked, there is no question of a ‘comply or explain’ principle;

noting that no ambitious targets for the use of open source software;

believes that this dependence on a limited number of large software vendors too strong and that this can lead to high social costs of computer software;

calls on the Government to ensure that is handled properly for the end of 2015 for all tenders by the relevant open standards;

calls upon the Government to determine, how the government through exit strategies may be less dependent on ICT providers and report to report to the House;

further calls on the Government, in any contract of a new ICT project to the specifications set in such a way that open source applications make an equal chance and the choice for a closed source application to explain this,

and proceeds to the order of the day.


spend on non-Free software. FLOSS is so much more efficient use of taxpayers’ monies. Well, the Dutch parliament has had enough and is kicking the government to follow the rules and prefer FLOSS wherever it’s good enough, which is just about everywhere.

Note their mention of “high social costs of computer software”. This is not just about price. Every time their government sends money to USA for software, someone in Netherlands is not getting paid work. It’s so simple: hire Dutch programmers to customize and to create/maintain FLOSS. Netherlands doesn’t have to pay the full shot then, only the parts that are relevant to them. They can leverage the work of other individuals and organizations around the world to assist in running their IT. That’s obviously a better way to do IT. The world can and does make its own software and Netherlands should use it. A decent percentage of PCs do, so it works for them on the desktop too.

See Dutch parliament: Vendor dependence too high a cost.

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Superstars Of The GNU/Linux Desktop 2015-04-15

Every activity has its superstars. Yesterday, in the GNU/Linux desktop page-views counted by StatCounter, Uruguay, Reunion and Finland all were superstars achieving over 10% share. Uruguay and Reunion have been steady performers over time but the last two weeks Finland has had notable spikes. Is this a big rollout happening? Time will tell.

Recent GNU/Linux activity in Finland has included Digabi, a live distro intended to be used by students for electronic examinations. That suggests GNU/Linux is widely used by students… Finland intends to use all electronic exams for upper grades by 2020. Digabi is supposed to keep folks off the Internet during exams so running it should not increase web-stats but learning to use it may well require using XFCE4 more widely. It’s all good. There are about a million students in Finland. Even Australia is looking at a similar system.

Research in Finland has demonstrated the suitability of GNU/Linux in education, exactly as I found in Canada.

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TOOS Stalls – GNU/Linux Thrives In North America In 2015

SeeTop 7 Desktop OSs in North America from 1 Jan to 14 Apr 2015.
I love it when, despite a preponderance of M$’s units on retail shelves of legacy PCs, GNU/Linux takes a huge share of the market. That’s happening now in North America, where I and oldfart live. People here finally know they have a choice and are making that choice more than ever before.

I guess now the trolls will boast that M$’s rate of growth for the flagship is higher than GNU/Linux on the desktop, but we know the gap on the share of page-views is barely moving. There’s no way “8.1” will ever reach 50% in the next couple of years when GNU/Linux will likely reach over 10% share and people are clinging to “7” just as they did with XP. You know what happens now? “Positive feedback”, all kinds of people and organizations springing forth to support GNU/Linux in the market: Consumers, IT people, retailers, ISVs, OEMs, … all of those folks who used to be M$’s slaves. They are free at last. Expect growth of GNU/Linux desktops to ramp up in 2015, The Year Of The GNU/Linux Desktop. Merry Christmas to all.

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Oohh La La! The French Are Going All In For GNU/Linux Desktops!

See Top 7 Desktop OSs in France from 1 Jan to 14 Apr 2015.
It’s not often I get to gloat but it’s fun when it happens. This is one of those times. A few weeks ago, I wrote about GNU/Linux breaking out in French desktops. Continue reading

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R. v. Nur – Sanity Prevails in The Supreme Court of Canada

“At that far end stands, for example, the licensed and responsible gun owner who stores his unloaded firearm safely with ammunition nearby, but makes a mistake as to where it can be stored. Given the minimal blameworthiness of this offender and the absence of any harm or real risk of harm flowing from the conduct, a three year sentence would be disproportionate. Similar examples can be envisaged. The bottom line is that s. 95(1) foreseeably catches licensing offences that involve little or no moral fault and little or no danger to the public.

