Saturday, July 12, 2008

Brasero creates a hidden md5 checksum in Data CD/DVD

Brasero is my primary disc burning application. Today, while burning the completed anime series from my ever growing collection, I noticed something at the root of the disc.

A file named .checksum.md5. The content?, MD5 checksum for all the files in the CD/DVD.

Now, this is convenient :D.

Firstname Lastname dilemma

I've been quite annoyed with the naming system Malaysian Malay use..

In our culture, normally, people doesnt use "FirstName LastName" system, but "GivenName FatherName" instead. Ok, for local use, its not much a problem as people here understand the system. But when it come to dealing with international softwares/people, it got tricky, and sometimes, frustating.

For quite a number of people, "GivenName FatherName" system doesn't hurt them much because their parent only give them 1 word name, and the father only have 1 word name. So they just assume GivenName as FirstName and FatherName as LastName. But, the system also allows the use of very long names that make it hard to differentiate which is which, and I am one of those with such names.

"Mohd Izhar Firdaus Ismail" - heh, try finding which name to call me from that name (I'm assuming you are not Malaysian) - I'm pretty sure most will just call me "Mohd".

I personally adopt "Izhar Firdaus" when dealing with international stuff. However, sometimes, on certain automated system, I got really annoyed and confused. (eg: gramps)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

OpenDocument Templates by Lotus Symphony

I browsed through Lotus Symphony website just now, just to check out what new in Lotus Symphony as the first and the last time I used it was during its alpha stage.

One thing great that I noticed, a whole gallery of templates in ODF Template format!!! http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/gallery.jspa. Stuff ranging from document templates to presentation designs and cliparts. And due to it uses the ODF Template format, I can open them in no problem on OpenOffice. And I thought, "Great!, some free templates to use, but, what these are licensed on?".

Looking at the term of use:

Content from this Web site that is not provided under an agreement, such Content is not provided as "public domain"; you may use such Content for your personal, non-commercial use only and only in connection with your use of Lotus Symphony.


Erm, ain't that defeat the purpose of providing business document templates (invoice, meeting, project status, reports, sales plan, etc), but in the same time restrict the template to non-commercial?.

IANAL, but the phrase "only in connection with your use of Lotus Symphony" sounds like I'm also prohibited to use these on OpenOffice (or any other ODF editor) on stuff unrelated to Lotus Symphony.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Linpus Linux == Fedora, but poorly done

http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/columns/acers_linpus_linux_lite_ultra_portable_laptop

The hardware is based on the Intel Atom Processor which will be used in the Asus EeePC 1000. If you navigate to /etc/system-release you will discover that Linpus is based on a fork of Fedora 8 (Werewolf). That’s better. Much better. Fedora has managed to avoid shabby deals with Microsoft and playing fast and loose with Kernel source code and the GPL. At last, a version of GNU/Linux on an ultra portable you can use with a clear conscience. Being a stripped-down version of Fedora it lacks both make and gcc (and probably ncurses too, though the binaries may be included in the distro but just excluded from the default installation). That will not bother novices or newbies much but it will hack off advanced users—no pun intended. On the plus side though, Linpus comes bundled with MP3, WMV and Flash support and plugins. Package management is courtesy of Synaptic but as Linpus is really Fedora, packages are RPM and presumably Yum could be used on the command line.


Despite all the caveats, Acer has joined Asus, Dell and others in something which may have a profound effect on the future of free software; and, above all, at last a pre-installed version of GNU/Linux that will sit well with a free software conscience. No source code ambiguities or GPL violations or any funny business playing fast and loose with the principles of free software. Just a hacked version of Fedora.


I have known Acer been shipping Linpus Linux for quite some time (Acer been shipping machines with Linpus in Malaysia since 2006 IIRC), but I didn't know Linpus is based on Fedora. I've tried using Linpus before, but its quality is nowhere near its parent. Also, while the Acer machine (the one I tried) ships with Linux, getting the machine to actually runs Linux is a pain. Nvidia gfx card, Nvidia chipset and Atheros/Broadcom Wireless, proves fatal when want to keep up with latest and greatest of the FOSS world.

Acer should test their machine hardwares with Linux without proprietary drivers before actually shipping it with Linux. Shipping Linux with the machine while the machine itself is resisting the OS is not a good approach. They should be tested to work well together - this is one place Acer (and other Linux laptop/desktop vendors) should learn from Apple Mac.

I am not sure how stuff goes nowadays after the Acer announcement that they will supporting Linux officially (as the bad experience I had was quite some time ago), I hope the bad experience I had with Linpus have changed.

P/S: /me patiently waits for a company that can be Apple of the Linux world. The ThinkPad series are near, but still missing at some points.

Identi.ca

Wow. Seems like a large horde of people in Planet Fedora are jumping ship from Twitter to Identi.ca.

While I do have a twitter account, but I'm not that active. Anyway, guess I'll jump to the identi.ca bandwagon too in the spirit of supporting FOSS : http://identi.ca/kagesenshi.

/me anxiously wait for desktop integration (twitux, or similar), and phone based client (jtwitter or similar).

Mailing List for Fedora Malaysia

Yay!, ticket #551 has been closed.

Announcing the fedora-my-list for Malaysia Fedora Users and Contributors. The link is below:

https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-my-list

Feel free to communicate in Bahasa Malaysia or English (or Manglish, or "Rojak", or whatever) there :P.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Huh??

http://www.newsoxy.com/headline/ballmer_still_enjoys_math_camp_with_gates/article11177.htm

Its an article about MS, but suddenly:

As a matter of fact, some people are fed up with Vista enough to switch to a Mac or Linux. Fedora Linux has come a long way which provides a free operating system and desktop applications, all for free.


Go Fedora!!