Shutting Down this Blog.

July 29th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II

In light of recent events, I decided that the best thing to do is to shut down this blog.  The entire site will be reorganized a bit.  Now it is my turn to shut my mouth for a change.

The rest of the blog will be intact.  I just will not post to it anymore.

Don’t Be Afraid of the GNU/Linux Community

July 22nd, 2008

By Justin Breithaupt

Ever tried to please the GNU/Linux community? Has it ever worked? If your really lucky it has and you haven’t received any hate mail or been banned from any sites. If your not so lucky and you make mistakes you might be on the other side of the fence but does that mean your down and out?

I’ve experienced this other side of the fence first hand and yet seen projects succeed despite what the media says or the GNU/Linux community. Why is this? It’s because the GNU/Linux community is divided among itself and can’t focus on what really needs to be done or who or what the real threat is.

Just for the fun of it why don’t I make a quick list of sites I can’t post on or have been banned from:

Lxer.com (not banned they just won’t let me post)

Wikipedia.com Banned

PCLinuxOS.com Banned

distrowatch.com (not banned they just won’t let me post)

linuxtracker.com (not banned any more and can post)

ect. the list goes on.

I’ve had anti-Christian activists groups rise up against me and the Jehova’s Witness made up of PCLinuxOS moderators. They were the hardest to shake off my tail and my hat goes off to them for the 2007 Internet Troll awards.

But you see I was young in the GNU/Linux community and didn’t know these bullies existed or how to behave. It was a completely new world for me to contribute by making something. I never knew there were any dangers in it. I figure if I would have kept up the defense long enough they probably would have sent someone to kill me. I’ve had a lot of people warn me about that too.

So what did I do that was so wrong? Well I’m going to spell it out to you. First I installed illegal codecs into my distro and released it without understanding what illegal codecs were, 2nd I made people jealous by making their software better and improving upon it and I even gave them credit, 3rd after they all started complaining to me and getting angry I reacted by trying to fix my mistakes and then asked them what to do and they banned me from PCLinuxOS.com and linuxtracker.com.

At this point I had to make a decision to stop or keep trying to make something I thought was wonderful for my Windows users to switch to. During this time I made my first real mistake and started speaking out against the bullies that harassed me. This never works. The only thing that works is to quietly try to do the best that you can and know that others will eventually realize that you really have something assuming that you do. I spoke to several people including Ken Starks, Richard Stallman, and others. They encouraged me and gave me good advice.

After following the advice about 85% of the hate mail and comments stopped. Months later I was able to use linuxtracker.org again.

The first month I put out my distro over 40,000 people downloaded it. I got many positive remarks from CEOs and customers all over the world. They said it was the best distro they had ever seen for Windows users to switch to. I was not done. I still am not done.

The current result you see of Ultumix 0.1.7.7 containing the Mac4Lin interface and a Windows like interface is still not complete. I would say that 50% of the features that I want people to experience are in Ultumix 0.1.7.7 and that when I’m able to put money into the project I will hire programmers to help me to finish making my dreams into reality.

In one of Richard Stallman’s letters he says that it’s ok and he encourages you to sell free software. Of course now I know that my distro is not free-software according to Richard Stallman’s standards and that I’ll have to put out a free version as well. If it has the same name Richard Stallman says the FSF won’t support it.

I’ve had a lot of time to set back and reflect on what has happened and what will happen in the FSF and Open Source community. I have decided that there exists a problem that separates the two and that the Open Source community is devided among itself. That’s why I purpose a new idea to you. This idea is called the Freedom-Software Community. http://pediaopeness.wetpaint.com/page/Freedom-Software+Community+TM . The main statement is not finished yet and it’s a work in progress or beta but I have faith that together we can make it work.

The Freedom-Software Community is more powerfull than Linux Haters!

July 18th, 2008

By Justin Breithaupt.

Recently I’ve been talking with Richard Stallman for 2 – 3 weeks on the subject of running free-software. ( Richard Stallman is the president and founder of the FSF or Free Software Foundation. ) What I got out of reading Richard Stallman’s writings and e-mails was that free-software as in freedom is software that has it’s source code released to the public and the public is allowed to modify and redistribute that software as well. This does not necessarily mean free as in cost. This includes drivers and firmware as well.

