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AROS Research Operating System 22 December, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Uncategorized.
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AROS is an open source operating system that builds on AmigaOS. It can be run on powerpc and x86 hardware. Here’s its description from its sf page:

The AROS Research Operating System is a lightweight, efficient and flexible desktop operating system, designed to help you make the most of your computer. It’s an independent, portable and free project, aiming at being compatible with AmigaOS 3.1 at the API level (like Wine, unlike UAE), while improving on it in many areas. The source code is available under an open source license, which allows anyone to freely improve upon it.

and wiki:

AROS Research Operating System (AROS) is a free software/open source implementation of the AmigaOS 3.1 APIs. Designed to be portable and flexible, ports are currently available for x86-based and PowerPC-based PCs in native and hosted flavors, with other architectures in development.

So there you go. I don’t actually know that much about it, I just used it because I thought that it would be fun. As with ReactOS. Except that this one has an interesting logo.

In order to virtualise it, you can download a linux program that will display a window that has AROS running. You can also download a live system called vmwaros. Humourously, in the version that I downloaded, it does not start under QEMU, or Virtualbox, but does start in Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, a proprietary virtualisation system. Ironic.

vmwaros

AROS is pretty cute. You can do stuff like play doom. Lots more software is being ported to AROS.

doomIt’s ironic that the only virtualisation solution that has worked for me is a Microsoft product running on XP. Then again, it reminded me of the limitations of Windows when I used paint to paste the screenshots, which created 2.5 MB bmp’s, which wordpress can’t use, while GNU IMP converted them to 70 KB Jpegs. When you use Linux for long enough, you are surprised when things don’t work.

The Open Disk 5 December, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Windows, XP.
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Microsoft is getting slightly desperate. Smart students can use Linux for free, making universities a free software heartland. In response, they run a program called MSDN academic alliance, allowing Computer Science and Software Engineering IT people to give out free copies of XP Professional, Vista 32 bit and a whole lot of other Microsoft tools. These departments have to pay $2000 every three years, and can give out as many copies as they like. Effectively it’s free, paying for itself with ten copies of XP, which could be given out in no time.

Installing my free, and indeed legal copy of XP was easy. Unlike with bootleg versions, I haven’t had any problems. In fact, my desktop’s mainboard had a driver CD that means that I actually have working integrated 3D graphics, something I haven’t managed in Linux.

The first thing that you will notice when you move from Linux to Windows is that Windows comes without any useful software (whatsoever). Though it has just enough to make your computer usable. To do this, open up Internet Explorer, go to firefox.com and proceed to download. This is IE’s most useful feature. Next, Download 7-zip, and download the Open Disk.

The Open Disk is a CD that has a collection of useful open source software for Windows, including Firefox and OpenOffice along with Inkscape, the GNU IMP, and a whole lot of others. This makes it a great tool for yourself, but the best thing is that you can burn a whole lot and give them out.

While, according to NetApplications, Linux has less than 1% OS market share, Firefox has 20% browser share. If you credit some figures, that’s as much as 30% in some areas, such as Europe. When people hear about cool software, they are more likely to install an application than install a whole OS. I think using the Open Disk for FOSS advocacy will be more successful than trying to give out whole Linux distributions. But that’s just me.

One final thought, what about all of the others like me that are installing Windows using MSDNAA? They are a prime target for FOSS advocacy, as they probably already know about Firefox, and don’t have much software on their computers to start with. I think this page should be used as a hit list.

XO 18 November, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Windows, XP.
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The New York Times is running an article on how media groups are going to donate advertising space to help OLPC. This is intending to sell the pathetic ‘give one, get one’ campaign. I wanted to write a longer post, but I can’t be bothered and there’s no need. First, one of the main problems with OLPC is that they didn’t let countries order a small shipment of the XOs to do pilot testing. Major flaw.

Second, in the rough words of Hans Rosling; you know about two kinds of countries; developed and developing. I know about 200 kinds of countries. While a customised version of Linux with no printing support or interoperability is great in a few of the deepest, darkest corners of the world, you are forgetting the rest, especially Newly Industrialised Countries (NIC’s). There are vast regions of the world that already have power, internet, printers, etc. Think of the number of poor people across China, SE Asia, Middle and South America, and even Europe. Mexico has power. THey also have a lot of slums. Why would you make a computer that needs to be hand cranked? The first thing that Egypt said was something like ‘will these computer work with our WinXP xomputers?’ And the answer is no. Score 0 OLPC.

Third, if the computers are’nt really that great in NICs, they’re crap in developed countries. What can you do with them. FSJ frequently made fun of the freetard idiots that went out to buy ones.This sums it up:

olpc

And Finally, a quote from FSJ:

it was never about education or poverty or helping kids and was, rather, all about a bunch of amateur techies trying to prove that they could make a better computer than Microsoft and Intel?

Guess what, freetard morons. You couldn’t. You didn’t.

Check out more of his rants here.

Also check out OVPC.(One Velociraptor Per Child)

Edit: If you want a gift to give at Christmas that isn’t useless junk and will actually help children in developing countries, consider something like usefulgifts.org. Lots of charities do these things.