Linux and FOSS

One of the members on my WFTL-LUG mailing list asked an interesting question. He is running Kubuntu Dapper, has mplayer and all the fancy non-free codecs loaded (so he can play all those closed format files like MP3s, asf files, Quicktime, and so on).

Anyhow, he visited the Healthology Website and tried to play the videos on the page. Sadly, it didn't work. The big question, of course, is whether there is any way to get it to work. The answer is Yes!.


SolarWolf : Marcel's Linux Game of the Month

Harken back with me, faithful reader, to the days of yore. Yea and verily, I speak of the days of video arcades, when a quarter of a dollar would buy you frantic minutes whereupon you, as humanity's only hope, were called upon to protect the earth from invading, marauding, aliens.

Why were the aliens attacking?


USA LUG reviews "Moving to Linux", 2nd edition

Another great review of "Moving to Linux" has just appeared on the USA LUG Website. Here's a quick quote from the article : "Easy and entertaining to read, yet full of information. I have found this book to be one of the best resources available for examining the easy to use desktop Linux systems and the applications that they run." Yeah, it's somewhat positive [ insert appropriate smiley here ]. To read the whole review, just click this link.



Childsplay : Marcel's Linux Game of the Month.

I'm a couple of days late getting this information out so my apologies. A new article of mine is now available on the Website.

This one is part of my Linux Game of the Month series and it is unusual in a few interesting ways. It is not complex, certainly not fast paced, and requires no high-end graphics card to operate. It is aimed at a very young audience, a group that still appreciates wooden shape-matching puzzles and stacking blocks. It's good, simple, educational fun for the younger set and it's called Childsplay.

Parents of kids 2 to 7 years of age will find this one particularly interesting.

Check it out at yon friendly URL.


Marcel's Linux Game of the Month : eboard

How about a nice game of chess? For some, that question will bring back memories of the 1983 movie, WarGames, starring a young Matthew Broderick and the amazing Dabney Coleman. Somehow, it seems that chess games and movies just go together. Don't believe me? Let me give you a few examples.

Astronaut Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) plays HAL 9000, another artificial intelligence, in the 1968 classic, "2001: A Space Odyssey".

Arthur C. Clarke, the author of "2001", once stated that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," a statement that brings to mind the fantastic game of Wizard chess from the first Harry Potter movie.

Now, if you haven't played a decent game of computer chess lately, it's time to check out this month's Linux game over at In the article, I'll tell you about eboard, a great chess-playing program that lets you play against your own system, play against another player remotely, or join an online game using the FICS protocol (Free Internet Chess Server). You can read all about it at



Call for Help taping today

This morning I drove into Toronto to tape a couple of episodes of Call for Help (speaking of which, there's a surprise at the end of the blog entry for all you WFTL-LUG members).

As usual, I had a lot of fun there with Leo, Amber, Sean, Mikey, and the rest of the gang. It's a good crowd that likes tech and it shows. I even got to meet Mr. Excel. But I digress . . . you probably want to know about the shows themselves.


Marcel live on the Linux Link Tech Show tonight

Tonight is the the 100th Linux Link Tech Show and as such, they've asked me and a few others to come on the show and help them celebrate.

Some of you might have caught me the last time I was on the show ( -- if you haven't, there are links on the page to download that particular show and listen to it. You can catch the show live at the following address.



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