Unlike previous blog posts, I’m going to start this one with two exciting tables to get you thinking. In the first table, I increased freedom and in the second table, I decreased it so that we could look at the effect, if any, on other items. Sorry, they are just image screenshots:
Someone sent me over this article written by Mark Shuttleworth, chief of Canonical – the company behind Ubuntu.
Usually, Mr. Shuttleworth writes with excitement, hope, positivity and other such forward-moving adjectives. Unlike pretty much anything else I have read written by him, this article sounded more like a dad who was forced by his disobedient kids to lay down the hard law. Just the tone alone being so different from his usual, caught my attention.
It appears that some unnamed European corporation has taken the Ubuntu code (written for free by many coders and volunteers around the world and maintained by the for-profit company Canonical at their heavy cost of time and money), done a few ‘things’ to it, and published it as ‘their own’. For full disclosure, I haven’t done any of my own research like looking at the notice of claims against them. However, what I’m picking up from the article is that the soon-to-be defendantscontributed little or nothing to the base code that made ubuntu what it is today
- invested little or no money to the ubuntu project
- decreased the quality of the user experience
- harmed the Ubuntu name
- harmed Canonical by means of all of the above
If this is true, it should not be difficult to prove monetary damages for Canonical plus I’m guessing there will be a lot of angry programmers out there who would rally beside Mr. Shuttleworth for screwing up all their volunteer work.
From a bird’s eye view it seems like a suitable analogy for this behaviour would be something like this:
Imagine a grade 5 teacher creating a cool project where the students build a gizmo that’s valuable to the world – let’s say it creates clean drinking water out of thin air. Next thing you know, all the parents and grandparents are excited about the project and start volunteering their time to help build it and make it better. Next thing you know, a company (let’s call them Company A) picks up on the project and realizes that they can help improve the project by funding certain parts plus they can make some money as well because some industries will want an industrial version of these water-makers which is out of the scope of these volunteers time/money to build or support. So Company A starts investing time and money and builds a business around it while continuing to support the kids’ gizmo proliferation around the world. Out of nowhere, Company B, which has not participated in the project at all, shows up, takes the plans that all these volunteers made and improved on over the years at the cost of their time (and at Company A’s expense, too), and starts making their own industrial water-makers. They slap their own brand on it, change one or two small things and start making money. Then problems start happening. They don’t have a volunteer base of countless thousands who can jump in to improve or fix things when they go wrong, so this makes sense. Company B then routes all the problems of their customers to Company A saying “they have support over there, I think…”
I’m guessing that there would be lots of angry kids and grandparents and most people would agree to take action to stop Company B.
The question of this soon-to-be lawsuit will probably hinge entirely on the licensing of the software. Has this European company violated any software license agreements including the free software licenses of Ubuntu? What exactly did they change? Are they guilty of changing the code or are they guilty of not supporting the code? It will be interesting to read the claim, for sure (if you like reading litigation documents)
This also got me thinking about correlation between freedom and regulation. I know that one of the main reasons why myself and others moved to Ubuntu was for the freedom. We didn’t want to be told by bullies like Apple or Microsoft how we are going to be using our hardware and who will be accessing our private information. I started thinking about un-related industries and correlations between different things when you increase or decrease freedom. I thought it would be timely to share the quick charts that I built.
(review charts above again)
As you can see from the charts, it was an interesting exercise. It seems that in most cases clear changes occur in most columns – except one. I could not determine in any instance that quality increased or decreased with the increase *or decrease* of freedom. At a glance you might quickly disagree with my conclusions, but allow me to explain them.
Drinking water: Although you may increase regulation and decrease freedom to do what you want with your drinking water, it is debatable that the government controlled waters with chlorine, fluoride, and who knows what, is better for you that this or that in a free stream of water. The long term jury is still out on this one.
Voting: To clarify I am referring simply to the freedom to vote and having a regulatory system to govern the actual elections and voting procedure. By regulating or not, does it really help improve the final product (the person you are voting for)? Point proven in recent elections in big North American country…
Guns: Perhaps you could say the quality of the actual physical gun might improve with regulation…. I don’t know enough on the topic, but it would seem to me that a nice old man building a gun in his shop could do just as well as a heavily-regulated gun factory.
Religions beliefs: the ‘negative event’ here would be something like a mass suicide with a cult. The Catholic church is heavily regulated, but is the quality of faith and the fruit of believers higher?
Marriage: I was thinking here free-love marriages versus arranged marriages. Although one might think that by choosing your spouse, instead of your parents choosing him/her might yield a higher-quality spouse/match, I believe the jury is still out on this. Look at the divorces in ‘love marriages’, for example.
