Welcome! You've arrived at award-winning author Marcel Gagné's personal Website. I am the author of the "Moving to Linux" series of books, a regular columnist for several tech magazines, a public speaker, radio and television personality, and a well known voice in the Linux and open source universe. I created the famous (perhaps infamous) Cooking With Linux which ran for ten years in the Linux Journal. I'm also a published science fiction author and editor, a onetime Editor in Chief, a pilot, a former Top 40 disc jockey, and I fold a mean origami T-Rex.  This site is home to my insights, opinions, gripes, brags, tech stuff, and whatever else comes to mind when I have the time or the inclination to publish it. 


Marcel's Linux App of the Month : Workrave

Hey out there! You are working too hard! If that sounds like you, then read on . UnixReview has just published the latest of my "Marcel's Linux App of the Month". This month's app is about a great little program designed to make sure you take breaks from time to time as your workday progresses. If you (or someone you know) is prone to backache, sore necks, headaches, or carpal tunnel syndrome as you toil at your keyboard, then you need to read about Workrave at the UnixReview.com Website.


Tuesday Night on Computer America

Tomorrow night (Tuesday, the 17th), I'll be appearing live on the Computer America radio show and you can too! Details in the next paragraph . . . the show is Tuesday night, at 10:00 PM Eastern time (7:00 PM Pacific). The topic of Tuesday's show is, wait for it . . . security in the Linux world. It should be a lot of fun. Of course, it might get ugly too. Security does tend to be a touchy subject for some people though I can't understand why [ insert appropriate smiley here ].


Big network changes coming up!

Yes, this is just a bit of administrivia, but I think you are all going to like it. As those of you who were there for Tuesday night's chat already know, I am in the process of moving all of the domains and service that I use off site. Currently, the salmar.com, marcelgagne.com, and a few other domains that I support are all being served up from my home office. This has worked out well and it has given me physical access to my server for these past few years, access that has been invaluable in creating the various Websites, the Web-based fora (or forums) on www.marcelgagne.com (and the many Linux articles there), the IRC chat server, the WFTL-LUG and WFTL-ANNOUNCE mailing lists, and so on.


Marcel's Linux Game of the Month : eboard

How about a nice game of chess? For some, that question will bring back memories of the 1983 movie, WarGames, starring a young Matthew Broderick and the amazing Dabney Coleman. Somehow, it seems that chess games and movies just go together. Don't believe me? Let me give you a few examples.

Astronaut Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) plays HAL 9000, another artificial intelligence, in the 1968 classic, "2001: A Space Odyssey".

Arthur C. Clarke, the author of "2001", once stated that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," a statement that brings to mind the fantastic game of Wizard chess from the first Harry Potter movie.

Now, if you haven't played a decent game of computer chess lately, it's time to check out this month's Linux game over at UnixReview.com. In the article, I'll tell you about eboard, a great chess-playing program that lets you play against your own system, play against another player remotely, or join an online game using the FICS protocol (Free Internet Chess Server). You can read all about it at UnixReview.com


When people look around for reasons to say that Linux is just too hard, they will invariably arrive at software installations. The classic refrains include the difficulty of building from source, the problems with dependencies, and so on. Although there is some truth hidden in there somewhere, building from source is rarely necessary for mainstream packages because precompiled applications exist for most major distributions. Again, on the issue of package dependencies, most distributions use software installation tools that take care of the whole dependency issue for you, such as SUSE’s YaST, Debian’s apt-GUI, Synaptic, or Mandriva’s urpmi to name just a few.


Tonight, Live on Computer America.

It's not my usual slot and it's amazingly short notice but I've been asked to appear on the Computer America radio show, tonight at 11:00 PM Eastern time (8:00 PM Pacific). Now, this is a really a tough time for the father of a 16 month old with a penchant for getting up in the middle of the night, but I promise to do my best to stay awake (coffee!). Tonight, we're going to be talking about Linux desktops for the holidays, getting people to try Linux, Linux as stocking stuffers [ insert appropriate smiley here ], and Linux desktop stuff in general.


Two, Two, Two New Articles Online!

Today, I'm going to alert you to two different articles of mine that have just been published online. I'm actually a little late posting this, but I've been a little overwhelmed lately. My apologies. One of these columns is very business oriented and the other is, well . . . not [ insert appropriate smiley here ]. On to the details.


The Occasional Blogger

Let's start with an up front confession. I pretty much suck at this blogging thing since I can't seem to find the discipline to update this thing on anything resembling a regular basis. In fact, the only reason I'm updating my blog today is that this has been an amazingly busy week with tons happening and I feel like I have to get some of it down. Hmm . . . maybe I should call my blog "MOB" (Marcel's Occasional Blog). On the other hand, I do have an excuse which is that I write constantly. I'm currently working on two new books and I write another four magazine columns each month. My 16 month old son, Sebastian, has also been getting into the nasty habit of waking up some time after 1:00 AM and staying up for an hour or two so I suppose you could add sleep-deprived (shell-shocked?) to my list of excuses. But, as I so often do, I digress. On to the details of this week.


Slashdotted! My faith in humanity questioned.

On Wednesday, October 27th, I discovered for the first time what happened to my Web server when it was hit by the Slashdot effect. The server stayed up and mail kept being processed, but everything was happening pretty darn slowly. The reason my server encountered the Slashdot effect is that on Tuesday, October 26th, Christian Einfeldt published a review of my book, "Moving to Linux : Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!, 2nd edition".


Logo Contest Winner

And the winner is . . . Lew Pitcher with his winning "LUG Nuts" entry! On Wednesday, October 19th, I met Lew for lunch and gave him his copy of the new second edition of "Moving to Linux : Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!". To see the full sized winning logo, click the little logo icon at the top left of this paragraph. Lew's logo will, from this day forward, adorn all pages related to the WFTL-LUG virtual Linux User Group.


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