Wednesday, October 28, 2015

When One is troubled with Windows What one can do?

Reproduction Unedited!
When One is troubled with Windows What one can do?
It is strange that when one is troubled with Windows he or she goes into shell and blame oneself and not the operating system.
It is the opposite when one is troubled with Linux.
If he / she is a one who comes from the windows background without batting an eyelid he / she blames the distribution as if the whole hell has descended on him / her.
It is often a minor glitch he or she has overlooked to configure or may be downloading a suitable alternative package or worse come file a bug report to which a ready solution is available within 6 weeks.

 If that does not help one can swap the distribution and select one that suits and download it.

(I have two books already available, not digital yet selecting a distribution and also the utilities and packages, if this blog entry is not adequate enough).

One problem with this approach is if one is not using a torrent download (even this can be painful if there is one seeder who has gone into hibernation at night-simply switched off the computer) it can be time consuming. The download time can be awfully long and and painful (I have enough of stories often due to failure of the Telecoms but now, never or do not complain because I download several at a time and I know one will be finished by morning when I am in deep sleep and dreaming some bizarre episode of Cloud Computing like star wars of yesteryear).

But once one has a CD (ideally D.V.D with almost everything one needs in one pack) the live session is breezy and installation is cakewalk if not catwalk.

Only thing Linux guys forget is to keep it running 24 hours (cron jobs at midnight are vital to get rid of the junk files that collect is one switches off the computer regularly; leave seeds for others to access) at least once or twice a week.

If you are lazy use a the sweeper or do it manually which I prefer now because of the frequent downloads.

Now come to Window guys/girls.


1. Do not blame yourself.

2. It is often the operating system at fault.

3. It can be due to a corrupt file or large macro sitting on the file and spying on you.

4. The pet devise to blame is the latest virus and I bet you you will not have a solution this side of 6 months.

With so many holes in the operating system which Microsoft will never able plug and then they will promise you the new version is very beautiful (but very slow to run unless you doubled up your RAM) and one should change and upgrade and works better (of course till the next ultra new version is ready for upgrade).

You are in this vicious cycle (V.C) and never get out of it.

If a guy of my age descends on me with a problem, I do not try to convert the guy to Linux fearing one gets a heart attack.

I ask a few questions.
If it it a pirated copy.
If the answer is yes, thrash the pirated copy and get a copyrighted version.
This is I am openly campaigning for the guy to remain with Microsoft. 

Microsoft should be happy with my efforts now but I do not charge anything for this advice.

The poor guy has to pay through his nose anyway.

Do not forget the virus guard and that also will cost you some quids.
Get somebody to format and install, I won't do that for you unless he or wishes to have a Linux distribution dual booted.
He has to spend a half a day with me with food and beverages ready and ample.
This is Christmas time anyway.
If the guy has not got the money, then the scenario changes.
I ask what are the things that he uses computer for, regularly.
Invariably, the answer is that he uses the email and nothing else to be in contact with the family and friends.
Then I give him a breezy Live CD and ask the guy to use it till he himself try to find a remedy for the malady or ultimately ditch Microsoft and ask me to install the new distribution in his computer.

The last course, of course works well for Linux and I of course have to have two visits instead of one.

That of course keeps our friendship lasting and viable.

Who says Microsoft is bad.

It makes "my sphere of activity" to enlarge and expand.

