Friday, March 28, 2008


So this post is mostly for the new linux user, as I believe most experienced linux users know about this website. The website it This is a site that just lists almost every linux distribution there is. Tells you when they have new releases and has a somewhat accurate list of the most popular linux distributions. Also when you click on a distribution for more details you get what version of the most popular packages/programs it has installed, how much the distro costs, how many cd/dvds it needs to install, any distribution it is based off of, and a discription about its main purpose. This is a great site for someone who needs to know more about a number of different disributions. It is also a good way to keep up with new releases and see what is going on in the linux distribution world out there.

Thanks and God bless,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Linux Package Management

One of the main things I like to teach the new linux user is the idea of linux packages. The two main package systems out there are rpm and deb.

Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) - This is a package system that is based from the Red Hat Linux distro. This package management system is still heavily influenced by Red Hat. Any distribution that is based off of rpm packages is usually derived from Red Hat, or a derivation of a derivation or so on. In my opinion rpm based distributions usually have a more business feel to them. They feel little more professional oriented. They aren't done more professionally or look better per say but feel like they should be in a business environment rather than a personal desktop.

Debian Package Management (DEB) - This is a package system that is based from the Debian distribution. Most distributions based from the debian package system feel like they are made more for the personal desktop. Debian is a lot more community based than rpm based distros giving it more options it seems. Ubuntu is a debian based distribution. I prefer debian based distributions because it seems to work faster than rpm based distros when installing packages and seem more designed for personal use instead of the corporate situation. Part of this is also just because I have used debian distros more than rpm based distros so they are just what I feel more comfortable using.

There are other package systems too. Slackware has its own package system, as well as gentoo, arch and I am sure there are many others out there.

I am not really well versed in the different packages but that is a general idea of the difference.

With most debian distributions the way I install packages is by using the command apt-get.
In Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install *

In Debian:
you must have root privelages

apt-get install *

In RPM distros:
you must have root privelages

yum install *

I think these commands are right. I know the debian and Ubuntu commands are right but like I said I am not too familiar with RPM distros. Hope this informs and helps.

Thanks and God bless,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3 Way Cage Match Part 3 of 3

Linux - My favorite operating system, but only because it suits me best. The thing I love the most about Linux is that you can do just about ANYTHING with it. I can make my Linux OS look fantastic, with lots of desktop effects, screensavers, and themes and almost always at no extra cost. Linux can revive old machines that can't run an up to date version of Windows. I have my mom using Xubuntu on a P3 dell laptop, because it was running Windows NT, and running it slowly. Linux doesn't just do desktops well it does servers extremely well. Also Linux is FREE(as in pizza and source)!!! Linux does not care what you do to it. I have run Windows on my main laptop computer because of work and school, and the lack of an ability to boot from a CD-ROM. I do however use Linux as a DVR using MythTV(another function of Linux). Linux suffers from some of the same pitfalls as OS X. People think they can't get viruses and spyware when really they can there just isn't anything out there that really targets Linux. It is a little more secure than the other two operating systems, but still vulnerable to attacks. Linux's biggest strength is also it's biggest weakness, because you can do anything with Linux people have and that puts a lot of non-standard parts of an operating system out there. There is no standard for linux because of this. Sometimes updates will break your Linux install, and because you can do anything it doesn't hold you back letting you mess up your install by changing a major OS file.

As you can see all of these operating systems fall into the trap of their strength is their weakness. They all have something to offer. In my opinion Linux is the best because it offers the most versatility for the best price tag. However for some people they do not need that versatility or the small price tag. Sometimes people want a standard like Windows, or they want the OS X world of great hardware design with a slick looking system that just works and has the backing of a major corporation out there.

I say to each their own, and I will choose Linux whenever possible, and Linux will probably work for you too.

