Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

31 Mar 2009

Desktop Adapted For Grandma

Someone in my LUG posted this today: Shopping delivered to Great Grandma, by Ubuntu Linux. It's a great example why most IT instruction and use fails miserably. People are not taught useful things in a way they can understand and use. Most of the time people are badly taught something that is not useful and then expected to make sense of a complex and badly designed tool. No wonder most of the time people fail.

If people are properly taught how to do something useful and given appropriate tools they do on the whole find it much easier! In this case Grandma managed to get on with Linux having failed miserably with Windows...

This is something I have been going on about for a while... Desktop Adapted for Dad.

28 Mar 2009

Expert Shell Scripting

A few weeks ago Apress sent me some books to review for them. Two of them went out to a LUG member and two I planned to review. Brad sent his first review in this week and I posted my first review shortly after. Both are now on the LUG web site: /BookReviews.

I decided to cross-post some of my earlier reviews to the LUG site to flesh the section out and make it look less bare. It's not easy reviewing a book, my first book from Apress, "Expert Shell Scripting" wasn't that good, it wasn't that bad either but I'm glad I didn't buy it. Some books you really like and some you really don't, a lot are a bit more in the middle...

Any how I hope we've not scared off Apress and they keep sending us books to review. In the mean time I'm going to start on the second edition of "Automating Linux and Unix System Administration", which should be okay - I already own the first edition so I'm not expecting it to be bad.

25 Mar 2009

Thank You Mr Brown

Flash Gordon, former British Chancellor and now Prime Minister has stolen my pension! Because of his blundering incompetence over the years, my pension has lost 30% of it's value in the past year.

I don't normally discuss real world politics on my blog, but I had it with the clueless twits in Parliament. New Labour has ignored all the warning signs of excess debt and as a result allowed a few greedy idiots to bankrupt the country. It's not as if the the now very smug Tories can say anything about it, as Brown has been essentially following Thatcherite policies for the past decade and they have been mostly accusing him of stealing their policies...

Thankfully by the time I retire at seventy, my pension will probably have recovered - unfortunately that's not something people close to or retired now can take any comfort from.

23 Mar 2009

SlideShare Fame

It may only last a few hours but my most recent presentation: "How-To Impress", has been showcased by the SlideShare editorial team in the "How-to & DIY" section.

In two days it's had a quarter of the viewings that my most popular presentation has had in 7 months! Evidently Powerpoint is a better tag than Perl..!

15 Mar 2009

LUG Meeting

Yesterday was a joint Hants-LUG/ Surrey-LUG. It was a bit unconventional in that we didn't have network access but there were plenty of talks and it was well worth going to.

11 Mar 2009

IE8 but no IE9!

If you believe /. IE8 will be the last browser in the IE family, there will be no IE9 as Microsoft are throwing in the towel. IE has been a security nightmare for them and as it makes them no money it's just a constant drain on resources.

What this probably means, is that they have at long last decided to stop hacking on the rotting corpse that is the IE Trident engine, and will probably do a clean write from ground up as only Microsoft can, or more sensibly and less likely just apply a skin to a freely available open-source browser engine as Google and Apple have.

French Pulled Ahead With Open Source

Unlike the UK which gave a knighthood to the head of a company that pays almost no tax to the UK and employes very few people here the French have no problem in throwing out foreign proprietary software and instead investing in something cheaper and better.

Several years ago the French Gendarmerie Nationale started to migrate away from closed source to open source solutions. It's not been a bump free ride but they have now almost completely moved to a Linux desktop solution running a variety of opensource applications that they can switch too with ease as they are now vendor-lock-in free. Best of all they now reduced their IT budget by 70%.

Even if the current Nu Labour government in the UK isn't keen on opensource and saving money, both opposition parties are. The Liberals are pro opensource for both principled and pragmatic reasons. The Tories are only pro saving money but they are the most likely next government which is at least better than the current incumbents - on some levels.

02 Mar 2009

Horses and home

We spent a few days in the country side visiting family. We said hello to the horses, ponies and dogs at the Stables, and enjoyed the mild weather and not having to do anything.

On Thursday we returned to Paris so that we could go to the big agricultural show in Paris on Friday: Salon International de l'Agriculture at the Port de Versailles exhibition centre. Lots of stuff and very busy.

Saturday was unseasonably mild, close to 20°C in central Paris - a nice day for a stroll at the Jardin des Tuileries and on Sunday we came home..