Welcome! You've arrived at award-winning author Marcel Gagné's personal Website. I am the author of the "Moving to Linux" series of books, a regular columnist for several tech magazines, a public speaker, radio and television personality, and a well known voice in the Linux and open source universe. I created the famous (perhaps infamous) Cooking With Linux which ran for ten years in the Linux Journal. I'm also a published science fiction author and editor, a onetime Editor in Chief, a pilot, a former Top 40 disc jockey, and I fold a mean origami T-Rex.  This site is home to my insights, opinions, gripes, brags, tech stuff, and whatever else comes to mind when I have the time or the inclination to publish it. 

26
Mar

Lucid Dreams and Death By Techno

Hello, everyone. My name is Marcel and I'm a technology addict.

What can I say? It has been a crazy couple of weeks. Not just for me, but for the world in general. Well, not in general, but certainly on some fronts on which I find fascinating and, not surprisingly, I have an opinion. First off, if you wander off into the wilds of planet *buntu, you may notice an increasingly Lucid Lynx prowling around. Be warned, however, that this Lynx is an Alpha and unless you're the sort of person who likes to mess with Alphas, you might want to steer clear until this Lynx turns into a beta.

22
Feb

Fresh Faces, Universal Access, and Really Plain Text

Last time I wrote about the goings on surrounding Planet *buntu, I went on about one of my favorite topics; open formats and the future of information. By information, I mean content in all its wondrous forms, from plain text, to Web content, to music, to video, and to everything in between. Sadly, I find myself wanting to rant again on this topic even if it means laying into one of my favorite corporations. So I decided to start with something positive and friendly; something of beauty to prepare you for the ugliness to follow. It's only fair and it will, I hope ease the pain.

Last year was also when things started going wrong with my Toshiba notebook.

09
Dec

Seeding The Clouds at WatItIs 2009

watitis.jpgYesterday afternoon, I gave a talk at the University of Waterloo as part of their annual WatItIs technology conference. WatItIs is "WatITis is a one day conference for those involved in IT planning, support and decision making at the University of Waterloo." As such, it tends to cover a lot of ground, when it comes to the technology it explores.

sm_ubuntu_user_logo.pngA couple of weeks ago, I bought my five year old son an Acer Aspire One netbook. Not that he really needs a netbook, but it's another item in our ever-growing arsenal of tools designed to help him develop the skills he needs to develop. That's not really the story here. The story is that the Acer netbook came with Windows XP pre-installed.

27
Nov

Mixed Messages

This morning, I filled up my car, as I often do, at the Shell station near my house. I use Shell not because I think they're a wonderful petroleum company (are there any?) but because it's the closest to my house. As I often do, as I fill up, my mind wanders to pretty much anything my eyes land on, including the advertising on the pump itself. Which got me to thinking, as I often do, about the mixed messages on that pump. Consider the following.

vpower.jpgThe industry has been trying to tell us that it cares about the environment and, because it cares, it adds up to as much as 10% ethanol to our fuel. If you believe the ethanol industry, ethanol is much better environmentally, and should be encouraged if, indeed, you are the sort of person who cares about the environment.

26
Nov

What Kind Of Bird Are You Booting?

sm_ubuntu_user_logo.pngConsider this a Thanksgiving post. I know most of you are away eating, or arguing with family. Up here, in the Great White North, Thanksgiving was back in early October so I'm sort of working today. You might say I'm indulging in a different kind of bird. Just what kind of bird, however, was something I was very curious about.

25
Nov

The Earth should have rings, like Saturn.

 After looking at this rather cool animation, I am sold. I think the earth should have rings, just like Saturn. As an astronomy buff from forever ago, I can tell you that while Jupiter is very cool in a backyard telescope (and took my breath away during the great comet crash of 1994), Saturn is a singular, and spectacular, jewel in the night sky.

25
Nov

The Earth should have rings, like Saturn.

 After looking at this rather cool animation, I am sold. I think the earth should have rings, just like Saturn. As an astronomy buff from forever ago, I can tell you that while Jupiter is very cool in a backyard telescope (and took my breath away during the great comet crash of 1994), Saturn is a singular, and spectacular, jewel in the night sky.

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