Monthly Archives: January 2008

Building your own Linux Fedora computer using the ECS GeForce 6100SM-M motherboard

I wrote a post back in September about how to build your own Linux computer, Building your own Linux Ubuntu computer using the ECS GeForce 6100SM-M motherboard.

I am publishing this under the same title, except that I have changed Ubuntu to Fedora, as I had no problem installing Fedora 8 on the same machine, and also in the expectation that the use of this modified title may help those interested in getting some guidance on building a computer to run Fedora find their way to that post.

By the way, the original post has proved among my most popular to date. It is usually the most-viewed each day, and so far has accounted for over 3200 views, almost five per cent of the total views my almost 700 posts have drawn since I started this blog sixteen months ago.

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Linus Torvalds: “Linux is Just Fun”

[First published at GOTOXO as Linus Torvalds: “Linux is Just Fun” on January 8, 2008.]

Every interview with Linus Torvalds is well worth a read. The latest is Linus Torvalds – Part I. My favorite Q&A is:

Jim Zemlin: You’ve often been quoted as saying, ‘Linux is just fun,’ and that’s what really motivates you to do this.

Linus Torvalds: Right.

Jim Zemlin: Do you see Linux, the development of Linux as something of a greater cause?

Linus Torvalds: No. No, not to me; I mean, to other people it is. I mean, it’s actually one of the things I found to be interesting is how people use Linux in ways that I didn’t start out designing it for and sometimes use it for things that I really don’t care about personally that much.

And all the usage where people use Linux for third world countries and helping humanity, some people think that’s why I got into it and, no, that’s not why I got into it and the credit should go to projects like OLPC that use Linux to try to better the world in a bigger picture.

To me it’s being – I think it’s very interesting and, I mean, when I say it’s – what drives, motivates me is the fun part. I mean, part of being fun is that it should be difficult enough to not be trivial. So, fun doesn’t mean that it’s frivolous; it just means it’s interesting and exciting.

But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is actual code and the technology itself and the people who are not willing to step up and write that code, they can comment on it and they can say it should be done this way or that way or they won’t, but in the end their voice doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is code.

Right on, Linus! I couldn’t agree more, as I most recently noted in the post XO Axiom #3: Open-source is all about fun.

I applied this maxim most recently this past Sunday when I met with the Bolgar brothers, Josh and Zander, to begin their instruction in using the XO and learning the Python programming language. I started out by saying:

“The XO is based on open-source, and open-source is all about fun. If you aren’t having fun then something is wrong and we need to stop and fix it, including if I give you something to do that you don’t find to be fun.

Thing is, if it’s not fun then you might stop doing it, so we MUST keep it fun. If we can do that then everything else will take care of itself.

By the way, I took along XO-Tux and my two XO T-shirts. The boys are now the guardian of XO-Tux, and their father Robert reports that TUX is seated near the fireplace alongside Shrek. He reports they had a lot of fun this past Sunday, so things are looking good.

Sweet Dreams

[First published at GOTO XO as Sweet Dreams on January 3, 2008.]

Robert Bolgar recently sent me the following note after my wife sent out some of the pictures we took in Venice:

Just saw you and XO in San Marco. Are you equally enamored of both partners you took to Venice?

Robert

Here is my reply:

Robert, speaking man to man,
Linux has a command named man,
And also a command named sleep.
But when it comes to sleep quite deep,
Partner Karin is the one I’d keep.

Going, Going, Gone?

[First published at GOTOXO as Going, Going, Gone? on January 2, 2008.]

Though the Give 1 Get 1 Program has ended, it is still possible to Get 1 on your own, as a market has already opened up. I just searched eBay for “XO Laptop” and noted several entries, including one which had the following description:

This auction is for a new XO OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) computer.

This was a gift for my 3 year old child for Xmas, however, I have determined that he is really too young to use it properly. We ended up getting him a simple Leap Frog computer instead.

The box was opened on Xmas day (yes… 2007!) The computer was used briefly on that day and then placed back into the box it came in. Everything that came with the computer has been placed carefully into the box from which it came.

This computer is water and dust resistant, very sturdy for lots of hard use and has a long lasting battery.

Though this XO is being offered by someone who found it did not meet their needs, I am sure that others are being offered by speculators who bought them knowing the Give 1 Get 1 program had only a limited lifetime.

It will be interesting to see where the price stabilizes in the next few months.

Ready, AIM, Debug

[First published at GOTO XO as Ready, AIM, Debug on January 2, 2008.]

I just got the following email from one of the IBMers in IBM’s Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Group to whom I had recommended buying an XO:

HI David – –my 2 daughters LOVE the XOs!!!! They were able to jump right on and start using them! Thanks so much for recommending them! You made me a hit with the kids.

My one daughter uses ‘AIM” all the time with her friends from school…….www.aim.com. For some reason , the XO won’t work for AIM. Do you know if there is something I need to download to make that work? Any thoughts. THANKS!!!

I took a look at the cited web site, and realized I’m too old — literally — to deal with it. Does anyone out there have any ideas why the XO won’t work with it?

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