|User Blogs - Most recent entries
Most recent entries
Author: klepas (1:14 am)
Just a small tip for The GIMP. Every day in GIMP, I use layers. Layers sometimes make the image what it is. If you need to add something, slap on a transparent layer and off you go.
Only problem you may come across is that when you would like to shift around your layers. See how this layer looks with this blending over that layer and so on. Now, once you wish to move your "background" layer you get this little error message:
When this first happened to me, I had no clue what it meant. In order to allow the shifting of your background layer, open your layer window (go to the main GIMP window and press CTRL + L) you need to add an Alpha Channel. Once you have your layer window open, right click on your background layer and scroll down until you find Add Alpha Channel option.
Done! Now you can shift you background layer and move other layers beneath it.
Author: klepas (1:58 am)
After downloading a whole heap of resources for The GIMP, especially great brush sets from DeviantART, I thought of where to put them. I've seen a fair few Photoshop users in my time who have asked essentially the same question. Where do I go and place my brush files into? Well, after downloading them, place them in
This is on a Linux machine. Mind you, if you are using something like Konqueror, make sure you're set to view hidden files (View -> Show Hidden Files). For other paltforms, try the directory you installed GIMP in (perhaps C:/Program Files/GIMP etc.).
I have also submitted my own first few brush files. They should be available shortly from the Downloads section. To make your own GIMP brushes, paint something, but make sure the background is transparent (so begin with a transparent canvas) and then go to Script-Fu -> Selection -> To Brush. Give it a name and a file name. To share with others, just open your brush directory, in your .gimp directory and viola!
Author: klepas (6:04 am)
Earlier on I talked a bit about how Ezboard have degraded in quality of service.
I still have my account with them, although it doesn't look as fancy as it did before my paid account expired. Neverminding the small eye candy, I have decided to leave ezboard and focus mainly on either Libervis or my site, which I need some nice names for.
Ezboard still stand close to where I left off last time in my last entry on the matter. If anyone still uses it and pays for them, please feel free to drop a comment somewhere. I'd be interested if they ever improve their technologies.
Author: charles (10:26 am)
Oh, yes, we all read that. The EU commission did it. They spat over the people's voice, they leant their mandate to the corporate voices and despising many countries'opinion, they enacted the directive on software patents. Before you read any further, I'd like to warn our croatian friends: don't push to enter in the European Union. Stay outside this pathetic union led by a bunch of democracy rapers, corrupt commissionners who'd rather sell their countries, mothers and children in the name of the holy neo-liberalism.
Stay away from this new European Order that has made his the motto: "work hard and shut up!".
My friends, I'm doubtful that the EU Parliament will block this draft, because it would require 2/3 of his deputies to even understand the bloody project.
But I'm somebody who believe that this fight is not over. As said the General De Gaulle once: "we may have lost a battle but we haven't lost the war". And indeed, now it's the time to fight. It's the time for us to grow wild and sharp, to refuse what some unelected leads of ours have decided on behalf of our ennemies. Money, greed, ignorane, arrogance and indifference are the paths of many. It seems to be the path of some at the EU commission. Hence, we should resist, because one day our cause will prevail. Eventually, this directive will be abreadged and dead. But Free Software will remain.
It is the time to enter in a total war against our ennemies, a time to prove that we can be the bests, a time to fend off the evil forces that are working in the shadows of the EU commission.
We have to disrupt the patent directive, to refuse to work for companies patenting software (i.e, IBM) raising funds in order to advertise our views in the press, and more than ever before, stand united.
My friends, the war has just started. It will be long and painful, but hope is at the end.
May the force of the source be with you.
Author: charles (10:50 am)
I have read with interest Daniel's last blog and coincidently, I also got to read this rather interesting, yet disruptive article here:
To put the things simply, I don't really agree with Daniel on Sun's goals.
Sun does not try to destroy Linux by open sourcing Solaris.
