Monthly Archives: May 2006

finally mobile again…

So I admit I am a Bromptonaut. This are people who ride a Brompton folding bike. Mine is a T5 from 1995 – and still running. They have great material. Though last year I had a near-accident as on of my cable breaks ripped as I was cycling in direction of red traffic lights 😦 – I was lucky. I now ordered a complete new set of cables for all parts so i do not make the same experience so soon. And today I had my first ride again (“Vinci rides again”. LOL). I missed my bike. I have no experience with other folding bikes – maybe there is something better. There are only three drawbacks I have experienced:

1.) If you carry it with your hands – it can be quite heavy – every kilo less would be nice.
2.) I did not have a folding pedal so one pedal was often not very helpful when I tried to transport it in trains. One time my bike nearly dropped on the head of passenger if not somebody else would have seen and catched it. 😦 So guys: Better put this bike on the floor.
3.) The default saddle was not very good. It is suggested that one should grab the bike oin the saddle, but if you did this the saddle got destroyed very soon.

Nonetheless I could not live without this brompton search, Brompton Bicycle article Wikipedia.

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Why copyleft is essential for Linux

Some people think that for Linux free software under a copyleft license (which forces you to release every changes under the same license) is only one option of many. But it really isn't. Why is that? Because there is really more a choice of if hard- and software development follows the Linux/ free software path, what would mean that Linux at some point gets the support it deserves, or it will not. If still many hardware vednors release closed source drivers and many companies rather release proprietary software on Linuzx and do not give back code, Linux will suffer in that sense that it can not compete with Microsoft and Windows. This is because the progress and the development model of Linux are built to use free software rules. Where companies and users are leaving these road the progress gets halted. So the real "war" is not "WIndows" or "Linux" but it is a clash of software cultures where Linux must convince a critical mass to follow the freedom rules. if it will not Linux will fall back to something "just better as Windows" that will be a bit more open but will not help to get the freedom that would be needed for Linux to provide all functionality to be competitively successful against Windows Vista.

So many people falsely think that a bit of a progress should be enough and that if some more people just use Linux that this would be benefitial and should make us happy. It should not! In an interesting interview with one of the Samba developers I have heard that until today Apple Computer which built the code on FreeBSD has not given one cent of money back to the further development of FreeBSD. So the BSD licensing scheme is mainly helping big companies and Linux would be have the same problems if it would not have the GPL for its protection.

It is often seen as dogmatic if one takes this kind of position, but this is not a position of the pure teaching but rather it is about what is essential of Linux and how we can preserve or extend what was once the successful motto.And many big companies like IBM already see this. The thing is that these GPL rules also encourage companies to share not evene because they must, but because they know that everybody has to do this, so they know the code they give never can be occupied (or stolen) like this once happened to WINE.

So  the purpose of this post is to encourage to act in the sense of the GPL and to not forget what made Linux so powerful.


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Free Software Group in SL

Finally the Free Software Group in SL had its first meeting you can find pictures, descriptions and a chat log here. We were only 3 people but had a really good discussion. Our next meeting is at next saturday at the same place. I hope some more people will come. And i like to vote some fellow promotes/officers that help in organizing events. Our discussion focused around what free software means inside SL, if there could be a free alternative to SL and of a possible FS booth in SL. I see this group as a possible catalysator for further developments. There are other groups like "GNOME Lovers", but I found this not to be that communicative. But communication is important to build community. I would also like to cooperate with NCI in SL at some point and to organize lectures to the use of free software. We should also have somebody giving a talk about free software (maybe from FSF) at some point. Contact me if you are interested in any of the above points.

I have also wrote a little plugin for Moin Wiki that formats SecondLife chats. You can find this under Tools in SecondTux wiki.

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