When FREE as in cost matters like FREE as in FREEDOM

SMB’s Guide to Cloud Computing | Backupify

Kristen thinks that businesses will be persuaded to use the “cloud” to save money on software but if the business is using a lot of FREE/Open Source software the financial element won’t be as persuading.

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How a search engine became an operating system

I’ve been watching Google evolve over the years from a humble search engine to a, well, I was going to say “mammoth size jack of all trades” but they are a bit more specialised than that. When I came across gOS last year and found people jokingly referring to it as Google operating system I realised it wouldn’t be long before Google did just that, made their own version of an operating system, and there was a good chance it was going to be based on FREE software. Any way I found this article over at Techrepublic very interesting and would have to agree with most of what is said there, take a look and have a vote while your there. I said YES if your interested, even knowing that what I say here, now, might live to haunt me for ever 🙂

Google vs Microsoft anyone ?

Festive fun and New Year resolutions

I’ve written this article once this morning already but as I tried to add a link I managed to drag half the text from the end to the begining, when I tried to undo I lost all the text, argh !!!!! oh and the NOSCRIPT plugin for Firefox is annoying me sometimes because if you “allow” a page after you have started entering data on it you will lose the input as NOSCRIPT refreshes the page, still a very good plugin though.

I know some of you have been checking the blog regularly over this Festive season (Hi Graham) and wondering where the new articles were, well my excuses are; older son has been home for the holidays and i’ve been away from home quite a bit visiting family, something that made me realise I need a PDA or similar so I can still write and post new info. whilst out and about. Any suggestions on this are most welcome.

I’d just mentioned in the original draft for this post that I was up and about far too early this morning and I need to go for breakfast now, i’ll write more later on the new Fedora and Mint distributions i’ve been using, but to give yourselves something to do in the meantime why don’t you check out this video from Stephen Fry over at GNU.org or just download using this Torrent.

Dont just install Windows programs in Linux, install Windows in Linux !

I have used VirtualBox an Emulator in the past to get Linux running from within XP, so I thought I would try the Linux version and run XP in Linux. Using the Synaptic package manager in Linux Mint makes installing packages like VirtualBox very easy. If you are using a distribution that doesn’t allow easy installations of new software this might be the time to look for a replacement.
Setup of VirtualBox is easy too, just requiring you to select a boot medium and hard drives if required.
So place your Windows disc in the CD/DVD drive and set up a 4GB virtual hard drive, then just click Start, a new window will open looking very similar to a BIOS screen, (you may have seen one similar when starting your PC), then your Windows disc should start running, unfortunately I received a warning;
“VERR_VM_DRIVER_NOT_INSTALLED (RC=-1908) not loaded or permission problem. Try running “/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup” in a Terminal.”
Further down this article you can read more about this but do you know what happened next ? I got bored to be honest, even with all the help available on the forums I couldn,t sort it so then I thought of a cunning plan and popped over to Wikipedia and looked for an article comparing virtual machines, and whilst in there I was reminded of QEMU.
Now I have experience of QEMU as it can boot my DamnSmallLinux USB drive from within Windows so i’m suprised I didn,t think of using it in reverse as per VirtualBox, but I had always thought of QEMU as a sort of DosBOX aimed more at DOS than Windows. So using Synaptic again I installed QEMU and QTEMU the graphical interface for QEMU.
Well it worked just fine for me and it wasn’t long before I had a fully functioning desktop.


I would certainly recommend QEMU at the moment and give them 10 out of 10.
My first tests will be to see which Windows games I can get running and what effect the emulation (running one operating system inside of another) has on the performance.

For the techies amongst you the following info. collected whilst trying to get VirtualBox working may be of some use to you.
This is the error message displayed when starting VirtualBox;
“VERR_VM_DRIVER_NOT_INSTALLED (RC=-1908) not loaded or permission problem. Try running “/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup” in a Terminal.”

