This has been a busy week.

The icon of modern, hip technology, Steve Jobs is gone. He will be missed. The tech world will change because he will no longer deliver new “insanely great”cool toys.

Dennis Ritchie, co-creator of both the C programming language and of Unix while working at Bell Labs, also died. He will be missed, but his work which he taught others to use will have long effect in the tech world, perhaps longer than the Apple phenomenon. Linux is mostly written in C and is a functional homage to Unix.

The Ubuntu family of distributions, with its many alternate flavors like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc. released its October version 11.10, right on time. I just did my backup and will run the updater after I finish this blog post.

KDE, the desktop originally described as the “kewl desktop environment” is having a birthday on Thursday October 14, 2011. KDE is my personal choice for desktop. I run it in the Kubuntu distribution. KDE is a friendly, interactive community, too. That’s not uncommon in the Free Software world, but KDE seems to do it particularly well for a complex group of programmers, designers, documentation writers and happy users.

I think I’m the only KDE user in my town so a big party is out, but I plan to celebrate with a raised glass and a piece of cake.



Chris Dawson writes about education for ZDNet. In a post today, he boldly recommends educators look closely at Canonical’s newest version of Ubuntu.

There’s been a move by the Ubuntu distribution team to create a unified interface which works on desktops, laptops, and  netbooks.

What’s your take? Have you tried Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity?

Happy Cinco de Mayo to you who are from south of the border.

Jono Bacon is the Ubuntu Community Manager. Ubuntu’s popularity as a Linux distribution is, at least partly, a result of the success it has had building a community of users, not just a community of developers. When asked, I do tell people I am a happy user of Kubuntu. I spend some time at the meetings of the Massachusetts Local Community (LoCo) Team which is a very helpful bunch of friendly people doing what they can to spread the word about Ubuntu and Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) in general.

MassCUE has always stressed the benefits of sharing, “teachers helping teachers” has been a guiding principle for years. The MassCUE community of educators has been successful in promoting technology in Massachusetts schools and has been around since 1982, a good while.

Jono Bacon is writing a book, The Art of Community,  which will be published this summer by O’Reilly. Early indications are that it will be a good book for anybody trying to develop a community group, no matter whether the group has any interest in FOSS. The book should be helpful to anybody trying to get a bunch of people organized around any cause, a church group, a fundraising team, whatever.

Even better, Bacon and O’Reilly are agreed that the book will also be released on the internet with a Creative Commons license. You can even keep tabs on the book’s progress by going to the Web site for the book: http://www.artofcommunityonline.org/

I am looking forward to reading this one.

In case you read only this blog for your information on Linux, and didn’t already know, tomorrow is the release day for version 9.04 “Jaunty Jakalope”, a long term support update/security Linux (5 years for server, 3 years for desktop) Hardy Heron 8.04 was the most recent LTS and 10.04 will be the next. It is available with several desktop setups: Gnome, KDE, etc., and there is a special Netbook Remix for you lucky folks with a nice, shiny mini notebook onto which you want to put a full operating system.


The Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference is a good book to buy (currently less than $10.00 from Amazon) and keep handy while you get started or expand your use of and knowledge about the popular GNU/Linux distribution. It can fit in your pocket, or sit easily beside your computer. What’s more, you can download the PDF ebook for free.


The Amazon link is included at the Web page above.