<-Part 2

Thanks and God bless,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

3 Way Cage Match Part 2 of 3

Windows - Ah Windows. Mostly here when I talk about Windows I want everyone to assume I am probably talking about XP, but most of this will refer to Windows as a whole. Windows just works. Now I know there are a lot of people out there who will disagree with me but I feel this is very true. You have to load drivers sometimes, but usually drivers are easy to find since Windows is the dominant OS out there. Just like OS X this is Window's biggest strength and it's biggest weakness. Almost everything out there supports Windows, this also attracts hackers, viruses, spyware, pop-ups and all the bad stuff. Windows is good because it is familiar. It doesn't look the best, including Vista, it doesn't run the best, especially including Vista, but rarely does someone sit down at a Windows computer and have no idea what do to next. If Windows is used properly, it does not crash often; it will freeze from time to time and needs to be rebooted, but excluding viruses, spyware, and hackers, Windows doesn't break that much. It is usually something the user has done that broke it, and this applies to all operating systems in my opinion. Windows is not free (as in pizza or source), it does not let you tinker, Microsoft is king but their are a relatively fair ruler. Sure they think of themselves first, but they don't disregard the customer all together. Apple is the worst when it comes to this in my opinion, but I am not talking about them right now. Microsoft can be mean and controlling yes, but so are a lot of large companies.

Thanks and God bless,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

3 Way Cage Match Part 1 of 3

So I have heard more and more talk about how much better one OS is than another. I used to feel that Windows was the best solution, Linux was just a crazy idea, and Apple was for artsy people. Since about 2 years ago my feelings definitely changed. Two things contributed to this: Apple switched to Intel, and I tried Linux. I started to realize that an operating system is just a tool to use a computer. Sometimes one is better for somebody than another. In most cases each operating system's strength is also it's greatest weakness. I am also going to do this in three parts so the posts aren't so long.

Apple - People are always saying I love apple because it just works, it doesn't come with tons of extra bloatware, and you cant get viruses or spyware. Well I am not going to say these aren't completely true, but there are reasons behind it. Apple just works because they come with almost all the software the general user needs in order to have a complete system, the problem with this is that you pay for all this software even if you don't use it. Not every user is going to create music with Garage Band or make movies with iMovie, but they still paid for it. The reason it doesn't come with tons of extra software is because Apple is the only company allowed to sell Apple computers, which also causes them to be more expensive. The reason they don't get viruses or spyware is because it is practically useless for someone to write a virus or spyware that only effects 5% (or whatever the market share is) of computers in the world. This is also the a drawback of Apple because why develop software for only 5% of the computers out there. Apple does a nice job of making people feel good about their Apples. They add a whole lot of ooh's and ah's both with hardware and software. All of this comes standard with Apple but at the downside of high cost and very limited options, both hardware and software.

Thanks and God Bless,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day

I wanted to just say Happy Pi day to everyone. Also I warned everyone this would be a geeky blog so you should have expected nothing less. Actually today was pointed out to me by someone else today and I thought it was very clever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Adding a Hard drive to Linux

So I have a birthday coming up on the 18th of March and I had no idea what I wanted for it. Then the other day I had my laptop battery sitting next to me on some hard drives and it was stupidly next to a candle. Well my table got bumped and the battery was hovering over the candle. Now if you do not know much about lithium-ion batteries if they get too hot they literally explode. Well I noticed this before it exploded but part of the battery was melted. I am too cautious to try and use the battery so I had my girlfriend get me one for my birthday. I know what does this have to do with adding a hard drive in linux, I'm getting there.

So my hard drive died in my MythTV linux box. MythTV is a program for linux that, using a tv capture card, turns your computer into a Tivo like machine, or DVR, or PVR whatever you want to call it. I will talk more about MythTV in the future. Well I asked my parents to buy me a new one, or actually sent them a link on Newegg to the hard drive I wanted. I had a very foggy idea of how to add a hard drive to a linux box so I looked up some sites I will link to here.

I mostly used the first walk through, but had to tweak a little with some help from the second site. The issues I found with the first site was it didn't tell me how to mount the hard drive in some other location then /mnt/hdc1, but I replaced that with /recordings which is where I needed my hard drive to be mounted. Also the first site said to use the "default" in your fstab when I needed to use the word "defaults". I am not sure if this change is for everyone or what the deal was there, but everything is working great for my set up and I have tons of room to record all the tv I want.

