Things I’ve learned from Geekdinner

Project Mayhem 2 Comments »
  • Aparently I’m the only one who bothers with the “creative” nametag thing. I did a self-refering-faceboog-thingy for a nametag:
  • When you meet a geek, hold on to your glass tightly, someone might hit it and it will break into a million pieces, leaving the floor full of glass and beer
  • When this happens, the waiters have no idea what to do
  • When people know regexes, you should stand back
  • There are no examples of any software with good flow and usability
  • Radios with few buttons are cool (I think I made a good choice a few weeks ago)
  • The new generation of terrorism will attack infrastructure, like the breakage to the Internet cables to the far east recently
  • Tania is damn good with slideshow kareoke- and she has a surname
  • If you own four companies, you have to have more images of your logos in your presentation than content
  • I didn’t get a chance to walk to the guy who wore the “I’m a Mac” t-shirt and say “Hi! I’m Linux!”, maybe I should leave that to the nice-looking women
  • The Geekdinner team did a good job and pulled it off nicely. Kudos to them.
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70 000 Ubuntu workstation migration for French Police

Free Software 6 Comments »

The French paramilitary police will be migrating 70 000 desktops from Microsoft Windows to Ubuntu. They plan to change 5000-8000 desktops this year (all new machines will run Ubuntu), and 12 000 – 15 000 over the next 4 years, and completing the migration by 2014.

The reasons behind the migration is reduction in cost, diversifying their software suppliers and the advanced state that Linux systems are in today. In recent years, they have already started using, Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird which should smooth out the transition for the users quite significantly.

They estimate that migrating from Microsoft’s products will save them about €7m a year. That’s a lot of money. It’s great to see that governments all over the world are deciding to spend their money better in their own country rather than spend it on licenses that will be worthless in less than a decade.

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23 000 Linux Desktops for Filipino schools

Education, Free Software 1 Comment »

13 000 Fedora Core desktops and 10 000 Ubuntu desktops will be rolled out in Filipino schools. The 10 000 Ubuntu machines will run a mixture of Edubuntu and Kubuntu, and will form part of the next phase of the roll-out.

For more on this story, read the Computerworld article, which contains some very weird quotes.

I’m quite interested in how they will use these computers to deliver education, what kind of content will be shipped to all the schools and what kind of connectivity they will have. I just hope they make an effort to learn from other deployments like these, and that they contribute their lessons back to the rest of the free software / free education community.

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Nokia to buy Trolltech

Free Software, Gadgets 6 Comments »

Wow, Nokia is about to acquire Trolltech. Some people might be worried about the future of QT, but in an open letter to the open source community, they state:

“… We will continue to actively develop Qt and Qtopia. We also want to underline that we will continue to support the open source community by continuing to release these technologies under the GPL …”

I’m currently running Qtopia on my OpenMoko, and I think it has loads of potential. I wish Nokia would create a drop-in Qtopia replacement for Symbian, which I currently have on my E61. Phones deserve to have free software too!

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Becta advises against Windows Vista in Britain schools

Education, Free Software 3 Comments »

Becta (the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency), which governs technology use in schools, has advised schools not to upgrade to Windows Vista or Microsoft Office 2007. The reasons for this suggestion revolves around new licensing restrictions and higher costs, as well as compatibility issues in Microsoft‘s new products. Furthermore, they also advise schools to investigate Linux-based products and

Personally, I find it strange that Microsoft is continuing to alienate the people that should matter to them most- their customers. Every few weeks, it seems that there is an entire new industry that is angry and frustrated with Microsoft. Even Bill Gates seems embarrassed about Windows Vista. I truly feel sorry for him (empathetically), he spent such a large amount of energy and passion building up Microsoft, and then his underlings make such a mess of it. I guess that’s the price you have to pay for being greedy.

I personally believe that Free Software is the only logical choice for mass-deployment in education environments, and also that pretty much everyone is going about it the wrong way currently, but that’s another post…

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Wikia Search

Free Software 3 Comments »

Earlier this week, the Wikia wiki-based search engine launched it’s first public alpha. For a search engine in such an early stage, it’s really quite nice. It’s user maintained, and I like the mini-summaries it provides for your search results. It would be nice if there was a whiteboard for each search result, where users could make quick notes about their search results and findings that would benefit other users.


I also like the URL’s more. “” looks much less intimidating to users than “” or “”.

It also has nifty profile pages for its users/contibutors, which seems similar in some ways to the Facebook profile pages.


While Wikia Search has come a long way in a short time, the actual search content need a lot of work. But if you consider the rate at which Wikipedia is growing, and if Wikia Search only grows half as fast, it might be everyone’s favourite search engine quite soon.

Read more about the Wikia launch on Tectonic.

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KDE 4.0 in Debian and Ubuntu

Free Software No Comments »

Tomorrow is the release of KDE 4, one of the most eagerly awaited software releases for 2008, and it’s interesting to see how the various GNU/Linux distributions are coping with it.


In Debian, they will be shipping with KDE 3.5 (most likely 3.5.9), since KDE 4 will not yet ship with all the components that a user would expect. The biggest part that is missing is the Kontact groupware client suite. Debian users will however, be able to download and install KDE 4.0 from experimental. Read all about it in the debian-devel-announce post from the Debian Qt/KDE team, I enjoyed the part at the end:

P.S.: Anyway, you never know what the future will bring, we will review our decisitions with respect shipping KDE 4 in Lenny in a few months.

So anything possible, I think it would be really cool if a user could easily install KDE 4.0 in Lenny if they wanted to.


Ubuntu (or I should rather say Kubuntu), is more future orientated, and follows its philosophy of release early and release often. The Kubuntu team will maintain both KDE 4 and KDE 3.5 packages for Ubuntu 8.04, which means that users get easy access to both the latest cutting edge software, and they get to use the rock solid, tried and tested version if they need to do so. Future Kubuntu development will however, be focussed on KDE 4, read the post by Jonathan Riddell to the kubuntu-devel list for the details.

The downside is that the Kubuntu packages for 8.04 won’t fall under the Canonical LTS (Long Term Support) banner. I don’t think this is a problem though, within a year we will probably see a KDE 4.1 release, which would be much more complete and bullet proof, and I doubt anyone would actually want to run KDE 4.0 after 18 months when there would be vastly superior versions available. I think both these distributions made sane decisions. I’m not really following what the other distributions will be doing, but I’m sure there will be lots of noise about it after tomorrow :)

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