Community Blogs

True Blood

In the last few days i watched the first season of True Blood. The story is a bit weird but somehow it gets interesting nevertheless and i enjoyed it.

 The story basically it that japanese scientists found a way to produce blood so that vampires can have a life like everyone else except that they are immortal and sleep while the sun is shining, of course. The "heroine" of the story is Sookie Stackhouse who can read thoughts and is the only one in the town who is open minded enough to hang around with a vampire.

If you now think "Oh, i like Twilight i have to watch this.", don't watch it you will be very disappointed. For those of you how think that a vampire story could be interesting but don't like Twilight True Blood might be worth watching.

Anyway midnight just passed so i will end this post and go to bed. I have to wake up in 6 and half an hour to write my last and most important english exam for this year.

P.S.:The link stuff in this editor is definitly to complicated in 99.9% of all cases. Seriously who needs all these options?


My First Linux Install

I think I performed my first Linux install in 1995.  I know it was done using the slackware distribution.   It took about 35 floppy disks which I downloaded at the University of Kansas Herb Harris Computer Lab.   I installed on my only computer which was a 386sx with probably a 20 megabyte hard drive and about 8 megabytes of RAM.  I'm pretty sure it was only 8MB because I remember thinking that if I had 16MB then I could run X Windows.


Just got here to - Heard about it from the LinkedIn group and I think it's great!!!

 Loving it!



Sometimes, you need to kill boars to succeed

I just watched a funny South Park episode about World of Warcraft. In it, the boys need to kill a countless amount of (virtual) boars in order to become strong enough to save the World (of Warcraft).

That got me to thinking about what Linux and OSS needs a lot of right now. We've got super smart people, and great software. But to pull it all together, it'll require killing a lot of boars.

That means there needs to be better documentation (even if only consolidating wisdom that's scattered across forums), more polish, and other generally "un-fun" stuff. I've done a lot of work with printers. Considering I don't personally own a printer, that is killing a boar. Nevertheless, the printer languages, performance, and whatnot still need to be documented.

Essentially, to bring Linux to the big time, we're all going to have to kill some boars.


NOOB's adventures in Linux From Scratch


This being my second installment I'm starting to read my first prerequisite

The first problem I've run into here is there seems to be many different kinds of packaging.... tar or gz or bz2 all different programs all requiring different commands to " unpack" . Windows has been easy on me just click on it and bingo it's installed.

Not so lucky here , I have to learn about how to unpack source files.... o, O...

I'm in trouble already....

The above method of unpacking "tarballs" is equivalent to either of the following:

  • gzip -cd filename | tar xvf -
  • gunzip -c filename | tar xvf -

(The '-' causes the tar command to take its input from stdin.)

What in the heck is "stdin"? time to google....

Ok, I got it... stdin = standard input .. hrmmm.... OK..

this begs the question what's standard input?

Standard input is data (often text) going into a program. The program requests data transfers by use of the read operation. Not all programs require input. For example, the dir or ls program (which displays file names contained in a directory) performs its operation without any stream data input.

ok ... so I type the command and the computer reads what I type as "stdin" and then the program does what I told it ? I think...

but the "-" is in front of the cd in the commandline? I thought that would be part of the gzip command...

I think I need to go back to the prerequisites and look at the list again. I'm confused. Maybe another prerequisite is more important than software building at this point.


The Linux Users' Guide

As I'm reading down the page , I'm a bit overwhelmed by some of the information and jump ahead to the part that says who should read this book

Ok, I'm good .. but wait .. there's another link " what you should have done before reading this book."

Ok, I should have an intel x86 pc with Linux installed.

Next you should have created a User , not to run as the administrator.

It goes on to say that you should know some computer terms... I might be in a bit of trouble depends on the word..

