News

Lab Books

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I started keeping records of my Research sometime around the sixth grade; I was in training to be a MAD SCIENTIST. My Lab Books are the accumulation of Ideas and Research that I have been conducting for most of my life. Some of the Lab Books are good for a laugh while others are good for historical reference on newer ideas and research. I have broken down cells by milestones in my life separated by decades further broken into years within the cells. This is by no means a complete record to all of my Lab Books (over 200 entries to date); I will be converting my Ideas and Research to the different cells as time permits to this BLOG format. (see pages: lab books under about the author)

  • 2001-Present
  • 1991-2000
  • 1985-1990
  • before 1985

It’s now 2009, and I have not made any headway (ok, none) on this project. I give much respect to the real writers out there. I have spent the last two years in running a technology company, taking classes and conducting my thesis research with little time left over. I desire to follow in R. Buckminster Fuller’s footsteps in documenting the history of my research.

“Fuller documented his life every 15 minutes from 1915 to 1983, leaving 80 meters (270 ft) of journals. He called this the Dymaxion Chronofile. That is said to be the most documented human life in history.” – wikipedia

About

RSOTech is the corporate Interanet for RavenSong Open Technologies, Inc.

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Welcome to the RSOTech experience.

RSOTech is a BLOG dedicated to the study of information technology, comuter science, and social engineering. Clear, informative, and unbiased writing is always more important than presentation and formatting. RSOTech require that all contributers attempt to follow the rules of style. Please note that the styles are meant for the average case, and must be applied with a certain degree of elasticity. All research is conducted following strict scientific methodologies and standard accepted presentation practices. All art is presented under the original licenses as released.

Authors

About Robert Whetsel

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Robert Whetsel – is a decorated war veteran, Entrepreneur, and AI Researcher that has worked in Information Systems since 1989. He is one of founders of The Open Business Foundation, and has previously functioned as a Fellow for the Executive Guidance Team for the Open Business Foundation, where he acted as a trusted advisor and mentor for senior management. Additionally, Robert had served on the Steering Committee for the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Information Technology Cluster Initiative for the State of Maryland, and was one of the authors that crafted “Maryland’s Information Technology Industry Workforce Report and Recommendations”, white paper. When he’s not pondering difficult, unmanageable problems, preferably those involving the philosophical debate of the Singularity, he’s pursuing a Doctoral degree in Artificial Intelligence.

View Robert Whetsel's profile on LinkedIn

Robert has been heavily involved with the Open Source movement since 1993 were he has contributed to numerous open source projects as a developer and mentor. He is considered an Open Source Visionary and a leader in the open source community. Currently, he is the Chief Maintainer for the Open FlightLinux Project and continues to contribute to other open source projects when the opportunity presents its self.

Robert’s day job is that of a Computer Scientist for U.S. Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. Additionally, he acts as an Adjunct Professor for the Computer Science department at Frederick Community College when he has the time and they have the need.

News

Software’s Great Divide

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By Alan Radding | Published 11/1/2005 | Consulting magazine © 2009 BNA Subsidiaries, LLC.

In the land of open source computing, some consultants see only trees where a forest now grows.

Small IT consulting firms get it and have gotten it from the start. A few of the large IT consulting firms get it, too, and have grabbed leadership roles. The rest missed it initially and are scrambling to catch up. Some, maybe, still don’t get it.

“It,” in this case, is the open source software movement, often synonymous with Linux but encompassing far more than just Linux. Open source refers to not only operating systems like Linux but also open source application and infrastructure software, databases, and middleware. It also refers to the open source community and collaborative processes for development and governance. The open source movement has the potential to radically alter the way software is created, maintained, marketed, deployed, and supported. In the process, it will generate a host of new applications deployment, support, and integration opportunities for IT consulting companies.

Many consultants are scooping up these opportunities as fast as they can. “We are three years ahead of where we expected to be at this time,” reports Robert Whetsel, CEO and founder of Ravensong Open Technologies, Inc., Frederick, MD, a consulting firm focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on open source technology. Whetsel began focusing on open source technology in 1997, not long after Linux was introduced. Since then, Ravensong has attracted a steadily growing list of clients that includes government agencies, biotech firms, the military, and more. Adopting the open source community model for its own consulting practice, Ravensong is poised to introduce an open business collaborative framework to help its own staff and participating consultants grow even faster.

Still, the large, conventional IT consulting firms were slow to recognize Linux and open source as something other than an interesting variation of Unix for the PC. Others dismissed it as some utopian approach to software development with a go-to-market strategy on the extreme periphery of mainstream business. They certainly didn’t understand the community-oriented open source process.

Read the rest of the article: here

News

Is it Time for Linux?

