Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Jon
Don't you hate it when people say that Linux is "hard to use"?

Jul 07, 2009 GMT

  Here is a young man that I met at Campus Party in Bogota, Colombia. I am fairly sure that he is not the youngest user of Linux, but he had his Classmate computer, his installed copy of Ubuntu, and was extremely happy with it. He wanted me to autograph his notebook, which I did.   Later on I saw him working away, but I think that at my age I would have asked for a more comfortable working environment.
Campus Party Bogota - First Days

Jul 06, 2009 GMT

Campus Party Colombia opened its doors a few minutes ago, and thousands of "Campasarios" started filtering through the entrance.I have been in Bogota for two days, and after the airplane ride from Hades, along with checked baggage not appearing, I was grateful to receive both bags intact. Clean undergarments never felt so good.Also contributing to the good feeling is knowing that the prize for "maddog's Multimedia Challenge" also arrived. An "Indamixx Portable Studio", based on an Intel Atom-based processor with a 10" LED back-lit screen and a 250 GB disk, I am sure that the winner will really like it. I was tempted to open the box, fire up the netbook...
Ohio Linux Fest: 40th Anniversary of Unix - Call for Papers ending

Jul 03, 2009 GMT

I happened to have a few minutes last night, and I chose to sign onto the Ohio Linux Fest's (OLF) IRC channel to participate in one of their planning meetings. Big mistake, as I walked away with a couple of "todo" items. Beth Lynn Eicher, their fearless leader and taskmaster, lets no one go without a task.......For those who have never been to an OLF before, I can tell you that while each year's event seems impossible to improve, they keep improving them year after year. This year is special, as it is the 40th year of Unix, and the OLF crew has reached into the past and present to bring up a group of excellent speakers.Heading up the speakers is Doug McIlroy. I have written...
Meeting the President of Brazil at FISL 10

Jul 02, 2009 GMT

FISL 10.0 in Porto Alegre, Brazil was the best yet, for many reasons. For a long time I have been impressed with how the FISL organizers (most, if not all of which are volunteers) have brought together government, industry and the community to put on an ever-larger and more complex event. This year, the tenth anniversary of FISL was bigger and better than ever, with many simultaneous talks, many International as well as Brazilian speakers, and a good number of appropriate displays, governmental, industrial and community.However, the event that excited even the most experienced of conference attendees was the visitation by President Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva, who otherwise is...
Stiff Upper Lip

Jun 16, 2009 GMT

You have to admit that the British have a unique way of doing things from time to time. This is why I enjoy going to London, even when I have to suffer a two-day subway strike just at the time my conference is being held. The conference was the Open Mobile Summit, being held June 10th and 11th. This conference is normally aimed at management of telephony companies, either carriers, handset manufacturers or software designers. Due to the name, you might imagine that these people would talk about being "Open". Some of them did, but most were still suffering the same old paths of trying to tie the phone to a carrier, and the carrier to a set of services that no one really wanted....
What a long, strange trip it has been...and continues to be

May 25, 2009 GMT

This year is a very special year for me. It is forty years ago, in 1969, when I was a college student that I programmed my first computer. Since I could not afford the high prices of software in those days, I joined the Digital Equipment Corporation User's Society (DECUS), and made great use of the DECUS software library. Software that had been written by engineers, mathematicians, business people, scientists and others whose main job needed a computer. "Professional programmers" mostly came later. Shortly after that, when I was moving toward graduation, I had a professor seriously tell me "Jon, you will never be able to make a living writing software." I am still...
Penguicon: Engage!

May 17, 2009 GMT

Last night I went to see the latest Star Trek movie. I decided to see it on an IMAX movie screen, and the combination of Star Trek and the gigantic screen with speakers that let you feel when the Enterprise went into warp was really great. Yes, I am a Gene Roddenberry fan. I never went around painting my skin green, or wearing pointed ears, but I did enjoy watching Star Trek about the same time as I started working with electronics over 40 years ago. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was my favorite series, and Captain Picard was my favorite character. O.K....who could not like Spock and Data? Nevertheless, I really liked Picard. Recently I was an Honored Guest to the Penguicon...

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