Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Break Time: My Switch to Fedora

As many of you know, I have switched my computer over from Windows XP Professional to Windows 7 RC. But wait! The Release Candidate of W7 was set to expire on March 1, 2010. Never fear Linux is here. In February, I switched my computer over to the Linux distribution of Fedora 12, 64 bit. Why would I want to do this? OK, if you must know, my business of 11 years is no more. And, because I no longer had the business capitol to upgrade to a newer Windows operating system, I switched to Fedora 12.

In Fedora 12, I set the system up to run RAID 5. I can browse the internet, check e-mail, do complex multitasking, digital animation, and much more. Actually, right now, I am using a program called "Blogilo" which is a blogging client. I just discovered this as being already installed on my system. It's cool in that I can type blog drafts and save them locally where I know they are safe. I can click on them later, edit, and then submit them to my blog. "Blogilo" also works with Wordpress. I can even sync with my existing blog entries, click on them, edit, and then resubmit.

Another neat thing that has been made available to Fedora and other Linux distributions is Skype. I installed this just a few days ago for free. I can now video chat with friends anywhere. I can also make Skype phone calls for a fragment of the cost of a regular land line. Makes me just want to get rid of my land line. Yes, I know. You can also get Skype for Windows. That's not the point. The point is, making a switch to Linux is much easier because there are a ton of applications being designed to run with Linux that Windows users cannot get.

In Fedora, I have flash video and am able to watch DVD video. I can also make my own DVD videos using a number of different applications specifically designed to be use with Linux.
But can Fedora play games? Well, yes and no. I'm really not a gamer. You know all the free games that come with Windows? Well, Fedora comes with similar games and then multiplies the free games by about 100 times. Then if you want to play things like WoW, Sims, and others, you can install and play them with an application called Wine. Linux was never originally designed to be a gaming platform, but that is quickly changing, however, most all game studios are focusing on the Windows based machines and lately have also been porting certain games to Mac. There's not a lot of Linux Platform games.

So, what kind of programs do I use all the time? Well, I use Firefox for web browsing and watching Flash video on sites like YouTube and Hulu. I use a program called Digikam to sync with my digital camera. Digikam has a plugin that I use to upload my pics to directly to Facebook. And yes, if I want to, I can use Facebook to search files for pictures. The Facebook method is faster. I use Kontact which is simlar to MS Office Outlook, but even better. With Kontact, I can get e-mail from multiple servers, run a calendar and a schedule, get RSS feeds, review my sticky notes, manage an intricate contact list, it has a journel and a time tracker.

For my multimedia stuff, Fedora offers a number of things. I use Amarok which a fancy digital music player that also has the ability to play internet radio stations that broadcast from all over the world. I use K3b which for burning CDs and DVDs. Fedora has ripper software as well as several media platforms to choose from for DVD playback. For video production, there is several to choose from. I have been using a product that is called Open Shot. It is very similar to the Windows Movie Editor but more powerful. I use Blender for digital animation. This is just what I have on my computer. There are a lot more programs available for multimedia design and editing and all are usually free.

For my office production I'm mainly using the KOffice Suite which has a word processor, spread sheet, a slide presentation program and more. I can also install Open Office but I haven't because Koffice is fine for what I do. I installed a set of MS fonts so I feel a little more at home. I already mentioned Blogilo.

The bottom line is I have not really missed Microsoft Windows. There's so much I can do with Fedora that I don't really have time to miss it. And, to top it all off, if I have problems, I am just a mouse click away from a network of people who can answer my questions and get me up and running pretty fast.

So, if you cannot afford to upgrade to the new operating system, try Linux. You will be happy with the results. All the software I have mentioned is free.
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Constitutional Reading

Originally, I set out to write about the Second Amendment and got totally side-tracked with a particular website. In this website, not only did I find the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I also found thousands of articles explaining the original intent of the authors of the sacred documents. In this country, our kids do not even study the Constitution. Many have not even read it. All claim it's authority, but have really not ever read it. In law school, the students study case law, not the Constitution.

Today, the Constitution is said to be a living, breathing document. Well, if that is truly the case, then why do people still refer to the original as authoritative if it is all relative to the subjective interpretations of 21st century "experts"? No, to understand what ancient documents mean, the literary researcher must go back in time and read documents and letters that were contemporary to the document in question. In this case, the researcher must look for the writings of the signers of the Constitution. Look for the writings of Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the others. Look for letters from the leaders of the colonies. Look at early state constitutions. Another interesting read would be the writings of Benjamin Rush. What was he all about?

The Constitution was written by men who were very well educated, and in several cases, were themselves educators. Many of these men began pursuing adult-like occupations when they were merely 14 years old. These guys' education far exceeded that of modern lawyers. They all were at least bilingual and fluent in the laws of at least 2 other countries in addition to the one they were just birthing. They were also all fluent in the Bible which is taboo amongst today's educated elite.

