Ex Oram Golem

I have been moved this morning to reflect on the similarities between the current administration (regime) in the district and that most exalted and hallowed of computer companies, MegaHard. (I know a lot of you expected me to say “Fruit” instead of “MegaHard” but be still. You will get your turn shortly.)

In brief, we have an organization in the district, a segment of the country purposely  prevented from self-government to keep from inciting the residents to war with the administration because the residents would be prevented from doing so by crookery and deceit. This organization, aka the regime, is kept in this bit of feverish bogland for the sole purpose of minimizing its pollution of the rest of the country. Chief among this pollution is arguments over which faction is the most dishonest, disreputable, and immoral. To say nothing of aethical.

Of particular danger are the ministrations of this regime to do grave harm to the country and its citizens while preaching, with all the piety and unctuousness possible, of the benefits of their evil. 

Happily most of these ministrations are so blatantly obvious that they can be counteracted by blatant unacceptance.

But I noted this morning identical behavior on the part of MegaHard. Seems they are developing a version of their Chromium based web browser to work on LINUX. (Brief interlude while I go to change my shirt soiled by violent laughter and thumping about on the floor with laughter.)

One of the delights of my younger days was when I was able to replace the noxious and nauseating Internet Explorer browser with FireFox. This was an event of magnitude corresponding to the musical score of Star Wars or the moral triumph of The Princess Bride. (The illusion to exploding orbital fortress or father-killer is exact and accurate.) In a short span of time, MegaHard’s flagship browser went from Lanchestrian monopoly of the internet to corn cob in the garden outhouse. 

And what is amazing is that MegaHard has forgotten that lesson. They now propose a chrome/chromium based browser (Edge by name, I believe, which seems to indicate peripherality rather than sharpness) for LINUX use. This offers us a double example of perpetuated stupidity: first of all, MegaHard has tried very hard to eradicate Linux – just as they tried to eradicate FireFox and its parent company – and forced to give up their monopolistic presence in the server universe as a result, and secondly, the duplication of their browser delusion.

The delusion abounds because not only is Chrome, the official Gooey browser available for Linux, but also a free version and a Gooey excised version, to mention only a few. At last count, I think there are an additional half-dozen chrome/chromium derivative browsers available for Linux. And I didn’t exert myself in the counting. 

This seems to be what MegaHard has been reduced to: a tertiary also-ran. Yes, they still command the most users, but those users are almost universally either corporate serfs or worse, mind slaves of corporate practice, unwilling or unable, if not both, to strike off their mental coffle. 

Back when FireFox was introduced and we adopted it, we discovered – joyfully – that freedom was better than slavery. And many of us have not looked back. But we still despair for our benighted brethren who are still enslaved. And we have scant wish to return. 

So what mischief lurks in MegaHard’s dark chest where a heart should be?

And, for the Fruit users, I noted a new widget to jailbreak all existing iPhuns and iPuds. 

FOSS FIRST! Forward the F!

Old Flatulence

Ran across this cartoon [Link] this morning

Took me back to the daring days of yesterday when I had a shiny new IBM PC with two floppy drives at home and was looking for an alternative to FORTH which had proved to be a bit hair triggered.

Just then Phillipe Kahn introduced TURBO PASCAL and for the nest bunch of years I wrote (almost) all my code that way. And published several papers from the results.

Finally had to give it up when Winders crept into the seams and you had to spend 90% of your coding time doing GUI stercus.

Thence, on the LINUX and back to FORTRAN. And the numbers get crunched good.

But there for a while, PASCAL was the thing dreams are made of.

Alma Mater

This is not about mothers. I know it’s Mother’s Day but today I want to talk a bit about Freedom since it is a commodity that is fast vanishing in Amerika.

A few moments ago I read an article [Link] entitled “How Microsoft reinvented itself” which I found a bit discouraging. I am not a fan of Microsoft. I had to use its OS for quite a few years, mostly with the connivance (and oppression) of the Yankee government. I fooled myself into thinking that a commonality of OS is a necessity of the workplace while ignoring that some folks got away with using Apple, mostly people of high rank or office.

Once I “retired”, I quickly changed from a Windows that had steadily been decaying and becoming less functional to Linux. Today I use Linux except for a couple of old laptops that still have WXP on them  – the last barely workable Windows – so I can use one LaTeX client. This compromise is largely because of the perfidy of the client’s manufacturer, who promised a Linux version but became a lair because of MegaHard. 

