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Bob Green Innes,


Hamiltonian by birth & occupation.  

.... seeking to restore values, traditions, institutions, laws and protections Canadians used to enjoy.....back to basics

Starting a blog - Let's call it WINDY for today

Jump to Windy day blog as a first time blogger #1 .

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Puppy, Puppy, Good Puppy - #15

Linux - Adventures in knowing squat, Dec 18, 2010.

This is something I wrote to explain my rather unorthodox approach to computing. I'll post it here on my first page as sort of background. Combining pages also saves storage space on my minimal website and serves as a rudimentary filing system.

For what its worth, two years ago, I decided a computer upgrade was needed. I purchased a used Compaq P2or 3 for 50 bucks and had them install Windows 98 which I then upgraded to Win ME. I use this to receive and read isp email plus doing my taxes and an occasional bit of design and spreadsheeting. For most of my daily browsing, downloading, communicating, I run a system called Puppy Linux that resides on a read only CD on the same computer. This free operating system is a whopping 100meg, less than 1 percent of the size of a modern operating system, and comes complete with Word Processor, Spreadsheet, editors of all kinds, communications such as MSN, and many other capabilities I know nothing about. The operating system starts fresh from an incorruptible CD every day which eliminates a lot of worries. Settings are stored in a separate file on a USB stick drive which is a 5 minute operation to renew (about twice a year). The hard drive does not get used which ensures there is no interference with the Windows system and no infections of the hard drive. I gave up on Windows browsing because of the virus problem and the requirement to reinstall the system periodically - which I found very time consuming / annoying.

Having never owned a laptop, I could not resist the opportunity to pick one up at a garage sale for 10 bucks. It did not have a floppy so I had to find a "dongle" to allow connection to our home network through which I could ftp or mail files back and forth. It runs windows 95 quite nicely on a mere 25watts, and a mail site at runs a mail client for the old browser. Amazingly, the old DOS system had a built in FTP command which I use constantly when uploading stuff to this website. My original description of this old machine is in Blog #1 further down the page.

I'm very happy with this setup and hope it will basically last me the rest of my life. I don't mind doing mindless things like rebooting the computer to switch to the other operating system (coffee break). I have no desire to upgrade anything or chase any computer chimera, and feel that modern systems are too full of bloatware, far too complicated/ powerful for my actual needs. I dislike time spent hassling with Bill's operating system, or learning yet another of his new Windows, the answer being to use the old Windows offline and/or as little as possible. I also take delight in the full functionality of such a small Linux system and feel that slowly but surely, Windows is going the way of the dodo and that small friendly systems will be the way of the future. The Linux community is amazing in their helpfulness. I know nothing about the base language, unix, and whenever I have a problem, I go to the forum and ask. Answers come, I follow the suggestions and usually the problem is solved within a day or two. Installing my printer took a little longer since it was not the HP that all the Linux people seem to favour. There are some do's and don'ts so if you're interested, try these links or send me an email.

If you have a second PC or an old one you were going to toss. Give Puppy Linux a try. You'll have some fun and you'll be amazed.

Oct 27. Second day of the rest of my life - what to do?

Its a lovely sunny windy day and after collecting my solar water and vitamin D and a few other things , decided to retire to our big flat rooftop. Fantastic balmy weather - why can't i compose up here, wind and all. Never done it before. So up came the laptop, extension chord and well, here i am - blogging on a sunny, roofy, windy day. So if i'm going to blog on a bit, first I gotta tell you about my computer stuff - quite unusual and as far as i'm concerned - it's THE SOLUTION!!! Ha - but Bill Gates need not be worried! Hopefully there are some things you will be interested in.

In the meantime, i gotta real problem. The sun is in my eyes, the screen is too dark and my baseball hat is way down on the first floor. To complicate matters, long ago I switched to the Dvorak keyboard layout (doubt i could change back), the keys are not relabelled so I'm pretty much typing blind. Its too comfy here though and the sun will be gone soon so i'll just pound away.

Some other things I'd like to write about besides the 'puter stuff are the roof garden which surrounds me, thoughts on solar energy, lots of additional political stuff, economic stuff and trying to tackle tough equity questions that someone should have challenged me on during the election. Tough stuff but somebody's got to do it. BNN just had a piece on Freedom Network in Quebec - have to look into it.

Ouch, a second sun in my eyes - reflecting off the rain collector surface. It is getting too late in the year to need water anymore and soon we'll have to dump it out and turn the tub over for the winter.

As for the laptop, its an old Nec Versa, probably pre 2000, running Windows 95 (no battery though :-( that i got from a garage sale for 10 bucks. Since it did not have a floppy, I needed to find a "dongle" which is geek for dangling doohickey. This plugs into the modem and lets me hookup to our network through which I can exchange files by mail or via my website. The website connection is made through the DOS window which turned out to have a built in FTP function. After getting some tips from the net, voila - communication.

Ouch again, a gust of wind just moved the screen which put the laptop into power saver standby mode! I thought i lost it for a moment.

The other nice thing about this old laptop is that i can run it off my rather minimal solar system at a cabin we visit up north. Being only 20 watts running or 8 watts standby, I'm good for many hours should i be in touch with the muse. Modern laptops are far too power hungry (90 watts up to 200 for the multiple "core" types). I'll post more about the power system on another page before long. Or sooner by popular demand. Popular=one!! So drop a line

Well, the sun went in and it's cooling off so in a day or two i'll hopefully get around to telling you all about my oddball computer system that I think everyone should have!! In the meantime, I'll pick some beans and kohlrabi for dinner tonight. We should be waiting to let the kohlrabi get frosted - sweetens it up - but they should be thinned out anyway. We originally planted a whole bunch from seed and i didn't get round to putting them in separate buckets until August. They're coming along nicely (2-3 inch balls) but it seems this is a veggie that doesn't like company. One guide said to not plant kohlrabi with tomatoes but the pairs are way behind the singles. New rule: one per pot. They may be ok with bok choi based on sample of one. Anyway, thank goodness the aphids are gone.

PS. This was typed in notepad and will be put into html code using Arachnophilia 4, which is my favourite html editor and runs on the old machine. Nothing special but it shows code well enough for the simple formatting that's all i'm capable of anyway. I'm having a look at the input command to see if i can get a comment section going - its a little complicated. We'll see.

Bob Green I

Recent Blogs

Re - recent bid for trustee

Pet Peeves

      * retired Professional Engineer, married, father of 2 including one still in the system.

      * pursuing many interests - partial list below

      * small-c conservative (but not a Harper PC - that's the party of big business!)

      * investigating causes of economic problems, finding troubling trends and possibilities

      * Former candidate, Hamilton East Stoney Creek, FCP, Public System Trustee, Ward 4

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Updated Dec 2010