Facebook – good riddance !

Finally I made the effort to completely get rid of my Facebook Account. After initially getting a Facebook Account in the very early days (as an 'occupational hazard' to investigate the potential of Facebook Applications) I have always been suspicious of the companies motives and decided not to use such a closed system as a base for application development. Recent developments have only confirmed this suspision: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Facebook http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2011/08/08/facebooks-privacy-issues-are-even-deeper-than-we-knew/ http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/ln2e0/facebook_patent_to_track_users_even_when_they_are/ Instead I will concentrate all of my content inside this blog (including as a backup for other social services I create). I believe the control over my own content is important enough for me to warrant the extra effort. As the saying goes: 'You are not a Facebook User - you are the Product'   by  cogdogblog 

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OpenSource e-book creation

After recently researching the available software for e-book creation for some of our clients (in the education sector) I came across quite a number of options.  However after some further look into the option and trying some I was able narrowed the field down to 2 options that seem to be reasonably user-friendly and matured. The two are using a very different approach and will suit different types of users. One is a native e-book writer which will give better low-level control for the more technical types. The other is a plugin to the popular OpenOffice (or LibreOffice) Office Suites. by goXunuReviews SIGIL - a native e-book creator Sigil comes with installers for Linux, Windows and MacOS (http://code.google.com/p/sigil/downloads/list) Installation on Linux : wget http://sigil.googlecode.com/files/Sigil-0.4.2-Linux-x86_64-Setup.bin chmod +x Sigil-0.4.2-Linux-x86_64-Setup.bin ./Sigil-0.4.2-Linux-x86_64-Setup.bin (64 bit install - change appropriate download file if on i386) Writer2ePub - OpenOffice (or LibreOffice) Plugin Users of LibreOffice or OpenOffice might prefer a plugin to there text processing software rather than a native solution. The installation is very easy - just download the extension (http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/en/project/Writer2ePub) and double-click the downloaded file. Extension install: Don't forget to restart Writer after the install. After the restart you should see new buttons in the toolbar. Hope this helps somebody.

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Running your business (mostly) on Open Source Software

The release of the latest Ubuntu Version has been seen by a number of commentators as the most end-user friendly yet and signals another milestone in the readiness of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for more widespread (and business) use. As a long-term user of a number of different Operating Systems and as SME Owner for the last 15 years I have overseen the gradual replacement of a number of proprietary software solutions with FOSS Alternatives. With the beginning of the new financial year however, we are planning to go another step further and are starting to change our default Operating System to Ubuntu (from MS Windows). It is worth pointing out that I don't have an issue with paying for software (after all we are partly in the software development business). We also happily pay quite a number of SaaS suppliers for their services (see list below) and support. My main issue is why I should pay license fees for standard software (i.e. Office Productivity Tools) when there is so many excellent community developed products out there that do the same (in some instances better, in some instances just adequate) job ? It is hard enough running a small business in the current climate. One major benefit of changing over to a web-based (FOSS) approach to our back-end systems has been the ability to operate from anywhere. This has dramatically increased productivity for myself as well as staff being able to work from home more often. This is…

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Ubuntu – the ‘old man’ experiment

Recently my father, who has so far not wanted to have anything to do with computers, decided to change all of this with age 67. While initially surprised (and remembering the comments I got when sitting in front of computers as a teenager instead of working on the family farm), I quite liked the idea. It's a great to see him still wanting to explore and learn new things. Unfortunately since there is approximately 17.000km between us, there was a limited amount I could do to help him get set up. So my eldest sister (as she always has to do) ended up having to help out instead. Finding hardware was the easy part and very cheap these days (and since it was bought online I could help with the technical aspects). However the machines in that particular shop came as white-boxes without an Operating System (which is a good thing in my book). So rather than forking out another 90 or so Euro for Windows Vista, which I personally dislike with a passion, I suggested her to download Ubuntu and give it a try. If things did not work out you could always get it later. While I personally have a very pragmatic approach to OS selection and no particular 'religious' views when it comes to Linux, I do generally choose an Open Source alternative over a Proprietary system all other things being equal. I was a bit worried about people not being familiar with it, but in the…

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