Where’s manchicken?!

So, I imagine that some of you are thinking, “hey, where’s that manchicken guy?  Did he get bored with blogging?  What gives?” while others are thinking “yay!  That manchicken jerk shut his trap!  It’s about time.”

 Well, to the former I say no, I didn’t lose interest, I’m merely on holiday downstate visiting family in celebration of some birthdays (there are 5 birthdays in my family this month of February).  To the later, I say sorry; you’re not that lucky?  I’m not leaving you alone, I’m going to keep bothering you once I get back home.

 A little foreshadowing though, I’ll have some big news later this week, so stay tuned kiddies.  Anyway, I’m updating my father-in-law’s computer, so I’ll bother you more later.  Good night all you happy people.

Okay, Everybody’s Talking About Non-Free Bundles…

Wow. So GNU/Linux is just another product to some people. I find that concerning. Torvalds didn’t write it to be a product, Stallman didn’t write the compiler to be a product, and I don’t think the KDE or GNOME folks did it for that reason either. I know I certainly don’t hack to make a product that others can sell while they marginalize my motives. I don’t mind if folks make money, but the very idea that they feel okay with bundling proprietary software with what was supposed to be a system with complete freedom does bother me greatly.

You can marginalize me by pointing out practicalities and hypocrisies, and that’s all fine and dandy. People are monetizing something that they didn’t even participate in making–short of packaging it–and they’re not even paying lipservice to the freedom that it is supposed to represent. It’s not that they ignore it even, it’s that they actively suppress the ideas that founded GNU/Linux and made it great. The concept of Open Source is one with origins in businesses trying to do just this. They wanted to distance themselves from the political and social motivation behind free software, so they couldn’t very well call it free software… so they focused on source code and call it Open Source. It’s not a development methodology, it’s a means of viewpoint discrimination and suppression of ideas that they don’t agree with.

To Redhat and Novell, there is something wrong with you. Your ethics are questionable and you need to seriously reconsider how you’re using software written for social benefit for your personal financial gain. Stop enabling the subjugation of users.

To Canonical, thank you for your mission statement but be very careful with this Linspire deal. Linspire is a proprietary software company that just happens to distribute Free software. They think nothing of distributing proprietary software that exploits users and restricts freedom. I know there’s a lot of money in those revenue shares, but is it worth subjugating Ubuntu users to these proprietary software vendors?

To the open source people, quit taking the work of those who are making software for the purposes of freedom and ignoring their opinions. As much as people like to marginalize Stallman, the guy did coordinate and write the vast majority of the GNU/Linux system. cp, ls, mv, less, emacs, gcc, ld, ar, tar, gzip, grep, gawk, ed, all of these things are GNU programs. Stallman wrote many of them himself. This isn’t open source, this is free software, and it’s worth mentioning the difference.

It is possible to have a company sell Free software responsibly. We need to make sure that in our efforts of commerce that we continue to respect freedom. Thanks for reading my rant. Feel free to flame.

Let it Snow… Please, don’t Let it Snow…

Normally I would be thrilled about these weather conditions, but today I’ve gotta drive downstate. This is no good. I’m looking out my window now, and there’s still snow coming down. There was a healthy break, and the radar looks like it’ll break again shortly, but man, I’m hoping that the interstates are clear. I really need to get downstate today, and I pray the weather will let me. It would be very nice if it did.

Adept, Welcome to Your Installer (5 of ?)

Okay, so I know I’m late. Sorry ’bout that. My wife gave me this new game and with that and work and hacking and cool videos that I’ve been blogging I’ve neglected you. I’m a naughty chicken. Can you ever forgive me? Aww, thanks, you’re a sweetie. Let me make it up to you. How? Well, let’s start by talking about Adept Updater!

adept notifier iconOkay, so have you ever seen this icon before? This is the adept notifier, and it will tell you when you’ve got things to update! How insanely cool is that? I think it’s pretty darn cool, and I think you do too… even if you won’t admit it out loud. Why don’t you click it and see what happens? You know you want to….

kdesu adept_updaterSo, once you’ve clicked it you’ll see the ‘kdesu adept_updater’ kdesu window pop up. Go ahead and type your user password in there and hit enter to get the main dialog to show up. This is how KDE allows you, a normal user, to execute programs intended to be run by root. Since adept_updater actually installs programs, it needs root access.

Welcome to Adept UpdaterSo now you get this lovely window that pops up. If you click the “Fetch List of Updates” button, you’ll see an interface that is pretty familiar. First you’ll see adept_updater fetch updates from your sources.list, and then it’ll present you with a list of updates with the needed activities for the upgrade to take place. This doesn’t just show you new versions of programs, but it also includes any new dependencies, and allows you to manage conflicts. From here you can do everything to the packages displayed in adept_manager, even uninstall and purge.

