Month: February 2013
I have been a happy member of the Ubuntu community and user of the product for years now. Today I decided to ask the internet ‘why’. I had my own reasons why but I wondered what Mr. WWW was telling people.
I was surprised. I couldn’t find any short summary. It was all too product-based or too philosophy based but didn’t quite sum up the ‘big picture’ for someone who wanted a quick read. I was tempted to call this post “Ubuntu: Why all the Hype?”
I remember Randall Ross saying somewhere… or writing somewhere something about ‘How Many P’s are there in ‘Ubuntu’?” I searched his blog but was unable to find the P’s. I’ll kindly request that Randall officially publish those or if someone could fire a link to these in the the comments below that will be much appreciated. The P’s that I remember are Philosophy, People, Product which are the key things that got me moved over to Ubuntu and kept me there. I think Privacy might have been one, too.
Even the official Why Use Ubuntu page on ubuntu.com wasn’t really that satisfying for me.
So without further adieu, my spew:
- it doesn’t cost you money, and therefore is not reserved for the elite. A child in a poor country has the same rights to be involved as a rich man
- it is built by the community and therefore for the community. Instead of a boardroom of software execs deciding which new thing they can craft up that will keep the users in bondage to their business model, a grandpa alone in Moosejaw (that’s a real place, by the way) can, with the help of the community, suggest or even write a change to the system and watch it take place before their eyes. They can do software instead of being done by software.
- you remain in control of your hardware that you paid for. Now that I’ve been an Ubuntu fanboy for a while, I find it disturbing to think that the operating system – the thing that has complete control over your hardware – could be shipped to you pre-installed without your consent. The company could limit you from what you could do with that hardware you paid for, or they could give themselves power over it without your consent. I no like.
- you’re not alone. There are people out there who are really excited about Ubuntu and they’ll help you. They want to see you succeed because when you succeed so do they. People are volunteering lots of their time to organize meetups, to write helpful material and to write code to improve everything. You can join or start local groups and you can network online. Instead of clicking aimlessly online you can talk to people.
- it’s unified. it is the only operating system to have unity (hence the name Unity) from a PC, to a laptop, to a netbook, to a tablet, to a TV all the way down to a smart phone (search ‘Ubuntu Phone’). Across all hardware, Ubuntu unites them.
- it works. Ubuntu never fails to amaze me. Whenever I use it, everything just feels and works better. I don’t get paralysing crashes, slow bootups, lag times, etc. Its smooth and it works.
- it’s fast. On one occasion I was forced to use a big slow operating system. For fun I decided to boot Ubuntu from a USB stick which should be slower than the native operating system since it’s running on the external drive. To my surprise it was like someone handed me a new laptop – it was alive again and snappy fast. The proof is in the pudding.
- it’s safe. I challenge you to find any virus written for Ubuntu and if you do, I challenge you to show me that it had any negative impact. I have not so much as thought about viruses since I made the switch years ago. Want the world to see everything you do on your hardware? Do not use Ubuntu!
- it’s both cool and creative. I just love the way that every few months I have something to be excited about. I know that someone in the community has changed something for the better and that soon enough when I upgrade to the next release something will get cooler. Compare that to my crippling and enslaving experience with big proprietary company’s updates when I dreaded the next release because I knew something I paid for in the past would no longer be supported and I would have to pay extra to get it working again.
- it’s simple and easy. My mom and dad are 74 years old and have been with Ubuntu for years. They haven’t experienced any major problems and if they did the community was there to help get it resolved – for FREE
- its growing. Although I don’t have the reference here I was under the understanding that Ubuntu was the fastest growing operating system in the world (reference needed). The point is is that it’s not dying like many other systems and seeing a downward curve.
- its freakin’ awesome. No further comments
I found another P in Ubuntu.
I hope that this has been helpful in converting you from darkness to light and from folly to wisdom. The great part about having a free will is that no one will stop you from smashing your own head against a cement wall if you want to. That’s your right. No one can take that from you (although they probably should).
Do what you choose but I strongly recommend doing your due diligence and doing the right thing wherever you can. Imagine regaining your freedom and how sweet that would feel? It’s empowering.
Join the Ubuntu Project today.
Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Mon, 02/28/2011 – 12:31
So, there I am. Standing. But I wish I was sitting…because I have a certain common bowel-related ailment going on. But that’s more than you need to know. Let’s just call it a ‘stomach ailment’.
For a few hours I endured the usual challenges associated with this ailment but on hour three I recalled an eastern European-sounding man who came into my shop to create the following dialogue:
Man: I want coffee bean.
Me: Ok… Would you like 200 or 400 grams?
Man: No. I just want coffee bean.
