House upgrades and such.

Well, I have been a bit busy with doing house repairs.. We have redone the bathroom between the kids rooms and laminated the kitchen and utility room floor.  Now I finally got my Linux system put together and got it up and running today and am going back to playing Warhammer Online. 🙂 Thought I would at least stop off here to let anyone who actually glances at this now and then know what is going on..

Sold off..Sold out… Move along!

So for the last few years, the Linux Company I bought into early on, Lindows/Linspire/Freespire, sold out again.  Seems to be a pattern here.  First, they fight the good fight against the evil corporation Microsoft, getting users to invest in the companies lawsuit by selling lifetime memberships. Then, shortly aftwards, selling out to MS for 20million dollars.. I sort of understand, that is lots of money.. Good business.. but after promoting yourself as fighting the good fight, it felt like selling out..

Then later, they made a deal with MS that was basically blackmail money.  MS agreed to not sue them for supposed patent violations in the Linux Kernel, and Linspire agreed to pay for that protection.. Nice scam, huh?  We rattle our saber, and everyone must give us money not to draw it.. Pay the money, or we will come around to your place and have our thugs break things.. Pay us the money, or we will sick our lawyers on you for something that has not been proven.. All sounds like the same scam to me.. but again, Linspire sold out… (Hrm.. Reading over at Kevin Carmony’s blog, it looks like MS actually paid them… Odd.. Makes more sense that Linspire agreed to it now.)

Now, in their last act, Linspire sold out to who they touted as their competition, and spent so much time making sound inferior, Xandros.  Sad, annoying and frustrating.  I decided I had enough, and resigned from the forums that I have helped moderate for years.  I have been an Insider there, and was told at one point I had one of the earliest join dates they were aware of.  I even won the “contest” they had to come out there, see how Lindows worked, and come up with ideas how to improve communication with the Insiders. Had a great time, and met a lot of nice people.. Who have all lost their jobs (and their investments by the looks of it) in the last several years. 🙁  Although, they were all talented, so I suspect that they have all moved on to bigger and better things. Regardless, it is kind of an ending of an era for me.

After watching these last few years how MR (former CEO and main investor of the company) does things, I feel like he is earning money through lawsuits.. He seems to like taking things to court.. and it seems to have worked out for him over the years.. but I kinda lose some respect for people who use our legal system as a club.  It also started to give me the feeling he is a professional sell out. 🙁  So I will be staying away from his future endeavors, and would recommend the same to others.  They are just going to be there long enough to cause a stir with someone and then they will lose momentum and be sold off after the settlement. 🙁

Personally, I have moved on to using Windows Vista 64 for Gaming, and Ubuntu Linux for most everything else.  Linspire has been so far behind for years, that it is just annoying.  CNR seems like a really, really cool idea, but they did not go big enough fast enough with the idea.  They also started out charging way to much for it on the frontend which made a lot of people have a bad attitude about it.  They have just in the last few years started adding other distros to CNR, and I think it took way to long.  As a result of all of these things, which are easy to see in 20/20 hindsight, my thoughts have basically proven correct.. Although, they even sold off CNR, which I did not expect.

I still highly recommend Simpy Mepis, but now, I recommend Ubuntu as well.  Both very good distros, with a different feel to both.  Mepis uses KDE for a front end, Ubuntu uses Gnome. Gives them a different feel from each other, but they are still, both, solid distros!

Runs Ubuntu just fine!

Well, seems to anyways. I did not actually install it, just ran Ubuntu on the live cd and it runs just fine. I did not try to setup the video or anything, or even check it. I was just happy that it booted right up. Not that it really matters, I doubt I will be running Linux on my Game machine any time soon.

I was sort of disgusted. The prices of Video cards have dropped about $80 since I ordered my card.. rather annoying.  Not that it really matters, I am still thrilled with my system, I just think we could have used that money for other things.  Ah well.  This system is still awesome!


