Thursday, December 29, 2005

It seems that Symantec is sending out letters to IT managers where they restate their claim that Mozilla browsers are more vulnerable than IE.

Well, we all know that is not true, it only takes a few seconds on Google to find articles that refute this claim. Every computer savvy person will know this already, without looking for articles, but most managers will not and the Symantec letter will only heighten their fear.

Anyway, I got quite a bit carried away and kind of angry as well. And while I was getting angry, it just appeared to me that not OS, but Symantec (and other commercial software companies) are the underdog. They have to defend themselves, they must do everything to survive while OS software and projects have nothing to worry about, they just are and always will be.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

There is a nice and lengthy article on Linux Journal about Jeff Waugh, one of the employees of Ubuntu. There is a section in there that can be linked to the recent Gnome vs KDE 'incident'.

"99.9% of the population don't care about computers. This isn't a matter of intelligence; your local doctor may be perfectly bright but when it comes to computers, he or she simply wants a glorified typewriter to write some letters or whatever. When it comes to software, Jeff said, "it shouldn't punch you in the face". To illustrate this point, Jeff put up two screenshots of dialog boxes, one from a Microsoft Windows program and the other from a current GNOME program. The Windows dialog box had three densely written paragraphs of computer terms and finished with two boxes, one labeled "Yes" and the other labeled "No". With GNOME, the developers put verbs on the boxes, such as "Save" and "Cancel". In other words, the user should have a pretty good idea about what is happening simply from looking at the dialog boxes."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The 'Debunking common GNU/Linux myths' article linked on OSNews turned into the usual pro/anti-Linux war fest in the reader comments.

Stuff like this always works me up, because windows users are accusing Linux users of things they deal with most of the time with as well. You have the usual argument that - Linux is only free if your time is free. While they are forgetting that a lot of time goes into configuring and installing your windows OS and tools as well. In most cases the Linux distro installs everything for you, so you have time enough left to fiddle around with settings, if you so desire.

Hardware support is another favorite, windows supports everything out of the box, if your box is not too old that is. I have seen to many perfectly working hardware turn unusable after upgrading to a new version of windows. And at the same time the driver model of windows turns out to be more hell then convenience for some people. They actually gave me a SoundBlaster Live! because the drivers were so crappy they could hardly use the card. I have a stash of Gravis Ultrasounds laying around, and recently I got a Miro DC30 video capturing card because there are no decent drivers available anymore. After assembling a new PC for somebody else, windows was unable to install because it required SATA drivers to be loaded from a diskette. Firstly, I had no disk drive in this PC, so I had to start a quest to find a drive on my attic to just get windows installed. Secondly, why couldn't this be loaded from a CD or something more modern? Great hardware support it is.

Let's not get into the spy/adware debate. How it's possible for windows user to claim they never have any problems with that, is beyond me. It is inescapable! Unless, you install a ton of extra software monitoring your registry, files, mails and network for virus, worm, spy and adware activity. Lets not forget to adjust some very bizarre and obscure parameters all over the place and the registry itself to lock stuff up some more, all things which normal users like my wife or parents can do on a regular basis, right.

So windows brothers, take a look in the mirror before you badmouth some other OS, I will try to do the same.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Check out this interview on SecurityFocus about the upcoming release of OpenSSH. A must read for every UNIX/Linux administrator. This tool can already do so much and is only getting better.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

This is just plain amazing. Sun didn't do much to me anymore the recent years. But they seem to be coming up strong again, making exciting and cool machines again.

Opening up a processor design is something we haven't seen before, and it will be interesting to see where it will take us. If the right people pick this up, it could be a replacement for the popular PowerPC processor.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

We have Java on one side and C# on the other. None of them is any good. By that I mean they are not free software. This is important, because Java, although available on many platforms, leaves some of them in the dark. Even more so for C#, where we can only hope projects like mono and DotGNU can help us (none of these two implementations is finished or complete yet).

What to do, why hasn't the OSS crowd delivered such a language? Well, they have. That language is called Python. Truly wonderful and easy to use and learn, it also combines a lot of things people want which are available in Java/C#, like the byte-code and ofcourse it's an object based, true platform independent programming language.

It runs well on all platforms. And is popular both on windows (you'll find many python applications for windows) as well as on the Linux desktop. If you haven't done so already, check it out now.