I think that it would be insane to claim that Linux can be destroyed by any other Unix. However, Sun thinks that there's room for Solaris in the open world of IT.
It doesn't get any easier than this: Sun wants to make money, Sun doesn't want to get swallowed entirely by Linux, and Sun wants keep actual value in selling software and commodity IT to its customers. What Sun doesn't want is ending up like IBM being the prisonner of Red Hat (yes, they are) and sinking AIX.
It's just a choice Sun was able to make and as Mr Governor's puts it, it's all about diversity. Let's look at the first numbers. 420, 895 and still counting,
according to J. Schwartz' s blog. Now, let's talk briefly about that CDDL license. CDDL has been qualified as being open source by the OSI, and I won't argue about the qualification policy of the OSI; my take is that there are a couple of licenses the OSI certified as open source and in my humble opinion these were far to be open. Anyway. Open Source and Free Software is many things to many people, and what we here at Libervis may consider as non free may not be held as the fairest and most balanced view by many in the community.... and that provides me a nice transition to J. Governor's paper.
I really don't think that J. Governor's ever went to a Linux Fair. He would have sensed how much a community we are. Despite all my respect to this gentleman, his take on the concept of community is partial, at best.
True, there are several communities. You have the Kernel Hackers'community, the Python community, the OpenOffice.org community... etc... and inside these communities, you meet some people who contribute to more than one community projects. So, there is no unified community in the FOSS world, because we have no elected representatives and no real governance (but we do have our rules and traditions) , and there is no single community with one single piece of opinion, because we're no communists, despite what Bill Gates says, and certainly no fascists.
But we are one community, one ecosystem where anybody, any individual, company, orgnization can find a place and a way to contribute and receive.
So, yes, there is much more than Linux in the community. There is much more than an entire operating system. There is much more than the internet, Solaris, RMS, and the first BSD guys put altogether.
Our community, the community, is changing the world. I'm sorry Mr Governor didn't understand that.
Author: Libervisco (7:31 pm)
Oh, again me with my star trek borg stuff.. well it just sounds cool and effectively points out the.. point!
Rise up below all this mess (computing marketplace is always a mess) and see how the landscape is looking from above.
You see a huge landscape marked with different colors, every color representing one kind of big corporations, movement or simply a market force. Let's say that Microsoft is black, Sun is yellow, IBM is blue and free software/open source/linux movements are purple with free software corporations as Red.
Here is what you would see if you are mainly above the FOSS (purple/red) territory that is say, in the nice warm south.
Between the black (MS) that spreads into the dark vastness of north and the light purple/red that spreads into the vastness of south there is a space filled with blue and yellow (companies like IBM and Sun).
The purple/red is constantly shading, pulsating and expanding by slowly assimilating the surrounding colors as well as sometimes peaking the purple flames into the black vastness of the MS Empire.
The blue sees it cannot really compete with the FOSS (purple/red), but it can use it to compete with the old black MS enemy so it slowly adopts FOSS colors and adapts to it. It sees that "resistence is futile" and that adopting FOSS is a sooner or later inevitable. The purple colors are slowly but surely assimilating the blues. The same goes with others like IBM such as Novell (shades between blue and red). They give in to the powerful force that FOSS is. They must.
What is the yellow Sun doing? It throws solar flares into our "purple" eyes thinking it might actually convience us that it adopts FOSS colors while that's not really what they are doing. They are forming a "hybrid" "open source" world between proprietary blackness and free software lightness and going to compete with it against linux. Yes, they alone are actually going to compete with the king of free software (and open source). With what?!? With their "open source" version of Solaris operating system: OpenSolaris.
They hope to create a community *centralized* around them. They hope to make it big, but what they don't realize is that they are setting on a road of a great failure. When will they realize that the resistence to the purple movements of free software/open source and linux is futile.
Read about Sun's war on linux and RedHat where you can see how they mislead themselves into believing otherwise.