So I am now officially in my homeland, Cimmeria. I am running around and helping people do the usual chores. Everything from helping the lazy apprentice recover his saddlebags from the wolves who ate his horse, to bringing inheritance weapons back to a family from a veteran who fears he will fall in battle. The land is huge and awesome. The hills of Cimmeria are sparse and hostile to the uninitiated.

Sadly I still do not remember my entire past. I am however relearning skills. I have become adept at many skills, such as Hide, Fast Run, Recovery, climbing, bandaging and several others. I increase my proficiency in these skills every level. I also receive training in my feats every level. These are special battle skills. They seem to help a lot.

I notice myself becoming more ferocious in battle. More blood spatter, and faster deaths. The blood actually comes up in my eyes on occasion when I fight, but as any good barbarian, I love it! I have also learned to stop noticing the level on the weapon so much. It is the attributes and quality of a weapon and armor that matter, not the level.

It feels good to be back home in Cimmeria, however, I fear for my homeland, it is at war as usual, but there are many hardships I must help my people face. I can not help everyone, but it seems everyone needs two or three things done. The one person who seems to think they can help me remember who I truly am refuses to help me until I get more experience under my belt. The Kurr!

I leave now to return to my chores of earning the trust of my people back. I fear I am like a stranger to them, but I hope one day to encounter someone who remembers me from my youth and can remind me of my days of glory. If not, I am sure I will return to my path of glory shortly enough! To Battle! Join the War!

Applied for a real Job.

So my mother called me up and told me the doctor she works for was looking for an IT person. She described the job to me, and I thought, why not? It is close. We been thinking it would be nice to have a retirement plan, some benefits etc. So I called them up, and they had me come in for an interview. It went pretty well I think. They actually run Linux, on some servers, which I found really cool. I was actually excited about that. They also seem to have a lot of interest in staying current with technology. One of my favorite things to do! 🙂

Now, I am just waiting to find out if I got the job. Always the worst part for someone I guess. I should hear something tomorrow. Wednesday 4/30 will tell. Wish me luck. I am not counting on it, but the job sounds like it would be perfect for me. I would really enjoy playing with the new technology and a nice network as well. I will try to remember to post and let everyone know how it works out. Wish me luck!

Missing Applications for Linux.

So after using Linux for a long time, I am noticing several things severely lacking that both Mac, and Windows have plenty of. Most of the apps missing as far as I am concerned are games of course. However, the other is Video related.

Recently we have been trying to find an app that will easily let my girlfriend record a video. She would like to be able to send them to family members and such. So I started looking. The main problem I have encountered is that with a Logitech Webcam with built in Mic, almost no apps in Linux will easily find them. Ekiga, a Sip Softphone comes right up and works with it, for Video and Audio, however, Camorama and about a dozen other programs. I even tried to use mencoder directly, but could not figure out how to address the mic in the webcam.

If I tried to do the same thing in either Windows or Mac, it is a matter of firing up a program, running a wizard, picking how I want the video encoded, and hitting record. Seems like there has to be a program out there to do simple vlogs. (Video Blogs) However, I can not find one. If anyone has some advice, I would love to hear it. We can record from Desktop and a Mic and it works great, as Emmy has been doing for some tutorials she is making for a customer.

So we have some things that work great for free on Linux, and other things that we just do not have a decent solution for. What other things have people found missing?

Tweaking out Ubuntu.

So I use to not like Ubuntu, but after getting used to Debian, and installing Ubuntu for a friend and a family member, I got to looking at it, and it really is not bad at all.  In fact, I have now installed it on my system as my main OS.  Pretty good for a guy who was never an Ubuntu fan.  7.10 just makes everything way to easy though.  It will automatically install almost anything. Video Drivers, winmodems, wireless card drivers, and so on.  I am really impressed.  It has a nice polished look.

In fact, this weekend, I even went back and got my brothers laptop and brought it back over to put all the little tweaks on a system I normally do.  I setup new icons, new login screen aimed at him using pictures of his birds and a nice wallpaper I made with a picture of the bird he has had the longest.  I also sped up the boot time by eliminating the usplash screen.  I just edited the spash line out of the grub stuff.  Really nice. 🙂

It is funny, I used to really like KDE, but now after using Gnome for a while and liking it, KDE seems kinda clunky to me.  Weird..  However, I am all for people using whatever makes them feel most comfortable.  After having used KDE for years, I can not really recommend people not do so.  For those used to Windows, KDE is great.

