Sunday, October 30, 2005

This Mark Shuttleworth's memo on Ubuntu Dapper is an interesting reading.

Microsoft

Microsoft's threat to withdraw from South Korea could take an interesting turn if the country decides to start switching to Linux. IF they do, it would give the needed boost to Linux.

Friday, October 28, 2005

There are close to 400 Linux distributions out there according to Distrowatch, so a new distribution getting traction is hard. SuSE, Fedora, Debian, etc. have a strong following.

There are various numbers being thrown out about which Linux distribution is popular, which one is gaining traction, etc. Most of these numbers haven't been arrived at scientifically.

So, I thought about using one of the most reliable methods/tools: Google. Search for the words Linux followed by the name of the distribution and see how many results Google comes up with. Some Google hackers and marketing folks call this market share info. I would classify this as Web presence.

Here are some findings: Ubuntu has twice the Web presence of Knoppix and much more than Mandriva. Red Hat is the leader, followed by SuSE and Debian.

I plan to do these searches every couple of weeks, to find out trends on the Web, news and blogs.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Yeahoo's announcement yesterday about Trip Planner was interesting. I still need to get used to using it but it looks very interesting.

Google



So far the best story I have read on Google's Open Source efforts.

The story mentions a possibility of opening up of the source code of Google Desktop Search and Google Talk. Great stuff.

Here is Mark Shuttleworth's memo describing Ubuntu Dapper's roadmap. Breezy is great. A much better distro than XP. We will have to see how good Dapper is. More info on Ubuntu can be found here.

What Mark Shuttleworth is doing is very impressive. He is probably among the very few people who realize the impact and the future of open source software and has put in a lot of commitment behind it. What's even more impressive is how effectively he is utilizing his resources. He and Canonical, the company he founded, contributed a total of $10 million to the Ubuntu foundation. And in about a year, Ubunutu has become one of the most user friendly and reliable Linux distribution. Ubuntu has now become my main desktop installation and I have recommended this to many people. One can download it here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Open Source


Something or the other is always happening in the Open Source world. This week, the President of Peru signed
legislation this week that allows public institutions to consider adopting open source software.

I think this is a pretty big announcement. What;s interesting is that every week there's at least one of two big mass deployment announcement or people moving to Open Source.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Software

I downloaded gtdtiddlywiki last week and my initial reaction has been that it's a fabulous program. I have been using it at work mainly as a todo list and also to manage my contact lists. Although, it's a great piece of software,I still think that Tomboy for Linux is overall better. Here a comparison on xx different areas between Tomboy and GTDTW:


Ease of use: Tomboy is far better with it super clean interface and ability to create wiki-like links.

Layout: Tomboy

Functionality: GTDTW, which is based on Tiddlywiki, is better right now. You can do many things, particularly with formating and tags is a very good feature. Tomboy has fewer functions and lacks tags. But, to add functions to GTDTW, you have to write macros. In Tomboy, you can write simple plugins. I think, the plugins might be a better options.

Portability: By far GTWTW. It's HTML, javascript and css. You can use it on Mac, Linux or any other operating system with a firefox browser. Nokia 770??? This is the biggest drawback of Tomboy. So, if you are using one OS in the office like me and another at home, GTDTW may be better.


Future: I think both have a terrific future. Tomboy is likely to be integrated with Evolution, while GTWTD and Tiddlywiki are likely to be adopted by people looking for portability and even server side wiki.

Originally, I had started this blog to write mainly about investing, economy, etc. and sometimes about technology. But about six months ago, I switched my operating system to Linux (Ubuntu) from Windows XP. And thanks to apt-get I have been able to try some amazing open source software. Of course, since then, I have been focusing more on open source software and Google and less on investing.

I get so disappointed when I read stories like these. Didn't Munich think about these issues before deciding their migration plans? And if they did, why don't they work hard towards it and complete it rather than talk about the problems in frot of the media.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Paul Buchheit, a Gmail Engineer, said on Google's Blog: "Of course, the launch was just the beginning, and we're still busy improving Gmail.....We’re working on that too – there’s still more we can do for the folder-lovers and devout-deleters out there. But wait, there’s more! :) We also have a new batch of exciting innovations on the way that we hope will shake things up again and make Gmail even better for even more people."

The permanent link can be found here.

Some of the features, which I think Gmail would have in the coming months are:

* Calendar
* Integration of calendar with email like in GNOME Evolution or at least as much as Kmail's integration with its organizer
* A way to schedule your email delivery, so you can compose an email today but schedule sending it couple of days today.
* A much better integration with Google Desktop Search (GDS). Right now, GDS archives your Gmail account onto your desktop. In the future, files cached by GDS may be archived in Gmail as an image or a one big file so you should be able to search most of your text info wherever you are.
* A Tomboy (on Linux) like note taking (wiki-like) feature or a simplified version Tiddlywiki on the server for taking notes.

Finally, after reading some of the statements made by Eric, Sergy, Larry and few other engineers, I think that Google is most likely going to announce porting of one of their software to Mac X in the next three months. Could be: Google Earth, Google Video, Google Talk, Picasa, or GDS. And if I am lucky, one of their software would be ported to Linux in the next two to three months. Hopefully it would be GDS or Google Earth.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I have mentioned several times before on this blog and other places that Tomboy is one of the best software, not just for Linux but any OS, I have seen. The only glitch is that it only runs on Linux.

