2x13: Built With Alien Technology

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the po-po are f***ed, accusations of posh schooling are levelled, and:

  • [00:02:00] The news... Someone raises $80k for a Jolla tablet... meanwhile Jolla themselves raise a startling thousand times as much to "develop Sailfish OS as the rival of Android"... Fedora 26 arrives for your full crimson headgear goodness... Ubuntu on Windows is now in the Windows Store, as the prophecy predicted...
  • [00:20:22] System76 release Pop!_OS, "a powerful operating system just for creators". What's the deal here? There seems to be some confusion, and we're here to sort it out. Or be more confused. Do we like the idea? Do we like the company? Do we like the name? Two out of three ain't bad
  • [00:49:37] In a previous show we referenced computers from our childhood, and here, a bit more depth. What did we use? What did you grow up with? Give your thoughts in the Childhood Computers poll!

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On a related note: I wrote up my idea that I mentioned in the ep: http://www.jonobacon.com/2017/07/13/consolidating-linux-desktop-app-story-idea/

Fedora 26 release was a bit disappointing for me but I know it won’t be for others. I’ll still use it on some of my servers but on my x260 it really didn’t run well. Wayland is still unusable, which is fine because there is the X fallback, but I was having a lot of stability issues with X too.
I tried out Solus on a spare laptop and liked it so much it is now my primary driver and I sponsor them on Patreon. Congrats to Ikey too who just started to work full-time on Solus thanks to Patreon.

As for the computer usage in business debate. I did work in a place with two offices, one in SF, one in Moscow. The SF office was entirely Mac, the Moscow office was entirely Linux or BSD. It was interesting to observe. Being in the UK I had both, I needed the Mac for the few iWork things that you just can’t open in Linux. I have had far more hardware failures on my Mac hardware than in Thinkpads when working in companies that I’m required to have one (so I end up with both). But that is personal experience and your mileage may vary.

When I was at HP there was an underground Linux group which had a wiki showing you how to access everything using Linux instead of Windows or Mac. It was great. I only used Windows on my first day, 100% Linux after that.

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Yeah. This is what I was saying about bubbles :slight_smile:

I totally agree with you about the bubble.

For the last couple of years a lot of developers I know have been moving to Macs. If I were to extrapolate that to the entire population then something like 90% of everyone would have been using Macs (I know rather anecdotal). But in reality it’s still only a small proportion of the computer using population that actually uses a Mac… As an aside in my experience a lot of those who moved to a Mac are moving back to Windows machines now (again rather anecdotal evidence)…

It’s easy to see these bubbles and think they are representative of the total population (I find Google Chrome use is very much the same as Mac use… Just because everyone around me is using Chrome doesn’t mean EVERYONE is using Chrome!!!).

“Building a Standard Linux Desktop Core” - it’s been tried.

If I heard @sil correctly, I think he stated that you cannot use Linux on Surface devices, I have been using Ubuntu on a Surface Pro 4 rather successfully, some things just do not work like the cameras, face detection, and for touch (pen and screen) on the surface pro 4 and beyond you need to patch your kernel with experimental drivers. Here’s the communities write up on the status for Linux on the Surface line: https://www.reddit.com/r/SurfaceLinux/comments/6eau79/current_state_of_surfaces/

Now onto the other topic, raise by @jonobacon about ugly hardware, the Surface Pro 4 is absolutely amazing hardware and if I were a consumer, “non dev” or just getting started in the software world I would almost certainly consider Windows 10 as is on this device. It has… it has… convergence and really well done!

I am really liking the hardware, it only makes me sad that the consumer side on Linux feels like it needs to catch up a lot to be attractive on these new form factors. Then again, everyone just uses their phone for everything these days.

If I roll out a thousand notes on a laptop and the camera doesn’t work and the touch screen doesn’t work and I have to compile my own kernel with experimental drivers then yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and say that means that you can’t use Linux. :slight_smile: But I was really thinking of the lock-down-the-bootloader ARM stuff, which doesn’t apply to proper laptops like the Surface Book (yet).

Ah, I missed that part of the point. The IPTS (Intel Precision Touch & Stylus) side of the problem is Intel not pushing their patches upstream though.

About Jolla and SailfishOS…

I personally have Jolla and Jolla C phones, ordered the tablet and got (so far) half of the money back, pre-ordered the new Youyota-tablet and have Sony Xperia X waiting so that I can flash SailfishOS in it. You can call me fool or fanatic, but I really like the user interface of SFOS and I’m the kind of person, who runs his own owncloud, doesn’t install Facebook’s own application on his phone, likes to be able to ssh into his phone and likes to be independent.