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By Bill Hayes on June 30, 2006 • Vol.28 Issue 26 from Processor.com

Depending On Your Situation, It Just Might Be…

Many in the Linux world believe that Linux desktops can easily replace Microsoft Windows for certain uses. They also admit that the Linux desktop may not be a solution for all Windows users, but they firmly believe that they are making progress toward that goal.

Commercial Linux distributions, or distros as they’re called, such as Novell SUSE and Xandros Desktop OS, allow Linux users to log in to Windows domains, use printers, and even run macros in Microsoft Office documents. While other popular open-source Linux distros, such as Fedora Core and Ubuntu, may not have all these features by default, in certain instances, they can do more than hold their own against Windows. (For a listing of popular Linux distros, visit www.distrowatch.com.)

John Cherry, initiative manager for the Desktop Linux working group at Open Source Development Labs, agrees, “For those market segments where the Linux-based applications exist to solve user problems, Linux can not only hold its own but provide a more reliable and less expensive alternative to a Windows desktop.”

Where The Linux Desktop Works

Jeff Waugh of the GNOME project, a Linux desktop environment, believes there are three great cases where Linux desktops are gaining acceptance. First, desktop Linux is being used by technical users such as systems administrators, software developers, engineers, and scientists. Secondly, both Waugh and Cherry say that transactional and single-purpose systems, such as point-of-sale or call center terminals, are being converted to Linux desktops. Often the worker will not know which operating system is running on his workstation because he is only exposed to the application interface, Cherry notes.

Finally, Waugh says that Linux desktops should be used for basic business or home desktop purposes, especially when users only require an Internet browser, an office suite, and an email client.

Working In A Windows World

According to Cherry, perhaps the fastest growing group of Linux desktop users is office workers who require basic office software. Their needs can be met using applications, including the Firefox Internet browser (getfirefox.com), Evolution (www.gnome.org /projects/evolution) or Thunderbird (www.mozilla.com/thunderbird) email clients, and office suites such as OpenOffice (www.openoffice.org), he says. “In the past two years, critical open-source applications in these productivity areas have shown incredible growth and maturity,” Cherry says.

Many businesses are seriously investigating Linux on the desktop as an alternative to Windows and Microsoft Office, says Lucia Krinsky, Novell senior manager, product marketing SUSE Linux Enterprise. According to Krinsky, these firms are also looking for alternatives that lower costs, increase their business agility, and leverage depreciated equipment.

Stephen E. Harris of Xandros says products such as CrossOver Office (www.codeweavers.com; found in Novell SUSE and Xandros Desktop OS) allow Linux desktop users to continue to use Windows applications. Harris and Krinsky say their distros also contain software that aids in the use, editing, and conversion of Microsoft Office macros to macros used by OpenOffice.

No Windows Wannabes

Rather than match Windows feature for feature, Linux desktop environment developers are striking out on their own.

“The GNOME Project has long held the view that being a ‘cheap imitation’ is not in the best interests of our users, or ourselves,” Waugh says. According to Waugh, studies of the GNOME desktop have shown that look-alike systems actually make user migration and training more expensive and less successful.

Aaron J. Seigo, a full-time developer for the KDE desktop environment, says the Linux desktop’s greatest strength is found in its open standards, such as the Open Document Format, which is used by different open-source office suites. Such open standards enable software written by different people to work together, he notes.

“This interoperability, which we back up with actual deliverables and actions, as opposed to the largely in-name-only approach taken by Microsoft, allows the open-source desktop to work just fine in an environment where working with other Windows, Mac, or Unix systems is a requirement,” Seigo says.

Reluctance To Adopt

Robert Whetsel, lead architect of RavenSong Open Technologies, has seen IT staff’s reluctance to adopt the Linux desktop. Whetsel is also a Fedora Core global ambassador and a member of that distro’s steering committee. Fedora Core is a Linux desktop distro derived from Red Hat Linux. “The Windows folks that we work with leave the Linux up to us,” Whetsel says. “The perception is that [Linux] is a very difficult operating system to set up with unlimited opportunities to misconfigure.” This is untrue of the supported Linux distros and the abundance of online Linux documentation, he says.

Krinsky says, “We hear more often, ‘Why would I want to add the additional overhead to my IT staff to maintain two OS environments?’ The answer to this is that you need to recognize the savings from Linux over time.” According to Krinsky, the more Linux desktops you bring in, the greater the savings. Both Krinsky and Harris say the central management, installation, and administration tools in their Linux distros streamline administration tasks for IT staff and make them more productive.

Cherry says the growing Linux desktop market will itself spur growth. “As desktop Linux marketshare increases, the support lag for new devices will decrease, and more vendors will port their applications to Linux, resulting in a snowball effect for Linux adoption.”

by Bill Hayes

News

FUDCon in Boston

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Fedora, FUD, and The Answers to Everything

Frederick, MD April 7, 2006 – This author took a two hour plane ride to Boston International Airport and a 15 min cab ride to the Buckminster Fuller Hotel – the Hotel was named after the late R. Buckminster Fuller; inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet and cosmologist. I was in town and ready for Fedora’s FUDCon Boston 2006.

