“The” resource site for Linux on the ThinkPad.

Here it is: ThinkWiki.org. You will be astounded at the richness of information there is on this website. And model-specific data, to boot! And as if to prove that the authors are true-blue hackers (as if the very existence of the website wasn’t enough!), there are articles not only on achieving the same functionality on Linux as on Windows, but also taking things ahead! For instance, this article here on changing the boot-up BIOS screen to a picture of Tux the penguin! How’s that for true hackery!

I have had a look, this weekend, at a lot of the custom-built tools for the TP that IBM‘s been building for Windows. I aim to enable the full functionality of these tools on Linux (I have Fedora Core 3 installed here), and plan to document the whole effort (given enough time, of course.) I predict that a lot of the information I’ll need will be here at ThinkWiki. Watch this space!

Windows “rapidly approaching desktop usability”!

The inimitable Rob Miller aka Roblimo, has a Windows XP review on Newsforge! If you’ve read the hundreds upon hundreds of reviews of Linux distributions over the years (I’ve been doing that since 1999), you’ll have noticed how everyone pays lip service to the fact that the Desktop is evolving so well, but then concluding that it’s *almost* usable, and that *if only* there were better hardware support, or better third-party software, then Linux could be a serious competitor to Windows. For now, the average user is better off with Windows, and that Linux is Not For You (TM).

Well, Roblimo turns the tables! As an average Linux user, he evaluates Windows XP home with SP2, and writes a critique of the pros and cons of the OE. Delightfully, he writes a review which is identical to the scores of Linux reviews we read about so often on OSNews and MadPenguin, but with the OSes reversed! What is supposed to suck with Linux also sucks with Windows – that’s evident!

This is an article which is tempting to brand as satire, but the funny part is that all of it is true! A must read!

Windows "rapidly approaching desktop usability"!

The inimitable Rob Miller aka Roblimo, has a Windows XP review on Newsforge! If you’ve read the hundreds upon hundreds of reviews of Linux distributions over the years (I’ve been doing that since 1999), you’ll have noticed how everyone pays lip service to the fact that the Desktop is evolving so well, but then concluding that it’s *almost* usable, and that *if only* there were better hardware support, or better third-party software, then Linux could be a serious competitor to Windows. For now, the average user is better off with Windows, and that Linux is Not For You (TM).

Well, Roblimo turns the tables! As an average Linux user, he evaluates Windows XP home with SP2, and writes a critique of the pros and cons of the OE. Delightfully, he writes a review which is identical to the scores of Linux reviews we read about so often on OSNews and MadPenguin, but with the OSes reversed! What is supposed to suck with Linux also sucks with Windows – that’s evident!

This is an article which is tempting to brand as satire, but the funny part is that all of it is true! A must read!

The assault on Microsoft. (BBC)

Story from the BBC: The assault on software giant Microsoft

Supposed to be part one of a two-part series. Examines Linux, OpenOffice.org, the GIMP (surprise!), Gmail and Firefox. Also discussed are the dominance of Apple’s iPod and Nokia’s bid to push MS out of the mobile software business.

True, Microsoft is under attack from every single area of technology it’s got its finger in. A quote in the article says, “Companies are not afraid of competing with Microsoft anymore”.

Interestingly, Gates has tried out Firefox too, but thinks it’s “just another browser”. No justification.

How Do You Solve The Problem of Coffee?

There are far too many brands available for every goddamned thing out in the U.S.! And each brand says that it offers something obscure which the other ones don’t. Of course, this makes simple tasks, which we’d usually perform almost involuntarily here, take many times longer to do than here. This is the Problem of Choice.

Take good old Coffee, for example. At the Conference, I wanted a simple cup of coffee. You know, the few hundred millilitres of steaming, muddy brown liquid we consume in unstable, thin, crumply plastic cups at weddings, scalding the tips of all fingers by the time we’re done. How long does it take to get yourself a cup of coffee? Fifteen seconds at max? Well, it took me far, far longer than that the first time at the conference. Let me contrast Here and There:

Here:
Locate where they’ve got coffee and tea tanks. There’s one labelled Tea, and the other Coffee. Big pile of plastic cups beside. Take one, hold under Coffee tank, turn the tap on, fill cup, turn off, walk away. Enjoy juggling the cup from hand to hand.
Time: 15 seconds.

There:
Locate where they’ve got coffee and tea tanks. Realise they haven’t got any. They’ve got a whole line of flasks there, along with multiple envelopes, stirrers, glass cups, plastic cups, mugs, glasses and a large subset of an average kitchen-full of other things. Read labels on flasks. Latte. Decaf. (?? What about “Coffee”?) There are other machines with buttons that have a picture of a coffee cup on them, but have weird names like Expresso, Ristretto, and other ones. No, I don’t think I saw a Stiletto. I don’t think that would have gone too well down my throat. Where’s Coffee? A kind soul tells me that I could have any one of these; all of them were Coffee. OK. I settle on Decaf. The name sounded the most like Coffee – perhaps it was American slang for “The Coffee”. You know? De Caf. Take a cup. Pour out Decaf. Out comes the darkest, most foul-smelling liquid you’ve seen. Oops. Perhaps Decaf is slang for Skunk Gland Juice. No way can I drink it like this. Maybe here we need to add milk too.

Locate Milk. Turns out they have Full-fat, Skim, Toned, and numerous others labelled with varying percentages of fat. Hmm. Skim looks the least harmful. Pour Skim into cup until we get Normal Colour, till it at least *looks* like the Coffee back in India. Sip nervously. Nope. Still tastes like something from a skunk. Maybe sugar would help. Do I try sugar cubes, powdered sugar, sugar crystals, sugar packets, or sugar-free sugar substitues? Aarrgh! I want ^$%#ing sugar, dammit! I try the crystals. Nope. Keep adding more. Traces of the skunk reduce, but they’re still there.

By now a small crowd of about a half-dozen curious onlookers has gathered. I try to give them my most winsome smiles. One of them later tells me it looked like those faces you make when Nature calls most vociferously. I try more sugar. In fact, I keep trying till I can see the letters D-I-A-B-E-T-E-S floating in the cup. After a few iterations of Try-Sip-Almost Retch I can tolerate the concoction. Coffee, anyone?
Time: 11 minutes, 39 seconds = 699 seconds.

And they say it’s Easy the American Way! Bah!