Well, that’s it. That’s adept_updater. Don’t believe me? Try using it. It’ll work.

I’ll now open this to questions. If you have any questions about adept, I’ll answer them in comments, or if they warrant their own post, I’ll make a new post for them. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series. I’m going to continue talking about programs that I like, and if you want me to do other topics, let me know. I’m always open to ideas. Nighty night.

Bounty Offered: GPL2+’ed Streamlined fla2avi

manchicken announces a Free software bounty!

Price: I can currently put up $20 for this. If anybody is interested in helping fund this bounty, please contact me at manchicken (at) members.fsf.org.

Synopsis: This is a bounty for a program that will convert videos from YouTube and other popular flash video sites to a non-encrypted video codec with a Free software implementation. Check the specifications below for more information.


  • The program must integrate seemlessly with at least one major GUI web browser distributed with a Free software license (preferably Konqueror or Firefox/IceWeasel)
  • The program must be turned in licensed under the GPL version 2 or later (the or later is required)
  • The program must come with a stand-alone executable as well as the browser integration, so that further integration may be possible
  • The program must depend on absolutely no proprietary software
  • From inside the browser, the integration layer must provide an intuitive interface that will convert a selected flash object into an AVI or other non-encrypted video with a Free software codec that is legal to install in the United States
  • The program must be compatible with flash version 7 or higer (higher is better) without requiring any proprietary software
  • The program must be reasonably stable, as determined by all representatives of all funding parties
  • The program must be programmed in a language with that has GPLv2+ compatible runtimes and build environments
  • The program would hopefully function on multiple Free software operating systems, but must function on a GNU operating system running a Linux kernel
  • The stand-alone program must take two arguments: the URL and the output file

A Free software license in this specification refers to a software license recognized as a Free license by the Free Software Foundation. You may find this list by clicking here.

Terms of Acceptance:

  • The program must be subjected to no fewer than 2 review processes where all interested funding parties are present or represented
  • The program must be subjected to at least one comprehensive code review where all interested funding parties are present or represented
  • The program must be documented to the satisfaction of the funding parties
  • There is no expiration date for this bounty, but the bounty must be claimed within 60 days of the initial release of the program.
  • This bounty does expire when a program implementing more than half of the functional specifications has been released for 60 days
  • This bounty shall be paid in United States Dollars, and the recipient is liable taxes, etc.

To claim this bounty, email manchicken (at) members.fsf.org.

Beaucoup de Stallman en les Langues Etranges!

Okay, so if you like Stallman, and you like… foreign languages… this is the post for you. YouTube and manchicken proudly present, beaucoup de Stallman en les langues etrages!

(no, I don’t speak french, but like many arrogant people I pretend like I do; if you’d like to translate in the comments, please feel free)

I love YouTube. I encourage you to learn now to rip flash into AVI for tthe purposes of using Free Software with your YouTube. Someone should write a KIO slave for that (hint hint).

I’ll be announcing a Free software bounty here soon. If you’re interested, pay attention to my next post for specs and amount!!!

House Hunting!

So any of you who have been house hunting in a small town will know what I’m about to go through. Today, my wife and I will be humbling ourselves at a grocery store in a small town to locate some rental properties. We’re looking in the lovely town of Manteno (if you know any places around there let me know) today. It’ll be pretty awesome. Wish us luck.

Geek Out my Friends!

For those of you who say there’s nothing but crap on YouTube, I have proof that you are 100% incorrect. Below is the link to the world’s coolest YouTube video. You should really see this. If you do not have a Flash plugin, check out the Windows 386 post for a link on how to convert flash to AVI.

Click here to watch the video

Those machines look like they took forever to put together.

Remember the Ubuntu Wiki!

Hello all you happy people. I’ve been noticing that people–myself included–are asking many questions without checking available resources first. This is my way of chastising myself and reminding others of this wonderful thing that Ubuntu did. It’s called a Wiki, and it is of near-infinite use. Almost anything that you want about your Ubuntu system you can learn from that Wiki. This includes things like tutorials on how to install codecs, setting up MythTV, setting up Xen, and many other useful things.

Just look how useful they are. Here’s how you can install some codecs…

Just visit http://wiki.ubuntu.com and search. I am always amazed at how simple it is to find information there.

You’ll Be Freeeee Hackers

So I’m having fun with this horrifying multimedia extravaganza. If any of you know who Richard Stallman is–who doesn’t?–you know that he will not be the next American Idol (and I don’t think it would particularly bother him).

Well, he has recorded a song about freedom in software and how it benefits hackers, and society in general. The GNU project is actually hosting a copy of this song on their site, and I thought you all might enjoy it if you hadn’t heard it yet.

Here’s the link.