This book goes on to say experiment, read the man pages installed , myself I find that man is not enough.. info pages are far better and google also has alot of information about each program , sometimes I even go to the home page of the program , I've backed up to do this blog... in my adventures so far It took me about 2 or 3 hours just to learn how to download from a list of source files using the wget program, but it was well worth it. I found it very refreshing to see all those programs download ... silly I know but it took alot of work , more than I'd ever tried on Windows. I was ignorant enough the first few times to point and click on each of ... I think it was about 80+ files to build LFS. Took a long time.... so I 'm starting to see some really neat stuff about Linux.

OK ... this looks like I've found the right place to start.... maybe I should let them know that the users guide would be better placed at the top of the list.On the LFS website.

whew, it's a bit deep... After some experience with Linux, I know one thing where it pertains to me. I can't just read something. I have to study it and If I'm ever going to properly build LFS, I 'll have to learn alot more than just what's been written on the pages of the prerequisites.

My own education it's now becoming painfully obvious is less than it needs to be as I'm studing these pages .. I'm running into words like fork, signal mask, synchronous and asynchronous...

Google to the rescue!!!

next blog- Unix Shell ...oh boy :)




NOOB's adventures in Linux From Scratch

I've played around with Linux a bit in the past, edited files and even compiled a few kernels with step by step hand holding but nothing puts the fear of God into me like the Linux Shell....

In the following chapters of the Linux User's Guide they're covering some of the commands of the Unix Shell../Linux Bash default shell. { I think I hear whispering in the background, no that's laughing... somebodies been watching me at the command prompt} Let's just say that I'm bash shell challenged and leave it at that :)

This is my second or maybe third time that I've read a User's guide where Linux commands are explained. I can only tell you from my own limited experience that precision is required. I would go on to tell you that make sure you comprehend not just read what you are learning in this part of the book because it will save you alot of aggravation in the long run. I personally would like to see some exercises added like in a math text book where you are given a problem and you have to solve it then you could go look up the answer and how the author came about getting it. I'd feel more pripaired

Shell scripts are going to be used in the LFS build, when the errors occur and believe me at one point or another they will.... the fine folks on the mailing list and the LFS support irc site will want you to know enough about what you are seeing, as you look through log files that you can decipher enough to properly select the error in that file so you can send it to them without sending the whole file.

I've read the whole section and I feel ill - pre-paired to do almost anything other than copy some files and move around in the file system.. I'm going to look ahead in this book and see what they have in store ..

  Ok, I don't understand the reason, but mine is not to question why.... leaving the Shell for now... next time we'll be peekin' into  X windows they take us back to the shell later in the book ;)




How Should I Go About This?

I am a teenage at high school and like most high schools they run Microsoft Windows.  There are some computers at the school which really do NEED to run Windows.  However, most don't.  The ones that do need to run Photoshop and Flash.  Those are in the computer lab.  However, there are the ones in the library.  These are ancient, and I mean ancient, beige boxes.  They run XP, but they can barely handle it.

 I've talked with my Computer Science/Engineering teacher and he wants to set up a Linux lab but the technical administration won't let him because they don't want to learn about Linux.

Now, I live in a mid-sized school board.  I also happen to work at the company which prepares the computers the board uses.  They would save hundreds of thousands of dollars - if not millions - if they re-equiped the computers with Linux.  The students would have more resources and faster computers.  Administrators wouldn't have to deal as much with some very clever "hackers" (not malicious, but could definitely cause headaches) at our school.

These administrators must not be dumb people.  They've set up a system that - most of the time - works.  They're switching over to ActiveDirectory (from Novell Netware, which was ancient) and AD by all accounts works just fine in Linux.  They aren't even managing a Linux server.  This is a school.  A public school.  The administration has the dual responsibilities of making sure that the money of taxpayers is being well spent and that students get what's best.  In this case, it is not Windows.

What I would like, dear community, is a link to a set of letters or something that can be given to administrators of a school or business or other such institution that has anything against Open Source Software.  If they don't exist, shouldn't they?  Shouldn't we, as a community, formulate a clear, articulate response to further our cause?

Food for thought.  If these letters or models for these letters exist please comment! 


Hello World!

Hello visitors and users of the new

This is my first attempt at writing outside of my usual domain. I hope to use this space to communicate ideas, opinions, useful findings and maybe even some code.


