Archive for November, 2007

Pirates, Conspiracy Theories, Oh My!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

We all hear about them eventually. Theories of conspiracies, and a good chunk of them in my view do at least hold a grain of truth to them. What? I’m high you say? I’ve been smoking too much crack? Well, others would argue that I need to be on drugs so that I can go back to “normal.” Ah well, such is the fate of a blogger such as myself: to put up with criticisms of that nature (which luckily have not yet happened… not in that variety anyway). So let’s get down to it.

Warning: Some of the links provided will lead to pages that may have adult language. If you don’t like said language, don’t read the links (at least try to stomach it long enough to read the point of the author though).

I’m sure many of you have heard of Maddox by now, right? He hosts “The Best Page in the Universe.” Of course the title has some wrongness to it, but… that’s for another day. He’s notorious for his “literary genius” in which he seems to not take himself too seriously. That’s fine. I find some of his stuff amusing anyway. However, there is one piece of writing that I am taking issue with. Yes, it’s old in terms of the net, but I still think it needs to be addressed now.

He wrote something called There is no 9/11 conspiracy you morons. Why don’t I call it an article? I don’t know if he’d call it that, so I’ll just call it a writing of his and leave it at that. He apparently has a problem with the film Loose Change (and briefly cites rebuttals that have in turn, caused rebuttals to the rebuttals). He doesn’t regurgitate counterpoints, but instead goes this route: He claims that based on the fact that Dylan Avery, the one who made the film (along with two others) is alive is proof that Loose Change is false (he uses a different word, but… little kids and grandmas may be reading this, so out of respect for them, I’ll not stoop to using said word).

Let’s address both inaccuracies in what he wrote. Yes, there are two. The first is the title itself in which he states that there is no 9/11 conspiracy. First, let’s visit our friend, the dictionary. con·spir·a·cy [kuhn-spiruh-see] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation

–noun, plural -cies.

1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result

In other words, a conspiracy involves more than one person. According to the official narrative, 19 Arab hijackers took hostage of four commercial air planes. Wait? What’s that? More than one person acting towards something that was secret, unlawful, or evil?

What are the sceptics arguing? That more than one person inside this country may have betrayed this country by having the Twin Towers brought down, the Pentagon’s side blown in, and causing legislation such as the Patriot ACT to be passed. If what they are claiming is true, then it would have required more than one person to act in secret for such an aim.

Therefore, no matter how you slice it and dice it, the 9/11 attack was in fact a conspiracy, because it required two or more people to execute said attack. Now let’s address the other weakness in what Maddox wrote, thus causing his argument to collapse completely. Here’s a quote from Maddox himself:

“Since Dylan’s arguing that the government has no problem killing 3,000 innocent people, this raises the question: if his documentary is true, and we’ve established that the government has no ethical qualms about killing thousands of its own people, then why wouldn’t the government kill Avery and his friends as well? What’s a few more lives to them to ensure the success of this conspiracy?

Well, there’s a very easy answer to that question, and it requires a question of my own: Would you rob a bank in front of an armed cop? Of course not. Why? The cop’s eyes are on you, right? Sure, they could be a Barney Fife type who can’t shoot worth anything at point blank range and who turns on their sirens to make it to the doughnut shop before everyone else, but…. would you really want to take that chance? By the way, that cop, who is armed and on duty is inside the bank, along with you.

The same could be said of Avery. Why wouldn’t he and his friends be killed at this time? Simple: too many eyes are on him at the moment. Think about it this way: When JFK is blown away, and the accused, Lee Harvey Oswald, is blown away by Jack Ruby, only for Ruby to die not too long after the incident, things tend to look a little suspicious, no? So what would happen if Avery were to die tomorrow? Would plenty of people be suspicious? You bet, especially since there are plenty of people out there who do not trust the U.S. government these days (and that’s worldwide by the way). And look at this folks. It’s another response to Maddox concerning alternative explanations for 9/11, and their altered cartoon makes the same point I’m making. So with that, I’ll end for now eagerly waiting for responses. I look forward to input from everyone. Have a good one.

When Work is Not Enjoyable, it’s Pointless!

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I’ve seen the arguments go back and forth concerning how to deal with potentially new people learning a different OS. Now, first up, is this little tidbit. Now this particular shall we say “gentleman’s” argument is quite simple really. Let’s quote a piece from his blog post and examine it shall we?

