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GNU Hands Out Trisquel At a Microsoft Store 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the alternative-to-solid-color-rectangles dept.
alexanderb writes "Remember GNU's Windows 8 launch trick or treat in October, where Free Software Foundation activists handed out gratis copies of the free (as in freedom) system Trisquel GNU/Linux? Well, GNU returned for a Microsoft store's 'Tech for Tots' session on December 20th in Boston, MA. Like in October, the activists (accompanied by a gnu) handed out gratis copies of Trisquel GNU/Linux — a free alternative to Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 8."
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GNU Hands Out Trisquel At a Microsoft Store

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  • Handing out an desktop operating system that only has a desktop user interface?

    This is 20-damn-12, I'd expect a mimimum of at least one useless user interface!
  • by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:06PM (#42365271)
    I welcome these Gnus bearing free gifts! (valid to say "free gifts" in this context, with free as in software freedom. It's redundant to say "free gifts" with "free as in beer" as the word "gift" by itself implies "free as in beer"). [On Grimm, they mentioned that "gift" means "poison" in German, {'Geschenk' is the german word of the english word "gift"}so is it necessary to disavow that meaning? Free as is beer not as in poison?]
    • by GNious (953874)

      "gift" in Danish (a germanic language) means poison ...
      it also means "to be married" ...

    • . . . and in Germany, Microsoft is handing out free copies of Windows 8 in "Schmuck" stores . . .

      . . . but I have never figured out why people there would deposit their money in a place called Sparkasse . . .

    • so is it necessary to disavow that meaning?

      Obviously not, as it is a different language. You would never mix English and German and say "free Gift" (note the capitalization, also the plural is Gifte).

    • by mellyra (2676159)

      In Old High German "gift" meant "that which has been given", very similar but slightly more neutral to the English gift; in modern German you can still see traces of that in "Mitgift" = dowry.

      The modern meaning goes back to the word being used as an euphemism for poison ("the deathly gift") and that meaning becoming dominant over time. As the meaning changed the word also changed its genus from female "die Gift" (still "die Mitgift") over male to the neuter ("das Gift").
      "Die Gift" = donation/present was sti

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:07PM (#42365285)

    Ubuntu is a tough enough sale and that's with some proprietary stuff added on. Don't even want to know if Trisquel can play DVDs out of the box or not.

    • Ubuntu is a tough enough sale and that's with some proprietary stuff added on. Don't even want to know if Trisquel can play DVDs out of the box or not.

      Well since Windows 8 can't play DVDs out of the box, I'm guessing they are going to be even on that one. But I think putting Windows 8 "out of the box" up against nearly any Linux distribution is going to look bad for Windows 8. Can Windows 8 read pdfs out of the box? Word documents? Excel spreadsheets?

      • by anagama (611277)

        Well, the question is how easy it is to get these things installed. For me, Linux is no issue, and I totally see how it is easier to type yum install [whatever] or apt-get install [whatever] -- but that makes most people balk.

        Unfortunately, searching for programs is not always straightforward. Even experienced users get hung up. For example, I like the photo viewer formerly called GQview, but which is now named so badly the only way I can ever figure out what to type for the [whatever] part of the instal

        • by knuthin (2255242)

          ...I totally see how it is easier to type yum install [whatever] or apt-get install [whatever]...

          Or pacman -S whatever, or emerge whatever, or equo install whatever... or zypper install whatever (unless you are using an older version of Suse where you use rug install whatever), or slapt-get --install whatever.

          AND

          -- that makes most people balk.

