In a rare turnabout, I posted to my LiveJournal yesterday and will cross-post it here. I had a WP plug-in that automated the reverse, but I don’t use it anymore. I had only logged into LJ to wish a friend happy birthday. I found a nice suggestion for a blog post topic awaiting me, which I’ve used as the title of this post. My user name on LJ is meanirishtemper. Don’t ask. You don’t want to know. Without further ado, here is my LJ post from yesterday:

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I have used the name Rain King online since 1994. I took it from the Counting Crows song of the same name. It was only later that I learned of the Saul Bellow novel, also excellent. I use that name because I feel it describes me… my life. I’ve been blessed with the melancholy celtic spirit. It’s in my blood, the rain, and it calls to me wherever I may run to escape it, physically or emotionally. One day it will take me home; my elusive, dreamed-of home where I truly belong, where I fit in, no where to be found in this world.

So why am I meanirishtemper? Why else? Every variant of the name I wanted was taken, save bizarre numerically-tainted versions like 6969The_Rain_King_666999 or some such nonsense. And it has been pointed out that my temper could use some hmmmm… tempering? My business is Timbury Computer Services and you will find me online as timbury in many places, like http://www.cre8buzz.com a great social network.

Enough of this. I’mback off to IMVU where I am… TheRainKing, of course. Peace.

The Anthill is an OpenBlog – a new concept in blogging.  One blog with 100s or even 1000s of authors!  It is the official community blog of cr8Buzz! I love seeing how quickly people grow to love and rely on this blog to share their insights and knowledge with others and also bring traffic to their own sites.  Be seen… Be heard… Be found… check it out today!

The Inflatable Soapbox is moving to a new server today.  The URL http://timkissane.com will still work, but please check your blogroll links and bookmarks.  The IP-based address http://timkissane.com/ will no longer be valid.  I expect these changes to be complete by 17:00 EST today.  Any odd glitches should be ironed out by tomorrow.  I want to change the theme to something less graphics-intensive to improve load times.  That will come after the move, however.  Thank you for your patience.

 I’m one of those Linux fanatics who enjoy trying new distros almost constantly. Because of the freedom inherent in the GPL and other “open” licenses, there are always new flavors of my favorite OS springing up.  Early spring of last year, I found an Ubuntu-based distro called UbuntuSE.  I was attracted to the screenshots of the dark blood-red and black theme.  This was essentially Ubuntu with fresh artwork: splash screens, window themes, wallpapers, and amazing 3D screensavers.  The SE, it turned out, stood for Satanic Edition.

I consider myself a spiritual person, but I’m not a fan of organized religion.  One of the few things that offends me are people who are easily offended.  Especially those who  believe they somehow deserve to be protected from any speech, image or ideology which they find offensive (typically, anything not their own).  I found out there were two similar themed Ubuntus, the Christian Edition and the Muslim Edition.  With a few hearty chuckles during installation, Ubuntu Satanic Edition became my desktop for a few months.

UbuntuSE

Recently, I followed a link which took me to Distrowatch, a well-known and respected site which offers reviews and news of Linux distributions.  It is run by Ladislav Bodnar (distro AT distrowatch DOT com).  Mr. Bodnar is an intelligent man with an interesting and impressive background.  I noticed he had included the Christian and Muslim versions of Ubuntu, but not the Satanic version.  I thought it unlikely that he was ignorant of it’s existence, but I sent him a short note just in case.

Hi, Ladislav!

I wanted to inform you of another “themed” Ubuntu distro,
Ubuntu Satanic Edition or UbuntuSE. The site is
http://ubuntusatanic.org/ and it has been around since
2006. I see you have UbuntuCE and UbuntuME. I would
like to see UbuntuSE included on distrowatch. The artwork
and attention to detail are amazing. After all, Linux is a
“journey of freedom”. Thanks for a great Linux site!

