Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Categorized / technology

  • Apr 18 / 2014
  • 0
technology

GNU/Linux Gains Half the Loss by M$ in Czech Republic

The breakout by GNU/Linux in the Czech Republic is demonstrated by the following graph. It shows the loss by M$ of desktop page-views since the beginning of 2013 versus the gains by MacOS and GNU/Linux. One can see that MacOS was getting all the joy until mid-2013 but then GNU/Linux rapidly gained half the loss by M$. The rate of decline of M$’s OS is increasing as well. It’s all good.

Top 7 Desktop OSs in Czech Republic from W01 2013 to W16 2014.

  • Apr 17 / 2014
  • 12
technology

FLOSS Is A Winner

No matter how many times we read that FLOSS is junk made by amateurs “In 2013, for the first time, we saw open source quality for the projects in the Scan service surpass that of proprietary projects at all code base sizes. The 2012 Coverity Scan Report looked at a sample analysis of more than 250 proprietary code bases totaling more than 380 million lines of code, with an average codebase of nearly 1.5 million lines of code, and we found that open source code had lower defect density levels up to 1 million lines of code. For the 2013 report, we analyzed approximately 500 million lines of code across almost 500 proprietary C/C++ projects.” the reality is different. FLOSS is made by all kinds of programmers but because it is FLOSS and everyone can run, examine, modify and distribute the software, more eyes make bugs disappear. Coverity is one of the eyes and they tell us that out of hundreds of millions of lines of code scanned, FLOSS has a lower density of defects.

Size of Codebase (Lines of Code) FLOSS Non-Free
Less than 100,000 .35 .38
100,000-499,999 .50 .81
500,000-1 million .70 .84
More than 1 million .65 .71
Average across projects .59 .72

Accept it. No matter whether it’s price, performance or correctness that matters most to you, FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

See 2013-Coverity-Scan-Report.pdf.

  • Apr 16 / 2014
  • 0
Linux in Education, Teaching, technology

GNU/Linux Works In Computer Labs In Greece

After years of using GNU/Linux in schools and introducing it to many students and teachers,“All these tools together, Sch-scripts for setting-up PC labs, Epoptes for managing them, and LTSP are used in more than 500 schools, all over Greece. The free and open source solutions help save teachers valuable time. One grateful teacher posted a testimonial on the support forum for Sch-script in 2010: "Within one hour, a PC lab set-up which had been giving me all kind of headaches (8 computers with Windows 2000 and dozens of problems) became operable… from my laptop! Tomorrow, I am doing the first real test-drive with students, but it was amazing how fast and easy everything was. I’m speechless. Now I can share my desktop with all the lab PC users, and monitor them, it is incredible."” I became skilful enough to set up a lab in an hour or so, replacing that other OS with something that worked. That’s becoming “old school” these days with many distros provide setting up the software through the package-manager.

Now even more of the configuration and additional tools are all available by a set of scripts developed in Greece. 500 schools is a whole bunch more than I worked. GNU/Linux works in education. It can work anywhere. Finding the recipes for all this and sharing is obviously more efficient than buying solutions sold by M$ and “partners” that cost too much or don’t work at all sometimes. The world can and does make its own software better than those guys. This is just another example of doing IT the right way.

See Computer lab management tool in over 500 Greek schools.

  • Apr 16 / 2014
  • 0
technology

Wintel Sinks Further

As expected, Intel has raised prices in an attempt to maintain profits as long as possible rather than trusting the market to yield them a reasonable living.“PC Client Group revenue of $7.9 billion, down 8 percent sequentially and down 1 percent year-over-year.” This will hasten the demise of Wintel as consumers see greater advantages to switching to */Linux on ARM. Without the monopoly on retail shelves for legacy PCs there’s no way Intel would raise prices at all and consumers should vote with their wallets. Expect 2014 to be the greatest year yet for FLOSS on ARM.

See Intel News Release.

