The winner is – The Rejected Ballot Paper Party

During the build up the mood balance seemed to be shifting to the SNP (Scottish National Party). Labour have held a stranglehold in Scotland since the early 60’s and while the SNP have gradually built support, it tends to fall back at the election. Over the last few days Labour started to pull back some of the gap, so it really is too close to call.

The star of the night has turned out to be the humble ballot paper. The election process was changed this time round, and the Scottish Parliament had to do a PR run to explain to people what to expect. Personally I didn’t even get my polling card this time, maybe because I’ve been critical of Labour, and they didn’t want to risk me voting against them…which is exactly what I’d have done. I at least got the satisfaction of watching my local Labour MP fall to the SNP in a shock result. I’m not sure I endorse the SNP, but they seem the best of a bad lot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Going native

I’ve been used to the Windows way of PC life for too long. This means that I’m used to the brand and program names I use for each service. I don’t want to use WINE with Windows ports unless I have to, which means I’m looking to go native in Linux……this means relearning program names.

I have Mandriva Linux 2007 with the KDE desktop environment, and am looking to set up various programs. I want them to be as light in resources as possible, and they have to be GUI. I am new to active Linux, as I learn more….I will shift to command line stuff…..but not yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Never a better time to switch to Linux

With Microsoft having launched their new Vista operating system on an unwilling public, there’s never been a better time to abandon Microsoft to their fate and switch to either Linux or an Apple Mac.

Not only has Vista been a more effective Linux advert than anything Microsoft have done previously, it coincides with the rise of some VERY nice and easy to use distributions of Linux. Before I go on, I’d like to thank two major players here…..Microsoft and Ubuntu.

Read the rest of this entry »

Going commando on the internet

Contrary to popular belief; Microsoft is NOT a PC, nor is a PC Microsoft. For most of us have learned what we know from friends, family and acquaintances……all of whom have asked the same question which is based on an assumption. “What version of Windows are you using?

Given the dominance of Microsoft in the marketplace it’s an understandable assumption that everyone else does use Windows. The idea that anything else can exist does not even cross many users minds, so the things that are almost exclusive to Windows are seen as “PC” issues……not the accurate label of “Microsoft” issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

The participation ratio

Recently Dell asked their customers if they’d like to be given the option of Linux instead of Windows as the pre-installed operating system on their new PC and were overwhelmed by the numbers who said “yes“.

Some on that feedback forum complained that the ratio wasn’t accurate because the “Linux geeks brought all their friends in to make it appear to be a higher demand than it is, and that normal people still want Windows.

So what’s the reality? I’d say a bit of both…..let me explain.

Read the rest of this entry »

Return of the mainframe?

The PC has evolved from being standalone machines which don’t talk to each other, through dumb terminals which get their resources and documents from a central mainframe, to a combination of both as we have now. Our PCs are now more connected on OUR terms than ever before…although this may be another phase, if we all follow the Google marketing plans.

Microsoft have set the interaction method we are all used to with our PCs. They made us expect to see the “start” button at the bottom left, the clock at the bottom right etc. They made us expect the Office suite as it is. They don’t innovate much, but rather buy designs from others, and brand them as Microsoft. This does not change the fact that they set the bar.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mandriva Linux finds Speedtouch USB DSL

I’ve been planning to switch over from Windows XP Pro to Linux for a long time now, I’ve seen a better world, but my software requirements and PC hardware has held me back……now the last of the technical objections has been swept away.

Over the next week or so I’ll be sorting out my back up situation, clearing out old files etc…..then making the switch to Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring One. I’ll finally be 100% Linux……a day I’ve been looking forward to for so long.

Read the rest of this entry »