On the Front Lines with Richard Stallman

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Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation and The GNU Project, has had a consistent message about freedom for computer users for over 23 years. His first experiences with computers predate his work with the MIT AI Lab, which began in 1972. When I began researching for this interview, I had a different concept of Free Software and Open Source – so much so, that I rarely distinguished between the two. After nearly two months since my initial contact with Mr. Stallman, I’d like to think that I have a better grasp on the differences between them. I’ve also learned that Richard Stallman’s vision for Free Software – that’s “Free” as in “Free Speech” – has remained his primary focus.

You’ve been a programmer for longer than most common folk realize computers have even been around. What is it about programming that you enjoy most? What compels you to code? Continue reading

Linspire: Punked by Microsoft

MS Linspire: Like Sheep to the Slaughter

Microsoft, thanks to their deep pockets and scary lawyers, is still doing today what it has done for years to anyone that threatens it’s market position. The difference now though, is that Open Source is not one single company that they can buy or push around. They are, however, finding some sheep that will roll over for fear of being dragged into a legal battle. This fear is not based on losing the law suit, but rather the waiting game that eats money for attorneys and other related costs of defending against this suit. It’s kind of like a staring contest; the first one to run out of money loses. Linspire (the distro formerly known as Lindows), is the latest to cower in their cubicles and corner offices for fear of being buried alive by an avalanche of patent infringements. Here is the gist of what Microsoft has to offer to those willing to come clean; Under the PR guise of a “Covenant to Customers” at least 3 Linux publishers have climbed on board. Essentially, if any of the GPL/GNU concepts are touched on, the “Covenant” is violated. With the exception of patches, any other modification or alteration of the code is not allowed, nor is it okay to make copies of the software to give away to your friends – unless of course, additional fees are paid to Microsoft. Remember, we are talking about Linux – not Microsoft products. Microsoft excludes a number of things from this EULA for LINUX, including anything released under GPL3 because of the clause (section 10 paragraph 3 GPL3) expressly forbidding the imposition of restrictions or fees of this sort on anything released under GPL3. Continue reading

Adventures in Time Tracking

As a web developer for small business, I don’t have a need for complex project management, but I do need to keep track of time, otherwise, I’ll short-change myself and end up making $5.00 an hour! Analysis of time spent on various tasks has also helped me to identify bottlenecks in my process, making me more efficient – keeping clients and the accountant happy. Continue reading

Free Font Friday for 08/29/2008 – Aircut Light

Aircut Light

Aircut Light

Another Larabie Font (This guy makes lot’s of fonts). With a “Neo Art Deco” style, this light action font is ideal for print and screen display. Download here. Have a look at the Aircut Light PDF Sample for a better view.

Linux Screenshot of the day for 08/08/08 – Strigi The Storage Glutton

Strigi The Storage Glutton

Strigi The Storage Glutton

I like to be able to search for stuff on my computer – who doesn’t? Well , I don’t enjoy searching, but I do want the ability to do so in case I loose track of something in the perfect hierarchical world that is my directory tree. From the CLI, one can invoke various search commands to do the dirty work. Even ls can find stuff for you if you grep it right. But, alas; search for me is better suited to the gui, so about two weeks ago, I got the strigi daemon indexing so I can actually do the aforementioned searches – after just a bit of drive crawling, I could find media, email messages, etc., as expected. I had some problems displaying found items when clicking on the links to them in the search results data, but at least I could see where the items are and so just go to them manually. Out of the box, strigi seemed to be working fine.

Now, I’ve got around 500GB of disk space between 4 drives with more than half of that currently free. My root partition is mounted on a 30GB disk and then media and other data are stored on other larger disks. 30GB for / is plenty of room, or so I thought. Last week I started getting error messages that my home directory was running out of free space. I dumped the trash, cleaned up some temp files, and figured that would be the end of it. The message popped up again a few more times telling me that I was quickly running out of free space, so I decided to see what was eating a drive that should be more than adequate for my root partition. Continue reading