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Apple & Linux

Not a lot is really ever said about Apple and Linux. Sure, and I heartily agree, Apple stole from BSD to make a profit (Maybe now they'll change their licensing scheme?), but that in the end helps Linux users. There are some pros and cons to this though. I'll start with the pros.

First off, if Apple does succede Microsoft as number one dog in the computing industry, making ports for applications should be easy. There will be little excuse not to provide a Linux build, as directories are layed out similarily enough, along with having similar applications, all available to each other. Also, if people get used to the Mac filesystem layout, it will be easier for those who come from the Windows layout to see how the filesystem works. But there are more cons I suppose than pros.

 Well, judging Apple simply by their current marketing scheme, it's easy to see that they'd not be a kind competitor. Lockouts would be most definate, and most PC marketers would be out out business, as Apple refuses to let anyone else make hardware other than them. So, this would mean you'd be forced to use Mac hardware, and it would no doubt you uncommon features to make it difficult to install anything but OSX on.

Overall though, I think it would do the Linux community good it Apple only had 30% of the market share. This would give developers excuse to make things for Mac's, and when it's made for a Mac, it's easy to build for Linux. This would allow the Linux market share to grown, and  it would then have it's own set of developers wanting to produce. 

 

Microsoft's New Approach To Security - An Interview With Douglas Leland

In a recent interview with Douglas Leland, general manager of Microsoft Corp.'s Identity and Security Business Group, we are told that MS is concerned about both the security and the price of IT costs.

To me, security officers and IT leaders are the unsung heroes in their organization. They accomplish amazing things by integrating multiple solutions and securing their environments. But vendors generally haven't done enough to make this easier. Tight budgets in the current economic environment exacerbate this tension, though security remains a top area of investment. Forrester predicts that companies will devote 12.6 percent of IT budgets to security in 2009, up from 7.2 percent in 2007.*

Indeed, I will agree about the IT leaders being the unsung heroes in organizations. He is also correct, that vendors do sell their software, not for cheap. But on the other hand, Microsoft doesn't sell theirs cheap either do they?

Security managers are telling us they want to be more responsive to the needs of their business. They want the solutions and guidance to protect their organizations and manage compliance, but also to empower their information workers. Perhaps most important, they want to make the most of their current IT investments and the infrastructure they have today. All of this signals the need for a shift to what we think of as "Business Ready Security."

Companies do want to make the most of their current IT investments, but how many of them really want to have to pay fees in order to be up to date with the software that is available. While it may cost a little (or lots) to move to OSS, it's worth it in the end as licensing becomes a non-issue, and updates are free.

For example, today we are introducing Forefront Online Security for Exchange, a Microsoft Online Service, which protects e-mail from spam and malware. This is the first of our Forefront Online services to complement our software-based Forefront offerings. Note that we have expanded the Forefront brand to cover our portfolio of identity and security solutions. For example, our Identity Lifecycle Manager product is now officially named Forefront Identity Manager. We see the Forefront brand as synonymous with Business Ready Security.

Another important solution in this area is Microsoft code-named "Geneva," a new set of technologies that make it dramatically easier for customers to build security-enhanced access into software and hosted services.

Well, this one's easy. With a switch to Gmail, most spam will also become not an issue. No need to pay more fees yet to keep your email accounts clean. As for project "Geneva", would it not just be easier to use Linux, as the security is pretty good to begin with. Not to mention how much it costs to use this technology, and how restrictive the licenses are going to be in how you may use the software and distribute the end result.

Three, we want to help customers extend security across the entirety of their enterprises. That means continuing to build security features into Windows and our IT software solutions. It also means interoperating with non-Windows environments through partnerships and open standards.

Security will always be an issue for an Microsoft. They designed Windows from the ground up as a one man, no internet OS. The multiple users running as admin and having internet capabilities tacked on will always result in security issues for them. And as for their partnership with open standards, we know that they aren't friendly when it suits them best.

Well, you can read the rest of the interview at this page, as it is just Leland claiming that it's cheaper to use MS products, and he gives a couple examples of companies using MS technology where security and price counts.

 

Drifting past Microsoft, EU and Linux

Just read the report from ECIS (European Community for Interoperable Systems) which I found through Groklaw. The report adresses the Microsoft history of anticompetitive behaviour throughout IThistory and it's indeed intriguing.

I believe Groklaw does a better job than me in making the points - it just confirms my standing conserning Microsoft.

Openly admitting that I'm occationally reads "Boycott Novell" one could argue that I'm somewhat biased. The fun is that the credit for making me a 100% Linuxuser must be granted to Microsoft. I do quite a bit of filtering before accepting "Boycott Novell" material as solid.

 Trouble is, that whenever I find something that attracts my attention, I'm more often than not in line. Often it matches information obtained elsewhere, and the pieces matches holes in the puzzle I try to solve.

