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Mark’s Interview at DerStandard.At April 18, 2007

Posted by Carthik in interviews, news, ubuntu.

Mark talks candidly about Ubuntu. Turn to page 4 for where Mark describes who Linux is good for, and what makes him think Linux is not ready for commercial pre-installed computer sales. Sensible, rational, and very lucid.

The rsync Download Post is Gone April 18, 2007

Posted by Carthik in ubuntu.

The rsync download/update cdimage article I wrote is no more. Both Jonathan Riddell and Matt Zimmerman left a comment on the post to say that the excessive load caused by rsyncing users would kill the rsync server. So while this might have worked for one or two people, it won’t work if everyone tries it. I believed the best thing to do was to make the article “private” so as not to cause undue stress on the servers – I love servers and won’t have them thinking bad of me. I like humans too, and am sorry for posting a “solution” that was flawed.

The right thing to do would be to download the image through bittorrent the day Feisty is released. We have to be patient. 🙂

An Interview with Mark Shuttleworth on Talk Radio 702 April 13, 2007

Posted by Carthik in commentary, interviews, ubuntu.

There have been quite a few podcasts featuring Mark Shuttleworth recently.

First there was the interview conducted by Questions Please with questions from ordinary decent people solicited on the Fridge. Then there was the Linux Action Show podcast.

But there is one other interview that seems to have missed all the radars so far. South Africa’s 702 Talk Radio has a podcast in two parts of Mark being interviewed by Aki Anastasiou. Since it is a little difficult to find the links to the mp3 files on the page with the podcasts, here they are: Part 1 and Part 2. Unlike the other podcasts, this one is hosted by a professional radio host. I believe 702 Talk Radio is a regular full-service radio station. I enjoyed listening to the interview last night, where talk ranges from space travel to Ubuntu on the desktop to philanthropy.

I learnt that Da Vinci said what he did about flight, as featured on the wonderful quote on Mark’s homepage before any man had flown. It is obvious once you realize that there were no flying machines in Da Vinci’s time. I love it when I realize something that is obvious and go “D’oh” mentally 🙂 Mark’s expectations for Ubuntu are so rational, it amazes me – I love it that he does not “oversell” Ubuntu as something it is, in his view, not. I find this a welcome change from the normal “My foobar is the best thing that has happened to the planet, evar!” kind of marketing talk.

Two readers commented – and I even received one email – saying more frequent posts of the kind that I have written recently are welcome – that I should not limit myself to writing only helpful tips. That is what encouraged me to write about this interview.

Enjoy the interviews!

Ad or Not? April 12, 2007

Posted by Carthik in ubuntu.

Well, it turns out, the logo misuse may have been the magazine’s fault. I received emails from the institution that we thought was advertising in the magazine, and someone at the magazine. It was not an ad for an institution. I just got a couple of emails, and so, since I have no intention of getting someone a bad name without reason, I edited the post and removed some links. I would publish the emails I received but after some thought, since the senders had no clue they would be published, I won’t publish them.
Sorry for the interruption in your regular planet programming 🙂
End of Transmission.

Ubuntu’s Logo Copied By ReviewIt Mag April 12, 2007

Posted by Carthik in Friends Etc., snippets, ubuntu.

The latest edition of Reviewit Magazine features the Ubuntu Logo on the 37th page. (via Digg). Also, as Jeff points out, they also use imagery from the Fedora stable(the bubbles), and so it is twice lame. Thanks for pointing these out, Jeff.

ReviewIt magazine copies Ubuntu Logo

Earlier there was that offending MSN Spaces Logo which looked close but wasn’t a 100% copy. That logo is not being used by spaces now, which is now called Windows Live Spaces.

So what do we do about blatant trademark violations? Somehow, the idea of a corporation that aggressively pursues copyright and trademark violation does not fit in with Open Culture. That said, it is essential to maintain the integrity of Ubuntu’s branding. I suppose since the magazine in question is not so popular, and since it is a one-off violation, nothing will be done about this (then again, I might be wrong).

By the way, I have been blogging here at a crazy rate over the past day or two. Most of the posts have been news or opinion items. This is so unlike me 🙂 This is the last of them, I promise. It is tempting to blog about every little Ubuntu related thing that I think is interesting, but doing that takes me a little farther from the blog’s stated goal.

