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Posts published in “Reviews”

Jono Bacon Asked Google Home ‘Who Founded Linux?’ You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!

Excuse the hyperbole, but we’ve always wanted to use a click-baity sort of headline — just to see if they work. That being said, we’re not going to spoil the fun. To find the answer, you’re going to have to watch the video. Don’t worry, however — bad things rarely happen when Linux is involved.

Jono Bacon Google Home Linux

The Screening Room

We found this short eight minute video quite by accident while searching through the FOSS Force News Wire looking for something else. In it, we find the well known open source community manager, Jono Bacon, at home, apparently alone and in his kitchen, recording himself as he plays with his newly acquired Google Home device. This surprised us, as we didn’t know he actually had a home. It seemed to us he spends all of his time in his office, and we figured he lived there. We were also surprised to find him alone. A community manager, we figured, is absolutely always surrounded by his community.

WordGrinder: Distraction-Free Writing From the Command Line

WordGrinder is an old fashioned command line program that doesn’t try to do a lot of things. Its purpose is to get the job done, and stay out of the user’s way while doing it.

WordGrinder not MS WordWordGrinder not MS Word

A few months back while perusing the latest news from the open source media, I came across an article listing five favorite command line tools, or some such nonsense. It turned out that one of the items on the list was a command line “word processor,” WordGrinder, which the article’s writer claimed to be an uber-easy way to write from the command line.

As it happened, I’d been looking for that very thing, so I immediately looked in the Mint/Ubuntu repositories, found it, installed it and took a look. Unfortunately, at the time I was busy, facing a couple of deadlines, so when I couldn’t figure the first thing out about it in five seconds or less, I closed the terminal and went to Bluefish to finish an article I was writing, while vowing to return to look further into WordGrinder as soon as I finished.

Charlie Reisinger’s ‘The Open Schoolhouse’

The Screening Room

Charlie Reisinger is the IT Director of the Penn Manor School District, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He recently finished writing a spellbinding book describing how his school district decided to adopt open source software and methods. When reading this book, I sent an email to Charlie saying: “This book reads as if it’s your doctoral thesis — it’s a multiyear capstone project.” Charlie responded, “It felt in some way like that while writing the book.” Charlie went on to tell me that the reason he wrote the book was to help other school districts make the plunge into open source. “Come on in – the water is warm!” is the reassuring tone throughout the book.

Here is my video review of this book. Note — at 27-minutes long, it’s much longer than my other video book reviews. I had no choice but to give the book its due. It’s a masterful piece of storytelling that offers hope to students and teachers everywhere.

A Nonreview of Linux Mint Xfce 18 ‘Sarah’

With Linux Mint Xfce 18.1 “Serena” due to be released any day now, we decided it was too late for a full review of Mint Xfce 18.0 “Sarah,” and opted instead for this down-and-dirty “nonreview.”

screenshot Linux Mint Xfce 18 "Sarah"screenshot Linux Mint Xfce 18 "Sarah"
A peek at Linux Mint Xfce 18 “Sarah” as we see it daily at FOSS Force.

The FOSS Force Review Nonreview

Oh, drat. I’ve done gone and procrastinated too much again.

Shortly after Clem Lefebvre and his buddies released the Xfce edition of Mint 18 — that’s “Sarah” for those who prefer names to numbers — I installed it on one of the laptops I keep at the office so I could write a review. I even took the laptop with me to All Things Open in late October to give it a good workout — which I did writing my coverage of the conference for “another website.”

I never did get around to writing the review, but it’s always been on the back burner. I’d get it written before the next version of Mint is released, I figured.