 I'm increasingly concerned about Mono and the .net implications, and after a coupple of discussions arising out of the C++ version of Tomboy - Gnote, I'm a bit concerned about the Novell influence over Gnome  as well. Somehow my thoughts regarding Mono and the Gnome 3.0 projects are not positive. At all. 

 I suspect (and the rumors are) that Microsoft will drop the forthcoming Windows7 trial version into the wild just after the release of Ubuntu 9.04.

Strategicly smart, but what everybody are adressing at the moment is the 3 application limit on Windows 7 for NetBooks. I do not believe it's a market strategy. More likely it's due to the demanding Vista 6.1 kernel. It doesn't seem to have changed much, and the applications are as demanding as ever. So Windows 7 will probably run smoothly on NetBooks - if you don't do anything that is.......

 

 

The New Microsoft Ads

One may ask themselves why Microsoft has resorted to using tactics such as how much a PC costs vs a Mac. Look at their new commercials, like the woman going to find a PC under $1000. Well, if you haven't seen it, I'll let you in on it. She's told by an announcer that if she can find a PC for under $1000, she could keep it for free. Well, she goes into the 'Mac' store (yes, she calls it the Mac store, not Apple) and leaves immediately, stating that the only Mac she was able to find for under the limit was one with a 13" screen. In order to meet her requirements for herself, it was to be a 17" screen, a comfortable keyboard, and of course, under $1000. So she makes her way to a best-buy clone, and looks around. To her amazement, all the computer there had better specs, and she eventually settles on a $700 HP. Yes, not the point, she had to pay for it. Way to keep your promise Microsoft. Anyhow, that's besides the point.

Many people say that in order for Microsoft to combat the current problems they're having, they need to do a complete redo of their OS. This is a terrible idea, from a Microsoft perspective. Vista was as far as they can go at one time without losing a terrible amount of share. The amount of people complaining that their software doesn't work, games, applications, was incredible. Now, if they were to scrap everything that they have, and start from scratch, they'd be unable to achieve the market share they once had. Sure, some die-hards will continue to use Windows, and companies would likely continue to make software based on the new OS, but so many people would likely turn to either Mac or Linux. This is because they are already stuck having to try and learn the new OS, so they will try something new.

So, in reality, if Microsoft wants to keep their position at the top for as long as possible, they're going to have to continue with their current business model. If they don't, they don't stand a chance in this economy, let alone against the spectacular software available. So, don't expect a drastic change, expect Microsoft to stay Microsoft until the day they become the next BeOS.

 

Mysql - Part of Linux Foundation - Can it be for real???!!!

With the acquisition of Sun - Oracle has come a full circle with its offering.

Now the question in everyone's mind - What happens to MySQL.  I am sure it will continue to be nurtured, promoted and all that. Will it be done with fair practices?  Why not donate Mysql to Linux community or Apache foundation or better still promote/nurture Mysql as an independent organization?

Why Linux ?

It is proven beyond an iota of doubt - How to manage community software platform with Linux? In the world of Light (LAMP) M is a very important member. 

Oraclians - please donate Mysql to Linux Foundation!!

By the way - This is my personal opinion!!

 

 

Whats wrong with /etc/skel?

I have been in charge of setting multiple Linux terminal servers up through the years. I have also been tasked with getting Linux desktops conforming to the same user defaults and centrally manage those. Some applications that behave the *nix way are really easy to manage but the ones like OpenOffice, Firefox, Gnome and others can be a real pain because they have settings in all the different places and with different ways of setting them.

 Sometimes i wonder if many developers are very good at programming but perhaps not that up to speed on making them easily managable in a larger enviroment. Its really not that much of a hassle of making it really easy to manage settings for an application. 

 Put user specific settings in "~./appname",  the default user settings in /etc/skel/appname and distributing, altering them en masse and setting sane defaults becomes really easy and does not in any way demand anything else than very simple scripts.

 The worst of them all is in my mind Gnome that uses gconf. While i cant comment on its merits for programmers its a living hell managing as an admin where you have more than a couple of computers or on a terminal server. I totally abhorre using any kind of databases or registers for settings. I cant imagine it saves especially much time for the developers and it certainly introduces nothing but troubles for the users.

This is in my mind really something that needs to be taken into consideration for those who wish people in corporations using their apps more. Especially firefox and openoffice thats pretty hard to manage on both Linux and Windows regardless of any policy tools , scripts or whatnot.

 Linux in itself and as an OS works wonderfully in regards to settings and such, its just some of the applications bolted ontop and ran on Linux that would really need some rethinking from a management point of view.

 

How to introduce those new to Linux -- to Linux.

This often proves rather difficult, at least for myself. I'll start off with an example. When I first started to become interested in Linux, a friend decided to lend me a disc. It happened to be Ubuntu 5.10. To this day, I either use Debian, Ubuntu, or Mint. This is because it was my first impressions to Linux, and it's what I accustomed myself to. So this is where you need to decide what to show them.

