foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


Munich already saved millions by switching to Linux

, posted: 30-Mar-2012 15:57

'LiMux' is the project of the city of Munich to switch all its public servants' desktops from Windows and MS Office to Linux and OpenOffice. More than 10,000 of them. It's a big project by all accounts. While not completed yet, the city is already reaping the benefits: Here is some information and discussion on Slashdot about it.

Interestingly, the city has not only already saved itself some NZ$ 6.4 million in Microsoft license fees, but in addition the Linux desktops turned out to be (read the entire post)...



Smooth sailing with the Karmic Koala

, posted: 23-Nov-2009 05:39

When Ubuntu 9.10 ("Karmic Koala") came out, the first reports were somewhat discouraging: While Karmic brought lots of nice, new additions, some people discovered that for them things which had worked nicely on 9.04 were suddenly broken, stuff didn't seem to fit together well and so overall - they said - a 'disappointing release'. So, it was with some trepidation that I decided to finally give it a go, about a month after it came out. Waiting for those few weeks sounded like a good idea, since j (read the entire post)...



A Linux distro for Cuba

, posted: 12-Feb-2009 11:35

Cuba has presented its own Linux distro, called Nova. Some of the argumentation laid out by the Cuban officials is very good:
...Nova was introduced at a Havana computer conference on "technological sovereignty" and is central to the Cuban government's desire to replace the Microsoft software running most of the island's computers....
Unlike Microsoft, Linux is free and has open access that allows users to modify its code to fit their needs. "Private software can have black holes and (read the entire post)...



Follow up: How to write a Linux virus

, posted: 12-Feb-2009 08:10

Yesterday I published an article about How to write a Linux virus in 5 easy steps. There has been quite an overwhelming response for this. Within just a few hours this article became my most visited blog post ever. Wow! Just goes to show that either the article hit a real nerve, or the other articles on my blog are just really boring. :-)

Anyway, a lot of interesting feedback arrived, some of which tthrough the comments on Reddit, some in the comment section of my article, some by ema (read the entire post)...



How to write a Linux virus in 5 easy steps

, posted: 11-Feb-2009 06:33

Note: I posted a follow up to summarise points and comments I received
as part of the overwhelming feedback to this article. Please read this follow-up
before (!) posting a comment, since some of what you might want to say
may already have been addressed.
For the gist of it...... just scroll down to the compact step-by-step guide. But if you like to get some of the background and related explanations then just read on. The rumor of the bullet-proof Linux architecture (read the entire post)...



11 reasons to switch to Linux

, posted: 4-Feb-2009 09:24

People like to publish top-10 lists of all sorts. And "reasons to switch to Linux" is no exception. Many of those have been published, and the latest entry is here. However, I think the author completely forgot a very important point. Also, some of the points he makes should be examined a bit more closely and critically. The comments on the original article reflect some valid and some unfounded criticism. Let me just run through those points (italics are quotes from the original 10-point list, m (read the entire post)...



Ubuntu 8.10 OS giveaway

, posted: 14-Jan-2009 06:27

We have a copy of Ubuntu 8.10 to give away this week. Ok, not only this week and not only one copy. In fact, get as many as you want, tell your friends as well. Powerful, modern, user-friendly desktop environment.Out-of-the-box support for most available hardware and USB devices. Home networking. Home computer backup. Secure, multi-user environment, no need to run anti-virus software. Thousands of applications for any task, freely available, easily browsable and (read the entire post)...



A new push for desktop Linux

, posted: 12-Sep-2008 06:02

The GNU/Linux desktop can deliver a very mixed experience to the user: On one hand, you have very functional desktop environments, such as GNOME or KDE, with state-of-the-art features, capabilities, graphical effects, eye-candy and wizbang-ery (Compiz). On the other hand, you have apparent idiosyncrasies, such as different fonts and menu layouts, look and feel in your main desktop applications. Different maturity levels of your apps and different 'corners' of your desktop environment. Little nig (read the entire post)...



Dell Inspiron Mini 9: Windows is worth ... nothing?

, posted: 5-Sep-2008 13:09

So, the widely anticipated new Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is finally available, as was reported everywhere today, even here on Geekzone.

When you take a look at Dell's web-site where you can buy and configure your machine, you can see that a model running Ubuntu 8.04 with 512 MB RAM and a 4 GB SSD is offered for US$ 349. If you want Windows XP, you need to pay more (US$ 399), because you need a larger SSD (8 GB). You can upgrade memory and SSD to 1 GB and 16 GB respectively, and then pay $ (read the entire post)...



GNU/Linux popularity around the world

, posted: 22-Aug-2008 09:10

Pingdom has produced a nice article about the popularity of GNU/Linux around the world. They did that by using Google's search insight, and show maps for the popularity of Linux in general, as well as various distributions.

For example, here is the popularity of "Linux" (as a search term) across the world:

And here is the popularity of "Ubuntu":

More maps and interesting analysis can be found in the original article.


(read the entire post)...



Linux still not ready for the masses?

