Remastering DSL or Borrowing Code

Recently I was forwarded an email asking if it is okay for a group to do a remaster of DSL. For the record, we are okay with anyone doing a remaster and distributing it. There have been plenty, and I personally take it as a complement. The same goes for other light distributions which barrow ideas, that's really flattery in my opinion.

Yet, when a project uses code, which is nearly verbatim taken out of our project and then pretends like it is unique work it absolutely drives me nuts. Once, we had a guy take a shell script written by Robert which was then just encased in a perl wrapper. The script was nearly identical, yet was put out as original work. In my opinion, that's just low class.

Changing Lives

This last week has been incredible for me. The funny thing is that the biggest thing that happened has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.

This week I gave out my first Linux PC's to 12 needy families. The looks on the kid's faces that were receiving their first PC was beyond words. More than half the parents thanked me for the computers and told me that I had changed their children's lives. Other than the birth of my children, I cannot think of another thing in my life thas brought me that level of joy.

The unbelievable thing is that I was doing this with 'throwaway' PC's. According to the previous owners, they we not good for anything and I was crazy for taking their 'junk'.

having one of those days.

Some kind of Christmas.

Well, I may not be able to do much of anything for a while, at least as far as DSL goes.

You see, the motherboard on my desktop has decided to go off and die on me.

At least, I hope it's the $70 mobo and not my nice $200 corsair ram.

Thanks to my D-bracket diagnostic panel, I know that it's failing to initialize the ram. So that means that either both sticks of ram are bad (I tested both of them one at a time) or the memory controller on the mobo is shot.

Please let it be the mobo.

...also need a nvidia card, because the Linux ATI drivers weren't worth the trouble to compile, and most definately aren't worth the trouble to pack up into a .dsl.

a modest man

The observant will know that Robert Shingledecker isn't the type of guy who seeks out attention. Still I want to make sure that the DSL fans out there know that he is constantly hard at work refining DSL. We all benefit from his hard work, yet he's not the type of guy to brag. Knowing that he *is* a modest man, I will not go on, but I just wanted to say a quick thanks.

Thinking in Linux

I read a comment the other day, where the person said most new Linux users are still thinking in Windows. I made me wonder what that meant. Is it like that Clint Eastwood movie "Firefox Down" where he needs to think in Russian to make the plane fly? What does thinking in Linux mean? What would you do differently if you were "thinking in Linux" instead of "thinking in Windows?"

Chasing Windows

To me it is an unfortunate trend that Linux is heading to a path of convergence with Windows. Several months ago I was at The Peninsula Linux Users' Group and there was a conversation discussing Linux's functionality as a desktop in comparison to WinXP.
The conversation went something like this:
"We need widget integration across application"
"We need full compatibility with MS Office"
"All system configurations should be handled via a graphical user interface"
And on and on...

I just sat there and bit my lip.

It seems to me that both of the the two main Linux Desktops are rapidly trying to position themselves somewhere between OS-X and XP with lots of whiz-bang eye candy and the RAM use to prove it -- systemr equirements be damned.

Linux and Politics

I've noticed that to some the typical Linux enthusiast is a Birkenstocks wearing unemployed hippy with a radical political perspective -- somewhere between anarchy and Marxist ideology. Truth is, like any group there are some who do fit the stereotype. Yet, digging down into the opinions on the net I see that there is no *typical* political persuasion of the Linux enthusiast -- we are really all over the map. One thing that is true though, as a group we are collectively smarter :-).

Bash prompt(s)

Being a person who likes to waste countless hours with Linux tweaks, I naturally have to create a custom prompt or two....and of course they are big and obnoxious, yet useful at the same time.

My current prompt is one I've been using for many months, and probably won't remove in the near future.

On the Road to DSL 1.0

There are many plan on the road map to dsl 1.0. Each new release we make progress.

There lately have been some trying to do persistentancy. All of these are on the road map. Some will affect the extensions. Even changing the user from damnsmall to dsl has impacted the extensions. If we try to do too many changes at once it can become unmanageable. Some of us know the "fun" we had in moving to the 0.9.0 release.

I am aware of the user community's desires. Giving user complete control of the icons and working smoothly will all the various methods of installs and persistentacy is all part of the plan.

Someone set my pants on fire...

...or something.

I think I'm dreaming.

Yesterday, I recieved my new mp3 player (beautiful, lovely iRiver H340). If you ever drop into my domain, #damnsmalllinux, you know that I have been having epileptic seizures just thinking about this thing for a few months.

Anyways, it's here.

And the crazy thing is, this thing is easier to use with DSL than with Windoze.
That's right folks. The Linux hardware support is better than the M$ support.

In Windoze, in order for it to automatically update the song database when you drop a song on it, you have to install this little applet.

In DSL, it automatically updates when I dump stuff over with EmelFM. Or MC, or Rox, or an Xterm. Or anything.

And I do believe that DSL writes to and reads from it faster than M$.

Also, in DSL, it detects it immediately when I plug it in, compared to between 6 and 20 seconds with M$. And that time is not just with my box, that's with every box I've hooked it up to.

Really the only complaint I have about this thing, and it's not really major, but gave me a lot of frustration untill I read the instruction manual (RTFM, I know...) is the fact that it will not do a data connection at all unless the battery is full and the charger is plugged in.