Yeah, hello, can I get a word in, everybody? I’m Penguin Pete, and this whole [darn] blog is about building that bridge to those 80%. But guess what? I, unlike many out there, know that lying to people and telling them that hard work doesn’t exist isn’t going to make that 80% move over to our side. I do just the opposite: I tell them “Yes, it’s hard, hard work. Just like anything else worth having, it takes a lot of effort. But it won’t kill you. I’ll help you – that’s some of my work – but even if I do, you will still have to work.”

You wanna switch to Linux? Learn it. You want to be a master programmer? Study it. You want success? Work. WORKWORKWORKWORKWORKWORK Work.

Call us elitist? Go to hell.

Say we’re excluding you? Go to hell.

Want to find an easier way? Waste your time, then. Then, go to hell.

Now here’s the question here: Does this sound helpful at all to you? If you said no, then you wouldn’t be alone. Now let us take a look here:

“Call us elitist?”

So who is this “us?” If there’s a mouse in this guy’s pocket who agrees with everything he says, well then…. that would make sense. Does this person speak for everyone? I would definitely think not.

“Say we’re excluding you? Go to hell.”

Wow. Pipe down there bud. This isn’t the military. Anyone can learn this stuff, but they’ve got to be willing to do it. Perhaps by saying what you’re saying, you’re also saying, “If you don’t do it my way, then go away!” This is a point I believe that Eric S. Raymond himself pointed out as quoted by Cathy Malmrose on the blog of helios.

“If this were primarily a technical problem [between Windows & Linux] the outcome would hardly be in doubt. But it isn’t; it is a problem of ergonomic design and interface psychology, and hackers have historically been poor at these things. That is, while hackers can be very good at designing interfaces for other hackers, they tend to be poor at modeling the thought processes of the other 95 percent of the population well enough to write interfaces that J. Random End-Uer and his Aunt Tillie will pay to buy… We half joke about ‘world domination’, but the only way we will get there is by serving the world. That means J. Random End-User and his Aunt Tillie; and that means learning how to think about what we do in a fundamentally new way, and ruthlessly reducing the user-visible complexity of the default environment to an absolute minimum.” (pgs 222-3)

That is an important point that ESR has brought to many people. People are often stuck in their ways, and unless they can be convinced, they aren’t going to change one bit. That means (*gasp*) marketing to them! What does that require. Oh yes, work! The same type of work that this guy is so proud of. Then again I could be completely wrong about what he’s saying. Oh well. The whole point is that if FOSS advocates around the world wish to bring in a new audience, they need to understand their audience, which requires effort on their part. Take a look at this entry from the blog of helios. I don’t think he’s quite done with it yet, but…. he’s making an effort to ask people what they’re thoughts are on helping people understand the potential of a different OS.

Now take Justin Breithaupt. He’s been in the business of selling and servicing computers in the Pomeroy, Washington area. He specifically uses PCLinuxOS as the distribution of choice, because he found it to be the most stablee ever, hence why he is using it as his base for Ultumix. The idea behind Ultumix is simple: take the best aspects of multiple distributions, and put into one comprehensive OS, hence the name. It’s a “mixture” of sorts. Justin’s attempting to do something to address the issue of a new audience. I’ve got a few ideas of my own, but…. he’s the one who is hard at work and trying to figure out how to make custom bootsplash screens and whatnot. There’s still plenty of work to be done, and he’s stepped on some toes to be certain, but….. he’s still trying, even though the reception has been pretty… shall we say “mixed.” 😉

The whole thing is this. We need to understand where other people are coming from, and what they want in an OS. Microsoft hasn’t really listened as a corporation, but… neither have we. There are those who are doing a good job of course, but we need to start jumping into the fray and drawing in a new audience. ZaReason can’t do it by themselves. There are other OEM companies, but they can’t do it by themselves either. So…. Wait for the next blog post. I’ve got an idea. 😉

Update: Pertaining to the question of the first block-quote in this post, I don’t like mentioning Penguin Pete’s name often. As talented as he is, he is also extremely misguided and extremely possessive in my view of what he views FOSS should be. He went on to attack two other individuals who were trying to spread FOSS to a new audience, and that is something I just couldn’t understand. Yes, effort is needed in anything that has to be done, but the individual must be convinced to do it. Telling them to go to hell is not the way to do it in my opinion. We’re all human beings here. Isn’t it time we started treating each other like one? Isn’t it time we stopped treating people like they are stupid? That’s the whole issue I’m having. When people see a new system for the first time, and they’re computer “illiterate,” they feel stupid, and deep down inside, they hate it. Nobody likes to be equated with idiots, especially by themselves when they can’t figure out a computer system’s OS.

