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Mozilla Firebird 0.7 RC1, Mozilla Thunderbird 0.3 RC2, and New Icons September 29, 2003

Posted by devhen in Mozilla.
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Release candidate builds for Mozilla Firebird 0.7 are now available. These builds can be downloaded for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X from ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firebird/nightly/latest-0.7.

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.3 Release Candidate 2 has been released as well. It can also be downloaded for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, from ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/nightly/2003-09-24-1.5.


Also, some great new Firebird and Thunderbird icons have been created by Jairo Boudewyn. Instructions on how to replace the default icons can be found here. The same instructions can be used to change the Thunderbird icon in it’s directory, however, you must rename the Thunderbird icon to messengerWindow.ico instead of main-window.ico.

An Edited Letter To The Editor September 26, 2003

Posted by devhen in Linux, SCO.
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Yesterday I came across an article on News.com entitled Handicapping SCO Versus Linux. The article is an interview of Stuart Meyer, an intellectual property lawyer with Fenwick & West, on the SCO/Linux IP claims. This article, like most all others you can find throughout the popular news web sites, was sadly misleading in that it did not mention the most important facts of the SCO/Linux situation. So, I sent a letter, both to the article's author and to Stuart Meyer explaining that they were misunderstanding the fundamental aspects of the issue and also doing a disservice to their industry by failing to adequately inform their readers. I got a reply from the author asking if I would like my thoughts to be inlcluded in News.com's letters to the editor. I said yes, that would be OK, and now you can find an edited, truncated version of my letter here. Read on to see the letter as it was originally written.

Original letter sent to Ina Fried of News.com:

In your recent News.com article entitled "Handicapping SCO versus Linux"
you state in a question to Stuart Meyer:

Most people in the open-source community downplay the SCO suit as
frivolous. Do you take it seriously?

With all due respect, I consider this a very poorly researched and
understood statement. Were you to really understand the stance of the Open
Source community you would find that they take this matter extremely
seriously because it seriously threatens a very important part of their
community: the Linux operating system, a product that they have spent
considerable time preparing in order to avoid these types of issues.

Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens, key figures in the Open
Source community, have all published responses to SCO's claims. They are
dealing with the matter in a very respectable and honest manner with their
sole intention being to settle these disputes by ridding their software of
any infringing code. They can't do this, however, without SCO disclosing
the alleged code because they can't find it. Not because they are
attempting to hide it but because it is, seemingly, not there.

While an IP claim against Open Source software is very serious and should
be dealt with immediately and effectively, the SCO claims are at this
point in time more or less baseless and they themselves are stopping this
matter from being resolved. Whether or not they actually know of any
violating code and could prove that code to be infringing in court, they
are refusing to disclose the code because they know that any code proved
to be infringing would be immediately removed and proper actions would be
taken. They would much rather spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt and
continue to collect liscense fees from Linux's enemies, as well as attract
media attention, than to actually see this matter come to a fair end.

Therefore, I consider your comment listed above and the overall tone of
the parent article to be yet another misrepresentation of the truth and a
disservice to our industry in that it fails to address the most important
aspects of this issue. Those being that, along with the growing popularity
of Linux, many companies with rival products feel threatened because an
adequate product is being offered that can perform similarly to their own
at a mere fraction of the cost (and in some cases, for free). This has
lead SCO to feal that they can save their financial situation by providing
a service of spreading FUD about the Linux OS and collect payments from
its rivals. These types of business tactics, if not looked down upon,
should in the very least be recognized and pointed out, rather than merely
being supported by the media which in effect turns the media into a tool
by which businesses can enforce their desires, whether honest or
ill-willed. Your industry diserves to know the truth but you and your
peers in the media are failing sadly to provide them with this in regard
to the SCO/Linux issue.


Devin Henderson

Sun Adds To The FUD September 21, 2003

Posted by devhen in Linux, SCO.
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Sun's executive vice president for software, Jonathan Schwartz, in an interview with eWeek, states "We do not believe that Linux plays a role on the server. Period." He goes on to call IBM hypocritical, saying that if this (the SCO crap) is truely a non-issue then why doesn't IBM idemnify their customers? Why?!? Why?!?! Because this is a non-issue!!! That means you ignore it, not play right along with it. Sun is very explicitly placing themselves alongside the Microsoft and SCO liars, which was already apparent but with statments like these from a Sun executive it is now set in stone. Makes you wonder about the real reasons behind Bill Joy's resignation. Could it be that he is an honest man and didn't feel the desire to be a part of such dishonest, industry-destructive tactics?

Groklaw Responds to Darl September 20, 2003

Posted by devhen in Linux, SCO.
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The repsectable folks over at Groklaw.com have published an impressive letter to SCO CEO Darl McBride in response to his open letter to the Open Source community. Groklaw's letter can also be seen at The Inquirer. The letter, among other things, warns Darl of the legal action that will come against him if he does not stop his baseless attack on the Open Source community. The letter is very precise and clear. Very impressive work.

