Author


Christopher Tozzi

Job Title: Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, "For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution," is forthcoming with MIT Press.


Recent articles by Christopher Tozzi

1 83 84 85
Ubuntu and the 'Average User'

Ubuntu and the 'Average User'

For years, free-software advocates have asserted that Linux is ready for the mainstream desktop. Critics have responded that, sure, Linux has come a long way since 1991, but it’s still not for ‘average users’. Until grandmothers can get an Ubuntu system up and running without having to hack a wireless driver or an xorg.conf file, […]

Finally: 64-bit Flash Comes to Ubuntu

Finally: 64-bit Flash Comes to Ubuntu

I was delighted to discover yesterday that Adobe has finally released a 64-bit plugin to play flash in Firefox. This should make the lives of a lot of 64-bit Linux users much easier. It also represents a bit of a turn-around in the relations between Adobe and the free-software community. I’ve used 64-bit Ubuntu for […]

When Ubuntu Breaks, Who's to Blame?

When Ubuntu Breaks, Who's to Blame?

As a regular participant in support threads on ubuntuforums.org, I’m exposed frequently to people who might be fairly characterized as ‘dissatisfied customers’ of the Ubuntu experience. Something doesn’t work as well as it’s supposed to—no out-of-the-box wireless or dual-monitor support are two of the most popular complaints—and these new users condemn Ubuntu and Linux in […]

Free Software Development Models in Government, Academia and Beyond

Free Software Development Models in Government, Academia and Beyond

Former hedge-fund manager Andrew Lahde recently published a “goodbye letter” to his investors in which he philosophizes on everything from the financial crisis to marijuana. Interestingly, in advocating reforms to the United States government that would make authorities less susceptible to corruption, Lahde remarks in passing that this new state should be planned by a […]

Initial Thoughts on OpenOffice 3.0

Initial Thoughts on OpenOffice 3.0

I recently decided to upgrade to OpenOffice 3. As many users know, the Ubuntu developers made the controversial decision not to include OO 3, released in mid-October 2008, in Ubuntu 8.10 (a.k.a “Intrepid Ibex”), out of concerns that it would not be stable enough and would disrupt the Intrepid development schedule (which is strange given […]

Ubuntu Server Edition 8.10: Nice, But Who Uses It?

Ubuntu Server Edition 8.10: Nice, But Who Uses It?

Ubuntu 8.10, released at the end of October, includes several notable enhancements to the Server Edition.  These new features augment the usability and versatility of Ubuntu on servers, but given the short lifespan of Ubuntu 8.10, I’m left wondering how many system administrators are going to use it. The ability to create virtual environments is […]

The Future of Gnome

The Future of Gnome

Neil Patel of Canonical recently posted an outline of the new user interface concepts that Gnome developers envisioned during the “Gnome User Experience” conference in Boston a couple of weeks ago. But are the concepts a good move? While the specifics of the proposal and the roadmap for implementing it remain vague, it seems clear […]

Non-Geeks Installing Ubuntu: Why Linux Needs Better Wireless Support

Non-Geeks Installing Ubuntu: Why Linux Needs Better Wireless Support

My day job revolves around early-modern European history, which I study in graduate school.  While most of my fellow graduate students know very much about obscure dead people, computers are generally not their forte: many of them remain unsure of the difference between Microsoft Word and Microsoft Windows, for example. I was thus quite surprised […]

Apple: A Bigger Open Source Enemy Than Microsoft?

Even before Linux was created, Microsoft has been scorned by members of the free-software community.  Its products are decried as defective by design, and its sometimes questionable business practices as an obstacle to technological innovation.  That’s old news. What amazes me is Apple’s track record for openness is even worse than Microsoft’s.

Ubuntu Server Edition: GUI Or No GUI, And Does It Matter?

Ubuntu Server Edition: GUI Or No GUI, And Does It Matter?

There’s been a lot of ink spilled—er, pixels fired—about Canonical’s decision not to offer a graphical interface in the server edition. The debate is understandable. After all, given Canonical’s professed commitment to ease of use, it might seem a bit strange that Ubuntu Server Edition should not come with some kind of desktop environment by […]

Ubuntu and the Power of Language

Ubuntu and the Power of Language

One of the three fundamental principles of the Ubuntu philosophy is the availability of software in a user’s native language, whatever that happens to be. While those of us who grew up speaking one of the world’s top 10 languages might never give linguistic freedom a second thought, this is an area where Ubuntu clearly […]

Broadcom Switches to the Light Side: The Start of a New Era?

Broadcom Switches to the Light Side: The Start of a New Era?

As anyone familiar with the Linux wireless scene before 2006 knows, Broadcom, which manufacturers the wireless chipsets found in many laptops, was for a long time synonymous with everything evil about closed-source software.  That’s changing. Here’s how. Although Broadcom had very good in-house Linux drivers for its wireless cards, which it sold to manufacturers of […]

Are Ubuntu Server and Desktop Editions At Odds?

Are Ubuntu Server and Desktop Editions At Odds?

Ubuntu’s objective of becoming the distribution that finally brings Linux to “human beings,” i.e. non-geeks, is certainly ambitious.  Its simultaneous (and thus far successful) pursuit of the server market, however, is perhaps yet more impressive. Few Linux distributions have been able to achieve equal success on both the desktop and enterprise fronts.  Red Hat’s desktop […]

1 83 84 85