If your running hardware that has non-free software / firmware in it you can’t use it because that’s against the FSF and if that hardware requires non-free drivers you can’t use it according to the FSF.

I did research to find hardware that supported a modern PCI Express video card with 3D that would work with the free drivers. I also looked for motherboards.

What I did find was obsolete and would require me to spend more money to aquire. At the time I was trying to start a business charging kids to play games on my computers. (playing just free-software games would have been ok).

So now we have rulled out free-software only GNU/Linux distributions and hardware out of the picture. What is the alternitive?

Open Source / FOSS is the alternative. Businesses and countless others such as Ubuntu have went to Open Source / FOSS which is the idea that non-free software and free-software can coexist. This sounds great doesn’t it? The problem is that these people get lazy and don’t try to make free-software and become independent of non-free software any more. Instead they get money from big companies like DELL, IBM, HP, ect. to put non-free drivers in their kernels so that the vendor’s hardware will be supported with Ubuntu’s kernel even though it has non-free software in it and it will work on almost any computer. Sounds great Right? But how does this help make us independent from Corporate America and all the non-free software? It doesn’t.

The other problem is companies like NVIDIA are making it harder to use their proprietary drivers. ATI however has the respect of the FSF for now. NVIDIA drivers for newer cards and chipsets don’t seem to play friendly with GNU/Linux distributions unless you download Ubuntu’s latest kernel. Why? Why are all the rest of us left in the dark? Why must we become dependent on Ubuntu and Corporate America?

A perfect example of this is Ubuntu 8.04. It’s kernel is not even up to date enough to support the newest NVIDIA drivers that are out there and in some instances you can’t install it. I based the latest version of Ultumix TM off of Ubuntu. I updated the kernel and guess what it works! But why should you have to update the kernel every month. Any GNU/Linux hardcore hacker will tell you that’s a bad idea and will make your programs and system unstable.

The thing is whenever it’s possible to use free software to do your work you should but you should not be limited to just using free-software all together. Likewise the developers should work harder to create free-software, drivers, firmware, ect. We also need hardware made by companies that support the free-software idea that the drivers and frimware should be free-software.

The other major problem in FOSS is that the different distros and communities fight with each other to get to the top of distrowatch.com and say they are the best.  I’ve heard officials from the Ubuntu community say to me that they believe that their distro is the best one out there and that users should only be presented with Ubuntu. Why I asked? Because of the confusion of choice they answered. Free-software is all about freedom of choice and not a one world takeover. Lets get back to the GPL guys. And worst of all the people who are really in charge of these projects have lost control. Their moderators go wild in the forums and make people angry and ban people for nothing.

So now that that’s all clearly spelled out to you take two tablets of Tylenol as we discuss the solution.

The Freedom-Software Community TM or FSC can and will solve all of these problems if Linux distributions join in. The FSC has not officially or publicly announced it’s presence before. That’s because they are still working on writing it’s philosophy for people to follow.

Here is the basic idea:

You are expected to use free software when:

1. There is hardware that is supported by free-software and the hardware is in no way more restricted than when it’s using non-free software.
2. The abilities of the non-free software that are needed are not met by the free software.
3. When the expenses of using free-software are affordable. Example of when this would not be the case: You want to run the hardware that supports free-software and has all the abilities of similar hardware that only supports non-free software but the hardware that supports the free-software is either obsolete or too expensive for the average consumer.

At any other time you are expected to try and use free-software and even if these conditions above don’t exist you are expected to try to support free-software in whatever way you can.

There are more aspects to the Freedom-Software Community that prevent fighting and arguing and promote unity and community. You will have to wait for the announcement in the news to hear that unless your an active member of the Ultumix TM Project.

The FSC TM is a Trademark of Justin Breithaupt.

What’s More Powerful Than Linux Haters?????

July 18th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

Apparently, that would be Maddox himself!

Take a look at this graph from Alexa.  Can you see it?  While Linux Haters has seen some success concerning site hits, they appear to have come nowhere near outdoing Maddox, the smart alec writer who has slammed web designers for not concentrating on content, bashed Apple fans, and tore the iPhone’s hype into pieces.  So why am I noting certain pages published by Maddox slamming Apple twice and Linux Haters in the same blog post?

