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Posts published in “Operating Systems”

Ikey Doherty Talks Evolve OS & Budgie Desktop

Ikey Doherty is probably one of the most tech-smart people I know. Fact is, Ikey is much like that guy you hear about on the news, the guy that can hear a string of four digit numbers and tell you the sum of them in a couple of seconds. Now, I don’t know if Ikey is capable of that feat, but I do know what he can do.

Ikey Doherty can code. Ikey Doherty can code in a number of languages.

Ikey Doherty
Ikey Doherty, Linux programmer.
So you might say to me, “Well Ken, I can code too. Anyone who goes to college to study Computer Science can code something.”

OK, I’ll give you that. But let’s back up a bit. How much could you code before you went to college? A little bit? Was it a hobby until you decided you were interested in doing it professionally? The last time I did the calculations in my head, Doherty writes extensive and complex code in at least four languages.

What Would You Do to Improve Linux?

The Linuxsphere is a wild, wonderful and adventurous place. By its nature alone, Linux is often considered a maverick. It’s been my observation that Linux users tend to explore and take more risks when using their computers. For better or worse, it appears that Linux users have been associated with the hacker elite. I’ve even thought of it as being the wild west of tech. I’ve referred to using Linux as computing without a safety net.

Linux magic wandThere were days past when I let my idealism and fervor dictate my thoughts and actions. I saw magnificent potential in Linux as a desktop operating system. With all my heart and soul, I evangelized for a competitive presence of Linux on the desktop. Like many idealists, I ignored the facts and barreled ahead as if by sheer will I could blow obstacles to dust that would dissipate in my wake.

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

Making a Difference the Linux Way

The year of the Linux desktop.

The phrase has been a comical punching bag for a number of years. At the turn of every new year the question can be found on hundreds of Linux-centered websites.

“Will this be the year of the Linux desktop?”

The fact is, we’ll never see “the year of desktop Linux.” Not the way we imagine it anyway. Many of us long for the time when Linux will become a well known alternative to Microsoft Windows. That just isn’t gonna happen.

Linux distros

Here’s why.

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

ATMs Might Go Linux, MS DOS Source Released & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Is Microsoft reading your Hotmail?

Last week we learned of the arrest of Alex Kibkalo, a Microsoft employee who’s charged with leaking an unreleased version of Windows 8 to a French blogger. According to Wired, during the course of an internal investigation in Redmond, an unidentified source approached Steven Sinofsky, who was then president of Microsoft’s Windows Division.

“The source gave Sinofsky a Hotmail address that belonged to the French blogger (also not named) and said that the blogger was the person who had received the leaked software. Microsoft had already been interested in the blogger, but apparently, after the tip-off, the company’s security team did something that raised alarm bells with privacy advocates. Instead of taking their evidence to law enforcement, they decided to search through the blogger’s private messages themselves. Four days after Sinofsky’s tip-off, Microsoft lawyers ‘approved content pulls of the blogger’s Hotmail account,’ the court filings state.

“By trolling through the Hotmail email messages and MSN Messenger instant message logs, Microsoft learnt how Kibkalo and the blogger pulled off the leak, says Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Armando Ramirez III, in an affidavit filed in connection with the case. Microsoft handed over the results of its investigation to the FBI in 2013, and Kibkalo was arrested on Wednesday.”

This, of course, created quite a stir among privacy advocates. So much so that the folks in Redmond on Thrusday announced a change of policy when it comes to riffling through people’s Hotmail accounts. They’re still going to do it, but in the future the company will publish stats regarding its breaking into people’s free Hotmail accounts. In other words, we’ll know just how much they do it.

Meeting Windows User Expectations With Linux

There has been a lot of talk in the past month over the looming doom of Windows XP. Microsoft will be pulling the life support plug on XP on April 8th this year. There are plenty of folks a bit jittery about this and those jitters are justifiable.

Microsoft Windows XP has undoubtedly been the longest running Windows operating system to date. Microsoft has extended the deadline for killing XP a couple of times. Now it appears there will be no stay of execution for the aging OS.

Even with all the publicity and news about the demise of XP, it’s gonna be a problem. A big problem.

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

Time Warner’s Live Chat Doesn’t Speak Linux

Monopolies are like porn. I can’t describe one to you but I know one when I see it. OK, so maybe the term monopoly is technically incorrect in this instance…but not by much. In my area of service it’s Time Warner Roadrunner, AT&T DSL or nothing. While there is competition, there isn’t anyone that can deliver the same speeds as Time Warner, making the price difference between the two services make sense.

The idealist would say that this is a good situation. There are products to serve almost everyone, regardless of income. You get what you pay for and when you pay less you should expect to receive less.

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

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