Playing to your strengths

In the Larry the Free Software Guy blog on Saturday, I wrote an announcement about firming up my writing schedule and adding a couple of blogs. I don’t think it’s a secret that I actually use more than one distro — in order to keep current on things I use several distros because when consulting with small businesses regarding conversion to Linux and FOSS, I have to give them what they need rather than what I want them to have.

So with me at all times are two laptops — overkill, maybe? — with the Toshiba having Korora 20 KDE and the Dell running CrunchBang; a Fedora (or Red Hat, if you want to go that far back) distro and a Debian distro. The ThinkPad T40 stays in the lab for the most part, and that’s another CrunchBang rig, along with the Dell desktops running Debian Wheezy and Fedora 20, and a Sun Ultra 10 box with Solaris 9 (Sun OS 5.9) because, well, I’m sentimental about Solaris.

There are a lot of differences in the two, and that is good. Here’s why. The reason I chose each distro on my ever-present hardware is that Philip Newborough here at CrunchBang and Chris Smart at Korora both understand the importance of playing to a distro’s strengths, making it that much easier for the user.

The differences between the two are staggering: Because the Toshiba has dual-cores and 4GB of RAM (the first time I’ve had a machine this powerful that I could easily carry), it handles KDE very well. What is sometimes challenging and often tests my programming knowledge and skills (if not my patience sometimes) is that there are layers upon layers here to fathom in getting the Toshiba just the way I want it.

To its significant credit, CrunchBang does not have the baggage that comes with having KDE. The term “baggage” might be negative, but what I mean is that there’s a lot that comes with the KDE territory. And that’s by design. From time to time there are posts in the forum asking, “How do I put $DESKTOP_ENVIRONMENT on CrunchBang?” And the simple answer is, “You don’t.” There’s probably no more wider gulf in user interfaces than the one between KDE on one side and Openbox on the other. For CrunchBang, Openbox is a natural — it makes the clean canvas to which you are making your distro masterpiece come alive.

Strength in its simplicity: It’s one of the many facets of CrunchBang that make it a great distro.

Before I forget: CrunchBang will be at the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 12X next month. Will you? Let me know.

See you next week.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

Crunchbang Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Wordpress button dbEntrance button Conky LibreOffice PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x

Ready for SCALE 12X?

Next month, the Southern California Linux Expo — SCALE 12X — will be held at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. SCALE is the largest, community-run Linux/FOSS expo in North America, with over 100 exhibitors, about 95 sessions and about 2,500 attendees, according to last year’s numbers.

CrunchBang will be there. CrunchBang has held a Birds of a Feather event at the last two SCALEs and we will again at this one. I will post the details when they are confirmed. In addition, CrunchBang has available to it a table in the show — if the expo floor geography gods are with us, it will be close to, if not next to, the Debian booth.

I’ll have the DVDs burned, stickers printed, and I’ll have a #! laptop where we can make bootable USB sticks for people who have one on which to put Waldorf. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts is what I’m hoping for is for some CrunchBang users who are attending SCALE taking shifts at the booth. Does that interest anyone out there who might be attending?

I have one volunteer so far. It would be fun if there were more. Post a comment below or e-mail me off-blog to let me know if you’re available.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

Crunchbang Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Wordpress button dbEntrance button Conky LibreOffice PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x

When Indiegogo works . . . .

There’s a scene at the end of the film “The Candidate” where Robert Redford, the newly elected Sen. McKay from California, corners his campaign manager and says, “What do we do now?”

I can imagine that Andrew Gregory, Mike Saunders and Ben Everard, clearly three happy men right now, might be asking the same thing. Their magazine — Linux Voice — was fully funded thanks to contributions garnered in their Indiegogo campaign, crossing the 90,000-pound threshhold two weeks before the deadline.

The trio of former Linux Format writers now will follow through to produce Linux Voice, scheduled for a February 2014 release.

As I outlined in an earlier post, the unique twist for what the three plan for Linux Voice is the following:

Half the profits will go back to Free Software and Linux communities, and our readership will choose where the money goes. As it says on the site, “We want to sponsor projects, events, developers, and evangelise the cause. We want to build long-term relationships with the people we sponsor, so there’s less uncertainty for projects year-on-year.”

Content will be published for free after 9 months, and they aim to use an open source/Creative Commons licence. “We want to create a library of our tutorials, interviews, features and code that is accessible to everyone, whether that’s a Python tutorial for a 10 hour flight, or a Raspberry Pi class guide for a school club. We don’t believe in charging several times for the same ‘evergreen’ content,” the proposal says.

So come February, we’re expecting great things from Messrs. Gregory, Saunders and Everard. Congratulations, guys, and remember — on your cover mock-up, you have an article on CrunchBang. It would be great to see that in your inaugural edition (also, I know someone who can cover the U.S. stories for you . . . :-) )

There is still a fortnight left on the campaign, and if you want to contribute, click on the item below.

linux-voice

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

Crunchbang Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Wordpress button dbEntrance button Conky LibreOffice PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x