When I read this entry on Linux Haters, I smirked.  They were going on and on about the evolution of an Ubuntu user.  What was their proposed solution for those frustrated with Ubuntu?  When one initially reads about the Linux Haters, they may think that they love Microsoft products, especially Windows.  So is Vista pimped as the solution here?  Prepare to be surprised.

“At this point, some users wake up and figure out they should just buy a Mac. Others are lost forever.”

Now you know why.  Again, for those who think Macs are the cat’s meow, read what Maddox has to say about Macs in general and iPhones as well.

*Nixed Blog › Create New Post — WordPress

July 11th, 2008

Editor’s Note: There has been some issue with this blog as of late, but after a period of time passes (24 hours), everything appears to be fine again.

By Justin Breithaupt

Yahoo Logo  V.S. WordPress

I was going to write an article about Yahoo being broken but then I tried to upload the screenshot to 1and1.com’s blogging thing and got this:

Warning: imageantialias(): supplied argument is not a valid Image resource in /usr/local/oneclick/wordpress/wp-admin/admin-functions.php on line 2274

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /usr/local/oneclick/wordpress/wp-admin/admin-functions.php:2274) in /usr/local/oneclick/wordpress/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 331

What does that mean? I don’t really care anyway all it means is I can’t upload my tiny image to this blog. Time to go with Google’s blogger. Well anyway lets get back to Yahoo.

Why do I use Yahoo.com? I’ve been asking myself that for the past couple years now.

 My Geocities Unlimited Account is limited.  Got a headache yet? Lets start from scratch. A little while ago I could upload large .iso files to my limited server at 100+ kbs via FileZilla. And so I created my website and it worked nicely with my small server space that I was allocated. Then this add poped up on my screen last month that said upgrade to the unlimited account and pay less per month. WOW! Right before I was ready to jump ship from Yahoo they decide to offer not only unlimited mail but hosting! I can’t pass this up. So I put my $12.00 a month down (minimum 3 month payment) for unlimited bandwidth and storrage. Yes thats right! So I begain uploading my Ultumix TM GNU/Linux distro last week. FileZilla stops and tells me I have a disk space error and gives me a link to contact Yahoo. I go to the link and call Yahoo (Almost forgot now I can only upload each file at 30+ kbs max via FileZilla now). A guy answers the phone who has no idea I actually thought my Unlimited account was unlimited. I explain the error and he ups my file space. Yesterday the same thing happens while I try to finish the upload. I call Yahoo again. I’m sorry but we will have to escelate this and you should be back in service by Monday. :( . I told them I need to be able to upload 1 TB per week for my GNU/Linux mirror. They understood.

Now while I had them on the phone I decided to ask them about Yahoo Answers’ GNU/Linux discrimination and why they booted me for answering computer questions with GNU/Linux answers. They could not help me in that departnment but assured me Yahoo is very pro GNU/Linux. ??? I asked who to contact but they could not give me an answer other than e-mailing Yahoo Answers again.

Strike 3. Yahoo is out.

So today I’m at work wanting to read my E-mail for various reasons and guess what? The mail server is down. This happens like every 5 secons and it lasts for 24 hours. WHY! Our company also uses Yahoo’s IM in pidgin to communicate with some customers. So now we can’t communicate and my mail is unavailable. WHY YAHOO DO YOU PLAY THESE GAMES WITH ME WHY? I THOUGHT YOU WERE USING GNU/LINUX SERVERS NOT MICRO$OFT. WHY WHY WHY.

By the way when logged in to 1and1.com I got this error when going back to edit something in this article:

WordPress

You are not allowed to edit this post.

Blog of helios: T’was The Night Before Felton

July 11th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

Blog of helios: T’was The Night Before Felton

Right before helios left for Felton, he got an e-mail from an old friend…..

*NIXEDCAST Coming to An Ear Near You

July 8th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

The *NIXEDCAST: Intro The *NIXEDCAST: Intro

I have decided to do it everyone.  I am going to record audio for everyone to listen to everyday.  Unlike podcasting, I will be oggcasting.  Since I happen to be too lazy to learn enough about XML, I figured I would use this blog in order to announce when a new show has come out.  I have no plans on using any third party website for podcasting in the future, because most of them require MP3 files, which has patent issues, and thus hurts independent artists.  In order to encourage more people to use OGG, one must already be using it themselves, hence why I am doing The *NIXEDCAST in this format.

