Archive for April, 2008

0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM94311MCG wlan mini-PCI (rev 01) for GNU/Linux

EDIT2: There’s another post for a working explanation to make a broadcom card work with free software.

EDIT: The method I had explained in this post made use of nonfree firmware. Thanks to Broadcom’s lack of cooperation this wifi card can’t be used nowadays with a Free Software OS.
I’m a Free Software advocate so I decided this post had no place in my blog. If you hate freedom you can ask Scroogle how to make this card work, but the best thing to do would be to complain to Broadcom and refrain from buying from them ever again.

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Ututo XS 2006 Vivo

I have recently been testing some Lignux distros: it’s not that I’m not happy with Kubuntu it’s just that I want a distro where I’m in more control of the contents installed and since I consider myself a kind of Lignux power user (keywords: “kind of”) I don’t think I really need ‘Linux for Human Beings’.
(Just to be fair, I’m not saying Kubuntu is bad, I’m saying that Kubuntu usually just ends up being Ubuntu’s ugly stepsister).

The lack of more interest on Kubuntu from the developers and the need for a distro that gave me more control made me decide to start trying new distros. It is weird that after so many years of being a Lignux user I only tested 2 distros: Slackware and Kubuntu.

So the first distro I decided to test was Ututo.
Ututo, a small lizard that lives in Salta, Argentina, gave its name to the Ututo project. From the Ututo project came the Ututo GNU/Linux distribution which, to this date, is one of the few that follows the 4 rules of software freedom by RMS.

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Stallman said in an interview:

All of the commercial distributors of the GNU/Linux system going back something like 7 or 8 years, have made a practice of including non free software in their distributions, and this is something I have been trying to push against in various ways, without much success. But, in fact, even the non commercial distributors of the GNU plus Linux operating system have been including and distributing non free software, and the sad thing was, that of all the many distributions, until recently there was none, that I could recommend. Now I know of one, that I can recommend, its called “Ututo-e”, it comes from Argentina. I hope that very soon I will be able to recommend another.

[This interview is a little old, now there’s also gNewSense which is free according to the 4 freedoms.]

Stallman’s support for Ututo is so that Ututo’s ISOs are hosted by FSF.

Ututo comes compiled for many architectures, which makes it faster for most computers. It comes with a choice of KDE, Gnome, IceWM, or Fluxbox and it has Beryl too :S It has its own package manager (uget) and the repos do __not__ include any proprietary software.

Now, what I tried was the Live CD from 2006 not the latest installable version (2007) and the 2006 Live CD comes with Gnome and IceWM. So, in case you were wondering… yes, I have been using Gnome for a while (but if I decide to install Ututo I will install KDE, of course).

I should also point out that Ututo was one of the first distros to produce a working live cd, something that was seemingly impossible at the moment.

Overall I really enjoyed the Ututo experience and I like that it provides the freedom that all the other distros lack. And who needs Flash anyway? Gnash won’t let me watch YouTube videos, but I don’t really care, I can download the FLV and watch the videos with my media player of choice.

Here’s link to a screenshot of the Ututo XS 2006 Vivo. To find out more about the Ututo project (which includes much more than just the GNU/Linux distro) you can visit Ututo’s website.

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ooxml, the April fools’ standard

I was reading /. to find out those juicy April Fools’ news and I read this article [0] that says that ooxml was approved by ISO. I wasn’t 100% sure it was just /. trying to be funny, but I didn’t believe it at first. Then I read another article in KDE Dot News [1] saying that KDE had voted “yes” on ooxml after receiving an anonimous donation. That allowed me to breath again: the ooxml article in /. __had__ to be a joke!

Well, I woke up this morning to face the sad reality: ooxml had, indeed, been approved by ISO.

I read the official ISO press release [2], I read the report article that appeared in nooxml [3] which called ooxml the banana standard and had nice logos that say ‘MISOSOFT’ and ‘ISO, A division of Microsoft’ (I would put the images here, but I try to adhere as much as I can to the semi-official, semi-serious ascii ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the web [4]).

I even read the comment by Idiot de Icaza on his personal weblog [5] where he acclaimed ooxml (not surprising, after he called it a “superb format” [6]).

Some people would say that ooxml turning into a standard doesn’t change anything for free software, but it does. ISO and all its standards have been discredited: if we complain about this new standard then we lose, because then all of our standards mean nothing (ODF); if we don’t complain, then we lose, because ooxml has no opposition.

I wish I could use ODF at all times, but I still have to exchange documents with people that don’t even know what ODF is and since M$ Office doesn’t work with ODF, I’m forced to save as .doc (which I hate doing, not only because I hate .doc, but also because I don’t like OO.o a whole lot; I’m a KDE guy, I’m all about KOffice).

So, yeah, ooxml is a standard now, even after all the corruption involved in its voting. The Free Software lovers should start a bigger campaign to promote OO.o, along with Sun, then people may not even use ooxml, regardless of its standarization.

[0] http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/01/2229207
[1] http://dot.kde.org/1207000153/
[2] http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1123
[3] http://www.noooxml.org/
[4] http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~ghelman/ascii.html
[5] http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Apr-02.html
[6] http://groups.google.com/group/tiraniaorg-blog-comments/browse_thread/thread/2a07b8b50038d8c8/d582162af2d63d57

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Jamendo will charge for their music

After the major failure with their new “orange” layout (that still doesn’t work with Konqueror), Jamendo has surprised the free software community and freedom fighters by issuing a press release stating that they are going to start charging 20 Amerikan dollars per album downloaded.

One of their admins said: “We tried to make people donate to keep this service free, but we are not Radiohead and we can’t even make enough money to maintain our severs”.

EDIT: just look at the date 😛

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