The operating system is nice, but I think the hardware hasn’t been that good so far. That Sony Xperia X is finally some decent hardware to use SFOS on.

As far as I understand, SailfishOS community (the users, I mean) really like the platform, but many people seem to be a bit of sceptical on Jolla as company and their plans. Or at least on their communication. Don’t get me wrong, but the community often seems to have high expectations and would like the company to be more open in their communication. I think their communication often leaves the feeling that something is left untold. And deadlines are always very optimistic.

On the other hand that’s not totally different from the relationship between Canonical and Ubuntu community. Or what?

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You have had some talk about System76 and I really like, what they are doing. And as @jonobacon said their design in laptops is getting much better.

However, since System76 is on the American side of Atlantic, I tried to find something similar here in Europe and ended up buying my new laptop from Spanish company Slimbook. They are smaller player, but I hope that that kind of European companies will also get some foothold.

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“a powerful operating system just for creators”

Maybe I’m just getting old but I don’t understand this sort of thing anymore. Who are these creators ? I’d like to talk about who is using desktop Linux in 2017 (not talking chromeos). I think we should be striving for the developer section which the Mac ecosystem has somehow managed to get (mostly for having a Unix terminal on great hardware).

Windows are clearly chasing that also with Linux subsystem and hardware like the surface pro. It seems as a Linux company that’s what I would target. And target it explicitly. I’m not convinced it will make money… But I do believe that Linux that works out of box on top end hardware at an apple comparable or slightly less price point is something worth pursuing.

If this is what sys 76 are targeting fair play… But I think their wording of “creators” is too vague.

I feel we sometimes exaggerate or misinterpret Linux users as anything other than tech savvy people who usually are able to get stuff done. I’m not suggesting we should have to compile kernels to get something working but I would prefer people selling laptops to target that demographic rather than a “creator” demographic.

I gotta tell ya buddy, I am anything but tech savvy. Wanna cringe in horror? Look at this crap…

      def jonestown(self,selfaware): #so just do it twice  if two
          koolaid = [dontdieinplace, pants, larry, staywayinland, ian, nospoon, getunderground, platinum,gowan, dafuqs]
          if selfaware in koolaid:
          for item in koolaid:

It’s awful!..and I don’t care. It “makes go”.

Done cringing? :stuck_out_tongue:

In most cases, I can make what I want to ‘make go’, because I have the Freedom to do so, with Free software on GNU/Linux if I just hammer away for it for long enough. I think that’s the ‘market’ they’re going after (especially in these times of DMCA suits, TPM legislation, etc. etc.).

It seems as a Linux company that’s what I would target. And target it explicitly. I

Yeah, there’s great potential to win over the ‘Development: Serious Business’ crowd completely, but how many people is that? Really? If mopar decided to brand their products solely as professional parts exclusively for automotive professionals, well I expect they wouldn’t do very well in the much larger tuner market. I think system 76 is doing a great service to society by focusing on the creativity (whatever that may be manifested as because I’m assuming you can throw emacs on it too).

I think you are selling yourself short to be honest. By tech savvy, I mean have a knowledge of computers. Understand enough about how they work to understand what an operating system is, let alone which one to install and how to install it.

I think most people don’t care enough about that sort of stuff to ever move to Linux or even free software. The way to get people to your product is provide a competitive edge to the competitors, something they will be without on the other platform. Right now, I don’t see what the competitive edge is that desktop linux has over any other desktop. The only area I see a competitive edge is for a developer.

This is a definite competitive edge, and it means something to me for sure. I just don’t think the majority of people in our fine world care about it.

I’m not from the US, so afraid I’m not completely clear on who mopar are, BUT I think carving your products towards a niche (developers in this case) is a well known and proven business plan.

How you get a system to be the best there is for developers is another thread, but as an aside I’m not suggesting an environment that is only controllable by emacs style keyboard shortcuts. I’m talking about having the best hardware, the best software (I would argue Linux at least has parity already in this section), and the best interaction between both (longest battery life, performance etc).

Was the shop you were thinking of called Tempo? As I recall they were more of an office type place, not unlike Staples. I bought my first laser printer in my local one back in the day.

That was it! Thanks, @AdamJPurcell!

Gah! Sorry for the late reply. My week was filled writing a review by request of HR regarding my experiences working under my CO who’s an absolute asshole. And then rewriting it, and writing it again, and again, so it sounds like I’m not about to one morning just lay him out for his shit. Of course I had to blow off some steam last night too!