Forget Where I’m Going. Here’s Where I’m Coming From.

July 8th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

There are times when opinions are stated and thoughts are provoked. Danijel Orsolic stirred up a bit of controversy when helios was attempting to bring up a point that I was trying to earlier.  An interesting discussion ensued on LXer as well.  I figured I would take time out to explain where I am coming from philosophy-wise myself.  It is of course subject to change given time and availability of new information.

You see, I have nationalistic leanings…. to a point.  I do not believe that Government should be putting flashlights in the orifices of their people if you catch my drift.  In that sense, I have Libertarian leanings as well.  When I kept reading the argument of nationalism being a bad thing, I realized there was a bit of confusion.  Before going any further, allow me to clear up said confusion.

Nationalism vs Jingoism

Yes, there is a difference.  Nationalism involves being proud of having a unique identity of sorts.  For example, someone living in France can identify themselves as part of that country by declaring that they are French.   This does not mean they are better than everyone else.  It simply means that their home means something to them.  I identify myself as an American.  I love my country, even now, due to many of the opportunities that it holds (at the moment).  I also liked the concept of the Founding Fathers, who deliberately set up the governmental system so that those in Congress would spend more time debating than anything (that is how it was supposed to work) so that those in all the individual states could go on with their lives as they saw fit.

Jingoism on the other hand is the real danger.  It is what I refer to as blind patriotism.  Just because I still like my home does not mean I will not criticize it or think of ways it could improve.  Jingoists on the other hand believe in aggressive foreign policies in the name of “national security.”  Most Neo-Conservatives could in a sense be considered jingoists.  I consider myself an American patriot, not an American jingoist.  Keep in mind there is a big difference.

Now allow me to continue.

My Philosophy

I personally believe in freedom of choice.  For instance, I myself do not own a single firearm.  I do not mind seeing guns in videos and such, but I would rather not be near them if I can help it.  I made this decision myself, and I am not going to take such a decision away from everyone else, which is why I support the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights.  I also believe that if one strongly believes in something, they should have the right to stand up for their beliefs, no matter how controversial it may seem.  Remember that speech may be countered by speech.

I am a strong believer in the liberty of the individual and that infringe upon those liberties is wrong.  However, I am not a one-worlder.  I can see all sorts of problems if there was indeed a world government enacted, and the thought of such a thing at present absolutely frightens me.  We can not have a one world government, because it would not work, period.  Think of how many regions have corrupt regimes already.  If one expects a one world government to solve the “evils” of smaller nation-states, I have some bad news…. it will only result in a very negative worldwide form of tyranny.

Again, while I do love the country I am in, that does not mean that I am a blind patriot.  I do see some things that are very wrong, and on a very broad spectrum.  For starters, the USA Patriot Act troubles me deeply to this day, especially section 802.  To give you a hint, let us take a pot smoker having a joint.  Since they could be endangering a human life, are they a terrorist?  Think about that one for a moment, and while doing that, check this out as well.  An American citizen was taken away by the military because they were deemed an “enemy combatant.”

I also do not agree with what is being done in the Middle East, particularly Iraq.  While some would believe that Saddam did have WMDs, one also needs to be reminded of the following:

  1. It was thanks to members of the U.S. Federal Government that he was in power in the first place.
  2. Of course he had WMDs at one point.  Where do you think he got them from?  Hint: Remember Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam?

Now mind you I also do not think in the confines of left-wing/right-wing as I see it as a false paradigm.  In other words, left and right is a false choice pertaining to politics.  I also do not subscribe to the theory of two party politics either.  I do not see Democrats and Republicans as the end all to the political system in the country I am in, and I find it very sad that both major parties have such a dislike for third parties that they will do anything to prevent their recognition.

Like Danijel, I too worry about a North American Union, especially since nobody in Congress debated any of it.  Want proof?  Take a look for yourself:



Yes, I do fear these things coming to pass, which is why I do what I do everyday.  However, I have also come to a very profound conclusion.  If we are to improve ourselves and hopefully make our positive mark on this world, we need to be able to work on what we do agree on and argue about the small details later.  Yes, I do see problems in this country, and I see that corporations such as Microsoft are a part of these problems.*  Free and Open Source Software, or Freedomware, is something that I know a bit about and that is where a good portion of my specialty lies.

