Category Archives: Basic Thoughts

A Call to Freedom

This, from the Free Software Foundation:

Microsoft has shelled out a mind-boggling estimated $1.8* billion to convince the public that it needs Windows 8. Why the record-breaking marketing deluge? Because a slick ad campaign is Microsoft’s best shot at hiding what Windows 8 really is; a faulty product that restricts your freedom, invades your privacy, and controls your data.”

Close Windows, Open Doors

I heartily endorse libre computing for all. Computing should be available to everyone, not just to those who can afford it. Libre (freedom of mind and thought and freedom from corporate control) Software is a step in the right direction. Why? Because the exchange of ideas is what not only fuels innovation  but offers opportunities to the financially disadvantaged. Free computing is everyone’s right. That is what the Internet is for — the freedom of thought side of things, anyway — and what the Free Software Foundation and Libre software is about:

As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.

The Free Software Foundation is working to secure freedom for computer users by promoting the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation — particularly the GNU operating system — and by campaigning against threats to computer user freedom like Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and software patents.”

We do have choices. This is a freedom, one to preserve, to cherish, to be watchful over, since there are those who would take it away if we’re not careful. Chose Libre Software and free your computer and your mind.

ZDNet being weird

Another post filtered for “profanity” – I defy you to find profanity in this!

This article points at concepts I feel very strongly about:
“Is there an unresolvable difference in ideology between those who consume and those who develop open-source and free software?”
Indeed there is! The mindset of the average consumer towards free software is *identical* to how they feel about proprietary software. They have expectations and behave like the developer owes them something if expectations weren’t met. It’s a consumer mindset and jeez, people, what is with consumers, anyway?
Just read all the angst and aggro surrounding the development of the most recent sortie of GIMP to get an idea.

No one gets “free as in freedom” and to be honest, no one gives a flip. And so the disconnect is very, very real. I completely agree with the author that Richard Stallman’s discussions on the ethics behind the FSF movement needs to be required exposure (so one at least *has* a clue) prior to using *any* software that isn’t proprietary, free (libre) or open-source, doesn’t matter.

I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years. I’ve spent my free time learning to write code in FoxPro, Visual Basic (for Applications), Python, php and javascript. I’ve collaborated with a *now* MS MVP on a FoxPro product (vertical market software that, although the target company chose solutions that made our product irrelevant, still has tenacious users who won’t give it up because it did things *their* way!!) and have since created Excel solutions for rostering and asset management using Excel VBA. The latter (Excel stuff) is all open-source and free – never got paid for my time for the rostering tool and now refuse to consider the asset management VBA app as anything but “Free Software”… I’m spending my non-work hours to develop it not just for Excel but there is a Android component under development as well. I’m saying all this to illustrate that I’m not approaching no-cost/free(libre)/Open-Source from a greedy: “hey, look what I can do and this isn’t costing me a dime” standpoint… I know software development costs money, my money. MSOffice cost me money, Windows cost me money, my broadband connection, Basic4Android, FoxPro, etc. all cost me money. So, why am I doing it? why do I refuse to charge for this? Because, philosophically, I *do* align myself with Richard Stallman’s view on Community… and this is my contribution.

Oh, and I do contribute (donations) to Linux Mint development, Blender3D development and a number of other no-cost software development groups to further their cause.

This is the movement that I believe in and want to promote. Not to undermine the proprietary software developer’s offerings, but to offer a choice for those who feel the same way I do about Community (vs Big Business). It is the core of this movement that Ballmer was referring to as a cancer, and whilst the analogy has negative connotations (disease) the effect is indeed aptly described.

But consumers will never get that. So, those of us who do have that Community Spirit Richard was promoting need to develop thick skins towards those inappropriate consumer attitudes. That disconnect won’t ever change: it’s not human nature. As Ubuntu developers were fond of saying (paraphrasing): “Hey, it’s no-cost. If you break it, you get to keep both pieces…” or “What do you want? your money back?” ;-)

A post on ZDNet…

… where are the profanities?