        • by deimtee (762122)
          Thanks. I used to like GQview, but i thought it just went away. Installing now. :)
      • by qubezz (520511)
        It can read PDFs - in a full-screen Metro-UI viewer that makes it completely impossible to do things like read documentation for a computer program while you also use that program. It also comes with a Metro picture viewer that has replaced the classic photo viewer, that goes full screen for the same effect - if you are designing a web page and have a browser and html editor open, boom they are gone and you are back to a metro-ui phone interface when you close your full-screen image. Windows 8 is a shitpile
    • by hendridm (302246)

      Most of the people I know are more interested in whether it plays Netflix over DVDs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Terminus32 (968892)
      As much as I love the GNU/Linux philosophy, I would rather give someone Linux Mint (over Ubuntu) as it plays multimedia out of the box! I have converted many to Linux this way (sorry, GNU/Linux) and the other week installed Xubuntu on a work mate's old laptop over Windows XP and had it running like new again. How chuffed he was, he said it was like having a brand new laptop again!!!!!
  • Trisquel? (Score:4, Informative)

    by assertation (1255714) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:08PM (#42365287)

    I never heard of that distro before?

    What is it like?

    Zero proprietary drivers and media files?

    GNOME desktop?

    PITA to install?

    Curious

    Thanks

    Steve

    • Re:Trisquel? (Score:4, Informative)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:12PM (#42365333)

      It's another Debian-based distribution.

    • My first thought when i saw the distro they choose to handout was "failure".
      It won't install on the new windows 8 desktop because of the secure boot without messing with the efi module at (are the computers sold by MS at the MS store required to have the secure boot disabled?) it won't play any of their media unless for some odd reason they have been saving it all in .ogg . It won't contain the necessary drivers. No flash(no hulu, or flash games or about 90% of strea

      • by knuthin (2255242)

        No flash(no hulu, or flash games or about 90% of streamed media) no Silverlight(by extension no netflix) no Adobe reader(so no overdrive ebooks from the local library) no idevice support.

        Should be an unofficial repo somewhere for Flash. I could install Silverlight from Moonlight, but fuck it. I don't even use Netflix. Adobe Reader? Are you kidding me? Ever heard of xpdf and Okular? I am not sure but Amarok/Clementine might have sync capabilities, if you need that. (Clementine works fine with my Android).

        • Should be an unofficial repo somewhere...

          Stop. Right. There.

          Seriously, are you high? This is Oma and Opa, and Onkel Jakob who runs a bratwurst stand on Unter den Linden, that we're talking about here.

          I'm sure lister appreciates the assistance in making his point.

        • If you pay attention I specified adobe reader for a reason - no overdrive (overdrive being very common common library ebook lending drm system)as that only runs with adobe. As for flash you either have the old out of date Linux plug-in for Firefox or the pepper api in chrome but not iirc chromium. Neither Chrome nor the flash plugin would be in a gnu approved OS, and average Joe has no clue what a repo is much less find a trisquel specific one as it is aimed at free as in Stallmans definition of free thus

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by qubezz (520511)
        You have clearly confused a "computer" with a "corporate media consumption box". Keep buying and soon that's all you'll be able to buy.
    • by unixisc (2429386)

      It's an Ubuntu based distro, but w/ what the FSF calls 'Libre-Linux' - Linux w/ all the binary blobs w/o source code removed. One can read more about it here [trisquel.info]

      Actually, this is one of the ways that the FSF, having failed to deliver on HURD for all practical purposes, and having been rebuffed in their attempts to get Linux to go GPL3, are trying to get a Linux that is more Stallman and less Torvalds. Honestly, they should just do the HURD project more seriously, instead of trying to pass off other people's

      • I agree, getting HURD finished would solve many of the FSF problems. Their operating system could be just "GNU" and the FSF would look much better.

        Of course, a kernel is a lot of work?

        Is there another reason why HURD was never finished?

        Torvalds made the first Linux kernels himself.

        Is there a lack of interest among the people with the knowledge to build HURD?

  • by Latent Heat (558884) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:09PM (#42365301)
    Yeah, yeah, "Linux" is just the kernel, but if it weren't for Mr. Torvald's kernel, the GNU project would be still spinning its wheels.

    To the average "dude or dudette on the street", it is just plain "Linux", and this "GNU/Linux" label just oozes righteous political correctness.

    • by VortexCortex (1117377) <.VortexCortex. . ... -retrograde.com.> on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:47PM (#42365635)

      if it weren't for Mr. Torvald's kernel, the GNU project would be still spinning its wheels.

