Category Archives: linux

Linux Caffe

I’m sitting in the Linux Caffe working over a wireless connection, having just polished off another cup of their excellent hot chocolate. And it’s not just any hot chocolate, mind you. It’s open source and version-controlled through an internal Subversion repository.

It’s really a geek haven. Computer books fill the
windows and the shelves. Laptops are out, open, and plugged in.
Assorted penguin buttons are on sale.

It’s a great place to run into people. On the way in, I chatted with a
biologist who’s working on bringing the ideas of open source to genome
research. I’m sitting across a geekette with mad AIX skills. David,
the proprietor, is always fun to chat with about everything from the
local geek scene to the latest chocolate concoctions.

I think I’ve found a good home for my get-togethers. I want to get to
know a lot of people, and I want them to get to know each other, too.
It’s difficult to entertain at the Graduate House because of the
security restrictions and the way our suite is laid out; I don’t have
enough space to entertain. Hosting get-togethers at the Linux Caffe
promotes something I believe in, offers people more variety and
choice, and makes it easier for me to focus on people.

Let’s make that happen. Next Friday, I’ll have a get-together here. I
hope to eventually turn that into a lecture series, so that I get to
learn about interesting things from very interesting people. Perfect… =)

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Deskbar applet – GNOME coolness!

If you’re on the GNOME windowing environment, check out nafai77’s blog entry about Deskbar. Totally cool. It’s almost like Quicksilver for non-Macs.

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Random Japanese sentence: 猫はテーブルの上で眠った。 The cat slept on the table.


It’s exceedingly slow, but it works. Hooray, hooray! Kudos to for good

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Random Japanese sentence: 私は猫を家の外に出した。 I let the cat out of the house. Watashi wa neko o ie no soto ni dashita.

Where do network cards go to die?

I’ve rummaged through all of my things, and I’m certain I left my
wireless network card in the Philippines. Mumble. That’s the third

I want a wireless card because I’m getting tired of working in my
room. I want to be able to work in the common room of Graduate House,
at cafes, or even at friends’ places.

However, Linux-supported wireless cards are hard to find. I walked all
along the computer strip on College with the hardware compatibility
list on my laptop. I couldn’t find a single PCMCIA card or USB device
that was listed as supported. <sigh> That’s what I get for
needing previous-generation technology. It’s just not sold any more.

I need a serious computer surplus / junk shop like HMR back home, I
guess. One of those places where they’re still selling beat-up 486s.
But no, Canada’s tech junk has been shipped to the Philippines and
other developing countries. Mumble.

Why do I bother with Linux, then? The programs I use are native to
Linux and Unix-like systems, and they’re updated more frequently than
their Microsoft Windows counterparts. Besides, it’s just so darn hard
to set Microsoft Windows up the way I want it to be. I love scripting.
I love programming. Finding and downloading Emacs, Perl, Python, Ruby,
and all these other things is a major hassle under Windows. And let’s
not even start talking about the shell. Sure, I could use cygwin, but
it’s just not the same…

Maybe I should just update my Ubuntu laptop and use that for hardware
compatibility testing. Those Ubuntu folks do strange magic. =)

Anyone who can tell me where I can buy (or even better, anyone will
give me) a Linux-compatible wireless networking card will get a bunch
of cookies and my gratitude.

Random Japanese sentence: 「このねこは、やっぱりとてもきれいですよ!」と、とても年取った、おばあさんが言いました。 “And it is indeed a very pretty cat!” said the very old woman. [kono neko w, yappari totemo kirei desu yo!] to, totemo toshitotta obaasan ga iimashita.

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One-man Linux army

My boyfriend is a one-man Linux army. While all the rest of the people talk about promoting Linux, he actually goes out there and does it all by himself! He’s writing press material, manning booths, giving talks and seminars… Wow.

That’s one of the things I really admire about him. He promotes Linux
and open source not because someone’s paying him or because he hates
certain proprietary software companies, but because he believes it can
make people’s lives better. Free software can help schools spend money
on more important things, like facilities, textbooks, and teacher
salaries. Open source software can help people learn and grow. He
wants people to discover it, so he’ll go ahead and stand under the
scorching sun and talk about Linux to people who don’t see why they
shouldn’t just go and pirate software.

It’s a thankless job among people who don’t appreciate it as anything
beyond an opportunity to get another signature for their visit sheets,
like the way many people attend seminars only for the certificate. But
there’s always the chance that he’ll get a kid interested in free and
open source software, and who knows what will happen then?

I love him even more for doing it, and I wish I could be there to
help. Dear reader, here is a man who cares about the world and does
something to help it, even when other people are apathetic or
pessimistic. This is one of the reasons why I think he’s just so
amazing, and I wanted to share it with you.

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From elsewhere: Linux: a social experiment

Linux advocate disguised as panhandler gives CDs away. Interesting social results: most people don’t read signs, and panhandling is fairly lucrative. <wry grin>

Would be tempted to do something similar if I also had a stack of Ubuntu CDs.

Or—evil thought!—sneak into Microsoft dev event with button that
reads “Ask me about what I geek out about” and a bag full of Ubuntu CDs… ;)

(Convert the world one geek at a time! ;) )

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