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October 2007 Archives


I played around with Ubuntu this Ubuntu Logoweekend and I have been really impressed by everything, but I know many people still want to use a Windows desktop. So I thought I would give you ten reasons why you shouldn't use Ubuntu so when your Ubuntu-loving friends tell you about it you can be armed with some reasons why you would rather use Windows.



Greg sent me this article at the New York Times,"Silicon Valley Start-Ups Awash in Dollars, Again" and Stacy says (via Matt ) Ballmer is hunting for Open Source Start-Ups.

Zonbu: The Linux Mini

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Zonbu is a compact diskless Linux workstation At $99 for the Gentoo Linux powered diskless workstation it seems like a bargain. The catch is that it comes with a $12.95/month minimum subscription for 24 months for storage and support.

Open the Initiative

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When the Open Source Initiative decided to approve two licenses submitted by Microsoft (the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL)), Michael Tiemann, President of the OSI, also decided to give an explanation about it on his OSI blog.

Right away, this struck me as unusual--I don't recall other newly approved licenses getting their own explanations from the OSI president. But, oh, right, we're talking about two Microsoft licenses, aren't we?

GOSCON 07: An Open Balance

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Here at the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON), Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, gave the opening keynote to a crowd of 200 at--literally--the crack of dawn.

Despite the early hour, his talk was well-received by attendees, which--after the standard "who the heck is the Linux Foundation?" intro--delved into the use of open source in government.

Interestingly, Zemlin told the government IT audience that in the course of adopting new technologies, the fact that any given application is open source should not be the main determining factor.

While Steve Ballmer cheerfully spreads his brand of Fear, Uncertainly, and Doubt, never let it be said that Microsoft doesn't let all of its employees join in on the fun.

If you think that the patent trolling comments are the only thrust of Microsoft's relentless attacks on Linux and open source, I am sad to inform you that this is not the case. The company has many ways to disseminate the FUD, and it's not coming from just the top.

According to the report "The Momentum of Open Source: Adoption Plans and Challenges in Australia, Korea, India and the People's Republic of China" (Doc # AP322113P).

The first time I met Deborah Bryant was two years ago at the last Boston LinuxWorld. A bunch of people had rolled into an Irish restaurant one night, and she was sitting across from me and John Weathersby of Open Source Software Institute.

If you've ever met John, you know that he is a fierce and dedicated open source advocate. Nonetheless, his capacity for BS is equally huge, and that night over drinks, he regaled the group with one jibe and tale after another. Deb, I recall, was not impressed, and called him on it quite a few times.

I was dutifully impressed.

In a couple of weeks is the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON), to be held in Portland, Oregon on October 15-16. I spoke with Deb Bryant, the conference chair, yesterday to get the low-down on the conference, and ended up getting a (polite) earful from some of the conference speakers.

I want to give GOSCON my full attention, because I think the Oregon State University/Open Source Lab-sponsored conference deserves a full mention all to its own, so I will defer describing this event (which I am pleased to be attending) until my next entry.

Until then, let me tell you about the discussion that ensued from some of the speakers about how the OpenDocument Format may not be the great unifier of documents after all.

It's the wisdom of crowds (yeah, that's becoming a cliché) enabled by a cheap collaboration platform, the Internet, that drives OSS.

Last week, the story was broke that Novell was claiming to be making some money, and the company cited its partnership with Microsoft as a big reason why.

This came out during a conference hosted by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, in which Novell's Director of Marketing Justin Steinman indicated "The affect on sales year over year, for Novell's first three quarters of our fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31--our Linux business was up 243 percent year over year."

Normally, this kind of up-tick in Linux business would be a good thing, but then Justin had to go and sour the milk with this now oft-quoted gem from Novell's marketing strategy: "Do you want the Linux that works with Windows? Or the one that doesn't?"