The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Doing The Good Thing

Lindependence 2008 has not been without its detractors. There haven't been many and few of them have been public, but we have had them.

Almost from the beginning.

I'm not one to put too much weight on criticism that obviously stems from someone's dislike of me. I hear that there may be one or two folks out there that don't particularly care for me or what I do.

Or so I hear.

Early on...when Larry and I were putting LIN08 together; I began a mini-campaign to garner support for this project. One of my objectives was to make other bloggers aware of what we were doing and asked them to spread the word. Many were more than glad to help.

More than one was not.

Now it's not my intention to start a crap-flinging fest here, so names are not going to be mentioned. Should she...or he for that matter care to comment, then they can...I don't particularly care one way or another. My reasons for bringing this up are purely to show just how fragmented the wasp really is.

Oh...Wasp? That would be us...Warring Against Self Preservation. I have decided that there really isn't any "Linux Community". Only factions that spend an inordinate amount of time ripping at each other's throats.

I'm about to present you with an example.

One of the most memorable responses I received from my quest for blogger assistance came from a fairly well-known blogger for a well-known Technology book/publication site. I honestly didn't know that she/he and I had "issues".

It seems as if we do.

Like I care.

What I do care about is the blind "Let's-all-just-get-together-and-can't-we-all-get-along" mentality (s)he carries like a shield. It's not that I prefer conflict...I don't. Contrary to popular disbelief, I do have other things I want to do in life...I'm just not going to walk away from a job half-done. I am more than willing to give those who come around the benefit of the doubt. My normal practice is to give everyone an "A" and then they can grade themselves. Does anyone care to take a gander at the Microsoft gradebook?

I am probably going to blame their proximity to Madison Wisconsin for this Kumby'a attitude. No offense to those with a bit of sense in Madison. Even the residents there I've met agree that the only thing left of some of them is the Mariana Trench.

And yes, I've spoken to many...I spent many a summer in that fine state.

The response I got from this particular blogger was scathing. Of particular note was the issue of me referring to Microsoft Windows as a "ball and chain". The famed blogger stated to me that they did their absolute best to undo the "damage" my blog and my attitude does at every turn...or words to that effect. Said blogger also stated that they had nothing but the deepest distain for my fanaticism and that they worked hard to be the exact opposite of me, which they then identified as "zealot". The fact that I referred to using Microsoft Windows as a measure of inprisonment chapped said bloggers backside. A Zealot she called me.

Thank you.

But might want to reconsider your stand on being my exact opposite. You know a small bit of moderation goes a long way. You may want to ponder your decision to walk to the very end of that spectrum...the "zealot" one. You don't honestly want to wear that title...that exact opposite of zealot.

That would make you a coward.

Let me show you just how "ball and chained" some people are, oh Ghandi of the blogosphere .

And how grateful they are to be freed.

Dear Ken, My name is Benjamin Denning and we met at the church hall in Felton last week. I am the gentleman with the two kids and told you about being locked out of my computer. I am the one that came from San Jose. I want to take just a few minutes of your time and thank those of you who put on this demonstration and helped me get Linux installed on my computer. It went just as easily as you said it would but after giving itsome thought, I didn't bother with keeping Windows on the other part of the hard drive. Since Microsoft refuses to honor my registration key, even after admitting that it was probably not pirated, I see no reason to keep their product on my computer. I also did as you suggested and wrote to Mr. Steve Ballmer and told him that my entire family has switched to Linux. I wanted you to know that you people are doing the good thing Ken. It was a pleasure to meet you and the others that made this event possible. You indeed travel in some intresting circles.

Best of wishes from my family to you folks,


To make a short story shorter, Ben had to reformat his hard drive after his brand new Vista computer became infected with numerous viruses and spyware nasties. Thank you MySpace. When he tried to restore the installation, it rejected his license key and would not let him back into his computer and data. He spent over three hours with a Microsoft Tech and seventy five dollars for the privilege of being told that, yes, his key was probably authentic but because the Genuine Advantage program wasn't recognizing it, he would have to purchase another license.

Oh...please do go ahead and say that Mr. Denning is an isolated incident. Please, I'm beggin' ya....I really, really want you to say that.

Because down deep, I know you honestly believe it. And that's sad.

Someone`s sleeping Lord, Kumbaya,
someone`s sleeping, Lord, Kumbaya.
Someone`s sleeping, Lord, Kumbaya, oh, Lord, Kumbaya.

(Thanks to Ms. Joan Baez)

Our blogger friend went on to say that this project was fairly inconsequental and that one small town in California is hardly representative of the US population....that if we gained any measure of success, it would be the exception rather than the norm.

