Posts Tagged ‘ubuntu


A Mono proposal

Mono developer Jo Shields has created a couple of Mono-free Ubuntu remixes. Here are the torrent links for i386 and amd64 architectures. There is talk of maintaining a regular Ubuntu edition sans Mono over on the Mono-Nono site. It’s a little unfair to expect Jo to do it all by himself, and it’s a good chance for people suspicious of Mono to do something about it rather than simply grumble about the whole thing. The Ubuntu Technical Board have made it clear that they don’t see inclusion of Mono-stuff in Ubuntu to be that much of a problem, so rather than start another flame war, head on over to Dan Serban’s proposal on the Mono-Nono site and volunteer to help out.

For the uninitiated, Mono is one of those things that people feel… strongly about. People who are ambivalent or even completely apathetic about the whole thing do exist, they just aren’t very vocal about it. Perhaps I should blog about that. Sure, why not?

Diary of someone apathetic about Mono.

As I was making breakfast this morning, I noticed how the scrambled eggs in the pan before me failed to remind me of the great Mono debate. The kettle came to the boil, whistling in that shrill way that’s almost, but not quite, completely unlike the flame wars I hadn’t read the night before. I realised then that I hadn’t thought about Mono for minutes, perhaps even tens of minutes. My girlfriend looked at me in a way that was completely different from the way Miguel de Icaza and Roy Schestowitz would glare at each other if they were thrown to the bottom of a bottomless pit, destined to fight each other to the death for all of eternity.

Err, perhaps not.


Linux malware, sure it’s possible

Update 18th July 2009. If you want to read actual desktop environment developers (i.e. people who who know loads more than I do) discussing this vulnerability, then this 2006 thread from a Xorg mailing list may interest you. If you want to see the proof that it actually works, then go right ahead and read on.

I tried to ask questions about this on a forum and got banhammered for it. But never mind. I did a bit of research into it and discovered that a few people have already documented this possible vulnerability, and that it is somewhat legitimate. People love to say that the biggest security threat for computers is the users themselves, which is fair enough. Who needs to craft a drive-by download when you can just get the users to click on naked_chix.jpg.exe all by themselves? Linux makes it difficult, but not impossible, for malware to take hold, but it pays to be aware of the dangers, however slight they may be. I don’t personally believe that there is much of a threat at all, and the particular exploit I’m about to describe isn’t very special or clever, either, and can only affect a small number of people. The only thing that is somewhat interesting about it is that it can get root access without drawing attention to itself.

Continue reading ‘Linux malware, sure it’s possible’


One command installation of Firefox 3.5 in Ubuntu

Psychocats posted a howto about how to install Firefox 3.5 in Ubuntu over here. It’s good, but it’s still not completely hands free. So I decided to make it a bit better. Copy and paste the following command into your terminal for Firefox-3.5 goodness.

Update | 8th July: Watch out, this will download the US version of Firefox only. If you’d rather have a version in your own locale, be sure to follow ol’ Psychocat’s version instead.

if [[ -e ~/.mozilla ]]; then cp -R ~/.mozilla ~/.mozilla.backup; fi; wget -c '' && sudo tar -jxvf firefox-3*.tar.bz2 -C /opt && rm firefox-3*.tar.bz2 && sudo mv /opt/firefox/plugins /opt/firefox/plugins.backup && sudo ln -s /usr/lib/xulrunner-addons/plugins /opt/firefox/plugins && sudo dpkg-divert --divert /usr/bin/firefox.ubuntu --rename /usr/bin/firefox && sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

All in one!


Linux will get lots of viruses one day!

I’ve been seeing this meme quite a lot, lately. It is usually accompanied with, “And anyone who ignores the threat has their head in the sand,” and other platitudes. To any Linux users who might be spooked by this revelation, and to the trolls who spread it, I refer you to Feynman,

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.


