Two Points of intrigue

The first I found at The Register is all about the death to the DMCA! Not really the death, actually, but more like the light at the end of the tunnel that could possibly be just a mirage. It appears that Congress is making a bill that will limit some of the harsh sections of the DMCA. Things like legalities of copy protection bypassing, even if it is to make a fair use copy, are being brought into question. Are consumers going to get back the fair use they lost when DMCA came unto law? We’ll just have to see won’t we?

The second I found on slashdot. This is actually the second part of an article, or the response to the reponses of the article. An author’s defense. It’s about linux, and I agree with what he says. So now people are probably going to hate me. Life sucks. Even though I happily proclaim that my server runs fedora, and that I very much like playing with my fedora box - Just this weekend I had the great opportunity to install ImageMagick from the source files (I’ve had a bad record of trying to do that).

Mr. Langa wrote in his first article that while he thought linux was good, that major distributions that sold packages around the same prices as Windows were overselling themselves. His reason: his soundchip refused to install properly on any of the linux packages (even though it was supposed to work) while it worked fine in Windows. His point: that other people (stupid end users) would hold any piece of software that was in the same price range as having the same features and being compatible with the same hardware. Something that his experience with the Distros proved lacking. So he went on to say that this would a problem for linux adoption.

Now, I don’t see anything bad about the statements he made, they were clearly thought out and argued. But yet people who have strong believes attack rather strongly. So, he came out with a defense article. And I feel for him. For I too have struggled with linux before, and having read the responses that people had about his argument, it just makes me feel unwanted.

Mind you, I understand that every environment has different ways of doing things, but you would think somethings are always standard. Like photocopiers having the scanning unit on top of the printing unit. So why can’t all sound mixers start with the settings unmuted? I mean, if your going to have sound, its because you’re using it on a personal or workstation machine, not on a server. So, it makes sense to have it on, even if the volume is low, so that you know by sound that its working. It’s association. If the screen shows blank, then I know theres something wrong with the monitor/video card setup. If there is no sound, there is something wrong with my speakers or the sound driver.

I remember back in UNCA, my freshmen year of University, I started trying out linux on my machine. I tried Red Hat first. I think the current version was 7.something. Now, I also happen to have a classic network card: a 3com 3c509b. It was an ISA card that of course was only 10baseT. For one week I couldnt find anything on the internet that would tell me why my network card wouldnt work. I tried, I tried, I tried, learning very rapidly commands like ifconfig but was totally cluless about adding lines in files that started with eth0.

So I gave up. That’s not to say I tried again later, with success, to get all of my PC working with some version of linux - I went to Mandrake 8. But still. It was a pain. And its something that should have worked. Mind you, I hadn’t paid for it, and I was only experementing, so I wasn’t so worked up about it. But as an IT manager for a small business, I know now that if I buy something and it doesnt work as advertized, I’m in deep. So I can see how number for number, if you go by price, people that don’t understand the difference will think that you’re getting ripped if one offers full sound capabilities while the other doesn’t.

It’s sometimes disheartning to know that the people you hope would be more analytical and outside thinkers, arent’ capable of being so.

May 18, 2004 08:36 AM Online Chatter


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