Gnome and free software under attack

A month ago Gnome was hit by patent troll for developing the Shotwell image management application. They stated:

It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last. Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC offered to let us settle for a high five figure amount, for which they would drop the case and give us a licence to carry on developing Shotwell. This would have been simple to do so; it would have caused less work, cost less money, and provided the Foundation a lot less stress. But it also would be wrong. Agreeing to this would leave this patent live, and allow this to be used as a weapon against countless others. We will stand firm against this baseless attack, not just for GNOME and Shotwell, but for all free and open source software projects.

This is very important cause worthy to fight for. We should support the Gnome Foundation so that patent trolls should never target free software by making a donation to the GNOME Patent Troll Defense Fund.

Mint

Det hele startede som en joke. Jeg snakkede med en ven og vi kom til at diskuttere den stigende ustabilitet i Microsoft Windows. Jeg begyndte at igen opleve den frygtede Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) efter mange, mange års fravær på min Windowsmaskine. Derudover snakkede vi om stigende privatlivets krænkelser, især fra de store techgiganter Facebook, Microsoft, Google og andre. Disse virksomheder lever af deres brugeres informationer, som hele tiden samles, sorteres i og sælges videre til andre virksomheder, eller de udnytter selv for at servere flere reklamer for os. Som man siger, hvis et produkt er gratis, er du selv et produkt, og det er netop, hvad vi, brugere, faktisk er blevet siden vi begyndte at bruge Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, Windows og YouTube. Disse produkter er ofte gratis i en eller anden forstand, men virksomheder, som står bag disse tjenester, samler hele tiden oplysninger af deres brugere og anvender dem som de lyster, oftest er det nok i en eller anden kommerciel form.

I løbet af samtalen med vennen, sagde jeg lidt spøgefuldt, at jeg vil, som protest og i frustration over den nuværende situation i den digitale verden, muligvis forsøge at gå fra Windows 10 og skifte til Linux. Da jeg åbenbart har en eller anden form for OCD, måtte jeg straks udforske muligheder. Jeg downloadede et par Linux distributioner (Linux Mint, MX Linux og Ubuntu), som kan downloades kvit og frit på deres respektive websites.

MX Linux var jeg ikke helt glad for, når man ser på dens udseende, mens Ubuntu kunne jeg egentlig godt lide, men begge distros havde problemer med at finde min trådløs USB-dongle, hvilket var ret vigtigt for mig. I processen fik jeg kigget også på Linux Mint Debian Edition, men den distro formåede jeg at smadre i stykker da jeg pillede lidt for meget i dens indstillinger.

Det hører med til historien, at jeg har første gang kigget på Linux i starten af ’00erne. Dengang prøvede jeg Debian, Mandriva, Fedora, Ubuntu og andre mindre kendte distributioner. Det var rigtig fascinerende at lære at kende en ny eksotisk verden med GNU/Linux og open source software. Men dengang havde Linux ikke tilsvarende alternativer til fx Photoshop, InDesign og Vegas Pro. Og slet ikke at nævne noget om seriøs gaming. Man kunne spille Solitaire og nogle flyvende og skøjtende pingviner på det tidspunkt i Linux og det var det. Af de grunde vendte jeg tilbage til Windows. Jeg brugte Windows 98, Windows 2000, XP, Windows 7 og de sidste fire år Windows 10. Jeg var tilfreds, den var stabil – indtil den med hver en ny opdatering bragte stigende ustabilitet til mit system og mangel på privatliv. Microsoft samler, ligesom mange andre, en masse informationer om deres brugere. Mange har ikke noget problem med det – det havde jeg i lang tid heller ikke – men det går mig på nu, især efter alle de privacy skandaler man kunne følge med i medier: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica osv. Samtidig begyndte jeg at få de forhadte BSoD, dødens blå skærm, som jeg ikke oplevede i mange, mange år. Jeg kunne føle, at noget i Windows ikke var på den rette vej.

Dødens blå skærm i Windows 10

Derfor valgte jeg endelig at installere Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon Edition for lidt over to uger siden. Jeg kunne godt lide dens udseende, den føltes hurtig og ret let, så jeg besluttede at fokusere i første omgang på Linux Mint, i stedet for at kigge endeløst på andre distributioner, for der findes bogstaveligt hundredvis af Linux versioner, som man kan bruge mange år på at udforske, og det gad jeg ikke rigtigt. Hvis man ellers har lyst, kan man på distrowatch.com læse om og udforske alverdens Linux distributioner fra nu af og til Ragnarok. Da jeg nu var i gang med at genudforske Linux, skulle det gerne gå så hurtigt som muligt.

Skrivebordet i Linux Mint 19.2 CE. Så fin!

Jeg må indrømme, at jeg er svært imponeret over, hvor langt Linux er nået på alle felter, fra apps til gaming. Min Linuxinstallation er stabil, den er nem at bruge, da Linux Mints brugeroverflade ikke ligger helt langt væk fra Windows. Jeg har installeret Steam og jeg kan med glæde skrive, at over 130 spil i min katalog er understøttet i Linux, enten natively eller via Proton, som er Steams værktøj, der gør det muligt at spille mange Windowsspil i Linux. En sand velsignelse!

Ja, Steam i Linux ligner 100% den i Windows.

Alle, for mig, vigtige spil virker i Linux. Altså alle undtagen Far Cry 5, som er rigtig ærgerligt, men så kan jeg glæde mig over, at Cities Skylines, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Arma 3, Company of Heroes 2, Northgard, Civilization V, Football Manager 2015, Prison Architect, Alien Isolation og andre virker uden problemer.

