29 September 2006

Ubuntu: Linux for human beings

If you haven't tried Ubuntu yet, or if you have no idea what it is but are curious about Linux you owe it to yourself to try it out. It really is remarkable.

It's is VERY user friendly, very easy to setup and install and like so many Linux distributions you can try it before you install it via the live CD.

In the last upgrade/shuffle in our house one of our old Dell computers was slated for retirement (a 400MHz P4 with 256MB RAM and 12GB of disk) so I decided to try Ubuntu on it and it actually runs okay! No kidding. Try running Windows XP on that! I was going to toss the old guy but now I am thinking it can be a spare internet machine for guests.

This would be nearly impossible with Windows because this machine although it is licensed for Windows 98, I don't really remember how to install it and doubt I could find all the drivers for the devices so it would be a ton of work for me and I can't be bothered.

With Ubuntu, the machine was up and running in about 20 minutes and I did almost nothing... it did it all by itself from the live CD. And, it's really a beautiful piece of software. They have done some major work on the look and feel and it shows.

If you are thinking about trying Linux, it's never been easier or more fun.

01 September 2006

Patently Obvious

O'Reilly brings us an article about patents and the creative use of blogs to protect ourselves in the sometimes absurd patent brawl that our industry seems to be drifting toward.

I suggest reading about this but basically the US Fedral Court of Appeals has used a "suggestion test" to determine whether or not a patent is "obvious". See, some companies are patenting things like hypertext and certain URL configurations which means that in the future they might request royalties for such things.

I have mentioned him before but Lawrence Lessig's blog (www.lessig.org/blog) is a great resource for reading and information about software patents and infringements on your rights in the digital age.