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December 26th, 2014

Punching Out the Week on Boxing Day

FOSS Week in Review

So much joy abounds on Christmas morning, unless of course you’re trying to set up your new XBox or your new PlayStation (See? You should have waited for the Steam box…). But you can’t blame the North Koreans for that — blame is being heaped upon your friends at the Lizard Squad which, according to an article in USA Today (Tomorrow, the World!), is taking credit for the takedown (not their first try at this — they have previously claimed credit for attacks earlier this year on the PlayStation Network, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends).

So the gaming may have to wait.

But now that it’s Boxing Day, let’s punch out the week with a couple of tidbits from the week that was, as 2014 is winding down and 2015 is in our sights.

Marriott Boycott? Manic geek Jim Lynch — his self-description, not mine — opines on his blog post on Christmas Day that we should maybe not stay at hotels like Marriott or others that attempt to force guests to pay for wireless connectivity by blocking networks other than that provided by the hotel. But wait, there’s more: Marriott is asking the Federal Communications Commission for the government’s blessing to do this.

Lynch makes an excellent point for people to avoid the Marriott. While he gives credit to Google and Microsoft for opposing Marriott’s appeal to the FCC for a go-ahead, Lynch thinks the hotel chain giant “would know better than to try something like this. It reeks of a money-grabbing, spit-in-the-face of your customers kind of arrogance. It’s as if the Marriott thinks its customers are too stupid to realize that the company is trying to screw them financially by forcing them to use its network.”

Well put, Jim. The depths to which he goes into the details on why this is a ridiculous idea worthy of having you stay elsewhere is well worth a read. Go for it.

Another week, another release: PCLinuxOS, “so cool ice cubes are jealous” (their words, not mine), has diligently worked up to a new release which was set free shortly before Christmas, and the new offering gets high marks from J.A. Watson of ZDNet.

PCLOS LogoIn a detailed review which outlines some unique desktop and display options offered by the distro, Watson writes: “I would say that this is a terrific release. It covers a very wide range of needs and systems, including different desktops (LXDE, MATE and KDE), very small ‘flesh it out yourself’ KDE MiniMe or well-equipped Full KDE, all the way to the insanely equipped and pre-configured KDE FullMonty distribution. I can say honestly that I will keep PCLinuxOS on the two legacy boot systems that I installed for this post.”

Be forewarned that you have to use UNetbootin to make live USBs — such is the nature of the beast — but to download PCLinuxOS, go here.

More on the radar: We’re going to go three-dot here with a few morsels…

Also nearing release is Korora 21, the Fedora remix from down under, which should be ready sometime early in the new year, according to lead developer Chris Smart… As for the speakers for the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 13x, the SCALE Team has chosen most of the speakers and they are setting the schedule for the four-day event in February. Keynoters have yet to be named, and I have it on the highest authority that SCALE 13x could be unique regarding the keynotes and many of the speakers this year.

On a personal note, some of you know that I inherited an old PowerBook G4 — yep, PowerPC 32-bit — now with limited options regarding what distro to put on it. It wasn’t like that when I started back in ’06 with Debian on an iMac, but I digress. I tried what few options are left on the PowerPC side, from both Linux and BSD, and the winner — drumroll, please — is Xubuntu.

See you next week.

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

4 comments to Punching Out the Week on Boxing Day

  • GNUguy

    Thanks for the insight re PPC Macs. I have a few laying around here as well and might try Xubuntu out.

    Re the Marriot…

    If there’s a Marriot where SCALE 13x is taking place, I’d recommend including the boycott info on the SCALE reg site. Shut those fools down.

  • Larry, I didn’t know that Ubuntu/Xubuntu still made PowerPC images.

    From my back-in-the-day Power Mac G4 use, I remember Fedora being super-super slow and Debian as the fastest, best PowerPC distro. This was back in the Lenny days.

  • Larry Cafiero

    GNUGuy – There may be a Marriott in the area near the Hilton where SCALE 13x is being held. I don’t think many attendees stay there thanks to the size (and the deal) at the Hilton for SCALE. But it would be good for people to avoid it.

    Meanwhile, Steven, on the issue of PowerPC images, you have to dig around, but you can find them. For 32-bit PowerPC from Fedora, I could only find Fedora 17 as the latest version, though I know they have a 64-bit version all the way up to the most recent Fedora 21. F17 worked briefly then crapped out. Debian was the same way – it worked, then the GNOME desktop disappeared (!). Lubuntu installed but wouldn’t boot. I even had PC-BSD working on a live CD, but multiple install attempts were futile. So for me it was pretty much a crapshoot, and because Xubuntu was most consistent (but DON’T update the system once you’ve installed it — individual software updates are OK — otherwise you will bork the system), I left it to stay.

  • Larry Cafiero

    Correction: Looking at my pile of CDs and DVDs from this project, it was FreeBSD, not PC-BSD.