Archive for the ‘WE ARE *NIXED’ Category

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

Friday, 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 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.

Pushing the Glacier

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

Free and Open Source Software is a wonderful thing. I use it everyday. Whether it is 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 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.

    The Ultumix Computer Radio Show Live!

    Friday, May 30th, 2008

    By Justin Breithaupt: usacomputertec

    The Ultumix Computer Radio Show Live!

    Well I was thinking of an extra way to get some income and advertise my computer services at the same time and so I thought why not start my own Radio show? It’s easy. So all I have to do is make some commercials to put on my show and that should be pretty easy.

    Personal Message from the Host:

    You can call in and ask Justin Breithaupt about Computers. Subjects will include GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Macintosh, hardware, Viruses, Security, Internet, ect.
    Phone Number: (724) 444-7444 Call ID: 20068 If you would like to call Toll Free you can call: (865) 329-7705 (not a toll free number) and we will hang up on you and call your number back. It will show up as an unlisted number.
    If you would like to sponsor this Live Radio Show simply e-mail us at or call and leave a message at (865) 329-7705.
    If your interested on being on the show or doing a private interview about a Computer product, service, or device then please contact us the same way as mentioned above. We don’t have to record it at our normally scheduled time.

    Scheduled Time:

    Time: 08:00 PM EDT

    How to participate:

    Call in:

    1. Dial: (724) 444-7444
    2. Enter: 20068 # (Call ID)
    3. Enter: 1 # or your PIN

    Join from your computer:

    1. Click here to join the call or just listen along
    2. (Optional) Become a TalkShoe member

    Facebook user? You can join this Call directly through the TalkShoe Community Calling Facebook application.

    Listen to the Recording:
    If you missed this event or want to hear previous recorded episodes click here.

    Linux on ESPN This Weekend! April 19-20 2008

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

    Justin Breithaupt | *NIXEDBLOG

    You read right! Watch ESPN on the 19th and 20th. Ultumix GNU/Linux will be on ESPN this weekend in Garfield County. As you see here on the Map there are 6 courses. 4 of these races have spectator areas. I will be putting up 2 billboards at each of these spectator areas with the Tux Penguin and ULTUMIX.COM written on top. Click Here To See The Bill Board Design. The Race is known as the Olympus Rally. since they will be driving past 2 spectator spots every day I will be making 4 signs and posting 2 at each of the two tracks each day. I don’t know if I will sell many computers or get any donations but I’m sure that these signs will be worth the $10.00 laminate board I’m putting them on. 🙂 If your in the local area and this race was anything like last year’s race I hope to see you there.

    If you would like to help by donating to this cause please go to and donate ASAP. Thanks.

    To digg this article please go here.

    To All the Little Guys Out There

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

    Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

    In an effort to bring attention to some of the lesser known distros out there, a new e-mail address has been created.  It may be used for purposes of announcing a new release, updates, news, and more.  One question that comes to mind may be, “What is the point to all of this?”  There are already distro news sites such as Distrowatch, but some distributions are bound to not be listed on even the most mammoth of sites.  There are distros out there that are not getting attention, despite potential technical merit.  In other words, there is a void that needs to be filled.

    For those who are a part of a distro and who want to make announcements concerning their distro, here is the e-mail address:  The following is a list of subject lines that may be used to simply communication:

    • Release: Whether it is alpha or a final release.  By using this in your subject line, you are indicating that a distro has been released.
    • Update: This can pertain to updates for the distro in question, such as new versions of software suites or security updates.  Since online repositories are often used, information pertaining to repository updates, such as changing repository addresses and more, may also use this word in their subject line.
    • Site: Any news pertaining to the distro’s website may use this word.
    • Staff: Any news pertaining to changes in developers, webmasters, etc… This can come in handy when announcing a new developer coming on board or a new leader being elected (depending on the distro).

    Of course, when using either of the above, it may be a good idea to indicate the name of the distro before the word.  The format would be as follows: [Distro Name] [News Type]  For example, if Linux Mint were about to change the location of one of their repositories, the following would work: Mint Update

    Information on Released Distros

    If a new release is available, then the version number of said distro should suffice.  However, it is recommended to offer as much information as possible.  For example, what version of the Linux kernel does it use?  If a different kernel is used altogether (other than Linux) then what version is that kernel?  Which web browser is included?  What about e-mail clients and office suites?  How about the version of or XFree86?

    Where that Information Goes

    The information provided will be posted in the news section on THE *NIXED REPORT website.  If a longer release is available on the distro’s website, a link will be created so the rest of the announcement can be read.

    FOSS Advocate Needs A Little Boost!

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

    Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

    This article is cross posted, so take note.

    I wish I did not have to do this.  I was requested not to make a public spectacle of it, but as it turns out, somebody else has done it for meIn the WE ARE *NIXED blog, I talked about how a certain vehicle’s transmission went upchuck.  They still need to get the blasted thing replaced, but are in need of funds in order to do so.  That is why I am going to make a spectacle of this.

    Go ahead.

    Laugh at me if you will.  However, I have never seen a person with the passion that they have for helping out kids who need a computer to do their assignments now that many schools down in Texas are requiring one or the alternative….alternate assignments, which can be a humiliating thing.  I have also never seen a FOSS advocate with so much energy.  Yes, I am making a spectacle of this, because there are times when a steering wheel needs to be yanked in times of an emergency.  This is one of them.

    Any situation can be assessed as pretty dire when it involves a vehicle that just will not budge anymore.  However, when the wife of the advocate starts pleading for assistance, then that should be an indication of how dire said situation actually is.  I myself have no choice but to follow the orders of helios.  I was asked not to give a single drop in that bucket at this point.  I have no choice, because I am completely broke until Thursday.  However, what I can do will be more powerful than any amount of cash I can drop down in the near future.  By clicking here, you will be taken to the appropriate page for donation purposes.  So please, if you can, help this person out a little bit.