Friday, March 14, 2008

New Job New Internet Service and Life

Tomorrow morning I start a new job. Can't give to many details but it certainly involves computers.

Now Hulu Internet Television Service, is cool. Imagine being able to watch any television show you wanted at anytime you wanted no matter where you are. All you need is a Computer and a braodband connection. Hulu offers that, for the most part anyway.

Though they don't have every television show ever made they have a very large selection. They allow you to watch any show they have available anytime you want and the service is FREE being ad supported. It works with Linux using Firefox so I had absolutely no problems watching any show I selected.

Since I really don't watch a whole lot of TV and when I do I much rather watch shows I like and not just what's on. This to me is a absolute must have service. The cost is great too.

They have classic TV shows as well as current TV offerings. Full length movies too.

This is a highly recommend service.

Son turned four years old on Wendsday, I wish I could see the world through his eyes.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Real Software Freedom Is About Choice Not Type

I have a lot of fun with Linux. Simply put Linux is more suited to my use than Windows. Not to mention I'm no fan of windows at all.

However there are several discussions about freedom in software some which are completely invalid because they discount what freedom is. Freedom is the right to make choices based on an individuals needs and motives. Not a groups. I.E. I use Flash and not Gnash. Yes Flash is Closed Source and Gnash is Open Source but the reason I use Flash is because even though it isn't perfect it works better than Gnash.

I also prefer Adobe Acrobat over kpdf because it works (and looks better.

My point is that I use Linux but I don't neceassarily restrict myself to choices based on Open Source over Closed Source.

I use what works for me and true freedom comes down to right to make that choice. Not based on a license or source code access.

Lets make this perfectly clear: True Software Freedom is the right to choose and use software one feels will work best. Militant ramblings concerning how evil closed software is do not help the Open Source Community.

Creating a Software license which is based on political ideals and not creativity are also a bad idea. Attacking developers whom write software for Linux based systems, that happens to be closed source also does not help.

Solutions in Open Source programs aren't always the best for a particular purpose and the closed source solutions may provide them. To say anyone whom uses closed source over open source doesn't get what Computing Freedom is about is full of it.

Real freedom comes with the options to make choices based on need and expected results. Not what type of software it is. As a consultant I do try and push Open Source in many ways but I also know that it isn't the only, nor always the best, option.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why Being Mobile is Important

There are any number of reasons I like being mobile. One among many is when I have to leave the house to take care of something quick but can't return immediately and i have to wait I can still get online, do my research and in general get business taken care of.

Today is one of those days. I had to take care of the registration on my truck but because it was out of date I had to get a ride in. Well the person who brought me to the court house had business herself and I am forced to wait on her. Since her business is taking significantly longer I have to wait on her till I can get to my truck later.

Now here I sit in Starbucks waiting for her to call me so we can meet up when she completes her business. Having a nice laptop and a internet connection (which isn't provided by Starbucks because I removed the wireless/modem card on the laptop to save baterry power) I can still work on things while I wait.

Even post my second blog entry in one day (a very rare occurance for me) because I'm also not being distracted or otherwise bothered while i do what I have to do. (Though most of it is from my sone so I don't mind to much.)

Anyway I actually did my application searches and pretty much got all the programs I wanted installed.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day for me and I hope I get the position I want. If not an old employer wants me back. Either way I'll be back to work soon.

Swiftfox VS. Firefox

If you like to try out different software packagaes as I do then sometimes things can get a bit messed up. Case in point, I had replaced Firefox with Swiftfox. Swiftfox is Beta at best and to be honest not as compatible with Firefox as I would like. The problems are more instability than functionality. Also many FF plugins simply aren't compatible with SF.

I also realized when I switched back to FF that SF had done some changes that created more issues with FF than I liked. Fortunately I was able to recover the damages.

To fix FF issues in Linux is easy. Simply delete the hidden folder .mozilla under your home folder. If you have FEBE then getting your extensions back is easy as well. If not get it before deleteing the hidden folder and backup extensions and themes and bookmarks before doing so.

Once the hidden folder is deleted and you start FF it opens in default mode with no new addons, cookies, extensions or themes. Reinstall FEBE through the file>> open dialogue and then restart FF again. Then use FEBE to reinstall everything else and restart FF one last time.

Though you will have to re-enter your saved passwords (I have learned from past experience that FEBE does not handle restoration of cookies, password data and user settings well so I highly suggest you never use those options) the minor inconvienence makes for a fresh start with FF and helps improve its usability.

Lesson learned - be able to recover from trying something new if it doesn't work for you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

LinuxMint is it.

The LinuxMint KDE CE (Community Edition) 4.0 Daryna is now out of Beta and has been released.

Based loosely on Kubuntu it provides better stability and uses the more common sense approaches needed.

Kcontrol instead of System Settings: Jonathon Riddell does a remarkable job but his opinion concerning Kcontrol needing to be replaced, though correct, cannot be done with a sub-par interface. System Settings does not give you access to all KCM's and therefore is proving to be highly unpopular among hard core KDE users. Myself included. Replacing KControl must be done with something that allows access to the all settings, not just a select few. KDE users are used to, and want, full access to all KDE Control Modules. Many whom use KDE choose to do so over Gnome for this reason alone. Myself included.

Synaptic instead of Adept: Yes synaptic is GTK but so what? Its simply the best front end for Apt there is. Many KDE users get it and use it. Adept is to confusing in some ways and far less configurable. Also since LinuxMint's update front end uses synaptic I can pin software and not worry about it getting accidentally updated. (I do this with OpenOffice since I use the version directly from them and not the one in the Ubuntu repositories.) You can't version pin software in Adept without jumping through a few hoops. In fact one thing I could not do on Kubuntu and have done on LinuxMint is completely remove Adept. Yes I lose the KDE front end for Restricted Modules but then I don't need it.

Better setup scripts: LinuxMint install and configuration scripts are leaner and much tighter. Overall I have a much better running laptop. Especially in the Compiz-Fusion setup. Since I'm not jumping into KDE 4 yet and am using KDE 3.5.9 until KDE 4 is ready for general user consumption. Right now its still in early adopter status and requires more applications to be ported over. Plus there are numerous bugs being worked on as well.

The only thing I don't understand is the use of TastyMenu. KBFX maybe, but TastyMenu has a lot of issues and bugs in it. No matter since I installed Kickoff 1 anyway. Would prefer Kickoff QT but that's near impossible now.

Also interesting article here concerning how to get Linux to be a better player on the Desktop. Though I agree it really focuses on one real issue, the hardware aspect. Though important it is NOT the total answer.

Linux adoption will happen only when users find it as easy to use as Windows with all the same functions and abilities.

Nuff' Said.