Linux Revisited

Linux Revisited
My endeavor here is bit of education and lot of choice.
Below is a a comment posted by a Linux user.
I accidentally stumbled upon while looking for now defunct Distromania.
“I used to think that the notion that there were too many Linux distros was overblown. Surely people could just pick one and use it. And, then there were all the horror stories of how difficult it was to install Linux. Not so, said I, installing Linux these days is just as easy – perhaps easier – than installing Windows. However, recently, I looked for a distro that would be suitable for a friend’s old XP-based machine. That was when my pre-existing notions about Linux began to change…
Perhaps I have been spoiled over the past few years by sticking to Ubuntu-type distros (Ubuntu with the Gnome Classic interface and, most recently, Mint with the Mate desktop). Typically, these install flawlessly, and work fairly well (although the raison d’ĂȘtre for this blog is essentially to document the fixes to problems that I encounter!).
However, the same cannot be said for all the distros out there.
My first foray into distro-world was Puppy Linux since this distro has a reputation for being a lightweight in terms of resource requirements, yet has a full slate of applications, and runs well on older hardware. What I couldn’t initially figure out was how to establish a grub menu to dual-boot XP and Puppy. It turns out that there is a separate installation process for grub; however, while the main installation routine is under Setup in the main menu, grub’s installer is under System!
Some even more challenging issues arose while trying a number of other distros. Macpup wouldn’t run because the hardware didn’t support PAE (Physical Address Extension) and Macpup no longer has a version with non-PAE kernel. Tiny Core Linux failed to install to the hard disk with the – unknown to Google – error message “Error mounting USB device”. A strange error since I was installing from a CD-ROM. Damn Small Linux installed to the hard drive, said that it had installed grub, but failed to boot into a grub menu and loaded Windows. VectorLinux had an incomprehensible (to me) requirement to specify “run levels” and “services”, and a very confusing set of selection buttons that seemed to be on when I thought they were off and vice-versa!
I could go on but, no doubt, you get the picture. For the non-Linux person – and even for some of us who know a little bit about Linux – finding, installing, and using an appropriate distro is not necessarily without its challenges.”
Let me expand on this guy who pressed the “panic button”, since I have used and tested more than 500 distributions.

His choices were pretty bad.

1. DML (Damn Small Linux)  with only 50 MiB is only for the experts who work on terminals.

2. Vector Linux is a light weight dedicated Linux distribution for one who has some understanding about Linux programming.
It should be used alone in a single computer (like me who had 10 computers in a home network, running various Linux distributions. I have dismantled all but one to cut down on my electricity bill) and for a Linux fanatic (like me) not for an ordinary user.

I must say I did not like it very much.

It is in the same fold as Absolute Linux (which has Gambase programming Language) but less versatile.
Puppy Linux my favorite since it is in my front pocket as a Mini CD or around my neck as a Flash Drive or in my smart phone as a mini SD (pull out, shove it into the SD card bay or  into a USB bay and use in an emergency) especially when I go abroad (but unable to boot from the smart phone).
I use the smart phone as a bay or storage space.
I use Puppy Linux to test a new computer, I may think of buying on a schedule abroad (give it as a present or use it myself) and is only for an expert and not a casual user.

Puppy used to be just 100 MiB.
It has many derivatives now.

I am currently downloading Simplicity which is 1.4 GiB.
It is becoming fat now but do not bother since Flash Drives are going up to 32 MiB now.
When I first used Puppy in a Flash Drive it was only 250 MiB Flash drive.

I currently recommend Knoppix 7.5 (first proper live CD in Linux World) which is the best for a Newbie.
The Linux Magazine is the only source one need if one wants to dig deeper.
The bonus you get is a Double sided DVD with the Magazine with at least two distributions to play with.

That is why I published a book called “Teeny Weeny Linux”.

So this guy is a spoiled guy trying to spoil another or scare another zombie.

My intention here is to make Linux “Fun and Game” and not a dreary exercise. 

Mind you this site is called Linux-100 but I have briefly made comment on over 200 of the distributions, which you can peruse here.

The Last one I downloaded is a fabulous Linux distribution for kids.

Please use a torrent for downloading and become a seeder for at least 48 hours. 

That is what I do to cut down on my electricity bill.

PicarOs Diego!
That is why there are so many Live CD/DVDs to play with. Installing is a different ball game, especially dual booting which I have adequately dealt with my tiny book “Introduction to Linux"

I have now come to the conclusion that web is not the place to learn Linux and the web has become an easy portal to vent some steam and anger. 