Cool Linux Wear! 1/4th of the profit will help Komputers4Kids!

Monday, November 26th, 2007

I used some cool 1 liners that I hadn’t seen out there and decided to start selling some stuff to help support my distro and Komputers4Kids. On average we will make about $5.00 on every purchase you make and 1/4th of that (it will be more than 1/4th in the future) will go towards Komputers4Kids. Simply click this link to view my items. Thanks for your support.

A Clarification Post: #000001

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

It’s odd doing a numbering system, but if you stick with three digits only, sooner or later…. you’ll run out of numbers (999), so… there you go.

Anyway…. There are some clarifications in order. One is just in case people didn’t notice and assumed that this blog has one author only. For those who already knew that this blog has multiple authors, great. For those who did not, no big deal.

There are two main bloggers here.

  1. Justin Breithaupt: He goes under the username “usacomputertec.”
  2. Myself (Thomas Holbrook II): My username is “thenixedreport.”

Just look for either username right under the title of the blog post. Again, I’m not saying that anyone has mistaken two people for the same person. I’m doing this just in case it has happened.

Now, another clarification is in order. First, read this. Scroll through the comments until you see this:

“..maybe it is time to “abandon” the community at large…they seem not a whit interested in making this thing work anyway, (again as thomas says). The problem is getting the word outside of our network of villages (no longer referred to as a community by this author).” –helios

Now here is an interesting question. Should those wanting wider adoption of FOSS abandon the whole movement entirely? Not neccessarily. I was in a mood of sorts (let’s just leave it at that) when I began a discussion with helios over this thing. A better thing to say was this: Preaching to the choir needs to stop now. Many of us out there already know who to market to. We just need to start doing it. In other words:

  • If anyone wants to take the initiative to get wider acceptance and adoption of FOSS, great! For the rest, it’s time to the leave them behind. One shouldn’t force a way of doing things down the throat of another, so why waste time doing so?
  • How often have people looked to the major groups in FOSS to get things started? Isn’t that preaching to the choir? We need to stop doing that.

Don’t like the fact that a profit is going to have to be made in order for FOSS-based businesses to survive? Tough! If you don’t like companies potentially making millions of dollars off of FOSS, then prepare for the slow, agonizing death of your way of person computing, because that is precisely what will happen.

I hope that clears everything up.

Ultumix v0.0.0.4 and the Linux Federation

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

One thing I’ve learned the hard way threw several business deals and by trying to release my own distro is that you should not bash other distros, people, or companies that do you wrong. I know that there needs to be a place like the BBB where anyone can find out the truth about a business or organization. This is not my job. My job is to provide a product that people can use and tell what cool new features it has. I’m even thinking about getting rid of my Microsoft bashing page. Of course I’ll be thinking about that a lot before I do it. PayPal may have stole money from me but I didn’t need to bash their company name by spreading the recordings over the Internet. I should have just reported it to the authorities like I already have and waited for a response. I do find it hard to apologize to PayPal for doing this because I don’t feel like I owe them an apology. I almost bashed another community online because they rejected me. I decided to do this post instead.

In the future I intend on just staying positive and leaving it to others that want to bash people. I’m not saying its right I’m just saying that word will get out. Justice will be served. It’s just not my job to do it.

I know about the distro war that has been holding the Linux community back. Ubuntu is a prime example of this war. (not to bash them just for an example) Their community has made it clear to me several times that they should be the only distro for desktop users to clear up confusion between distros because their distro is the best one and it’s the easiest to use. This is the kind of attitude that will bring us all down. Do I believe that my distro is better than Ubuntu? Yes I do for the purpose of giving my customers what they want. Does Ubuntu have more hardware support? Yes. I would use Ubuntu if no other distro had the drivers I needed. But am I going to say that everyone should use it instead of all other distros and that all other distros should be out of the picture? NO! If it weren’t for Vixta I would have never gotten the idea for the interface, if it hadn’t been for PCLinuxOS I would have never found a stable base, if it hadn’t been for Ubuntu I would have never understood the frustration people have been going threw trying to learn the new GUI (Gnome). I give all the credit for my project to the rest of the Linux community and Jesus Christ. The ideas I had for Ultumix didn’t come from me. These ideas came from other distros and from the knowledge that God has given me. I am very thankful to be a part of something bigger and I don’t ask for credit. All I ask is that you help support the project if you like the distro.

