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Blogger Idol Week 2: Freedom

By | Posted at 18:19

It isn't. Microsoft just filed for such a patent.

Computers are suppose to bring freedom, but unfortunately, they can also take it away. As we become more dependent on computers to access our information, it should concern everyone that a few corporations control your identity. That certainly is not freedom. As one interviewee on Open for Business noted a few years back, this gives companies like Microsoft the opportunity to lock you in a proprietary prison, requiring you to agree to more and more aggressive licensing terms just to keep access to your documents.

Proprietary software companies, especially, thoses like Microsoft that frown on not only Open Source but even open standards, are basically trying to get people “addicted” to their software. Once you have your project information, financial information, personal letters, meeting presentations and everything else in their software, you are addicted. What are you going to do? Give up all of your data and start over?

Right now, there's another choice. If you switch to a Free Software platform (such as GNU/Linux) or even a semi-free platform (such as Mac OS X, which as a Free Software core now), you are moving in the right direction. The second step is simply to switch away from proprietary productivity software — instead of MS Office, try OpenOffice. Yes, it's not quite as nice, but isn't your freedom worth it? Soon, however, OpenOffice might not be allowed to load Microsoft Office files. Then, your only choice will be start over at whatever point you decide Microsoft's EULA's are too restrictive.

“Those who would sacrifice their essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin

MacFor.Biz Goes Live

By | Posted at 18:58

The Eighties

By | Posted at 16:24

Got it yet? Yes, it's the Apple Macintosh “1984” commercial. This is the commercial that introduced the world to the first real GUI operating system, not to mention the inspiration behind most other GUI's (including Windows). This commercial, generally considered one of the top two or three of all time, changed the computing world forever. It was the first stake in DOS's coffin. The Macintosh was here.

Two weeks ago, Steve Jobs revived the famed 1984 commercial at MacWorld, this time, using digital editing techniques, showing the runner in the commercial wearing an iPod. After it aired, the audience erupted with a standing ovation. It is known that Steve Job's famed “RDF” (Reality Distortion Field) has succeeded in causing mass excitement over little things, but this was clearly a show appreciation for both a spectacular commercial and the equally impressive era that was ushered in by the Macintosh.

It is interesting to note that as the “Evil Empire,” of Redmond, Washington, promotes the Trusted Computing (a.k.a. Palladium) initiative, a dangerous initiative that could eliminate choice in using different applications and operating systems, Apple has publicly come out against that system. Perhaps the Macintosh will really help avoid “1984.”

Happy Birthday, Mac. Let's hope Apple will still be on the cutting edge on the Mac's 40th birthday.

The Future is Open

By | Posted at 18:52

Nice Streams!

By | Posted at 17:28

You're Gonna Want One

By | Posted at 18:50

KVM Blues

By | Posted at 18:47

The Premier of...

By | Posted at 18:47

Actually, I don't need this system anymore than I need the Shuttle system I got for free (or actually half price, since I had to buy components for it), but I ended up ordering it anyway in late October. It finally arrived last Wednesday. It's a 2 Hz Dual Processor PowerMac G5. It took almost a month since I custom ordered it with a Radeon 9800 and Bluetooth capability. It's very fast and very nice. I've been too busy to try it as much as I would have liked, but I did take some time over the holiday to set it up.

The thing that really is great about this particular G5 is that it came from TerraSoft, the Apple Authorized Proprietary Solutions Provider that specialized in GNU/Linux. Thus it came with not only Mac OS X Panther, it also came with a preliminary preview release of Teresita's Yellow Dog Linux for the G5. Yellow Dog looks nice, although (as you'd expect with a beta) I'm still fighting with it to give me a proper resolution in X11. Once I get some time to devote to it, I'm sure I'll get it working. Next week, perhaps. It's exciting since, as Linus Torvalds notes, the G5 offers an affordable platform for 64-bit GNU/Linux.

At any rate, TerraSoft deserves a large heap of praise. They got it on Friday, November 14 fresh from Apple. They then delayed shipment (with my permission) because they knew a substantially better version of YD would be out very soon. On Monday, the 24th, they thought they almost had it and they informed me they were upgrading my shipping from 3-day UPS to 2-day UPS for free so that it'd arrive before Thanksgiving. A bug in the new code delayed the system and so it wasn't able to ship until Tuesday. However, TerraSoft still managed to get it to me by Wednesday by eating the cost for next day air (roughly $70 extra dollars over 3-day shipping). In their rush to get it to me, they accidentally forgot to repack the System Restore disc, so this week they sent it to me ASAP using Next Day Air once again. Impressive!

Now I just need to find time to give it a good test. :-)

iTunes/QuickTime DRM Scheme Disabled

By | Posted at 18:45

I'm off...

By | Posted at 18:47

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