So, I have been experimenting with other note taking and productivity software for about a month as I use Ubuntu at home and Win at work. And finally, I think I found a pretty neat software: GTDTiddlywiki.

It's a Wiki on your desktop and does not require any server side software and is operating system independent as it mainly uses HTML and JavaScripts. And is accessed by browser -- Firefox, Opera, etc. It's been less than 24 hrs seen I started using it, but so far, I love it. It also exports the notes in XML, just like TomBoy. Not sure what the mimitations are i.e. size of this one file, etc. Maybe, I will post a question to the Tomboy forum and see if I can export files in XML from office and use it in Tomboy. Most likely, it won't be possible because of some additional functionalities in GTD.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

According to Om Malik and this story, a French broadband provider will be bundling Nokia 770. If this product is a hit, Linux would get the much needed traction on handheld devices. Of course, I am keeping my fingers crossed regarding MIT's $100 computer.

Technology

Om Malik has a nice story on his blog about Apple possibly planning a Nokia 770 like device. Makes a lot of sense to me, the only problem with Apple is that they rarely get the pricing right -- iPod being the exception. Products like these have to be priced right to achieve the critical mass.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Linux

It may be hard to believe but Linspire is claiming to have 1 million users. Assume for a second that these numbers are actual users and not those who tried and switched back to Windows. Now, if you look at Linspire's presence of the Web, blogs and news, it's about a third of Ubuntu and Debian and less than a tenth of SuSE and Red Hat. Suppose if there's a correlation between Mind share on the Web and number of Linux users, then it may be safe to assume that there are at least 30 million Linux users worldwide.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Besides the S&P and some other U.S. benchmarks, global markets are doing very well, both in local as well as U.S. dollar terms. I suppose that as long as the fiscal and trade deficit will continue to drag this economy, the stock markets are going to remain lackluster.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I am not a big fan of Jonathan Schwartz but I couldn't agree with his comments He asked the audience at a keynote which they'd rather give up - their browser, or all the rest of their desktop applications and unanimously, they all said they would give up the latter without a blink.
I still like some of my apps – i.e. Tomboy on Linux, and maybe emacs. What else?? I am thinking but can't really come up with any. He does have a point. Granted we need OpenOffice, Gnumeric, and Evolution to run do daily stuff like pop email from our Gmail account and write documents, but beyond that, the Web has taken over in offering information and applications.

Slowly but surely, Linux is getting traction. Desktop Linux has a story about China planning to install 142,000 Debian-based Linux PCs.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Open Source


South Korean government is keen on promoting the Open Source culture in its country. Korea's postal service agency announced it will be migrating close to 5,000 desktops to Linux. Way to go!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The best news in tech this year has been today's deal between Google and Sun. I think it has the possibility to change the landscpe of the IT industry. Other news and products I am following closely are: Nokia 770, Tomboy, MIT's $100 laptop, Sony PS3, and Ubuntu. CNET has a nice stoy and Google and Sun's tie up.

Linux and GTD


After searching the Web for weeks for a simple personal information manager, I stumbled upon Tomboy.

It's really a note taking software that allows you to link to other notes and can be easily used as a PIM or a contact manager. This is one of my favorite pieces of software.

If you are using Linux, Tomboy is worth a try. If you are using Debian: go to command line and type apt-get install tomboy and that should take care of it. Ubuntu users may have to enable the Universe repository and then type: sudo apt-get install tomboy.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Open Source


According to the Inquirer, Peru’s Congress approved the legislation, prohibiting public institution from purchasing computer equipment that ties users to a particular type of software or limits information autonomy. The Seatlle Post also has a story here.

The only glitch is that President Alejandro Toledo can refuse to sign the bill into law. The Inquirer said that in the past, Toledo appeared alongside King William Gates III to announce the donation of $550,000 in money, software and consulting services to the Peruvian government for educational and "e-government" initiatives.

My view is that if Toledo signs this bill, it would save significantly more money for the government than $550,000 that gates donated. And if he does sign the bill, it would be a boost to Linux and other Open Source software.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Open Source

Regarding open source: I am articulately baffled by the fact that government in developing and developed countries are not making it a law to use open source and at least open platform software.

Here's why: storing documents in proprietary file format is a ridiculous idea to begin with as file formats have changed so many times in the past 50 years, what's the guarantee that doc or excel would be the standard file format 20 years from now; Microsoft itself makes previous file formats incompatible with recent ones; open source is cheap; it allows the government and even students to see the code; for government, they could check for security, back doors, and customize it; for students, looking and ability to hack the code is probably the best way to learn hard core programming.

So, the question is: are governments worldwide so naive that they can't see the obvious advantages here?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Linux



Great story on Ubuntu by Stephen Shankland at CNET. The story goes into details about why Ubuntu (my favorite Linux distro right now) is so successful.

Investing


I think investing in stocks is both an art and a science. Take for exampple Red Hat's (RHAT) quarterly earnings. They announced $5 million increase in cash flows and their market capitalization rose by close to $1 billion. As an analyst, one might have predicted the increase in cash flows, but how can one estimate the rise in market cap?