Me: Well… we sell beans in either 200 or 400 gram quantities.
Man: How much does cost 1 bean?
Me: ONE bean?? WTF, MOFO! (ok, I didn’t actually say that but I thought it.) Sir, we don’t sell individual beans…but, why do you want just one bean?
Man: It fixes stomach.
Me: OH! Sounds good. Here you go…
But I always wondered if the bean thing actually fixes stomach ailments. I was just waiting for such a day as today.
Update 1: 11:15 – I have eaten, raw, two individual espresso beans.
Update 2: 11:45 – I have to admit it: I’m not thinking about my stomach much and my ‘general energy’ is up. Was it because I haven’t had a coffee yet? Is there a placebo effect kicking in?
Update 3: the next day – Some have inquired about the final results. I must say that I am uncertain as to whether the fact I felt reasonably better a few hours later was because of the beans or not, but I did feel better. One customer thinks it was the placebo effect. I maintain that expresso beans cure all stomach ailments because here I am. Cured.
I invite anyone in our catchment area to sign up for this experiment. I will administer one bean to you as necessary and until you are healed. We will publish the results and you’ll be famous for sure.
Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Thu, 03/03/2011 – 20:20
It started with a gagging feeling in the back of my throat. You know – the one you get if you stick your finger far enough back. Usually it causes a kind of automatic ‘wwwweck!’ sound, but I digress. Then, a kind of dry-eye feeling (if that’s a feeling) arose. Sounds bad, but it’s actually kind of deceptive. The first time I smelled it, it had a kind of floral innocence to it.
For those of you like me who don’t know anything beyond deodorant, patchouli oil is nothing but bad. However, if you research it online, you’ll find that it’s nothing but good! All I can tell you is that if you want to wear that stuff in public, please go and get a permit from the city for transporting toxic material, in addition to gas masks for the rest of us who happen to spend our day working with the public. Don’t make it awkward for us. Just notice the great circle of emptiness forming around you. Then, by using simple deduction ask yourself the following questions:
- Did I fart? No. Ok. It’s not my fart.
- Is the music from headphones bothering them? No. I’m not playing music.
- Did I shower today? Yes. I showered today.
- Do I have body odour? *Sniff* Nope. No body odour (*Note – ask your friend to confirm this one)
No? None of the above? Ok. Then ask yourself:
- Is possibly the cause of the circle of emptiness around me this offensive rare-earth fermented flower oil crap called ‘patchouli’ that I’m wearing?
YES, CHAMP, IT IS! It’s your batch of patch and you shouldn’t wear it in confined areas like…well…in any indoor area within the Canadian borders.
Thank you so much for your cooperation and we hope you can regain those lost friends and the casualties who may have fallen as a result of allergic reactions or excessive gagging causing death.
Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Thu, 04/14/2011 – 08:51
It’s 7:45pm. It’s a rare evening because I’m not at the shop so I’m sitting at my dining room table. My daughter has just been put to bed. Life is good. Life is relaxing. Then, from what must have been the depths of the earth, male voices like what I imagined a middle-eastern uprising might sound like exploded into the night. Sounds like ‘YAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ and ‘F@#$ YAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!’ and ‘WOOOOOOOOOOO!’ resounded and shook my hardwood floor (well, just the top is real hardwood). Then came a stomping sound. Were they marching? How near is this attack to my home and family? Then the slamming of fists on walls and tables. Were they angry? Is this a cult gathering and I am to be their next sacrificial animal, ripe for the slaughter? Did I prepare my will and who will get my classical guitar?
No. These are hockey fans. Or, more precisely, Canucks fans. Why do I distinguish between a ‘hockey fan’ and a ‘Canucks fan’?
Mr. Peter ____ [insert Greek last name of your choice here..like Panagopolous], a reasonable and well-tempered man, explains with his example story:
<blockquote>So this Czech woman arrives in Canada. She doesn’t know what to do but she knows that there is a big hockey game on tonight – Canada versus the Czech Republic. So, she decides to go to the bar and meet some men and watch the game. When she arrives at the bar, it’s empty. She was confused as she was under the impression that Canadians were hockey fans. She found out that the NHL playoffs were on and no one cared about anything except when the Canucks were playing. </blockquote>
I nodded my head in agreement. These Vancouverites missed the federal election debate to watch a hockey game. I immediately thought about the Middle East and wondered if they would miss a national political event that could compromise their very lives to watch a game of..actually, I don’t know what sport they watch there… anyways.. Well.. the point is, I didn’t watch the debate either, but I don’t have any TV connection. If I did, though, let it be known I would have watched Iggy vs the Harpster any day of the week. I might have even let out a gentle ‘woot’ of approval if I saw my side winning.
