Bowie wanted to know: is there Linux on Mars?
According to IEEE Spectrum and PC Magazine, Linux is now on Mars. Specifically, the drone copter is running the Linux kernel on an off-the-shelf Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Perhaps this marks the beginning of the end of proprietary operating systems on the Red Planet?
Good to see the people of NASA are living the FOSS Academic Lifestyle Dream.
A quick note: I’m conducting a survey with a colleague of mine, Dr. Diana Zulli. We’re interested in learning from Mastodon developers, admins, and users about “freedom of expression.”
I will post the link to the survey in Mastodon, rather than here. If you use Mastodon, I hope you see it there.
I wanted to note one thing about the survey: we’re offering a small bit of compensation for people’s time (at least, the first 75 or so people – after that, the funding runs out.) Because of where we work, we are using Qualtrics for the survey, and the only real way to compensate people and protect people’s private information is by using Amazon gift cards. We realize you may not share the same values as Amazon. We talked about this problem at length and decided to go ahead with the incentives. If you have interest in doing the survey but no interes in Amazon, you can skip the final questions of the survey.
If you have questions about this survey, hit me up on Mastodon (@email@example.com) or via the email address listed here.
I posted a question to Mastodon (specifically, scholar.social):
Ok! If you had a good budget to build a cloud infrastructure to support small teams (2-5 people) collaborating on projects, with a special focus on academic writing projects, what would you recommend?
I’m thinking Linux-based cloud stuff, so I have in mind:
and…? Any recommendations?
I asked this question in all seriousness. I am lucky enough to have a small amount of research funding, I want to promote the world of software beyond Google and Microsoft, and so I’m really keen on building a FOSS Academic Laboratory in the cloud and using to for any collaborative projects I’m a part of. After all, it’s my Goal #1: to use FOSS for as much of my academic work as is possible.
The response I got to the questions was freakin’ awesome!
I thought it would be a good idea to catalog it here. I’ll start with the least-recommended things and work my way up to the most-recommended. That’s not to say this is a ranking – things mentioned only once might be really valuable. I’m really just noting what was mentioned most.
I’ll also note which ones I am considering deploying – again, this is not a commentary on the quality of any of these systems. It’s more related to my own specific use cases forged in the past decade of academic collaborations.Read more...
This post is to test Staticman comments. I’ll edit this post later to update my progress. For now, if anyone stumbles across this and wants to add a “test” comment or something helpful, feel free!
I’m basing this process of this helpful blog post from Travis Downs of Performance Matters. Thank you!Read more...
Wikipedia is 20 years old this year. Congratulations! Celebrations abound across the Internet.
As a scholar of Wikipedia and a FOSS Academic, I wanted to weigh in on the birthday and provide a short history lesson. (This is, therefore, a Goal 2 post).Read more...
In a previous post, I disparaged 2020. But hey, just wait: 2021 has already become pretty bad. As you probably have seen, pro-Trump supporters decided to invade the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
I am not a tech determinist, which means that I do not seek to explain complexity by only considering changes in technology. So I am not going to say that corporate social media – including Facebook and Twitter – caused what happened yesterday. In other words, I am not going to say that the spread of misinformation was the reason for people to blithely walk past the cops and into the Rotunda. To do so would ignore a host of other factors, such as the history of racism in the United States and the desire for politicians to aggrandize themselves.
So I’m not saying Facebook and Twitter are to blame. What I will say, however, is that one contributing factor to the events of January 6, 2021 – not the sole determining factor – is corporate social media.
And thus I come in praise of Mastodon.Read more...
A minor update: I have a new publication about alternative social media in The Reboot. The piece discusses two FOSS alternatives to Twitter: the amazing, and yet likely soon-to-be-defunct Twister, which is a P2P, distributed microblog. I also discuss my favorite project, Mastodon.
The Reboot looks really promising – it’s a magazine dedicated to Internet criticism. I’ve been known to do a bit of that.
Another little update: I installed the Hyvor comment system but then removed it. It worked, which is great, but I missed the free window and I don’t know if I have the traffic to justify using a paid plan. I may go back to it, but I want to explore other options first. Next up: StaticMan.
Finally, I am teaching my child how to use Linux and want to make a recommendation: BashCrawl! It’s a text-based game for the Bash terminal that teaches how to use bash commands. Within half an hour, my kid was showing me some cool bash techniques. Just download an archive, unzip it, and dive in.
EDIT: Credit where credit is due: I stole many of these ideas from Sean Lawson. Except they are better with FOSS.
The year 2020. Damn. Damn, damn, damn, damn.
Put it in the dumpster, man.
But the end of the worst year ever is also the end of the 2010s, so maybe now’s a good time to reflect on my past decade as a FOSS Academic. As I mentioned in the Introduction, I’ve been using FOSS tools to do my job as a university professor for over a decade. Now, I’m looking ahead to the next decade.
Here, I want to document my workflow. It’s a combination of desktop environments, workspace management, weekly planning and long-term goals. I’ve been developing it over the past decade, and I think it’s time I formally document just how I do what I do.
It’s a longish post, but then again, we’re talking about practice. That gets complex!Read more...
A minor update: I’m still learning how to use Jekyll, and one goal I had was a usable tagging system. I think I’ve achieved it! I want to study the problem more and see if I can’t automate more parts of it, but so far, so good. If you have feedback, leave it in the comments!Read more...
A recent Destination Linux podcast interviewed Neal Gompa, a Fedora contributor, and their first question was: how did you start using Linux? I won’t recap Gompa’s story – I’d recommend listening to the show – but suffice it to say it involves an old copy of Red Hat he randomly found.
I thought about Gompa’s story and the question of getting started with FOSS and started reflecting on my own FOSS journey. As an academic – and a non-computer science academic, at that – I think my story is pretty unique.
It all started with Windows Vista.Read more...
I thought it might be good to nominate things from the FOSS Academic point of view, celebrating projects that help me do my academic work. So, here are the votes I cast.Read more...
There have been a lot of books that have influenced my career: Fred Turner’s From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Gabriella Coleman’s Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, Karl Marx’s Grundrisse, John Law’s Aircraft Stories, and Patricia Hill Collin’s Black Feminist Thought. These works are a kind of well to return to, again and again, to quench intellectual thirsts: thinking historically about communication technologies, and thinking about heterogeneity in the cultures of communication technologies.
But perhaps the closest to my heart, one of the books that came along at just the right moment in my career – a bubbling spring of the well – is Scott Rosenberg’s Dreaming In Code.Read more...
If you’re not using Zotero… I don’t know what to say.
If you are, you’re well on your way to living the FOSS Academic Lifestyle Dream.Read more...
As a university professor, I do a lot of different things, many of them having to do with technologies. I engage in research, write articles and books, put together syllabi, work with students, and collaborate with colleagues. All of these require the use of networked computers. But I don’t use Windows and I don’t use Apple.Read more...