Marcel Gagne's blog

25
May

Happy Towel Day!

DON'T PANIC!

Today, being the 25th of May, is also Towel Day, a mostly harmless holiday in which fans of the late great author, Douglas Adams, carry a towel to recognize the man who brought us the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and introduced us to Vogon Poetry (described in the Hitchhiker's Guide as "the third worst poetry in the universe").

towelday_2010.jpg

25
May

Canonical Cozies Up To Skype

Surprise, surprise!

25
May

Bad Stuff About Facebook, But Not What You Think

I'm going to start this Ubuntu-User blog entry with an apology combined with a bit of an explanation. I'm going to talk about Facebook.

17
May

Copyrights, Copywrongs, and Copyconfusion

Last week, I received a call from Erin Anderssen, a writer and reporter from the Globe and Mail, Canada's great national newspaper. She was directed to me by a colleague of mine who suggested that I might just be the sort of person she wanted to talk to. Specifically, she wanted tech-savvy parents so she could find out how they explain copyright violations to their children. 

My children are a little young yet (not quite 3 and not quite 6) so that discussion is a few years away. Nevertheless, as those of you who know me will not find surprising, I did have some opinions on the subject.  So for the next 20 or 30 minutes, we talked about this very issue. I probably asked Erin more questions than she asked me because I'm like that. If you ask for my opinion, I'm infinitely curious as to what your opinion on the same matter might be. I may not agree with you, but I'm still curious. So we talked . . . and on Sunday, the article was published. under the title, "Illegal downloading: How do you explain it to the kids?

I am sure you can appreciate that what you get from the Globe and Mail article is a handful of words from yours truly, hardly enough to make any sense of what I might actually believe when it comes to this subject. Other than, perhaps, my belief that the issue is far from cut and dry. 

27
Apr

Right Brain and Left Brain. What is Brain?

The whole left brain, right brain thing came up again today. I was asked whether I was predominantly right or left brained; my friend suggested I was a right-brain kind of guy. Sadly, and I blame lack of sleep for this, I could not remember what one side or the other signified. So I decided to Google "right brain left brain quiz" and take the first thing that popped up in the Firefox search bar. The results of my impromptu test are below. Those of you who know me, and those of you who don't but think you do, are free to make your own judgement. [ insert appropriate smiley here ]

COSSFEST-logo_medium.pngOkay, I might be exaggerating about the whole betrayal and murder thing. But this story is about FOSS in Calgary. And it is about COSSFEST 2010. We did, however, kill a few beer. Does that count? And we did have a panel about the death of somebody . . . or something. Muah hah hah!

Sorry, I'll come in again . . .

This past weekend (April 9th and 10th), I had the great pleasure to attend COSSFEST 2010 in Calgary. COSSFEST is the Calgary Open Source Systems Festival, a gathering of people whose passion is free and open source software, coming together to share information, exchange ideas, and otherwise talk about all things FOSS. Oh, and drink beer. And eat, too. Yeah, right . . . there's that karaoke thing we'd rather not talk about.

For me, this was a sort of Calgary Linuxfest v 2.0 since I gave the keynote at the first every COSSFEST back in 2006, then called (you guessed it) Calgary Linuxfest. This year's COSSFEST featured some great speakers including Aaron Seigo, Adam McDaniel, Adam Tindale & Jordan Tate, Brad "Renderman" Haines, Bruce Byfield, Dafydd Crosby, Joshua Schroeder, Kenton Smith, Martin Glazer, Richard P.W. Stobbe, Richard Weait, Stefan Steiniger, and Timothy Griffin.

26
Mar

Lucid Dreams and Death By Techno

Hello, everyone. My name is Marcel and I'm a technology addict.

What can I say? It has been a crazy couple of weeks. Not just for me, but for the world in general. Well, not in general, but certainly on some fronts on which I find fascinating and, not surprisingly, I have an opinion. First off, if you wander off into the wilds of planet *buntu, you may notice an increasingly Lucid Lynx prowling around. Be warned, however, that this Lynx is an Alpha and unless you're the sort of person who likes to mess with Alphas, you might want to steer clear until this Lynx turns into a beta.

22
Feb

Fresh Faces, Universal Access, and Really Plain Text

Last time I wrote about the goings on surrounding Planet *buntu, I went on about one of my favorite topics; open formats and the future of information. By information, I mean content in all its wondrous forms, from plain text, to Web content, to music, to video, and to everything in between. Sadly, I find myself wanting to rant again on this topic even if it means laying into one of my favorite corporations. So I decided to start with something positive and friendly; something of beauty to prepare you for the ugliness to follow. It's only fair and it will, I hope ease the pain.

Last year was also when things started going wrong with my Toshiba notebook.

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