Linux users have a couple complaints about my distro. One is the fact that all the icons for the most commonly used apps are on the desktop making it cluttered, another is that I have bad graphics, another complaint is that I don’t give enough credit to PCLinuxOS.

Windows users complained in the past that in Linux you can’t find the programs your after (thats why I put them on the desktop).

At this point I will accept any constructive criticism but before you complain please add a solution at the bottom of your complaint if you are a non-windows user.

I think that one stable distro that can use all the packages from all distros should bring all the communities together.

Ultumix’s main goal in the beginning was to bring all the distros, repos, and package types together into one distro that everyone could use for whatever purpose they wanted. PCLinuxOS is just a very good base to start from because the packages are so stable and there is an acceptable amount of variety in their repos. The things that PCLinuxOS does not enable you to do threw the GUI is install RPM files downloaded from the net and install debain packages. I would not expect it to allow debian packages to work anyway and that is still a problem in Ultumix v0.0.0.4.

Linux Time line (edited by me)


Download it here

Ultumixscreenshot Ultumix v0.0.0.4 Desktop

After getting all but one bug out of the system (the Grub picture) and making sure I didn’t have any offensive non-free packages installed I released Ultumix v0.0.0.4. Some don’t want me to call it a distro but rather a remaster of PCLinuxOS. Both are correct. Some say that I need to break away more from PCLinuxOS first and thats ok. They can call me a simple remaster until then if they like. It’s like saying GNU/Linux or Linux. Does it matter? GNU/Linux contains GNU Software. Linux is the Kernel. Nuf said.

When is a Distro not a Distro?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

That is a good question. I have read an argument that Ultimix is not a distro but a remaster of PCLinuxOS. Fair enough.

But how does one explain Ubuntu then? Was it not based on Debian? It has become a foundation unto itself, but it began with a Debian base.

Wasn’t PCLinuxOS derived from Mandrake originally, then became it’s own distribution? When is it a remaster and when is it it’s own distro? That’s where I’m getting confused.

Where I’m also getting bamboozled is in the area of newcomers being treated with suspicion. I thought I’ve seen paranoia concerning the political underground, but man…. oh man. Read what’s happened concerning the Ultimix torrent, and you’ll see how those who believe that a New World Order is coming to take away the liberties of everyone are put to absolute shame when it comes to being scared and paranoid. I dare say that those who claim that a tyrannical world government is coming may sound a lot more sane (and are) than the individual who has been “cyber-stalking” Justin in an attempt to smite him. I also know for a fact that these same individuals who have such “crazy notions” actually have lives away from the computer.

So to the person on who just had “their time of the month,” please….. grow up and get a life (away from the computer).” What is it about FOSS that attracts people to treat newcomers to that way? Whether it is the beginning of creating a new distribution by using an established one as a base or sharing something on bittorrent, it’s time to stop treating them like idiots and simply explain things to them when something is done incorrectly. This whole idea of RTFM is not only rude and unprofessional, but inhumane in my view. Yes, America is not the entire world, but neither is any other country for that matter. We’re all in this together. If we can’t treat each other as human beings, then why are we bothering at all?

The reason why I wrote this rant, then edited it was simple: Justin Breithaupt, a colleague on this blog was first attacked for his religious faith, which he never brought up on the PCLinuxOS forum. Then he gets slack for the creation of Ultimix or the idea thereof or something to that effect. Ultimix a mere remaster? Tell that to the guys who make Pioneer Linux! They call it a distro, so get over yourselves. Am I saying that everyone from PCLOS is horrible? Of course not. There are wonderful individuals such as devnet from Yet Another Linux Blog. I see a problem however. Egos. If the issue of ego is not overcome real quick, then FOSS may have problems being adopted in the future. This is the same obstacle that caused Microsoft as a company to have problems in the first place. Read David Bank’s Breaking Windows for a better idea of what I’m talking about.

