Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Don't complain. Do something useful instead.

Here's a fact that you, me and everyone else knows, but is afraid to admit or despite how Hollywood portrays things; life isn't fair.

If it were, we would all be awarded PhD's, own mansions, have the perfect partner we would spend the rest of our lives with, the environment would be trouble free, and there would be peace and happiness worldwide.

The reality is, it doesn't turn out that way.

Getting a Degree is hard work (I kid you not!), relationships need communication, understanding and patience of the other (because of the simple fact that men and women are wired up differently), we don't always get the man or woman that we want, the environment is in serious shape (depending who you listen to), and world peace is currently a pipe dream. (The "War on Terror" doesn't seem to be solving issues, it seems to inflame them at the cost of lives.)

So how do we react or respond to all this? Simple, we step back, gather the right info (both sides of the story if necessary), and do what we can in our own little corner of the world. It doesn't matter of our race, religion, or our beliefs, we should be doing something about such issues. (And not just anything. Things that help in an effective manner, no matter how little they may seem).

You're probably wondering what the heck is this Australian-Chinese Linux user yacking about here in Sydney on a Sunday night? Am I bored? Possibly. But I was sitting on the toilet when the idea for this blog came up in my head, so bare with me.

Its about a Frenchman named François Bancilhon. He's the CEO of Mandriva. A few days ago he blogged about his fustration to the world. If you haven't read it, its here for your convenience.

An open letter to Steve Ballmer
http://blog.mandriva.com/2007/10/31/an-open-letter-to-steve-ballmer/

Essentially, its this: Mandriva won the contract to supply their software solutions (with Intel's Classmate PC) to Nigeria. However, it turned out to be, depending how you view it, a hollow victory when the customer said the following:

"we shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward."

Ouch! Feels like a stab in the gut, doesn't it?

This is an example of life's "curve ball". And how did François react? Immaturely and unprofessionally, throwing his 2 cents back at MS's CEO, Steve Ballmer.

"Wow! I’m impressed, Steve! What have you done to these guys to make them change their mind like this? It’s quite clear to me, and it will be to everyone. How do you call what you just did Steve? There is various names for it, I’m sure you know them.

While I sympathise (UK/Aussie spelling) what the Mandriva CEO is feeling, how does this help in the overall scheme of things, especially for Linux as a whole? Simple. It doesn't.

Who cares how the result turned out. You got paid for your services and it was the customer who chose what they want. You can't do anything about that, as its their choice. You've just got to respect it, even if you don't like it. But what's embarassing is complaining about it to a worldwide audience.

May I suggest something François? If Microsoft gets up your goat, do what I do. Get a boxing bag. Go for a run. Do some meditation. Burn off that anger. Because venting that anger to the wrong person(s) isn't productive.

Another way is to use that anger as motivation. Motivation to drive you harder and become more effective. "Effective" as in doing something that helps drive Linux further.

Something like "donating" or hiring a couple of programmers or hardware hackers in helping with the Nouveau driver project. (open 3D driver for Nvidia cards). Or help in one of the opensource Office Suites in improving document compatibility with MS's proprietary document formats. Or even develop an opensource application that is a direct equivalent to AutoCAD, Quicken, etc (or any other number of apps that people want in order to assist them into Linux). Most important is to allow format compatibility to an open solution.

When you do stuff like this, the community recognises and appreciates what you do. They give credit where its due. And while Mandriva is among a number of Commercial Linux distributors, it doesn't mean you shouldn't put in the extra effort and be like the rest. The extra mile you throw in, is what defines you in being different. You must stand out in this rapid changing business world.

When you give to someone without asking for a thing in return, you are always remembered and appreciated in a special way. You will be viewed differently. Because to the eyes of those you give to, you're a cut above the rest. (This is something I learnt in University...Not in a course, but from personal experience).

Microsoft isn't like that. Everything they do has a motive. Every action they take is in response to something or someone they see as a threat. After 2 yrs of looking into how they behave, there's really one word to describe them: nefarious. Even their "interoperability" stance with opensource is a facade. Everyone knows it, especially with the "Patent gotcha" license fee in that EU anti-trust case.

