Software freedom does affect the end user

As a follow-up to an older post of mine (“Open Source for Non-Programmers”), I wanted to post a little bit about arbitrary limitations in software. Thank God even Apple is now leaving behind DRM in its iTunes Music Store (Amazon has been doing so for quite a while with its MP3 store). While the music […]

Not that hopeful ARM will save Linux on netbooks

With the recent 96% Microsoft netbook fiasco (i.e., poor excuses for tech journalism, as usual), I see a lot of smug comments from the Linux community about the upcoming ARM-powered Linux netbooks. The argument goes something like this: Yeah, Windows may dominate the netbooks now, but Linux will come back. Windows doesn’t run on ARM […]

Windows and Linux on netbooks… what stays on?

Right now, there’s a lot of debate among computing enthusiasts about whether Microsoft’s claim of 96% sales on netbooks is true… or meaningful. I tend to believe the percentages, but I don’t think it means what Microsoft seems to imply it means (“We’re better. People prefer us”). I do believe Windows users would rather stick […]

Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Beta First Impressions

As far as I can tell, jackalopes aren’t even real animals. I still remember the first time I got a jackalope postcard over ten years ago. Well, the Ubuntu folks have decided to name the next Ubuntu Linux release Jaunty Jackalope. I’ve used every single Ubuntu release since its second one (Hoary Hedgehog). That would […]

Should Linux users hush up about Microsoft?

Someone linked to Good Linux Users Don’t Talk About Microsoft on the Ubuntu Forums. I started to type up a reply, and then it got so long that I figured it was more of a blog entry than a forum post. Besides, who wants to hear about our broken toilet flush, anyway? Okay, let’s see. […]

The antivirus paranoia culture

Recently, I’ve spent some time looking at the computer section of Yahoo! Answers, and it’s a fascinating place from a sociological perspective. If the questions and answers popular there are indicative of what common attitudes and practices are among Windows and Mac users, then this is how a typical user operates: Install free antivirus software […]

The woman who dropped out of MATC after mistakenly buying a Ubuntu laptop from Dell

I know I’m probably the millionth person to comment on this (is millionth even a word?), but I have only two things to say. 1. To the anti-Linux folks and tech “journalists” who blame this on Linux not being “friendly” enough for new users or being for only those who want to tinker with their […]

Linux is a Windows operating system? HP…?

I’ve been fascinated by HP’s line of netbooks ever since I saw the phrase “92% keyboard,” but the reviews of the HP Mini-Note have been mixed, and the most recent reviews of the HP Mini MI indicate they’ve based it on Ubuntu but disabled the terminal. There’s probably a way to re-activate the terminal. Still, […]