A REAL 3 Dimensional Desktop

February 21, 2008

I’m a big proponent in open source software for a few reasons, the best of which is the ability of anyone to work on anything and have anyone else help them if they wish. This really opens up the world to groundbreaking new ideas.

One of the biggest things, in my opinion, in ground breaking new ideas is Compiz-Fusion, the open source OpenGL accelerated desktop environment for Linux. I’ve talked about it in the past, but not really extensively. What Compiz Fusion does is turn over the rendering of your desktop from your CPU to your GPU allowing for some really awesome effects (AKA Eyecandy) without adding any additional overhead to the actual computing power of your computer. For instance, I can do just about anything, and a whole lot more, than Windows Vista’s Aero interface or Mac’s OS-X interface can on a machine that is generally considered sub-par by todays computer standards – a 2 GHZ Athlon, 500 Megs of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 6200 with 256 megs of memory on a 4x AGP port. This is top of the line 2003 hardware here, but in case you hadn’t noticed, this is 2008, 5 years later than my technology.

Now some developers have taken Compiz-Fusion to an all new level. The current 3d desktop is really just a rendered 2d desktop with some effects to make it look pretty. SmSpillaz and others have really made the Compiz-Fusion interface into 3 Dimensions! Take a look at the following video if you don’t believe me:


Why does everyone hate Linux?

November 9, 2007

I don’t get it, and I’m really fucking pissed off about it.


Why does everyone hate Linux? What are they afraid of? It’s my god damned computer, I’ll fucking use it how I want seeing as how I paid for it on my meager ass $10 an hour part time job.

It’s my fucking iPod, I should be able to use it how I want seeing as I also paid for it on my meager ass $10 an hour part time job.

What is with these people? I pay for music but I can’t listen to it because I don’t have the hardware or software YOU fucking want me to listen to it on? Bullshit. When I pay for music I have NEVER signed, consented or approved of any type of license or restrictions in my PERSONAL use of the music. If I want to fucking listen to music on my preferred OS, then fuck off and let me do it. If I want to put that music on MY fucking iPod then fuck off and let me do that too.

Fuck off Apple. Fuck off Steve “motherfucking” Jobs. Lets not forget that your blessed OS is a Unix variant, and a FREE one at that you cheap bastard! Take free shit, sell it for millions, and then sit back, collect the dough and don’t give a damned thing back to the people you took it from? Fuck you Bill G…, wait – sorry – I forgot who I was talking about for a second.

99 cent music? Fuck you! How much of that gets back to the artist? 1 penny? Is that why the Beatles haven’t signed iTunes yet? They’re afraid they’ll go broke waiting for their half penny to show up in the mail you cheap shit.

Fuck you Steve Jobs.

And take this goddamned iPod and shove it up your motherfucking stupid white pimpled hairy fat ass.

The GIMP User Interface gets updated!

July 29, 2007

I just picked this up off of the Ubuntu forums…

The GIMP is getting a User Interface (UI) redesign and we can expect portions to be available now (the new select/crop tool) and more in 2.4 (like a single window to rule them all!)


Check it out on their very own wiki 

Ubuntu Live Day 1 Wrap-Up

July 23, 2007

So let’s talk about day 1 of UbuntuLive shall we? There are countless blogs and news sites that are covering the “news” of the conference – instead I’ll be talking about the atmosphere, the people and the “vibe.”
Read the rest of this entry »

MultiPoint X Server

July 17, 2007

For maximum Linux geek-ness there now exists the Multi Pointer X Server, known as MPX as compared to just plain old X (which, other than providing an alternate windowing system to the Mac OS-X, shares only the letter X and not much else with Apple who has not yet managed to patent the letter X so we should be safe for a while)
Here’s what’s cool – Multi Pointer X allows multiple pointers to be used simultaneously on an X server. In more more plain non-geek English, you can use up to 18 mice or keyboards at the same time in Linux. All of those mice and keyboards operate independently of each other so you actually get 18 different cursors on the screen, or have multiple keyboards assigned to multiple windows and type in two different applications at the same time.

Even cooler – coupled with a touch screen you can use both of your hands at the same time to work together on a single machine AKA the Microsft Surface. This is a Free Open Source Software version of the same thing. And the way the X guys work, this won’t be a binary blob, it will be full open source. The source is not in the main branch of X but is available by git.

Watch the video and see for yourself.

The MPX Surface

There are a few other videos out there on Youtube that show better the collaborative features and benefits of multipoint. I chose this one because it just plain ol’ sexier. You can tell it’s still in its infancy with laggy response. Hey – 1. It’s alpha software, 2. It’s free. It definitely doesn’t stack up to the Microsoft Surface (yet) which itself doesn’t even come close to the PerceptivePixel system of Jeff Han.

If you are interested in multipoint technology I definitely suggest you go to the Jeff Han link above, the results will simply AMAZE you. I know I sat in stunned silence for the full length of the video.

Of course you could “roll your own” multipoint touch surface if you are up for it.

