Crossing the Chasm

A long time ago in a galaxy far away.. I used to compere the LinuxWorld Conference “Golden Penguin Bowl” geeks vs. nerds quiz show. My greatest coup was arranging a “Microsoft vs. Google” grudge match with a team from each company.

First past the post

I have never been sure which is most insufferable – the term “postmodernism”, the intellectual fashions that grew up around it, or the supposed culture it purports to describe. Probably all three equally.

Paulo Freire wrote, towards the end of the 20th century:

There is a lot of fatalism around us. An immobilizing ideology of fatalism, with its flighty postmodern pragmatism, which insists that we can do nothing to change the march of social-historical and cultural reality because that is how the world is anyway. (1)

Education - Intervening in the real world

These are some very basic principles. There are others, but these are mine. The context in which I offer them is the protests against the proposed government cuts in education spending and massive rises in student fees. Over and above these principles it is important to never lose sight of the question of who and what education is for.

Paulo Freire referred to education as “that specifically human act of intervening in the world”. As such it cannot (and should not seek to) escape matters of ethics, politics, and ideals.

Jeremy Allison talks to Linus Torvalds about the Sinclair QL and Pacman

I've been devoid of column inspiration for a while, so here
is a video interview I did with Linus Torvalds at Sao Paulo
Zoo all about Sinclair QLs :-)

Don't vote. It only encourages them

My local village pub is a little Labour enclave in a Tory stronghold. If our rural Westcountry constituency ever returned anything other than a Tory to Westminster it would be proof that the universe had changed. Not being a Tory, therefore, my vote is of negligible relevance for anything other than statistical purposes – that is if I use it. However, whenever I tell them in the pub that I don’t vote they round on me as if it mattered.

Watching the Sun Set

If you click on, you get redirected to Sun is no more. The network is no longer the computer. The "Dot" in .COM is now a database. I'm really sorry to see Sun go. I have a long and varied history with Sun. What went wrong?

Articles for The H

The H will soon be celebrating its first anniversary. Here are links to some articles written for The H by Richard during its first year.

In no particular order, and without explanation :-)

Interstellar overdrive - Linux and astronomy - The fun has gone?

Still Livin' La Vida Linux

It's been over a year since I wrote about my conversion to a Linux based digital media environment, and since it's the holiday season (or just after) I thought it was time to update the story, and describe some new Linux based devices I'm using that others might find useful.

Why Free Software?

Jeremy was asked to take part in the Free Software Foundation's video campaign entitled "I use Free Software, and I support Free Software", which launches on Monday, and decided to do something targeted at Windows users, and salesman-like :-).

Ellen Ko spent half a day coaching him through "about 20 bloody takes, most of which were disastrous and ended up with me screaming into the camera after screwing it up one way or another."

Finally they got "a perfect take", but Jeremy realised he'd got an important fact wrong, and had to start over again the next day.


There has been a lot of press recently about the Open Source "Mono" project, arguing about whether it is safe to use by the Free Software community, and even comparing it to the project I work on, Samba. Given all this controversy I thought I might as well write down my own thoughts on the matter, and even try and change a few minds into the bargain.

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