We're supposed to be better than that. We're supposed to be mature, professional, while being creative to resolve our weaknesses. But how then, should you react when MS has you feeling fustrated? Well, I always remember this quote. Its burned into my head.

"The most important thing the hacker community does is write better code. Our deeds are the best propaganda we have. Most of us, most of the time, shouldn't be distracted by worrying about beating Microsoft's PR or countering their political moves, because writing good code is in the long run a far more potent weapon than flackery."
-Eric S. Raymond

Another memorable quote is in Rocky Balboa, when Rocky teaches his son something very important.

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.

But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth.

But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!"

You have choices in life. Sometimes you may not see them or simply act out of habit because something didn't go as you intended in your mind. All I'm saying is, François had a choice of ignoring this minor setback, to move on, and to focus on the bigger goal of being part in making widespread Linux adoption more of a reality, rather than waste time on this childish nonsense.

Microsoft can try to hurt us in many ways, but they can't kill us. We know this, because we've seen them try many times since 2001! Big Grin

More in Tux Machines

DragonBox Pyra

  • DragonBox Pyra Goes Up For Pre-Order
    It's been a while since last hearing anything about the DragonBox Pyra as an open-source gaming handheld system and successor to OpenPandora...
  • Bitcoin is Now Accepted For DragonBox Pyra Pre-orders
    It is always good to see new merchants accepting Bitcoin payments, as it goes to show businesses want to attract an international clientele. DragonBox, a ship based in Germany, recently started accepting Bitcoin payments for their Pyra computer. A neat little device, which packs quite the punch.
  • DragonBox Pyra pre-orders begin (open Source handheld gaming PC)
    The DragonBox Pyra is a portable computer that looks like a cross between a tiny laptop and a Nintendo DX game console… and it kind of works like a cross between those devices as well. It’s got a 5 inch display, a QWERTY keyboard, the Debian Linux operating system that can handle desktop apps as well as games, and physical gaming buttons.

DragonBox Pyra pre-orders begin (open Source handheld gaming PC)

The DragonBox Pyra is a portable computer that looks like a cross between a tiny laptop and a Nintendo DX game console… and it kind of works like a cross between those devices as well. It’s got a 5 inch display, a QWERTY keyboard, the Debian Linux operating system that can handle desktop apps as well as games, and physical gaming buttons. It’s been under development for several years, and it’s expected to be available for purchase soon for about 500 Euros (plus VAT). But if you want to help fund the developers you can now place a pre-order for 330 Euros and up. Read more