Is this the year of Linux on the desktop? Hell no

I’ve been around the webweb, and I’ve seen a whole butt-tonne of reasons given as to why Linux has persistently failed to gain traction with every-day users. The language is always the same, whether it’s from Linux or Windows advocates. Joe Sixpack, my grandma, power-users, blah blah blah. First of all, this stuff is so god-damned clichéd that it’s now lost all meaning.  You see it an awful lot on places like the Ubuntu forums. Ubuntu is a self-styled OS for noobs. Its slogan is, “Linux for human beings,” which is obviously a smooth way of saying, “Linux for ex-Windows users.” The forums are filled with people complaining about how much Linux isn’t like Windows, how it’s too difficult, how average morons will never be able to figure it out. And then the long-term Linux users retort with anecdotes of babies using it because it’s so god-damned easy. Flame wars ensue.

Joe Sixpack must die, and so should your fucking grandma. These two people are always called in whenever anyone has anything brain-meltingly ignorant to say. Joe Sixpack is a strawman of epic proportions. He’s so stupid, he probably needs reminding that he needs to breathe in order to live. “I don’t have a problem switching my computer on, but until manufacturers make them easier to switch on, computers will never appeal to Joe Sixpack.” Who is this brain-achingly pathetic individual, any way? It’s the fallacy of assuming that every single person in the world is pig-ignorant and to all intents and purposes a mindless drone. It’s elitist bullshit. In real life, nobody is so fucking retarded, not even retards are that fucking dumb.

Any way, the things people come up with which would make Linux more appealing is usually along the lines of

  • Make installing really-new software easier!
  • Make drivers more commonplace!
  • Make it so the average noob never has to use the terminal!
  • Make Windows applications run in Wine easier!
  • A prompt offering to install media codecs when you play an mp3 for the first time is too difficult for people. They need it out of the box, like Windows!!

Never mind how retarded most of those ideas are, or how true or false they are. The point is all of these people are completely missing the fucking point. Do you know how many Windows licences are due to sales of those pretty boxes you see in computer shops? It’s about five per cent, apparently. The rest of the licences are due to OEM installations and bulk licence sales for businesses. That means the vast majority of people only use Windows because that’s what came with their computer when they bought it. On the other hand, 95% of Linux users actually had to make an effort to use it. I have two computers with Linux installed on both of them, yet both of the things have Windows activation keys taped on the side. Is it any wonder then that there are so few of us Lunix users? Microsoft owes its dominance entirely to pre-installs, and anyone who doubts that is a fucking moron.

So what is the solution to getting more people using Linux? It’s simple. Have it installed on the god-damned machines in the first place. Don’t have them available only as an online option. Don’t install a shitty distro that doesn’t even work properly, either. Actually have Linux machines up and running in the god-damned shop, right next to the Windows machines. Have a sign up telling people, “No. Your god-damned Windows applications won’t work on this. Linux has its own applications you idiot,” to stave off the morons who think it’s a cheap version of Windows.

People will see these machines and then they will buy them. You will get a lot of people returning them because “ZOMG I can’t play Crysis with this!!!eleven” You won’t sell quite so many, because people like to go with what they know. But the fact is, Linux usage will increase enormously overnight. So many of the bullshit problems people complain about with Linux can be solved with pre-installs. I mean, hey, have you ever installed Windows lately? The actual retail edition, and not the optimised disk image that came with the computer you bought, I mean. It ain’t fucking pretty. Shit won’t work without the drivers. MP3s and DVDs don’t work out of the box, either. If the average Joe fucking retard Sixpack can’t figure that shit out on Linux, how the fuck is he going to manage with Windows? Any way, guess what will happen when enough people have bought these machines. Hardware and peripheral manufacturers will be falling over themselves to provide support. Why? Because they’d make a butt-tonne of money, that’s why. And then all of a sudden, Linux computers all of a sudden become a viable option all of a sudden all of a sudden.

A solution, then, for getting more Linux users. Is this happening? No. So is this the year of Linux on the desktop? Hell no.

June 2018
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