Into week out and the weather has warmed. Rather, the temperature is up. And I am doubly in need of clearing tabs because I am on the cusp of transition from this box to the new six core box. And yes, I finally got my will power in line and transferred the data HD yesterday. So I am now in a bit of a mixed state. With some things not available – like my signature files.
It seems rather appropriate under such circumstances to note an article [Link] in the Register about Apple’s second patent on the rectangle. Actually, I should amend that it is not strictly a rectangle but a “rectangle with rounded corners”.
I find this bemusing on a couple of levels. First, I can recall an article in Popular Mechanics in the late ’70′s about a guy who developed a milling machine (ala a router) to cut this shape for table tops (e.g.) And he got a patent on the machine. So if there is a patent for a machine to cut this shape, how can Apple patent the shape? Seems like an implicit conflict.
Second, I fear I find this another example of BIG Brands enslaving the citizenry. If they can own geometric shapes what is next? Proper names. Will our children have to pay a royalty every time they sign their names? Or will there be public domain names? Or will everyone have a unique name that is a perversion of some actual name like some of the lesser bogs do now? And if you can’t possess your own name, how can you enter into a contract? Will we all just be numbers like that rather depressing “science fiction” movie? And will the numbers be tattooed on our arms ala Auschwitz inmates?
In a rather more pleasant azimuth, I note [Link][Link] that sales of desk/lap boxes with Linux pre-installed are up albeit not in the Yankee republic. I fear this is one more indication of our rapid degeneration in to a third world nation. It also brings me once more to the question of whether I really want to see Linux widely diffused as a tool OS (not an appliance OS.) If it means looking and acting like Winders or Apple OS, then the answer is a resounding NYET! And I am not sure the dispersion of distributions will let this be avoided. After all, they killed off CPM didn’t they?
This brings me to an article [Link] on Linux ‘Fear – Uncertainty – Doubt’ among educationalists. I especially liked the quote
‘”In a modern textbook for a Management Information Systems class Linux is being portrayed as:
- Rarely used (only when budget is very limited)
- Only has one commonly used application (OpenOffice)
- Created by “a loosely coupled group of programmers who mostly volunteer their time”
Not a single one of those statements is valid and current.’
But the argument that this is bad because of economics preventing up-to-date textbooks is rot. If anything, Linux use in colleges is concentrated among IT types. And an out of date college textbook? Rarer than dinosaur descendants with teeth. Rather more a matter of author ignorance dragging. And the kind of religionist tunnel vision that infests too many modern IT organizations, real and academic.
But having grown up in the ’60′s with the ‘counter culture’ I am happy to think of Linux as the modern version. And enjoy it as the individual you had to be to enjoy things then.