It was not a very well organized blog entry, and for that, I do apologize.  Fighting through a headache while writing this was not an easy task.  Therefore, I shall now end this blog by saying the three things that I started out saying, but need to say more often and more than ever before.

  • Entertain Yourself
  • Education Yourself
  • Empower Yourself

*Note that there will be a future blog post about Microsoft.  It is a series of patterns that I have noticed within the last several months.  Stay tuned…..

Pushing the Glacier

June 26th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

Free and Open Source Software is a wonderful thing. I use it everyday. Whether it is OpenOffice.org for writing this article, using Firefox to do research for this article, or using VideoLAN to listen to some streaming Internet radio courtesy of Ormgas, I know that I am saving money, time, and hard disk space by not using the commercial alternatives. For the rest of my college career, I no longer need to pay for expensive software. I am not the only one who has come to this realization.

According to the Associated Press in May of 2002, key segments of the U.S. Federal Government rely on computers in which the operating system utilizes Linux as the kernel of choice. As recently as December of last year, the New York Stock Exchange has moved to platforms that utilize the Linux kernel. Several hundreds of systems were purchased so that they could be independent from other technologies. It is quite clear from the two examples that parts of government and business are getting it. I am sure more are going to understand the meaning behind computing freedom, but how can it be spread?

 

Jeremiah T. Gray from Linux Insider has given an interesting suggestion: build the educational base. Keep that in mind for later. One of the issues at hand is the great Catch 22:

    • Organizations will only use FOSS if there are budget constraints.
    • The resources lack for professional consultants and administrators.
    • Resentment grows because FOSS is now seen as a distraction from getting things done.
    • That means less experience for potential consultants and administrators.
    • Organizations are reluctant to utilize FOSS platforms.

    Gray said it best:

    Since today’s newbies are tomorrow’s leading engineers, the sooner we get the tools in place to teach them the important lessons they will need in the field, the sooner we can start using the amazing software they will eventually develop.

    This educational base is very important, especially considering Jim Whitehurst has admitted that his company, Red Hat is not the easiest company to do business with. The technology is great, but Whitehurst sees an efficiency problem. Whether it is dealing with customers in a better way or encouraging other companies to share their source code so that development time is not wasted on software that may not be used, one thing will be a deciding factor in Red Hat’s success under his leadership: how educated is the user base? More importantly, how can the user base be effectively educated?

    Back in the 1980′s, Apple was quite dominant in the educational sector. However, they were a recognizable brand outside of the educational sector. They started outside of the educational sector. Yes, it helped that one could find an Apple in school when they were younger. However, if one were to read Steven Levy’s Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, they would soon realize that a user base had to be established. The fact they appeared in the educational sector shows that it was a success.

    So in that same vein, how can more of a user base be built? When enough people become educated, things are brought into the educational sector. In the case of FOSS-based platforms, businesses and government groups are already utilizing FOSS itself. The foot is already in the door, unlike Apple back in the day when they exploded after the education sector picked up their hardware and ran with it. This is where I am seeing a problem, and some questions need to be asked.

    As it stands now, there are three projects currently in operation that are very noble. In one case, it has already impacted the entire world. For all of the projects, they could be the beginning of something wonderful.

    The School

    Imagine if you will a large underfunded school district. Now imagine said school’s principal being interested in the possibility of using FOSS on their computers. What would your reaction be if you were to see such a story appear in your favorite newspaper, on your favorite news channel, or on your favorite FOSS news website? How would you know if it has not?

    Enter Christian Einfeldt of the Digital Tipping Point. It is a project that has the aim of creating a documentary of FOSS entering into multiple cultures of this world. Right now, he is working with a school on migrating to a FOSS-based platform. Due to the Iowa situation concerning Microsoft, said school got some money as part of the anti-trust settlement, hence why so many have thanked the state for staying with the lawsuit for so long.

    This settlement allowed for said school district to purchase machines from ZaReason, as noted in Enfeldt’s Slashdot journal. However, Apple is attempting to charm the district as well, so the machines that they had at the time were not stacking up too well compared to a MacBook. A notorious blogger went out of their way to attempt to tell the world about it. It was then picked up by LXer and soon appeared on my site. Where was everyone else?

