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Posts published in “Humor”

The Many, the Humble, the Ubuntu Users

The proverbial “better mousetrap” isn’t one that takes a certified biologist to use. Like Ubuntu, it just needs to do its job extremely well and with little fuss.

Roblimo’s Hideaway

Ubuntu Unity

I have never been much of a leading-edge computing person. In fact, I first got mildly famous online writing a weekly column titled “This Old PC” for Time/Life about making do with used gear — often by installing Linux on it — and after that an essentially identical column for Andover.net titled “Cheap Computing,” which was also about saving money in a world where most online computing columns seemed to be about getting you to spend until you had no money left to spend on food.

When Peer Pressure Nukes Linux for Windows

Ed Matthews

A grandson was happy with the flame throwing hot rod Linux gaming computer that his grandfather had built — until peer pressure came into play.

It’s Sunday evening and I’m in my daughter’s kitchen. My grandson and I have taken over the table with the computer I built for him, the family’s desktop, his laptop, and my laptop.

I have read multiple sources in the alt.os.linux.mint newsgroup saying that Windows is much, much easier to install and configure than Linux. Some people say those guys are trolls. Whatever. I need one of those sources to meet me in my daughter’s kitchen in the lower left corner of Missouri, USA, to show me how to finish installing Windows 7 on my grandson’s computer.

Linux People Should Say, ‘You’re Welcome, Windows Users’

If it wasn’t for Linux setting the bar, would Windows users still be dealing with the “blue screen of death” several times a day?

Roblimo’s Hideaway

VW LinuxVW Linux
There’s no evidence on whether Ted Kennedy tweeted his displeasure at this fake VW ad that appeared in National Lampoon.

There was a time when a computer operating system called Windows totally dominated the market, and it sucked. I mean, really sucked. Blue screens of death, unexplained crashes, viruses and worms galore, re-re-reboots all the darn time…and still, despite all the problems, people used this Windows thing. Why? Because except for the artsy/hipster $MacOS, it was the only computer OS you could get for your desktop, and it was the one that ran all the 17 jillion programs businesses wanted their office workers to use. Luckily, Windows has gotten a lot better over the years. Except…was it luck or was it Linux that made Windows improve?

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Torturing Tech Support Phone Scammers With Linux

Some days it doesn’t pay to be a huckster selling phony Windows support. Not that Windows doesn’t need supporting, mind you…

Roblimo’s Hideaway

Tech Support call centerTech Support call center

“What,” you may ask, “is Online Tek Squad?” I didn’t know, either, until a guy calling himself Paul, known to Caller I.D. as “Name Unavailable,” rang me up from what turned out to be a nonexistent phone number. Paul said he called me because my computer was infected with “over 30 viruses.” Wow. Good thing he got hold of me before the number climbed to 40 or 50, right?

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Is Linux Kernel Growth Sustainable?

A tech writer who still counts on her fingers and toes, tries to wrap her head around the size of the Linux kernel, and wonders when its weight will cause it to crash through the Earth’s mantle. She’s being silly, of course. Or is she?

contemplating lines of codecontemplating lines of code

An interesting factoid caught my eye in an article published by Opensource.com this morning. The article was one of those interesting and easy-to-read listicles that many websites — even FOSS Force — likes to run occasionally called 9 Lessons from 25 Years of Linux Kernel Development, and the item that caught my attention was eighth on the list, under the heading, “The kernel shows that major developments can spring from small beginnings.”

“The original 0.01 kernel was a mere 10,000 lines of code; now it grows by more than that every two days. Some of the rudimentary, tiny features that developers are adding now will develop into significant subsystems in the future.”

10,000 lines of code added every other day? Really?

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Linux Foundation ‘Fails’ Linux Mint: Suggests Upgrade to Windows or Mac

Those using Linux to register for a Linux Foundation webinar are told to try using Windows or OS X instead.

Linux Foundation webinar system testLinux Foundation webinar system test

Excuse me if I have a little fun at the Linux Foundation’s expense.

