Quotidian Mundanity, the reprise

After being neglected for a long time, Quotidian Mundanity has had a bit of a facelift.  The new theme gives the blog a more modern look than its previous monochrome incarnation and is more generous in terms of using margins and padding to make presentation of the text easy on the eyes.  And who knows, maybe a fresh layout for the blog will inspire to me to devote more time writing something longer than 140 characters.

The new layout set me thinking about the sorts of articles that might be forthcoming.  I’ve got a few ideas based on recent conversations with friends and colleagues, so watch this space.  If you’d like to to know when anything new is posted here, then subscribe to the blog using the widget top-right, grab a feed, or follow me on Twitter.

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin – Hello Unity

I’ve taken the plunge and installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin). If nothing else, the OS was easier to install on a dual-boot Windows 7 machine than it was to type its full name!

Prior to this I’d been running Ubuntu 9.04/9.10, then 10.04/10.10, all of which coexisted alongside Windows XP and Windows 7. Since switching to a newer dual-boot machine that’s never had the time dedicated to it to facilitate the almost seamless switching between OSes that operated on the older box, I haven’t been using Ubuntu as heavily as before shifting machines. So, installing Precise Pangolin was as much as a incentive to get the dual-boot working environments working smoothly as it was a desire to see what all the fuss was about.

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Why old software versions matter

In a recent post on the oldversion.com blog attention was drawn to a comment left on the site’s Facebook page by a user who said:

“I am using your oldversion.com resource to restore some really low resource computers to give to people who have no money to buy a computer for themselves or their children.”

What a fantastic use of the oldversion.com service!

If ever there was an argument for maintaining freely available archives of old versions of software, then this has to be one of the better ones. Why should access to computers and the Internet be the sole preserve of those privileged enough to afford it?

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Copying Writing, Music, Video

Earlier this week, via Twitter:

Cory Doctorow (@doctorow)
That time again: Need to come up with a Guardian column idea. I’ll RT the best /most interesting for next 15 mins. GO!

My reply:

Once you choose to place words/pictures/audio/video/media in the public domain, in whatever form, it then remains public domain. @doctorow

Which, in the confines of the ongoing copyright and intellectual property debate (as if even the notion of the ownership of ideas could tangibly exist in a reasonably sane world) might seem a bit left-field.  But there other ways to consider the situation.

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