Open Source Challenge

I challenge all my fellow Linux geeks and other computer users out there to take up the *[Open Source] Challenge*. That is that each one of you try to use Open Source for all your computing. Now I hear you say “I spend most of my computing time at work and I can only use Windows” that’s exactly the point of the challenge :).

For every piece of software you use on a daily basis at work or at home if there is an Open Source alternative for you to use try to use it. And if you can’t download them at work burn it to a CD or bring it on a USB key from home. Here is a list of what I use at work:

  • Web browser: Firefox – Say goodbye to the 3 year old IE6
  • Ftp client: Filezilla – A great windows client and guess what it’s OS
  • RSS feed reader: Feedreader
  • Productivity suite: – Wont have all those proprietary plugins such as ReqPro but if you can do without Word the why not write it in
  • Instant messenger: GAIM – A fantastic multi protocol agent, get rid of multiple clients; MSN, ICQ and go for one and do it OS(Open Source) instead
  • Vector graphics: Inkscape – Uses the SVG standard format
  • Raster graphics: GIMP – From it’s roots come GTK+ and Gnome not as many features as Photoshop but one heck of a better price :)

That is just a short list of the programs I use at work. You may find that most of the popular Linux applications have a Windows port. But you may say why bother when what I’m using works and how will my use benefit anyone? Well when you use this products at work and someone comes is having trouble with one of the proprietary programs then you can show them what OS(Open Source) has to offer and you have the installation on offer for them to use it on their computer. As we break down the stigma that OS(Open Source) software is “hard to use” or “for geeks only” with these GUI Windows programs Linux wont seem like such a large step for people if you say, “You know that you have been using for X months. In Linux is exactly the same.”

So give it a try and take up the Open Source Challenge today :)

Longhorn faces another delay

Yet another delay has been announced for the next versoin of windows codenamed Longhorn. Will this give futher chance for Linux to gain a foothold in the Desktop market only time will tell. But by the time it is released in late 2006 we on the current 6 month release schedule we should see Gnome 2.16, if version 2 at all maybe into 3?? and probably Fedora Release 6.

Check the story at infoworld

Shameless plug

Well as you can see I’ve put a link in there for EmailCash basically it’s a way to get some rewards from online shopping just like FlyBuys. Except you also get rewards for doing online surveys and the like. It’s a shameless plug because I get to be your referrer and get points for you joining. Well I have get some money some how :) Uni bums don’t make much.


Just last week I was saying how we weren’t going to see a new version of Internet Explorer until Longhorn was released however today I read this article which is saying Microsoft is now possibly ramping up it’s development.

All I can say is that they have a fair way to go in terms of catch-up to do. So I still urge you all too switch2firefox

Death of a Browser

With Microsoft’s decision to not to release any new versions of Internet Explorer independent of new versions of Windows. With Longhorn looking like it’s still at least a year away and might even be held further back if hardware doesn’t catch up to it could be pushed back even further.

But even if Microsoft pulls off the feat of releasing Longhorn on time they might find that they have completely lost their market share. While I was playing around with WINE I thought to try to install Internet Explorer on it for fun. So I grabbed the latest cover CD from a magazine and went on the hunt for the Internet Explorer installer. Only to find that it wasn’t in there of 2 CD’s there wasn’t Internet Explorer included. Wow it was even a browser special it had a couple of IE enhacements such as crazy browser but no IE. Sure 90% of people browsing the internet are using Windows (According to Google zeitgeist) and 88% of those have Win98 or above so they definitely have Internet Explorer installed.

But with comparatively slow bug patching and no new releases until Longhorn Microsoft might face the prospect of another browser war all over again with basically the same product. For those of you who aren’t aware Firefox is a product of the Mozilla foundation which was set up just before AOL bought out Netscape. It will be very interesting as the next year goes by without any new release of IE will Firefox come up from behind and steal the market share? Only time will tell. :grin:


Just a quick note that I have done a quick icon for the website, you will see it in the title bar in browsers using Gecko: Firefox, Mozilla, Epiphany etc. I created it using Inkscape and converted it into a ico using IfranView.

I also placed the folowing code in header block of my wordpress ‘index.php’:

	<link href="<?php echo get_settings("siteurl"); ?>/favicon.ico" rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" />

And That’s it any feedback would be nice :mrgreen:.


This is my first post written on my Palm Tungsten E. Since I only realy need a plain text editor to accomplish this I am just using Palm Memos. Just from this short paragraph I can see that this may take quite a while :smile:. Even with Graffiti 2 I make almost as many bad characters as I make good.

Anyway the reason that I am writing on my pda is that my computer here at work is being used by Rational Robot in combination with PureCoverage to generate coverage analysis of our automated test suite. I would think that IBM would be able to make these two tools work well together. Like I have changed all of the ‘StartApplication’ to ‘StartAppUnderCoverage’ so Robot knows that the app is running under hevey instrementation it could just increase the amount of time that it waits between commands. Or at least wait while an instance of PureCoverage finishes automerging the last run. But Nooo it doesn’t so now what was an “automated” GUI test suite turns in to a hand holding event.

So as it turns out I have just spent today reading Free Culture by Laurence Lessig on my pda while keeping one eye on the automated tests. So being very tired and just sitting here playing baby sitter all day just using my pda makes for a very long day… Oh well my strike rate is getting higher will probably go back to reading and hey at least I still get paid the same whether I feel productive or not :wink:.

Geekboy vs Car

Any geek would know that would know that to be successful you need to know one of two things; Computers or Cars. But not necessarily both.

Well when I was driving home with my wife on Saturday my Toyota Corona’s temperature gage went into the red :eek:. So I pulled over and refilled the overflow thinking that I had just forgot to fill it up. Waited 10 minutes then set off again. The gage quickly went into the red again but this time I was not stopping for anyone.

When I pulled up at home the car was sizzling, black smoke and everything, maybe running the car on red for 10 minutes was not such the great idea I first thought it was.

Anyway I left the car for a few hours then went back and opened the radiator and found it empty. So naturally I filled it up, 5 litres of water later it was full. Now to check where that leak was coming from. I noticed a slow drip coming from somewhere in the engine. But it was slow so I thought I would just keep topping it up every couple of days till I could get the car to a mechanic.

When I got up on Sunday all looked good only about 300ml had seemed to have leaked out again so no worries. However after a while the car went back into the red again. I had lost all my radiator fluid again. So I got on the phone to my Father in law (my mechanic :wink:) and was running through the problem with him when I realised that the leak wasn’t coming from the engine but from one of the heater hoses the same hose that had a leak last time I ran into this problem.

So off I went and go my trusty PC repair kit, why because I don’t have any screwdrivers in my toolbox :smile:, un-screwed the clasp around the hose and cut off the end where the split was. Clasped the hose back onto the car and away we went.

So in the end the car has no permanent damage and I proved that a Geekboy like myself does have a chance of doing the manly thing and fixing his car without having to pay an exorbitant amount to a mechanic, may Dad hasn’t failed at teaching me how to fix my own car after all :smile:. All’s well that ends well and I live to drive my 20 year old car for another day.