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A Personal Introduction

Congrats to on the new look.

I'm a newcomer to Linux, having switched from Windows XP to Ubuntu 8.10 on my home computer last December (2008).  Up until a few years ago all of my adult life had been focused on theology and ministry (I'm 34 now ), but lately I've shifted focus to technology, programming and web developing. 

While I don't regret any good I did before and I am glad to still be counted as an ordained clergy person engaged in ministry, the way forward is going to be different.  I wish I had gotten involved in computer science earlier in life, but if wishes were horses I'd have a stampede.

Having used Windows for so many years and Macintosh at my most recent job with a startup company in New York (as the customer service rep), I appreciate Linux for everything it offers and for how it feeds my geeky need to play around with the mechanics of how my computer operates.  In general, the open source philosophy embraced by Linux is one that appeals to my interest in promoting low-cost software solutions for developing countries.

 As I mentioned above, I am in the early phases of learning my way around.  To give you an idea, I'm in the process of gaining a mastery of the fundamentals of html, css (coming along well) and JavaScript.  I am also working through some Python tutorials.  Although I've played around with Ruby and like it, I prefer Python. 

 Consider that a brief intro to who I am and where I'm coming from.  My regular blog can be found at Igneous Quill and I show up from time to time on the Ubuntu forums.   


Good for the (open) soul

Wow, has really been buzzing with activity today.. Good to see the community active, and striving towards better things. Good to see the community being listened to, as well. Good to see the community not abusing being listened to, too ;P

 Forums could be a bit busier though, but they should catch on.. But no, lets not spoil the post with negativity, it's a good day, on a good site, using a good OS :D


Como solucionar problemas con las llaves de los repositorios de Launchpad


Alguna vez te ha pasado que al actualizar "sudo apt-get update" tienes problemas con tus repositorios y te piden que vuelvas a actualizar o te indican que alguna llave esta mal?

Gracias a un script creado por por un usuario de Ubuntu Forums podremos olvidarnos de los problemas con los repositorios de Launchpad y los cambios de llaves.

1.- Para utilizarlo primero tienes que descargar el siguiente archivo - script
2.- Despues abre una terminal y navega hasta el script
3.- Teclea el siguiente comando en la terminal:


4.- Espera a que termine "Se paciente"

Listo eso es todo tendrás solucionados todos los problemas que tengas con las llaves de tus repositorios de Launchpad saludos!!!


Project Review: eBox Platform

eBox Logo

The eBox Platform is a suite of software for managing networking and other features.  I stumbled onto eBox a few years ago and have since used it in many locations including my home network.  The project was and still is hosted in Spain by some very capable folks.  Community involvement and grants have supported some of the developers.

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Brian Masinick on desktop Linux systems

I have been a follower of free software since the eighties.  I started using commercial UNIX software in 1982, and not long after, I sought to find free utilities that would meet needs not cleanly met with standard tools.

When the GNU project started, I found a number of utilities that I liked, so over time, I used many of them.

I did not actually download my first Linux distribution until late 1995, when I finally purchased my first home PC for that very purpose.  By then, I was using the majority of tools that I was interested in that were in the Slackware Linux distribution.  I bought a book that Patrick Volkerding co-authored because I did not yet have broadband network access from home.  (It was not until 1999 that I got home broadband, and that is when my home Linux usage REALLY took off).

From 1999 until 2001 I was attending online graduate classes at the University of Phoenix.  I wrote about and promoted Linux at every opportunity, and at that time, I felt that emerging embedded systems and small form factor systems, coupled with free falling hardware prices would create a huge market for Linux systems across servers, desktops, and small devices.  There has been a nice market established, but nowhere near the size that I had been expecting, though a decade later, there are signs that good things are happening at a modest pace.

I enjoy testing and reviewing desktop Linux systems and I particularly enjoy desktop distributions that have been derived from Debian roots. is a model of the community

Today is a very good day for Linux, particularly because we have working again.  I say this not exclusively because it was defacto offline for the last forever:  the old one was ugly.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the articles.  However, if I wanted to send a friend to Linux online I would send them to, not  That's not the case anymore.

 It's not just that looks amazing, though it does.  It's the whole idea of a social community.  Users of Mac and Windows live in a vertical environment:  they send money up and down comes the software.  We live in a horizontal environment:  You have something I want so I take it and modify it and pass the modifications back to you.  Project x needs to implement feature y?  No problem, Project Z has that code and is glad to let you have it.  I think that it's really telling how is a social networking site, unlike the sites for Mac and Windows.  The Guru Points idea is a great one, an idea that embodies Linux's meritocracy, and I can see this easily becoming the go-to place for answers in the future of Linux.  We now have a central point where all users of Linux - regardless of distro - can come together and enjoy the commonality that we have gained by using ethically sound software.

Great job Linux Foundation.  Keep up the good work.


ubuntu 9.04

i really like the newest version of ubuntu 9.04 other people reporting problems with it but no problems here

The ball is roling - kinda...

So I'm busy with exams and don't really have the time to post anything technical yet. I do however felt that the two groups I started need to get some kind of momentum - so I posted one question I'm interested in on each group.

Check it out:

I hope to actually contribute something more technical from my side within the next week :-)

Difference between USB and IEEE 1394?

Let me start this off with the disclaimer that this was an apples to oranges comparison (or in this case an Apple to Dell comparison). The reason I thought this was interesting is that there was far more variation than I expected, on the MacBook anyway.

 The machines have similar processors (Intel Core Duo), with the MacBook having a slight edge, 2.0 GHz as opposed to the Dells 1.8 GHz.  However, the Dell has 3 GB of ram as opposed to the Macbooks 1 GB.

 Anyway, I have been trying to get the project I have been working on ( to run on my wife's MacBook with Mac OS X. I have done all of the development on GNU/Linux and it runs very well on all of the versions of GNU/Linux I have tried. I have been using these Western Digital 1 TB external hard drives for storage.  They have both USB and Firewire connections and I have used both on Linux and never noticed any difference (but I had never tested to see if there was any real difference).

A few nights ago I got it compiled and working on the MacBook, but when I tried to store files with the MacBook it was painfully slow.  It was so slow that it was unusable for what I was trying to do.  So this morning I decided to run a test to see if I could figure out what was happening.  I connected the WD drive with the USB cable to the MacBook, prep'd it and stored 111 photos (384 MB).  These are the times:

    real    17m3.569s
    user    2m17.587s
    sys     0m31.001s

Then I wondered if the problem was the USB connection so disconnected the drive and reconnected it with the Firewire cable and imported exactly the same 111 files.  It was 4X faster than it was with the USB connection:

    real    4m10.148s
    user    2m1.636s
    sys     0m28.276s

I thought this was pretty weird because I had never noticed that much difference between USB and Firewire when running on GNU/Linux.   So then I had to run the same test again to see.  I ran the USB test first, with the same 111 files:

    real    1m57.584s
    user    1m31.102s
    sys    0m6.368s

And with Firewire:

    real    1m58.318s
    user    1m32.070s
    sys    0m6.996s

I thought it was interesting that there was such a significant difference between Firewire and USB on the MacBook, but not on the Dell.  I have decided I will have to get a Mac and install Linux on it and then compare Apples to Apples, so to speak.




Hi everybody at Looking forward to get to know you.

New shinyness

Loving the new site.  I've been very curious about it since I heard the news that it was changing hands.  Content is currently thin for obvious reasons, but I really hope that it picks up and becomes a daily work distraction for me ;)
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