I went to school at the Leeton R-X school district in Missouri. The computer lab was quite humble.
There were mostly DOS machines with some Windows 3x machines connected together via Novel Netware. It wasn’t until about 1996 that Internet access became available.
Before I graduated high school in 2002, we had one major upgrade. Windows 98 with Office 2000. It’s amazing how a school could fall behind on technology.
At least the Internet connection was fast. I remember to this day having to deal with dial-up. It was mostly through my dad’s AOL connection, and heaven help me if I had any Windows Updates.
This was before I delved into this thing known as Linux, or rather GNU/Linux. One of the reasons I wanted to have regular access to hi speed Internet was due to the prevalence of soft modems.
Linux-based drivers were difficult to come by back then.
Access via Ethernet was an appropriate way around that problem. I do have fond memories of dial up, though I’ll admit that I’d be frustrated today, though not nearly as much as with a mobile hotspot that’s going at Edge Network speeds.
Truth be told, I came into the computer culture late in the game. I never got to experience the dial-in BBS’es that others had the pleasure of using to talk to each other and trade files with.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I actually utilized IRC. I can only imagine the amount of lag from all the conversations at once.
These days, I feel fortunate. There’s a straight up monthly fee for access (while a price guarantee is in effect). Long distance fees for access are a thing of the past.
Yet I still remember the excitement while exploring vast communities and dreaming of things that I wouldn’t have otherwise attempted to accomplish.
January is almost over, and it’s already been an interesting ride this year. 2014 is turning out to be an interesting year.
New ideas are emerging as well as a changing geopolitical landscape. While this isn’t the change many were supposed to “believe in,” things are definitely not going to be stagnant.
Bridge Linux: Every now and then, a new Unix-like OS enters town. This distro uses Arch as its base and comes in a variety of desktop environments. There is a 32 and 64-bit edition. Dalton Miller, the founder of the project was recently interviewed by DistroWatch.
Bitcoin and TigerDirect: The online electronics retailer is now accepting Bitcoin as payment. As mention of the digital currency goes more mainstream, it will be interesting to see what happens next.
David Gerwitz recommends Chromebooks: Gerwitz of ZDNet has recently started recommending Chromebooks for everyday users. The big reasoning according to him is that, “For people who don’t need all that Windows has to offer, for those who live in their browsers, Gmail, Facebook, and such, for those who write simple documents and need simple spreadsheets or presentations, for those who just need to get something done quickly and easily, the Chromebook is an ideal choice.”
Overlooked Pop Culture
CNN US Edition Covers Bieber instead of Ukraine: During the unrest in the Ukraine, a Reddit user caught the front page of CNN’s website (U.S. Edition), where Justin Bieber was front and center. There seems to be a trend of people getting tired of celebrity “scandals.”
From the Fuck the Police Files: The Smoking Gun recently reported on a Pizza Hut Manger who spit on the food of a deputy who had busted her for riding in a car with someone who might have been drinking. In Tennessee, it’s an automatic DUI. She lost her job, and the cop probably lost some of his faith in fast food chains.
It isn’t too far into 2014, and we’re already experiencing some interesting turn of events. Thomas Holbrook II is now writing for Muktware once again. His focus will be on Chromebooks, Chrome OS, and other topics, such as civil liberties online.
Speaking of civil liberties, that is one topic that will see coverage in this week’s links. We have the usual developments in free and open source software, but also from a few other fronts as well.
Don’t Blindly Trust Open Source, verify it: Mozilla Calls for Protection from NSA Spying (Muktware.com): Swapnil Bhartiya, founder and editor of Muktware, writes about the NSA and how the availability of a project’s source code isn’t immune from tampering, especially if developers don’t pay enough attention.
ZaReason’s Zeto a Part of their Latest Offerings (ZaReason): Though the company has been criticized for their tablet, the California-based company keeps quietly releasing new products, such as the Zeto. It’s powered by the newest generation of Intel processors as well as powerful NVIDIA graphics.
Ars Technica on Verizon vs FCC (Ars Technica): The courts have invalidated most of the Net Neutrality rules put out by the FCC. ISP’s can’t be treated like phone companies. Only time will tell whether ISP’s will start to throttle traffic in order to prevent competition throughout various Internet-based industries.
Superbabies? (Mail Online): A Chinese firm is apparently trying to see if one can map the genes of those who are especially skilled in Math. Imagine picking out the smartest embryos and combining other good genes with them. Interesting indeed.
