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Tag Archives: open source


Some time ago, I fretted about the future of OpenOffice, an open source office suite, and my software of choice for writing, spreadsheets and presentations. The problem, put simply, was the lack of interest in OpenOffice from Oracle, it’s new owner. Well, it looks like my worries are over. Meet the Document Foundation, a new […]

It’s Alive!

This week, scientists created artificial life. Well, sort of. Truth is, once you snip away the press release puff and spin, it’s more a case that scientists copied life. Here’s how the BBC reported what happened: ‘The researchers copied an existing bacterial genome. They sequenced its genetic code and then used synthesis machines to chemically […]

Falling for the propaganda

Linux is hard. I know this is true, because I’ve been told it so many times. Never mind that I’ve been using it quite happily for the past few years, it’s hard. Sometimes, I even have to type something using the dreaded Command Line interface. Never mind that all the programmes I need are stored […]


Ubuntu, the Linux distribution from Canonical and marketed as ‘Linux for human beings’, manages to both annoy and please me with every release. On the one hand, it sure does look pretty, and gets prettier with every new release. The latest version, Lucid Lynx, now in beta, introduces the ‘Light’ theme – see the screenshot […]

Not Quite There

It’s been a busy few weeks for anyone who uses office productivity suites – word processors, spreadsheets and the like. OpenOffice issued its newest version, and Microsoft released Service Pack 2, a free upgrade for anyone using MS Office 2007. MS Office now supports the Open Document Format (ODF), a great help for those of […]


First the recession, then killer pig flu, and now it looks as if my favourite software is doomed. OpenOffice exists as a project of Sun Microsystems, and Sun just got taken over by Oracle Corp. Sun has two jewels that Oracle wanted: Java, a programming language designed to run no matter what your operating system, […]

Business As Usual

This article, like yesterday’s, is written on a computer running ‘Jaunty Jackalope’, the latest Ubuntu release. So I wondered, how much would the Irish government save switching to open source. Probably nothing. First off, they’d hire an accountancy firm to do some consultancy. Then they’d tweak their requirements and hire a second crew of consultants […]

Faduda v. Microsoft Part II

Today I got a reply to my letter to the Competition Authority about the Windows Tax. Reproduced below are key sections, along with my thoughts. Computer manufacturers tend to bundle laptops with pre-installed Windows. This may lead to significant cost saving or efficiency gains. It is therefore less expensive for computer manufactures to acquire a […]

Faduda v. Microsoft

Some time ago, I blogged about my frustration when I tried to price a microsoftless computer to replace my main laptop, which is starting to show signs of ageing. Happily, I arranged affordable repairs, but when I ended up on the Competition Authority website checking some facts, I decided to click the link at the […]

…As Long As It’s Black

Day two of my mission to find a Windows free laptop in Ireland fared no better than day one. This time, wary of wasting more time crawling through often poorly designed websites, I took a direct approach. I phoned around. I got through a list of most computer suppliers in the Pale within an hour […]