Someone`s sleeping Lord, Kumbaya,....

Is that bag of misconceptions and incorrect perceptions getting a bit heavy? You might want to empty some of it out...I am sure there are others sharing your opinion that would be happy to carry the excess for you.

Ball and Chain Baby...Ball and Chain.


Spelling courtesy of one who says in 500 hundred words what you claim to be able to say in 50...but that's the way we Zealot's are. A bit mouthy.

Yeah...I'll be a Zealot. And yes. I'm spelling that with a capital Z as well.

Arrogance defined.

All-Righty Then...


kozmcrae said...

I've encountered that word so many times in regards to us Linux folk who speak our mind, that I looked it up. It's quite a complement. I'm honored to be call a Linux Zealot.

Anonymous said...

Aw, c'mon...we gotta know who this is.


From a well known book/tech site. Hmmm. NO! Tell me it's not Carla Schroeder. It couldn't be. Could it?

Unknown said...

No, it is certainly not Carla. And no more guessing games...we're not gonna do that. I left the person's name out on purpose. They would be getting flames for two weeks and whether they like me or not is their burden...I'm not particularly mad at her...I just feel bad about the whole blind/living-in-a-fairy-tale-world thing.

Hopefully the awakening won't be too rude.


Amenditman said...


Hopefully these bloggers will come around before microsoft engulfs them. That is their strategy, to keep 'us' divided and slowly absorb the useful bits and destroy the rest.

They've done it before, and if 'we' don't stand up and stop them, they will do it again, and again, and again. Seems like it's the only trick in their book.

I know, this has not always been the case, but things have changed dramatically at microsoft over the years.

Open minds and active, thoughtful, contemplation of the situation is what's needed, not Kumbaya.


Anonymous said...

No, there's no doubt it wasn't Carla, even if Ken hadn't said so. Carla is not one to shun adversity or be kind to Microsoft. I only know of one other prominent Linux female blogger though, and it doesn't sound like her either. Hmmm....

Oh, and Ken: Keep up the good work. I'm sorry California was too far away for me to take a few days off work and represent Slackware and it's derivatives for you. If you every want to try something similar in Ohio or PA, I might be able to make it.

Anonymous said...

Just keep on keeping on!

Anonymous said...

Regardless of how anyone might feel about Redhat, let's all go view the RH Youtube promo re Truth Happens. This is just to refresh our memories about where we are in this process.

"First they ignore you... Then they laugh at you... Then they fight you... Then you win."

We are Agents of Change, baby, Agents of Change.

Anonymous said...

I understand and have gone through those cries of Zealotry myself. But like you, I continue to run installfests regardless if 1 person shows up or twenty people. Keep up the great work too.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, if you spilled the name of this "famed blogger", odds are very much in favor of me never having heard of her.

You, OTOH, have had a marked impact on me.

zealot: One who is zealous.

I guess the opposite would be stick in the mud.

Anonymous said...

I would NEVER diss Ken in public. He's one of the good guys, one of the few who DOES something instead of sitting around taking shots at other people who are actually accomplishing things.

Well, OK, there is one thing- come on Ken, plaid pants? Oh well, at least they're pants.

Carla Schroder

Unknown said...

So the next question should be where to go from here? How to share this wonderful gift with everyone else instead of acting elitist and quietly using said gift while feeling better than everyone else.

The Tux Project has surprised me, and in a good way. It was thanks to them that ideas such as Lindependence were able to proliferate in the way that is has. However, Tux Project can not do this alone, nor should it. There should be other avenues to follow as well, such as writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper or calling into your favorite TV/radio show to ask the host when they are going to talk about this wonderful gift we call GNU and Linux....

SJVN may very well be right.... this gift could very well save entire economies. Think about that one for a moment, and forget the naysayers who are so meek minded as to walk away from such a wonderful opportunity to share this wonderful gift with everyone else.

Amenditman said...


If you're reading this, thanks for your review of sidux.


Unknown said...

I think "Carla Schroder" is a helios sympathizer. I have a signed copy of her very informative book "Linux networking cookbook"

power to the penguin :)

buy one to show your support

shamless plug

Anonymous said...

in an earlier post I was not making any sense when I later reread my copy. Thank you for not posting it. Those who criticize and do nothing should not be taken seriously. Your actions have accomplished much more than your critics ever will. They haven't walked a mile in your shoes, so we readers should always take that into account. The kids and others you have helped with Linux will benefit greatly and you seem to push on even in a thankless world.
Paul Sams

Anonymous said...

