Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Penguin Awareness

Jan 04, 2010 GMT

Tux lights them off! Today Cesar Brod, a friend of mine from Brazil, sent me a picture of some fireworks he saw on New Year's Day that had a picture of our favorite penguin on them. It was timely, since it was a year ago today that I wrote another blog entry about Tux and "Penguin Awareness Day" (January 20th) and "World Penguin Day" (April 25th), so today I thought I would remind people of these two magnificent opportunities to help celebrate the existence of Linux while I passed along this picture from Cesar.Apparently graphics artists around the world look to the Internet when asked by their clients to supply a picture...
End of the year, a decade and an era.

Jan 01, 2010 GMT

In 1999 I was working for Digital Equipment Corporation's Unix group as a technical marketing manager, making a "six-figure salary". I had met Linus Torvalds in May of 1994, and had recognized Linux and Free Software as something whose time had come. While most of the world in 1994 thought of Free Software only for technical people, educators and hobbyists, I felt that Free Software had commercial value, and I helped start and drive the acceptance of Free Software, and particularly Linux into the commercial marketplace.By 1994 I had fairly extensive exposure to end-user written, freely distributed software. I had used it as a university student in 1969 through the library of the...
Mean Time To Repair

Dec 21, 2009 GMT

The other day I read an article on the web that said that "Firefox, Adobe top buggiest-software list" and which stated that Firefox had reported the most "vulnerabilities" of all the "application programs".The article admitted that the #2 and #3 "application programs" ("Adobe" and "Microsoft") reported were "closed source" and that "open source" programs tend to show all the blemishes, not just the ones reported by their customers, and reflected back through visible reports by the companies. To be even fairer, I would point out that comparing "Firefox" with all of the applications that Adobe has and...

Dec 09, 2009 GMT

I am at the 8th International Information and Telecommunication Technologies Symposium hosted by the Federal University of Santa Caterina (December 9th, 10th and 11th) and I have just finished listening to a very interesting talk by Professor Antonio Alfredo Ferreiro Loureiro (Federal University of Minas Gerais) on "frogs".Actually his talk was not *really* about "frogs", but about ad-hoc sensor networks used to sense environmental issues. These sensors are very simple (and often "slow") computers that gather the information, then transmit the information via a wireless mesh network to the Internet for processing and analysis.It seems that frogs are a very...
The whereabouts of maddog

Nov 24, 2009 GMT

A short additional "Blog" entry depicting the conferences and events I will be in the next few weeks:November 26-27: SoliSC - Santa Caterina, Brazil November 28-29: Open Beach - Florianopolis, BrazilDecember 4: Conisli - Sao Paulo, BrazilDecember 5: LPI Exam at 4Linux in Sao Paulo, BrazilDecember 9-11: I2TS Conference - Santa Caterina, BrazilI hope to see you at one or more of these events.Warmest regards,maddog
Anniversary of LPI Certification in Brazil and remembering Rocket Science

Nov 24, 2009 GMT

Seven years ago, in early December, I helped to proctor the first Linux Professional Institute (LPI) test in Brazil, which had been hosted by 4Linux in Sao Paulo. At that time I gave out a "Linux License Plate" made by Compaq (nee Digital) Computer Corporation and a clock made from a CD-ROM signed by Linus Torvalds.This year I have been invited back on December 5th to proctor another exam, and this time I will be giving out yet another Linux License Plate and another CD-ROM signed by Linus....but alas not made into a clock.I was wracking my brain trying to come up with an appropriate student gift for the seven year anniversary of LPI Brazil's first test. I did not have time to...
Project Cauã: A large-scale project to reduce waste, improve computing, help solve digital inclusion and create jobs

Nov 23, 2009 GMT

Five years ago I started shifting my discussions regarding Free Software to try and address the question of "How do I make money with Free Software?" Four years ago issues around usability of closed-source software in today's modern world began to creep into my talks, leading to the question of how much time is wasted on a world-wide level by software that does not do what you want and need it to do. Three years ago I started to address the issues of energy utilisation and how much the next billion computers might use if we are not careful. Two years ago I started to address issues of software piracy and how it affects end users even more than the "software providers"....