I helped Engineering With Borders to organized the course “Linux per tutti, tutti per GNU/Linux” (“Linux for all, and all for GNU/Linux”) (see page on TrentoWiki).
The available places were 25 (we were reserving place for students of non-scientific faculties) but we receive more requests so there will probably be another course in October.
Today there is first meeting which is open to everyone: at 18:30 Alberto Gistri of Golem Empoli will speak about “Software Libero” – Conoscere il Software Libero e le sue potenzialita’ sociali, culturali, economiche e tecniche.”.
Traduzione in Italiano alla fine di questo post! Acer announced they refund Windows if you don’t want it (link to a news in Italian)! This is great news! I was waiting for this moments since years! Also it is a very lucky coincidence since an association which I already helped making their website, Gruppo Trentino di Volontariato, bought an Acer laptop this very last Saturday and luckly enough we didn’t yet push the dooming button “accept the plague windows”. So I already offered with enormous pleasure to work out the refund process. In fact it is not too easy, nor too advantageous from an economic point of view: you have to send the laptop you bought to their central assistance office in Milan (cost of transport and insurance is on you), then they simply format the hard disk and send you back an empty (clean I should say!) laptop (cost of transport and insurance is again on you). And how much do they refund for Windows Vista?
Vista Home Basic 30 euros
Vista Home Pro 50 euros
Vista Home Business 70 euros
Vista Home Ultimate 90 euros
It is really a small amount of money, especially of you consider you have to pay for sending the laptop to the assistance center and back, but I don’t do it for the money, I do it because I want Acer and all the laptop producers know there a lot of people who don’t want Windows preinstalled on their machines. I often said “I would buy a laptop without Windows even if it would cost 200 Euros more” so here there is my chance. And I also hope that in this way all the laptop producers can start imitating Dell which already sells computers with Ubuntu GNU/Linux installed on them. And we can put an end to the cancer that stopped innovation in computer science in the past 10 years (at least!), yes I’m referring to Microsoft (some time ago Ballmer was using the term cancer referring to Linux).
Acer might have changed its policy after being ruled by a judge in France to cough up â‚¬811 in damages to Antoine Gutzwiller over a â‚¬599 laptop because of a dispute over pre-loaded software (windows, MS Works, PowerDVD, Norton Antivirus, …)
I don’t think we are asking too much: we simply ask freedom of choice in which operating system we want on our machines. As simple as freedom.
This is great news.
I’ll keep you posted about the progress, at the moment the laptop is in the Acer offices in Milan.
Acer ha annunciato che ora rimborsa Windows se non lo si desidera. Come fare ad ottenere rimborso? Devi spedire a Acer il portatile acquistato (entro 30 giorni), loro lo formattano e poi ti restituiscono gli euro (Vista Home Basic 30 euros, Vista Home Pro 50 euros, Vista Home Business 70 euros, Vista Home Ultimate 90 euros).
Ho fatto domanda di rimborso e spedito il laptop e scrivero’ su questo blog come e’ andata appena ho notizie.
Perche’ farlo? In modo da far sapere ai produttori di hardware che non vogliamo Windows preinstallato sulle nostre macchine. Vogliamo semplicemente la possibilita’ di scegliere, niente di piu’.
Thanks to Jesse, I started exploring Git, a version control system alternative to CVS and SVN. Git is based on a very different metaphor. While in CVS/SVN there is one repository which is maintained in a single location, in Git there are as many repositories as users and all of them are maintained in a decentralized fashion, on all the machines of all the users. From centralization to decentralization, it is an interesting twist and change in perspective.
And so what about the risk of balkanization of code? And the fact that there are 10.000 (different) versions of the Linux kernel? Well, according to Linus, the answer is trust. Linus explains the metaphores behind git and the trust issues in an extremely interesting Google Talk.
The way merging is done is the way real security is done, by a network of trust. if you have ever done any security work and it didnâ€™t involve the concept of network of trust it was not a security work; it was a masturbation.
â€¦we donâ€™t know hundred people. We have five, seven, ten close personal friendsâ€¦
This way of managing a software ecology is wonderfully adhocratic. There are now thousands different versions of the Linux kernel. Currently most of the people rely on Linus’ version but it is possible, in a perfect adhocratic way, that different people will rely on versions of different people. Go decentralized, go trust-based. Cool.