Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Niece

Ok, so Stephanie beat me to the post. Here is a picture of my brother and his new baby girl Erin Gayle, born in Windsor on the 28th of December.

She's very cute and very content.

Congratulations Neil and Terri.

You got a very cute sister Cole and Rachel.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I have to admit, there are some mornings when the first question I ask myself is "what day is it"? I suppose it has something to do with the business and busyness of the season. When everything is directed to a few events, it's almost impossible to think of the day. I mean I know it's morning and when the alarm goes off, I know the time.

It's just the day of the week I have a few problems with.

Perhaps it does stop me from waking up screaming.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Time Person of the Year is....You

As is the case, Time Magazine has named the Person of the Year, and if you have grabbed the magazine, or read it at your local bookstore/magazine rack, you've seen the shiny square on the front cover that acts as a mirror. The reason for the reflection is simple, Time has decided that the Person of the Year is us. That is any one who has made any sort of content on the Internet. It's all about Web 2.0. It's social networking, its blogs, wikis, podcasts, vidcasts. It's people making media and culture through the tools that make up the Internet. It's somebody using Audacity to record their own podcast, speaking into a simple or expensive microphone and saving the sound file as an MP3 to later upload to a website. It's that person talking about any subject they want to talk about, knowing there's someone who will share their interest. Instead of a microphone, it could be a webcam or a digital video camera and suddenly its a vidcast. Whatever it's people making culture.

It's a YouTube video of someone's interesting music video or something rather bizarre. It could be cats doing rather interesting and cute tricks, or people doing weird tricks. It's technology and culture together.

Now there are some who complain about this choice. The recent episode of Twit (number 80), has John C. Dvorak complaining about the choice. He felt it was cheesy and wondered why they went for a construct rather then a newsmaker. Other complaints given is that the Net is still a Western phenomenum, since much of the world barely has the electricity or food, let alone the Internet Connection to become involved with Web 1.0 let alone 2.0. However the Net is growing, China and India are opening up big to the Internet. Likely the day will come when Chinese will be the language of the Net.

Some have suggested the better choice should have been the people who brought YouTube to the world, certainlhy after being bought out by Google for a billion and change. Had Time done that, the issue would have been sold-out, since the two would have bought ever single issue of the magazine, I mean you can do that with a billion dollars.

On one hand, it is good to see the grassroots media is being recognized, on the other, it may be too soon to discuss where the Social Networking will take us. Like anything else, there is good and there is bad.

Still it's being making culture, and that's always a good thing

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Vonage advantage: Move early, quickly

This article in this Saturday's Globe and Mail caught my attention. It has to do with the growth of Vonage and the challenge it faces now that Ottawa has brought in deregulation to the local phone market. It's something the big telecom companies have been wanting for some time. The question is will it mean small and new starts like Vonage will have a chance? After all what can a company that employes 150 people do against a massive entity like Bell Canada.

Actually they can do a lot for they have one thing going for them, they aren't Bell Canada. Forget the cute commercials of beavers and cell phones, most people can't stand Bell. Just try it, ask the first 100 people you meet their opinion of Bell Canada and I will suggest to you the overwhelming response will be negative. Bell has been a monopoly for far too long to actually learn to care about the consumer. One result of deregulation will not mean the end of competition but the flowering of competition. Companies like Vonage, like Rogers Phone will have the ability to get in on that which has always been the private domain of large telecos such as Bell.

I would say the one area that Vonage must move towards quickly is the simplification of the installation. Make it easy, or provide technical assistance to install Vonage and people will flock to it. Most of us don't simply want to mess with wires and things like that, if it is far simple to stay where you are, that's what we will do. However, if Vonage moves aggressively in this area, people will gladly sign up.

As I said most people want to get rid of Bell. We're just waiting for the excuse.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ubuntu Sticker on my Laptop

So I placed the Ubuntu sticker on the outside of my laptop, just below the Creative Commonists sticker. I have been impressed with all I have been able to do without having windows on my machine. I solved the problem with the mp3's, I had downloaded the wrong easy ubuntu program. Once I installed the right one, everything is good.

I'm continuing my experiments with looking at the KDE flavour of Ubuntu. It's quite good and I can go from one to the other without any problems.

So Bill G isn't impressed. All I can say is Linus Torvalds is The Man.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Good Bye Windows

Hello Ubuntu

Well I did it. I took my Dell Inspiron 1000 computer and removed Windows XP to install Ubuntu. I had wondered about the wireless access, but I did some reading and from what was indicated in the documents that going wireless with Ubuntu is not that difficult.

So today, I placed in a Ubuntu CD into the drive and got the computer to boot. I then moved the mouse over to the "install" icon and clicked. Well, after the usual time, it was installed and I rebooted. There it was, the Ubuntu screen and I typed in my name and my password. It happened, my computer is now a Ubuntu computer.

The next step was to determine if I could go wireless. I read some documents and felt that it was something I could do without too many problems. So I stuck in the wireless card and unplugged the ethernet cable. The result is this, I am typing this on my laptop using and there is no wires plugged into the computer, with the exception of the power cord. I am wireless and it is great.

I also wanted to see if other hardware could work and I plugged in my digital camera, it was found and I downloaded some photographs.

I still have to tweak a few things, I'm having problems playing mp3's. CD's are good but DVD's still need some work. I may have to find a few drivers for it.

Still I realize I got some work and with the help of documentation and the community I should do well.

Here's the picture of my wallpaper:

I'm looking forward to working with Ubuntu on my laptop.

Penguins Rule

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Week of Ubuntu

It's been about a week, perhaps almost two since I installed Ubuntu on the older computer. I have enjoyed trying it out and learning about the various programs which are accessible through Linux. I've also been reading a number of articles that pertain to the OS and have learned even a few more things. The one thing I have learned is that there is a wealth of programs available for free. In fact by simply clicking on the "Add/Remove" program one has a great number of programs in all sorts of fields to install on the computer. From games, to media programs, it is all there. I was trying out the cd ripping program and it worked well. The one complaint I have was the slow speed, I wonder if there's a way to change the setting to take advantage of the capabilities of the CD-ROM drive. As well, I have watched a few DVD's through the machine, when installing Dapper Drake, all the hardware was found.

What I have noticed is Ubuntu certainly generates a fair deal of positive opinion, one of the blogs I read gave 5 Reasons Ubuntu will Rule the World!. It's a follow up article of a previous one he did entitled: Ubuntu projected to outgrow Vista and more. Now that I don't know about, after all how can a free community based operating system compete with a multi-billion dollar operation with a marketing budget to match; then again when the man behind Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth is a billionaire himself, or close to it, he just might have the pockets deep enough to have his own marketing strategy. As well, the fact it is community based and quite straight forward may help.

If I can mention the first article about the five reasons, there is probably a sixth and that is security. All I have read state that Linux is secure from viruses. Another article entitled: ive-things-to-know-when-you-switch-to-linux
makes the point that:
nti-viruses made redundant

Because GNU/Linux is very secure, running an anti-virus is not necessary either (unless you deal with Windows files under an emulator, or pass them on to Windows users). Be careful when you go root, and keep your system up-to-date with the automatic security updates: you’ll stay safe
. I mean if that point alone doesn't sell a person on making the switch I don't know what will. We all have our AVS, our malware protector, our anti-spam software, everything we need to think we are safe and yet...

So what is next? Well, I would like to try installing ubuntu on my laptop. Before that I plan to read about LInux and wireless access, since that would be important to know. If that goes well, it's farewell Windows on one more machine.

I'll keep everyone informed.