OK... so.. July 4th is commonly known as independence day here in the United States. I guess about 230 years ago or so we fought some big war to tell England to leave us the hell alone. Of course, that brings to mind all kinds of questions as to how or why we got to where we are today and how we REALLY lost sight of what we were trying to do from here.. talk about scope creep! ha
Anyway... I declared Independence on the 4th of July. I officially removed (or scaled down) my use of Microsoft software from all of the machines that I have direct control over. I was hoping to be able to make a post on the evening of the 4th saying how smoothly everything went and how I don't need Microsoft at all....
But of course... the best laid plans didn't go as I would have hoped. The biggest culprit: Hardware support. I finally managed to get all the machines running Foresight Linux... some were clear sailing.. but the biggest problem was the new machine I have that's about a month old. First, nvidia's Linux support is mediocre... and it took some manual work to get X windows working, but with any luck... this issue will be solved within Foresight so that the next person who tries to do an install will not have the same issues. Yay for open-source projects being agile and able to react to issues as they arise and provide solutions to the community. I really can't say enough about Foresight and really think that they managed to solve the package management issues and now its just a matter of polishing the little things that can go wrong that make BIG headaches for non-technical people. Its getting there!
The other problem is... the shiny new Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi that I finally upgraded to.... has NO Linux support. NONE. Some attempts are being made to reverse engineer a driver, but Creative is planning on taking the path that nvidia has taken... a closed source binary driver. I guess its better then nothing, but really... who cares about the internal calls that your drivers makes to your hardware? If Creative's competitors are really determined to get their hands on these DEEP DARK secrets, they can dedicate some resources to disassembling the drivers and then producing copies of Creatives Hardware at cheaper prices.
When will companies learn that the path to success is through openness and sharing. Wasn't this the problem that Apple had back in the 80s? Superior hardware and software paradigms, but a closed platform. If you didn't pay Apple royalty fees, you couldn't make hardware for their machines. The reality is, if apple would have allowed people to create hardware for their platform, they would have dominated the market, and there would have been all kinds of people trying to produce cheaper harder that was more reliable. By closing your hardware interfaces and forcing it to work with only your software, its only a matter of time before someone produces a lessor product, that's of acceptable quality for significantly less cost that will wipe your product out.
The same argument applies to Record Companies, Movies Companies, Microsoft, Sony, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and any other area where people are trying to product their business through secrecy, legal action, or encryption and trying to dictate what people can do with the products that they purchased. The irony is, without innovation... there wouldn't be a Music/Movie/Technology industry.
Whoa.. quite a tangent rant.... only other point is.. I wanted to note.. as of last night... my qwerty typing speed is between 85-110wpm, depending on the text... I did my first exercises on a dvorak keyboard... and weighed in at a whopping 16wpm, with really short easy words. Yeah.. this is going to take some time.. but I think its worth trying to see what ends up happening with my typing skills.
The life and times of an atypical average guy.
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