Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ubuntu Rhode Island Community Team

I have recently begun working on the team resources for a Rhode Island based Ubuntu Local Community Team. Establishing these resources has been relatively simple, but as expected building a team and getting the word out has been relatively difficult.

The goal of LoCo teams is to build a stronger relationship between the community and the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Areas in the community can benefit from local support, installations, and a closer relationship with those who manage their IT assets versus getting an impersonal conversation with a tech support representative.

I feel as though our communities in Rhode Island, and non-profit organizations can benefit from the support of local experts. These experts can build friendships, network and a sense of accomplishment for something that does not feed the machine.

I am only one person and I feel that Rhode Island can benefit from such support and a strong team. Please check out the Ubuntu site. This team isn't just for developers, bug fixes, or geeks. If you are interested, curious or a newbie you can build upon your existing skills and network with other's that share your interest in Ubuntu.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Check out the Ubuntu forums at:

http://www.ubuntuforums.org

Friday, August 10, 2007

Autism Speaks

I am somewhat embarressed to say this but I was watching Oprah, yeah Oprah cuz there isn't much on tv. The show was very informative and a silent killer for children is Autism. Normal child development and those of us that see a future for our children would never imagine anything being wrong with them. I can say for me that frightens me to lose my son to a life long imprisonment. From the information I've gathered Austism affects 1 in 150 children. That is more than Pediatric Cancer, Aids and Diabetes. The hardest part to handle is that there is no known cause and there is no cure.

I watched these parents online talking and feeling my own heart break as I watch these images and hear the words of their daily struggles. My own mother has worked with Austistic people and have felt pain for their families having to watch their children grow up in a world locked in their own mind.

I truly do feel for these families and I hope the cause and the cure are discovered very quickly.

I found a site for the largest Austism Organization available. They have great information, forums, and additional links. I highly recommend researching this site for additional information:

http://www.autismspeaks.org

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Slow Internet Links, Alienware & Linux

I am sitting here probably over the slowest Internet Link I have ever encountered trying to go through all of my RSS feeds. Everything is clicking by ever so slowly and I long for the days of dialup it's so bad. Maybe in a short period of time I will be in a place where I can get WiFi access or broadband. It's amazing what you take for granted.

That kinda of gives me a little segway to my next point. Linux. I've looked around the web and only see Dell selling proprietary systems with Ubuntu preloaded. I have absolutely no clue on how well these systems run, so I figured I would spec one out to see what I could get. I was rather happy with the price of the XPS system I configured. It looked good the price was under $1000, I didn't chose a monitor, and had alot of bells and whistles I wanted. I then chose a laptop and did a spec on that too. I wasn't happy with the offering at all, especially at the price. The embedded Intel Graphics card has to go. I wanted a graphics adapter that could handle the 3D rendering I have come to love with my HP DV2120 NVIDIA Card. I love that system. I then decided that the Dell desktop offering would be the way to go. I just have to justify it. I have just become so attached to using a laptop that I don't think I could really go back to a desktop. I'd feel weird and chained.

This then pushes me to look at Alienware. Maybe they have something that I could buy with all the toys I would expect from Alienware. I was disappointed but not too surprised that their wasn't a Linux offering. I did however find a survey asking how I felt about a Linux based Alienware system. I gladly completed the survey hoping this will spur their efforts to produce a product that I know I wouldn't mind purchasing.

My general feeling is that the marketplace is partially skiddish on accepting Linux as an alternative to Windows in their product offerings. I understand the need to educate the support staff and produce a quality product. These are the same growing pains they have had to go through when different versions of Windows are released. These pains are different from others but growing is just that, growing.

I am slightly disappointed in HP not offering a Home Linux based product line. I took my HP laptop and turned it into an Ubuntu system and I am rather happy with the end result. It's a matter of effort and jumping in with both feet. Dell did it, and I think HP is just testing the water to see how Dell's profit numbers are going to add up. In all reality I probably won't purchase a Dell Ubuntu system. Not because it's Dell, but because the product line is so slim. Their is no AMD processor offering, no NVIDIA chipset in the notebook offering and I can't have that. I hope they expand the offering once positive numbers are produced but who knows how that is going to be.

I hope Alienware follows suit and begins offering systems that the Linux community can be proud to purchase. I filled out the survey stating my case for Alienware to jump on the bus. If only HP and other's were so bold.

In case you want the link to the Alienware Survey here it is:

http://www.alienware.com/Surveys/AlienSurvey.aspx?Id=29607129825

Until the time comes where I can purchase what I want in a system I guess I'll just stick with my clones and my trusty HP laptop. It actually runs better than Windows ever did. Hint Hint HP.