Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Penguin Awareness Day - January 20th, 2009

Jan 04, 2009 GMT

I was riding Southwest Airlines, coming back from visiting my relatives in Pennsylvania. I picked up a copy of the airline's Spirit Magazine from the seat back pocket, and started reading about various little-known holidays. Then I noticed that "Penguin Awareness Day" is January 20th. While "Penguin Awareness Day" officially has little to do with Linux, and there is even controversy on which day is the "official" Penguin Awareness Day, there is really no reason why we could not use this day to make people aware of our favorite operating system and Free Software in general. A penguin is a great mascot. Before "Tux", the penguin, vendors were using...
Gifts that keep on giving

Dec 22, 2008 GMT

This time of year a lot of people exchange gifts in celebration of various holidays. Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa to name a few. Making things a little harder for me, both my brother and my father celebrate their birthdays in December. If you are like me and coming up with the extra money this time of year is difficult, or trying to buy that gift for the "person who has everything" (my father) think about giving a gift of Free Software, sprinkled with that gift that really means a lot, your own time. Think about what the person likes to do. Are they inclined to like music? Take photographs? Did they get a new video camera recently? Do they like astronomy? Find some Free...
Giving Back

Dec 12, 2008 GMT

I was attending Latinoware, an event in Brazil held on the grounds of the Itaipu Hydro-electric plant, currently the world's largest in capacity. Each event in Brazil has its own personality, and the Latinoware event reaches out not only to the Portuguese-speaking Free Software community, but also the Spanish-speaking communities. A highlight of this year's event was an "Olympiad" of programming, hosted by, one of the largest hosting services in Brazil, and organized by a good friend of mine, Kauê Linden, who is one of the owners.   Now Kauê is not a...
Dear Mr. Obama - Small and Medium Business

Dec 08, 2008 GMT

Dear President-elect Obama, As part of your campaign, you were an advocate for small and medium business (SMB). I agree with this philosophy, since such a large number of people in the United States are employed by SMBs, and since such a large portion of our economy is based on SMBs. In the computer industry there is something known as Free Software, which is software that guarantees the availability of the source code for the software solution to the end user. This allows the end user to make a business decision about whether they wish to use the software the way it exists, or take steps to change the software to have it meet the end-user needs. Sometimes these changes are simple fixes...
Open Mobility?

Nov 24, 2008 GMT

Last week I was at a conference in San Francisco entitled "Open Mobile Summit".For their first attempt the organizers did what I thought was a very good job organizing this conference, getting people from many branches of the mobile telephone industry (handset manufacturers, carriers, service providers and ISPs) to come together to talk about "Open Mobility". There were even representatives from Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry) and much mention was made of the Apple iPhone, and even though neither were considered to be very "Open", they were featured in the discussions regarding such areas as security, reliability, fragmentation and making...
December 31st. 2009: NAT Free - Goodbye to an old friend

Nov 14, 2008 GMT

By now anyone who does not know we are running out of IPv4 Internet addresses must be living in a hole. The warnings and pleadings of the Internet community to move toward IPv6 have gone from "advisory" to "panic" to "IT is almost too late". But while the final issue may have to be solved by the "cupboard is bare" answer, I have found a few more reasons for me (and others) to make the move now instead of later. Recently I have been looking at dual issues of mobile Internet and power consumption. Through several different avenues, a culprit is appearing, and its name is IPv4. Now don't get me wrong, IPv4 has been my friend for many, many years. It...
Back to the Future - Past events in Ohio and future events in Ontario, Canada

Oct 20, 2008 GMT

In a lot of ways it is nice to write for a magazine family like Linux New Media that is a media sponsor of so many events. I get to see a lot of the events, and it encourages me to go to more of the talks than I would normally do. Normally I talk to people in the hallways and see one or two talks. When I represent the magazine at these events, I try to see more of the talks. October 11th was the sixth annual Free and Open Source Conference and Expo in Columbus Ohio (also know as the "Ohio LinuxFest) and as always, it was a fine community event. Over 1000 people attended, and with both the issues of the economy and high gas prices, was more than some of the event planners...

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