How do you solve a problem like Linux?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Linux. My server at home runs DSM, the Synology version of Linux. My routers run Linux. And I’ve got Ubuntu installed as the only OS on my Thinkpad and as one of the three OSs on my Mac Pro. I have high hopes that one day, and hopefully soon, Linux will present a viable alternative to Mac OS X for general purpose use – because Microsoft certainly doesn’t seem to be making any effort to with Windows.

That day is not now though, and the main problem isn’t actually with Linux itself. It’s with the support available. Linux itself is part of the problem, of course – it requires a little too much fiddling around and customisation for it to be recommendable to granny, even with good support. With good support though, it should be a viable OS for the average family, and not just those with tech savvy dads like me.

Continue reading “How do you solve a problem like Linux?”

Pointless Censorship

A dictionary has been censored by Apple prior to its acceptance on the app store. Not only have unambiguously rude words been removed; words like ‘screw’, ‘snatch’ and ‘ass’ have been purged too.  Whoever made that decision is a cock.  It’s a type of bird, you know, although the bird is apparently extinct by Apple’s request.

Personally I have no problem with rude words.  If your child can’t get them on your phone then they’ll underline them in a paper dictionary instead.  Maybe Apple are trying to protect me.  I’m grateful.  Really I am.  I shall send over my copy of Rogers Profanisaurus without delay so that they can censor that too.

I do have a problem with all the gun simulators on the app store though.  A rude word has never resulted in injury to another – but guns kill hundreds, if not thousands, of people around the world every day.  Surely that is more offensive?

To quote South Park it seems that “Horrific, deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don’t say any naughty words.”

Dear Steve

You confess to having brainwashed your children. Nice.  It won’t work, of course.  Children are independent and they’ll do as they damn well please.  You can’t even stop them from doing something that might harm them later (like drugs for example), so banning them from using products and services (like the iPod and Google) which are way better than anything from Microsoft is somewhat risible.

Of course, whether or not brainwashing works, a better solution would be for Microsoft to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Apple and Google.  If Microsoft can make a better product than its competitors then its competitors will go out of business – after all, who would buy a product from a small company if the big one can do the job at least as well?  I’m not even thinking of search engines or music players any more.  I’m thinking of an operating system – Mac OS X (which you have doubtless also banned your children from using).

Windows is a leviathan.  It commands so much market share that anyone buying a computer would be foolish not to buy Windows – unless there was a competitor at least twice as good.  After all, you’d need a damn good reason to throw away compatibility with the world’s most used OS.  Windows has two such competitors.  My favourite is Mac OS X and its feature set goes way beyond Vista but without the precipitous hardware requirements.  Of course, Mac OS X requires you to have a computer made by Apple – but since you’ll probably need a new computer to run Vista anyway, it’s worth considering.

Some people claim that they don’t want to be locked in to a hardware manufacturer (as if being locked into an operating system is any better).  Okay, I can sort of understand that.  I run Ubuntu on my PC.  I find that it’s far more capable than Windows, more secure and (at least as far as I’m concerned) easier to use.  It looks nicer too, to my eyes, and it’ll run on virtually any computer.  It’s free too.

Some people will still object that they need to run Windows programs.  In most instances, of course, they don’t need to.  Open Office is Microsoft Office compatible (and free too), and there are many other applications that can be used in lieu of those written by Microsoft.  On those rare occasions that a Windows program is required, Crossover will run Windows programs natively on either Mac OS or Linux.

So come on Steve, give me one good reason why your kids – or anyone else for that matter – should use Microsoft products? Oh, and ‘because it’s your company’ isn’t a good enough reason!

Grand Theft Auto

All this fuss about a bit of sex in a 18 rated video game. Ridiculous. Sex is good – it’s fun. I imagine that the scenes in GTA aren’t entirely normal – I imagine that they’re rather twisted. But sod it – as long as the sex being portrayed is consensual then that’s fine by me. I’d far rather that people see sex than that they see one person killing or mutilating another. If GTA should be banned, it should be banned for the violence – not the rumpy pumpy. Continue reading “Grand Theft Auto”