Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Feb 04 / 2013
  • 19
technology

SJVN Gives M$ Free Advice – I am enjoying this.

“In less than three months Chromebook went from zero to at least 5% of all Acer’s US shipments. That’s incredible.”

see Microsoft needs to start worrying about Chromebooks | ZDNet.

No, it’s not incredible. What’s incredible is that the last such challenge to Wintel, the GNU/Linux netbook, was allowed to die by the same OEMs who are finally getting down to business instead of remaining slaves to M$.

Expect, by 2014, */Linux on anything will be perfectly routine on retail shelves. It’s about time. I guess it took the Wintel-only guys to see the Android/Linux guys having fun on ARM without any help from M$ to convince OEMs that they were grown-ups and could actually sell the hardware they make any way they want to distinguish themselves from competition or to meet consumers’ expectations on price. Retailers, step up.

  • Feb 04 / 2013
  • 23
firearms

Hope For Piers Morgan

Instead of being a rabid gun-grabber, tonight Piers Morgan of CNN went to Texas and talked to responsible firearms owners, users and businessmen and fired semi-auto and full-auto firearms. When he asked did anyone “need” such things, he was told firearms are a good investment and Mexican drug-runners frequently slip over the border and confront land-owners in Texas. The drug-runners definitely don’t follow any gun-control laws.

He followed with Ted Nugent and actually listened to him, for a while…

Clearly Piers Morgan now realizes firearms ownership is much more complex than what is seen on the news or Hollywood movies. There are ordinary people who need firearms of all kinds and firearms are tools just like hammers and saws, lethal in the hands of bad guys, and life-savers in the hands of good guys. Fortunately, most firearms owners are good guys and should be left alone. The situation in Texas is different than in northern cities, Alaska, or the farmlands but firearms are useful everywhere. I doubt this experience will convert Morgan but it might make him a lot less likely to blow up on people expressing legitimate views on the matter. Look at it this way. If there are 300million+ firearms in USA and only a few thousand unlawful killings with firearms annually, the firearms problem is tiny and clamping down on the vast majority of good guys will do nothing. Does anyone really believe one needs to ban anything that has 0.1% per annum probability of being misused?

  • Feb 04 / 2013
  • 0
technology

The Right Way To Do IT

Quite a few don’t see how FLOSS can be the right way to do IT but it is. FLOSS lowers the cost of IT and the barriers to entry for small businesses and start-ups. That’s good for everyone.

“The digital revolution, also called the third revolution, has changed the entire landscape of the business world. After the industrial revolution, no other revolution has changed the fabric of the society as the Internet revolution has changed it. It has given rise to organizations that thrive on volunteers, peer production, and collaboration. Wikipedia, the Mozilla Foundation, WordPress, Red Hat, and many more are competing today with some of the best financed and resourceful enterprises across the globe.”
see Open source boosts entrepreneurship and social good through collaboration | opensource.com.

In education, the business with which I am most familiar, there is no huge lock-in because ODF, PDF, HTML and such are all widely used standards for documentation and the ubiquitous projector brings everything to light in a classroom or small group project. LANs empower every school using FLOSS to share resources school-wide. Properly exploiting FLOSS is as easy as installing Debian GNU/Linux and searching the repositories for useful software and data.

apt-cache search database
finds such gems as

  • anymeal – A cookbook database for storing recipes
  • piwigo – photo gallery software for the web
  • wordnet – electronic lexical database of English language
  • tracker – metadata database, indexer and search tool
  • tora – graphical toolkit for database developers and administrators
  • redmine – flexible project management web application
  • postgresql-9.1 – object-relational SQL database, version 9.1 server
  • phppgadmin – web-based administration tool for PostgreSQL
  • phpmyadmin – MySQL web administration tool
  • mysql-server-5.5 – MySQL database server binaries and system database setup
  • mongodb-server – object/document-oriented database (server package)
  • libreoffice – office productivity suite
  • dictd – dictionary server
  • apache2 – Apache HTTP Server metapackage
  • …and many more

Only someone brain-dead could not see the possibilities. apt-cache search search finds over 1000 items. No need for budget planning or purchase-order requisition, just a little reading and installation in minutes to try stuff out. Using FLOSS cuts the time needed to set up a great IT system in a school from years to days.