Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

What Have We Learned?

Sep 20, 2009 GMT

The Ohio Linux Fest is September 25th to 27th, and one of their major themes is the 40th "birthday" of Unix. Two of their major speakers will be addressing this topic, Dr. Peter Salus and Dr. M. Douglas McIlroy. Why is forty years of Unix important?During a chat session one night, one of the chat members said that they did not think the topic of the 40th year of Unix was relevant to anyone. I want to take this time to respectfully disagree.We tend to take for granted various things around us. Things that surround us at birth we think of as "natural". We tend not to question running water, sewer systems, electric companies, railroad tracks or other things that have...
Don't let the Swine Win!: Enecomp 2009, Curitiba, Brazil - September 4-8, 2009

Aug 20, 2009 GMT

I love going to student events. Particularly well-conceived events organized by students and run by students. Of course events run for business people and governments are important too, and I like it when they are all mutually compatible.Therefore it distresses me that the current hysteria around H1N1, also known as "Swine Flu" is jeopardizing the hard work done by students in Curitiba, Brazil for a conference that otherwise would be considered "world class".Nine hour hands-on "mini-courses" on topics like Python, PHP, shell scripting, Mono/C# taught in classrooms of 20 computers each, with six-hour mini-courses on PostgreSQL, Drupal, Debian, GIMP and Ruby.In...
Bring a Luddite To Sanity Day(TM): Ohio Linux Fest, September 25-27th, 2009, Columbus Ohio

Aug 19, 2009 GMT

This is the first year in a long time that I will be missing the Ohio Linux Fest (September 25th to 27th in Columbus, Ohio). I had a previous commitment, and I try to honor my commitments. But for the rest of you, it is time to register and (equally important) get a Microsoft Windows user to register and attend.I have been involved with OLF for several years. I became involved through a frantic call by one of the organizers a few weeks before that year's event telling me that they had everything they needed except for a place to hold it. It seems one of the organizers "thought" they had a university as a sponsor, and that was not exactly true....To make a long story short,...
New Videos on YouTube

Aug 16, 2009 GMT

I have some more new videos on YouTube.First of all, as promised, is the video of Brazil's President Lula at FISL 10 in Brazil. I was sitting in the first row, and with my trusty video camera was able to capture most of it. About 15 minutes into the speech I ran out of recording room and had to switch to a new media, so I missed about thirty seconds. There have been quite a few videos of President Lula's speech on the web, but most of them have been very short segments. This is (almost) all of it.YouTube only allows ten minute segments, so the (close to) thirty minute speech is on three 10 minute segments, Part 1, Part 2 and Part3. The speech did not seem that long, but that is how long...
Winners of maddogs Colombian Multimedia Challenge

Aug 16, 2009 GMT

Well, it took me a while to do it, but I have posted two videos from the maddog Colombian Multimedia Challenge I gave at Campus Party in Bogota.Pablo Camacho was the winner, and I think his video is very good, both from creativity and technically, given the fact he had only three days to do the whole thing, and he was using tools with which he was not completely familiar.A second entry that was very good was from Julia Guneth Avila Rincan, and shows an animation.Both of these are under the Creative Commons V3.0 Attribution license.For a lot of the contestants this was their first time using Free Software tools, and the first time a lot of them had heard of Creative Commons and even...
All that glistens could be Chrome

Jul 10, 2009 GMT

A lot of people have been writing about Google's Chrome OS. There is a lot of speculation going on that Chrome will hurt the current distributions of Linux, and therefore will somehow help Microsoft.What are these people smoking?First of all I do not believe that Chrome OS will meet the needs of every desktop user any more than I believe that Microsoft meets the needs of any desktop user. There are many tasks where a browser working on a thin client will not have the capabilities to do the processing needed, and therefore stand-alone clients will be used.Likewise not everyone is connected to a server with the high speed Internet that desktops like Chrome OS would need to be effective....
Don't you hate it when people say that Linux is "hard to use"?

Jul 07, 2009 GMT

Here is a young man that I met at Campus Party in Bogota, Colombia. I am fairly sure that he is not the youngest user of Linux, but he had his Classmate computer, his installed copy of Ubuntu, and was extremely happy with it. He wanted me to autograph his notebook, which I did. Later on I saw him working away, but I think that at my age I would have asked for a more comfortable working environment.

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