Linux and Open Source

About Linux and Open Source

I blogged on Linux.net.nz today about a matter which runs dear to my heart: The Freedom to Choose.

This was provoked after I noticed that Linux.net.nz got a plug on Stuff.co.nz in what appeared to be a fairly sane view of Open Source vs the rest and the benefits OSS can provide.

Worth a read.

I hadn't noticed, but Ms Tizard's comments hit Stuff.co.nz earlier in the week.

This of course ties to my earlier Blog Entry - which is a must read, including the comments... i'm attempting to aggregate coverage I see on the matter just to see how much coverage this gets.

This is important: The New Zealand Copyright Amendments due to come into law very shortly. These should be scaring any and all Internet users in NZ.. hands down.

At the recent Software Freedom Day Barcamp and then the New Zealand Open Source Awards the issue of NZ's participation in ACTA, as well as the revisions to Copyright law, were mentioned. It also came up during the ICT Ministers debate. Enough attention was drawn, that Hon David Cunliffe, Minister for ICT, volunteered to set up a meeting with interested parties and the relevant minister, to discuss.

Colin Jackson blogged post his attendance at said meeting, as NZOSS's representative. There is also Colin's slot on National Radio (with Kim Hill) where he was able to make his views known. (Audio (.ogg) and Transcript available). Don Christie then documented the situation on the NZOSS Site.

In short:
- If you are accused 3 times of copyright infringement, your ISP will be obligated by LAW to cut you off.
- That's an accusation. No proof required.
- The scope of this really needs some thought for a minute.

So yes, as previously reported, Software Freedom Day was held on Saturday.
I attended the Wellington event which was a combination Barcamp, Hackfest and Installfest.

My Gallery contains some pics but here's a breakdown of my experiences:


The Gnu comes out to play!

Software Freedom Day is coming up this Saturday.

It's a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (aka FOSS or F/OSS).

I'll be at the Wellington Convention Centre this Saturday along with other Wellington based participants. There's events being run in different locations around the country.... and around the world.

If you havn't fully grasped what F/OSS gives us - maybe you should swing by and check it out? It's free, after all...

During an upgrade on my Xubuntu box (or one of them) a few months back I noticed that my xfce4 menus had gone all weird - the defaults had gone, an xfce4 'default' *(but yet not)* had replaced it. Weird things like everything including the 'door' icon was aligned left, the shortcuts to firefox etc had been replaced with shortcuts that went nowhere, etc etc.

Finally figured out what was going on today - or at least, verified it was just my user affected. - and found a fix.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=771660. Thanks to UbuntuForums again.

Having booted my Ubuntu box to use it today having left it idle for a few months, I noted it'd forgotton its display settings and wouldnt go above 800x600.

I had to follow the Intel instructions here to adjust it's screen driver to "intel" (i810 example, i actually have an i815 in the machine in quesiton).

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/FixVideoResolutionHowto

At least it was straightforward enough to identify...

I've been trying to get Finch working on one of my boxes, which I want to use remotely from a secure shell.
Thus, no Gui requirement.
(For the uninitiated, Finch is the commandline version of Pidgin, an Open-Source multi-IM client that can replace MSN, ICQ, etc etc.)

After a bit of searching I found a useful article on how to do it though the article dates back a few versions.

So here's a quick note on what I did.

Firstly grab the latest pidgin source file from Pidgin.IM.

You need bzip2 to uncompress the file using tar -xvjf filename.

Move into the directory created... theoretically the next command you need to run will be ./configure but there's more to it than that, thanks to dependencies. As a CLI only tool that I want to use for ICQ, MSN, Jabber (XMPP) protocols I elected to do the following:

apt-get install gettext libxml-parser-perl libxml2 libxml2-dev gnutls-bin gnutls-dev

./configure --disable-gtkui --disable-gstreamer --disable-meanwhile --disable-avahi --disable-dbus --disable-perl --disable-tcl

The above meeting what I took to be minimum dependencies, and at the same time eliminating some by not installing features I don't intend to use. Note by disabling perl and tcl it's going to be quite hard to add scripted features to it later... should I decide I want them i'll install them later and recompile.

It works, anyway.

Not saying the above is gospel - but it works for me.

Don Christie Reports..

I really am proud to be a Kiwi sometimes.

http://holloway.co.nz/blog/ tells the story. Matthew Holloway is one of the guys who analysed the OOXML specification and offers a fairly accurate viewpoint - unless you listen to the pro-MS crowd, who think he's biased..

I think his quotes speak for themselves...

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