Archive | December 29, 2006

Is giving influencers $3k laptops bribery, PR-as-usual, or both?

It’s a slow week in the tech world, nestled between Christmas and New Years, with nothing to read but insipid the-year-that-was technical review rehashes and pundits pontificating their predictions. But wait! A newsflash! Microsoft is trying to influence their unpaid champions, by slipping a couple of loaded laptops out there for “review,” no strings attached. Bribery? PR? Same old thing? In Bribing Bloggers, I think Joel nails it with:

This is the most frustrating thing about the practice of giving bloggers free stuff: it pisses in the well, reducing the credibility of all blogs. I’m upset that people trust me less because of the behavior of other bloggers.

eWeek opines “Microsoft’s Laptop Giveaway Rubs Some the Wrong Way” I think Microsoft’s retreat on this is about the worst thing they could do, nearly admitting some wrongdoing.

esr plans World Domination, sophomore edition

Eric S. Raymond posts World Domination 201, the second part (here’s the first) of the Free/Open Source Software/GNU/Linux cabal’s plan to take over the world. I don’t find this anywhere near as scary as the Halloween Documents. I would like a set of codecs to legitimately play my legitimately owned/viewed Quicktime, MP3, and DVD collections. I think everyone would. It’s disturbing to consider that this might be the only thing hampering Linux acceptance as a desktop, and that the copyright and patent licenses intended to foster free trade and promote the Arts & Sciences are in fact doing the opposite.

Fedora Core 6 OOBE and Print to PDF

I’m switching my laptop machine from Ubuntu 6.06 to Fedora Core 6, at least temporarily. The two are both eminently usable; differences are more with fit and finish and where they hide things than major functionality issues, imo. Mostly, I suspect it will be a matter of learning my way around and Googling the correct magic phrases to find the functionality I need.

Installing printer drivers was a snap, but I’m not Aunt Tilly. I knew the laser at was LPD and the OfficeJet was a JetDirect at port 9100. Picking the model and configuration was straight-forward, but they need to work on that first step of searching for printers that will advertise themselves when asked the right question.

I was pleased to see that SciTE was in the default repositories and installed with ease. However, saving to PDF required a Google to point out that the CUPS-PDF driver was easy to install from the overly-simple package manager interface, but you had to know the location of /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf configuration file to keep the driver from dumping each PDF on the desktop.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.