Monthly Archives: August 2010

Linux100-SuSe-KDE-75

The hacker incident let me play with recent SuSe Isos.

KDE is packed with everything a desktop user needs.

Even though it takes a fairly long time to install and to configure (automatically) what it does best is downloading the necessary files while configuring which was a pain in the neck few years ago. 

It still has a very well the organized desktop but launching a program and backing off is cumbersome feature for me.

It lacks lot of features present in PCLinux-2010 but compared to PCLinux partitioning utility its partitioning (graphic) tool has many features and the fstab configuration feature is excellent.

PCLinux has problems with other type of partitions at install time.
It was not a problem with earlier versions.

YAST (yet another system and teaching tool -I call it) is the best teaching tool for a newbie to learn.

Overall it is a good version if one is looking for a Window’s like distribution.

But the Embrace, Expand and Explode (extinguish) policy of Microsoft might do some permanent damage to this system and kill it’s spirituality in time to come.

Watch out for the 3Es.

(In science Explore, Engage (in a hypothesis), Explain, Expand, Evaluate the consequences).

Interestingly, our hierarchy in political circles use the same Es to extinguish opposition parties.

Bada Gannawa, Pumbanawa (bribing) and Pupuranawa (once the job is accomplished) Principle of Microsoft is truly working with vigour here.

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Linux100-BlackTrack4-74

Some irresponsible person probably working for Microsoft may be from India through Freespire derivative (hacked and included some scripts to invade my box and interfere with my downloading (I am close to my target of 100) habits was caught red handed within 4 hours of stay inside my computer probably within FireFox as a cookie. 

So I booted Live Black Track 4, saved few of my document files used for teaching undergraduate students (no harm done since I have finished my lectures and tutorials long time ago and I have only end semester examination. 

Never keep my questions inside the computer for the examination.

and did some forensic work and decided to re-install PCLinux2010-07 and I had (first complaint against PCLinux-its graphic partitioning tool has some major problems for a geek or a savvy) problem with formatting different partitions belonging to other operating systems (I use other partitions type as archives). 

I did not loose any of my iso images (Only downside was I could not download any images and the plus side is I am giving a new lease of life to my age old computer (IBM of course). 

Since it is black (BF4) saving many MiBs it is loaded with utilities you may not use for a life time. 

I have decided to install it and before that I thought of posting this for my friends who browse through my tit bits. 

Hacker you are also welcome.

 

My efforts are multi-barrel and I have several Linux distributions installed for an emergency. 

This is where multi-booting and

multi-barrel approach helps.

Warning for Would be Newbies to Linux

As I mentioned earlier with Freespire’s website, when websites of the Linux distributions that are not monitored or maintained properly hackers could enter these sites with malicious intention and send down scripts with the download file or iso.

Then they can destroy everything in your box and get tagged to Firefox or web browser permanently.

I found such a script tagged to download files (new downloads and preventing my access to them) with Firefox and Google.

It is not a coincidence that I was expecting such a scenario from the day I suspected Freespire‘s website.

Linux100-Amatix-2.2.-73

Note: This was done with Amatix 2.2 booted on RAM. 

This is one of the best Live CDs for a geek with all the utilities, including PABX, MySQL, text editors and many more and Apache and there are three demo passwords and the root password.

 

You should download it from their website and the CD also has lot of documentation in a series of function keys F1 to F10. 

I am forgetting all the keyboard commands and short cuts now that I am addicted to the Graphic mode. 

Thank guys and girls you have included the graphic mode in addition to text mode.

Without that I would have lost myself in those powerful commands including apt get.

I am even forgetting even the startx and killall commands with my poor eye sight.

Old guys like us with poor memory would give up without a graphic mode.

Thank again for that.

The website also has very good documentation and one should read them before installing it in your hard drive.

For live CD booting it is all right not having read the documentation but I want give you the password for booting here.

It is mandatory one should read the documentation before doing anything if you are a newbie and testing a live CD.

This is one instance being a teacher myself (not Linux) and voracious reader that I congratulate you for not giving the passwords for your database in advance.


Very, very good distribution.

It is coming from Debian and light weight with xface and very fast to boot.

At the end of the booting it gives a summary (in text mode- read them too) of errors and my one had one.