Hvad angår programmer, er jeg begyndt at knække koden i forbindelse med at bruge fx Krita, som er med lidt god vilje en alternativ til Photoshop. Olive er en fin afløser som videoredigeringsprogram til Vegas Pro. Den er dog stadig blot i alpha. Ellers kunne jeg finde på at bruge Kdenlive. Til at lytte til radio og musik, anvender jeg Audacious. LibreOffice er en kapabel afløser for Microsoft Office, og den savner jeg slet ikke. Jeg påskønner faktisk brugen af terminalen, som er nok mere nødvendig at anvende end i Windows. Det går bare hurtigere med fx at opdatere alle systemets programmer end at gøre grafisk og eller via browseren. Men jeg bruger den slet ikke meget, da man ikke behøver at starte den så ofte. Det er det kun, hvis man er en “nørd” og man vil lege med alverdens kommandoer man kan fyre af via terminalen. 🙂 Jeg foretrækker dog musen og den grafiske brugerflade.

Mit Linux Mint-skrivebord i øjeblikket.

Linux er definitivt i meget højere grad klar til masserne, selvom det stadigvæk kan være lidt udfordrende for de absolutte computerbegyndere. Men jeg vil påstå, at så længe man ikke anvender hardcore Linux distributioner som Gentoo, Arch og lignende, kan næsten enhver forsøge sig med Linuxversioner, der i høj grad har den samme brugeroplevelse som Windows eller Mac: Linux Mint, elementary, Pop!_Os, Zorin og Ubuntu. Jeg har i hvert fald besluttet mig for at blive lidt længere. Forhåbentlig bliver det permanent.

NAS

This little machine is my new toy – it’s a Synology DS116 NAS server. 

So small, yet so powerful and versatile. I can access my files from anywhere, I can listen to my music, get to my photographs, share them with the family or friends, have my own calendar, mail, databases and so much more. 

Why didn’t I get it sooner? Merry Christmas to me.

All my cell phones (2001-2017)

I remember how I was very reluctant to get a cellular phone in the beginning of this millennium. I simply did not like the idea of having one in my pocket. I know, although I was only in my 20’s, I had some antimodern ideas at the time. The reason I got one was I moved away from my parents in the beginning of 2001, and of course I wanted to be able to talk to them when I or they wanted to. For the last fourteen years I owned ten (10) cellular phones, so let’s register them for posterity. 🙂

My first cell phone was a dark grey Siemens C45, which I bought sometime in 2001. I was so glad for that little bugger, it was small, handy and it never bugged me in any way.

Siemens-C45-1
Siemens C45

My second cell phone was a light grey Sony Ericsson phone (either T or K series, I don’t remember), and I got it in 2004.

The third phone was Nokia 3120c, which I acquired either in 2006 or 2007. I was very happy with this one, because it was a very small and handy device, which reminded me a little of my first cell phone.

Nokia 3120c
Nokia 3120c

My fourth phone was Nokia 5800 and it was my first smartphone, which I bought on 23 November 2009. It cost me 1800 DKK. It was chubby and it had the horrible Symbian 60 OS, but in a strange way I liked it (not too much, though).

DSC_2717
Nokia 5800

My fifth phone was LG Optimus GT540 and it was my first Android phone. I bought it on 4 December 2010 for 1099 DKK. I really loved Android OS and the phones design, but its screen was not great.

LG Optimus GT540
LG Optimus GT540

My sixth mobile device was LG E510 (Hub), which I got on 16 December 2011 for 1502 DKK. It was small (3,5″ screen) and I liked it.

LG E510
LG E510

The seventh phone was Huawei Sonic (U8650). I bought it on 10 April 2012 and I only gave 999 DKK for it. It was okay, but it was also quite a slow one with pretty crappy screen.

Huawei-Sonic
Huawei Sonic

My eight phone was Huawei G300 which I got on 1 March 2013 for 999 DKK. It was the best smartphone I had until. It had a great screen and its processor was fast. The only negative thing was its somewhat erosive cover.

Huawei G300
Huawei G300

The next phone was Motorola Moto G (2013), which I bought in the beginning of 2014 for 1681 DKK. It was simply the best phone I ever had. It had a better screen than iPhone 5, it was fast and did everything I wanted it to do. I miss its great size, screen and the original KitKat OS version. My wife is now a happy Moto G user.

Moto G
Moto G

My current smartphone is blue My tenth phone was Samsung SIII (I9305). I bought it on 5th October 2014 for 1499 DKK. It is a very good phone with a great screen, but I just don’t like Samsung’s heavy alteration of the original Android OS. I am content with it, but there is simply no the same “whao” as it was with my beloved Moto G. On the other hand, it does everything I need superbly and that’s what counts in my book. Currently I am running the custom Nameless ROM with Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop).

Samsung SIII 4G (I9305)

[update: June 17, 2017]
On Sept. 27, 2015 I bought a grey Meizu M2 Note for 159 USD. It was a Chinese phablet, that served me quite well. Surprisingly, it had a great screen, and it never failed me. I like its one button, that had several functions. Its Android software was heavily modified, but it was not bad, at all.

Meizu M2 Note

On August 28, 2016 I purchased my phone no. 12 – Huawei P9 Lite for 1500 DKK, and it is my current phone. I must say I does everything I need. A great screen, 3 GB RAM, a great camera, Android 7 etc. I am more than satisfied. One of the best phones I ever had. No problems, whatsoever.

Huawei P9 Lite

Mate 9 Pro (Huawei)
My phone number 13 is here, received on September 6, 2017. It cost me 3000 DKK, which is a precedent regarding to the price. I never gave so much before for a phone, so I expect to have this one at least for the next two years.
So far, I really love this phone, its premium build, a wonderful double Leica camera, and a gorgeous AMOLED screen. Not to mention 6 GB RAM and 128 GB capacity.