Thursday Aug 14, 2008

US Court Validates Open Source Licenses

The US court of appeals has ruled on a case involving the open source Artistic License finding that it is indeed a valid license.  The key to this is that the court ruled that the copyright provision of this open source license is enforceable.  Precedent is key in US law and since there have been few, if any, cases testing open source licenses this ruling establishes a precedent that will be used to defend all future open source copyright issues.  In essence, this ruling strongly supports open source licenses and therefore the software that is protected by them.  This is a great day for open source and even though this covers just the artistic license, it is easy to extend this to validate the copyright protections offered by the GPL, CDDL and other open source licenses.

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Ubuntu on Virtualbox

I have now virtualized Ubuntu on my MacBook Pro using Virtual box.  After installing Vista (really to see if it worked and as a practical matter to help me communicate w/ my BlackBerry) I installed Ubuntu.  I downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 and installed from the iso on my hard drive. That went well. I had to tweak a few things to get the mouse, WiFi and other drivers to work but other than that the installation was a snap. I assigned it 1G of RAM and 10 Gigs of hard disk space and with those it seems to run well. Since Ubuntu  includes Firefox and other apps right out of the box its easy to be productive out of the box.  The only issue is that I cannot print - for some reason it doesnot recognize my printers on the USB ports.  I'll have to look into this more in the future.  Since I don't print too often (and can share documents w/ OS X) its not a big problem.

Now I think I should reconfigure my mom's computer w/ Ubuntu. Vista is just awful (all those security questions everytime one accesses the internet are a real pain).  Maybe next time I am up there I'll do a dual install and see if it works.  Since none of her friends seem to understand Windows, moving her to Ubuntu would not cause any more confusion.  She only uses Firefox and the awful windows photo program - I can move her to FF on Linux and then migrate her to Picasa (which is much easier to use).

Wednesday Aug 06, 2008

IBM's Says Linux to be Around for the Next Ten Years

I attended Bob Suter's talk at Linux World in San Francisco today to hear how IBM positions Linux. Yesterday they announced they are shipping a M$FT free desktop system w/ Ubuntu, Lotus Symphony (based on OO.O) and other open source sw, so IBM must see quite a bit of value in Linux.  Bob is a fine speaker and started with a history of how IBM got into the Linux business - he even had some humorous slides on the old e-business campaign from 2001.  Here is the top 8 list from Bob's talk (my paraphrasing) and my commments.

1) Linux will drive green initiatives - lower costs / power  and virtualization

2) No other open source OS will replace Linux in the next 10 years - considering it takes 10 years for an OS to get widely accepted and we see nothing comparable today, I would venture this is accurate

3) Linux mindshare will be less focussed on x86 hardware - sure, phones, embedded into devices, servers

4)Linux on the desktop will be significantly different - I agree with him here. As collaboration sw becomes ubiquitous, what we call / see as a desktop today will certainly evolve.

5)SMB large scale adoption is too close to call.  He states that SMBs buy solutions (say Dentist office application) rather than piece together hardware. But I think most, if not all, new technology companies will startup w/ Linux

6)Open Source Licenses will stabilize.  - Yes, licenses are soo 2007. However, I think we'll a bit of activity around SaaS and open source licenses to coral in the Googles of the world

7) Open Standards will grab more attention.  He claims, and rightly so, that many of the exisiting standards bodies are just horrible and in need of an overhaul and I couldn't agree more.

8)It will be a do or die decade for open source industry applications.  I don't believe its do or die, but certainly we'll see a shift to more open source / commercial applications where all the good capabilities that enterprises will want will be in the for pay enterprise bits.  The open source sw business is the same as the old proprietary sw business - engineers still need to make a living (but now we get access to much more rapid innovation).

Wednesday Nov 14, 2007

The Power of Linux comes to...Wal Mart

The $199 Everex computer running Linux is "sold out" at Wal Mart online.    After Dell led the market by offering Ubuntu on its systems, who would have figured that Wal Mart would emerge as a leader in moving Linux boxes?  I doubt the buyers care that much about Linux.  What they care about is getting a low cost computer that is easy to use (read none of those annoying "an application is about to launch" windows warnings popping up every time you want to do something) and lets computer novices access the internet.  This is the back-to-the-future version of the Web TV that my mother used to use to get email.  Once she graduated from just email the next step was crossing the river Styx to an over developed Windows Vista box which confuses her to no end.  If this simple preconfigured Linux box (with support) was available 6 months ago I would have bought it for her.  Maybe this is the start of the OCPG (one computer per grandparent)?

This is FOSS doing what it is supposed to do - providing "just enough" features / utility for an underserved market.  FOSS doesn't do everything, but what it does, it does well and the market seems to like that.


Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Open Source and Mac OS X - a Nurturing Relationship

 Mac Logo                   

Open Source implementations need to be available to run on the OSs that developers prefer and this fact is not
lost on Sun. In addition to our efforts to get our open source implementations distributed with Linux we also ensure they work on Windows and Mac OS X.  The latest version of GlassFish is now available for download from the Apple Developer site.  GlassFish for Mac OS X.    

Also, OpenDS is available from the same site.  OpenDS for MaxOS X


Tuesday May 29, 2007

New Zealand Rejects Microsoft Office for 25,000 Macs!

Today, New Zealand Harold reports that the government of New Zealand rejected the bid from Microsoft to upgrade 25,000 Macs in their education system to the next version of Microsoft Office. Supposedly, the government couldn't justify the cost of $100 Million over ten years (yes Dr. Evil, that is 100 MILLION) for the Macs!  Bully for New Zealand.  Go download Neo Office for free now and upgrade to the version for the Mac when it is released in December of this year!  Save the taxpayers $100 million and spend it on more books, better hospitals, education for more open source programmers.  Unfortunately, the reporter (and maybe even the education minister) seemed to have eaten a bit too much at the Microsoft trough and stated that Neo Office is full of "bugs".  Sure all software has bugs, but the last time I used Neo Office (yesterday) it was extremely stable and bug free and the new version with the Aqua interface looks suite.




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