See also, CFO Commentary on First-Quarter 2014 Results

  • Apr 15 / 2014
  • 11
technology

Chrome OS Could Be The GNU/Linux That Has It’s Year Sooner Rather Than Later

It might be a bit of optimism but Chrome OS could well be the GNU/Linux that takes over the desktop.“for personal computing and BYOD, it’s already happening. The Linux that’s taking over the desktop is called the Chrome OS and it will happen on the Chromebook device.” There are many who see Google as the salvation of mankind for dealing with servers and if you do everything on Google’s Cloud, ChromeOS will do the job for most of us. So far, Cloud has taken a huge share of IT and it’s growth is ensured for years to come. One of those years will the year of GNU/Linux as Chrome OS. At the rate of decline of M$’s influence (they are advertising year-round these days), this could happen in as little as a year and probably will happen within three years. Remember that Android/Linux thing that never would fly??? It did. Google knows what they are doing.

Where’s M$? Pushing an OS no one wants and selling gadgets for a living.

The real competition for Chrome OS is not M$’s legacy technology nor their cloud but Ubuntu GNU/Linux which is selling on a lot of PCs these days. Last year Google mostly flew a trial balloon in USA but this year they could reach any place on the planet with decent Internet connectivity. That covers the bulk of M$’s territory: the Americas, Europe, Asia and cities in all the rest of the emerging markets. Everywhere else is using mobile computing.

The advantages of Chrome OS for most of us are many:

  • nothing to learn but the browser – done
  • low, low, low prices – done
  • no problem with malware – Hallelujah!
  • no problem with re-re-reboots – Hallelujah!
  • no problem with updating dozens of applications and drivers – Hallelujah!

Some tout that needing connectivity is a disadvantage but no one really believes that because we are always connected all the time. Heck! I know people who are deep in the bush and can browse and phone home anyway. Some tout that local printing is an issue. If that were true, we’d all have printers. We don’t. Most of us are walking around with a PC in our pocket and rarely print anything. We can always e-mail stuff to a printer somewhere if we need more trees to kill. Doing away with paper is one of the great possibilities that Chrome OS and highly mobile computing are not only promising but delivering. I have a big, fast colour printer upstairs and I don’t remember the last time I used it. I have computers in every room and can easily view stuff with the appropriate zoom for my old eyes. Chuckle. Chrome OS may not be perfect, but it’s a damned sight closer to perfect than M$’s bloat that they told us for years was absolutely wonderful.

See Linux is about to take over the desktop but not like you think it will.

  • Apr 15 / 2014
  • 3
technology

April 2014 Project of the Month, Free Pascal

Sourceforge has been and will continue to be one of the world’s great repositories of Free Software. Project of the month is my old favourite, FreePascal. Some of the reasons for my liking it are condensed in a single question/answer between SourceForge and the original authour, Florian Klämpfl:
“SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
FK: I think there are multiple groups who can benefit from it:
- People who want to learn only one programming language which allows them to use it for almost everything: FPC can be used to do big database applications but it can be also used to program embedded devices. It can used to write numerical applications but also to code for mobile devices.
- People who have a large Pascal/Object Pascal code base
- People who are interested in a programming language which offers a compromise between high productivity and the advantages of native code.”

Amen! I would add that FreePascal also has a very dense/sparse syntax so it is very easy to learn and use to full advantage. This also greatly increases readability.

See April 2014 Project of the Month, Free Pascal | SourceForge Community Blog.

  • Apr 15 / 2014
  • 0
technology

GNU/Linux in India

For many years, GNU/Linux on the desktop has been progressing well in government and education. Now that Dell and Canonical have teamed up to sell GNU/Linux widely to consumers, we can really see progress in the web stats. In the last two years, according to StatCounter, GNU/Linux has progressed from ~1.1% to nearly 1.65%. While unit-sales of “PCs” have increased over the past year and consumer-sales of “PCs” have actually declined, this is quite a feat. It does pay to have salesmen.

Top 7 Desktop OSs in India from W15 2012 to W15 2014.

  • Apr 14 / 2014
  • 0
technology

Growth Of Debian GNU/Linux

Debian has been around for a long time. It is a mature, diverse distro highly valued by users. Stefano Zacchiroli and others have extracted interesting information about historical releases of Debian GNU/Linux. This graph shows just the volume of the release. As you can see numbers of source packages have increased roughly linearly with release but lines of source code have increased faster. The number of packages reflect the diversity of users, developers and package-managers while the lines of source-code reflect the maturity of the code, added features and so on. My take is that Debian GNU/Linux is not just getting older. It’s getting better. I’ve been using Debian GNU/Linux since “Sarge” and I’ve rarely regretted the decision to try the “difficult easy” distro. The only reason I didn’t try it earlier was because folks told me it was difficult. It wasn’t. I can type. I can click. I can read. Therefor I use Debian GNU/Linux, the thinking person’s distro.