I couldn’t agree more. However, it is an integral part of the culture and shouldn’t be dismissed. Mostly, because it’s a defining facet of FOSS culture much like food is a defining facet of many other cultures. I love Mexican food and the cantina experience, but I’m not about to move there (nothing against Mexico, just cultural bias to what I’m used to if you will) But no, Joe and Jane six pack probably don’t give too much of a sh*t how the kernel communicates with the file system, etc. and, frankly, I don’t either.

What I do care about is the social movement that is GNU and Free software. I care about the small cuts attempted at my overall freedoms and rights in general society daily too. I’m concerned about our increasingly gamified culture in general. It’s like we’re at the dawning of a new globalist empire where might makes right… and might is so very easily manipulated for profit. There’s a certain element of learned helplessness present I also can’t comprehend. The hacker ethos is inherent in our community. For the most part, less the …uh…4 channyness. I mean, it’s sadly there too, but over all everything is not about using technology to mete aggressions. It’s more a whimsical and altruistic resistance :slight_smile: My favorite freedom from the four essential software freedoms is Freedom number 2 because of the last line “so you can help your neighbour”. Yeah, I’m definitely more hippy than hacker and think we should stop pandering only to a certain mindset (the Pragmatic) if we are to grow. I mean, I get gate keeping and why people do it…but I’m too busy playing to give a shit (mind you there’s certain places I just observe rather than participate to avoid taking up time/resources needlessly from those already beyond busy). There are other mindsets in FOSS and, as with any mindset, they translate to other areas of our lives.

For example, I remember reading a book , Seeds of Deception, and thinking to myself “Geez, food activists so need something similar to the Free software movement stat!” From finding round up ready gut flora in cadavers, laws criminalizing the mere video recording of factory farms, all the way to colony collapse disorder; Our food supply is currently a shit show that no one wants to admit 1. Because it’s damn scary,and 2. Because it’s mostly proprietary, a closed culture of scientists doing sciency things believed to be impossibly above the heads of the average person. Yeah, well, I don’t need to be Matthew Garrett to understand I would like my software to do what I wish, that I don’t want software or an operating system that tries to direct my computing experience like a sheep dog nipping at my ankles to herd me towards whatever is most profitable, etc. etc. and think others should have that right too. I also don’t think I should have to hold a doctorate and be employed by Monsanto or Kraft/Phillip Morris to be given an opportunity to read a label that actually tells me what I am putting in my body and what it’s doing once there. It’s my body!, so yeah even though I am an unskilled worker, I will worry my pretty little head. Sure, that attitude can be described as “not pragmatic”, but it’s the one I learned from the Free software movement and one I see getting results for people like me within the context of computing daily. Thanks to everyone involved, btw <3

Of course drawing a parallel between the politics of software and food is guestimated at best, but it does give one pause to think where our experience of computing would be today if Stallman hadn’t wanted to print something 30 + years ago. I don’t think it’s appreciated just how successful the Free software social movement has been and is :slight_smile: Are corporate biologists/chemists, etc. exposed to anything similar today? Do they ever stop to think that perhaps maybe it’s possible that secretly doing everything the company asks of them is not always being a saviour of humanity? Do they know anyone who has adopted the mindset of Free software? Anyone who questions the source of something naturally and wants to see for themselves (and that curiosity for ‘no reason’ is OK), anyone who believes they should have the right to know what things are doing and don’t feel like they’re overstepping wanting to avoid/change them to better suit their needs? … or do friends and family of corporate scientists just “mind their own business” (as if what happens to our bodies and survival as a planet somehow isn’t!) because they don’t know that they’re not helpless and no one is telling them they can and should say something?

I think the FOSS culture is greatly enhanced by the Free software social movement aspect of it and is a mindset/ideology that mindset can lead revolutions elsewhere too…so we can help our neighbours. There are others who are not programmers, community leaders, lawyers, writers, etc. etc. around it too. People who were once respectfully asked to really think about their computing (i.e. how often do we now communicate by keyboard or touch pad rather than our own voices?) and are assured that, no, they are not just helpless consumers who must take what ever is given. They just need to be asked kindly. There needs to be more non-technical users who know their four software Freedoms: For the benefit of FOSS and also humanity as a whole. Every little bit helps :slight_smile:

Of course awesome hardware options and awesome software are appreciated, I’m just pointing out that Freedom is a thing we offer that can’t be found on any other platform :slight_smile:

I’m not from the US, so afraid I’m not completely clear on who mopar are,

Neither am I (yet they are a North American company so I see your point). Mopar is a brand of parts for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep products. They’re very well positioned in the tuner market (sponsorship of club drives, ads at drag strips, etc. etc.)

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.