Back to openSUSE

Well, my stint in *buntu is over, and it ends with an award to openSUSE: this is the first Linux distro I’ve returned to.

Kubuntu is nice, and I’m happy that I’ve tried it out, but it’s not for me. It’s nice enough if you want a simple desktop system, and APT rocks (especially with the aptitude front-end). But it’s just not as good as openSUSE, sorry.

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Hetrogeneous Operating Environments considered normal

Was reading this interview with Wade Olson about KDE 4.0. It is pretty interesting, but the best quote was at the end:

I often rant about how in all disruptive technologies, trends are always the same. Whether with the automobile, railroads, telephony or computers. A dominant company establishes ubiquity, but eventually competition settles in. Can you believe that Fords and Chevys can drive on the same roads and use the same gas? What a miracle of modern science that an AT&T user could call a Sprint user on the phone? A TGV and ICE train can ride on the same tracks? Madness! I can plug a lamp into the wall that my power company didn’t sell me? Now that’s what I call progress.
Why would computing be any different? I can’t believe that some choose to write software for a large audience that isn’t cross platform, browser-based or interoperable – but some do. Over time, proprietary file formats will go from being a competitive advantage to disadvantage. Heterogeneous systems are the norm and expected in every industry. It’s just tough being patient in ours.

Whatever your views on OOXML or Linux or Apple or DRM or FOSS/Proprietary software, or other contentious issues in the IT industry, you’ve got to admit, these are pretty sensible aims.

No OOXML

Just sent the following letter to the Australian Standards rep for the proposal DIS29500 (Microsoft Office Open XML standard) which is being Fast Tracked through ISO, even with blatant interoperability, portability and cultural technical issues.  This is based on the instructions posted at Groklaw. Also, instead of just cut-and-pasting the comments from the No OOXML web site, I’ve reviewed them and altered for Australian concerns, so that they really are my own comments.

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Mystical jargon

I’m sure this observation has been made elsewhere, but I can’t find reference to it online.

Have you ever noticed the prolific use of mystical/fantastical words in computer jargon? I’m sure there is a significance, or at least a tongue-in-cheek pointing to the wizardly ways of early and contemporary computer experts. It is funny I suppose, and when you look at how wide-spread it is, it may be revealing of the hacker psych.

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