Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Mandriva spring

Let me make one thing clear in advance of the following comments. I absolutely love, adore, think it is only gorgeous, PCLinuxOS. Currently installed on my Desktop hard drive is PCLinuxOS Minime 2008 lovingly tended and configured by me to my own low standards. Minime is a slimmer faster booting version of PCLinuxOS 2007. News from the PCLinuxOS team - Texstar's ripper gang - is scarce concerning the next release which could be argued was due some time ago and could also be argued was due when it is ready and not before.

Linux users are no different to any other fanatic on the planet - we have our favourite distros as they are called - and can barely stand a mention of a rival Linux distribution. Naturally any mention of Microsoft is only tolerated when it is clearly scathing or abusive.

The reasons for hating Microsoft are clear to Linux fans but not to the rest of the world who do not know there are such things as operating systems (rightly so) and refer only to their computer as my computer. Questions such as : What version of Windows is on the machine you just purchased from Noel Leeming? might elicit a hesitant response and an offering up of the brand name of the manufacturer (Dell; Acer etc.).

Most of us would fall into that category I expect. But for those who don't there is a problem of proprietary, non-free, restrictive, software licencing and for those who care passionately about freedom the answer seems to lie in using only, and I mean only, free software. This includes a free operating system - for without an operating system you cannot have your Dell or your Acer etc. You would have a desktop or laptop sized silent unresponsive dust collector in your living room, den or office.

So by switching to Linux (Gee, I wanna do that. How do I do that?) we can set the world free or at least make a start. Er, not quite. A person, in the know, would already see that I have caused grave offence in one of the free software universes. That's right. I should of course have referred to the not-a-version-of-Windows operating system (OS) as GNU/Linux. Linux is not the OS. Linux is the kernel. GNU (GNUs Not Unix) provides the free tools that make it possible to have a functioning Operating system on your computer. It would appear that Linux is easier to write and say than GNU/Linux if I am being kind. But I'm not in a kindly mood. Not for nothing did my best friend once give me a birthday card with a 'grumpy old git' badge attached.

The people who talk about Linux and badmouth Microsoft are plain misinformed and ignorant of the history of the Free Software movement. And in doing so they let off the hook one of the most restrictive manufacturers of computing equipment the binary world has known. Apple. That's right, Hughie, you tell 'em. That cuddly little Apple, the mac, eh. Cute, isn't it? I love my mac. You might as well say you love Idi Amin.

On my Desktop PC I have a Windows 2000 partition and Minime partition. On the Acer Notebook lives a Windows XP partition and also a Kubuntu partition. Ubuntu and Kubuntu are Linux distros which are supposed to make life easier for people to make the switch from the Windows Operating System they didn't know they had in the first place to the world of GNU/Linux and a treasure trove of free software. The part about free software is mostly true. Some purists argue that no non-free software belongs anywhere near a GNU/Linux box and that we should if necessary build our machines from scratch avoiding hardware which requires proprietary drivers. A graphics card like NVIDIA would be a no-no as NVIDIA do not release details of their software to the world so the free software developers cannot write suitable drivers.

Oh, man, I am way off topic. I got fed up waiting for PCLinuxOS 2009 so I got a live-cd of Mandriva Spring 2008 and had a run at it on the laptop. I didn't like it and it also exhibited a startling bug which if I had done the updates would not have been there so I uninstalled it. I don't really like Kubuntu or Ubuntu, on which Kubuntu is based. Ubuntu is a Gnome based computing environment whereas Kubuntu is a KDE based environment. Us open source , free software afficionados loves our freedom of choice and the freedom to insult Gnome users or Xfce or Enlightenment (whoops! I'm doing it again, Enlightenment is a window manager - a chap could get killed for using the wrong terminology in this world).

Anyway I put the Kubuntu on the laptop and did the updates. It's fine. It sits there. I'm back in Windows XP.

I decided to have a look at available distros and saw there was a Mandriva RC (release candidate) 2009 just out. I thought to myself, now there's a thing. That's some development cycle. I've just got the spring edition and here is a very soon to be released distro with 2009 attached to its description.

I went back to the repository where I got the spring download. Of course, of course, of course there it was april 2008. It was a spring release but not bloody New Zealand's spring.

I've only lived here for six years. I can't remember everything.

I hope I have caused grave offence to all you apple macintosh users everywhere, but just remember this a restrictive licence is a restrictive licence.

Don't forget: Boycott Microsoft

Y'all have good day now.


Vanda Symon said...

I thought a GNU was an animal!

I love my Mac (-;

Hugh Macmillan said...

Hi Vanda,

I know you love your mac and I love my windows but compared to the abuse MS gets Apple gets an easy ride.

My first meeting with a graphical interface windowing system was a Macintosh LC III.

Gosh, isn't that interesting [yawn]?

Hugh the Gnu

Jerry said...

Pshaw! Linux is for wimps! Real users prefer BSD (and of the variants, the cool kids use NetBSD)! In fact, your beloved Mac likely has Darwin (a BSD variant) at its core!

Alas, I just like to pretend I'm cool. I have Windows Fista on my craptop... Work, and alas, driver support prohibits me from running anything else.

Jerry, bringer of biscuits, borrower of power tools.