Groklaw is a group of several respectable individuals whose common goal (currently) is research into the SCO/Linux battle. Here is a quote from their site describing the members of the group:

Quite a number in the group are software engineers, including contributors to the Linux kernel. Others are proprietors of Linux-based businesses or executives or employees of Linux-related businesses. A few of us are lawyers, one is a paralegal, one a stockbroker, at least one is a physicist, a couple are journalists, one is a retired policeman, another a retired truck driver, others are in or have been in the military, and some work or have worked in government. We also have experienced UNIX programmers among us who personally witnessed the history of UNIX since its inception, participated in its development, and know the software well. One of us is a non-technical grandmother who installed GNU/Linux herself recently and fell in love with the software.

Orson Scott Card On File Sharing September 16, 2003

Posted by devhen in Freedom.
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Orson Scott Card, one of my favorite authors, has written an awesome article on file sharing, mp3’s, and the record companies’ malicious claims that they are losing sales to file swappers. This is part one of a two part essay. The second installment will come next week.

An Open Letter to Darl McBride September 16, 2003

Posted by devhen in Linux, SCO.
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After reading the aforementioned interview between ComputerWorld and Darl McBride, I decided to send a letter to McBride myself. I submitted it via SCO's contact form with the subject asking the recipient to forward it to Mr. McBride (I couldn't find a personal email address for the son-of-a-bitch). Here it is, Darl, in case your people didn't get it to you:

Mr McBride,

I live in Spanish Fork, Utah. I am a computer science undergraduate at the University of Utah. Besides my passion for the science behind computers and computer software I have an even greater passion for truth. I feel the very real desire to inform you that your slanderous business tactics are completely transparent. Not only are you in dire need of business ethics, you also possess a complete failure to respect the realities of truth in our lives. You see, the way you are attacking Linux in an attempt to freeload off of its growing success is completely apparent. I'm not talking to you from a business, press, or any other standpoint. I'm talking to you personally. You are lying to your industry. You are maliciously attempting to save your company's sad financial situation by playing with the US legal system and pulling the wool over the eyes of the press and public. The reason I felt compelled to contact you was because you need very much to know that although I am only a 21 year old aspiring computer scientist I nevertheless have tapped into something you seem to have no comprehension of: truth and true intentions to further the information industry through honest means. My professors at school and my heros within the IT industry are your complete opposites. And we, Mr. McBride, are the future and the present of this industry and the entire world. You disgust me and you sadden me. You will lose this battle very soon, Mr. McBride and if you do not change your ways you will lose your own war.

Forever not yours or anyone like you,
Devin Henderson

ComputerWorld Interview with Darl McBride September 16, 2003

Posted by devhen in Linux, SCO.
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Over at ComputerWorld they have an interview with SCO CEO Darl McBride. The subtitle of the article is 'We believe we've got the moral high ground,' he said

So there you have it… I'm not even going to say anything about this. … Or maybe I will… or not. Darl McBride, you are truly a piece-of-shit.

SCO’s Open Letter to the Press: “We Are Dishonest” September 11, 2003

Posted by devhen in Linux, SCO.
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On September 9th SCO owner Darl McBride posted on his company's web site an open letter to the Open Source community. However, an honest and informed reader will quickly discover that this is actually a letter to the press which relies heavily on a hope that the average reader will not quite comprehend what is going on here. The letter is slanderous, vague, and dishonest as virtually all SCO's "letters to the press" have been. Fortunately those leading the Open Source movement are much more respectable and honest than is McBride. Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens have released a a response to McBride's open letter. Linus Torvalds has done the same, asking SCO to "grow up." Its amazing that McBride is naive enough to attempt such false and ungrounded claims against a community of such intelligent and honest individuals. Any half-witted judge would be disgusted with the way SCO is trying to "play the US legal system as a lottery." Of course, I don't see this ever actually going before a judge. If it does you can be assured of Darl McBride's complete idiocy. This is getting to the point where you start to wonder whether McBride even realizes what he's doing. It would actually be to the benefit of his reputation if in fact he doesn't. These responses to McBride's letter strengthens my hope that the truths of this whole matter might be understood by the press and the public. Stay tuned as Darl McBride's lack of intellect, honesty, and respectability become aware to the industry in a flurry of disgust. SCO would have been much wiser to let their company fall into bankruptcy. At least then the reputation of its operators would not have been so sadly ripped apart and Darl McBride might have been able to trick someone into giving him a job.

Epiphany 1.0 Released September 9, 2003

Posted by devhen in Linux.
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Epiphany, a web browser for GNOME, has reached version 1.0. The browser focuses on usability and simplicity which seems to be the shared goal of most GNOME programs. It will be included as the default browser in GNOME 2.4.

About Me September 7, 2003

Posted by devhen in Uncategorized.
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My name is Devin Henderson and I’m a computer science undergraduate in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. I’m also a web developer and am currently employed by Harward Irrigation Systems of Springville, Utah where I am working on an e-commerce enabled site that can be found at www.sprinkler.com. Sprinkler.com runs on a combination of open source and proprietary technologies, namely PHP, MySQL, and a Providex based inventory software package called FACTS.

I am also a contributing editor for pocketnow.com, a web site devoted to Pocket PC related hardware and software.

I can be reached at meNO@SPAMdevhen.com. Remember to remove the NO SPAM if you are not a lifeless spam-bot.