[LINK] World Domination 201

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Sat Jan 13 21:51:25 AEDT 2007

Craig Sanders wrote:

> 1. WMV
> i run debian and haven't had any difficulty playing wmv files for over
> 2 years. i don't even remember when it started working, i just tried it
> one day and assumed it wouldn't - but was surprised when it did.
> 2. quicktime
> there may still be one or two QT codecs that dont work. dunno, i haven't
> had a problem with quicktime files for years.

The point made both by Raymond and the Linspire site is that licences
are required for these items to be *distributed*. We are talking what is
legal and defensible in court here, not what is done by other distros,
perhaps on the sly.

A distro cannot become a killer in the marketplace if there are any
legal licencing snags tied to it.

Yes yes, I have manually downloaded and installed many of the media
players mentioned in that list. Yes yes they work. But Joe Sixpack
and his Mom and Dad simply ain't gonna do that. Let alone start fiddling
with codecs and tweeking things at the shell level until they work.
We are talking legally distributable "in the box" multimedia: drop in the
install CD and you are up & running in 5 minutes.

Remember: The Killer OS will not require *any* work to be done in the
shell. 99.9% of computer owners do not know what the shell is and are scared
shitless when they find out. I speak from my own experience with heaps
of clients.

> and of course, it's all available for other distros too.

The licences are not, are they? Linspire has paid licencing fees to be allowed
to distribute these pieces of technology. Can you give an example of another
distro that is doing that? i.e legally distributing an MP3 player or

BTW: Linspire publishes links to all the distribution licences for these
patented technologies on its website. If you have a read, you will find
(I presume here) with all of them that neither you nor I nor anyone is allowed
to package up Wonderful Proprietary Media Player X and distribute it,
even though you may download it for your own use. That is the nature of
the difference between Linspire and other Linux distros.

>>Has anyone tried Freespire? I am inspired to do so. It might just be
>>the killer Debian distro. One would have to be an ultra-purist to
>>forgo these 20 proprietary components and use a substandard multimedia
>>desktop. But who am I to judge?
> from what i've seen, you're better off with ubuntu.  or debian itself.

I burned a Freespire disk last night and gave it a test drive. Worked
fine "out of the box" on a Sony Vaio; everything just worked. About 10 x easier
to install than Win XP and 10 X faster to install as well. The install CD can be
used "Live" if you wish to road test it.

Don't get me wrong. I use Debian for most projects I work on now, and wouldn't
bother with much else except for Ubuntu. Probably for similar reasons to yours,

But when the topic is the Killer O/S for 2008, one does have to look for something
that installs out of the box in minutes and is real easy to use. And one that
legally supports all the multi-media types out there.

There is a large gap between accidentally finding out that something happens
to work on a distro (on legally shakey grounds) and having a rock-solid right
to distribute patented / protected IP. That's the ugly way of the capitalist

BTW: Is raymond wrong when he states in his article that MP3 support has had
to be withdrawn from (some?) Linux distros, and other patented bits and pieces
as well?


Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services

Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities
which he does not possess.
      -- Samuel Johnson

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