The Songbird has hatched

When Songbird first appeared on the scene (I think it was version 0.1 or something), I remember the Ubuntu Forums community getting really excited about it. It was supposed to be like the Firefox of music players, the iTunes-“killer.” It seems as if it’s been years, and people have been hyping it up all along […]

Would Apple’s netbook be the next iPod?

I remember back in 2003 when only a handful of early adopters in America were buying portable audio players. If I’m recalling correctly, some of the big players at the time were RCA and Creative, among others. Once 2004 rolled around and the 3rd-generation iPods came out, suddenly “everyone” I knew had an iPod. Soon, […]

Please stop pretending Windows “just works”

As a follow-up to Macs are just computers, not magic and Macs are computers, not magic (part 2), I have to say based on recent events that people who say “There’s a reason 90% of home users use Windows” (and mean to imply it’s the quality of Windows instead of consumer inertia) or “Linux is […]

Why does Microsoft port Office to Mac?

So I know Microsoft has recently been trying to counter-market Apple’s “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” campaign with the Mojave thing, the senseless Seinfeld-Gates commercials, and the “I’m a PC!” declarations. Wouldn’t a simple tactic be just to discontinue porting Microsoft Office to Mac? After all, I know there are people who use Internet […]

I’m an enabler

Last night, my wife called me an enabler. I guess I am. But I can’t help it. (Yes, I know—that’s what all enablers say!) Here’s the deal (and this is not specific to the school I’m currently working at—this has happened at other schools I’ve worked at as well): When I see people doing something […]

Dell Inspiron Mini Pricing “Scandal”

Linux users love to be outraged. Ever since Dell started selling certain models with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled, Linux users on forums and blogs have been complaining that Dell hasn’t been doing Linux justice. Why did they pick Ubuntu instead of another distro? Why is Ubuntu available in that country and not my country? Why is […]

Using the Windows key as a modifier key in Ubuntu

In my experience, by default Ubuntu seems to make the Windows key on keyboards a single key for the purposes of keyboard shortcuts. In other words, if you want to set a keyboard shortcut for an action to be Windows+D (for example, to have the desktop shown and all windows minimized when you hold down […]

The limitations of car-computer analogies

I’m less understanding of those who don’t want to learn how to take care of and fix their own computers than of those who don’t want to learn how to take care of fix their own cars. In many ways, cars and computers are similar—both cars and computers are complicated machines made up of various […]

Freedom for the short-term or the long-term?

As a Ubuntu Forums veteran, I’ve seen many disgruntled potential migrants return to Windows from Ubuntu because they wanted things to “just work.” They would say things like “I don’t really care about software freedom. I just want to be able to play video files and do what I need to do. The computer is […]