Linux Distributions


I find that most people say they like free stuff, but when I ask them why they run windows or mac instead of a Linux distribution, their responses are either: “What’s Linux?“, “Linux is communist.“, “Linux is free?“, or “Nobody uses Linux.“. Well, to get things straight, Linux is not communist, that’s just something that the windows CEO spread around with this idea that open-source is communism; another, yes, Linux is free, free as in you don’t pay, and free as in freedom; finally, it’s not that nobody uses Linux, it’s that barely any normal users use Linux. Most super computers run Linux, along with 80% of the servers in the world, you know what server runs Linux, here’s a list: Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, etc. If you want, you can go to this website <http://www.infobyip.com/>, and look at the field called “operating system” and check which operating system your router is running.

There are many different distributions of Linux, some of the most popular being Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora (also known as Red Hat), but there are many others, many of which are available at DistroWatch (here’s the link:<http://distrowatch.com/>), a website where people submit their distributions to make it easier for anyone to find them. There is also a search page where you can look for Linux distributions that fit what you are looking for, with many different choices of categories, such as: beginners, desktop, gaming, high performance computing, multimedia, old computers, scientific, security, privacy, education, and more; all for free (here’s the URL for the search page: <http://distrowatch.com/search.php>).

Debian, the distribution I am currently using, supports the most architectures, uses very little memory and processing power, runs rather fast, and supports the most amount of desktop environments. Now, for those of you who don’t know what a desktop environment is, it’s the style of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), that is most commonly known as the desktop to most modern day users who are technologically illiterate (no offense meant, it’s just a term), or in other words, how your desktop looks. For example, a windows GUI doesn’t look the same as a mac GUI. I am currently using the gnome interface, which is the default in Debian, but for beginners there are graphical interfaces that look a lot like the windows GUI or the mac GUI, such as Macbuntu (here’s a link: <http://lifehacker.com/5665765/macbuntu-makes-your-linux-desktop-look-like-mac-os-x>),  or Xfce (here’s a link: <http://www.xfce.org/>).

Also, there is a Linux distribution from Argentina called Estrella Roja, which was maintained up to version 2.6. The people who made it are a communist group of hackers (reminder, there is a difference between hackers, crackers, and people that make stupid posts on your Facebook account while you are logged in and not looking) who made this distribution to be able to work on relatively old computers, that may not even have a hard drive. This is because they have written it to be able to run on a CD, all you need is a computer that can read CD’s and you can run it. This operating system is also hard to find, now that the group has left the project for another one called EcuRed, which is a project to spread open-source and free software (here’s a link: <http://www.ecured.cu/index.php/ALBASOL>). But there is still a place where you can find version 2.6 of the Estrella Roja distribution, here’s the link: <http://estrellarojagnulinux.wikispaces.com/>.

On other terms, when I went to school in Spain, they used a distribution of Linux called Guadalinex (here’s a link:<http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=guadalinex>), a distribution made by the Junta de Andalucía for schools to run on their computers. This distribution is meant for education and comes with many educational programs automatically installed. But when I came to the U.S.A. to study, I found that they used mac and windows, both operating systems which they had to pay for, but that’s not the part that gets on my nerves, the bad part is that then they ask the parents to donate money to the school, while I see a bunch of still working 5 year old computers going to the dump, just because mac/windows doesn’t make operating systems supporting its hardware anymore. I have told the teachers that it would save them a lot more money in the long term (and maybe even in the short term) if they switched to a Linux distributions, but their excuses are the same as always, and invalid, when they respond: “Yes, but no one uses Linux.“, “Yes, but we already use this, and it’s easier to continue with what we have.“, or “Yes, but this is what everybody knows.“. The one thing that really gets me about that last excuse, is that the school is the one always saying that they promote variety.

The main reason why I suggest schools to use Linux, is because then the students won’t be as repelled to try using Linux. Now, how is this a good thing? Well, first off, it will help the students become more technologically literate, allowing them to have an easier access to the command line, and more access to the computer itself. Does this mean that they might screw things up a little sometimes, yes, but then they will learn from their mistakes. Now, having this knowledge, they will be able to use Linux at home, this is important because that way students from poor families can get a USB drive that has down to 0.5 GB of space on it, and a really old computer (which you can buy for very little these days), and they will be able to boot into the flash drive running a very small simple version of Linux, such as Finnix, which I run myself on a USB that only has 0.5 GB, and the USB still over half of the space left.

All in all, I think that if we get the newer generations used to using Linux, it will help  greatly in the future. Thanks for reading!

Jamendo


Pirating has become a big issue when it comes to companies trying to get their money, and people are wanting to get stuff for free instead of paying for them. The one things I always ask myself is, why don’t they just download music and games that are given to them for free. If you have ever used Linux, you’ll know that they have a synaptic package manager (in most distributions) that is filled with free software, including games; most of which is open-source, allowing you to access the code, and even make your own version. Then, when it comes to music, there is a great site I found called Jamendo. Jamendo is a music site where people upload music they make themselves under a creative commons license (here’s some more info about the creative commons license: <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/>). On this website there are songs by millions of people around the world of many different genres. You may think that since they are free to download they don’t get any money, well, that’s not entirely true, there are people who will put their music under a cc (creative commons) license in such a way that you need their permission to use it for commercial use, there are also donations to the artists that make the songs. Here’s the link to the website: <http://www.jamendo.com/en>.

