Recently I switched my work environment from OS X to Ubuntu (a post on that project is in the works). For years I’ve been using the standard Apple Keychain app, which has several points in its favor: it’s included with the OS, it integrates well with a lot of applications, and is not trying to “freemium” me into a paid tier. However, it’s OS X only, which meant I had to find something new.
Palm has announced the Foleo laptop-ish-device, which they are pitching as a smartphone enhancer. Interesting turnabout from the days of the original Pilot, which was pitched as a “Connected Organizer” that was dependent on your computer. The Foleo is a computer designed to be dependent on your phone. I’m adding a reminder alarm (into my Palm TX, naturally) for 3 years from today, to go buy one of these on eBay for $75 and put Linux on it!
Today, ACCESS, a Japanese company that acquired PalmSource (not to be confused with Palm, which… oh, never mind) earlier this year, announced that they will be absorbing the PalmSource brand. Probably a good thing. I’ve been a Palm user for about seven years now, and have done my share of pontificating and pondering their fate, but I hadn’t really read up on the ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP). The summary on their website mostly made my eyes glaze over (“standards-based software architecture … best-in-class … combined technology portfolios …”) until I got to this part:
I haven’t been following the SCO case very closely, having only mentioned it once since I started this blog. So I missed this ass-kicking order that came down over the summer from Judge Brooke Wells. It’s long and detailed (GrokLaw speculates that this is to discourage SCO from a tedious appeal), so don’t be afraid to skim for the good parts. For example: The court finds SCOs arguments unpersuasive. SCOs arguments are akin to SCO telling IBM sorry we are not going to tell you what you did wrong because you already know.
During the same period that I thought I’d be playing a lot with an old Dell laptop running Ubuntu Linux (but haven’t), several notable Apple fans have made, or are seriously and publicly considering making, the jump from OS X to open-source operating systems like Ubuntu. Mark Pilgrim led the way. (He does work for IBM, though he’s gotten remarkably few snide remarks about that in the comments.) Cory Doctorow is talking like he’s about to do it as well.
Tonight I had to get some data off a Dell Inspiron 4000 that has a totally screwed up W98ME installation. Rather than struggle again with burning CDs from the broken system, I decided to see how hard it was to get at the hard drive itself. I didn’t have any directions or anything, I just flipped the laptop over and started unscrewing stuff (I’ve done this since I was a kid, but have gotten a little bit better at putting things back together).
When I came across Distro of the Month I started thinking that maybe there’s a problem with the number of Linux distributions. Distrowatch.com tracks approximately 372 different Linux distributions. At one per month, it would take 31 years to make it through the list – assuming that no new distributions arrive during that time, which I’m afraid is wishful thinking. Distrowatch’s How Independent Is Your Distribution page boils the numbers down some – 129 of those 372 are based on Debian, for instance.