Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I feel like a new machine.

self portrait

I am writing this blog post from my new Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (Hardy Heron) desktop. If you don't know what that means;
I am running a new, free operating system on my computer... and it does most of the things that my old, expensive, proprietary OS does, except...
become obsolete and force me to buy a new, expensive,
bloated, encumbered proprietary OS

Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP are currently time sharing my internal hard drive. The piece of equipment that let me do this [in a fairly painless fashion] is an external hard drive; it allowed me to dump over 100GB of pictures, video and podcasts/audiobooks from my nearly-full 200GB internal. After moving my files and clearing the space, I "defragmented" the internal drive to create more continuous freespace.

I had previously downloaded Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) and burned a "LiveCD", which is basically an operating system that runs from the cd drive. In order to run it, you have to open the boot menu while the computer is starting up (ESC key on my system) and choose to boot from the cd drive.

I was impressed with the look, speed and ease of use. I was worried that I may have to know and use shell commands, like MSDOS, but the Ubuntu OS has an intuitive mouse-friendly GUI (graphic user interface), like Windows. It is also pre-installed with applications that I was familiar with.

Since I had backed up program data, picture, video and audio files that I wished to save, I was comfortable with installing the Ubuntu onto my hard drive through the installation wizard on the LiveCD.

** Very Important ** If you wish to continue using windows while transitioning to Linux, do not wipe the whole hard drive in the "partitioning" section of the wizard; assign a portion of the hard drive to Ubuntu and keep a section for Windows.
(Create a "recovery disk" set for your Windows OS, beforehand, just in case.)

After installing Ubuntu and restarting the computer, an options list appears which allows the user to select which OS to boot into. My keyboard requires me to turn off the number lock and use the alternate "arrow keys", there.
Ubuntu requires a username and password to start (established in the installation wizard; DO NOT LOSE).

After a few days of familiarising myself with the Ubuntu 6.06 system, I have upgraded to the 8.04 release.

Microsoft annnounced, recently, that the final "service pack" (XPSP3)for Windows XP will be released to users shortly. XP will no longer be available to new computer users within the year and "official support" for XP will end in the next couple years. This planned obsolescence is designed to force users to buy newer, bigger, more encumbered software, with greater and greater restrictions upon its supposed clientele... us.

It is my intention to transition entirely to Linux before then.

If you are interested in test-driving a Linux OS, there are many to choose from; many of which will even work on older machines with smaller/limited resources. I just ran PuppyLinux for the first time, yesterday, from a 90MB LiveCD! (Compared to 700MB for the Ubuntu LiveCD). It is a fully functional OS with pre-installed web browser, word processor, email client and a community of enthusiasts creating programs and support for it. It would run on my old Windows 98 machine and may run on my old, old Windows 95 machine. This may be just the thing for that old laptop that can't keep up any longer.

There are reviews and links to dozens of Linux releases at DistroWatch.Com and a helpful introduction for Linux Newbies at the Linux Reality podcast (link to 'feed').


The end of hunting/ranching? [I don't think so.] PETA launches $1 million prize for vat-grown meat.

400 gather for jailed KI leaders, in Toronto.
"The packed crowd included indigenous people from across the province and beyond, labor activists, environmentalists and proponents of social justice who called on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to free seven political prisoners who have been jailed because of their refusal to accept mining exploration in their territory without prior consultation."

Next step in protecting Nahanni watershed.
"... announcement by Environment Minister John Baird that lands comprising the headwaters of the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories have been temporarily protected to enable the creation of a new national park, to be called Nááts’ihch’oh [pronounced naah-tseen-CHO].
This new park, to be established in collaboration with local Aboriginal peoples of the Sahtu region, will protect a critical part of the South Nahanni Watershed"

A case of quick and dramatic evolution, documented in a species of lizard, introduced to a small island.

Invoking summer... Late summer Willow, Pither's Point Park.

Late summer Willow, Pither's Point Park.


Charges dropped against artist in bogus "terror" trial.

Another t-shirt screen printing tutorial.

Employment opportunity for artists, to work with "communities of colour" in MN. April 25, 2008 deadline.

Santo Daime (Ayahuasca religion) spreading in Britain. An integration of Christianity, African and New World shamanism.

How-to digitise cassette tapes.

Need to get an art license?

If you have an online connection, then you can use Skype to make free phone calls -(VOIP)- to other SKYPE users.

Brulé (click for article) performs 8 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee.

Call for Papers - Living Treaties Anishinaabeg Summit. The gathering will be held August 13 - 15, 2008, at the Sault Tribe Conference and Convention Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Tim Giago article (Huffington Post) - Indian Health Care: A National Tragedy.
"Most Americans believe that the United States has the best medical care in the world, but that is clearly not the case. One has to wonder that if America rates number 28 in the world in infant mortality rates, how do the poor and uninsured rate or the Native Americans on the Indian reservations rate? There is a gap so wide that it might as well separate the poor and the Native Americans from the rest of America by an ocean's width."

interGenerations: A Series Of Documentaries Made By Albuquerque's Middle Schoolers.
"Friday, May 9, 2007. Door opens at 6:30PM, program starts at 7PM. The Wool Warehouse Theater, 516 1st Street NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico."

Another Native blog; Indigenous People's Issues Today.

My friend, MN writer and former Golden Gloves boxer, Mark Connor, has a new blog; Boxers and Writers Blog.


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