Free Software

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Colonos are hibernating, but shall one day return – perhaps – meanwhile we have come across a new blog just the other day, which is worth a look if you are interested in “Property, Commoning and the Politics of Free Software” and “philosophical and political inquiries into the material nature of the immaterial“. The essay featured in the blog has an interesting critique of the work of Yochai Benkler and Lawrence Lessig, as well as the politics of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, turning on the concept of property relations.


“… I thought we were an autonomous collective…”

XMMS in Jaunty Jackalope 9.04: How to install with codecs.

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Many have decried the removal of XMMS from the Ubuntu repositories – it has been absent since Gutsy – despite it being the preferred music player for a lot of people and remains the only media player that – to my knowledge – can handle 30-40k+ collections. Not only is it the only player capable of very large collections, it also handles such collections with very little resource use. It’s the canine’s testicles, mate!

The colonos blog has provided some detailed explanations for installing XMMS in Intrepid (see this entry for an overview) and now the time has come for installing XMMS in Jaunty Jackalope, also known as Ubuntu 9.04.
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The XMMS in GNU/Linux Manifesto v.0.1

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(Complete, I think, Ubuntu specific information on how to best get XMMS up and running at the end.)


The XMMS in GNU/Linux Manifesto v.0.1


The problem concerning the X Multimedia System (XMMS) is really a test for the wider community. It seems to affect users of Debian, Ubuntu and openSuse directly, but essentially it concerns all GNU/Linux users and the rest of the Free Software community, because it is a test of our social organisation: when and why can tribes be excluded and left to their own devices on the prairies of cyberspace?

This is written from the perspective of an Ubuntu user, but as you will see users from the Debian and openSuse communities also protest against the discontinuation of the XMMS. There might be other communities that have the same problem, but the Fedora leaders continue to give their users XMMS.

If the Debian, Ubuntu and openSuse leaders won’t put it back in, it is a great loss for their respective communities in terms of their social organisation. No one was asked and after consistent complaints since Feisty in the Ubuntu world nothing has happened.

To provoke, excluding XMMS users in this manner is not unlike, by analogy, the forceful evictions that slums and shanty towns are subjected to: just get out of the way for progress?!?!

That’s no way to talk to people! And there are many of us.

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XMMS in Intrepid: All you need in a .zip file

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All you need to be able get XMMS up and running in Intrepid (or Hardy), incl. FLAC, WMA, mp4, can be found in this zipped file.


If you need information about how to use it, look here, here, and here. So now I have XMMS running in Intrepid with all needed plugins – wouldn’t it just be nice if the olden golden player came back into the repos?

Don’t cross the river for water: XMMS .deb for Intrepid

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In some foreign language there is an expression that goes, more or less, like this: “Don’t cross the river for water“, since often times you can find what you’re looking for, if you could only see the wood for all the tress, in a different manner of speaking, as it were. So what’s the point of all of this?

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Intrepid Ibex – Ubuntu 8.10: Released, installed, configured and running XMMS

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Colonos’ interface to cyberspace has been updated to Ubuntu 8.10 and here are the first impressions – with more to come.

So far most things look fine (the default wallpaper is surprisingly nice), lm-sensors configured painlessly, but getting my favourite music player, XMMS, to work proved a right hassle – basically you have to be Intrepid to get it compiled in the Ibex.

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Use Ogg – The Media Format of Freedom

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Increasingly proprietary evil software companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe are pushing video and audio formats that restrict access and restrict software developers, but there is an alternative that can be played on all computers without restriction — Ogg. Ogg provides professional grade multimedia formats. Ogg is used extensively by free software projects, artists and a growing number of music and video distributors.

VLC 0.9.2: apt-get install vlc in Ubuntu Hardy 8.04

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The best player for videos of all kinds – the one and only, VLC:

VLC media player 0.9.2 Grishenko release.

The VideoLAN Team is pleased to announce the release of VLC media player 0.9.2 – Grishenko.

Resulting of 2 years of development, it features many new functionalities, including a new interface for xxxxxx and Linux. A comprehensive list of new features can be found on our our wiki or by reading the release notes.

To install it in (K/X/Y/Z)Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 follow these simple, but concise instructions. It solves various issues in Hardy’s Pulseaudio system and the player is a lot more user friendly.

Default DVD in Hardy Heron: “Preferred Applications” not preferred?

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There are two things that bug me about Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron – the one is the new “feature”, which changes the System / Administration / Network window to pop-up without asking for a password, as it used to do, but instead offeriing an “unlock” button after which a new password dialogue appears – and this does not keep the setting for a a pre-set time as the previous password dialogue did. Instead you have to fill it in again. Now, I wouldn’t call up that window without wanting to change something (so there is now one more click and repeated password hurdles to changing my network settings) – notice the perfect red circle:

The other bug or removal of freedom is the option to define preferred applications – which used to include default DVD player (many use VLC), but is now rather useless:

These two issues are enough to prevent me from fully, happily embracing Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 – it feels like my freedom to choose has been downgraded ….

Bad Vista Demon: Worship Satan and what is worse…..

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“Some people say that if you play a Windoze Vista install DVD backwards you will hear demon voices commanding you to worship Satan. But that’s nothing. If you play it forward it will install Windoze Vista.”

Hardy Heron, Firefox 2, Beta 5: Downgrading 8.04 from bleeding edge and up again: KDE4

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Hardy Heron is a Long Term Support release (supported until 2011 – quick overview here) so the focus is on something durable, yet commencing with a severely crippled beta release of Firefox. But the Heron is smHardy and flyes on strong.

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Ubunty 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon released today!

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Get Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon here – or choose your own mirror here – or even better, use the .torrents at the bottom of this page. Have fun!