      Creating a kernel is easy. How long did it take Linus? Certainly not DECADES. Were it not for GNU, Linus's kernel wouldn't have done ANYTHING, and we'd STILL be waiting for him to get a decent compiler and userland tool suit running. Think about it. "I'm going to install the Linux Kernel!" "Why, it just sits there not doing a damned thing, doesn't even have a file system." Seriously. People make Monolithic Kernels all the damn time [osdev.org], it's not even hard. I wrote such a kernel and boot loader in x86 ASM in about two weeks worth of evenings for my toy OS. Linus' was just the first one to come along, and that's good enough for FLOSS. It sucks that GNU gets dropped from the name given how much MORE work was put into it than the dead simple kernel Linus wrote, and it really sucks that he didn't use the "at your option any future version" text in the license, -- I mean, he made it impossible to change the license why? It's not like commercial folks couldn't stay with GPL2 "at their option". I don't know man, you sound like you're putting Linus on a much higher pedestal than you need to. Great guy and all, but come on, what he did was and still is a TINY fraction of the work.

      • Were it not for GNU, Linux's userland would be based on that of BSD. USL v. BSDi finished about a year after Linux came out.
        • by Microlith (54737)

          Were it not for the lawsuit, rather. GNU was available and had a shell, compiler, and editor ready to go with no legal questions. GNU couldn't have blocked something that wasn't available at the time.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:55PM (#42366111)

        Creating a kernel is easy.

        Well in that case...

        it really sucks that he didn't use the "at your option any future version" text in the license, -- I mean, he made it impossible to change the license why

        Fortunately this can be resolved by simply writing a new kernel.

        Which is easy.

        And best of all you can make it compatible with the linux kernel, and then just substitute it in with GPLv2 or later in the license.

        You said it could be ready in 2 weeks? Can't wait.

        • You jest, but that's exactly what many folks have done, investigate the prior link. Tellingly: You don't need to make your new kernel compatible with "the linux kernel" to get driver support, nope, you just implement ELF and use GNU gcc, and bootstrap a host of other GNU code. Hey, but don't take my word for it smart guy, click that link in my post. Wow, already done. Even sooner than your 2 week deadline. Do I get a fucking cookie now? Seriously, The Pedestal Is Too Tall.

          I find your comment pretty

          • by vux984 (928602)

            I find your comment pretty damn silly considering the link I provided you with many examples of OSs that have done exactly what you ask,

            All I saw was a LONG a list of half baked projects, toys, and experiments.

            "single user multitasking"
            "the next version will support DLL files!"
            "status alpha"
            "status early development"
            "FreeDOS is ideal for anyone who wants to bundle a version of DOS"
            "This is basically a dead project."

            Ooh this one looks ready to go, we'll just run it right off the whiteboard!

            " It will be writt

      • by mewyn (663989)
        Sure, making a skeleton kernel based on existing documents isn't too bad. Booting x86 is a pain in the ass, but not hard for an experienced programmer, but making a working system that has everything it needs is quite a different challenge. If it's so easy to make a kernel, how come the GNU project still can't produce a working kernel? HURD has been spinning it's wheels pretending to be something since 1990 (1986 if you count the previous attempt at making a kernel). If it were easy, why don't we have m
        • by unixisc (2429386)
          And he wouldn't even have had to deviate, since Tanenbaum endorsed the BSD license over GPL, and used that w/ Minix 3.0 and beyond
      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        If creating a kernel is so easy, should we be expecting a production-ready GNU-branded kernel any year now?

        Yes I realise the difference between monolithic kernels and the Hurd microkernel, but the important point still stands- if Linux or some other well implemented kernel hadn't come along, GNU would still be a decades-old curiosity project. Attention would have been far more likely to switch to BSD than GNU, in the absence of a working kernel, and the tools we know and love would be nothing.

