Monday, April 28, 2008


No...not stoners. Computer users.
In my IT classes, IT message boards, and other areas, I found that many IT people often blame users for computer problem. The infamous ID ten T error (IDIOT), or "the problem is between the computer chair and the keyboard". I disagree. Users aren't idiots, and they shouldn't need to speak binary to use a computer.

Windows is a excellent system. Yes, I actually said that. Windows is easy to use, easy to install software, and very user friendly. The problem I have isn't with Windows. I have a problem with Microsoft's business practices, especially those practices that led to a 95% market share (probably more, actually. I also have a problem with the code for Windows being closed source, and not just in the ethical sense. I feel safer when source code is 'peer reviewed', so-to-speak (or write). From what programmers tell me, much of the closed source software is closed, not just for business reasons, but because the code is so full of garbage the programmers would be embarrassed to let it out.

Windows is an excellent system because is easy to use. Between Ubuntu, Mac OSX, and Windows, Windows is probably the easiest. I'd say Ubuntu would be next, but I'm sure I'd get heat from the Maccult people, so I won't say that. I'll just think it. (Thinking) OSX is an excellent system, and also easy to use, but not as easy as Windows. Microsoft has invested a lot in research for usability, and it shows. With millions of computer users, usability feedback is readily available.

All the system copy each other's 'usability' ideas. Window managers, desktop layout, file managers, Graphical User Interfaces, etc. While some of the companies may like to think they have software patents on some of the ideas (like Microsoft and double-clicking the mouse) those patents will eventually fall when challenge. That, or the companies will realize that the USA's stupid patent laws are holding innovation back.

Mac OSX has some usability features that help users. Primarily, for most tasks, there is only one way to get something done. I call this the 'franchise' approach.

McDonald's tries to create all it's equipment so that you have to try to mess up. Ideally, everything at a McDonald's would be so easy to use, the user wouldn't need an education to perform the task. Mac OSX seems to follow this model, and for the most part it works well.

I use and recommend Ubuntu for two reason:
  1. Of all the Linux distros, it's the most usable for the common person. I know the PCLinuxOS people will complain, but I'll remind them of one thing: PCLinuxOS is rpm based. Nuff said.
  2. Ubuntu, like most Linux distro, give you the ability to lock-step usability like Mac OSX (with Gnome), or have incredible variety and choice like Windows (with KDE). Gnome provides choices too, but Gnome is easier to use for the average user.
The reality is; what we now know as the Graphical User Interface will change drastically in the next few year. Windows, Mac, and Linux will progress fast. Usability will increase also.

The difficulty of computers today is NOT the users fault.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bohemian Rhapsody on Acoustic

Yes, I've been a bit off the Tech and Linux stuff lately. Final Project, and Finals, don'tcha know:

Thursday, April 17, 2008


For years, I've told this story. I got the date and place wrong, but now I know the details. I got the words right, and to this day I can't repeat them without a tremor in my voice:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I know this isn't tech relevant, and you've probably seen at least one of these videos, but I just like them:

Monday, April 14, 2008

WarGames: The Dead Code

I'm actually looking forward to this:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Every so often I read complaints about how the Ubuntu name is spread too thin. Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Gobuntu, Fluxbuntu, nUbuntu. There's a few more, but that's not the point.

Some people say it should be; Ubuntu Gnome Edition, Ubuntu KDE Edition, Ubuntu XFCE edition, Ubuntu Educational Edition, Ubuntu Server Edition. The server edition actually exists, but the others were already named above.

Okay, Ubuntu and Linux folks: BUNTU is the base name, if you didn't notice. So there's no need for that Ubuntu (insert favorite desktop) Edtion.

However, I propose changing the name to Boon2. We could have, OoBoon2, KooBoon2, ZooBoon2, EDooboon2. That way, people could have their base name. Then again, some would clamor for Boon2 Gnome Edition, Boon2 KDE Edition. You get my point. Freaking naming Nazis.

I don't really care how they name it.

Speaking of Naming
I understand the point of GNU/Linux, but like most others I refuse to say, "Ganew, slash, Linux." I don't say, "FreeBSD slash Darwin slash Aqua"when I mean OS X, or "EnTee plus Windows." The work done on GNU is a very important part of any GNU/Linux distro, but I prefer to call each by their own name.
OS X (Mac is the hardware)
Puppy Linux
Damn Small Linux

Those are ones I use. I don't go around explaining, "Ubuntu is a Linux distribution." I tell people, "I use Ubuntu on most of my computers", to which the usual response is, "What?" When I talk about Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, I don't bother explaining about Linux. Linux is the underbelly of those distribution.

Of those operating systems above, only Puppy and Damn Small have Linux actually in the name. If Linux is part of the name, then it should be called ____ Linux.

Most people who own a Volvo, Mercedes, Audi, or BMW don't care all those cars are assembled at the same plant in Belgium, and share some of the same frames. Most people don't care that almost all laptops come from three different plants, two in Taiwan, one in China. All they care is that the Operating System, car, or laptop works. Maybe they should care (I do), but they don't.

Most people don't know, and for them most part don't care, that alternatives to Windows and OSX actually exist. They don't even care most of them are free. But upcoming economic conditions may change that soon. When people don't have the extra money to spend on constantly upgrading to a newer, faster computer, systems like Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, and Damn Small Linux will be very important.

So, call your system whatever you want. I'm not a naming nazi.