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2008 January 4 [Friday]

philosophical differences

So Intel has quit the OLPC project due to philosophical differences. Like many, I was wondering how long this (AMD,XO,Intel) marriage would last. I wonder why Intel ventured there in the first place, because AMD was there first (?) and Intel didnt want to lose $$$ (brand recall in marketing terms indirectly means $$$, which AMD would get via project associativity).

/quote:
“I think that as an organization, Intel is about competition; they are not about learning,” said Mr. Bender, the group’s president for software and content.
/unquote

Duh, unless you dont share an iota of the same philosophy, ideals or whatever of the OLPC project, it did not make much sense to try and ride two boats at the same time (read, Classmate PC). What a shame !!

2007 October 20 [Saturday]

Ubuntu and Utsav

"Ubuntu is strongly based on Debian and (going deeper) GNU/Linux". Many community members are voicing their thoughts in favor of Debian and some have even filed bugs #154274 on LP , since DD's had blogged about not crediting Debian visibly in the latest Gutsy release. Paul had suggested we keep a page similar to MacOSX's "foundations" summary which sounds workable. Ubuntu/Canonical knows and does recognize the foundation on which it is built upon but the website when searched for "Debian" gives this result whilst a search for "GNU/Linux" gave fewer meaningful results. I hope that changes soon and GNU/Linux and Debian get their place under the sun (now is that another TM violation :-P).

Happy shubh Dashera, and with that ends 10 days of fun ...until next year ...:) but hey i still have deepavali to look forward to. Thankfully we have a festival every other month so its nice in a way but too much work [hint: cooking] and socialising. Russell had blogged about caring for your introvert which is so not happening in the Indian context ... I can just imagine the reaction my nosy colleague/neighbour /acquaintance (add people of choice) would have if I had to wave that under their nose, they would probably just tear it up as "bakwas, stop being so snooty".

2007 September 16 [Sunday]

not there yet

Ubuntu is on Dell but apparently its not there yet. Aaron writes an excellent article (rant in his words) on why getting Linux on your desktop/laptop is akin to climbing Mt.Everest... whether its the Linux community, hardware issues, upstream, SI/vendors, he has touched upon most aspects, except the part about various distributions available across the Linux landscape. Even if the only thing common is the Kernel between them, it is in name only... at the user level each distro is a studied contrast to the previous one. True, its all about freedom (to choose) and all that jazz ...but this variety is a stumbling block for Linux to rule the desk/laptop world.

As I had posted earlier about promoting Ubuntu to the management types, most people (that includes coders with a Masters in Engg) don't really know the difference between Ubuntu and RH and don't really care just so long as it works. People (and companies) use a machine to get work done asap but if they have to spend time reading how-to manuals each time the machine troubles them, its going to be tough going.

2007 August 19 [Sunday]

ubuntu in corporate india

The perk I enjoy the most is being able to promote Ubuntu/Linux to the folks I meet as part of work. In the booming Indian IT industry, few know about Linux and for most its usually restricted to RH/Fedora or the myth that Linux is meant only for the geeks or nerdy engineers and developers. For many people (besides the sysadmins/techies) in the IT world here, Debian/Ubuntu/KDE or Gnome is akin to the Latin language ....pretty sad !!

Even though RH is well known and used (by far the most famous in my limited interaction's), many companies don't want to experiment and still balk at support issues and don't really understand the concept of community support. Some even ask why I work for free and dont really understand the philosophy behind the GPL and why a developing nation like ours needs it.

Pressure being high as far as productivity goes, not many companies would want to waste time in experimenting with the unknown. I understand where their concerns arise and they are probably justified in thinking so. Many are surprised to hear about the low female participation in the libre world**1, low development rate on libre platforms, low hardware support for libre drivers, lack of knowledge about GPL and the like.

As someone who does not code for a living but yet volunteers in the FOSS world, I usually don't face much opposition while convincing them to start thinking of Ubuntu as a base for developing software. Its fun telling the corporate management types about the benefits of using Ubuntu-Linux while handing out the Ubuntu CD's and usually get to speak to the tech head or any other decision making authority. Currently I am running out of the latest Ubuntu CD's so if anyone has Shipit CD's to spare, leave a comment.

**1. In India a large number of women work in the IT industry. Hazarding a guess I could say its around 40% of the workforce, probably more, but I have no statistical figures to back it.

ubuntu and indian companies

The perk I enjoy the most is being able to promote Ubuntu/Linux to the folks I meet as part of work. In the booming Indian IT industry, few know about Linux and for most its usually restricted to RH/Fedora or the myth that Linux is meant only for the geeks or nerdy engineers and developers. For many people (besides the sysadmins/techies) in the IT world here, Debian/Ubuntu/KDE or Gnome is akin to the Latin language ....pretty sad !!