For instance, decide how competant they are when it comes to computers. While this may be a harsh statement it's very true. If this person is only able to log in and surf the net, don't suggest something such as Arch or Gentoo, rather suggest something such as Mint. If they enjoy a little bit of monkeying around with things, give them Ubuntu, or perhaps even openSUSE.  It depends on the type of person

Now what exactly do you show a person to demonstrate Linux. First you have to think about what Linux really is. At the very basic level, it's an OS. It provides a layer to execute programs that people have written, and for some people that's good enough. For others, and in reality the majority of the young population, you're going to have to convince them that Linux is better than Windows.

One of the first things that you should show them is the office suites available. I personally have no use for an office suite, but apparently people are willing to pay 300+ dollars for that software. The next would be photography, such as the Gimp. Show them how to do things that you could do in Photoshop in the Gimp. Show them how the media players work, how to create movies, with something such as Kdenlive. This is what they want to see. Then show them them some of the fancier things. Do a little bit of management through the CLI. How to list files, move, copy, install applications, start applications, configure the os. This will show them that you both know what you're doing and what is available to them on Linux.  The last thing you need to do is ask if they have any apps that they couldn't do without, and then show them a suitable replacement for them, and if you can't even find one, then use the opportunity to demonstrate Wine to them.

All this being said, it's a good idea to watch what you show them. Just like the old saying--first impressions are the most important.

 

Hey, Who Let All Of These People In?

Welcome to Day One of the new Linux.com. This is a day that culminates a lot of marathon work by our team of web developers and content staffers to bring to life a really exciting, community-focused Linux.com.

I have to admit, it's really exciting to watch people come in and use the site. We've been working so intensely on its construction, it's become a virtual home for the web team these past months. So to see new content show up exactly as we'd hoped would happen is very gratifying.

As we also expected, there've been some bugs showing up along the way today, and I am grateful to the admin team for getting  some of them cleared already. Remember, please send bugs and glitches to the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it e-mail address.

For ideas on what you would like to see added (or removed) from Linux.com, please continue to use the IdeaForge site. That will allow your fellow community members to vote on the ideas and enable us to keep track of the myriad of brainstorms that have been coming in today.

 Again, so glad you're all here! Please pardon the dust while we implement the immediate fixes, and welcome again to the first day of  the new Linux.com.

 

New Linux Challenges

With the new push by the Linux foundation towards improving the public image of Linux through the new sites, we think about what are likely to be the new challenges Linux as a social phenomenon.

One arena that IMHO Linuxers everywhere should invest is in the education market (meaning: kids). My son (11 yrs old) got an Intel classmate for school last this year and it came with windows and a half-baked Linux distro, I'd rather not mention the name. After I told him about the multiple advantages of free software and Linux he started to use Linux as his preferred operating system on his new computer. It bothered me however that the outdated version of the Classmate came with did not do justice to what a first Linux experience should be.

Soon enough I proposed to him we installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on the classmate. He agreed and when I asked him some partitioning questions like how much space he wanted to give each operating system, he surprised me by asking me to completely wipe off Windows. Of course nothing would give me more pleasure, but I asked again: "are you sure? what if you need windows for something Linux can't do?" he then laughed in my face and said: "There's no such a thing!".

Now, at school all the other kids envy his brand new Linux system and how much better it performs than the original OSs.

Kids are always willing to try new things. And if we introduce them to Linux early enough, they won't settle for inferior operating systems in the future, and definitely won't accept software which restricts their freedom to use their computers to their full extent.

 

linux.com looking good

Hey, I like this site!  I was glad to get an invite to the linux.com beta, and am just now having a play around with all the features - and it seems there are quite a few.

I noticed that at least some of it is running on Joomla, which is cool, but I must admit to expecting to find it Drupal powered.  Obviously there is a lot more going on behind the scenes, so I'll be looking forward to hear a bit more about that. (who knows, maybe it's Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress all at the same time - it almost feels like it).

Well done to those at the Linux Foundation for the work on this site!  I'm sure there will be plenty of improvements as the site gets going, but I'm impressed with what you have done so far.

Keep up the good work!

 

Linux - Mother of Community

To me Linux is the mother of all open source software/platform/stack/OS and Social networking concept and platforms.

Over the years, we have learnt how to work effectively and efficiently with in the norms of a community. This knowledge triggered  a plethora  of ideas to folks to actually follow the path laid by Linux community to develop so many other software stacks. The whole concept of community development drove hordes of people to think of networking online or in today's words - social networking. In my opinion Linux have had a positive influence on society at large to actually create sense of togetherness and unity among people from all walks of life. For once we should all be proud of Linux's accomplishment to treat every one equal irrespective of race, color, caste, creed or religion. 

To the whole world - Watch out - Linux.com is coming very soon to a browser near you!! We will rock the world.

 

 
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