Sunday, April 24, 2011

Debian vs. Fedora 3

Actually, it is not very fair to compare the two distributions as Debian is usually extremely stable and Fedora is usually really bleeding edge which leaves room for a little bit of instability. So, people who really like Debian will not really enjoy Fedora and vice versa.

Now here is something really cool. If Debian has software available to it, Fedora also has that same piece of software, but in a later version. So, in Fedora, the user can have access to the latest Firefox whereas Debian users only have Iceweasle in the repositories unless they want to go against the grain and "risk" downloading and installing the actual Firefox browser. The later is an action truly frowned upon by Debian purists. Fedora users could care less what you download and put on your own machine. If you can get it to work then more power to ya.

Oh, another example of that is when KDE Desktop comes out with its latest version, Debian will not have it in the repos unless you want to use the "unstable" repos and then I'm not actually sure if you can get it. Of course you could always do a work-around and install it directly from KDE but don't depend on the Debian gurus for support if you choose to do that wild thing.

Fedora, on the other hand, usually has the latest KDE stuff available as soon as compatible version is built and that is usually within weeks of the latest version being announced.

So, Debian is more stable and "safe" and really prides itself in sticking with the GNU Linux statement. Fedora is the bleeding edge Linux which is truly exciting to many users in the Linux world. So, like I said, it is not very fair to compare and contrast the two because each focus on its particular user group. But all in all, they are both Linux, so have fun with that.

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Debian vs. Fedora 2

I did a Debian vs. Fedora a few weeks ago and got several hits. I talked, in general about updating the OS and how simple Fedora was verses Debian. But wait a minute! Why is the new Debian 6.0 called Squeeze and for crying out loud, what the heck is "Love Lock"?

Debian first. All the names for Debian releases are based on Toy Story characters. Yes, the last one was called Lenny and this one is called Squeeze. The one previous to that one was, I think, called Etch. Then, there was Sarge, Woody, Potato, Slink and Hamm. Kind of catchy. The next one is going to be called Wheezy. (cf. )

Fedora is not quite that simple. The naming has to do with the previous name and its relationship with the new name for the new release. In short, there is a reason for everything under the sun and for a full explanation please go here .

But, I am partial to Fedora. There is a whole lot of thought that goes into the distribution and because of that we, the end users, get a whole lot of benefit. In the end though, Debian and Fedora are both Linux and that's that.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Time

There is a passage in the Bible which says something like "when I was a child I did childish things and when I grew up I stopped doing those childish things". Of course that is a paraphrase of the actual text of I Cor. 13:11, but I'm sure you get the point. So, what does that have to do with Easter?
Well, when I was a kid, I colored Easter Eggs so adults could hide them, so a bunch of kids and myself could go find them again. What does that have to do with Easter?

Oh, and if we didn't do the Easter Eggs we would certainly be still hunting for special candies on that day. I remember my mother used to hide candies early Easter morning just so she could watch us hunt for them. Of course though, we couldn't eat them before breakfast and we certainly couldn't eat them with our special Easter clothes she had be slaving over the sewing machine for the last six months just so we could have something special for Easter Sunday. (We had already grown out of them before that morning because we grew really fast and her sewing machine just could keep up. That's why she would be hemming them on Easter Eve at the last minute).

What does all this have to do with Easter and where did chickens, geese (remember the golden goose egg as the ultimate find during the Easter egg hunt) and rabbits come into the picture? Oh, sunrise services at church? O.K. Mom slaved over our Easter clothes for six months, hemmed them the night before because we grew really fast, made sure she purchased enough Easter yum-yums so she could hide them before the Easter Sunrise Service, and made sure we didn't muck up the special clothes or our Easter appetites (forgot to mention this one) reserved for the special Easter Dinner we were all to share after the Easter Sunrise Service.

Pretty busy day for just another holiday. Time to grow up. I'm really frustrated with it all and I'm not going to go into all the paganism that the Catholic Church married into in order to get the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ accepted among the ignorant pagans of the day. All I want to do is take a little time a declare what I believe as an adult (remember that we are putting childish things away now).

As an adult I believe the summary:

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (1 Cor. 15:3-8)

This weekend, remember that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, was raised on the third day and He did all this so we could have the privilege of being forgiven for our sins and gain permission to be with Him in Heaven for eternity. 

Of all the things Easter is not, I block them all out and remember what Christ did for me on that Cross and that He did not remain in the grave but rose from it so I could follow Him and also be resurrected to newness of life only to be with Him for eternity.

[All Bible text is from the English Standard Version]
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Spring Tidy and Repair

I have today off, so, I though I would take care of a few things. Most of those things have to do with getting my spring-time cleaning and organizing out of the way. I have lawnmowers to get going, grass to mow, a garage to clean, stuff in the garage to sell, and finally plan my upgrade to Fedora 15.

I have been working some mega hours at my day job and a lot of things have been neglected. The first thing I've notice is my nineties-something Craftsman riding mower. I actually salvaged it out from under a pile of leaves from over at my neighbor's house last summer. I tuned it up, repaired the tires, balanced the deck, replaced the blades and the belts and finally put it to work. I was able to get a double-bag grass-catching system for it, too. Now we come to spring time. It started right up recently. I used it for 4 solid ours already this spring. Yesterday, I noticed I needed to tighten the belt tension on it so it would cease the terrible squealing it has been doing as it tackles the heavey grass.
This particular mower doesn't have an automatic tension thingy so I have to do it manually.

My Craftsman push-mower is only a few years old. That thing burns through spark-plugs almost like an old house burns through light bulbs. And, just a micro-ounce low on oil and the cantankerous thing simply stops running. And when the air filter is the least bit clogged...yup, you guessed it.

Needless-to-say, that mower is super picky. Anyway, I have to get those running today and then join my son who is already out there mowing the church lawn.

I closed my business in 2009 and finally got things shut down in 2010. Now I am left with a lot of specialty hardwood flooring tools that may never get used. So, I'll be selling a lot of that stuff in the next few months. I might even advertise them here, so keep tuned in.

Finally, as I mentioned before, I usually upgrade my computer over holiday weekends. Well, Fedora 15 is coming out and the guys there somehow missed Easter weekend. No matter.  I still have Father's Day.  I just have to back up my precious files and be ready for that day when I push a few buttons and watch the magic happen. What magic you may ask? When Fedora 14 magically transforms itself into Fedora 15 of course. Actually, it's not magic. It is a calculated effort on the part of all the developers behind the Fedora Project.

Without them, I wouldn't know what to do with myself twice a year.  Guess I would probably be running some other distribution like U...or D...or P..... I'll save that for another time. You might just be wondering what other Linux distributions there are. Well, there's a whole lot of them, but right now, I'm off to spring tidy and repair.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Perfect Vacation

Usually, when I think of something, someone else has already thought of it and done it. Nevertheless, my perfect vacation is a road trip on a full-dress, Harley Davidson touring bike. Since I don't currently own one, my dream is open ended. First thing I need to do is visit my local Harley shop in Burlington or Smokey Point Washington. Nice to have 2 choices and both are convenient because I go both directions regularly. And both have shopping malls close so that I can easily have my wife drop me off to browse while she continues to do her own style of shopping.

So, if we are shopping north I-5, she would drop me off at Skagit Harley-Davidson while she continues on to Cascade Mall and Costco. She could even shop Home Depot, Target, Wal-mart and even meet friends for lunch at Olive Garden (which happens to be one of her favorite places). All I'll need for my trip is time and access to a coffee source.

If we go south, she would drop me off at Sound Harley-Davidson in Marysville, WA. Again, all I need is coffee. She will have access to the Seattle Outlet Malls, Costco, Home Depot, Wal-mart, Target, Best Buy, and several other places that can keep her busy while I spend some big bucks.

I have a dream to fullfill, so I really want to spend the dream cash. I have always loved riding and am looking forward to purchasing a bike that will last the miles and the years. I like the Harley touring bikes and I want to go as big and full as possible. I want stereo, intercom, comfort, bags, hitch, and power (lots of power).

So, my dream is to make my purchase, have my bike shipped to south Florida and then ride the Atlantic coastal highways visiting all the old southern hot spots all the way up to D.C. Then, I would cruise the northern highway back to the Pacific Northwest.

Another dream would actually have me making my purchase then traveling south via the Pacific coast highway and then cutting across through the southwestern roads and southern states to the Atlantic coast. I would then cut north to hit D.C. Afterwards, I would run diagonally through the Midwestern states, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and back to Washington.

The bike I choose will be keep me in total comfort for the whole of the trip.

Tune in for the next update towards my dream vacation. I can't wait to visit my local Harley shop to dream a little.

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How to Switch OS Part 3

You have probably guessed by now that I am one who really enjoys running Fedora on my computer. Fedora is the only OS I have on my computer, however I do run VirtualBox from Oracle. And inside VB, I have a legal, registered copy of Microsoft's Windows XP. Actually, everyone in my family runs Microsoft Window 7. I'm am the odd-ball. But I digress.

To switch or not to switch. That is the question. That is the only question? How about asking some more, like:

1) Do I hate pop-up adds?
2) Do I want to control my web cookies?
3) Do I want to have multiple software choices that I control the cost of?
4) Do I want to grow up and stop using my computer as a gaming console?
5) Do I want to have a very powerful, multimedia, production platform capable of being extremely multifaceted, meeting my every need (except the need for gaming)?

These are 5 questions that can be asked. Fedora answers them with bleeding edge technology back by the Red Hat Linux corporation.

So, let's get started. By now, you have backed up your documents to an external hard drive or a series of DVDs. Download the Fedora ISO either in 64 bit or 32 version, burn the ISO to a CD, then insert the disk into the drive on your computer and then reboot. Most modern computers will boot to the CD drive. Once the Live CD is loaded, it will give you an option to install to the hard drive. Click the icon and then follow the easy instructions. If you have troubles after that, you can post a comment here, you can post a question on the Fedora Forum, or you can also post a question on the Linux Home Computer Consulting page on Facebook.

Fedora has a lot of quality people who are experts in Linux and always willing to help new users cross over from either Mac or Microsoft products. Have fun with it. Remember, always keep a back-up of your precious files.
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1st Day Off

Today was my first day off from work in a long time. I had great plans. I planned to do the last little fixes to my truck, go to the dump, load the lawnmowers and then go mow all day long with my son, and then get home in just in time for dinner. Great plans need to leave room for the uncontrollable.

First, I could not find my parts for my truck, so I rearranged my plans to drive the family car to the part store and buy them all over again. Well, I get up this morning only to find that the keys to the car were missing. "No problem", I said to myself. "I'll just improvise from my trusty bucket-of-bolts". Well, I couldn't find that either. Bummer. So I dug around in a couple of tool boxes and found a few odds and ends and made the repair. This is after quite a bit of kicking and stomping, coffee drinking and quite a lot of hollering. Oh, I did take an hour or so off from all that to watch Tron. That is another story which I'll tell right now.

So, I try to de-stress from my tragic parts hunt and sit down to watch Tron (the latest from Walt Disney) on DVD. I get half way through the movie and the thing locks up. No problem. I just washed it off, dried it, and tried again. Fedora has at least four DVD programs and all were locking up. I discovered a long scratch which just so happened to be in the area that I was trying to view. I finally got the movie advanced past the scratch and was able to watch the rest. But, the movie was a little disappointing as there was no closure, in other words, it had a bad ending that left me hanging.

Oh well, I ate lunch. "Hey, where's the butter" I yelled. No problem. Nothing like making grilled ham and cheese with bacon grease. Tasted fine. Some Sun Chips and yogurt and was well on my way. I repaired my truck, went to the dump, got the rider to start for the fist time this spring, and am now ready to face the mowing season with confidence.

Keep tuning in for the next "How to Switch OS". Fedora 15 is just around the corner and you'll want to be ready. Until next time...
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Debian vs. Fedora

OK people. This is why I like Fedora. Command line for an upgrade to the latest and greatest is:

yum install preupgrade

yum preupgrade



Debian is pretty involved. I am currently upgrading my Debian box to Squeeze. It is fun for geeks (which I am sort of one, in a hillbilly sort of way). First you have to change all your repositories from Lenny to squeeze. Then you do your upgrade from there. A little more involved and I hope I did it right, otherwise, I will be starting from scratch on that machine I'm switching over to squeeze.
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