I was so full of myself in my previous post that I forgot to say Windows IS a ball and chain. I have offered to help family and friends break free, and it amazes me that they will buy a new pc, or a mac and still are unwilling to use Linux. I have gotten three people to let me take their "broken computer" and turn it into the "children's computer for school work." Why am I not connecting with them? By the way, their kids do fine with mom and dads "broken computer."

Paul S

Anonymous said...

At first I was curious but now I dont really care who the blogger is, I have way too many things to do to care about someone's personal problems. One End**le per lifetime is enough.

This work is gonna be done one small town at a time but we have come so far, so fast by not looking to far ahead.

To be honest, I held back until about 18-24months ago suggesting to friends to try Linux on their own. I always did support for friends and family (which is about 90% less time than I used to do supporting the Virus ...I means WIndows machines) who wanted to switch but I felt there were too many hurdles that could scare off people doing it on their own.

With the advent of Live CD's everything changed. Someone asks me about Linux: here try these Live CD's, they wont damage your computer.

From that point on, the amount of ffamily/friends and friends of friends who have shown interest has went through the roof.

Vista then was a bonanza and I had a whole slew of people who wanted to save their 'old' computers they were told couldnt run a beautiful OS (that person ended up getting a KDE/Compiz on a P3-800 that they proudly show to all.

Not counting family, I did about 25 installs in the past 18 months (half are dual boots).
I also helped some local kids in setting up a retirement home with Linux on about 2-3 dozen 'old' machines.

Right now, I help troubleshoot on the local LUG's (i dont have time to participate in the LUG but still give 4-5 hrs on weekends to help people trouble shoot. Xstart, kicker and other life savers are not well publicized for newbies).

Compared to 3-4 years ago, we have come a long, long time. People hear the name Linux and want to know more. Live CD's to the rescue (I keep them in the car, in my gym bag, etc)

As well, my wife's friend got a cute little laptop last year, the EEE and she had no idea that she was using Teh Leenox. It was just 'there'. She could sent emails, correct term papers and chat with family. That's all she knows or cares. My wife wants a small netbook too and while we were within a sold out store close of buying the Acer One (with Linpus Lite Linux), the soldout sign means we are going to go instead with the Dell E series netbook which starts at 299$ because it is rumoured to feature Ubuntu and an instant boot like Asus has on their mobo's.
$299 is the price of a Wii and my wife wants to buy one for her mom at that price too. Its not an impulse buy but its getting there.
More importantly, Linux is easy for grandparents and for soccer moms.

And I know how Paul S. feels. I had a friend's friend over because he was freaking out that his Windows machine ate all his data/pictures. I took out a Live CD, plugged in the USB drive and just copied his folders over.
I then offered to install him teh distro he was using on my laptop to which he said he would think bout it.
Two weeks later, my friend comes over with the guys gorgeous laptop he had bought from the guy for next to nothing telling me his buddy had just spent over 3000$ for a MacBook Pro (we have 15% sales tax and he got fished in for all the Care, .Mac and all the ways they have to suck money out of you) and could I make his laptop look like mine (I dont use eye candy on my desktop but Compiz-Fusion is always on my laptop so I can show people.)
I pimped the hell out of my friends machine and my buddy is now rocking Linux as well, as safe as his buddy for a fraction of the price.
Every time I see him, he tells me he likes his buddy but that he has more money than brains.
Then he brought me his dad's Thinkpad T21 and wanted to know if I had something 'light' so his dad can surf safely.
Some people get it, some people dont.
Some people believe that if you overpay, then it HAS to be better than free (and Libre).
Which probably explains the visceral hatred we are getting from the Mac community, just listen to Merlin Mann and Andy Ihnatko's and even Randall Shwartz (he does a 'Floss' show but doesnt cover Linux on his show and he despises the GPL) drivel if you have a strong stomach.
Just by offering something that is easy, solid, safe and free/free, you are almost attacking their way of life.
As if the success of Linux would somehow diminish their enjoyment of their OS.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, dont sweat it.
You know that Gandhi quote that /.ers love to abuse?
"First they ignore you,.."
I think we are right i the middle of step 3 right now.

12 months ago we were ecstatic
that Dell was running their Ideastorm website to decide which Linux distro to use.
By the end of this year, 20 manufacturers will be using Linux.
Asus is going to be putting that embedded Linux in ALL their motherboards (millions per month) as well as some laptop lines.
And by the end of 2008, Brazil's tech push will have created 30,000 computer labs and up to 52,000 by the end of 2009 which will then serve 52 MILLION students using various localized Linux distros running KDE.