The moment that Sun announced this it caused alot of laughter and disapproval among the purple community. Who's gonna be warmed by the Sun's OpenSolaris? Just who?!?
Even MS will realize this one day, only that would be a very far day as the shades of their blackness, sometimes seeming as grey when you really deeply look at it, are so vast that they still *seem* invincible.
But as the black blind power sees nothing but .. well, it's own black power, when the shades of the glowing purple of FOSS start illuminating them, they'll *see* that indeed "resistence was and still is futile"
Thank you for letting my "reality based" imagination flow. Sometimes, we gotta let our instict take over. My instinct is telling me that the natural concept of free software and open source is simply so natural that it inevitably has to take over the lead, sooner or later.
Now, back to the usuall "think tank anti-instinctive rant".
Author: charles (12:10 pm)
Taken from J. Schwartz's blog, this link is a must-see.
The story is a bit long and requires macromedia Flash, but it's worth a look.
Now, if you have had a look at it, you know how I feel. "Somebody forgot Linux? Somedy said Free Software?"
But their point is good. Media and information matters the most. Who cares about the underlying software and hardware platform as long as it's a commodity?
What is frustrating is not so much the future of the world medias as it is described in the animation, as it's not even bad or good per se, it is the underlying mediocrity of what the system has become. It is just as if the world had missed one big opportunity to free itself, and to rise up to new goals. What this is is a global society waiting for some dictatorship to come and rule. Heck, it doesn't even need a dictator...
But let's wake up from that vision; the good part of the story is this: Microsoft will perish, and Free Software will survive. Even in that vision of such a mediocre Noosphere, we will still be able to think and code freely.
Have a good week-end!
Author: charles (2:36 pm)
This blog will be a bit short. I was talking with Branko Tanovic these days. Branko is the lead of the Serbian Native-Language community: http://sr.openoffice.org .
The bottomline: The Serbian project needs translators. They have only one programmer (Branko). Branko wants to release a Serbian version of OpenOffice.org 2.0 (the next version) that would be both in Cyrillic and in Western Alphabet.
I don't know if there are any Serbian people among you readers. I know there are some Croatian though , and that doesn't mean that Croatian speak Serbian or would like to help the Serbian project, but maybe you know people who know people who would like to help....
Here is Branko Tanovic 's email: tanovic at bitsyu dot net .
Thanks for helping an happy new year,
Author: klepas (9:46 pm)
I see three main factors inhibiting the uptake of Open Source by the general public.
- Price Gouging versus Reasonable cost and access
- Restrictive licenses and Copyright versus Free for Personal Use
- Misinformation spread by vested interests
Microsoft has a profit margin of 70% on turnover - after taxes and expenses. Compare that to about 0.5% for a retail chain like Woolworths/Wal-Mart or the 5-10% of the best industrial companies.
Many countries have laws against excessive profits. All western countries have laws against monopolies and cartels, and especially about them mis-using their market power.
Unpublished source code and restrictive 'EULAs', End User License Agreements, mean that people are stopped from what they do best as a community: Building upon others work.
Many a fine program with an extensive user base and useful, innovative features has failed in the market place. Mostly, everything good about it is lost forever. The loyal users are orphaned and everybody loses.
Open Source means nobody gets orphaned, there cannot be arguments over who invented what, when and we, ordinary mortals, "can stand on the shoulders of the Giants".
What is the motivation of software authors in keeping their software hidden and risking losing their creation if their market goes sour? Is it greed, a desire to dominate or something else?
Whatever it is, it is not about providing great service and the best outcome for their clients.
Spreading FUD, 'Fear, Uncertainity and Doubt', is a very well known and practiced technique in the computing industry.
Large companies with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo have done this for years.
It is entirely natural for the current large companies to take this stance against the 'new' interloper, Open Source. They do this in the sure and complete knowledge that their actions are directed against their own clients.