It follows that the mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment imposed by s. 95(2) are unconstitutional.”
See R. v. Nur – SCC Cases (Lexum).
Little by little the insanity that was introduced into the Canadian Criminal Code by knee-jerk reactions to outrageous crimes involving firearms is being undone. We’ve had the registry eliminated, and licensing streamlined. Now one of the major provisions, extra punishment for firearms offences far beyond reason, has been shot down. When our Senate did not do its job of giving sober second thought to such legislation this stuff was imposed badly and caused much pain in Canada. Now, in hindsight, our Supremes are finally getting it right. I hope one day they will put the legislation back into Pandora’s Box where it never should have seen the light of day. While the legislation hurt a lot of small businesses and their customers mostly farmers and hunters, target-shooting and collecting firearms are being revived and more firearms-friendly businesses are emerging or re-emerging, despite the legislation and the 1K+ pages of regulations it spawned.

The last few things I see needing fixing in this line are Canadian manufacturing of ammunition and firearms. Under “Free Trade” most such operations were shut down or relocated to USA. Then along came export restrictions from the UN… Now in USA and Canada just about everything from 22 rim-fire ammunition to propellants are in short supply and it is terribly difficult to shop in USA. e.g. Canadians can’t legally buy firearms/ammunition in USA unless they have a licence to hunt in USA… Then there’s paperwork crossing the border from both sides… It would be so much easier to have Canadian products sold by Canadian retailers as in the old days. Along that same line, propellants which used to sell for a few dollars per pound now sell for ~$30, if you can find any. Bullets which used to cost ~10cents now cost 50cents.

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The Last 80 Days In Malta

In WWII, Malta served as an aircraft carrier for Britain. It was pounded by Italian and German forces but survived to help greatly in the fight against Rommel in Africa. There’s another war going on in Malta today and the good guys are winning again. GNU/Linux share of page-views on the desktop are trending upwards thanks to the schools. There’s nothing like reaching the market when it is young.

See Top 7 Desktop OSs in Malta from 23 Jan to 13 Apr 2015.

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Dramatic Takeoff of GNU/Linux On The Desktop In Malta

Malta is one of those places where the small size allows one to see significant migrations to GNU/Linux desktop in their full glory. Notice the ascendance of GNU/Linux in the same week that school started that year. The peak usage was on Thursday, 2015-Jan-8 at 6.83% a day or two after the Christmas break ended. Even use on weekends showed dramatic growth. I like it.

See Top 7 Desktop OSs in Malta from 1 Aug 2014 to 12 Apr 2015.

More On The Maltese Government’s position on FLOSS:
“In order for Open Source to be pitched at a level playing field requires a cultural change towards openness, which will in turn result in the necessary skills and increased business opportunities. Public Education at all levels should therefore cater for respective Open Source awareness. An increased awareness of OSS will influence the local technology market. Public Post Secondary (including MCAST) and Tertiary education already makes use and, to a limited extent, adopt Open Source technologies. The University of Malta, together with other educational institutions and Government agencies should serve as catalysts for the introduction of new OSS opportunities through appropriate educational programmes. A potential enabling programme can be the creation of national localised Open Source Software to address specific needs of the society, such as an Educational and SME Linux based distribution. The Government may consider subsidising or partially funding such programmes. This will also promote Malta as an OSS contributor and widen collaboration with other Universities and European entities. It is also expected that new business opportunities are identified through the source code availability of OSS.”Open Source Vision -2010

They’ve since renewed a licensing agreement with M$ for students to use “365” and for other IT…

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Ooohhh… GNU/Linux Desktop Share Reaches New High In USA

It always amuses me that some of the most fierce apologists for M$ come from USA yet USA is slurping up */Linux as GNU/Linux, Android/Linux and ChromeOS as rapidly as anywhere in 2015, The Year Of The GNU/Linux Desktop. Lately, there has been a new high every weekend. Yesterday, GNU/Linux desktop share reached 3.51%. It’s a toss-up whether the number will be higher, today, Sunday. There were only 18 countries with higher shares yesterday, Pitcairn Islands, 12%, Niue, 11.9%, Uruguay 10.34%, Reunion, 9.82%, Holy See (Vatican City State), 7.93%, San Marino, 7.76%, Liechtenstein, 7.14%, Norfolk Island, 7.14%, Venezuela, 5.84%, Malta, 5.21%, Czech Republic, 4.81%, Tajikistan, 4.56%, Italy, 4.32%, Micronesia, 4.27%, Cuba, 4.26%, Iceland, 4.13%, France, 3.9%, and Bahrain, 3.56%. The USA is catching up quickly. Amen.

See Top 7 Desktop OSs in the US from 1 Jan to 12 Apr 2015.

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