That is a very good gesture (giving a summary of errors at the end of booting-all live CDs should include this small gesture which is immensely helpful) even for live booting.

Parafox and Linux-Offensive Marketing

This word the parafox that I coined in place of paradox to bypass a system that was eavesdropping on my web writing of different nature but in fact, factual in nature, on a Live CD so that I could not be traced or detected by the owl eyes.

It has already outlasted its originating events.

It has got a Linux tag now and if you type Linux and Parafox you are immediately directed to my writing on Live CDs.

The original meaning I intended is somewhat like outfoxing (is human in nature) the foxes but running parallel (is scientific in nature) and close to them the foxes.

Now it is the name for my blogspot at Google’s.

If Google can coin a word so do I in the internet.

Since it has outlasted its true nature (if you read the original entries in this blogspot you get the picture clear) I want this word to be designated an entry into the Oxford Dictionary of new words.

If they do not then the Cambridge University should consider it in retrospect for future use.

I have also coined a another Concept.

It is called Offensive Medicine.

It is related to the dengue epidemic in SriLanka.

The inactive Health Personnel in this country put the onus and the blame on the people and sham away from the government’s responsibility in controlling it.

They sometimes punish the citizens and it may end up one day killing all the dengue patients to arrest the disease transmission. There are many adopted war heroes who are jobless now who can enact this.


The way the things are managed in this country even the WHO will agree on this measure.
This is all because the treatment is free if one enters a government hospital.

Having said that once upon a time when I was in the private sector I confirmed a case of dengue for a test costing about 50 rupees a person (on a child).

Two weeks later when I looked at the payments received (the institution has to pay this guy) by a particular doctor (he had put three to four entries per day including telephone calls) the charges were many thousand multiples of Rs. 50/=.


He actually did not physically visit the young child.

Soon after I left the institute since I could not do anything to prevent this scenario occurring again.

It is practiced to this day not only in that institution but elsewhere too.

There are no checks and balances!

To put this concept in another situation is appropriate to illustrate its spread.
Government dishes out free books but does not do anything to improve the standard of teaching and teacher training.

If the student fails it is the failure of the student but not the system.

I hope the you got the picture of Offensive Medicine, right.

Today I am going to introduce another concept.

It is called Offensive Marketing.

This concept is similar to Offensive Medicine Concept where the onus is on the patient or the poor citizen.

This is applied to the Free Software and Free Linux distributions.

Somewhat similar to the FUD (Fear , Uncertainty and Fear) mentality if you use Free distributions, there is no support and one bears the consequences.


Onus is his or hers to own but no responsibility attached to the software or the distribution.

It is fair enough but consider a person working for a reputable company takes the free software and add few of his or her own company (example Java Beans. Flash Flush, Adobe Dub to name a few and few of its own household names) brands and put out a distribution, that I call an Offensive Marketing (fringes and frills of it) strategy.


I have reason to believe that this is happening today.

1. The parafox

2. The Offensive Medicine Concept (purely SriLankan Concept based on Buddhist Karma and Karma-PalaVipaka).

3. The Offensive Marketing Concept are few that comes to my mind using Professor De Bono’s lateral thinking strategy.

I hope these three will get to Annals of Web Publishing before I die (so that I can claim proprietary rights, and that should last 70 years after my death of course).

In a tangential way I want Oxford Dictionary to recognize four abodes its due place., because English does not have proper equivalents.


They are
1. Metta– Universal an unbound compassion to all beings born and to be born

2. Karuna-The boundless kindness to everybody especially the downtrodden, the poor and the sick- We have lost this in this country including reconciliation after 30 odd years of ruthless killings on both sides of the divide.

3. Muditha– Joy to see the well being and success- I have not seen a good word in English. We get the pleasure of putting people to prison.
That is the opposite of Muditha, the psychopathy.

4.Upekka– the equanimity

I have no trust on the English scholars dealing with Oxford Dictionary will give any credit to me for the creation / origin of my word parafox since those 4 abodes that are not recognized by the English speaking community are far more important to all living beings including poor me.


There is no incentive for me to enrich English if nothing is done for my claim for this creation (if not repudiated) by the scholars, unfortunately.

