Linux and Open Source

About Linux and Open Source

Some discussion on the Open XML Document format..

Crunch time is an interesting one. Standards New Zealand are debating the adoption of the (Microsoft) Office Open XML Standard as a published International standard for documents.

As you're no doubt aware the Microsoft Word .doc format is a defacto document standard and has been since Microsoft Office won the lions share of the word processing market back in the mid 90s.

However, times have changed. .doc has become .docx (XML based) and Microsoft have created their 'open' standard and offered it to the world for international adoption.

The New Zealand Open Source Society has entered the fray. They have opposed the adoption of OOXML - with plenty of good reasons as described at the aforementioned link.

Then the discussion on Rod Drury's site was brought to my attention.

What people need to be aware of is that we're talking about something with potentially _big_ ramifications. At the moment its assumed by most people that we can all talk MS Word. (And, in fact, Open Office does this very well, at least up to the last .doc format pre .docx.) [Interestingly, recent dealings with IT recruitment agencies have involved me being asked to supply .doc format documents as opposed to what I sent - .pdf. I had to challenge this!]

Groklaw tells all..

Serves them bloody right for assuming ownership and licensing rights over something which was quite rediculous from the get-go.

Vik Olliver noted some interesting articles on ZDNet...

Microsoft Urges PC Vendors not to sell 'Naked' PC's..

(The mailer sent to vendors by Microsoft)

Top 5 Vendors fail to offer Naked PCs - and by fail, I mean 'claim to be able to, but when grilled further, mysteriously can't...'

This is seriously disturbing crap. Microsoft obviously weild so much power in their position as the monopolistic OS supplier, that vendors are afraid of losing 'discounts' through the offering of a choice.

More than that; Microsoft assert that theres 5% of business (in the form of addon software and support) that would be lost if naked options were available.

And as a result, we get 'The Microsoft Tax'. And a Google Search for that phrase gives a lot of hits, including...

http://tuxmobil.org/ms_tax.html

... which is a good idea, but does illustrate exactly how small the selection really is.

Its very dissapointing, really - that MS can bully us so hard and we can do so little about it.

As is quite rightly pointed out, Linux Is Not Windows. This relatively long article explains a number of the fundamental differences - and how they're actually quite logical.

It appears that Orcon had a major power problem this morning, and a side effect of that is that the NZLUG server linux.net.nz has failed to come back up. Impacted are the NZLUG, AuckLUG and HBLUG mailing lists along with their main website.

http://auckland.linux.net.nz/ has been updated, this is hosted by BlakJak.net and unaffected (at least for as long as the DNS keeps working.)

For info, in case anyone pops through here wondering whats up.

A map of Linux Distribution Development [kde-files.org] was posted to WellyLUG recently. Interesting stuff. :)

Some colleagues of my Uncle contacted me as they're trying to find a Linux guru to fill a position at their office in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. I agreed to help out, despite being a Poor Wellington (NZ) resident these days. However, #HUMBUG was very helpful. Cheers guys.

The company concerned is CC Consulting - http://www.crazycolour.com/.

The full job description is available here:

http://www.blakjak.net/images/ITSupport-03.pdf

However heres an extract:

Gotta say its tempting to have a play. Pity I don't have decent grunt.

http://viz.aset.psu.edu/ga5in/MediaCenter.html

http://www.nerdzone.ca/article.php/geexbox

MMmmm neat.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=55&objectid=10383011

Well done to Peter for getting this nice piece published in the Herald. Page C2 of todays issue, I think.

Nice to see some truth-spinning in the media for a change!

Just a brief one.
AuckLUG Installfest today went off pretty well I think.
My After Action report as posted to the AuckLUG List is here.

Makes me more keen than ever to try to get onto Linux systems more often. Maybe this extra desktop system i'm supposed to be acquiring soon will get the Linux treatment firstup and become a replacement for my desktop system.... :)

(I keep saying this, and for various reasons I wind up falling back to Windows... i'm going to do it one day!!!)

FWIW I've been playing with The Gimp lately, on my windows system... at least so far I can do everything I used to do with PSP, its just a bit 'different' as a UI...

Anyways. Sleep tonight. http://www.24hourchallenge.org.nz tomorrow. Should be fun. If you can come down to the Viaduct tomorrow then do it!!! Before 4pm. A worthy cause!

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