Even though RH is well known and used (by far the most famous in my limited interaction's), many companies don't want to experiment and still balk at support issues and don't really understand the concept of community support. Some even ask why I work for free and dont really understand the philosophy behind the GPL and why a developing nation like ours needs it.

Pressure being high as far as productivity goes, not many companies would want to waste time in experimenting with the unknown. I understand where their concerns arise and they are probably justified in thinking so. Many are surprised to hear about the low female participation in the libre world**1, low development rate on libre platforms, low hardware support for libre drivers, lack of knowledge about GPL and the like.

As someone who does not code for a living but yet volunteers in the FOSS world, I usually don't face much opposition while convincing them to start thinking of Ubuntu as a base for developing software. Its fun telling the corporate management types about the benefits of using Ubuntu-Linux while handing out the Ubuntu CD's and usually get to speak to the tech head or any other decision making authority. Currently I am running out of the latest Ubuntu CD's so if anyone has Shipit CD's to spare, leave a comment.

**1. In India a large number of women work in the IT industry. Hazarding a guess I could say its around 40% of the workforce, probably more, but I have no statistical figures to back it.

2007 May 28 [Monday]

behindmotu on the fridge

One of the things I always wanted (to see more of) on the Fridge was the work of the MOTU team being featured at least on a monthly basis. MOTU's are the volunteer package maintainers that look after the Universe and multiverse Ubuntu software repositories but they are always short on time and could not do this themselves.

Since Jordan already had a blog feed about them on the planet, I asked him to join us and directly feed this to the Fridge. I think its a great way to highlight the work MOTU's (and hopefuls) on the Fridge by bringing publicity to the packages some members were working on, including personal interviews, or anything else they were willing to talk about.
Ofcourse the Fridge is always looking for varied content that we can feature. So if you are involved in the community and covered any loco events, team events, or just about anything Ubuntu-related, send a quick email to our mailing list [fridge-devel@lists.ubuntu.com] accompanied with a short write-up (atleast a paragraph or two) each week.

2007 May 19 [Saturday]

secure your system

So you just dumped the 'doze system and migrated to Linux thinking its a 100% secure... well, think again .. there is no such thing really !! Probably if you never access another network or ever use any external media, then perhaps you could claim 100% security but that's a killjoy, aint' it !?

If you are using Ubuntu and want to secure it, Brian Provost's interesting article tells you how simple mods can protect your installed Ubuntu system.

indian blog spammers

Spam on blog comments is not new but off-late it has been increasing. Since the last year or more, the maximum visitors were from USA among other countries. Lately India has topped the list comprising 61.46% of the total visitors to my blog.

The old theory that Windows machines are taken over by viruses and become spam bots in return is not completely true, because the maximum visitor comments on my blog was from a machine running the Firefox 1.0.7 browser with Linux as its OS located in India with the host being : triband-mum-59.182.8.82.mtnl.net.in (59.182.8.82), who left around a 100 comments on a single blog entry.

Well, outsourcing has aided the Indian economy and how.... we now have local spammers who have learnt to use Gnu/Linux in such a commercially productive way. Ideally I would have kept comments open but now am a reluctant moderator on the verge of turning off all comments which seems to be an unfriendly option.

addendum : How to make the life of a spammer even more easy

2007 May 9 [Wednesday]

ubuntu mobile

Update on the "Ubuntu goes mobile" story :

Contrary to widespread rumors, Ubuntu Mobile will not target mobile phones. Instead, the "mobile and embedded" version of the popular desktop Linux distribution will be developed in partnership with Intel, and will target "mobile Internet devices" (MIDs), along the lines of Nokia's N800 web tablet.

I was waiting for this news as there was some confusion if mobile phones were the target or was it just for Internet-enabled devices. Now we can freeze it on the Fridge!

2005 October 2 [Sunday]

Sanskrit locale sponsored into Debian

Just finished a last minute correction on the SA (Sanskrit) locale. Too many long nights this past week reading about Unicode and Devanagari support, keymaps and key-bindings, on Linux. And as I write this, its past 2 am yet again.... Volunteering can cause insomnia and sleep deprivation.

UPDATE: My Sanskrit (SA) language locale package was sponsored into Debian by Christian Perrier on 03-Oct-2005, available as a Debian package “belocs-locales-data” and in package “locales (version: 2.3.5-6)”. It feels great to see my first technical contribution to Debian become a part of the larger FOSS ecosystem.

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