If you look online, you will find a ton of music, art, games, applications, operating systems, movies, and more, that are under a creative commons license. For example here’s an electronic song from an artist from India:

Please take a look at the music they have on this website, maybe you’ll like something!
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.

The Battle Continues


In Spain, the miners continue to fight back against the police and the anti-rioters, but now, with even more support than before. Spain has been cutting everywhere to save more private banks that are going bankrupt, which means that all social workers are having their salaries cut, along with health and education. Many of you that are American (from the U.S.) might notice that the miner complains that they now have to pay 1 euro for medicines. Well, before they didn’t have to pay (I know that here it’s damn expensive, as is everything), but, now only that, but think about people who are so poor, that they cannot afford it, or retired people (note, that as I said before, their income will also be cut) who need 10 different pills.

Because of all these cuts, the situation in Spain is getting massive, people are angry, and even the police and anti-rioters are protesting after their shifts, telling the Spanish government “Remember, your security is in our hands!” outside public buildings. Along with the miners, who have all gathered in Madrid, Spain’s capitol, where they protest in front of government buildings, hosting the largest protest that Spain has had, since they started recording with the protest against the fascist government, during the rule of Francisco Franco.

Here is a video of the protests, it is in Spanish, but it has English subtitles:

Capitalism and War


Many People don’t realize this, but capitalism is the cause of a great deal of our wars. To explain the why, first I’m going to explain a little of how capitalism functions. Capitalism needs money constantly moving in the economy, whether it’s selling old shoes, some cars, hiring a hit-man, paying to repair an accident, or funerals, all of those benefit capitalism. This is measured by the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which measures how much money is moving in the economy, independently from where or of what cause.

Now that we have that cleared, back to the main subject of this post. After what I said before, I bet most of you who are reading this see where I’m going, if not, I’m sure it will make sense to you soon. When capitalism is dominant (as it is) and there is a major crisis (as we are seeing), the system will try to find some way to get money, it will start with high taxes, so that the government will be able to use it on private companies to get money moving, but if that doesn’t work, capitalism will use war. Some of you might ask “Why war?”, well, the reason is quite simple to understand.

Let’s put the U.S. as an example, the country with the most wars in the last 50 years, and also the most capitalist country. Many people in the U.S. will not protest like we do in the rest of the world, which already makes things a lot easier for the system. Another thing is that there are a lot of people in the U.S. who are pro-military, making it even more easy to start a war. So, all together, if the U.S. government raises taxes for war against some country, as long as the media continue to say (and they do) that the soldiers are out there fighting for freedom and democracy and such, everyone is O.K. with it. The results will be, raised taxes so the government has more money to spend, the money will be spend in the military, and there we go, the GDP goes flying upwards. So, all in all, war benefits capitalism, making it a great alternative for the system in a situation of crisis.

Now that you know all of this (you might have already), start putting two and two together and you’ll see that where we’re headed is World War III, and it will most likely be started by the U.S., which will go through a major crisis very soon.

All this, along with the end of oil coming up, shows that things are going to get very bad, bad to the point where war is almost inevitable. But people will continue with their lives, laughing at us who say this, saying that we’re crazy, and then when it happens, they’ll say that there was no warning. Well, here’s your warning, and there’s no politician who’s going to save you from it. We need to change our style of life now, we need to change how we think, how we live, how much we consume, all before it’s too late. The time to rebel is now, not in 30 years when things are already in terrible conditions, now is the time.

HaXe


Hello world!

I was looking for a free programming language or tool to write my own flash program in, when I came across HaXe. HaXe is an open-source multi-platform programming language. This means that the code for it (which is written in Ocaml) is open to the public, and multi-platform meaning that it can be compiled into many different programming languages, HaXe in specific can currently be compiled into C++, flash, flash8, JavaScript, Neko, and PHP, and they are currently working on compiling it in Java and C#. This makes programming a lot easier, learning one programming language, you can make programs for 6 other languages.

Now, of course, learning HaXe and compiling it in C++ won’t be nearly as powerful or flexible as learning C++ itself, but if all you want to do is a relatively simple program (that is, don’t use this for work) it’s fine. And it’s way better than wasting $700 on a puny Adobe flash program.

The HaXe syntax is a lot like Java, and even more like JavaScript, which makes it relatively easy for people coming from those backgrounds to adjust to it. There are also a lot of tutorials and snippets that beginners and intermediates can look at for help, along with a forum where you can ask questions. And if you aren’t satisfied with the libraries that they have on their main page (http://haxe.org/) there is another website with many more libraries that can be downloaded at <http://lib.haxe.org> and installed for free.

I hope this comes of use to all of you that are reading this. Thanks for reading, and have a nice day.