Converting people to Linux..

So the last few days I have been very busy. I have been reinstalling Windows on my mother system as it was getting pretty loaded down with spyware old programs she does not use etc. She uses Spybot, but does not really run it often enough. Not a big deal, probably a good idea to start clean every couple years.. Really speeds up the system in my opinion. Every time you install a program, it dumps junk in the registry, and that all gets loaded into the system every time you run Windows. Some programs do not do a good job of removing themselves from the registry either.

So I did her system, then her boyfriend, a real nice guy named Terry, asked me about a week ago if I could help him find a decent laptop for cheap. So I look around, and found a nice deal on It was a refurb, but perfect for a beginner who has no interest in the higher end games. The first thing I asked him is if he would mind me putting Linux on there so we did not have to worry about spyware, virus’ etc. He thought that was a great idea.. Then he talked to some guy at work, who said,”But Linux is a lot harder then Windows!” He asked me about it, and I assured him that once it is running, which I would make sure it was for him, it would be as easy to learn as Windows for a first operating system. It is only harder for Windows users because they have to learn something new. He is now happily running Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy.

I was really impressed with this newest release of Ubuntu. I have not liked it in the past, but boy, they have done some cool things with it. It went on his new laptop as slick as can be. I had to connect it to the network through a wire just long enough to install the wireless drivers, after that, I unplugged, tweaked everything out, and it was working great! I spent a little while trying to make sure he has all the basics he needs on his system.. We set him up with a Gmail account and an Igoogle homepage and all the rest, and it worked great! 🙂 We even set him up with Pidgin IM with the whole family added to the list. I did forget to make it autostart, which I will have to take care of, but hopefully he will find it if he wants it. 🙂 If not, he seems like a patient guy, so it should not be a big deal. 🙂

So then I took his laptop and my mothers computer back over to them, and my brother Steve asked if I would change his system over to Ubuntu also, as he liked the way it looked and acted.  I said sure, but it would take a couple of days.  Well, he ended up watching over my shoulder for the entire time, so his system did not really get tweaked out as much as Terry’s.  I feel bad, but I hate having someone watching over my shoulder all the time.  It really would not have taken 2 days, but he wanted games running on a laptop, and Yahoo Mail with a notifier, and an Epson Stylus Printer/Scanner working, and a Creative Labs Media Player and a Digital Camera all working, and basically, as I attached everything, I then had to show him how to use it, which really took more time.  Not his fault, he was curious, but still, it is a bit frustrating for me.  Left alone, I probably could have gotten it done in a day and had it nicely laid out.  Now, I will probably end up either showing him how to do some of the things I normally would have just done later, or do them at some point when he is over with his laptop.  We will see which.  Either way, it was cool to see 2 newbies added to the Linux ranks.

Ubuntu 7.10

It is nice.  It is clean, it is polished.  It has a tool to help install proprietary drivers like the Nvidia driver.  They have done a lot to make it so people can be up and running in minutes.  It is still very brown and earthy.  I like earthy normally, but Ubuntu is just not my cup of tea.  I keep trying to like it, but there is just something about it.  Maybe it is the security setup where you have to sudo everything?  I dunno.  I could fix that I suppose and see.  So far though, I have not been able to stay with Ubuntu long enough to get around to fixing it.

I have tried Ubuntu lots of times, but there is something about it that just does not work for me.  For years I thought it was Gnome. Then I installed Debian and actually tried working with Gnome, and loved it.  So I guess it is not Gnome.  Now I have no idea what the problem is. Maybe it is the whole package.  The brown, the way they have the menu’s the security.  I dunno.  If anyone else has a similar problem, let me know.  In the meantime, I guess I will stay with Debian.  In fact, I am thinking about installing Debian Lenny to play with.  I am sure I will report on it here when I do.