To sum up adding a hard drive I did this:

ls /dev/hd*
This showed me all the IDE devices that linux was seeing
fdisk /dev/hdd
This started the partitioner for my particular hard drive
Inside of fdisk I used "m" to bring up the menu, "p" to show partitions, "n" for new partition.

mkfs -t ext3 /dev/hdd1
this created the file system for hdd1
Then edit your fstab

I hope this helps you.
Thanks and God bless,

Two more podcasts

I forgot to mention the other day about 2 other podcasts I listen to. Well kind of.. one hasn't launched yet but I am excited for it to launch soon.

Escape Pod - A podcast with great production and sound quality. It presents a short sci-fi story weekly. It covers a whole range of sci-fi. Sometimes the content is a little edgy, but the host, Steve, gives a warning if this is the case. Although in my opinion it could be a little stricter, but I have not been truly offended yet just sometimes caught off guard.

PodCastle - Done from the same people who do Escape Pod except this one is fantasy based, which is another genre I enjoy. This was has not officially started yet but they are ready and are just waiting for April 1, no joke.

I should also mention that the stories presented in these podcasts are usually very good. They pay authors for their stories and frequently these authors are famous or at least well known.

That's it for now.

Thanks and God bless,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I wanted to go ahead and add a real post on top of just the welcome post.
About 2 years ago I got hooked on podcasts. For those who do not know... a podcast is basically a downloaded radio show, you can then take with you and listen whenever and wherever you want. You DO NOT need to have an iPod to listen to a podcast. I do have an iPod and have loved it but if I were to go back and do it again I would get an mp3 player that was more OSS friendly. Anyways Here are a few podcasts that I love.

Linux Reality - This was the podcast that got me hooked on podcasts and Linux. Unfortunately it is about to be retired, but the episodes are just incredible for the new Linux user.

LottaLinuxLinks - This podcast is more advance but I love the host. He is very funny, and very humble. He also does a lot of work for his church which I love to hear about.

The Linux Action Show - This podcast is more on the news side of things than the others, also this podcast sometimes has some foul language, but nothing too harsh in my opinion.

Antioch Church of Christ Sermons - Full disclosure I run this podcast. I am not responsible for the content as these are the sermons of the church I currently attend. For more info on the church go to

Woodland Hills Church - The pastor is Greg Boyd who is amazingly smart. Rarely I disagree with some of his theology, as I tend to agree more with the Church of Christ. However if you ever have any questions about Christianity I suggest you do what I do and read the Bible, it is the only 100% true and accurate authority.

Also if you like literature I suggest you check out They have freely downloadable audio books. If you like the book I would then suggest giving money to the author for their work.

Hope y'all enjoy!

As I find more podcasts I will let everyone know.

Thanks and God bless,


First off welcome to the blog. I started this blog mostly out of personal desire. I wanted a place where I could just put down my thoughts and discoveries, so I can find them when I need to. I also wanted to put a blog out there that focuses on Linux from the viewpoint of someone who has always worked within a Windows environment. I also do not plan on abandoning the Windows platform all together. I still have to use Windows for work and for school. I use Linux whenever I can. I want to tell people about free software, open source software (OSS), and free and open source software (FOSS). I do not like to pay for stuff when I don't have to but believe that some products are worth purchasing, and do not condone stealing, including software and media. I believe that all operating systems are just tools in order to use a computer, sometimes the best answer is OS X, sometimes Windows, and sometimes Linux. I think that Linux has the most to offer and is usually the best answer and I believe in their OSS philosophy. However since I work for a lot of people who are not very good with technology Windows or OS X is a better answer for them. I love Linux but it is definitely not for everyone. Once Linux is installed and not updated it runs forever with no problems, but changing and updating Linux has definitely caused problems for me. Also my Christian walk is the MOST important thing in my life. I try to incorporate it into every part of my life. I will definitely mention it from time to time on this blog, and hope to strengthen Christians and create new Christians with this blog.

Hope everyone stays tuned for what I have to offer.

Thanks and God bless,