01. May 2017 · Comments Off on The REAL reason we use Linux · Categories: Commentary, Linux

:(){ :|:& };:

We tell people we use Linux because it’s secure. Or because it’s free, because it’s customizable, because it’s free (the other meaning), because it has excellent community support…

But all of that is just marketing bullshit. We tell that to non-Linuxers because they wouldn’t understand the real reason. And when we say those false reasons enough, we might even start to believe them ourselves.

But deep underneath, the real reason remains.

We use Linux because it’s fun!

It’s fun to tinker with your system. It’s fun to change all the settings, break the system, then have to go to recovery mode to repair it. It’s fun to have over a hundred distros to choose from. It’s fun to use the command line.

Let me say that again. It’s fun to use the command line.

No wonder non-Linuxers wouldn’t understand.

The point with us Linux fans is – we use Linux for its own sake. Sure, we like to get work done. Sure, we like to be secure from viruses. Sure, we like to save money. But those are only the side-effects. What we really like is playing with the system, poking around, and discovering completely pointless yet fascinating facts about the OS.

There are three main reasons Linux is so much fun:

1. Linux gives you complete control

Ever tried stopping a process in Windows and the OS wouldn’t let you? Ever tried deleting a file – and you couldn’t? Even though you had admin rights?

Linux lets you do anything. That’s the great benefit of usually logging in as user. If you login as the root, the OS assumes you know what you’re doing. Once you become root, everything is allowed.

2. Linux isn’t widely used

This is a paradox. We often complain Linux isn’t more widely used. But that’s one of the reasons we use it. It gives us a feeling of being a special clique. Like we’re better than “those ignorant masses”.

If Linux becomes widely used, we’ll probably switch to something else. Or at least develop an obscure distro that only we will use. Because, let’s face it, we want to feel special.

3. Linux is free (as-in-speech)

We can get the source code for all our applications. If we want to know how a certain part of the OS works, we can. This lets us tweak and play with our systems. And we absolutely loo-o-o-ve tweaking our system.

Of course we can’t tell non-Linuxers we use Linux because it’s fun – they’d stick us into a mental asylum quicker than you can say “antidisestablishmentarianism”. So we’ll keep telling them the false yet plausible reasons for using Linux. But deep inside, we’ll know the real reason we use Linux.

And maybe, just maybe, next time someone asks me why I use Linux, I’ll flash a huge smile and answer: “Because using Linux is FUN!”

My latest article Build your own DNS name server on Linux, has been posted on Opensource.com. This is the second article in my series on DNS name services.

Published yesterday, April 6, Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), talks about how name services work on both the client and server side, and lists some of the more common DNS records and their uses.

You may also be interested in some of my other articles about networking. The following list of articles are posted on my Linux-DataBook website, and may also be posted on Opensource.com.

The following articles are currently posted only on Opensource.com as of April 7, 2017.

This news item in the Washington Post is an interesting and ironic example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Helen Beristain voted for Trump despite the fact that her husband, who is from Mexico and is undocumented, warned her that Trump wanted to “…get rid of the Mexicans.” She apparently thought somehow that Trump only meant the “bad” Mexicans.

Too bad for her, because her husband, who has no criminal record of any kind has been deported. It also appears from the WP story that his deportation was expedited so that court rulings to prevent the deportation, at least temporarily so he could have his day in court, would not take place until he had already been removed from the U.S.A.

It is a tragedy that a man who has lived in the U.S. for almost 20 years, raised two children who are American citizens, and paid his taxes, is being forcibly removed from his family. I am not sure how much sympathy I can scrape up for her but that does not make it any less of an injustice.

So much for those “family values” the Republicans keep talking about.

Read the entire article  in the Washington Post and see what you think.

 

My latest article, Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), has been posted on Opensource.com. This article talks about how name services work on both the client and server side, and lists some of the more common DNS records and their uses.

You may also be interested in some of my other articles about networking. The following list of articles are posted on my Linux-DataBook website, and may also be posted on Opensource.com.

The following articles are currently posted only on Opensource.com as of April 6, 2017.

It has been a while since I posted anything here. I have been busy doing other things and reading and posting on FaceBook and other social media sites. I am really tired of all the political vitriol I encounter on Facebook, so am spending far less time there. That leaves more time for me to post here.

Of course I will obviously be posting political items here, but you don’t have to read my blog if you don’t like it and I won’t be inflicting my opinions on my FaceBook “friends” who don’t give a rat’s ass about politics, the environment, or anything else I might post here.

Hopefully that will make FaceBook a bit more friendly for you and others.

I will be presenting the talk, SystemV startup vs systemd at All Things Open on Monday, October 19th at 3:25pm. I do not yet know which room I will be in, but that should be available on the schedule when you get to the conference.

systemd is a controversial replacement for the init daemon and SystemV start scripts that is now used by many important distributions. My presentation will cover some of the differences between these two startup systems as well as some basic usage information needed by anyone getting started with systemd.

I hope to see you there.

For a number of reasons, I am closing down the business entity known as Millennium Technology Consulting LLC effective immediately.

I will continue to maintain my DataBook® web site, where I post technical information for Linux system administrators and end users. If you are looking for help with Linux and other Free Open Source Software (FOSS), I post information here that – for me at least – was difficult to find or that took me a lot of time to discover through experimentation.

Because that business subsidised the operation of this web site, that source of financial support is no longer available. So, if you find this web site useful, I ask you to consider supporting it by donating so that it may continue to exist.

Thank you.

23. May 2013 · Comments Off on Coast-to-Coast in my Gen1 Prius · Categories: Environment, Hybrid

Alice and I just completed a coast-to-coast (almost) trip in my gen1, 2001 Prius.

This trip totalled over 5500 miles from Raleigh, North Carolina to Redlands, California, where our daughter and her family live. Much of the trip was through mountains and desert and the air-conditioner was on over 80% of the time. As you can see by the picture below, our mileage for 5526 miles was 41.7 MPG. Pretty darn great for a 12-year old hybrid.

Mileage data for our trip to California from Raleigh, NC

Mileage data for our trip to California from Raleigh, NC

 

So here we are, December 22, 2012, the day after the world was supposed to end according to—no, not the Mayans—the morons.

The Mayans did not predict the end of the world. They created a calendar. The calendar ended yesterday.

Look at the calendar on your wall. It probably ends on December 31, 2012. Does that mean that the world will come to an end at midnight December 31, just because there is not another page to turn?

Of course not. Neither did the end of the Mayan calendar mean the end of the world. If you think so, then send me your contact information as I have a useless survival kit to sell you.

What the Mayan calendar does mean is that the Mayans were very smart. They created a calendar that could be used for millennia and which was accurate to boot. That implies a serious knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.

I can’t wait to see who is going to be next to declare the end of the world, and how it will occur.

I voted early, today.

Have you voted yet? If not, and your state has early voting, you should do so now.

“Those who refuse to participate in politics are destined to be governed by their inferiors.” — Plato