When I do, I get the message;
“usage start|stop|restart|status”
so no “setup” then :). I checked the status “/etc/init.d/vboxdrv status” which returned the message “VirtualBox Kernel module not loaded”

I have read and folowed through the article at the Ubuntu forum;
$sudo apt-get isntall linux-headers-`uname -r`

$sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

But still no joy, what about “sudo apt-get update” they said ? or perhaps APT needs upgrading ? “sudo apt-get upgrade”

Finally this was suggested;
“Go System>Administration>Users and Groups

Enter Root Password

Manage Groups

Scroll down to VirtualBox Users>Properties

Tick your login name

OK>Close>Close etc


Then have another go at running VirtualBox”

Now I thought I might be getting somewhere here. But alas I do not have the virtualbox users, do I need to make this group?

“Try removing the old module” said Separ on the ubuntuforums;

Which leads me back to installing QEMU instead 🙂

Free Gamers DVD

I,m getting asked for a lot of Gaming related software recently so whilst I complile a DVD of the “Top Open Source Games” might I suggest a visit to Supergamer.org
The ISO’s for download are pretty huge, so as usual if you are on a slow or resticted bandwith internet connection, drop into my store to see if I have it available on DVD for Next Day Delivery.

Everyone is jumping on the Open Source Software bandwagon

Everyone is jumping on the Open Source Software bandwagon, allegedly, particularly regarding Linux vs Windows (Capcom version anyone ?).
Now this is “a good thing”, however unfortunately a lot of what is being written is extremely confusing whether arguing for or against, so I thought i’d add my 5pence worth to the debate.

1) As usual the hottest discussions appear to be over the word FREE, now if you have visited my sites before you will know that when we talk of FREE we mean
FREE as in FREEDOM not FREE as in BEER“, Doh!
So I hope that’s cleared up in a line what others are using a whole blog for.

2) Next it would appear to be that Linux is a better Windows, well that’s just plain silly, Linux is different to Windows, i’ve been guilty in the past of telling people that Linux is just like Windows nowadays, but this is just not true. They are different in the same way Internet Explorer and Firefox are different and yet both of those are Web Browsers. Linux and Windows are different and yet both are Operating Systems. And in the same way Firefox is a better browser than Internet Explorer, Linux is a better Operating System than Windows 🙂

3) Legality.  – There is a website out there somewhere that purports to support Linux but is in fact somebody’s page of rants (If I say check the Proof page which leads to a 404 Not Found you may know which site I mean), luckily I cannot remember the Web address but one of the things he will tell you is that Linux stole Microsoft code. Well i’m not a programmer so cannot say for sure and would like some comments on this, but I certainly remember a case involving Microsoft using the TCPIP stack or similar from UNIX and incorporating it into the Windows implementation, hum.

4) If you use Linux you will have to work in a “dos box” – The dreaded command line (DOS/command prompt). Now, I know people who can type fast, I mean really fast and they don’t have one hand on the mouse while they are doing this, and they don’t because they know that using keyboard shortcuts for Bold,Italic new paragraph whatever, is much quicker, so i’m thinking, why click around everywhere perhaps batch processing some photo’s when you can type some commands in a console/terminal and usually achieve a whole lot more a whole lot quicker.

5) “There has not yet been a single widespread Linux malware threat of the type that Microsoft Windows software currently faces” according to Wikipedia, and if you search Google for Linux Virus the most recent discussion of a Linux virus is 2001. Don’t get me wrong, I know about “Bad Bunny” that affected Open Office.org for instance, but I believe that is more of a Java issue not a Linux one. Of course there may be some cracker out there right now desperately trying to produce something, but any vulnerabilities he finds will no doubt get patched so quickly, that it probably wouldn’t get chance to travel around the world infecting everybody in the same way as Sasser, SoBig etc. did.

So thats a start, feel free to comment if you would like to add any further info. to this

Free as in Freedom & Free Beer ?

Well as usual I found out about the party after it had happened, but maybe next year.

Fosdem: A Festival of Free

Thursday – March 13, 2008

The Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, attracts about 3,000 people every year, and last month marked its eighth edition. With all the hype surrounding free and open source tools the operating system Linux, the Web server software Apache, the Web browser Mozilla Firefox, it is easy to forget the men — and, occasionally, women — who develop them. [More…]