The First... Hopefully Not the Last

OK, so here I am. Like I really need a new place to express myself. Well, what the heck... it's not like boards/forums/USENET aren't enough to keep me occupied. I've been a forum junkie since the very first day I joined the cyber community.

This blog, which probably won't get updated regularly, will probably just be my every day, ho-hum prattle about Linux and other things; some related and some not. I'm new to this blogging thing. This is actually my first attempt at one. Bear with me.

My GNU/Linux Story

Back around summer of '06 or so, I was once again screaming and gnashing teeth over the fact that an installation of a Windows update patch had cataclysmically destroyed my system once again. It was the fourth such occurrence in as many years. It wouldn't be stretching it to say that I was a bit peeved.

I had been playing around with the idea of trying out Linux for quite a few years. I even had a Mandrake floppy installation set laying around in one of my desk drawers. It had been there for a few years already. I didn't think I wanted to use something that old.

Instead, at the behest of a couple pals from my board, The Cabin In the Woods (, Urmas and Frank Golden, I tried Ubuntu Dapper Drake (6.06). Another pal from the Avant Browser Support Forum (, Sweet Lou, was trying to get me to try Debian Etch, which was a "Sid" version at that time. It was a bit too complicated for a new Linux Adventurer.

Ubuntu worked out well. After a few jerks and stalls, I got it installed and working. I spent a few days learning Gnome and customizing the set up. I'm big on customization. The more an app allows for customization, the more I'm apt to like it, which is also the reason I love KDE these days.

Once I had Ubuntu up and running the way I wanted it, it was time to explore other possibilities. I spent the next few months downloading and installing numerous distributions. I got pretty proficient at it, actually. Ha! Along the way, I received much assistance from Bruno and the gang at Scot's Newsletter Forums --> All Things Linux ( and from Jeremy and the fine folks at the forums (

The Linux community is awesome! I'll pass along a bit of wisdom to new Linux Adventurers: please don't expect the community to spoon feed you everything you need to know. The more effort you expend to find your own answers, the more you'll benefit yourself and the more others will respect you. After you've searched for your information (Google is your friend!), then come here and post a question. Explain what you've found out on your own. Asking for advice in this way will be much more productive than just saying, Like wow, dude. How do I boot the Live CD?"

Anyway, back to the story... I installed and played around with many, many distributions over those first few months as a new Adventurer. Here's a partial list from memory: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora Core, OpenSuSE, Slackware, Vector Linux, Zenwalk (the first distro where I compiled my own kernel), Mint Linux, Mepis, Foresight Linux, Centos, Arch, Ark, Slax, Puppy, etc.

I stuck with two: Slackware is my primary operating system. Debian is my back up operating system. I still have MS Windows XP Pro on my system, but it has no network capabilities. It's only for game playing. For all else, Slackware serves me admirably. 

I have five experimental slots (10 partitions) available on one of my drives specifically to play around with other distros. Lately, I've been playing around with Arch, Ark, and Centos. One of these days, I'm going to try Gentoo and LFS. I had a bad experience with Gentoo a few years ago, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Every morning, I boot into Slackware and the world is a wonderful place. I owe a lot to MS for herding me headlong into this situation. Ha! Seriously though, I most definitely owe a debt to my pals who pushed me into it and the folks who've helped me along the way. I'm not at all what you would consider a Linux guru, but I try my best to assist other... to pay back a little of what I've received over the years.

See you next time...

~V. T. Eric Layton

***Tempus Fugits***


What does it mean to be Free?

This is the winner clip in the We're Linux video Contest by Linux Foundation:

 [video: 200x200]

[Link from YouTube]

The transcript:

Free is being able to choose. Choose your own space to be in. To form your surroundings in a way that will make you take the best out of you. Free is to say NO. It is to be able to choose your limits, to stretch them to a place only you can create, and change them when you feel they no longer fit you. Free is to say what ever you want, to whomever you want, and however you want. Free is to know you have a different option. Do you know you have a different option? Linux! Get your freedom.








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