“I tired to do something nice for the community by improving on PCLinuxOS but instead I am being percecuted and harassed. I have been discriminated against for my personal beliefs even though I didn’t express them in any forums ever.” — Justin Breithaupt

On an end note, I tried having Computer Rescue (Pomeroy, Washington business) listed as a PCLOS vendor, since Justin uses it to help sell computers. I noticed that the thread got deleted. So this isn’t the first time that Justin’s business has been given the cold shoulder. I am really starting to not like the PCLOS “community.” It appears to be too territorial for my liking. Isn’t FOSS supposed to allow the transcendence of digital territory by allowing and encouraging people to share with one another? Also, keep this in mind: this isn’t the only story I’ve heard. I’ve heard of others and they were nastier. There’s a reason helios states, “Don’t bring distributions, bring solutions.” concerning The Tux Project. It’s also why these guys here don’t have a good impression of the rest of FOSS supporters: it’s too much of a reminder of Soviet Communism (though they have their own issues as well).

It’s time to take a long hard look in the mirror. It’s time to stop with the petty nonsense and name calling. This isn’t about making distros anymore: it’s about sharing and sharing alike, which is what the Free Software Foundation has preached all along. There are those who may make the claim that users don’t care about freedoms 0-3. I disagree. If you can relate these freedoms to a casual user or a mom and dad, they will not only understand, but they will care. The first step however, is to treat each other like human beings and knock it off with the flaming towards another person.  Kudos to MyPCLinuxOS for taking a more diplomatic path.

To the person calling Justin a liar: did it ever occur to you that it was his first time doing something like this and that he did not fully understand everything entailing the creation of a custom CD/DVD, let alone the creation of a torrent file? Yes, he e-mailed me what you said to him, and yes, it was uncalled for. So here’s a suggestion: why not agree to disagree and both of you can go your separate ways? Now, let’s move on to more important things.

Ultumix is here!

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I just released Ultumix and I don’t have it uploaded to the internet yet but I put together a torrent here ultumixtorrent. The official web site is here:

Warning! This is what happens when you try to improve the PCLinuxOS distro and remaster it. Click here for a full view.

So You Have a Problem With Religon Do You? GET OVER IT!

Monday, November 12th, 2007

I consider Justin to be an esteemed colleague of mine. He and I do have our disagreements on a multitude of issues. However, not once have I had a problem with his chosen faith: Christianity (of the Lutheran persuasion….. a branch thereof…. I’ll ask him later for an explanation). As a Lutheran, he seems to be morally compelled to help people and he is doing just that. He sells computers with Linux-based operating systems on them.

Recently, he had issues with an online money service that I won’t go into here. Just read some of the older posts to find out more information. He switched to Google Checkout, and recently announced here and on LXer that he was essentially back in business. Combining Google Checkout with Nvu/KompoZer, he has been able to build a functioning page that lists products in a simple manner.

He recently sought some advice on a forum of a popular distribution. Apparently, some people have a problem when someone is honest about their religious faith. I have a few choice words for those who do have a problem with someone declaring your beliefs. Get over it. It’s their site, their views, and their life, not yours. It is especially irritating to discover that it was other people who brought up Justin’s faith on that site, and yet his posts are deleted because of what other users post? Can you say intellectual cowardice? I certainly can.

Here is a person who sees a distro that I have used as a viable solution for their business and attempts to have their business’s page (not site, page) listed, and what happens next? Other people notice that he has content pertaining to Christianity. The claim according to my understanding was that he broke the rules, but guess what? He didn’t bring up religion or politics whatsoever. FOSS is supposed to be about diversity, and yet, in this instance, it is shunned and thrown aside because people have a problem with it.

So here is my response over all:

1.) GROW UP!



I just got out from under PayPal with my new site.

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

I have been PayPal / ebay Dependant when it came to getting users to buy on my website. I was also Yahoo page builder Dependant because I’m a lousy web page designer and no one will do it for me. I’m using Nvu now and Google Checkout to sell one type of laptop and 3 PCs. Yes I know I need to add more Laptops. I will get on that. In the mean time here is my new site. . If you don’t buy from someone like me you are getting CEMENT = Vista. Believe me you don’t want cement in your PC. I know I don’t.

PayPal Uncut Live II PayPal Calls Me Back To Explain Why They Can Do No Wrong

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

PayPal calls me back and I confront them. The updated story is here.

You will see the new info at the bottom.

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