  • Apr 13 / 2014
  • 9
technology

Good Money After Bad

The US Internal Revenue Service is spending good money after bad on that other OS. “According to the IRS, it has approximately 110,000 Windows-powered desktops and notebooks. Of those, 52,000, or about 47%, have been upgraded to Windows 7. The remainder continue to run the aged, now retired, XP.” If it ever was a good idea to have used XP in the first place (BSODS, re-re-reboots, waves of malware…) it certainly isn’t in the best interests of the taxpayers of USA to take another step on the Wintel treadmill ensuring an infinite future sum of payments far above market cost (GNU/Linux: $0 per copy and $0 to upgrade each copy, forever). What are they thinking? That no one was ever fired for choosing M$? That M$ is essential to get PCs to do what PCs are capable of doing? Wrong on all counts.

Get with it, IRS. Brazil, Russia, China and India are way ahead of you in choosing Free Software to get the job done.

See IRS Misses XP Deadline Pays Microsoft millions for patches.

To find multiple sources of better and cheaper software, check out the more popular distributions of Free Software on Distrowatch.com. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux for general desktop and server computing.

  • Apr 12 / 2014
  • 0
technology

GNU/Linux Breaks Out In The Czech Republic

Drifting for years around 1.75% share of page-views on StatCounter, GNU/Linux has broken out to 2.5% in a few months in the Czech Republic. You guessed it, the most popular distributions: Mint, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux and Ubuntu GNU/Linux are growing like Topsy.

Chuckle. Either geeks are reproducing rapidly or GNU/Linux is no longer just for geeks… ;-) The same thing is happening everywhere, just not quite so explosively.

  • Apr 11 / 2014
  • 15
technology

Wintel Balloon Deflates

One of the most fun things in life is the site of a buoyant balloon taking flight, reaching unimaginable heights gracefully and easily. That was the old Wintel monopoly when neither Intel nor M$ had to do anything to dominate all of IT. When the leak started in the middle of XP’s reign, no one was fired for buying Intel and M$’s stuff. Many folks were run out of business simply for providing good products at reasonable price. Not so now. M$ has had to actually build decent products over the last decade but it wasn’t enough to keep the balloon up. Wintel was too expensive, too bulky, and too rigid to do what users wanted done.

“executive VP in charge of operating systems Terry Myerson, told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that he was OK with a services model. Specifically, when she asked about the Nokia X line of phones–those new low-priced Android phones running Microsoft services announced at Mobile World Congress. He was cool with a phone running Android, precisely because he was happy to see Microsoft services running on as many devices as possible, regardless of the operating system”It took a lot of work but ARM and the FLOSS community have bypassed both companies. To remain relevant, Intel is diversifying into ARM and making x86 as efficient as they can with Moore’s Law and every other trick they can find. Still Intel’s processors are more expensive than ARM even if energy consumption is not as much disadvantage. There’s just too much silicon involved. Meanwhile, 8-core CPUs and great graphics modules abound in the ARMed world and ARMed CPUs are outselling Intel by a wide margin. Android/Linux has done a similar number on M$’s stuff, so much that M$ now seeks to leverage its PC and server platform into services to sell, just like Google which Ballmer accused of having no business-plan…

See Turning The Ship: Microsoft Might Have Begun A Subtle Shift From Windows To Services.

  • Apr 11 / 2014
  • 5
technology

SimpleTax Works For Canadian Users Of GNU/Linux

Revenue Canada still doesn’t get GNU/Linux… On their page listing certified software for NETFILEing, there’s no mention of GNU/Linux at all: TWITS! Simple Tax is on their list of certified software and those folks claim “Nothing to install
SimpleTax works in your web browser so it’s PC, Mac, Linux, and iPad friendly. You can do your taxes at home, work, or your favourite coffee shop.”

See SimpleTax: Free Canadian Tax Return Software.

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