Linux and Open Source

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About Linux and Open Source

I just want to say that 'dmidecode' is one of the most singularly useful commands i've come across in a while.
Not something you necessarily want every day, but, well, pipe it to less from a terminal and enjoy :-)

This is worth a look. Rare to see a drop of rationality in this world of polarizing, extremist views... http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2010/10/of-us-who-work-in-corporate-it-world.html

So... yeah... I think i've mentioned it on here before, but it's definately official now; i'm becoming an Aucklander again.

As of Saturday i'm domiciled back in Auckland; currently staying with my friend Nick while I 'sort myself out'.

The sorting includes getting settled into work; finding a new car, and a place for the family.

Hoping to bring everyone else up during the school holidays in July. So the hunting will begin in earnest from next week onwards, in terms of rental places. In the meantime i'm trying to sort out some wheels to get around in (hard to hunt for houses if you're immobile!)

Grateful to Nick and his fiance Lisa for their gracious hospitality; Lisa even loaned me her car for today to help me get to work and back. :)

Missing the wife and kids, I must say. Nothing quite like cuddles from your loved ones!

So in the meantime I bury myself in other matters. Today I set up an Ubuntu 10.04 box at work, to use as a 'second system' to provide me with a test bed for some stuff, and to free me from needing to have my laptop running constantly.

First thing I noticed was that They've Moved the Buttons that control Minimize, Maximize and Close. what a pain.

Fortunately the Python script Linked works very nicely, and i've been able to restore the old location. I'm moving between Windows and Linux constantly, a little bit of consistency (especially when you consider the habits of many, MANY years) is not too much to ask for!

Of course the Apple fanboys can keep things where they like them. Should be a choice. :-)

So while I settle into my new job (learning curve = steep, but a good challenge for me) I'll also get a chance to do some more tinkering, which is nice. Gotta brush-up on my Cisco-fu though.

So yup... the rumours are definately true...
I've landed a new job, based in Auckland, so my resignation is now in. I move to Auckland at the end of May, and the family will follow several weeks later.

So now the planning begins... !!

Meanwhile in the light-reading department, interesting to see folks making posts on how to tell Ubuntu 10.04 (just released, new long-term-stable) that you prefer some of the Older Apps that used to ship as default.

I for one prefer Ubuntu and Firefox. But I admit to looking forward to the idea of trying out 10.04 - when I lay my hands on a speccy enough machine to justify it...

GoPetition

By all accounts the PublicACTA event held in Wellington on Saturday was a roaring success. Sadly, I was unable to attend, and it sounds like I missed a great event. That said, we now have a bunch of smart folks who've had opportunity to discuss at length the issues that the so-called Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is generating, and to produce the 'Wellington Declaration'. This is to be presented to the Government in less than 2 days - and hopefully made available to the ACTA negotiators.

Everyone who cares about the ongoing rights and freedoms of citizens of NZ - in particular regarding the Internet but also regarding the ways Government creates law - should be paying careful attention to ACTA. If the contents of the declaration ring true with you, show your support and Sign the Petition.

I Plugged it on NZLUG, and AuckLUG as well. It goes a little way toward explaining the background of this, largely ripped directly from the PublicACTA website.

Big Kudos to InternetNZ (hat-tip Jordan Carter), Nat Torkington, Don Christie, Peter Harrison and all of those who've been involved in both PublicACTA and from my personal perspective, the NZOSS's arguments against ACTA - NZOSS have been very proactive in responding to ACTA's potential risk to the FLOSS community and i'm proud to be involved with such upstanding folks.

So yeah, anyway, get signing! And stay tuned, I have no doubt we've in no way heard the end of this.

I feel almost silly doing this now, but I said I would and i'm sure i'll look back and be glad I did; more entries about LCA2010. This entry covers Wednesday and Thursday.

I was going to blog about this, but Computerworld have all-but done it for me..

I had a recent epiphany as I was reflecting on ACTA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. To want to block counterfeit items - that is, genuine fakes, is admirable and I support it fully.

I'm not sure that piracy - which is illegitimate replicas of an original, sure, but a soft original (such that in essence, there's no difference between the original and the copy, except the media across which it is delivered) is not quite the same. For one, the scale is entirely different (and the above article illustrates this well). For another, you are infact getting 'the real deal' (most of the time). The software (or media) is infact exactly the same, as the original shipped from the factory. The physical media on which it is delivered ceases to be very relevant once it's installed / copied onto disk, for the most part!
Obviously the technical details vary between software, and media (movies/music).

I don't support media piracy either, but ACTA - a Trade Agreement - is not the place to implement totalitarian policies - and to plan this in secret!

Interesting to read recent comments that comment on how the European Union almost unanimously voted to open up ACTA negotiations and not carry them out in secret (with the holdouts, apparently, being the United Kingdom!!) - and simultaneously, Obama vocally supporting the secret approach. So two of the largest 'western' governments appear to be under the thumb of 'rights holders' - aka the big-money media companies.

A reasonably sane series of pretty good reasons. As plucked from Twitter.

http://popey.com/blog/2010/03/11/why-ubuntu-is-better-than-windows/.

My LCA2010 Tuesday started with an Airport pickup; it was my job to meet Keith Packard at Wellington International Airport and deliver him to the event.
I then had to drive across town to my car park and walk back to the event :/

However... I did get back on time to pick up the tail of the Keynote and then attend the remainder of the days session - and this day was of particular interest, being the 'Open and the Public Sector' stream. This was kicked off by Don Christie in his role of President of the New Zealand Open Source Society and the keynote was by the UK Governments Director of Digital Engagement, Andrew Stott. I have to say that I give the UK Government a lot of credit for their willingness to embrace online engagement, the talk was given via Skype and was (generally) successful - though they should probably have pumped the audio across an ordinary PSTN or even cellular phoneline, as the Internet link wasn't flawless by any means...

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