jueves, 29 de agosto de 2013

OMDV.org Landing Page

I've been trying to see the progress of OpenMandriva, especially since I heard about the wallpaper contest.  I got this today.


He, he, speak about Linux and fun!

lunes, 19 de agosto de 2013

Mr. Starks, Reglue, Linux: We Believe in You

Dear Ken Starks,

We haven't met personally and, given the geographical distance between my country and yours, will will probably never see each other face to face.

I don't even know if you will ever get to read this.

I just wanted to say that I came across your blog some time ago, when I was taking my first steps in Linux land and, thanks to your posts, I grew more confident.  I learned a lot about Linux reading your entries.

There is more.  Thanks to your blog, I came across a fantasy novel that will keep me busy academically.

However, that's not all.  You made me see harsh realities that had been veiled from my eyes.  I discovered the courage of a cancer survivor who fights different battles on multiple fronts.  Sometimes, my heart ached with your posts.  Some other times, your writing brought happiness into my life when I really needed it.

Perhaps silently, you have been busy bringing happiness to many children in Texas, young people who had been formerly excluded from didactic activities because they lacked a computer.  All of them deserved a better future.

As an educator (and more as the father of a little girl), I understand your cause.  The future of any society is found in children.  Dickens spoke about that long ago with the terrifying scene of the creepy girl and boy that crawled from under the cloak of the ghost in A Christmas Carol.  It is no coincidence that the Ghost of Present says that the two terrible children, Ignorance and Want, have the potential to bring about doom.

Mr. Starks, you have been erasing the ominous word from the forehead of many children, giving them a different future.  Will the next computer genius come from them?  Is the future leader that will keep our world free playing with one Reglue computer today?

The Linux community has one saying:  "Linux unleashes the power of your computer".  Reglue has been unleashing the power of many children.

That's why I believe in Reglue.  And I believe in you.  My whole family believes in you.

I wish the Linux community understood this and donated for the future of Linux.  That future is in children, not in a mobile device... but maybe those who donated for the mobile device, if their dream does not come true, would be kind enough to redirect a tiny part of the money they pledged to a different cause?  Will they paint a smile on the sad face of a child that dreams of a computer?

Mr. Starks, I believe in you because you are a visionary.  You know that, ultimately, it's not the code that will keep Linux growing.  The future growth of Linux depends on the quantity of children that get exposed to it today.
My 3-year daughter playing with her Linux computer

Finally, let me thank you, Mr. Starks.  What you have done in Texas will have a profound impact in my country someday.  We will probably not be around by then... by my daughter will. 

So, from the bottom of my heart... Big thanks!

viernes, 9 de agosto de 2013

Those unexpected regressions...

A while ago, I read Ken Stark's delicious rant because of a kernel regression.

Ah, those regressions can be real bothersome in the world of FLOSS.  Even so, I had never experienced one.  Therefore, the whole thing remained pretty much an abstraction to me... until two days ago, when I found my original thesis presentation and understood the frustration of those regressions.

Let me explain.  When I was a student, computers were not as popular as they are today, let alone laptops.  Thus, delivering a presentation meant that you had to  borrow somebody else's laptop.

Those were my Windows days.  Although I had a desktop computer, my Microsoft Office version did not include PowerPoint.

Fortunately, my brother had won a set of CDs with a collection of programs that included some free software and demos.  In one of them, there was StarOffice, which allowed me to create my presentation.  When finished, I saved it both as an .sdd file and a converted .ppt file.

That was a long time ago.  I thought I had lost the presentation forever, but I found an old CD containing only the original .sdd thesis presentation.  Logically, I wanted to see it.

I had seen LibreOffice deal with .sdd files before, so, when I got the dialog asking me for a program to open the ancient presentation, I knew that something was wrong.

There was simply no way to open it.

I browsed the web and found that LibreOffice dropped .sdd files support since version 4.

So, there I was, with a document that I was dying to see and no software that could perform the magic to open it.

To make matters worse, it seems that OpenOffice can deal with the files, but I cannot install it without having an office suite dog fight on my modern Linux systems.  It seems that the days in which I could keep OpenOffice and LibreOffice side by side are gone (last time I could do that was with Mandriva 2010.2).

Luckily, my wife's Asus Eee PC 901 is still operational and it comes with Xandros Linux and StarOffice!  I used it to convert the file to .ppt and later to .odp.

Who would have thought that the tiny netbook was going to save the day?