“”Desktops will never be touch devices because of the smudgy/sticky finger problem mentioned in the article and because nobody wants to use a computer all day where they’re having to use an outstretched arm.”
We use Windows XP with touch-screen at work, doing patient-care documentation in post-operation recovery. Several of our staff have come down with shoulder issues directly linked to long-term use of these screens (repetitive strain injuries with outstretched arms typing on a touch-screen). We are now investing thousands of dollars for special arms that allow movement of the screen to a more-accessible location of the screen in hopes of diminishing the rate of injury incurred by the use of these devices.
I seriously doubt the average user is going to seek a similar solution when they start having repetitive strain injuries – the touch-screen for home users will quickly follow the three-dimensional television. And cleaning the smudges left over on a screen… there are plastic guards for keyboards that are infinitely easier to clean than the special care screens require… *any* screen.”

Make Sense?

It’s about the people. The Constitution of the United States is about the people. And it is all consistent. So, the Second Amendment needs to be read in the context it was written in.

The following is the text of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As said Lee Z. on TheNation.com: “The 2nd Amendment is about a “well regulated militia”, not about uprisings against the constitutional government of the United States. It was brought in as a way of providing for defense against the British and Native Americans, given that the new nation could not afford, and was fearful of establishing, a standing army (they saw it as a threat to freedom).
The idea that the US Constitution was designed in any way to facilitate uprisings by the citizenry is a gross distortion of the truth, When confronted with Shays’ Rebellion, the US did not defer to it, but suppressed it. The same occurred in the larger Rebellion in 1861, also suppressed. The same would occur with any outburst of citizen gun play “justified” by a claim that the US was a “dictatorship”.
Should the US become a dictatorship, individuals with guns would not be effective in resisting or overthrowing it. This has been shown time and again in wars, where lightly armed fighters are easily overcome by modern armies. Guerrilla warfare can certainly be effective, but it requires wide popular support, and — crucially — allies with modern forces that can aid the guerrillas and deter the guerrillas’ opponents from using all the force at their disposal.
The likelihood that a citizen uprising manned by gun owners would be widely popular in the US is zero. The likelihood of such an uprising finding allies outside the US that could deter the US from crushing the uprising is nil. The only hope for such an uprising would be if the US armed forces went over to their side — very unlikely, but possible. If it did, there would be no need for the uprising, because the armed forces could overthrow the government without much problem (as in Egypt). If the armed forces remain loyal to their chain of command, they would wipe out the uprising in short order. In my opinion, the US armed forces would remain loyal, as they have (with a partial exception in 1861) since the foundation of the Republic.
So the idea of a freedom loving citizenry rising up with their handguns and hunting rifles to “restore freedom” is a ridiculous fantasy,capable of entertaining a fringe of gun lovers and kooks, but completely alien to reality. Some might call it treason if it weren’t such a joke.

 I rather think that if the writers of the second amendment realised that their words were going to be fuel for special interest groups to promote their lethal business ignoring it constituted a profound threat to the first statement of the Constitution itself:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

…insure domestic Tranquillity…
…provide for the common defence…
…promote the general Welfare…

… they would have at the very least thought twice about it. 90 guns for every 100 Americans has not shown itself to be very effective to securing any of those rights for 30,000+ shot-dead Americans each year, who in some cases are innocent children.

But then, the writers of that amendment has this in mind, didn’t they?

An old site, a new beginning

Tightbytes has been around for a long time – well, 12 years in web times is a long time. It’s seen a few changes, a few dormant stages, and now, a new focus. yes, still Poser, but instead of shaders it’s designing dynamic cloth. I hope this is going to be a really fast-growing concept and I’ll be able to move from idea to concept in Blender, and cloth sim in Poser in a reasonable amount of time.

Wish me luck.