Linux Foundation failed textLinux Foundation failed textThis morning while perusing the day’s tech news, I ran across an article on Linux.com about a free webinar, “Open Source Automotive: How Shared Development Will Drive the Industry Forward,” being hosted on Wednesday by the Linux Foundation. This sounded like something I wouldn’t mind spending an hour watching, so I registered. Afterwards, I clicked a “Test Your System” link, just to make sure that I’d have no problems using the good ol’ FOSS Force machine.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Linux Under the Hood: Silence of the RAM

The continuing adventures of a new open source tinkerer who finds his diagnostic acumen sorely lacking during what should have been a simple RAM installation — thereby leaving the rest of us grateful he didn’t pursue a career in the medical field.

The Linux Gadabout

Perhaps Fred Sanford’s negative assessment of my intelligence was a bit hasty last week. As it turns out, this antediluvian Sony Vaio doesn’t so much object to an upgrade of mismatched RAM as it does to RAM that plain doesn’t work. Replacing an underinflated┬átire with a flat tire, so to speak, doesn’t help anybody.

Here’s how things went down.

Robert Glen FogartyRobert Glen Fogarty

“Bob” Fogarty was the editor-in-chief at Chris Pirillo’s LockerGnome.com for nearly 12 years, and has written for ReadWrite.com and TheArtofCharm.com. He lives in San Diego with his wife and a medium-sized menagerie of beasties great and small. Follow him on Twitter: @Fogarty

JavaZone Sells Open Source in TV Parodies

The Video Screening Room

This movie trailer spoof sells a movie that’s definitely not coming soon to a theater near you. If it were, however, you can bet your booty it’d be released under a Creative Commons license.

When I found out that I was going to have the opportunity to substitute for Phil Shapiro for today’s video column, I jumped at the chance. Why? Because I want to share with you one of the great TV parodies that the JavaZone conference produces each year.

JavaZone logoJavaZone logoIn case you don’t know, since its beginning fifteen years ago, JavaZone has grown to be the largest independent conference for Java developers on the planet. The conference is held each year in Oslo, Norway, with this year’s event scheduled for September 7-8.

You don’t have to be a big Java fan to really like these folks, for they are 100 percent — that means totally for those of you who have trouble with numbers — behind open source. For the past six years or so, they’ve produced annual video parodies of popular television shows, which over time have become increasingly lavish productions.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Teaching New Linux on Old Hardware

The Heart of Linux

It seems, according to this, that the customer service offered by Reglue far exceeds that offered by any big box retail outlet — and the clients get preinstalled Linux to boot.

In 2005, I found myself at a career crossroad. A career-ending injury threw the biggest of monkey wrenches into the works for me. I owned my own business and business was good, but it was only good with a maximum of four employees, counting myself. I attempted to become a “gentleman” owner but I found that paying the extra man proved to be costly as well as difficult to administer. That injury led to me doing what I do now.

I give computers to kids who cannot afford one.

The decision I faced was life-changing either way I went. My inclination was to go back to school and get the certs I needed to work in the Linux administration field. I already had the base knowledge and experience; it was just a matter of jumping through the hoops to get a piece of paper saying I already knew what I was learning. Not that I wouldn’t learn a thing or two along the way.

Ken StarksKen Starks

Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue

Speaking on BSD: The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Larry the BSD Guy

The BSD devil resides in a penguin’s DNA.

After answering various calls for presentations to a few upcoming shows, it stands to reason that Tom Petty is right: The waiting is the hardest part.

Because I now use PC-BSD on a daily basis, the idea going forward is to pitch talks about the conversion from one side of the Free/Open Source Software street to the other; the uplifting situations and occasional hurdle such a conversion brings, and to outline the similarities (lots) and differences (few, but relatively significant) between Linux distros and BSD variants.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

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

Singing About the Year of the Linux Desktop

In this riff, we leave no stone unturned as we trip through the past seeking portents of the elusive Year of the Linux.

The first song I heard about the Linux Desktop was Hold On, It’s Coming, released in 1971 by Country Joe McDonald. This was an amazing prediction, considering that Linus Torvalds was only two years old at the time. Is it possible that young Linus heard this piece and it spurred him to create the GNU/Linux operating system? We may never know.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

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