Aside from that, I use Linux. Except for an adequate LaTeX client, it provides everything I need in plenitude. It is, in the way of an OS, everything of Freedom that Winders is not. I have multiple choices of almost everything and they are at least as good as Winders and in the main superior. The Linux version of Libre Office is an order of magnitude more functional and enjoyable to use than MegaHard Office. 

The epitome of this freedom is that I can choose from a half dozen (or so) desktop environments and modify them as I wish. This is a stark comparison to Winders which permits no effective customization or modification of its desktop environment.

So I can say on this day that I am happy to be free of the Mother of Operating Systems.

Pilgrimage Questions

As I was awandering this morning in the fields of Intronet, I ran across [Link] “Microsoft cyber security chief urges users to STOP using its own outdated browser Internet Explorer and move to a ‘modern’ system” and recalled something I heard on a podcast last Sixday (at the gym, natch!)

“Those who use Internet Explorer do not deserve Linux.”

Not that I completely reject their Weltanschaung. After all, they probably still use WXP or one of the versions of W that retains some vestage of utility and satisfaction, and thereby, enjoyment. Certainly since MegaHard sold out to the ceramics trust their OS has not only been nauseatingly obese but painful to see or touch. 

But since Mozilla played out its brief – too brief – period as liberator and patriot, there have been alternatives to IE whose singular characteristic has been being betterer. 

So do I waste pity on these people? No. Because it isn’t racism if the evil ones are evil because of their mind shackles. Only those who seek betterness deserve to find it. But they have to come to betterness in their own time, else it is torture and hatred.

OS-laugh

I note [Link] that MegaHard has announced that it will permit users to continue using their older versions of Winders – you know, the ones that actually have some esthetic, however small, appeal and are minimally enjoyable to use, unlike the current Winders X which is ugly, nauseating, and painful bordering on either childbirth or rabies – if the proper baksheesh is paid.

How they are going to enforce this isn’t clear but then those who use Winders are not noted for intelligence, savvy, or canniness.

In the meantime, I shall continue using Linux at no charge other than my own time, sweat, and hormone-age. 

(Long Maniacal Laugh!!!!)

And reaping both enjoyment and satisfaction.

Dark Thoughts 4

I have made no bones, positive nor negative, of being a Linuxian. Once I retired from the civil service of the Yankee Republic, I was able to lay aside Winders along with my organizationally demanded loyalty and support to/for it. Nowadays, the only time I deal with Winders is when I have to bash FD SCP’s boxes or deal with a friend or colleague who continues to practice this aged and creaky “religion.”

That’s not quite accurate. I do still keep a few Winders boxes about, almost solely dedicated to running Scientific Word since there is no equivalent in Linux. The manufacturer of SW, who promised Linux support with the latest version, proved themselves to be a “true” Amerikan Capitalist by prvaricating and not producing a Linux client. Sic Transit…

But I still need SW, which I run in a aged version on an WXP box or two, to write Nerd papers, Linux lacking any equally useful alternative.

Anyway, I was reading an article [Link] entitled “A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream” and it provoked some cogitation. For those who do not know, which is the majority, Elementary OS is a Linux distribution, and it is billed as the Linux Messiah that will instantiate the “year of the Linux desktop.”

After years of stentorian announcements of the “year of the Linux desktop,” I have become cynical, or, at least, more cynical of the claims. But lately I have come to focus a different view of this.

If we go back to the period before Thucydides invented history, when the Greeks told fantasy tales of heroes, we find that heroes were not always nice people but they were few in number. 

In a similar vein, in the centuries just prior to the quantum/relativity revolution, “civilized” nations have Explorers’ Clubs, dedicated to people who went in harms way to find new places, people, things, and ideas. These Explorers were not always nice people, despite the propaganda of King and Country and Media, but they were few in number.

Heroes and Explorers were not majority human beings. They were driven to activities alien to the rest of humanity, and by so doing, enriched that majority.

I will argue that (at least one of) the modern equivalent of Heroes and Explorers are the folks who deliberately, without coercion, adopt Linux. Because doing so enriches the majority who remain Winders serfs and Apple slaves. 

We should not therefore try to entice great numbers to embrace Linux, for such power is inherently unstable and would damage the mundanity of society too much. 

There is no year of the Linux desktop any more than next year there will be fulfillment in Jerusalem.

Alternately, the year of the Linux desktop is every year that these few, these explorer/heroes improve the lot of humanity. And suffer as much from the apathy and hatred of that majority as they do from privation and opposition. 

Those who seek the Grail are opposed by all, good and evil alike.