Thankfully, Mr. Edward Garcia (@edstweets), a local broadcaster for a well-known radio station, helped bring some balance:
<blockquote>Hockey [editor note: Canuck hockey] is the ‘great bringer-togetherer of the people’. Two musicians might not be able to go to a concert together because they do not both like death metal. They are not like-minded about the topic and therefore cannot enjoy the event together. In a similar manner, if you support the Liberals, it is difficult to go to a Conservative or NDP political rally and enjoy the event. You are not in accord. You are not like-minded. With hockey, a Liberal can watch a game a conservative and have a good time.</blockquote>
The only problem is that I can’t seem to enjoy this game called hockey. Believe me. I tried. My dad is a fan of fans. He was born in Winnipeg and played hockey outside on the river (or something like that). He talks about ‘icing’ and ‘body checks’ and stuff like that. But… I just don’t get it.
I like hockey more than soccer, though. I’ve sat back and observed both sports on TV. I even played soccer when I was a kid but the goal post fell on me during a wind storm so I gave that up. But watching sports? Hockey is better because it seems faster. They get more goals in less time so it is therefore better. It has more drama put into a shorter amount of time. It’s like Korean dramas versus north american soap operas.
So this milk delivery dude comes today and the first thing he says is “How about that game last night, eh?” To this I could only reply, “I heard it was pretty good but it sure killed my evening sales at the store.” I don’t want to say “I don’t care about your temporal and relatively meaningless game.” I also don’t want to admit that I didn’t watch it in case my citizenship may be called into question followed my imminent witch-hunt with me as the scape-goat poster-boy (FYI I put hyphens all over the place there because I didn’t know which words needed them).
So, the big question is not so much ‘Why do people get hyped about hockey?’ but more about ‘Should I get hyped about the Canucks?’ or ‘Am I a loser if I don’t get hyped about the Canucks?’
In conclusion, I still don’t give a rats arsenic about hockey or the Canucks but I’m open to people trying to force me into conversion.
PS. [editor’s note: Is it ok to put a PS in a blog?] Someone asked me why I don’t have a TV in my cafe and my answer was because I didn’t want to watch the game.
originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Wed, 04/27/2011 – 13:35
I won’t deny that the first two items in the title were designed to get you to read my article. I actually have no idea how to win friends or influence people but you could try money as a starter.
No – what I’m writing about today is how to predict the outcome of NHL playoff games – and with perfect accuracy. I found it relatively amusing to watch facial expressions when I told my customers that I was writing an article about hockey. This is actually my second article about hockey. As a professional sports writer (I just keep giving myself new titles as I go along here) I have to pump out the articles to keep the readers satisfied. Here is my first hockey article: http://waynetaylor.ca/why-the-hockey-hype/
For the following explanations, I will be using Chicago Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks.
Step 1: Don’t Watch any Hockey
Watching hockey will influence your predictions. You must vigilantly remain unbiased. After all – it’s hard not to feel sorry for the underdog or cheer for a team that lives near you. Since I wouldn’t know a Canuck from a Mighty Duck, I am in a perfect position. Many people ask if I am ‘for real’. When I ask ‘How’d the game turn out last night?” the countenance of most people will drop and they’ll ask if I’m serious. Of course I’m serious. I’m a professional NHL Playoff Predictor (NHLPP). It’s acceptabl to hear information from others, but make sure that you don’t actually participate.
Step 2: Research the Political Landscape of the Two Teams
The Canucks needed to win game seven because Canada has a federal election coming next week. If there weren’t games going on last week, the people would have had to take a serious look at how dismal their voting options really are. They also might have noticed that somehow Jack Layton increased in popularity. Surely he is friends with a few NHL team owners and asked for a favour. “Hey, man. I need you guys to keep these people occupied for another week while I slip in the back door and take a large share of the ridings. There will be tax breaks for professional sports coming down the pipe I’m thinking…”
Step 3: Understand the Business of Hockey (where the $$$ flows)
As an unbiased hockey outsider I’ve noticed that NHL players get paid quite a bit. I’m sure the owners do alright as well. Where does that money come from? I haven’t actually studied this but I’m guessing that the following sources produce most of the revenue and likely in this order: advertising, merchandise sales, ticket sales. It was also explained to me today by a customer that all hocky team owners share the profit from the entire league. If this can be validated, it would indeed substantiate the possibility of top level shoulder-rubbing and the influence thereof. The dialogue might look like this:
Hockey Team Owner A: Hi! I’ve noticed your team is ahead by three games. I think that means all the games stop for us if you win the next game. Do you think it’s possible you could chill a bit for a game or two so we can ramp up some extra revenue? Since we pool the winnings then you’ll benefit from this, too. Sound good?
