Tech for ESOL Teachers

Information, Advice, and Reviews for ESOL Teachers

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too Many Choices?

MS Windows advocates sometimes claim that “normal people” (1) don’t like having choices and that all the Linux distributions confuse people.

Just a quick question: have any of the people who argue this ever seen or been in an American supermarket? Have you seen the cereal aisle? The toothpaste section? Seriously, my wife is from Japan and she had some serious culture shock the first time she saw all the choices for things like toothpaste, deodorant, spaghetti sauces, etc, etc.

Personally, I don’t think “too much choice” has anything to do with the “popularity” of MS Windows. The explanation is much simpler — the network effect, years of having a monopoly, and the fact that most “normal people” don’t know or care one way or the other.

(1) “normal person” meaning anyone who isn’t motivated to advocate for an operating system or desktop environment or who doesn’t consider operating systems their hobby.

posted by Osugi Sakae at 23:50  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On the Second Amendment

What is the purpose of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution? Not self-defense from muggers, rapists, or even murderers. The 2nd amendment exists to allow citizens to protect themselves from their government. Citizens have a responsibility to resist tyranny and oppression and they must have the ability to do so.

This is probably a good time to mention that nothing I am writing about here has anything to do with current politics in the United States. The US government is not tyrannical and there is currently, in my mind, absolutely no need for anyone to rebel against it. In fact, the election of 2008 showed just how healthy the US democracy actually is.


posted by Osugi Sakae at 23:36  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

QtConfig & Skype

Quick note: PCLinuxOS and tiny fonts in Skype. You may already know that you have to use qtconfig to set the font size for QT apps, including Skype. But the problem is that with the current PCLinuxOS, there are actually 2 qtconfig apps — one for QT3 and one for QT4. The one you want is for QT4 and it is not in your $PATH. So, in a konsole type:


this will open up the QT4 qtconfig. Set the font to something bigger and don’t forget to save your changes. Next time you open Skype, you should have bigger fonts.

If you don’t have the file listed above, you might need to install the package qt4-qtconfig.

Hope this helps.

posted by Osugi Sakae at 09:58  

Friday, April 10, 2009


I switched from Gentoo to Kubuntu a month or two ago and while it was generally OK, there were several things I didn’t like about Kubuntu. I was a hardcore Gentoo user for many years and a KDE user even longer, so there are some features I just have to have. Like all of the functions for KRename, for example. Gentoo has them but I could not find any way to get all of them in Kubuntu. Long story short, yesterday I installed PCLinuxOS.


posted by Osugi Sakae at 11:30  

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