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Musings From Studio Dave

So now I'm a blogger. Well, this column has been a kind of journal anyway, a chronicle of my life and times in the world of Linux sound and music software, and hopefully it's as enjoyable for you to read as it is for me to write. You can expect little change from the style and content of my previous articles, despite my imminent bloggification, but in accord with the popular definitions of a blog I'll be a little less formal and sometimes a lot more personal. Not that there's much fuel for acrid controversy in the world of Linux sound and music software, but there are issues occasionally and I'd like to speak plainly regarding them. more>>

From 0 to 1 in 100 years

Net Neutrality is a snowball.

That is, it's an idea that started small but grew steadily as it rolled forward, gaining mass and speed as it accreted the passions and opinions of many -- on all sides of the issue. Today the topic is so large and complex that it's hard to find where it began. It has also become so highly politicized that it may sink the telecom reform legislation that carriers have been working on since the last round of reform, in 1996. more>>

The transition away from Microsoftness

It has been months now and I'm still receiving letters about my first rant. The basic thrust of the rant is that Linux developers should be focusing more on innovation than on mimicking what is already on Windows. I stated what I thought were good arguments, and I had many more that wouldn't fit into the space available for my column.

Most readers applauded that column. Some disagreed, and they had some pretty good arguments, too. The best argument revolved around desktop productivity software. They argue that Linux office suites must mimic Microsoft Office to some degree, but mostly with respect to document format. It is undeniable that most business desktop users are running Microsoft Office. It will be impossible to woo these people away from Windows and Microsoft Office unless a Linux suite can make the transition away from Microsoft Office an easy one. You can't do that unless the Linux office suite can read and write all those legacy documents seamlessly.

Put another way, the only way a Linux office suite can beat Microsoft Office is to (essentially) be Microsoft Office, at least until the the Linux office suite has gained enough market share and momentum to unseat Microsoft Office. This is an excellent argument, though not a perfect one. more>>

A chip off the old (RubyConf) block.

A couple of days ago, I posted an antry on my private blog about the size and success of RailsConf, and wondered how it would impact RubyConf. I was pretty sure that Ruby Central was going to keep it small (based on chat's with Chad and an email from David Black. more>>

Time for Coders to Get Political?

When I interviewed Richard Stallman back in 1999, he had some interesting thoughts on the subject of freedom: more>>

I'm going to keep working on the free software movement, because I don't see who's going to replace me, and I don't see how I could do something more important in some other area. The issues of freedom that everybody's heard of are much more important than this - freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free assembly. The reason I'm not more involved with them is that I don't know what to do about them very effectively.

Taking Tabs to the Limit with Tabbrowser Extensions

When you're hardcore about tabbed browsing, Tabbrowser Extensions is the way to go. more>>

System Administration: One Step toward the BIND

DNS is mostly a directory service. Millions of people and computers use one or more directories every day. Currently, so many directories exist in our world that they have become almost transparent to casual observers. You could say it's a directory kind of world out there and DNS remains a big part of it for people who use the Internet regardless of the device. more>>

RailsConf 2006 is done, next up is the RailsConf Europe 2006

Well, the biggest news in the Ruby world this last week has been RailsConf (and of course, all the news that broke there). I didn't get to go, so I've been trying to follow the various blogs about how it went. You know things were good when you see comment's like this one (by Curt Hibbs), "My notes for this talk are completely blank because it was so engrossing that I forgot to write anything down!". more>>

Ruby and .NET - how will they taste together?

Wow, big news to start off my new blog. The Gardens Point GP Ruby .NET development team has announced an initial beta version of their system.

At this point, they claim that it can compile Ruby source into verifiable .Net v2.0 assembly, or it can run Ruby code directly in a compile, load and execute cycle. They do warn that their implementation is not yet complete, although it does pass everything in samples/test.rb (I wonder if they're using the Rubicon/Rubytests stuff for further testing?). more>>

DNS: The Bind Leading the Bind

Hiding beneath the surface of your web browser, email and instant messaging lies a phone book for computers on the Internet. We call it Domain Name System or DNS. It looks up the names of other computers and calls them to chat, shake hands or whatever PCs do with their own kind. more>>

Mashing Up a Commons

Is it possible that, for all our talk about The Commons, the Net doesn't have one yet? Or at least not a complete one? more>>

The choice between bad and worse might get bigger

In the last several days a flurry of postings about a new company called piled up in my email box. Technorati finds 163 new posts on the subject. Google's Blogsearch finds 329. (As of 4:30am Friday morning, which is when I'm writing this.) The pile will get a lot higher before M2Z gets off the ground. Or buried under it. more>>

PIcasa on Linux, so far

Last week in New York, I shared a cab with a friend who works for Google. He was the guy who, with permission from his company, gave me a scoop that had to stay embargoed until 8pm Pacific time tonight (Thursday, as I write this), while I was out having an anniversary dinner with my wife.

What the hell, scoops are over-rated anyway. News is news. In this case, news that Google has released Picasa, its photo editing and organizing software, on Linux. That's before they release it on Apple (if they ever do). I believe this is a first. more>>

Localizing the Broadband Battle

If "all politics is local", as Tip O'Niell famously said, can't we say the same about all business? If so, maybe we should start walking our Net Neutrality talk on our own main streets. more>>

Welcome to my blog

I have a lot of things to say in this new blog, but I am currently neck deep in finishing up my work on the Ultimate Linux Box issue. I hope to get back here later today to post something on the AM2, since the embargo on the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) has expired today. You'll have to wait for the details, but let me summarize my take on the AM2 in these words: Drink lots of liquids before you attempt to read my writeup, because you're going to lose a lot of drool. more>>

Linux System Administration in the New ERA

The success of Mozilla's Firefox and Openoffice.org's productivity suite has breathed life into people's aspirations about Desktop Linux. As a result, the vast majority of articles published today focus there and ignore the strides made on the Linux server. Unlike the Linux server of the past, today's version supports rocket science and its gains far exceed those of the Desktop. more>>

Linux System Administration: Growth in the Enterprise

Trout Creek, Montana hardly seems like a place one would expect to find a center of Linux learning. Please do not tell Mike Weber of SpiderTools that. He spent the last six years developing one of the more robust training facilities in the US. more>>

The Rise of Independent Media

What would happen if anybody could produce radio or TV programming as easily as they consume it?What would happen if the natural limits to broadcasting went away?

Those questions only had sci-fi answers when I was a kid growing up in New Jersey, not far from the swamps later re-labeled "meadowlands", after a sports complex by that name appeared alongside Paterson Plank Road. In those days, back in the '50s and early '60s, I was like any other geeky kid who had better luck with science than with girls: I sublimated unrequited desire for the latter into preoccupation with the former. Since computers were still captive to big business, big defense and big science, I focused my science obsessions on big radio. more>>

Beyond Plug & Play

Monday at 1:00, at the Desktop Linux Summit in San Diego, I'm going to give a talk titled Plug 'n' Pray to Plug 'n' Play: What's it Going to Take? If you follow that last link, you'll find no details. I'm looking for your help with that, fellow Linux Journalistas. more>>

Panning flash

I love this quote from Douglas Crockford: What a Flash intro says to me is "I hate my job. What I really want to do is make films. But they won't let me do that because I don't have talent. So watch this Flash intro." Soon as I read it, I immediately thought of Dack Ragus, whose more>>

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