Hockey Team Owner B: No. I’m not interested in throwing matches for extra money. PSYCH! Of course, buddy! hahaha. Watch how bad we’re gonna play next game. Make sure your wife is watching. It’ll be a lark.
Step 4: Research the Economic Landscape of Both Sides
Chicago had a tough year. The impact of the recession on the auto industry in that place was devastating. They needed some good news coming out of this recession. And good news they got! Look at the mighty comeback! I mean, they almost took the series.
Vancouver has a lot of affluent people and video game programmers. Both of these groups of people seem to be serious hockey fans. They have been waiting many years for a win they’ve been telling me. Well, patience has paid off. They get to go to round two.
The economic landscape of a city can create the necessary atmosphere to play out the pre-scheduled wins and losses as the fans work themselves up into a frenzy.
In conclusion, I’ve hogged entirely too much of your time. As usual, we would love your feedback so tweet us up at @seymourblenz or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Sat, 07/16/2011 – 23:47
I avoided Apple for a long time. A very long time. While everyone was running around snapping up their expensive, locked-down hardware for extreme prices, I enjoyed more open items like Ubuntu operating systems and Android mobile devices.
However, we didn’t have a touch device for home, more specifically, for my wife who periodically wishes to distract our daughter with it. During a marriage-altering blowup, my precious throws in her lack of an IPhone or IPod Touch (or my vehement opposition to its purchase) as one reason why I suck. So, I decide to give my blessings towards the purchase of an Ipod Touch because at least we won’t be stuck on some wackage-package from a cell provider…
My woes didn’t take long to surface. Here they are as I discovered them:
1. You cannot expand the storage memory at all! Like.. no SD slot. Nothing. Further, there isn’t a micro USB input! Could you be any more lame?
2. No wall, 110V outlet power charger. Just the USB charger. I would love to charge for 5 times longer than necessary so please make sure to not include that in the box. 🙁
3. They force you to synchronize with Itunes!!! Like… you can’t seem to move files back and forth without the installation of Itunes. I accepted that, but then I found out the real doozy – you can’t put Itunes on Linux!! Now I’m just fuming. Not only do they lock you out, but they also lock you in! It’s like the jail of jails. You Apple to get in, and you need Apple (or Windows) to get out. So lame. So, so, lame.
4. When I finally got Itunes downloaded and ready to install on my virtual machine in Ubuntu, I discovered yet another thing that sucks – Itunes is one of the biggest most annoying programs I have ever installed! It took me like five years to finally get it installed. I think I saw 4 million registry files being edited 🙁
5. Now that you finally have your precious and highly-proprietary Itunes installed on your Windows (or Mac)(but not any other OS) system, you’ll be pleased to know that the pain is only just beginning. Now you have to become an Apple-Man and get yourself a IAccount. This requires submitting pretty much everything about yourself to Apple headquarters. Apple finalized the deal, after getting all that info from me, with a request for a credit card or some kind of payment information. I assumed that you’d probably have to submit this even if you wanted free apps because they probably have a payment-portal system set up regardless of whether it’s free or not. I’ll find out about that soon.
So, my first two hours of Apple have been poop-lame-sucky. I hope the actual use of this device makes me forget how black my soul got this evening 🙁
PS. Any of you who think this was all ‘ok’ should seriously check yourselves in. I’m here to tell you that THERE IS A BETTER WAY. Make your next device NOT Apple even if it’s just for the stuff I blogged.
And three more un-smilies for the road 🙁 🙁 🙁
Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Thu, 10/06/2011 – 20:38
Mom’s gonna read this for sure so I can’t say anything about her forwarded emails but you know… Moms like to forward stuff to their kids. It’s like social media to them. My mom is great because we’ve been pretty open about what I auto-delete and what I actually read so she pre-filters about 800% of the emails she might be able to forward.
I plan not only to share this content but also to re-read it on occasion. Of course, to make sure you really get that home-cooked mommy flavour, I left the intro with all the exclamation marks and the conclusion that attempts to make you feel like a criminal if you don’t forward it to others.
Got a mom? You can call just copy the link of this article and email it to your her and tell them to forward it to their friends :-0
This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!!
Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!
Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.
“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”
Its estimated 93% won’t forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will, forward this with the title ‘7%’.
I’m in the 7%. Friends are the family that we choose.
Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Thu, 10/13/2011
I found that I was posting this too much and it was annoying copying and pasting all these links, so here is a funkly little static page that has all the funkly little linkies that you can simply short-link and tweet to your buddy and your gramma.
Hope it adds value to your life and helps you win friends and influence people: