Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fedora 18 Blues

Usually, by this time of the year, I have installed the Winter version of Fedora.  Since it is not official released, I'm totally bummed.  I would have the geeks equivilant of cabin fever if there was not other stuff to do while I wait.

This season, it would be Fedora 18 donned "Spherical Cow".  But hey!  I did download the beta version to try on Virtual Box.  And, so far, I like the installer.  And that's about it.  Can't really test it because Fedora, as well as other Linux distributions, really enjoys having it's hands on a really real box and not just a virtual one.

So, for the end user, I'm really waiting for the real thing.  In the mean time, I found something new.  A group of smart computer people got together and made an end-user friendly Fedora spin called Kororra Linux

Kororra is supposed to be a cleaned up, more user friend version of Fedora.  It comes in version 16 and 17 and soon 18 for whenever Fedora 18 is officially released.  It installs just the same as its parent distro, but is supposed to be more stable and easy to use.  It's nearest conceptual contemporary would be Linux Mint.  Haven't had a chance to put it through my hoops, maybe because I just like the real thing.

Another thing I've been doing while waiting for F18 is to try Mint 14 Mate.  Can't even get it to install on VB.  Not sure what's up, it just won't install.  Probably would rather have a real machine which I'm not willing to give up yet or go out and purchase.

I also messed around with Centos for the purpose of exploring Apache for a web server.  That was fun and I learned a lot.  Now I'm looking for a real server to get that one running.

Which leads me to Craigs List.  There's a really nice server listed locally and I just might go out and get it.  It is the right size, the right speed and the right age for a home web/file/game/email server.  Just need a few hundred bucks to get it.

Oh, what else have I been doing?  Pretty much just killing time 'til Fedora 18 comes out.  Rumor has it that the old fuddyduddies at MS have Red Hat tied up in knots over the new hardware requirements for computers planning on coming preloaded with W8.  What a bummer.  Isn't there anyone in the U.S. who can make a computer that MS would have to bow down to??  Or better yet, is there anyone who can make hardware that would block MS?  I mean really.!!  MS requires HW manufacturers to bow to them.  Why can't someone simply make harware that would only run everything but MS? 

All this coming from a simple end-user.  Can't solve the world's problems in this blog.  Maybe next time.  Oh, just to slap MS around this Christmas why not by some stuff from System 76 . They load Linux on their machines.  How good is that?  Huh?  How good is that?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

OwnCloud

So, instead of doing my Fall Fedora Upgrade this Thanksgiving weekend, I messed around with getting an instance of Owncloud working on Centos 6.3 on Virtual Box.  I spent a lot of hours on it an am not yet satisfied.

Owncloud is a very cool idea which has been around for a few years.  With the advent of Cloud Computing out in the corporate world, it is nice to see something become available for the End User people.  So what does it do?

Owncloud is a cool alternative to the ever popular DropBox.  What you do is install it on a computer dedicate has a home file/web server.  It installs fairly easy for an advance end user.  And for those of use who are not so advanced, there are tons of people who don't mind helping out.  All you have to do is Google or Bing or whatever.

My OC is a test version just to see if I could do it and what it would look like.  First, I installed the latest Centos.  I then added the necessary files.  Finally, I installed and configured OC.  There are instructions all over the web for this as, I suppose, folks just like the security of having all their precious files and pics on their own server open to only those who the specifically invite.

So, this weekend, I learned that Centos is an awesome choice for a web server, Owncloud is a promising replacement for DropBox, and finally I learned how to make my Web Server available to the outside world by configuring ports and Virtual Box accordingly. 

You might just be asking me where's the tutorial.  You're not going to get much from me except for this list:

#1 Choose your computer for your web server
#2 Configure your hardware (i.e. multiple Ethernet ports, more ram etc)
#3 Choose your operating system (Centos 6.3 is nice...hint, hint)
#4 Install your OS
#5 Configure your OS
#6 Install OpenCloud
#7 Configure (config files and hardware firewalls etc.)
#8 Have fun.

One thing you might also do is create a "home page" for your web server that links to your OC for those whom you invite.  Then the OC could be a secure site...I still have to figure some of this out.  Oh, by being secure, that means by invitation only. Don't publish your OC on Facebook or any other place unless you want your system to be cracked within the first day of operation.

Just for fun, you might just try testing it on Virtual Box before you give it more room.  One other cool thing about it, you can do your VB test and the migrate it to a larger system almost like what the aliens did to with brains in the movie Skyline.

Follow the hyperlinks to get started:
Owncloud
OC Forum
Centos
VirtualBox

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thanks Giving (End User Style)

30 Days of Thanks Giving is a little trendy right now and I'm just a little behind.  Never prided myself in "keeping up with the Jones", but nevertheless, I'll give it my best shot.  I am thankful for a lot of stuff.  Since this blog tends to favor more towards Linux, I'll start there.

#1 I am thankful for the people behind Linux
#2 I am thankful for developers who work, in their spare time ( a lot of them) to create and keep current all the cool apps made available for Linux users.
#3 I am thankful for Open Source developers who continue to provide apps that are cross platform so Linux users like me can have freedom to chose.
#4 I'm thankful to be able to us my Fedora Linux to watch church streaming live from Sun Valley Community Church
#5 I'm thankful to start my Mondays with checking my Mine Craft Server and add a few more gigs of ram for the guys who play during the day time.
#6 I'm thankful that I voted yesterday and that I can multi-task on my Fedora Linux while streaming news updates on multiple tabs in Firefox.
#7 Let's see...getting a little behind here...I'm thankful for Virtual Box..
#8 Today I'm thankful for Netbeans....
#9 I'm also thankful for OpenShot Video Editor...
#10 You know a few years ago I was so poor I couldn't afford fun things for my kids.  All the other kids were getting video games.  So I'm thankful for America's Army...even though it is not technically OS, it is or was free.
#11   I'm thankful for Blender.
#12 I'm thankful for Libreoffice...used to be OpenOffice until Oracle...whatever....
#13 I'm thankful for OpenCloud which would be way cool once I figure it out.  Looking forward to creating a home file server that all my home network can access.
#14 Speaking of networks, I am thankful for the developers of the product called dd-wrt .  This has been awesome in making my home network more secure, more flexible, and more powerful.
#15 As an End User, I am really thankful for all the KDE Community is doing to provide one of the best GUI experiences one could ever install on a PC.
#16 I am thankful today is Friday and I have the weekend to recuperate.  End users love rest and relaxation
#17 I am thankful for Saturday where I can browse tutorials on YouTube while running a slightly tweaked Minecraft Server for my son and his friends.
#18 Today, I am thankful for my 3 kids because without them I would not have had an interest in building and maintaining my home network as well as using Open Source stuff and Linux.
#19 As an End User, I enjoy Hulu and watching T.V. episodes for free on my computer.
#20 This end user is also thankful for New Egg providing me with Eye Candy and a personal wish list enabling me to create the next great computer for myself.
#21  I have to say that I am thankful for Thanksgiving being here tomorrow and for a 4 day weekend with two paid holiday days.  Time for family and doing stuff around the house.
#22 Well, today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful for God's provisions throughout the past year as well as the year up and coming.  I am thankful for my wife and kids and the roof over my head and a good job and this hot cup of coffee.



All done.  Move over turkeys, Santa Claus is coming! (11/23/2012)

Monday, September 24, 2012

What can I do with Linux?

Really?  Yes.  People do ask that question.  First of all, with Linux, I save money and lots of it.  Now that that is out of the way, I can now choose which developer to send money to so my favorite applications get the most attention.  But, really, what do I do with Fedora 17?  I will see if I can make a list for you so you can compare it to the other leading OS's.

I can go on the Internet, watch Flash video, watch DVDs, play CDs, draw, design, model, edit photos, create and edit video, burn music and video, see e-mail, run a web server, run an e-mail server, run a home cloud network, share between Linux and Windows machines,


If I were a programmer I could develop C++, Python, and Java, using a choice of editors.  But I am a programer, but if I were, I would be right at home with Linux.

You know what else, if I were a church media tech, I would use OpenLP for overhead presentations. 

I am what I call a pretty good "end user".  I appreciate all the Fedora developers do to get the product out here.  It is packaged with a lot of cool stuff.  Now one of the things that get left out of Linux is games.  But really not.  Fedora has arcade style games.  Keep watching the distros because Java gaming is getting more popular.  And, games can be designed for Linux because Linux can run Java, Python C++ and probably more than this end user has knowledge of.

But really, I am middle aged and not a real gamer.  I do play Mine Craft once in a while, but I'm more into social networking and watching old movies on my computer.  And for that, my Fedora does an awesome job.  I could draw stuff with a pen tablet using several different, but similar, editing programs like Gimp.  But, I'm not that artistic, but if I was, I would still use Fedora as with Gimp, I could save my art in just about any commercial format used today.

And guess what.  It only gets better because this Thanksgiving, Fedora 18 comes out.  Can't wait...but I will...but if I didn't want to I could install the Alpha and Beta versions.  You could to or you could just try a Live CD.

So what can I do with Linux?  For me, anything I want to do.  Linux is for everyone, just don't forget to thank a developer.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Safer Internet Surfing

So, you have your Linux up and running and now you can surf the Internet without risking a thing.  Right? Linux is bullet proof, right? Well, pretty much, however, whatever we do on the Internet is recorded somewhere.  Our digital lives are stored on some big server out there in the digital world.  Those digital lives could be recalled when needed and at the time when we least expect.  How many of us would fail?


Let's not get into all the details of all that stuff.  Let's, instead, get into securing our Internet.  The first thing I recommend for the home user is to get a hardware firewall.  Many brands are out there.  I have a Linksys router with an Open-Source firmware to manage my home firewall needs.  There are many other brands.  When properly set up, these can prevent digital intrusions to our private home data.

Next, get your browsing under control.  I like Firefox for a browser.  The reason I like it is because I can modify it to make my browsing more private.  The add-ons I use to help with that is Ghostery and Add-Block-Plus (ABP).  Ghostery blocks counters and trackers thus controlling cookies and pop-ups.  ABP controls adds and pop-ups.

This is great on popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook.  Ever get tired of seeing those stupid adds on the right side of Facebook.  Get Add-Block-Plus and Ghostery and do away with those stupid adds.

It is also great on Google image searches.  Ever do a search for something innocent and end up with an extra tab or window open with something you did not click on?  And worse yet, has that ever happened when your wife or kids pop up behind you out of nowhere?  Embarrassing and hard to explain right? Out of sight, out of mind they say and Add-Block-Plus eliminates the pop-ups and protects us and our families from seeing something we never intended to see when we set out on an image search. 

While I'm on that subject, did you know your Google Search has a "Safe Mode" and can be set at "Strict" or "Moderate" and that you can report bad images?  Well, now you know.  This menu is located at the upper right hand corner of your screen.  Nowadays, using "Strict" mode is the best plan, but not immune from the occasional infiltrator.  Report offensive images.

Finally, when we click on an image or do a search for something bad, someone out there is counting our searches and clicks.  These accountings are tallied into a market analysis for such searches.  Please do not be one of those among many who surf for garbage as these surfings declare a need  and the need gets answered with more garbage.  It's called supply and demand.  Garbage dealers make their money this way.  They find out what people want by sticking random images in the middle of innocent ones.  And they have experts who get their pages on the first few pages of an innocent search.

Bottom line, be careful.  FireFox has the tools to secure your Internet experience.  So, let's step outside of the Garbage market base, and pave a way for a new and clean market.  Search for specific things and select only what you search for.  Internet was originally designed to be a tool and was never intended to be a private entertainment vise.  I'm full of clich├ęs and the one I'm going to add here is "Change starts at home".  And in the case of the Garbage Internet Market, change does start at home.  Happy and safe searching.

Oh, I should also say that FireFox, ABP and Ghostery are all free, however, I'm sure their creators could use the money and support. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Upgrade to Fedora 17

For those of you who were wondering, I did do my upgrade to Fedora 17 a few days before Father's Day weekend.  I used Pre-Upgrade and everything worked great except for the Kernel. 

I had to manually upgrade the Kernel from F16 to F17.  What I did was remove the Kernel manually and then manual install it.  First I did "#yum list *kernel*".  And then I looked through the list and found the appropriate ones to remove by using "#yum remove *".  A more dangerous way of doing it is "#yum remove kernel*" using that notorious wild-card.  Then, while you have the terminal up do "yum install kernel*" with the wild-card.  As soon as it is done type "#reboot".

So, as my story goes, I rebooted to the F17 Kernel and all was good.  I also got to purchase 8 gigs of ram and a nice monitor from LG.  With the added memory, was able to really make us of Oracle's Virtual Box with a MS Windows XP VM.  What is really cool about the new RAM ....oh and did I mention I got a much nicer video card...anyhow, the new RAM and graphics allowed me to allocate 128 megs of video and 2 gigs of RAM to the VM.  Now, I can watch Netflix via the MS XP VM with zero lag time. 

I know, MS is not Open-Source, but I purchase that XP years ago under my old business and just had it laying around collecting dust.  So, why not use it?

So, what did I add this season?  Fedora 17, 8 gigs of Kingston RAM, a 2 gig Nvidia style graphics card, and nice LG monitor.  Looking forward to Fedora 18 and refusing to drink the Kool-Aid of Windows 8.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Linux Desktop Rant

http://www.techcentral.co.za/linux-on-the-desktop-what-went-wrong/30713/

I know, it's bad form to lead the blog with a hot-link to another web site.  But you have to know that I'm a little frustrated at part-time Linux users and their constant bashing of how the Linux Desktop is dead or how the Linux Desktop is substandard because it can't be set up on certain machines.  Oh, and I'm just a little tired of throwing Ubuntu or Mint up as the only viable Linux OS's that can be used as a desktop and when they fail to set them up on their "experimental" machines, all Linux fails.

Here's the deal.  I have been running Linux on my machine for over 2 years now.  Since I closed my business, I had no need to pay for an OS and I completely switched to my favorite, Fedora.  I am not a gamer, so Fedora works just fine for me.    I was a W7 Beta tester.  And I did enjoy it.  But when the Beta came to an end and was time to buy the full version, I chose not to.  I chose to switch over to Fedora 100%.  I don't even dual boot.  I have no need to.  I do everything I need to do from my Fedora box.

Things have to be understood when switching to Linux.  The first thing that should be done is read the installation manual of the OS.  Every Linux distribution has one.  Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora (my favorite), Centos, Scientific, Arch, and the list goes on.  Every one of them has some sort of an installation manual.  Most of them have user forums.  The manual and the forums are a must for new and advanced users because, unlike MS and Apple, Linux does not have a 24 hour customer service hotline.  The forums take the place of that.  And I think Linux is better in that regard because the forums put us in touch with regular people, just like us, who want Linux to succeed.

So, if for some reason a printer doesn't work, check the manual and the forum.  If, for some reason, Flash doesn't work, by all means, check the manual and the forum.  Oh, if your dual monitors don't work, hey, somebody's been there and done that.  If you can't get KMail or Evolution to work properly, gee whiz, ask the forum.  Someone knows.  Hey, even Google helps with stuff like that, however, it's always nice to check the forums first.

Most Linux distributions have another thing that leading market OS's do not have.  Their developers are available to chat with on what they call IRC or Internet Relay Chat.  Fedora has this as well as KDE, Gnome, and most other mainline distributions and Linux developers.  Try that with mainstream MS or Apple.  Only with Linux can an average person communicate with a big time developer.  Again, try that with MS or Apple.  Have fun with that.  Oh, and the Linux "big time developers" are regular people who have day jobs just like you and me.

Another thing I'm sick of is saying Linux only holds 1%-2% of the Desktop market share.  Well, that figure is really stupid and misleading.  Every Linux user knows that, too.  Why?  Because Linux is free and because it is free, it is not marketed the same way MS and Apple OS's are.  Let me say this again.  Because Linux Distributions (With the exception of Red Hat) are free, they skirt around the market.  I would have to guess-ta-mate that Linux Desktops amount to more than 2% of all Desktops in the world.  We will never know because, really, no one person who matters is really counting.  They are just enjoying the freedoms that come with associating with the Open Source OS community.  Oh, I should also mention that corporations that use Linux Servers also use Linux Workstations which are the best option for interfacing with the Linux Servers.  So, since Workstations are essentially Desktops (or Laptops), I think the percentage goes up quite a bit.  It would be interesting to ask Amazon how many Linux Workstations they have, wouldn't it?

So, when a Linux distribution talks about "marketing", it is really talking about OS evangelising or apologetics.  Distributions depend on regular users volunteering to promote and distribute among their peers and communities.  They use their own money to "get the word out", burn ISO disks, pay for promotion material, and hold Distribution Parties and Developer Parties.  Promotion moneys come from private individuals and corporations and is limited.  But by no means is Linux marketed the same way MS or Apple is.  The only reason Linux is even in the news today is because of volunteers who share the Open Source dream.  And the only reason Linux is even on desktops is because one man shared his dream with regular people like you and me.

So thanks, Linus, for sharing.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Upgrade to F16

I'm giving it another shot. I'm using "preupgrade" to switch from 15 to 16. It is upgrading right now and is over half way through. Last time I tried this kde was having issues. Hope it works this time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

People Law and Land

About the land portion of the problem.  Our State Department is giving away Alaskan land.  This land is rich in resources and a possible strategic military location.  The give-away is to the Russians who have been our historic enemy since the dawn of time for some of us and since the early 20th century for our more seasoned People.  Billions of dollars are at stake in fisheries and oil beds.  This kind of junk has got to stop.

View the article here and write your congress person.

'Tis the Year for Politics...again

What I don't understand is why our parents and theirs and theirs and theirs  (my people are post Civil War) really didn't want to be involved in politics. Problem with that is now their  lack of involvement is causing this country a whole lot of unnecessary distress.

What would have been so wrong with writing  a few letters or joining a campaign or going on the record for something they believe in?  Instead they were content in minding their farms, their jobs, their families.  All while other folks were trusted with the nation's business.

Now it's those other folks that have been entrusted with the country, to take care of her on our behalf, who have assaulted, beaten, robbed, raped and pillaged her.  Now that all this has been done, she has been left vulnerable.

Inside, our citizens busy themselves with every day life while the trusties run the business of our homeland.  They have been running it into the ground since, like, forever.  Oh, now that all our opinions are split down the middle the borders are being ill maintained.

Let's back up here.  There are a few important things that make up a nation, namely:

1. People
2. Law
3. Land


And what has been happening in this country is the most basic of basic attributes of espionage; attack the People, change the Laws, take the land.

First, the People have been under attack since the first Liberal took over the deanships of our Ivy League Law Schools.  The most affective attack was to gradually introduce Case Law to replace the actual study and implementation of the actual law of the land which is supposed to be solidly founded in the Constitution and, yes, the Christian Bible. 

Another People attack has been Benjamin Rush's precious school system.  This  has been constantly undermined by Liberals who insisted on removing parent control, prayer, corporal punishment, national pride (pledge of allegiance to name one item) and practical education to be replaced with, tolerance (of all with the exception of the Christian Religion) sex education, free condoms (and birth control for girls), and less homework.

Let's get back to the laws.  Everyone says this is a nation of laws.  It is.  There are so many laws written that at least 95% of all of has broken 5 in our life times, some of which are punishable by fines or even time.  These laws are hidden and only available to those who need leverage against an individual.  For instance, if I leave my back yard alone I'm fine, but if I put in a creek (man made) and then a Bald Eagle comes done to wash, I have created a back-yard habitat which I have to maintain until the end of time.  That one comes from our local environmental laws.  Funny how that is.  If I decide I don't like the creek, tough.  It has to be maintained so the Eagles will have a nice place to live.

Land is another issue that has been under attack since at least the 1990's.  NAFTA is all nice and fine in a perfect world, but in the real world, it has causec major confusion among the 3 nations.  Borders are extremely important.  Without them, nations and people are undefined.  In other words, without them, people loose their identity.  We need borders and we need them to be enforced.  We cannot have a nation without them.  And, for some odd reason, the hired leaders of this country cannot seem to defend them.

On this note, and it is related, is the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  This section recognizes (does not grant) the rights of all citizens to keep and bear arms.  This was written so the People could defend their national borders to preserve their Land and the Laws that govern.  To strip this away by illogical gun laws is to leave all of our people defenceless.  And yet this has been done.  Sure we have Conceal Carry laws in several states, but that is still another form of Gun Control.  Bad Guys should be dealt with not the Good Guys.  Let the Good Guys protect themselves period.


(Great Article)

This brings me back to Arizona and the rest of the border states.  The Federal Government should say, for the record, all border citizens should arm themselves to defend there homes, there neighbourhoods, their towns, their counties, there states and this nations from all bad guys coming up from the South, the North, the East and the West.  If someone cannot afford a firearm, the governing authorities must issue one.  We must defend ourselves from the bad guys that come in illegally to traffic contraband and drugs across our borders.  If they are not here legally then they are breaking the law and must be forced back.

I wonder why our leaders cannot have simple laws, define our people and defend our borders.  We hire (elect) them to represent us while we go about our business of raising families, farming our land, manufacturing, and building.  We expect them to do a good job in representing us.  However, it seems they have their own agenda and their agenda appears to be the demise of this country.

What do they have to gain by destroying such a great nation?  Have they been promised a place at the top once the smoke clears?  The threat that looms over the horizon for this nation is utter and total destruction.  This threat has gained so much momentum and velocity that it seems to be moving forward on it's own.  And because of it's mass, it is almost unstoppable.

To save this nation, extreme effort is required of all citizens to come out of their slumber and act.  Yes please vote in this next election, but don't stop there.  Become active against anything that comes against our People, our Law, and our Land.  And if the laws attack our People and our Land then oppose the law and get it changed.  If government would come against the People, Law, Land, then change the government (and the hired people who make up the government).

This is my political rant for this month.  Is there a presidential candidate who can actually do the job of leading the charge of rescuing this nation?  I sure hope so.