Microsoft will not distribute GPLv3

July 10, 2007

Apparently Microsoft has stated that it’s cross-licensing and distribution deal with SUSE Linux will end. Sort-of. Microsoft will continue to sell the support coupons (and provide source) for SUSE while it remains GPLv2. Microsoft further said that they will not sell or distribute GPLv3 software.

Read it here. 

What’s the problem? Well, Microsft has been selling to some heavy hitters like WalMart and Credit Suisse. These customers may have purchased the coupons with the intent of coverage for future versions (I understand the coupons to be good for 3 years), but if future versions of SUSE go GPLv3 these customers will be left high and dry, at least on taking advantage of emerging technologies and advances in the Linux kernel.
Here’s the real problem: Samba (the highly popular Linux file/print networking stack) has decided that future releases will be under GPLv3 starting with 3.2.0.

To be clear, all versions of Samba numbered 3.2 and later will be under the GPLv3, all versions of Samba numbered 3.0.x and before remain under the GPLv2.
The Samba Team would like to thank Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen and the Free Software Foundation for updating the GPL license, and also all the individuals and corporations involved in helping to create the GPLv3. We feel this is an important change to help promote the interests of Samba and other Free Software.

Without Samba there is no interoperability between Linux and Windows – or more specifically, SUSE Linux and Windows Server 2003, the very relationship that Microsoft was trying to leverage with the distribution plan it started earlier this year.

Open Source Bread, from the Amish no less!

July 6, 2007

Last week a friend came by to visit and dropped off a rather interesting looking 1 gallon Zip-Lock bag filled with about 1 cup of a rather mysterious looking beige gooey substance in it. On the outside of the bag, written in black permanent marker was a date.


(lets see you compile this GCC!)

Along with this mysterious bag was a computer printed text file:


Amish Friendship Bread
batter will ferment, get bubble and rise.
let the air out of the bag as it accumulates
Day 1  The day your bag was made (date is on the bag)
Day 2  knead bag
Day 3  knead bag
Day 4  knead bag
Day 5  Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk; stir
Day 6  knead bag
Day 7  knead bag
Day 8  knead bag
Day 9  knead bag
Day 10: Pour out contents of bag into a bowl (NO METAL!)
Add 1-1/2 cup sugar, 1-1/2 cup flour and 1-1/2 cup milk, mix well.
Measure out 4 seperate starter bags bu putting 1 cup of batter into each.
Use 1 gallon bags
Pre-heat your over to 325 degrees
With the remaining starter add the following:
1 c. Amish friendship bread starter
2/3 c. oil
3 eggs
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
Butter 2 loaf pans and lightly coat with cinnamon sugar mix. Divide batter into
pans and bake for 1 hour
Feel free to add raisins, nuts and dried fruits as you like
Be sure to write down the date the new bags were started on, and let your giftee
know what day they recieved it, just so they get it right
Keep one for yourself if you want, you could be baking every 10 days, or give
them all away! But then you have to home that someone gives you another

We put aside the irony of the instructions for Amish bread being computer generated and diligently kneaded the bag every day and added the appropriate amount of ingredients on Day 5.

Today was day 10 and thus the bread was baked. It smelled sour coming out of the bag and only God knows how many generations of milk are in this thing sitting on my counter… But we mixed and divided and added and mixed and buttered and baked.

I must say, it came out delicious. A super sweet treat, and the crust was crunchy like a good buttery sweet pastry. Sliced hot and buttered it was like a little piece of heaven melting away in my mouth.

Thank you, Amish people, for this fine food and friendship builder!

As I was sitting outside enjoying the last half of the first loaf this afternoon a though occurred to me, “This is good, why doesn’t someone market it?” It would be a neat addition to a local cafe – every ten days the owner puts out their tasty friendship bread as a treat to their customers. Every now and then I could walk into my local espresso shop to find a surprise treat in the pastry bin.

But what does the cafe owner do with the starters? Does he keep them? This doesn’t seem very nice, especially if he was given the starter by a friend and didn’t cheat by finding the starter recipe online. But even if he did it is still specific that the batter is to be divided and shared. It’s specific in the recipe that you are to give away a portion of the batter to some friends as well as keeping a portion for yourself to make more with.

Hmmm… taking a root item, modifying it slightly and giving it back to the community… Why does this seem familiar? Oh yeah! It’s the FOSS principle – Free and Open Source Software is intended to be used by all freely and redistributed by all as they see fit within certain licensing agreements, just like my gooey mass of ancient milk/flour/sugar batter in a bag.

By this logic then the recipe is the “source” and the rule of sharing becomes the license. Ironically this marries up nicely with the GPL (among others) so does that make this bread “Open Source?”

And if it does, does that owner have the right to sell portions (slices) of the bread without also providing the source for that bread (starter bags)? Considering that the recipe is already in the public domain, I wonder if it’s too late to license this bread uder the GPLv3 to keep corporations like WonderBread from taking a free starter and tivoizing it?

Or maybe WonderBread decides that they hold the original patent on bread, but instead of suing the Amish they partner with them to distribute bread support coupons (the instruction sheets) while it is still up to the community to actually distribute the gooey crap in a bag? So long as you have a cross licensed WonderBread/Amish Friendship Bread instruction sheet you are free to bake and use as much bread as you like.