    Where was all the other major FOSS news sources? How could they not have noticed that this individual was doing some interesting things on the west coast? Remember, I am speaking of an entire school district that can not be named due to a certain software corporation in the state of Washington who probably would not want to lose any customers from the education sector. Were it not for this notorious blogger, I would not have known about this project myself, nor would I have covered it on my own site.

    Einfeldt is at a potential tipping point as it were for adoption of FOSS on a mass scale. Some call it the domino effect for a reason. When one goes, so follows the rest. Why were we not paying attention to what he was doing all of this time? There are plenty of people out there who love FOSS to death and will sing its praises all day long, which is great. However, why not also spread the word on projects that could cause such a tipping point to occur?

    I once talked to the high school principal of my school in Leeton, Missouri. I asked them about considering something other than Microsoft products for the workstations. I was starting to see the potential at the time of software in which people could have access to the source code. I was told that it was Novell’s Netware technology that kept them on a Windows platform. Lots of schools in my time as a high school student used Netware technology with Microsoft Windows for their technology needs. Even if they switched to SuSE, it would not have meant much as it is to this day a very small district.

    California has plenty of larger school districts though. It has been over two weeks since I read about the project in and of itself. Why were there so few publications out there taking a look at it? There is still an opportunity to make this thing go viral, and I would love it if it were spread all over the web. The question is whether or not the keyboard commandos out there are willing to lift a finger to help out this volunteer on the west coast by raising awareness of such an interesting thing, or are they going to be too concerned with the needs of their own CPU to even care?

    The Town

    While a school is on the verge of potentially converting to FOSS, there is a town in the same state by the name of Felton. The plan is to have an entire town Microsoft free for at least a week in July. If all goes well, it could go on for months on end. Let me ask you, the dear reader this: would it not be a cool thing to wake up one morning and read in your newspaper that an entire town said goodbye to Microsoft? Speaking of press, why has there been such a lack of press on this?

    Carla Schroeder briefly covered it on O’Reilly. Danijel Orsolic also interviewed the people involved for said project which can be read on the Nuxified website. Other than that, there is a brief mention on FSDaily, a comment on the part of a snarky blogger, an episode of The Linux Link Tech Show talking about it, and mentions through feeds on various sites, there has been no mention of said project. Where are the major FOSS news publications? Why are they not even looking at the possibility of an entire town being converted to FOSS, even if it only lasts one week?

    There are plenty of high name participants too. They include OpenOffice.org and Codeweavers. The *nix distributions that are also being represented include Mandriva, Mepis, AntiX, Wolvix, Fedora, and Ubuntu. They are fairly well known too. Again, where is the FOSS press on this, and why are they dropping the ball?

    Without enough press, an informed public can not know what a project does, and what it requires to get the job done. There are times when making the most noise does not produce the loudest result. The silence from the major FOSS publications out there has been quite deafening. I understand the phrase, “Silence is Golden,” but would they be taking a bit too far in this instance? Will they stop staring at Big Iron for five minutes to take a look at spreading FOSS onto the desktop?

    The Generous Man

    The Golden State itself has been quite the theme in this article, and it in the case of James Burgett, it shall be so once again. This is an individual who finds a use for technology that has been discarded, because previous owners no longer had a use for it. He has also given out computers to the disadvantaged. The Alameda Computer Resource Center itself has been seen as an inspiration. Without it, we may never have a vendor such as ZaReason. The project was already getting attention from the mass media in general, but when a crisis hit them, coverage spiked.

    A bit of an explanation is in order. I screwed up in the past concerning ACCRC. I saw it posted on ZaReason’s website one day, then went off in the *NIXEDBLOG about it. I have since removed the post after rightly being ripped to shreds. Long story short, I leaped before I looked, but I digress.

    The whole point of writing about the ACCRC itself was to raise another question. Why did it take such a crisis to get so many people to pay attention to such a wonderful project? There was great coverage by various outlets beforehand, but after being threatened by the state agency in question, it obviously got more attention. Some could argue that his popularity went up on CNN due to this. How major does a potential threat have to be before people start caring for real about such a project.

