Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Feb 13 / 2013
  • 12

Small Business Thrives With GNU/Linux

Here’s a story to make your day. A small business needs to replace obsolete client PCs. They are looking at a huge expense. They call upon a young man with his own small business who installs GNU/Linux…
"The computer came back two days later. The computer started up in less than a minute in Ubuntu where it used to take up to five minutes in Windows Vista. It had all the software we needed – word processor, spreadsheet and more and it is all legal without licence payments," said Mr Mullen.

"In the end, we saved around €3,000, which was very welcome," he added. Mr Mullen said the work was carried out for free by Andrew, and as a thank you they gave him a present.”

See Computer whiz.

Amen. Free Software works for real people.

  • Feb 13 / 2013
  • 3

7.62×51 Military Ammunition

A friend obtained a batch of ammunition built to 7.62×51 NATO specs. Differences from commercial .308 Winchester include

  • full metal jacket bullets (not full actually, but open to the core at the base of the bullet hidden in the case, complying with the Geneva Convention against expanding bullets),
  • gunk sealing the bullet in the neck to prevent ingress of moisture and to grip the bullet more tightly under handling and recoil,
  • crimped primer preventing a loose primer jamming or exploding prematurely in machine-guns, and
  • gunk around the primer sealing it against the ingress of water or oil.

Some of these features may reduce accuracy but the increase in reliability makes them worth it. A shooter with a bolt-action rifle may fire 10K rounds in a lifetime while a military shooter with a machine-gun may fire that many rounds in an afternoon. When it comes to life and death, increased reliability matters.

From the Geneva Conventions:
“Art. 16. In addition to the prohibitions which shall be established by special conventions, it is forbidden:
(1) To employ poison or poisoned weapons, or projectiles the sole object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases;
(2) To employ arms, projectiles, or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.
Entering especially into this category are explosive projectiles or those charged with fulminating or inflammable materials, less than 400 grammes in weight, and bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not cover the core entirely or is pierced with incisions.”

This kind of ammunition is useful for casual target-shooting but is not legal/desirable for hunting big-game because of the non-expanding bullets. Better bullets and accuracy can be obtained by choosing individual components of ammunition and reloading. Some 7.62×51 brass have Berdan primers not easily reloaded. Buyer beware…

  • Feb 13 / 2013
  • 2

More Attempts To Undermine FLOSS

FLOSS is about Freedom, allowing the recipient of the software to examine the code, run it, modify it and to distribute it under the same terms. A move to put Free Software in the public domain undermines that. A monopolist can take public domain software, tweak it to be incompatible with Free Software that is in the public domain and use leverage to enslave users. Free Software needs copyright as a lingua franca for licensing so that no monopolist can hide the code and force millions into slavery. Public domain would be great if there were no evil people in the world trying to take advantage of people to complete their power-trip.

No good comes from monopoly in software. It’s an evil concept and Glyn Moody and others should be ashamed suggesting FLOSS surrender its only leverage to the monopolists. Even if all software were removed from the domain of copyright, the monopolists can still use onerous EULAs to extend their power and reduce the freedom of users. As long as software patents are allowed to exist, the FLOSS community would be insane to give up copyright.

Putting FLOSS in the public domain while allowing non-Free software to do what evil people want it to do is foolish to say the least.

Steve Ballmer said, in 2001, , “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches

The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source”

Glynn Moody wrote, “As ever, choice and personal freedom are crucial. But I hope that people will think twice about introducing new licences, or even updating old ones. In particular, I hope that there will never be a GNU GPL version 4. Instead, we need to complete the revolution that Richard Stallman began nearly three decades ago by making free software truly free, placing it in the public domain, and severing the chains that still bind it to that three-hundred-year-old monopoly called copyright.
see Attribution and reputation – The H Open: News and Features.

  • Feb 13 / 2013
  • 0

HP And “MultiOS”

“PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 4, 2013 — HP today announced its first Chromebook, widening the company’s extensive PC and workstation portfolio and expanding its multiOS approach to offer customers more choices.”
see HP News - HP Unveils Pavilion 14 Chromebook.

Curious about MultiOS, I searched and found that the term is generic and meaning “multiple operating systems”. If ChromeOS is just another choice of OS, can GNU/Linux be far behind?

My search turned up the first use of the term in an HP press-release from 2002:“Today, HP is meeting that need with an open standards, multi-OS approach to software that allows enterprises or service providers to easily develop, integrate, deploy and manage their Web services.” I would guess that was about servers.

In 2004, HP said, “HP Expands Linux Portfolio with Industry-first Linux Notebook, Linux Reference Architectures, Multi-OS Superdome Server and 6,500-person Linux Services Team”

In 2004, HP also said, “HP and Novell deliver customer choice through multi-OS strategy
PALO ALTO, Calif. and Salt Lake City (BrainShare ® 2004), March 24, 2004
HP and Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) today announced a joint agreement to certify and support the Novell® SUSE® LINUX operating system on select HP Compaq client systems. Today’s announcement expands HP’s multi-OS strategy across servers and PCs, offering customers unprecedented choice to run alternative applications with global support, training and consulting from HP.”
Good for them…

In that same post they also said, “Starting from a modest position in the overall market, IDC’s forecast for paid Linux client operating system new license shipments call for a 2002-2007 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4%.”

Then, they waited until 2013 to say anything more about MultiOS on client PCs… That barrier to retail shelves for GNU/Linux was deadly. It kept all but the computer geeks from enjoying the benefits of GNU/Linux and other Free Software. How much did M$ pay you to bow out, HP? How grim a job was it to skip innovation to foist Vista and IE on customers? Is that why you killed WebOS? You never gave it a chance. Your lack of courage gave us a decade at least of evil in the client space. As the leader in client PC shipments, you should have done better.

Well, it’s water under the bridge. The whole world knows Android/Linux and GNU/Linux can do the job. There are just a few hold-out retailers yet to see the light when it comes to all kinds of personal computing.

  • Feb 13 / 2013
  • 15

Working For Yourself Or Being Enslaved By M$

Fire up LibreOffice4.0 and it works for you, doing classical word-processing. There’s no need to fight with it to do what you want. Compare that with M$’s office suite of late…
“I’ve had trouble getting the setting to work. In theory at least, you can click on File, Options, Save, and under Save Presentations check the box marked Don’t Show the Backstage When Opening or Saving Files. Restart all of your Office apps. Does it work for you?
see 12 enraging Office 2013 flaws — and how to fix them – Network World.

Please, give Free Software a trial. You owe it to yourself to enjoy a cooperative product of the world designed to work for you and not against you. You can also get a complete operating system and utilities at Debian. Compare M$’s greed with the policy at Debian:
“We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environments.” Refreshing.