So when it’s all said and done the only category where I felt freedom had a measurable impact on quality was in the realm of computer code. No one will deny that the fruity computer company typically has typically stable software which works on stable hardware. But on the other hand, very few of its users, when asked, deny that they feel stifled, controlled and possibly even spied on – if not totally ‘stuck’.
And so there seems to be a much more pronounced correlation between freedom and quality in the world of code.
And that also is why this will be a very interesting legal case to follow. Will Shuttleworth be tempted to pull in some of the freedoms of the Ubuntu code base in order to maintain the quality that Ubuntu deserves? Will a task force of lawyers be commissioned to seek and attack low quality Ubuntu publishers much like how a big proprietary corporation might do?
Until now Ubuntu has wowed the world with its ability to stay both free and yet maintain an incredibly high quality final product which I can boldly say is the same and better than competing proprietary systems in every category. The proof of this quality has been in the pudding with fast world-wide growth with more and more everyday users converting 100% to ubuntu and also in the realm of innovation (look it all up yourself because I don’t even know where to begin!).
On the one hand I’m completely in agreement that selfish individuals and corporations should be stopped in their tracks and made to pay for damaging others. On the other hand, I’m also keenly aware that the freedom of the Ubuntu code must remain of higher importance overall.
I find myself favouring the ‘whatever-it-takes-to-make-sure-ubuntu-comes-out-the-winner’ side but I will remain full open to all sides of this story.
I have come back to this awesome comic for nearly 10 years now. I finally had to log it here because it’s worthy.
I will eventually expand this to other areas of tech, but for now enjoy this!
This article on the ARRL website summarizes quite well the situation with ham radio – and radio in general.
Although it is exciting to be part of a club of radio enthusiasts around the world, one must question whether the licensing system on its own is a hindrance both to freedom and innovation.
The basic debate has these two sides:
Restrict Frequencies for Licencees
“By proving skills and taking tests, you can keep a higher quality of person on the frequencies. If we don’t do this we will have CB radio on ham frequencies”
Let Them Go
“By restricting access to the airwaves we all breath and share, you are exerting controls that should not be there – especially on a technology that enables humans to transmit data. By restricting the airwaves you are limiting both God-given freedom of speech but also innovation because the technology remains only in the hands of those who can (and will) exploit it for gain.”
And it’s a very great debate and one worthy of fighting for.
Thinking of buying the next iphone?
Make sure you review this important video to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
If you find it’s not, be sure to research the Ubuntu phone which is built on a totally different philosophy.
EDIT: Sorry, I had one weird ‘-yes’ stuck in that first command a while back but have fixed it and this tutorial works again with copy/paste of commands. Sorry for any inconvenience.
I’ll admit I should probably upgrade my printer but… it’s still alive so I won’t. Problem is that now it’s getting harder to install on Ubuntu. Hopefully this will help someone who is havin similar issues. For me it looked like it was installed and working on 16.04 but it wouldn’t print so I reverted to command line because the HPLIP Toolbox seems to no longer be there in the Software Center…
1 Install the HP LIP Thing with GUI with this command in terminal
sudo apt-get install python-qt4 hplip-gui
2 Run the tool with this command:
3 Next, next, next, next, next, I agree, next….
4 Name your printer in ‘Description’5 Save, send test page (if you want), etc.
5 Save, send test page (if you want), etc.
Hope that helps!
Yes, this is the hard way but seems to be the ‘only way’ right now at the time of this blog. Always first check to make sure it’s not simply sitting in the software center before beginning this tutorial.
No, I can’t figure out why the packages aren’t in the Ubuntu software centre.
All I did to make this tutorial was update the wget link from this fine lad’s blog post so thanks Mr. Ji M
For 32-bit system:
For 64-bit system:
To actually install what you just downloaded on both 32-bit & 64-bit run following command:
(hint: as soon as you have hit the 2.5 part and press ‘tab’ button it will auto-fill the rest then just press enter and it starts)
sudo dpkg -i jitsi_2.5-latest_*.deb
When it’s done doing it’s thing then just hit your super button and start typing jitsi and you should find it. However, mine would not work until I did a software update.
I am not sure the best way to trigger the software update but I did it by going through my dash to
s ‘system settings’ then ‘details’ and then click the update button and upon restarting my machine
i went to the dash, searched Jitsi, opened it and it started working.
Hope this helps because I was pretty surprised to see it wasn’t in apt repositories (ubuntu software center) and more surprised that there wasn’t a tutorial like this as a work around until it was!
Before you begin: Always first check in the stock ubuntu software center to make sure that it’s not simply available there first. As of the date of this post it is not, but I expect it will be there very soon. Do not proceed with this tutorial if there is a one click app in the software center 🙂
1 Go to this link on your Ubuntu phone browser, follow the installation instructions.
2 Scroll down until you see the ‘Open Store’ app
Click ‘install’ and it will show you the 4 steps you have to follow. Follow them. Do them. Love them. However, if you aren’t awesome with difficult stuff, I’ll expand on each step:
- download the openstore thing: click it. It will download. Then at bottom of browser, slide up again and it will bring you back to instruction page
- your terminal app is the black thing on your main home screen of phone (image coming). open that.