FUDCon is Fedora’s summit that focuses on the Fedora Project and all things that go along with it. The acronym FUD stand for Fear Uncertainty and Doubt; a term created in the 1950s by Big Blue, and perfected by Microsoft. I can create fear by telling you that you will lose your data if you use product X. And, the more that I assault with these unsubstantiated statements the easier it is for uncertainty and doubt about alternative technologies to creep into accepted truths.

FUDCon is all about fighting the FUD; this is done by educating the masses on how to identify what is and unsubstantiated statement and how to dispatch the FUD through logic. FUD stems from myths and misconceptions about Open Source applications.

“By spreading questionable information about the drawbacks of less well-known products, an established company can discourage decision-makers from choosing those products over its wares, regardless of the relative technical merits.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FUD

A little educations goes a long way; if you have any other FUD factoids that you would like to see listed or have any other FUD you need cleared up, please contact the author, rwhetsel@ravensong.com.

Since the source code is open, it is not safe, anyone can get your data.

Wrong: Source code is completely separate from a company’s proprietary data.

By adopting open source, we are leaving ourselves open for litigation.

Wrong: For example, The Open Source Risk Management company has certified that the Linux Kernel is free of Copyright infringement. Even though there is little likelihood of issues, IBM and Novell and others, offer indemnification from litigation.

Open source programs take long to patch security flaws.

Wrong: Because of the structure of open source development and maintenance, a flaw can be detected, the code written to fix it, the code reviewed to be acceptable, and the code made available to users within hours in most cases. The code goes to the Current Version Server which is available directly to users; it does not depend on going to the distributer for dissemination to users.

Open source is all so different, there are no compatible software.

Wrong: Software has evolved to be used on multiple platforms. There are compatible open source software applications available today that provide features essential for business and personal use.

Open source developers are geeky university students.

Fact: Look at one example. Developers for SourceForge, an open source program, are mostly experienced professionals – average age 30 – with over 10 years programming experience.

Open source is only for technology-savvy folks.

Fact: The benefits of Open source in the past may have been enjoyed by universities and technology firms, but its advantages have prompted its spread into the general public.

Open source, by nature, is unstructured, and no one is around for support.

Fact: There are open source development models that govern the way that open source programs evolve. Companies such as HP, Novell, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat and others pledge support for software, servers, and hardware.

What is Fedora?

“The Fedora Project is a Red Hat sponsored and community supported open source project. Its goal? The rapid progress of Free and Open Source software and content. Public forums. Open processes. Rapid innovation. Meritocracy and transparency. All in pursuit of the best operating system and platform that Free software can provide.” (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/)

Who is Buckminster Fuller?

Excerpted from Launching Spaceship Earth – An editorial about R. Buckminster Fuller by Asha Deliverance: “R. Buckminster Fuller; inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet and cosmologist was one of the most enlightened mystics of the last century. His universal vision saw our planet as “Spaceship Earth”. He secretly took the responsibility of being a “ships captain” and with passionate intent made his goal helping to care for everyone onboard. Bucky committed his entire productivity to the whole planet Earth and its resources; undertaking to protect and advance all life. He found greater effectiveness in his work when doing so entirely for others. The larger number for who he worked, the more positively effective he became.” (http://bfi.org/node/694)

News

Category: Software’s Great Divide

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By Alan Radding | Published  11/1/2005

Small IT consulting firms get it and have gotten it from the start.

A few of the large IT consulting firms get it, too, and have grabbed leadership roles. The rest missed it initially and are scrambling to catch up. Some, maybe, still don’t get it.

“It,” in this case, is the open source software movement, often synonymous with Linux but encompassing far more than just Linux. Open source refers to not only operating systems like Linux but also open source application and infrastructure software, databases, and middleware. It also refers to the open source community and collaborative processes for development and governance. The open source movement has the potential to radically alter the way software is created, maintained, marketed, deployed, and supported. In the process, it will generate a host of new applications deployment, support, and integration opportunities for IT consulting companies.

Many consultants are scooping up these opportunities as fast as they can. “We are three years ahead of where we expected to be at this time,” reports Robert Whetsel, CEO and founder of Ravensong Open Technologies, Inc., Frederick, MD, a consulting firm focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on open source technology. Whetsel began focusing on open source technology in 1997, not long after Linux was introduced. Since then, Ravensong has attracted a steadily growing list of clients that includes government agencies, biotech firms, the military, and more. Adopting the open source community model for its own consulting practice, Ravensong is poised to introduce an open business collaborative framework to help its own staff and participating consultants grow even faster.

read the rest of the article: Consulting Magazine