today's leftovers

  • How Linux Frustrated Me Into Loving It
    I have been very interested in Linux since my entry into the Wonderful World of Unix in 2006. I found Ubuntu and installed it on a crappy Dell desktop computer I was given when I was doing online schooling. The computer originally came with Windows, and one day while I was browsing, I decided to search for “alternative to Windows.” Linux popped up right away. I had never heard of Linux before, but after voraciously reading article after article, I decided Linux was the path for my future.
  • HP Chromebook 13 is a business-focused Chrome OS laptop with USB-C
    In the grand scheme of things, Chrome OS is hardly a major player from a desktop market share perspective -- for now. With that said, the Linux-based operating system has captured the hearts and minds of many consumers. It has matured quite a bit too, becoming a viable Windows alternative for home users. Actually, it is a great choice for some businesses too -- depending on needs, of course.
  • Summary: Linux Scheduler: A decade of wasted cores - Part 1 - What is NUMA ?
    Last month, a research paper with title 'The Linux Scheduler: a Decade of Wasted Cores' was trending on the front page of HN. As an individual who is interested in Systems, I thought it would be good idea to read this 16 page research paper. I spent a good amount of time learning about different topics which were involved in it. This is the first post in the series in which I will try to summarize the paper.
  • Vulkan 1.0.12 Specification Update Adds VK_AMD_rasterization_order
  • GTK+ 3.22 Is Working On An OpenGL Renderer & Scene Graph
    Matthias Clasen of Red Hat has written an update about changes to GNOME's GTK+ tool-kit for the 3.20 cycle but he also mentions some of the exciting work that's brewing for GNOME/GTK+ 3.22. Clasen's latest blog post covers some of the recent internal changes to GTK+ CSS, theme changes, various changes facing application developers, and more. Those interested about the GTK+ tooling changes can read the blog post.
  • Bunsenlabs Rc2
  • April is almost gone
    The second one was the release of pre-release isos of Mageia 6 and OpenMandriva Lx 3. I must say that both distros are doing a great job; the systems performed so well that they did not seem beta versions to me. I did not like Plasma 5, though... I am sure the KDE team is doing a great work, but I truly do not see what the point of this tablet-ready interface is. After all, KDE missed the tablet train (the Vivaldi tablet never saw the light of the day) and tablets are already in decline...
  • New BlackArch Linux version released, now provides 1400 pentesting tools
    BlackArch Linux version 2016.04.28 released for ethical hackers and security researchers with 1400 pentesting tools
  • Manjaro 16.06 - third preview released
    It took us almost another month to prepare this third preview of our upcoming stable release we call Daniella. The Xfce edition remains our flagship offering and has received the attention it deserves. Few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience. We ship Xfce 4.12 with this release of Manjaro. We mainly focused on polishing the user experience on the desktop and window manager, and on updating some components to take advantage of newly available technologies such as switching to a new theme called Maia, we already using for our KDE edition.
  • IoT Past and Present: The History of IoT, and Where It's Headed Today [Ed: just devices with a network stack. Nothing new.]
  • 1btn – an Open Source Dash
    The availability of cheap radios, omni-present WiFi and powerful web services means the IoT wave is here to stay. Amazon got into the act with its “do only one thing” Dash button. But a more interesting solution would be an IoT “do it all” button.
  • No Time to Panic as One Quarter Shows Minor Dip in Smartphone Sales - Total Smartphone Market Will Grow This Year (and here's why)
    We now have the Q1 numbers from Strategy Analytics and IDC, the two last remaining of the classic four big smartphone industry analyst houses we used on this blog to calculate the industry average of the total market size, back when the 'smartphone bloodbath' started six years ago. And both SA and IDC are in exceptional, near-perfect agreement on the exact size of the market, we get a total smartphone market for Q1 at 334.8 Million units. That is down 18% from the Christmas sales Quarter (normal that Q1 is down) but for the first time ever in this industry, the YEAR-ON-YEAR comparison of Q1, so the January-March quarter last year 2015 vs now, is down. This has not happened in the smartphone industry in any YoY period. And some are now talking about 'peak smartphone'. That number COULD be a signal that smartphone industry growth has stalled and now peaked and smartphone sales will either plateau flat, or decline into the next year(s).
  • GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha Released With ZFS File-System Support, MATE 1.12
    The first alpha release was made available this weekend of GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha 1, a desktop focused operating system built atop FreeBSD 10.3.
  • 3D Printer Crowdfunding projects
    Like every Kickstarter project, there is a risk. But I think that Trinus appears to be a good project, we need to wait to the launch and review a real machine to know if it worth it. Also, the Youtube Channel Maker’s Muse, made a review of the project and the company Konama, creators of Trinus, sent him a the 3d printer and he currently makes the review of this printer that pledged more then 1 million dollars on KickStarter.
  • Refactoring the open-source photography community
    Generally speaking, most free-software communities tend to form around specific projects: a distribution, an application, a tightly linked suite of applications, and so on. Those are the functional units in which developers work, so it is a natural extension from there to focused mailing lists, web sites, IRC channels, and other forms of interaction with each other and users. But there are alternatives. At Libre Graphics Meeting 2016 in London, Pat David spoke about his recent experience bringing together a new online community centered around photographers who use open-source software. That community crosses over between several applications and libraries, and it has been successful enough that multiple photography-related projects have shut down their independent user forums and migrated to the new site, PIXLS.US.
  • DIY recycling, UCONN's open source chemistry book, and more news

Leftovers: Software