July 23, 2009

Microsoft’s open-source contribution traced back to GPL violation

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 11:36 pm

(Or: Things still make sense.)

Last week — just as Wayne Rosso stopped comparing RIAA to Stalin — M$ did its own volte-face and not only stopped calling GPL a “cancer” but decided to release some 20,000 lines of code carrying the plague itself. Pigs started flying. Some of the open-source evangelists started fantasizing about Microsoft as an ally suddenoutbreakofcommonsense and the cautious ones — who suspected some ulterior motive behind the move — were declared by them to be paranoid and rabid haters.

The storm didn’t last long though, as it was later reported that the change of heart was prompted by a GPL violation in Hyper-V. Some see this as a win for GPL. Some see this as a perfect backdrop for FUD against open-source (“it’s so goddamned viral it even infected us when we wanted interoperablity”) while some see this as a failure at M$’ part for not honestly explaining the reasons behind the code release. Whichever category you belong to, it’s nice to know that swine still have their feet firmly on ground.

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March 24, 2007

Migration from BestCrypt to TrueCrypt

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 9:54 pm

After trying out TrueCrypt for a day, I decided to migrate all of my encrypted data from BestCrypt to its containers. A number of reasons compelled me to transfer 30 GB of data spread across various containers, some of which included:

  • TrueCrypt doesn’t load a plethora of kernel modules whenever I load the main one in memory. I despise seeing about 10 modules, one for each supported algorithm, whenever I tried to load the basic one (bc).
  • Similarly, TrueCrypt doesn’t bloat my bin directory with redundant bc* files.
  • It also saves me the trouble of even (un)loading the modules as the application automatically takes care of it.
  • TrueCrypt has nice wizards for its command-line application. Which spares me the trouble of remembering all those switches involved with the bctool command.
  • It also provides some useful features which aren’t present in BestCrypt e.g. key-files and volume header backups.
  • Unlike BestCrypt, TrueCrypt can be run without root privileges on Linux.
  • One reason to rule them all: it’s free and released under GPL.

For those of your who’re wondering what exactly is TrueCrypt: it’s a disk encryption software which can create virtual password-protected ‘encrypted’ drives on your PC; it’s easy-to-learn and has excellent documentation for beginners. Just head over to the official website and download a version suited to your operating system (and have my sympathies if you’re using a Mac).

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February 7, 2007

Will GPLv3 mean the demise of collaboration between free and open source software?

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 2:16 am

Nowadays, the general perception of media about open source is that of an efficient development model which is rapidly gaining user base. (more…)

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