, posted: 14-Aug-2008 10:06

Every couple of weeks, or so, someone out there in the land of journalism volunteers their opinion about Linux supposedly not being ready for the mass market, being complicated and complex, stating that nothing works and complicated hacking is required to get things going, etc. Just today, we find a piece like this here.

This truly surprises me, and I wonder what distro the author has been testing lately? For example, implying that the GNU/Linux desktop doesn't offer eye candy, the ar (read the entire post)...



EEE PC with XP is cheaper than with GNU/Linux

, posted: 9-May-2008 06:50

Apparently, as the new Asus EEE PC 900 (the model with the bigger screen) enters the market in Australia, the Windows XP version of it will be cheaper than the GNU/Linux version. A$ 599 for the XP version vs. A$ 649 for the GNU/Linux version. In addition, only the XP version will be offered to the broader market in mass retailers, while the GNU/Linux version will only be sold in more specialised computer stores. This has led some people to believe that Microsoft and Asus are somehow in bed with (read the entire post)...



Ubuntu 8.04 is out!

, posted: 25-Apr-2008 05:38

After the usual long beta phase, today was the official release for Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). This is an LTS (Long Term Support) release, so enterprise customers can use it with confidence. Some coverage here and here.

Besides the many overall improvements, one of the more interesting new features is WUBI, the Windows-based Ubuntu Installer. This allows you to install Ubuntu on your Windows machine just like another application. You don't need to change the partitioning of your hard (read the entire post)...



No more Windows at Swiss schools - it's all Ubuntu now

, posted: 10-Apr-2008 08:29

In the past, I wrote about how Russian schools are switching to Linux and about the big cost savings schools can experience when adopting Linux. Now today, news reaches us via The Inquirer that Swiss schools will be exclusively using Ubuntu from now on going forward. Apparently, the 9000 computers in Swiss state schools were Windows/Ubuntu dual-boot so far. But it looks like their Windows partions will be erased now. Good for them! As I said before: Proprietary and vendor specific software has n (read the entire post)...



Asus EEE PC – is it really good news for FOSS and GNU/Linux?

, posted: 13-Mar-2008 06:51

The Asus EEE PC is a truly marvellous little machine. I had heard a lot of good things about it. But usually, I'm not all that interested in those fancy ultra mobile devices everyone is supposed to buy these days. The EEE PC, however, is running GNU/Linux, which piqued my interest. A week or two ago at a local Dick Smith, I finally laid eyes on one of them in person. Playing around with that now famous tabbed interface, I noticed that it definitely doesn't look like a normal GNU/Lin (read the entire post)...



More GNU/Linux pre-installed options: Acer notebook at Dick Smith

, posted: 16-Jan-2008 06:21

Yesterday someone told me about Dick Smith selling an Acer notebook with pre-loaded GNU/Linux. I didn't get around to blog about it on that day, so today I wake up to find that Mauricio beat me to the punch with the announcement. Oh well...

This is of course an interesting timing, considering that just yesterday I had talked about Lenovo offering pre-loaded GNU/Linux on Thinkpads, and it also contrasts with an observation I made some time ago, about missing choices in the New Zealand (read the entire post)...



Lenovo pre-installs GNU/Linux on Thinkpad notebooks

, posted: 15-Jan-2008 06:35

Another sign of GNU/Linux gaining ground in the desktop market: Lenovo will offer Linux pre-installed on its ThinkPad T61 and R61 notebooks. After Dell, this is now the second brand-name manufacturer of notebooks, which offers GNU/Linux pre-installed.

It's a bit startling to see that these notebooks will only cost $20 less than the same models with Windows Vista. OEM pricing truly is mysterious. Nevertheless, having it all pre-installed and working out of the box will help some buyers (read the entire post)...



Avoid GNU/Linux device support issues: A few minutes of research can make all the difference

, posted: 10-Jan-2008 15:24

You may have heard stories of GNU/Linux not being able to support some critical pieces of hardware, such as 3D graphics cards or WiFi. While GNU/Linux actually supports more hardware than any other operating system out there, it is certainly annoying when the one piece of hardware you need is not on the list. If you are looking for someone to blame for this, look no further than the vendors of those pieces of hardware. They are typically enthralled by the large market sh (read the entire post)...



The Economist predicts for 2008: More Ubuntu, more open software

, posted: 28-Dec-2007 05:20

The Economist has published its technology predictions for 2008. The article makes three claims, the third one of which has to do with openness and open source software. It elaborates on a number of interesting issues:
...the embrace of 'openness' by firms that have grown fat on closed, proprietary technology is something we'll see more of in 2008.For a while now we have seen the tendency of traditionally closed and proprietary companies to use open source for a variety (read the entire post)...



A small step for Dell, a giant leap for Linux...

, posted: 20-Dec-2007 07:27

My apologies to Neil Armstrong...

What is getting me so excited? This piece of news here: Dell announces Ubuntu 7.10 PCs with DVD playback.

What's so exciting about this? And besides, other operating systems, such as Windows, can play DVDs out of the box anyway, right?

Well, no. Wrong. Sorry. Ok, I don't know what they have done with Vista now, but look at your recovery CDs for Windows XP. Notice something? If you install from that recovery CD, Windows will not k (read the entire post)...



foobar's profile

 
New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




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