Linux100-LinuxGamers-Iglive-72

I did not want to concentrate on games until I finish with the Linux distributions for educational activities.

It has the light and the heavy Hybrid versions and out of all the games I like Pingus, the most but Tux Racer is there.

But the Tux game I used to play with my son often when I was using Mandrake and Mandriva is not included probably due to copyright and ownership problems.


What is missing in Linux is games.

I am not sure whether the big Hybrid is doing justice to Linux claim for games.  

I will never be able to download 4 GB DVD here in SriLanka unless somebody is willing to download it and send it to me as a compliment.


If happen to go abroad for more than two weeks I will take my laptop with huge memory and download few of the DVDs.

Till then you have to count your fingers.

By then I have passed 100 Linux Live CDs and doing something else other than Linux.

Warning to Newbies and going to be Linux Fans

When I started exploring the 100 (now over 200) live CDs, I never thought or anticipated even in my wildest dreams what I am going to write now.

What I say now is possible and probable and some antecedent events made me to believe it now but not then.

I was trying to buy SuSe commercial version in Singapore (it is not available in Ceylon) and the response I got there was very poor.

They were trying their best not to sell me one.

I tried one of my friends in Singapore to buy one for me and that also did not materialize. This is me having contacted USA, India and Singapore over the net and Telephone.


There is tremendous pressure in Singapore with people with vested interests to suppress Linux including vendors.

The opposition I got in Singapore when I wanted to buy a bare bone computer without an y operation system was enormous.

The O.E.M guys has a laid back approach and convince the would be buyer to not to do so.

I circumvented this by getting the O.E.M guys to write on boot record only proprietary Microsoft allowed.

Then I bargained for O.E.M. price for the laptop which I should not declare here (but cheap).

Before I paid the money I pulled out a Puppy Linux Mini CD from my front shirt pocket (I downloaded it in Singapore) and tested it to see it can boot a Linux CD.
I am not stupid.

At the airport waiting for the flight I got my laptop running PCLinux-2009 and played with it till the battery ran dead.

Second incident was with Xandros.

They let you download the CD, once money is remitted to their account
.

I almost did that through my bank but at the last moment decided not to do so.

My gut feeling was that for some reason or the other, if the downloading failed they were not under obligation to post me a CD.

In any case my experience with Telecoms is less than ideal.

What I am going to do then?

Mind you I am a difficult customer to satisfy under normal conditions but under special conditions I may be more difficult and fully irritated.

Both these approaches were to test the
customer services of Linux that they promise ensure and not to go into commercial adventures.

In the back of my mind if I was satisfied I would have considered promoting one or two commercial Linux distributions in SriLanka in a limited capacity.

I have lot of friends who are prepared to pay for a good service.

The failure on both accounts made me to divert my attention to testing Live CDs.

Then the incident with Mandriva free download changed my mind substantially.

When I downloaded the CD it contained more than the MiB quoted in the iso. This happened three times and I reported it to Softpedia but they were defending (Softpedia) their stance but I told them it was not the first time I downloaded an iso.

I told them I have done it over 200 or more times. Only thrice I had problems; one with Pardus another with Juliex and the third I cannot remember (may be ADIOS).

It is less than 2% anyway.

All these done under Linux box but problems were frequent when Microsoft was used and writings of the isos were done with Nero.

Neither Microsoft nor Nero would bother to do the job accurately.

The ploy I believed that Mandriva did was to discourage the would be newbie to download and to ask for a paid CD.

They can always say, your downloading was wrong to begin with.

Al these incidents point to the ploy “kill the enthusiasm of the would be Linux newbies / fans”.

How they disrupted “holding of a workshop on Linux by me in Kandy (SriLanka)” was evident by generous offering of alcohol to the vendors and organizers with political patronage.

What am I doing right now?

Testing all the Live CDs I can lay hands on (old, new and any live CD with Linux).

The experience with Freespire made me to rethink it again,

Read the comment on “Freespire-not in my list” for details.

My suspicions on Xandros, Madriva and SuSe are somewhat substantial now and may be even justifiable.

When crooks get together anything can happen in this world!

Anybody can take Open Source and make a rogue Linux distribution and claim that it is a genuine Open Source.

Richard Stallman
is right and his fears are not unfounded.