        Also, if creat

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Ironically, the phrase has actually taken on new relevance in recent years. Android is Linux, but not GNU/Linux. Arguably it's Java/Linux. People often say things like "Android is based on Linux, but it isn't REAL Linux"- what they actually mean is it's Linux, but not GNU/Linux. We pedants can embrace this new language for whole new layers of clarity.

      Not that that makes any difference to "the dude on the street" of course, so I guess your point still stands.

  • by Mr_Silver (213637) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:38PM (#42365537)

    Why Trisquel?

    Why not Linux Mint or Ubuntu or Debian or Redhat or one other distribution that is not only widely known, but has appropriate support, forums and users who can help?

    I'm all for showing people what alternatives to Windows are out there, but surely it would be better to give them something else that - well - a decent number of people actually use?

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Microlith (54737) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:41PM (#42365571)

      Because the FSF doesn't support projects that integrate (or allow the integration of) proprietary bits and pieces. This includes firmwares that need to be loaded on a device prior to operation, so there's a fair amount of hardware with completely open drivers that don't work on Trisquel because they omitted the firmware.

      • by Mr_Silver (213637)

        Because the FSF doesn't support projects that integrate (or allow the integration of) proprietary bits and pieces. This includes firmwares that need to be loaded on a device prior to operation, so there's a fair amount of hardware with completely open drivers that don't work on Trisquel because they omitted the firmware.

        Thanks for the explanation. Whilst it makes sense from an idealistic point of view, I can't help feeling that it's one of those great ideas that could ultimately do more bad than good - espe

        • by Microlith (54737)

          It's silly because they would cease to complain about the firmware if it were stored on the device. Lack of this baseline capability (and simple things like the ability to play mp3/m4a) is what ensures I won't use it.

          would the FSF rather someone stick with Windows if they are unable to use a FSF approved Linux distribution

          The FSF is on the far end of things, anti-copyright, anti-patent and taking a "closed source software is immoral stance." They lead the charge, though, and we're way, way past the halfway

        • would the FSF rather someone stick with Windows if they are unable to use a FSF approved Linux distribution?

          I assume FSF would want users to buy a new PC whose hardware supports a GNU/Linux distribution that does not contain or advertise proprietary software.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Because the FSF doesn't support projects that integrate (or allow the integration of) proprietary bits and pieces.

        So basically they're doing their level best to make sure the average person considers Linux a non-functioning piece of crap.

        • by Molt (116343)

          Unfortunately it does seem to be the case nowadays. The FSF have done some great things in the past but this is just stupid, giving people copies of a distro which won't act at they expect, and when they search for help they won't find it as it's a marginal distro. They'll just think they've given Linux a try and throw it away, whereas at least with something like Ubuntu or Debian they'd be more able to find forums where they'd be more likely to get given help and less likely to have ideology preached at

        • by Microlith (54737)

          No, they're practicing what they preach. If you don't like it, then perhaps promoting the Linux distro you prefer would be a good idea. The average person isn't even aware that Linux exists.

  • by FyberOptic (813904) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:25PM (#42366313)

    They're getting desperate. This is like a church handing out pamphlets outside of a movie theater or arcade. It'll all go in the garbage, and end up being a waste of time and resources.

    • They're getting desperate. This is like a church handing out pamphlets outside of a movie theater or arcade. It'll all go in the garbage, and end up being a waste of time and resources.

      That is called advertising, and its just how things work. Would you feel better if it was a multi-million dollar smear campaign, like Microsoft is buying [and openly I might add], or backroom deals done with politicians and companies. This is how Google make money. In fact this sort of advertising is how advertising should be to "inform" not "brainwash". Now you could argue its poor use of time and money compared to some alternative, but as time is freely given, and CD's are pretty disposable your answer w

  • by Molt (116343) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:52PM (#42366697)

    "Linux? Oh, you mean those idiots dressed as animals in the mall?"

    Yes, this'll go well. If you're going to do something memorable make sure it's not something stupid.

  • by assertation (1255714) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:43AM (#42368413)

    I know all of the reasons why this wouldn't happen, but if they wanted to win people away from Microsoft they would have had better luck passing out copies of MINT with the KDE

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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