Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yet Another Novell Update

My last update on the Novell sell out was back on November 11th, where I elaborated on the facts of the situation and added my own commentary and thoughts. I have seen quite a number of posts on my local LUG mailing list surrounding Novell and Micro$oft and today was one that was completely blog-worthy.

Bruce Perens has written a letter from the Open Source community to Novell, in a calculated, well thought out response to Novell's "deal" with the Evil Giant that is Micro$oft. If you are as insanely upset with this deal as the rest of us, then please, read the letter and sign it because it is also a petition to Novell to say that none of us are pleased with what they have done.

Even if you don't sign it, the letter is definitely worth a read as it points out some interesting points. One of the most intersting is that even though companies like Micro$oft and SCO feel it necessary to sue Linux companies to get what they want (whether that be $$$ or control of what they cannot control (in Micro$oft's case)), patents exist, and there are so many patents related to the software industry that if those who own them constantly enforced them, the industry would come to a screeching halt. People like the aforementioned corporations are just using their patents as a strong arm technique.

I would say to any other companies, "Stand Your Ground!?.

MPAA Nonesense

OK, the last time I checked, so long as I purchased a movie legally, I was able to play it in my own home.... on my own television.... without anyone trying to level their own conglomerate beliefs and restrictions into MY HOUSE!

Yes, if you are wondering, the MPAA has taken steps to now try and limit HOW you can view the movies you buy. Here is an article I found on Slashdot ( /.) that describes the MPAA's latest idea.....If you have a TV that is over 29" AND, if you have "at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon" then you must pay some silly $50 registration fee to register as a "home theatre", thus, bending to the MPAA's silly, confused ways.

Personally, in my honest opinion, the MPAA can stick it up their A$$!!! What I do in my own home and how I view my movies is my business. If I want to have a few friends over to watch a movie, SO WHAT!!! Who gives a rat's ass?!?!! So long as I don't charge admission ( and who the heck would), I don't see how you can say that I am running a "theatre". This definition in order to level a fee is absolutely confounded and ridiculous. I highly doubt this will be able to be enforced, its an invasion into my privacy and my home.

Oh, and to go along with this new "registration", should you get caught, they want a minimum "$500,000" fine per movie shown". HA!!! I paid my $$ to buy the movie, and that is all you will get out of me. KISS MY LILY WHITE ASS! There is no flippin' way that anyone is going to bend to this strong-arming. This is NOT a communist nation and you cannot just impose any will you want upon us.

I mean come on, isn't the almost $10 average movie ticket price enough? Heck, its the reason I refuse to go to the movie theatre anymore. Stop paying actors those ridiculous salaries and bring them back to reality and you might have more money in the bank and may be able to lower ticket prices. Hell, get an original idea for a movie instead of remaking everything that has been made, and maybe more people will see them. Yes, I am sure that piracy is cutting into your golden pocket liners, but tacking that cost back onto the average home viewer is NOT THE ANSWER!! If you want to fight piracy, go ahead, but leave those of us who buy the movies for our collections, ALONE!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The art of convincing the (perspective) client

One of the things I enjoy most is doing web development. I enjoy designing websites and I love getting engrossed in the back end development as well.

Most of my experience as a web developer has been working for a friend's company as his senior web developer. All the clients that needed sites designed had already been convinced to go with us and were ready for development. Up until now, I have never been involved in the process of pitching to a client to convince them to purchase your services to design and build their website.

Well, I went last night and pitched to my first client, outside of my friends business (he is all for it as I work for him on a contract basis). The site I would like to design is for a restaurant that a bunch of people I know, frequent, and is popular in the local community. When I talked to the owner about whether he would be interested in a website to display his menu and draw in new business, he was very weary. He didn't know much about the Internet and hadn't really experienced it before.

Yes, this has/had me worried. I didn't know if I could even get him interested in this venture. Well, I did have him agree to let me do a 1-2 page mock up to see what I could do for him. To me, that is a step in the right direction considering how difficult it may be to get this sale.

I talked to my friend (yes, the one I work for) and he actually gave me very useful insight on how I can convince him to purchase the site.

You see, with someone like this, someone that isn't really computer or for that fact, Internet, savvy, you may need to do a little work with the hard copy world as well as soft copy. It is suggested to me that I do the mock up and the do color print outs of the site to hand to him. I will also explain to the client that granted, they do a fair amount of business and have a lot of very loyal customers, but wouldn't it be nice to draw in more of a crowd/business by putting his menu and directions online for everyone else to see.

