Saturday, July 30, 2005

Some comments about Open Source and blogs I hate..

First of all, blogs like IT Outsourcing Comments are types of blog I hate. Where is the value in just posting up extracts from other pages and links back to those pages?

When people read journo type blogs, or blogs about a specific subject, they expect a certain value in reading the opinion of that person. Some blog which is just a link farm is not that good. In this case it's not so bad because the blogger links to some obscure blogs and mags, but some blogs post up links to CNet and Wired etc. Who doesn't know CNet or Wired? "There's an interesting article on Wired about digital media?? Shit, why didn't I think to look at Wired!"

Anyway on to Open Source stuff..

I read the article on the above blog about "The Advance of Open Source".

I've nothing against open source software but would like to comment on some of the points made in the article.

This whole "advance of open source" idea. It might be ok for cheer leaders to go "Yay! <insert company here> is using Linux!" but what does that mean? I remeber hearing someone on the phone to a client "'s open source software. That means it's free." Someone makes an application that's usable (i.e. it's not total shit) and is free, where's the victory? It's a no-brainer: You have two products of similar quality, one is free, one costs €100 per seat. Which do you go for?
Companies deciding to use free software over expensive software isn't that much of a moral victory.

When companies start releasing their core intellectual property as open source, then I'll believe they are on board with it. But in this day and age, when we see companies worrying about competitors in China reverse-engineering their products, I can't see companies rushing to release their source code to one and all..

The blogger also says about Firefox
Hence, Open Source is no longer just for geeks but it is slowly but steadily becoming a mainstream thing.

I don't know about that. What is open source besides free software? The whole ideology behind open source software is about the benefits of releasing the code.. but consumers don't care about the code. I've downloaded Firefox.. I'm not even sure if the code came with it. I just use it to surf the web. I couldn't care less whether it's open source or closed source, and I think most non-geek Firefox users would say the same.

Open Source is cool, it's a nice idea. But I don't think that people using free software which happens to be open source is much of an advance for the open source movement.

Update on Global Voices

My last entry was about Global Voices. I went back there today and see that the page I said was spammed has since been fixed. And on that page I notice that there already was an Ireland page! It was called Republic of Ireland. However that page is now spammed. Brilliant.

When the page gets fixed I'll probably just add the Planet Redbrick link to it. The Ireland page I created is redundant I suppose. Though who calls Ireland the "Republic of Ireland". This came up on the Redbrick newsgroups recently and I forget the conclusion which was something along the lines of it being technically correct (the best kind of correct) and was therefore perfectly acceptable.

I can't imagine any Irish person saying "I live in the Republic of Ireland" when asked where they live, but then again that doesn't mean it's incorrect, especially when in a listing of countries. Very unintuitive for Irish people who might look for the page about their country though.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Global Voices

Just set up the Ireland page on Global Voices.

Obviously I've just thrown in the Planet Redbrick link. Blatent plug ;o)
Actually I notice that some pages have been spammed to bits. The unfortunate side effect of using a Wiki :o/

I found out about Global Voices from the page about Cambodian blogs. I can't remember where I got the link to that page from.. it's been one of those days.

This particular blog by ThaRum contains an interesting viewpoint on life in Cambodia and especially issues of literacy and the digital divide.

It's a shame that some people can spew so much hyperbole about blogs and how wonderful they are when there are still many many people in the world who cannot read, let alone use a computer.

I see people coming out of a methadone clinic near where I work almost every day. I wonder if they know how to use a computer or have ever used one..

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The backlash against blogging

Even though I blog I tend to be a bit skeptical about the hype around what are effectively just the new "home page" (remember when people had a home page instead of a blog? :o)).

Couple of pages making fun of blogging:
Karl Podesta

Blogs are pretty lame but they satisfy some need I have to dump my thoughts into the the great unknown of the internet.. so I'm gonna keep on blogging :o)

A Case-Study in Best Practice for Operating System Management

Just had a quick read through "A Case-Study in Best Practice for Operating System Management" by Colm MacCárthaigh and Colin Whittaker. I think it's a good introduction to IT operations management to people at lower levels of the IT ladder. It's definitely worth looking at for undergrads and people new to IT administration who want a quick introduction to best practices in the area.

(Disclaimer: I have never been an IT admin, but have audited enough IT departments to know the benefits of best practice)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

And yes...

I realise the irony of only recently making a blog entry about how we will begin to reference each other's posts only for me to be the first one to do it..

I know one airline I'll try to avoid...

Just read Colm's post about Hapag-Lloyd Express.

As someone with a fear of falling (you might call it a fear of heights.. but a fear of falling is more accurate since I'm not afraid of being high up inside a building or on a bridge where there are railings in place to stop me falling off etc.) I will definitely try to avoid this airline.

My scariest experience with an airline was flying into Frankfurt with Lufthansa one time. We almost landed when it hit serious turbulance and the plane dropped quickly. I hate hate hate that feeling.. the tightness in your chest when every instinct in your body is telling you that you are going to die.

I will never fly with an airline like Hapag-Lloyd if they fly in such a scary manner.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Self-referential link ahoy!

Haven't blogged in a long time, but felt the need to since Planet Redbrick has been launched!

When I first heard the name I thought Planet Redbrick would be the cool idea Kevin p had years ago about making a map of the world and highlighting the countries that Redbrick members had logged on from. However Planet Redbrick is a page which could also (maybe more accurately) be called Blogosphere Redbrick. It is a collection of blogs by Redbrick members.

I'm there, and so are many other fine people. This is why I've decided to write this post, because I haven't written in so long that none of my blog entries are on the site ;o)

Actually this Planet Redbrick idea might encourage me to blog. Maybe it will create a blogging arms race with people frantically writing blog entries just to keep a presence on the page? I think in time it will definitely start to get infected with the in-jokes from the Redbrick boards ("Planet Redbrick has an army in the Nebucanezar looking for a second INTRA job now?" "Yes, they held off the Russian army with poor people skills.") If we all descend into writing blog entries discussing each other's blogs then we could become as self-referential, elitist, and isolated from reality as some of the American political bloggers (ooh, controversial!). I hope that won't happen, but hopefully a sort of community spirit will emerge to some small enough extent.

Planet Redbrick