Sep 18, 2014 GMTI have been talking about using “Free Software” for the past twenty years, and the equivalent of “Open Source” even longer. Many times I have had people ask me, “Why do you use Free Software?”So I patiently tell them all the reasons why I use Free Software. The ability to see exactly what the code does and how it works. The ability to apply patches right away and not have to wait for “Patch Tuesday”, or “Critical Fix Wednesday” or any of the other “days” that some closed-source company has decided to put out all their bug fixes.I (for the 10 thousandth time) explain how I do not have to abandon perfectly good hardware because some vendor has decided not to support...
Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog
Jul 29, 2014 GMTI do not often do this, but old friend is in trouble. Please stay with me as I tell this story. It was around the year 2002, and I was in Brazil. I met two young college students who were very interested in Linux, and who impressed me with their enthusiasm and willingness to help others. I asked them what they would really like to do, and their answer was to attend the Ottawa Linux Symposium (OLS) in Ottawa, Canada and to meet Linus Torvalds. I was not surprised about either desire. OLS had been going on for a number of years, taking the place of the Raleigh Linux Expo that had been run by Red Hat. But while the last Linux Expo was more like a hippie be-in,...
Jul 07, 2014 GMTI have a friend who needs a little help...he needs access to four of the twelve volumes of the ISO/IEC documents describing ISO SQL and SQL/PSM. These documents (ISO/IEC 9075:X:2011 where “X” equals 1-4) describe the implementation standards which he needs for the general compiler suite that he is writing. These documents cost about 500 US dollars each, and as a university student he does not have that type of money. He reached out to me in hopes I knew of someone who would have these documents. I tried one or two companies and came up with nothing, now I am reaching out to you.Normally these documents would be used by large companies, for which the purchasing money would be...
Jul 07, 2014 GMTAs I write this I am also copying a talk given in February of 1996 at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) about the port of Linux to DEC's Alpha AXP processor.It is interesting to hear Linus Torvalds and other people talking about spending three thousand dollars (or more) to buy a “high-end” PC, and to have that PC consist of a 32-bit address machine with eight megabytes of main memory, two or three gigabytes of storage on a hard drive and disk transfer rates of two megabytes per second.Linus talks about the “Big Kernel Lock” and how this issue was not too important since Linux was aimed toward “low end systems” and most of those systems did not have multiple CPUs per board...
Jun 20, 2014 GMTJune 19th, 2014 was the thirtieth anniversary of the announcement of the X Window System. Whether you hate it or love it, the X Window System has been a long-lasting contribution to the computing marketplace.By the time I first saw the X Window System, Project Athena (a project sponsored by Digital Equipment Corporation, MIT and IBM) brought it a long way. MIT was developing version 10 of the system, and I was working as an Engineer at Digital for a group called Customer Services Systems Engineering (CSSE). Our group's job was to try to make our Unix products easier to maintain and use for the field people as well as the customers.It was a heady time in the Unix world. The Unix “wars”...
Apr 19, 2014 GMTThe events of the past couple of weeks with the bug in OpenSSL exposing many websites and other communications are indeed unfortunate. Not only has it caused a lot of extra work and expense for those who have Internet servers to have to update code and replace certificates, but it has caused many end users to spend time doing what they avoid doing, update their passwords. Forcing end users to update their passwords is both bad and good news, which I will discuss later.However, the OpenSSL bug has also generated an abundance of articles and TV reports about the validity of Open Source code and (once again) questions of whether or not Open Source is more secure or less secure, higher...
Mar 19, 2014 GMTIf you are a university computer science or computer engineering student and you are looking for a way to make some extra money while getting some great work experience, read on!Google's Summer of Code (or SoC for short) is a program that aligns university student programmers with a Free and Open Source project and a mentor and allows the student to work on a real project and earn “real money” (5500 US dollars) while getting advice from a real mentor. This work, most people agree, is better than having a student working the same hours and flipping hamburgers to make money, and many of these projects would look very good on a graduating student's resume.Linaro is an association of...
Lennart Poettering wants to change the way Linux developers talk to each other.
Enterprise giant frees itself from ink and home PCs (and visa versa).
Mozilla’s product think tank sinks silently into history.
TODO group will focus on open source tools in large-scale environments.
New tool will look like GParted but support a wider range of storage technologies.
New public key pinning feature will help prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.
Carnegie Mellon researchers say 3 million pages could fall down the phishing hole in the next year.
The US government rolls new best-practice rules for protecting SSH.
Klaus Knopper announces the latest version of his iconic Live Linux system.
All websites that use these popular CMS tools could be vulnerable to denial of service attacks if users don't install the updates.