So, I am going to be working on the mock up of the site and then, going to pitch it to him in a sit-down meeting. Hopefully, with any luck, I can convince him to go with this project.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Much ado about Novell

You can consider this post an update on my previous posting regarding the deal between Micro$oft and Novell.

Within a couple of days it was released that the deal between M$ and Novell included a payment to Novell of $385 million. So, yes folks, the sell-out is complete, they have accepted money. I got curious to see if this would effect the Linux community with more than just the loss of a really good distribution ( imo) of Linux. What I ended up finding is that Novell, unbeknownst to me, had acquired Ximian a short time ago. As some of you well know, a couple of years ago, Ximian acquired the Mono Project, which is an open source port of the Micro$oft .net development architecture.
So, in one foul swoop, Micro$oft has managed to not only take from us an awesome distribution, but they have also managed to get its evil claws into a project that I am sure really urked them. I mean come on, someone except Micro$oft put .net on Linux, that must have been blasphemous to ol'Steve, but now he must be happy as a lark.

Granted, I am sure I could rant for days and days about this, and others could as well, but I think we need to sit back and see what happens and hope that M$ does not put any evil influence into Novell's release of its product for that would definitely taint everything. If they don't....awesome. If they do.....well...its been fun Suse (Novell), but we will have to take our leave of you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

And the sellout is..............NOVELL

I would say that the recent announcement by Novell of their new found partnership with Micro$oft has left me speechless, but that would be totally correct. In fact, I am more than a little up in arms over the deal. Micro$oft has made no attempt to hide their overwhelming dislike for Linux and all that it stands for, and even after seeing all of that over the years, Novell (Suse Linux) has gone and partnered with them.
All this is part of a deal so that Micro$oft wouldn't sue Novell for patent infringement over code they claim is in the Suse distribution. Kind of deja vou if you ask me with SCO's filings and lawsuits over quite similar claims. But the difference is, those that were sued by SCO stood up to them and WON!!

It makes me wonder what Novell is so incredibly scared of. Are the claims by Micro$oft valid? Does the questionable code actually exist in the distribution? I guess we won't find out any time soon considering they are now in bed with the big bad giant of the software world. I just hope that considering this loss to the Linux community, no other distributions are weak enough to fold to this pressure.

That's right, I called this a loss. Up to right now I have been really taken with Suse as a distribution. The fact that a lot the functionality that I was looking for ( ie: cd/dvd burning, cd/dvd image creation/ripping to name a couple) simply worked right out of the box has a lot to say about a distribution. Granted, not everything worked the way it was supposed to. I have been trying to learn Apache 2.0 better so that I can get the httpd.conf file setup correctly to support cgi scripting as it seems that the file I have by default differs greatly from the file that is default on other "working" systems, like Fedora. Also the directories where things, like Apache, are installed are different from the default in the software's documentation ( unlike that of distro's like Fedora which stuck to the vendor's defaults).

Those things aside, Suse is a generally good desktop OS, but now, with the advent of Micro$oft being involved with them, I give the distro two years. Two years and it will be almost non-existent, that is if Micro$oft has its way. I don't think they would make a deal like this unless there was a lot in it for them. Ballmer is to much of a Linux hater to make a deal that was beneficial to the Linux community.

If you look at the Novell website, you will see the title "Bridging the Divide" right on the front page. That is an extremely weak bridge, possibly made of doozer material. Personally, I will not be venturing across and I don't advise anyone else to either.

Meanwhile, over at the evil giant's website, there is NOT ONE MENTION of the fact that this deal ever happened. Of all the information on their main page, the deal with Novell isn't even hinted at. So, while Novell feels the need to announce the deal to the world, Micro$oft chooses the null approach. Makes you wonder how important it really is to them.

To Mr. Ballmer and his organization I say, "Enjoy Suse, its yours now". To the rest of the Linux community and to advocates like myself I say, "Let's sew up this would and go on. Its only a scratch and a scratch never killed a movement".

At this point, I am in the process of downloading the DVD of Fedora Core 6. As for my Suse 10.1 DVD and SLED 10 discs, well, I was looking for some good cup holders.

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