    Yes, once again, I am talking about the (lack of) press coverage as of late on ACCRC. Hey, I understand being a bit hesitant due to Burgett’s specific request concerning copyrights, but come on! Since when did we have the right to own somebody’s words, thoughts, feelings, and dreams? I would like to think never, but that would be my naive side talking. I myself would have no problem giving the organization itself the right to redistribute anything as far as interviews go (assuming I can land one… which would be assuming that Mr. Burgett is no longer upset with me… assuming I had the courage to ask, which I lack at the moment in this case).

    Now is the time to turn my attention away from the press in the moment and talk directly to you. Yes I mean you, the one reading this. By that I also mean those who are a part of the whole FOSS movement? There is a very important question I need to ask of all of you.

    Where In the World Have You Been?

    After watching the efforts of advocates of FOSS for quite some time, I can now see how all the effort put into projects like putting the Tux logo onto a race car can feel like pushing a glacier with the others sitting on top of said glacier laughing at you. Of course, this can apply to other projects, where it feels like two steps forward, three steps back. The lack of caring on the part of a massive crowd can be frustrating, especially when at least one prestigious news discussion site refuses to talk about some efforts of promotion. Do we really want FOSS to become more widespread or do we want it to simply happen by magic? Or do we really care about preventing Microsoft from dominating the entire world with their proprietary products?

    Now I know there are those out there who have done their best in promoting FOSS. There are also those who have donated to the projects they saw as worthy of receiving a monetary incentive to keep going. There are also those who are on a very tight budget, and thus supporting such projects with time and/or money may be out of the question. Feel free to turn a blind eye for the next few paragraphs, since I am not aiming this at you.

    Are We Trying to Proliferate FOSS or Are We at War Against Self Preservation?

    Considering that Microsoft is attempting to make another play in Asia itself, one could come to the conclusion that they are afraid of FOSS itself, whether it be Linux, GNU, and other forms of software that are not locked down, but free to be scrutinized and modified as anyone sees fit. What does that tell you? It tells me that unless FOSS is marketed to those not familiar with it, it will eventually start fading away. Forget about the distro wars for a moment, the arguments over Mono, feuds between distros, and feuds between bloggers and distros. This is not doing anybody any good right now.

    What I am asking is a very difficult question to ask. Do you really, truly support FOSS and the philosophy behind it or are you more interested in getting the Internet equivalent of a hand out? Without all the blood, sweat, and tears of the various developers around the world, you would not have the polished product running on your computer at all. I know there are going to be all kinds of “reasons” for either not paying attention the three efforts I listed above. Allow me to address the potential “reasons” now.

    Shooting Down the Excuses

    I can hear it now. Some may say, “Not my country, so why should I care?” I am not saying you should care about the projects listed earlier. Why not support local projects that do not involve sucking up to Big Iron or preaching to the choir? There are plenty of things to do like starting a computer lab, an Internet cafe, and more.

    I can see someone stating that they do not particularly care for one of the individuals. That is perfectly okay by me. Why not support something you do agree with instead of wasting your time telling the person you do not like why they are doing things wrong? If we had more constructive things happening as opposed to people fighting each other all the time due to disagreements in philosophy, then FOSS would have a more prominent position in the world today. Now is the time to stop being so timid in my humble opinion when it comes to Free and Open Source Software.

    Please read over this article, pass it around to your friends, talk about it, discuss it, and think about it. Mark Shuttleworth once told me during the attempt to plaster Tux on a race car that it would be really cool if the community as a whole could get the thing happening. So why am I not scrutinizing his comment to me? Perhaps it was because he had a valid point, and it is one that Jeremiah T. Gray shared in the article I cited earlier. The seeds need to be planted, but are enough people going to kick the digital-handout mentality?

    Only time will tell it seems.

    An Excellent Article Raises an Excellent Point.

    June 20th, 2008

    Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

    Linux Insider has an excellent article on why the users of FOSS should be planting seeds for adoption.  Jeremiah Gray argues that we must get those in education hooked on *nix-based platforms.  After all, how else did Apple become so dominant in the 1980′s?  Hint: they were lots and lots of schools.  So hats off to Mr. Gray for an insightful piece on Linux Insider.  In the next couple of days, I will be putting out an article myself that is going to be asking some difficult questions.  These are questions that I myself have not wanted to confront.  However, it needs to be done.  So stay tuned…. I have a feeling the rest of this month is going to be very interesting…