Friday, June 15, 2007


... drinking the Microsoft Kool-Aide

Microsoft Will Help Deliver a "Better" Linux

by Kevin Carmony

June 14th, 2007


But isn't Microsoft the enemy of Linux?

They certainly compete, just like Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Novell compete with each other, but we all have to live in the same desktop computing ecosystem. I'd prefer to use diplomacy and cooperation, than go to war. Linspire plans on working with Microsoft, just like we have with dozens of other partners, to build a better Linux. We will never force anyone to use what we produce. The choice to use, or not to use, the "better" Linux we strive to produce will always be up to you, but I like the idea of finding a mutually advantageous way for Microsoft and Linspire to work together.


Emphasis is mine... I have real difficulty (and a very uneasy feeling) when I consider 'diplomacy' coerced by the threat of a promised law suite.

"Money can't buy me love... but evidently it will buy cooperation. Oh well...

Linux FUD ... Make It Stop!

Linux leaders plot counterattack on Microsoft

This 'headline' reported by Reuters is just plain bad press for Linux. Further establishing the "Us vs. Them" mentality that does neither any good.

I wish that Linux folks would just focus on what is right about Linux and Open Source and let the behemoth that is Microsoft die its quiet ignominious death.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Getting up at 10, going to work at 12, UTC

Daylight Saving Time kicked my a$$. More specifically I felt the 1-hour shift this year more than in years past. That and my work with computers, specifically computer networks, has brought the issue of Time to the forefront of my thinking.

While I believe I understand the various arguments for 'adjusting' the clock to accommodate afternoon/evening commerce I still find the practice unnecessarily disruptive. If that extra hour of daylight is so valuable then let us just set the clocks to include it and leave them that way. This back-and-forth is senseless. And it screws up a great deal of computer related technology.

Instead I am personally campaigning for one time, UTC. Coordinated Universal Time. This is a scientific abstraction of physical time. Roughly equivalent to the old standard, GMT, UTC is not strictly speaking celestial (sun in relation to earth) time.

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is a high-precision atomic time standard.
In fairness, while I have been giving this idea lot of mind-time, it wasn't until I read Joi Ito's post "Going UTC" detailing his scheduling problems that I decided to enter into the social-time experiment.

Where to begin?

Community clocks need to display community time. So I couldn't just change all the house clocks to UTC - I would face a time revolt from my wife and children. System clocks on network computers that communicated 'time' with other computers were out for much the same reasons. That left me with my personal clocks. So I started with this laptop... KDE desktop clock reads 5:51 UTC as I type this.

That reminds me, 5:00 UTC is lunch time here. Which brings me to my first important observation about time. Years and years of behavior modification has sensitized me to 'feeling' hungry about the same time every day. This, in turn, brought to light additional time awarenesses. My sense of time is predicated on deeply ingrained behaviors. Behaviors that will not change just because I change my time grid perspective. The bottom line is that I have 50+ years of training to overcome to be able to sense UTC instead of Central Daylight Time.

I still catch myself 'translating' time. If it is 5:57 UTC then it is what time here in my familial community. I liken this experience to learning a second language. I had the opportunity to study Spanish many years ago. Then I was immersed in a Spanish speaking community for two summers. By the end of my second summer I was able to 'think' in Spanish. I was not longer 'trans-literating' everything back to English for processing. I was able to process the Spanish that I was hearing and speaking in-situ.

I look forward to a time when I don't have to translate UTC.

Weekday UTC Schedule

10:00 Morning alarm
12:00 Arrive work
16:30 Lunch
22:00 Arrive home
23:30 Dinner
03:00 Bedtime

(Folks here in Kentucky see that and figure I am some sort of slacker:) )

Takin' a day off... sorta

In addition to showing up for work I have spent every free moment of the last three days doing 'tech' work for the Mystery Theater Festival.

And it was good!

After taking a 25 year vacation from Technical Theater it is good great to get back in. While I did contribute significantly to the Set Design and construction of Picasso at the Lapin Agile it was adjunct to my directing the show. The work I have been doing for MTF is just plain tech. Painting flats, setting scenery, spiking furniture, affixing light switches, hanging paintings, mounting door hardware, and the list goes on. In fact the phrase made popular by POTUS in West Wing comes to mind, "What's next?"

But the real joy, above and beyond paint under my fingernails and sawdust in my... the real joy has been getting to work with people who know how to do Theater. Not people who are learning but people who have 'been there, done that.' My joy comes from a.) being among my peers and b.) being among people from whom I can learn(1). To me this is the greatest reward.

...but today I am takin' a day off...sorta.

. . .