We have come so far in the past few years that we sometimes forget to smell the roses.
LIN08 and others events are a way of reminding ourselves of the ways we can push this along on the right path.

This is not a sprint but a marathon.

Congrats to you all, best of luck and thank you for inspiring us.

lyle howard seave

Anonymous said...

Don't change what you do or how you do it - you're one of the few that "shut up and get it done"... well, ok, how about just "get it done"?
Let the doubters shriek their denials and appeasement - the world is moving to an environment that it can control, not be controlled by.
I think your blog is what many envy - a record of what you have done, not just the wishful thinking of a wannabe.

Anonymous said...

Your post runs on bit long. Especially if you're someone who feels compelled to say: "Like I care" don't you think?

Sorry if I sound a little short tempered. But it gets a very annoying when names are not named. Makes me suspicious, since there is no way to follow up on who or what was actually said.

Names please?

Unknown said...

my posts always run "a bit long".

Just the way the words come out.

The point of this blog was not to finger or berate any particular blogger, although the crappy response given as a result of my initial contact was unmerited. Come to find out, this person just doesn't like me. that's fine...My sleep patterns have not been interrupted a bit by the news. The point was (again) to highlight the growing division of The Wasp and to inspire people to put down petty differences in order to achieve a bigger goal. If two complete opposites like Larry Cafiero and I can work together, anyone can. It's just a matter of deciding which is more important...your negative feelings or this thing we try to bring to the world.

The email I cite has been forwarded to several "community leaders" so you may put your suspicions to rest. If you are insinuating that there is no such email, then I encourage you to visit here more often. I've been doing this for 4 years now and I'm not about to "manufacture" anything.

Should that be your point, then you carry it as a burden, not me. The blogger in mention has been notified of this blog and if that person cares to comment, they are welcome to do so.


Unknown said...

"Sorry if I sound a little short tempered. But it gets a very annoying when names are not named. Makes me suspicious, since there is no way to follow up on who or what was actually said.

Names please?"

There's just one problem. You yourself left no name, so why should anyone oblige you by naming names at this point? Kind of contradictory if you ask me.

Moving on. Those who ignore the efforts to share this digital gift with everyone else should in turn be shunned, so I personally don't care who chastised helios at this point. If they see his efforts as unimportant, then they themselves are unimportant and should be ignored themselves.

Those who are important are those who do attempt to do something instead of sitting behind a keyboard all day (guilty as charged myself...). Those who are important are those who attempt to inform the public about events that involve sharing this digital gift with the world. Those who think that actively marketing freedomware to those who were not aware of it makes one a zealot can just crawl back into the hole they came out of.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work!

I have had the privilege of teaching in many schools and spreading the good news about GNU/Linux. There is joy in one's heart to see young people thrive on free software. I have seen many people dragging the ball and helped those who would be helped. I was helped many years ago by one young man who planted the idea in my mind and by Google who helped me find a distro. One never knows how large a tree will emerge from every seed planted.

We have come a long way towards freedom but it is still uphill. I think we are in a breakthrough period because 2007/8 has been a series of developments in OEM/retail business distributing GNU/Linux. I believe the job will become easier because the ball, with Vista, is too large to fit through most doors while GNU/Linux can even slide under a closed door.

Anonymous said...

OK, I take back what I said. The blogger in question has just outed herself over on LXer, and it was the other female blogger I knew of. Not that she came out and said it was her, but quoting the "ball and chain" line is sort of a dead giveaway.

If it's any consolation Ken, she and I (along with some others on LXer) disagreed somewhat about a Slackware review she wrote, so I doubt she's too fond of me either. So you don't have to be a "zealot" to get on her bad side.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

She is complaining about YOUR writing style? That's too funny coming from someone who's blogs read like VCR instuctions. Caitlyn Martin's blog is the perfect cure for insomnia.

You hit a nerve in her somewhere...maybe she likes you...ever thought of that?

Interesting theory.

Anonymous said...

After reading some of the stuff on

I think we should video a WWF style cage match of Ken and Caitlyn.

That would generate loads of buzz ;)

Amenditman said...

Hello 'anonymous'

That is exactly the opposite of what this community needs.

If you want to create a buzz, go out and start a computer recycling program which restores the dumped computers and puts them in the hands of those who could never afford a brand new computer. And while you're at it get algore and friends to really publicise it and pump some big money into it because it's great for the environment and willhelp to save the planet.

That would be really great and create the buzz.

Otherwise post your silly comments over at that other forum and not here.

We take this stuff seriously here.


P.S. Feel free to disagree and even flame me, just do it in the proper place over at that other forum.