So, for our schools to ignore the Constitution, and it's contemporary writings in the favor of the trivialities of history, is really hurting the future of our nation. But, we are all still free men. This means we can educate ourselves on matters of the constitution and matters of government. Our nation is truly dependent upon her people to educate themselves. Our schools are not doing their jobs. I'm really not sure what kids are learning in school, but a high majority of them are graduating without the knowledge the historical roots of this nation. Many are graduating without even being able to read. Being illiterate is a terrible handicap because, unless they learn how to read, how will they know their roots? Many slave owners refused to allow their slaves to be literate because their education would ultimately result in their freedom. Our freedom is being infringed upon by the public schools because they are failing to teach our kids how to read.

But I digress. Take a look at this website: http://www.constitution.org/

Actually, one little look and you will be hooked. Enjoy your history.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christians as Citizens of the U.S.A.

I've bumped into several Christians on the net and in person who are thoroughly convinced that their role in the U.S.A. and the world is that of an "alien". They believe Christians should have a Star Trek mentality when it comes to interacting with society. A thing called "The Prime Directive" which is basically no contact beyond what is necessary to achieve the specific mission. Christians have a mission to seek out and to save the "lost". Another mission, however similar, is to the Great Commission...to go out into all the world and make disciples...baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

When the Church becomes recognized to the point of offending people, the Christians must endure their persecution without fight back or any kind of retaliation. This turn-the-other-cheek approach to Christianity is common and fitting for missionaries in most all nations of the world as those societies have no provision recognizing the freedoms of man to practice any religion as they see fit.

In the United States of America, we have The Bill of Rights which list, not exhaustively, recognized freedoms of mankind. This list protects, in writing, man's right to be Christians in public. Because this freedom in particular is recognized, one might be lead to believe that this freedom should also be freely defended for there would be those who would desire and make attempts to revoke such freedom.

The Bible was written to a people who were dominated by monarchies and dictatorships. During New Testament times, Rome was the dominating force throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Egypt (as well as other parts of Africa). If you were not a natural born Roman Citizen or at least one who purchased his citizenship, you had no freedom of religion other than that authorized by the Roman Government. Christians who lived public lives would also be persecuted, tortured, and killed publicly. We cannot compare U.S.A. citizenship with that of Rome. The Constitution recognizes that all men are created equal in the site of God.

So, to deny Christians an active and open public life is to deny what is recognized and written in the Constitution. It is also denying the public life of the Nation's early leaders. Many were pastors. Others were doctors, school teachers, lawyers and such. Most all of these early leaders were Christian in their religious practice and everyday behavior. To deny the Christian heritage of this country is to deny and actually bring dishonor to the many men and their families who gave everything to make this nation what it is today.

My next entry will deal with Bible passages that define the Christian's role in this world and especially his rights as spelled out in the Constitution. I will quote directly from scripture and from some of the founding fathers of this Nation.
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Run for Office

How come regular folks like us don't run for local office? Are Christians content to believe the status quot? You know, "Christians should stay home and go to church, make babies, and work their fields and stay out of politics". Have you ever heard that before? You guys are adults now and you are still believing the propaganda from the 50's. Shall we let them just have the country and squander it all to the Chinese or whoever the pink-slip holder might be?

The Chinese don't want our country or they would have taken it by now. How are we going to take it back, pay off our debts, a repent to God for past blatant sins? It starts on the local level. There is not a country on the face of this planet that has ever survived once headed down the path we are on. But we are different.

We are still a Free People can can cry out to God in repentance and ask forgiveness. We can still challenge all liberals for local, county, state and federal offices.

I believe our country's Christians have been brainwashed into believing that Christians should stay out of politics. Every day since 1776, Christians have been forced to compromise ground. The school system was once founded by a Christian and ran by Christians or at least God fearing people. Now Christians have been forced to compromise that ground. Why? That are afraid of the fight. They believe Christians are to love one another and never pick up the sword and should never ever argue for mere property. Who told them that?

Well, it was not the founding fathers, many of whom were Godly men with Godly women and children at home. These men sacrificed everything to make sure this country got off to the right start. What are we going to do to honor these families who gave their all?

Ah, just go back to your video games, movies, and jobs (if you have one) and leave the politics to someone who is experienced. NOT!! The experienced ones are those that have sold us out to the Chinese, have refused to pay off our debts, are forcing us into Socialism, who threaten our very freedoms and who have been striving to do this since 1776.

Let's stop giving them our ground because the last stronghold is our freedom. You name it: Freedom of Religion (Christianity not cults), Right to keep and bear arms, freedom of speech, and the freedom to move about the country, innocent until proven guilty, right to bear children and train them up the way we see fit...I can go on but you get the picture. The last stronghold is our freedom.
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