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A Bit About Me

Posted 11-30-2008 at 09:52 PM by penguiniator

I dove head first into Linux without a life jacket in 2001. I was a transit bus driver at the time and left myself no option for returning to Windows, so I had to succeed, or fail trying. I started with SuSE 7.1 Professional and moved through Red Hat 7.1/7.2 and Mandrake 8, 9, and 10 before returning to SuSE 9.something. I ditched SuSE when they did their deal with Microsoft and moved to Slackware 10. Later I switched to Kubuntu. Now I use Ubuntu 8.10.

I never had formal computer training and did not know anyone with such training when I started with Linux. As I said, I was a bus driver. Now I work as a freelance web developer and use Linux for most of that work. For work I use, or have used, Quanta Plus, GIMP/GAP, Image Magick, ffmpeg, Kate, and many custom shell scripts to automate tasks.

My interests here include open file formats, free software adoption trends, and shell programming.
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  1. Old Comment
    I started tinkering with Linux (suse) in2001 as well but I left my options open. I have just switched completely to Ubuntu Intrepid after an 18 month weaning off Windows period. I also use Ultimate Edition.
    Incidentally, what deal did suse cut with Microsoft?
    Posted 12-01-2008 at 04:02 AM by Brianret Brianret is offline
  2. Old Comment

    SuSE ~= Novell

    I should have said I ditched SuSE after Novell did its deal with Microsoft (SuSE is now owned by Novell). The deal was a patent cross-licensing agreement which Microsoft characterised as protecting Novell's customers from more than 130 patents it claimed Linux violates. Here are the details from several sources, including both Microsoft and Novell, as well as Wikipedia and the Boycott Novell website:

    Microsoft has since used this and other deals to legitimise their vague patent claims against Linux. When negotiating with companies that have weaker portfolios, this could possibly allow Microsoft to exact royalties from them and to undermine the spread of free software. This implicitly puts Linux distributors in its litigious cross-hairs. All of this with only the threat of suits for patents it refuses to disclose.

    Meanwhile, Novell tries to walk a fine line between supporting free software development and promoting theirs as a better version of Linux by claiming their version is patent protected and implicitly casting aspersions on other distributions, specifically Red Hat, who have refused to enter a similar agreement with Microsoft. This places Novell in a difficult position, at once working closely with Microsoft and marketing its agreement with Microsoft as a competitive advantage to potential customers, while implying that other distributors and developers themselves are vulnerable to litigation, which alienates the developers who supply the software it sells.

    This agreement between Microsoft and Novell led directly to specific provisions in the GPL version 3 concerning patents:
    Posted 12-01-2008 at 06:18 AM by penguiniator penguiniator is offline


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