Daniel Bryan Has a Concussion? (24Wrestling.com): Though not seen on WWE’s website, it seems that Daniel Bryan suffered a concussion during the cage match from the last Monday Night Raw. Again, no official statement has been made on WWE.com.
The new year has started off right with more dedication to this site, including having some links ready for everybody to check out each week.
Have a link you want to see here? Feel free to drop us a line in the comments, on any of our social networking places (linked to the left), via phone (660-474-0345), or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Fedora Project: Sponsored by Red Hat, version 20 of this Operating System is the first stop on this year’s Distro Journey.
Is Microsoft Grasping at Straws? (FOSS Force): Ken “helios” Starks asks the question of whether Microsoft is on their last legs regarding competition against Free and Open Source Software. From mentioning the aQuantive buyout to Rockstar, Starks paints a picture of a company that has grown desperate.
Razer’s Project Christine (MaximumPC): Those who are seasoned veterans when it comes to upgrading PC’s may have had their fair share of nicks and cuts on their hands and fingers. Razer is apparently wanting to change all of that by creating a modular gaming system that lends itself to easier upgrades.
Overlooked Pop Culture
The British Punk Band that Fooled Reagan, Thatcher, and the CIA (The Daily Beast): Crass, a British Punk Band conducted a prank in which a fake phone call between then President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher caused quite a stir. American intelligence blamed the soviets, while the British blamed Argentine spies. The lead singer is disturbed to this day that governments were so easily fooled.
Decapitated Sex Toys Prompted Police Probe (The Smoking Gun): A Florida woman’s ex-girlfriend had apparently cut off the heads of a few dildos, prompting her to contact the police. Due to lack of evidence, the case was eventually closed. Of course it wouldn’t be Wednesday Weekly Links without something really weird like this.
I’ve set up Fedora 20 on the HP Elite 410y Desktop, and it works so far. Seeing as how it contains LibreOffice, I should be able to work with some documents while running this OS for about a month.
One of the things I’ve been wanting to do for some time is get down to the nitty gritty in terms of installation and how well the system works. I don’t have a system that’s portable with NVIDIA graphics, because the Toshiba Tecra M9’s GPU is problematic (it hangs on the latest binary drivers).
Due in part to Bruce Byfield’s observations about distro reviews not quite having enough details (i.e. how smooth the installation is, etc… etc…), I figured I’d take a bit more time in terms of installation. I’ve taken a few notes and made a few observations about some of the quirks of installing Fedora 20 from a Live DVD.
Twelve geeks were sent reconditioned notebook computers to give to a child whose family couldn’t afford one otherwise. On his blog, he wrote:
We send said Geek a reconditioned laptop with Linux on it and they locate a school-aged child in their community that wouldn’t normally be able to afford a computer in the household. Deliver the computer and spend some time showing the parents and the child how to use it, and support them when they need help.
Yeah, I know…that’s asking a lot. But 12 of you did it.
Richard Kapler is credited as one of those geeks who gave a computer to a child who is doing everything they can to make it into college. There are currently plans to tell the story of more of these geeks. Well done, helios. Well done.
Out with 2013, and in with 2014. No matter what this year brings, it won’t be boring. With that said, here’s some links for you to check out this week.
Getting Involved in FOSS (opensource.com): The Red Hat sponsored website has seven ways for people to get involved in various projects that share their source code and invite collaboration from others. For those who can’t code their way out of a paper bag, there’s always writing documentation and creating digital art for the various projects, because good instructions and pretty icons can go a long way in making an application more attractive.
Exciting Changes to 5.0 of the Phoronix Test Suite GUI (phoronix.com): Though it was initially written in GTK2, HTML 5 is being used instead. According to Michael Larabel, “This new GUI to Phoronix Test Suite 5.0 is being written as an HTML5 interface. This is being done for portability and network transparency with the Phoronix Test Suite commonly being used on embedded devices and servers where there is no connected devices — remote support for PTS 5.0 HTML5 GUI can be enabled, otherwise it’s only exposed locally.” Work on the interface is currently ongoing.
Now It’s Our Turn (Blog of helios): Ken “helios” Starks has been through quite a bit over the years. He decided to tell the story of how he is now able to give back to those who have helped him, starting with Randy Noseworthy. It looks like the Reglue Project will be able to help bridge the digital divide more than ever.