Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why D.I.Y. lead me to FOSS

I grew up skateboarding an riding bikes. There were always more broken parts, than money to replace them. Me and my friends would come up with ways to "hack" old parts to get us by until we could afford new ones. Sometimes these hacks would become a standard tweak.  This behavior has naturally just progressed to  a lot aspects of  my life.

What got me to start my path to FOSS was two experiences. One was a trying to fix an XP install that had dll that got borked.  I used a live cd of Ubuntu to fix XP. When I was doneI repartitioned my HDD and installed Ubuntu alongside XP . How cool was that, quickly Ubuntu became my default OS, there was not some ideological reason for this I just enjoyed using it.

The second thing that happened actually before the OS failure. I thought the idea of downloading music from itunes was great. Until I found out that my music would be locked down. There was no way to access the music with anything but itunes. Or transfer the music to any other player other than a ipod. I decided at that point to only buy the physical cd's and copy it to my computer, unless I could download the music DRM free. I did not buy a digital download from a big seller until Amazon MP3 was opened up. I believe apple has since changed the way itunes manages users music. Of course I am not sure since I have not used itunes since 2006 and never purchased music from them.

As I started using Ubuntu more I was glad I had that internal cringe to itunes early model. I did not have to deal with any DRM encumbered files, I have seen this be a headache for a few friends. The format my music was in, could be played in Ubuntu with no issue. I did have to install a mp3 codec, but; at that time I still had to do that in XP Windows media Player.

There are times when I have to use other than FOSS software. such as the course ware (ALEKS) I am using for school requires Java and will not run using icedtea(the open source implementation of Java). I do keep a VM of XP around for some even rarer occasions.

  My move to FOSS software was one of fun and learning. It has been in that spirit I continue to use FOSS. There was a point when, some things were harder for me, each time I pushed through one of these walls it has brought me further into the FOSS world. The eight hours I spent trying to get my ATI card to handle 3D and run beryl was a big one. I really got a kick out of the process and quickly learned the power of the command line. Since then I have setup  a home server that has multiple uses. I have learned quite a bit about computers overall. it has even made more knowledgeable about other platforms as well.

This D.I.Y. way informs my life, and FOSS complements those values.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

HDD Crash

My HDD died Saturday, luckily I have been diligent about my backups. So I have no horror story to tell. I was using the computer and it started running wonky so I shut it down and tried a restart. Nothing hppened it would  POST then just hang. I ran two different utilities to check the drive. First was Gwscan on the Ultimateboot CD Gwscan returned no drive found. After that I tried Fedora  because they have the S.M.A.R.T. tools installed by default and I can run it from a LiveUSB stick. So I booted up and Fedora returned "DISK HAS MANY BAD SECTORS" on the drive.

 I thought about using a utility like Spinrite to see if it could save the drive. I realized Spinrite cost more than a new drive, so I just bought a new drive. I found one locally for ten dollars more than at It was worth ten to have the drive now. I got the new drive installed, then installed Xubuntu for the OS got everything tweaked they way I wanted and reloaded the data. Now everything is running smoothly, like nothing happened. I will have to RMA the old drive since it is under a year old. That was my big weekend other than doing Math.

What Math feels like to me

2A/h^2cd !! x=1/2πfc!!!!V-1/3π/r^2!!!A=LW !!! 2y=3x-1 22.05>m!!! "Sorry your out of time" F@#$HI%MOT^&*FSCK(())!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crunch! !!!!!! : /

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quote from R.P. Feynman

"It was a brilliant idea: You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why can't you stay in your own yard

I have gone out with friends and have a nice time but it seems every time we go somewhere sooner or later someone has to start problems. I never understand this. why can't people keep to themselves have a good time with their friends and not ruin my time.

  I also ran into to some one I thought I considered a friend now I wonder. When they start the conversation with a verbal jab below the knees. You know why can't you start the conversation with hey how have you been, how's life.

This bothers me because I carry this stuff with me like a ton of bricks. I have a very hard time purging these types of events from my mind. Makes me want to become a recluse.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Two More Prints

I did one print of Ansel Adams and I did a test print of one that I am working on of my dog that died last winter. The original image is of her when she was a pup.