We used to call it the “Flame Wars” and it not the tradition of a smart Linux user or a developer. 

It has become more academic and informative and the init and systemd are classic examples, I have made a little reference above.

The wrong way using the right thing.

Get it right the first time is the classic statement in “Quality Management”.

How I got out of the clutches of "Free Education"

How I got out of the clutches of "Free Education"
Ten or more steps of my own
I have taken some bold steps (decisions) in my life from my childhood and that had come good, when I reflect on them. Some of them cannot be mentioned here.
I was a keen observer of nature and people around me and learned to be bold and fearless.
Most of my teachers except who taught me Sinhala and English were mediocre.
I often wondered how they ever became teachers especially science.

1. One bold step was not to believe teachers especially in science.
That was a very scientific decision by itself.
I had the knack and keen power of observation and problem solving ability. For example I believed anything can be grown on our be soil, be that it may be, seeds or yam or runner provided I water them regularly. My father was not a farmer but he was a keen gardener (which he learned from a burger gentleman).
Except potatoes, I could do that on my own but could not figure out why I could not grow potatoes (those days potatoes came from UK and I did not know that they put chemicals to inhibit sprouting and made sure seed potatoes were never given to us. I discovered this many many years later. This is how western countries help us).

2. I decided never to ask scientific questions (why potatoes could not grow) from my teachers (knowing very well they will give a wrong answer to shut my mouth).

3. I decided to do science and one day I decided not to go to the school I was attending abruptly (there were many other reasons and flashes of them I have expanded elsewhere) and that was a very bold decision. Finding a school teaching science was difficult but I eventually found one but it did not have able bodies.

4. I decided not to proceed with cadetting even though, I was the leader in my old school (I was thrashed by the teacher / principal three times in the new school but I stood my ground).
I took part in all other sports except cadettting (reason should be obvious and there is / was a worse form of ragging which included sexual for the young).

5. New school was no better in teaching science and I made the decision to do D.I.Y learning science (thank god there were two Foreign libraries outside the school, stocked with old science books in Kandy then).

6. Due to harassing by teachers, I decided to walk out of the science class and asked permission from the principal who thrashed me for not joining cadets.
He eventually acceded (I still thank him for that help) to my demand (man with military training) knowing my will power.
Little he knew that others will join me later.

7. We decided to work towards a common (first exercise in group work) goal and entire university in the first attempt (both Bio and Maths). Eventually all of us did pass and none from the class who attended normal class.

They thought we (me especially) had gone bonkers.

8. Next decision was to get rid of all the science teachers in one go and get some decent ones. By this time I have forged some connections with science school inspector who was very helpful.
Proof of the pudding was that nobody from the normal class passed.
Some teachers feared me more than the principal and I was not a good cohort for them.

9. We never went for tuition classes and we never got involved in giving tuition to others except my cousin brother who eventually became an engineer.
He failed all his subjects in "O" Level and till he entered the university he was under my clutches.

10. Next decision was to get rid of the compulsory government service act that we had to serve (IMF would love this) for six years and never to join the government service except university (semi-autonomous institution and not a government per say).
The way things are happening and developing in the university now leaving that is also not a big decision for me.
Rest that followed is history.
I suppose nobody should try these methods now since all the systems including schools in this country are very poorly managed by over 100 of ministers and ministries.
There is no half way house for us now as the saying in English goes.
You may wonder why I included this as a chapter.
Recently we had a party at home and we had a discussion with a group of people nearing fifty.
I asked a leading question to divert them from a mundane political talk.
I asked them what were their childhood aspirations and why they failed to reach the goal post.
Unanimous agreement was that the teachers were terrors (better term terrorists) themselves and they were very poor teachers.
Then I retorted why didn’t they become assertive like me.
There was no response since time had lapsed when they realized they were under wrong guides.
The decision we made was to bring this to focus and and make it a discussion topic
They answer was not rush to tuition classes but get the system works for better and right now.