Marcel Gagne's blog

During my keynote at the fifth annual Free Software and Open Source Symposium at Seneca College, York University, I suggested the creation of something I called "The Linux and Open Source Marketing Board". I envisioned it as an industry umbrella organization whose purpose it is to send a consistent, positive message, about FOSS (of which Linux is the poster child) to both the public and other members of industry.

The following clip highlights that section of the talk.


Free Long Distance . . . Really!

If you are still recovering from the last time you paid your long-distance bill, Chef Marcel may be able to offer some relief. How? By using your Linux system and a Voice over IP program, of course. That just happens to be the focus of this edition of Cooking with Linux, posted for your free reading pleasure on In that article, I cover some great applications including one that might just be the perfect VoIP client, one you may never even have heard of, the amazing Wengophone!



Kurt Vonnegut Jr. dies

A giant in the world of literature, some of it science-fiction, has just passed away. Kurt Vonnegut Jr., whose works include Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champtions, and many others. I attended a lecture by Vonnegut a number of years ago (in Stratford, Ontario). In trying to explain what he (and other writers) did for a living, he pointed to another legend, Robertson Davies, who was sitting just a few seats from the front. How cool is that, I thought. Sitting in the same room with Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Robertson Davies.

Smoking is not what killed Vonnegut, but I remember him explaining why he believed people smoke. "It was," he said, "one of the few socially acceptable ways to commit suicide." I remember thinking how sad a statement that was, coming from such a human being. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was 84. CBC News has coverage here.


Just don't get it!

This is what happens when you decide to make a video first thing in the morning. Maybe it's the lack of sleep. Maybe it's because I have a cold. Whatever the reason, I decided to express my confusion regarding free software vs expensive, commercial software in the following video clip (and not too cleverly concealed promo for my new book). Check out the YouTube version below.


Fly The Flyer

This morning, a representative from Addison Wesley (my publisher) contacted me regarding promotion for Moving to Ubuntu Linux.

I won't bore you with everything that transpired, but she did send me a cool flyer in PDF format. Download a copy, print it out, email it, or pass it around.

Visit your local bookstore, hand them a copy, and tell them to order it.


I Need A New Notebook, Captain!

Two long years! That's how long I've put up with my current notebook, a Compaq Presario 2500. To be fair, it's has everything I wanted and it has worked (almost) perfectly with Linux since I first installed Mandrake on it (before ever allowing it to boot into Windows [ insert maniacal laugh here). In two years, it has run Mandrake (later Mandriva), SUSE, Fedora, and now Kubuntu. Nevertheless, the old notebook has been getting flaky these last few months and it's time to move on. This is why I now need your help.


Virtual Book Launch, Friday, August 18

This coming Friday, August 18th, my new book, "Moving to Ubuntu Linux", will be officially released. For those lucky ones who will be at LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco, that date might be as early as Thursday as they are planning on having copies to launch the book at LWE. Since I can't make the launch of my book in San Francisco (sniff), I thought it might be fun to do a Virtual Book Launch on Friday.


It's Here!! It's Finally Here!!

The doorbell rang a few minutes ago and since I wasn't expecting anyone, I had no idea of the surprise was waiting for me. Anyhow, it was the FedEx guy with a package from my publisher. I cracked it open and there it was, the first copy of my new book, "Moving to Ubuntu Linux"!  So, I guess it's official then. "Moving to Ubuntu Linux" is now available. If you'll pardon a moment of shameless self-promotion, I'll direct you to the book's page at yon friendly URL.


Giant Robots And Killer Licenses

Maybe I should have titled this Why you should fear proprietary software. I generally leave pointing people to other stories to . . . er, um, well, other people. These stories, however, highlight so beautifully why open source software, open protocols, and open data formats are so important. In fact, it should make everyone wonder why anyone, or any company, would want to lock themselves in to any vendor, especially when it comes to their data . . . or their cars.


Don't Lie To Me! A Call For Hardware Honesty.

Warning! Bit of a rant here . . . At some point in the next couple of months, I'm going to kiss my old notebook goodbye and purchase a new one. I've been looking (when time permits) at the various deals that are out there. So far, I still don't know who I want to give my money to. And this is where the big lie and my search for the truth starts.



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