- to navigate to your downloads file, in your terminal app, type this: cd ~/Downloads
- for the ‘run the command’ simply copy the pkcon install-local – – allow-untrusted openstore.openstore-team_0… stuff’ to your phones clipboard by pushing and holding. Long slide from the right side of your screen. paste it in your terminal with a long push on screen and then enter key by pushing the keyboard icon lower right.
3 Go back to the link above and scroll down until you see the owncloud file sync app and click the ‘install’ button. It will give you a warning that you are about to kill your phone and ruin your life. Accept this because life is short.
4 Install again (you’ll see an orange install button down a bit after the warning screen)
5 Go back to your home screen of phone and the owncloud app will be waiting for you. When you open it enter your owncloud or nextcloud credentials and server location
From here you should be able to connect a shared calendar and also share files and backup files. I’ll do a quick tutorial on that at my next available minute but hopefully this helps a few people out.
For some reason this is not that intuitive the first time and there don’t seem to be many/any specific tutorials out there. I kept getting a ‘modification fail’ error message or other errors. So, here you go:
1. Log in to your browser-based owncloud/nextcloud page
2. Go to the top left and click the down arrow to access the calendar app
Note: this *must* be enabled first by your admin, if you happen also to be your own admin
3. Grab the caldav link from the … share icon drop down
4. Select the content of the link and copy it to your clipboard (control A/Control C)
Back in Thunderbird Lightning
Note: You must first have the Lightning add-on installed in Thunderbird if yours does not already have it. It should come default but I recall in the past it did not…
Now skip past step #10 in this tutorial, and start at the ‘Back in Thunderbird Lightning’ steps
The key point is that it is ‘caldav’ that you select, *not* ical.
EDITED October 31, 2016
This tutorial might also work on Ubuntu 14.04, I haven’t tried yet.
I love Ubuntu and I love Hangul but I’m not going to deny it – it’s not hyper-easy to get it running on Ubuntu, not because it’s super hard but because there aren’t any helpful blog posts out there to walk someone through it.
By golly, miss molly, that ends today! Let’s begin…
- Hit the super key and type ‘languages’ and then click/open the “language support” icon as per this:
2. Click ‘install/remove languages’ as per this:
English should be selected already (if your mother-tongue install was English).
3. Choose “korean” from the list, then apply, and wait (a really long time sometimes) while it downloads King Sejong and the kitchen sink…
EDIT! Some have reported not finding the Korean option in this list. I cannot explain why this would be, nor have I experienced this, but I would recommend that if this is your case try logging out completely and logging back in and trying again. Let me know if that helped.
Here is where the non-intuitive stuff starts. You’d think doing the above would be all you need but you need to do a bit more.
EDIT! If you have tried this tutorial before, make sure you *log out* here completely and log back in or you might not see the next “Korean (Hangul) (ibus)” option.
4. Go to the top right of the screen where you see English (En) and click that and you’ll see ‘text entry settings’
Now you will English sitting there all alone.
5. Press the + sign and then type ‘korean’ and select it. Then you’ll see a screen like this. Choose Korean (Hangul) (Ibus).
I had some issues leaving the ‘master keyboard’ (that’s a name I gave it) switching with the default (something with the super key) and so I changed mine to Control + space bar. You can do whatever you want by just clicking in the space where the default is and hitting your favourite combo in on your keyboard. When finished just close the window and your changes will be saved.
Remember, this is *not* the hangul-english keyboard language switching combo. This is the keyboard combo that switches your keyboard from the “English only” (En) one to the “Korean with English capabilities” one.
Now, we’re getting close to being able to angle your Hangul, but just one more critical step that will save you the pulling out of multiple strands of hair.
6. You must now either reboot, or log out and log back in again in order to be able to eat your green eggs with Hangul.
You will know that you have successfully reached Hangul-Land when the top right area that used to say “En” is now a colourful Korean swirl like so:
Although you now have full Korean capabilities, you now must use the keyboard combos found within this Korean keyboard in order to switch between English and Korean. The default combo is shift + space bar, and you can try it out now for a fun test. You may, like me, wish to change this keyboard combo to something else. If you do, go on to the next section.
How to Customize Your Shiny New Korean Keyboard with a Custom Language Toggle Keyboard Combo
Click the colourful swirl and select ‘setup’ as per this:
Next, you will see the Hangul toggle key space with the defaults. If you want to change the keys used to toggle between Korean and English, just click ‘add’ and then, even though it says ‘key’ singular in the pop up, you can hit the key combo with your computer and it will work.
