Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Digg+Google equals Awesome Knowledgebase!

Digg is a vast database of really, really good stuff. Imagine an Army of Diggers, by the thousands, scouring the Internet everyday, finding the best stories and submitting them to digg. This is a massive, massive resource of information.

Unfortunately, if you're like me, you haven't had much luck with the search tool on digg. So of all the awesome information that's available on digg, it's a shame we can't search through it better, or can we?

That's where our good 'ole friend google comes in...

We can use google.com to search for key terms only on the digg.com site, and reap the benefits of the best information that's submitted to digg! It's easy, check out the examples below. Just paste the search term into google.com, or click the link provided, and you'll be amazed at how easy you'll find what you're looking for.

Click some of the examples below to see how it works.

how to reset windows administrator password site:digg.com
best file recovery utils site:digg.com
install linux site:digg.com
smile site:digg.com
get a job site:digg.com
workout site:digg.com
lose weight site:digg.com
be happy at work site:digg.com
this will make you laugh site:digg.com
computer guru work site:digg.com
improve computer performance site:digg.com
best websites site:digg.com
linux vs windows site:digg.com
cool wallpapers site:digg.com
best admin tools site:digg.com

As you can see... the possibilities are endless!

Thank you digg.com for keeping your vast article database searchable with google(this is very open source like)!!

Thank you google.com for being an awesome search tool!!


Shannon VanWagner
Linux Enthusiast and Digger

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why the Linux Desktop isn't the most popular(yet), and how you can help

As an avid Linux user and promoter, I am frequently faced with the pessimistic viewpoint of the minuscule market share that the Linux Desktop occupies.

And although Linux on the Desktop will continue to move in positive direction of a mainstream Desktop Operating System, I'd like to share my view as to why this process has not been the Mushroom Cloud of expansion that us Linux lovers would like to see it be.

The problem is very simple actually.

The Linux market share is currently limited by the lack of support for it from computer hardware makers.

That's it. Plain and simple.

Since hardware makers do not help make drivers for GNU/Linux, the GNU/Linux community has to use a lot more time to "catch up" in the development of drivers. And if playing "catch up" isn't bad enough, In some instances, the hardware makers make it even harder for Linux, by using some wonky tactics to store pictures on a flash chip for instance (enter the world of Professor Theodore Kilgore and trying to decode the storage patterns of the Jeinlin 'Kidz-Cam'). This lack of fluidity in the availability of some drivers for Linux makes the game makers and many other software makers(it's a trickle down effect) choose Windows because they know that with Windows, a driver will be developed for the hardware, and fast.

So there it is. If you support Linux, you need to let all makers of computer hardware know that they should support Linux as well. And unfortunately this means you MUST BE VERY VOCAL about it! Emails, word of mouth, t-shirts, billboards, airplane banners(hmm, I gotta try that), etc. LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU'RE USING LINUX! DEMAND SUPPORT!

Here's a very simple example of how you can help. Go to your favorite electronics store(i.e., Best Buy, Circuit City, Fry's, etc.) and ask them, "Do you have hardware that supports Linux? And if so, is it printed on the box?". This simple action will start something. And although you may not notice it right there, you have triggered an avalanche. Your words will meet the computer hardware makers, eventually.

Go GNU/Linux! Go Freedom!

Disagree? Bring it(by leaving a comment)!

Shannon VanWagner
HTTP_USER_AGENT: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008061015 Firefox/3.0

(note: the use of the term "Linux" in this article actually means "GNU/Linux" and all respect is meant for both terms and their origins)

Posted Jul 16th, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Open Letter to WebCam Makers - It's time to Include Linux Drivers and show it on your packaging!

So the other day I was making my routine perusal of the computer merchandise at my local retailer (OK so I admit it, I was at Wal Mart).

While walking through the aisle of peripheral devices I was thinking to myself, what is the most problematic device to get working in GNU/Linux? And that's when it hit me... it's USB WebCams.

Linux is arguably the most compatible operating system for just about any type of typical computer hardware out there. What this means is that a great number of all types of devices already work with Linux, ranging from a multitude of CPUs/Motherboards, to wired/wireless networking, to disk drives/RAID controllers, to external drives and media, to audio/video/playback devices, and the list goes on and on. With that being said, when I think of what type peripheral device that is comparatively lacking in functionality and drivers for GNU/Linux, it is the USB WebCam.

So after I inspected every USB WebCam available on the shelf at Wal Mart, the "system requirements" for every one showed Windows, none with GNU/Linux support.

This DOES NOT make me happy as a Linux user!!! These hardware companies KNOW that Linux exists, I'm absolutely sure they do!! SO WHY NO LINUX SUPPORT!!

How long would it take for a USB WebCam manufacturer to make a Linux driver? About a week or so? We're not talking about reprogramming the space shuttle here. What if the WebCam makers recruited the help of the GNU/Linux community?

This much I know for sure. Had I seen a reasonably priced USB WebCam that stated "Linux Compatible, driver on CDROM" in the "system requirements", I would have bought it right there on the spot! Does this mean anything?

There are more people out there just like me. I'm sure of it. It's why Ubuntu Linux is being sold at Best Buy.

Windows is not the only Operating System for the desktop, it's time that companies realize this, and profit from it, and provide more hardware that works with Linux.

So I'll be sending emails to Logitech, Phillips, Microsoft, and any other WebCam maker I can find to ask them to see this blog entry, and more importantly to make their hardware compatible with Linux (and showing it on the box).

Please leave a comment to show support or if you have an idea as to how to get these USB WebCam makers to see this.

Shannon V.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Office Depot Infiltrated by Ubuntu Linux

Have you ever cruised by Office Depot to checkout the new PCs only to findout that the Vista login screen is password protected?

Suffer no more my friend! Follow the steps below and it'll fix you right up...

First, Arm yourself with any Linux LiveCD (checkout http://livecdlist.com), then head over to your favorite computer store, put the cd in any computer that has a cdrom, and reboot the machine to Linux!

The pic above was taken at my local Office Depot around midday.

The cherry machine in the picture has a great monitor, which I was very impressed to see boot right up beautifully.

So I was hanging around playing chess/mahjong/solitaire/etc and then when I was finished, I simply left the Ubuntu Linux up on the screen for the next shopper to enjoy. The Office Depot guy walked by a few times but I guess he didn't quite realize what was really going on.

I am a good samaritan, and kind administrator, and I wouldn't want to leave the next poor soul to experience Vista with a locked screen! Actually I wouldn't want the next poor soul to endure Vista at all for that matter.

So there's my good deed for the day. That was pretty easy.

Of course I didn't click on "install" or delete any files from the native NTFS "hp_factory" partition, doing that would just be uncool (even though Ubuntu would install alongside Windows anyway).

However, I would like to see the salesperson's face though, when he realizes his aisle cap machine with the biggest screen has been visited by the Ubuntu God!

Go Linux! Go Freedom! Go GNU!
(pic credit: Treo 650 - taken by Shannon V.)