What's common about all those purveyors of FUD from the past? They not only lost the battle, but all but a very few disappeared within a few short years. Those that remain become a shadow of their former selves. Look at Lotus and Novell - both were industry giants and were either taken over or shrank dramatically.
I personally believe these are the largest contributors that prevent open source from spreading quicker. Of course there are other small factors, which can be considered large like software patents, which i did not mention on. Mind you this could fit into licensing... Also, consider, this piece was begun in January 2004
Thank you for reading this piece.
Thank you Stephen, your help was a great asset, and perhaps the only reason it actually exists. You made me write my first piece.
First composed in Jan 2004.
Well, I was originally going to post this as an article, but, Daniel was quite right - it needs some work. If there are any comments, please feel free to help out, and just copy 'n' paste into your comments to refurbish it.
Author: klepas (9:47 pm)
:: Ezboard and the Net ::
Today we are faced with many options to communicate with fellow humans throughout the world. We have created and written so much software to make it more convenient and accessible to connect and use the internet.
Ezboard is, or rather, should I say was one of these great technologies which let you and me converse endlessly over any subject at hand.
:: Problems begin to occur ::
But recently, more problems have arisen. Their "questionnaire" some months back led us all to believe that ezboard had new things in store.
- webspace for members
- ezmail :: and email account other than the private messaging system.
...That make you want to become a member, or even a paying supporter. But these new features never came, and even if they are still being produced, how much longer do we have to wait for something I am not even sure will ever exist? It takes a team of GNU enthusiasts less than 4 months to fully finish a usable program, such as a basic chat client, in their own time, aside from work. Ezboard, unless I am mistaken has these guys employed, and working weekly.
I have faithfully used ezboard, and have even supported it. My reasoning on this was; "I have every reason to support an organisation/company that supports what I want to do". And so I did. Ezsupporter for 1 year, at a rate of $12 US Dollars.
Just recently, after the great fulfilling promises that ezboard seemed to tempt us with never came, ezboard begins to run astray
- random logout
- post count errors
- title errors
- signature errors
- banned :: being banned from boards you've never visited.
- Maintenance :: "Sorry, Server Maintenance Alert..."
- down servers
- favourite boards :: unable to save.
- email notification :: notifications are on and off, at random intervals.
- recent Boards :: include boards you have either never visited.
- search function :: broken (although it has never worked, deserves to be added).
For example, the log-outs were one of the largest annoyances: One of the members of a common board I visited on a daily basis, kept logs of whenever he was spontaneously logged out and in:
Started Keeping Track: 10/6/05 12:00 pm CST
EZBoard server maintenance alerts.
10/6/05 12:09pm CST Duration: ~2 minutes
10/6/05 12:20pm CST Duration: ~6 minutes
Logoffs when going to a new sub-forum within the board.
10/7/04 11:02pm CST
10/8/04 11:13pm CST
10/8/04 11:19pm CST
10/9/04 11:39pm CST
In between 40 minute periods, 4 log-outs.
:: Some advantages ::
Ezboard has it's advantages, such as the huge network it has. Create a global account, and surf and post in every board worldwide - but it seems this is getting too difficult to manage this.
:: Solution? ::
Well, nowadays, we have the choice and variety to take a look at other board technology. vBulletin, phpbb, Invision Boards, are just a few worth mentioning.
:: Links ::
Here are some noteworthy links woth taking a peak at.
[+] -- Ezboard.com [homepage]
[+] -- Ezboard help center.
[+] -- phpbb.com [another forum technology, which is open sourced]
[+] -- phpbb-host.org - free phpbb hosting.
[+] -- vBulletin.com
[+] -- InvisionBoard.com
[+] -- Free Invision hosting.
[+] -- Free blogging.
[+] -- MonteCook.com [following threads are from this board]
[+] -- Angry users [thread]
[+] -- More angry users [thread]
[+] -- A thread I started [includes the tracking of log-outs]
[+] -- My ezboard profile
Endnote: All the above is a reflective opinion based on the suggestive evidence.