*Warning!* It shows this popup when you hit ‘add’ under the Hangul toggle area, which is *incorrect*. It should say ‘hangul’ not hanja here. Both hanja and hangul display the same pop up box so it just needs a bug report to fix this but I’m too tired at the point of writing this blog…
In this case, I used control +right alt key because I remember using something like that back in the day and it felt comfortable. You can do whatever floats your boat.
아이구! 신기 신기! 오렛동안 한국말 이컴퓨터에서 못했어…. 드디어.
Hope this helps you grow in Ubuntu and Korean!
Ubuntu is by far the best operating system in existence. One of the things that hasn’t been broadcast around much is how Ubuntu is also awesome for business.
If you run a business (or work in one) you will know that PDF files are one of the most standard documents that you work with, or would like to work with. Here is a bullet proof list of things that I’m always dealing with and that Ubuntu solves:
- people sending .jpg or .tiff or .png files instead of PDFs (unprofessional but a reality)
- PDF files being way too big which is unfair to bandwidth, especially if someone will be downloading on a mobile (good percentage chance)
- I need to split a bunch of pages, do something, and then glue them back together again and I don’t want to print it all and scan it
- I need to watermark or stamp a PDF with something
- I need to create a PDF from a word processing document or spreadsheet
These are just some of my regular issues, but great news! All of them will be solved for you in this post, once and for all, and for free.
How to Compress a Big PDF File Without Killing the Quality
This one took me a while, but all you have to do is:
- open a terminal (if you don’t know how, click here)
- Navigate with the terminal to where your over-sized PDF file is (If you don’t know how, go to the section on “File & Directory Commands” on this page.)
- In the gobbly-gook that is sitting in step #4 below, change the ‘OUTPUTFILENAME’ to the name you want the resulting file to be named and the INPUTFILENAME to the name of the file that is too big and is sitting in the directory you just navigated to.
- copy this gobbly gook into your computer clipboard AFTER doing step #3 to it. I would recommend pasting it to a separate text editor (like body of an email) first, do your changes, and then re-pasting it to the terminal) : gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/default -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -dDetectDuplicateImages -dCompressFonts=true -r150 -sOutputFile=OUTPUTFILENAME.pdf INPUTFILENAME.pdf
- Copy your updated version of the gobbly-gook to the computer’s clipboard
- Paste it to the terminal with this *different* version of control V. If you use the normal paste, it won’t work. Do this: control + Shift (same time) then press ‘v’ and it will paste to the terminal.
- press the enter key and the process will run
You should now have a smaller PDF file that didn’t lose too much quality. There are other versions of this command above which I found killed the quality too much. This one was great for me.
How to Convert a .jpg or a .tiff or a .png File to a PDF File
- Open a terminal (if you don’t know how, click here)
- Navigate with your terminal to where your .jpg or a .tiff or a .png files are (If you don’t know how, go to the section on “File & Directory Commands” on this page.)
- type ‘convert’ and then start typing the name of the file you want to convert. *TIP: after you start typing the file name, you can press ‘tab’ and it will auto fill. If it doesn’t completely auto fill it means there is another file name there similar so you have to type a few more letters and then ‘tab’ again. This saves much time and errors.
- start typing the name of the file you want the newly created PDF to be named. Likely it will be the same as the photo name which is great and convenient because you can use the same TIP above with the tab button and it will auto-fill it quickly. Caution: if you use auto-fill make sure you change the last three letters to ‘.pdf’ so that it will actually open as a pdf!
- Here is what an example command will look like before you press enter: convert photo_document.png photo_document.pdf
- Press enter
If you know how to do basic terminal navigation, this is truly a lightening fast process and super useful. That said, there is probably a light conversion app out there that does this on Ubuntu and I’d like not to use the terminal if possible so please share
How to Take a Multi-Page PDF File and Split Them into Individual Files
- go to the Ubuntu software center search and get “PDF Sam”
- Use the ‘split’ feature
- Mess around with all the options (I don’t have time to do a full tutorial here)
How to Take a Multi-Page PDF File and Split Them at a Certain Point in the File
- go to the Ubuntu software center search and get “PDF Sam”
- Use the ‘split’ feature
- Make sure you choose the ‘split after these pages’ and the file will ‘cut’ right there. I haven’t tried it but I bet you could put a comma in there after each page number you want to split at and split a whole series of pages….
How to Watermark or Stamp or Batch Adjust Multiple Pages on a PDF in 10 Easy Steps
How to Rotate All Pages in a Multi Page PDF File
I wrote this tutorial earlier for this one here.
How to Turn Anything You Can Print into a PDF Document (ie. Emails, web pages, etc)
I wrote this tutorial earlier for this one here.