Update: Earlier I had implied that the logo appeared in an advertisement. It was not an ad – it was an article in the magazine. So, since it is no fault of the institution featured in the magazine, I have removed references to the institution in the article above. I apologize if I misled/misinformed anyone temporarily. I have also edited some comments below to remove references to the institution mentioned upon request. I received two emails – one each from the institution and from the magazine that seem to confirm that the logo appeared in an article, not an advertisement. Thank you!

Ubuntu Is Not 6 Years Old… Yet April 12, 2007

Posted by Carthik in news, ubuntu.

I read this article on how IBM’s DB2 database is supported on Ubuntu at CRN.

The article states:

Six-year-old Ubuntu is seen as an up-and-coming Linux distribution. Some industry observers call it the fastest-growing Linux in the enterprise.

Hmm, well, Ubuntu hasn’t turned three yet, so I wonder where they got the “6 year old” detail from, and am I the only one who finds the second sentence above vague and wishy-washy?

“Gutsy Gibbon” to Replace “Feisty Fawn” April 12, 2007

Posted by Carthik in ubuntu.

As Ubuntu tries to increase its reach, and manage all the branches that are springing forth from it, the next development codename “Gutsy Gibbon” seems to be perfect. Mark Shuttleworth declared as much in announcing Gutsy Gibbon to be the chosen name for the developmental release that is expected to be released in October 18, 2007 (so this will be Ubuntu 7.10).

Gibbons are small apes found in South East Asia

Highlights from the announcement:

  1. The Gibbon defeated the “Glossy Gnu” to the finish
  2. This next version will also feature a brand new ultra-free, no-nonfree flavor of Ubuntu for the purists
  3. Glossiness in the form of Beryl/Compiz enabled by default might hit the Gibbon
  4. Any “monkey” should be able to install Gibbon – with new improvements to the installer to allow network-managed upgrades
  5. Agility of deployment, together with integrated management will be a focus for the Ubuntu server team – leading to leaner, meaner and faster server version of Ubuntu
  6. GNOME 2.20.0 will definitely be in Gutsy Gibbon, with GNOME 2.20.1 being a distinct possibility

You can view the Release Schedule for Gutsy Gibbon at the wiki.
Like Mark says, “Go Ape!” and celebrate the arrival of the new Gibbon. I love how he pushes the animal metaphor and displays a sense of humor in making these new release name announcements.

Request Feisty (7.04) CDs Now April 11, 2007

Posted by Carthik in ubuntu.

Shipit is now accepting advance orders for Feisty CDs.

You can also request Kubuntu and Edubuntu CDs. I wish there were Xubuntu CDs for those that like their toast lightweight.

You can request 10 or less CDs using shipit. For mass orders (for your LUG, class, or country) try the special request form after you login.

Of course, the responsible thing to do is to download the CD image and burn it when it becomes available. Remember the CDs are shipped free of cost, and there is always someone else without a stable and fast internet connection who could use these shipped cds.

Ubuntu-tan Wallpapers Make Up for Missing Ubuntu Mascot April 11, 2007

Posted by Carthik in looks and feel, ubuntu.

There is some small talk about the need for an Ubuntu Mascot at the Ubuntu-sounder mailing list. Though there are suggestions for a space-helmet sporting penguin, the idea hasn’t come to anything so far. In an email in the thread, there was link to some OS-tans to temporarily make up for the lack of a mascot. Its about time Ubuntu got a chweet-overloaded mascot,for the kids if not for us, don’t you think?

Without much further ado, here’s a couple of OS-tans for you to love, and to optionally invite to reside on your desktop 🙂

Ubuntu tan 1

To avoid flooding the planet with pictures, there are two more pics, and some more details below.

Convert/Import from PDF and Keep the Formatting April 10, 2007

Posted by Carthik in applications, guides, microsoft, office, ubuntu.

I have often wanted to convert a PDF file to a MS Word (.doc) file or an openoffice.org file. Usually I just copy the text from the PDF file and paste it in the new word document. Soon, this gets pretty tiring.

Recently I found a way to convert a pdf file to other formats, including .doc and .odt which preserves the formatting of the text pretty well. It is not perfect preserved but it is way better than having no formatting at all.

The secret goes by the name KWord. KWord is a KDE application that has a pdf “import” feature which lets you import either entire pdf documents or just a few pages from a pdf document while preserving the formatting! Of course – this only works for pdf documents which are not scanned images of pages. I tried it out on files created using \LaTeX, MS Word and OpenOffice. The font sizes in the imported document are larger than they need to be, but at least the headings are heading, the normal text is normal text, and the bullets are bullets!