Peace,
Tim

I quoted the phrase “journey of freedom” from Mr. Bodnar’s description of his experience with Linux. I received this response a few hours later:

I don’t feel comfortable with listing this distro on DistroWatch. I am not
religious or anything, but I think there are some limits of what is an
acceptable name for a Linux distribution. Sorry :-(

Ladislav

Ladislav Bodnar

I ask you to tell me the unvarnished truth.  Is this in keeping with the spirit of Linux, open source and freedom?  Is this arbitrary dictation of what distro shall be included based on the acceptability of it’s name to the maintainer offensive to anyone else?  I think Mr. Bodnar is not telling me the whole story  Perhaps he fears some expression of outrage by Christian and Islamic fanatics if he lists the UbuntuSE distro.  I can’t really speculate further on his true motivations.  I only post this to express my belief in freedom of expression, religious and otherwise.  That is one of the reasons I love Linux: the devotion of the community to freedom.

Mr. Bodnar is using his freedom as the site maintainer to censor the Linux community.  I don’t think he’s right to do so.  I think he needs to re-read his tagline on distrowatch: “Put the fun back into computing.”  What do you think?

I’d like to be, but I’m not. This country has accomplished some wonderful things, but it has also committed evil acts against even it’s own citizens. In my previous post, you see an example of our government conspiring to justify the murder of an unarmed citizen. But this is merely the continuation of this fine american tradition. I lifted this front page image from the New York Times without their permission. Their site credits UMI. I hope uniformed thugs don’t show up at the door to my quite modest little house to demand justice for these large corporations. I’d hate to be shot to death for copyright violation.

Some interesting links:

US Dept. of Justice (excuse me while I lose my breakfast) Capital Punishment Statistics

US Notches World’s Highest Incarceration Rate (It’s big business throwing people in a cage, and you can get a franchise!)

Listen to Neil Young’s Ohio on Last.fm (full track)

Kent State Shooting

NYT Headline: 3 Detectives in Bell Shooting Acquitted

Why does this come as no surprise? The defendants waived their right to a jury trial, which many people thought was a risky move. What was risky about it? Instead of having twelve honest citizens decide their fate, they entrusted the decision to an agent of the corrupt, murderous, out-of-control mega-gang known generically as “the government”. It’s high time the people took matters into their own hands.

I’m so f#ck!ng  sick of hearing pseudo-intellectual @ssh0les debate the relative merits of the crapweasels running for office as if any of that matters! Do you really think that our civil liberties will be restored if Obama gets elected? Do you honestly believe the war will end, gas prices will drop, the government will stop screwing the poor and middle class? That the police will suddenly act like enlightened protectors of the innocent and not like the ignorant thugs that many (but not all) of them are? How freakin wonderful the bliss of that naivete must be! I wonder how much it matters to Sean Bell, his family, or his fiancee?

Now, I’m off to install Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 on a server and (hopefully) forget goddamn politics, news and people. Like an ostrich, I’ll sink my head into the sands of geektopia. But come the revolution, brotha…

Here’s a shot of my desktop today: Linux Mint (built on Ubuntu, built on Debian) with Compiz. Shown are 2 of my 6 desktops. On the left is twhirl running on the alpha Linux version of Adobe AIR. On the right is a terminal where PDFedit has dailed to compile because it cant find the (installed) Boost libraries.

I love my spinning 3D desktops because I can be more productive: I keep things up and running on all sides, then just spin to the one I need. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s just damn cool. And it blows Vista away.

3D Desktop

I’m a self-taught web designer that got his beginnings on a Windows machine using first Frontpage (gag) and then Dreamweaver. Now, I love my Dreamweaver. It rocks to no end with all it can do. Add in Fireworks and Photoshop to the mix and you have one sweet set of tools that will keep you designing for years to come.

Well with my venture into Linux a while back, I was struggling to find suitable replacements for my favorite apps that I grew to be so fond of as well as used to. It was hard finding what I can now call my new favorites although I do still reserve judgement on The GIMP a bit longer as it still hasn’t quite won me over just yet.

For the Linux version of Dreamweaver, I use Kompozer. It doesn’t have the finesse that Dreamweaver has but it works very well for my purposes. Also, a nifty app called SciTE is an awesome text editor that resembles PSPpad on my Windows machine.

I prefer to do my site work in Windows still but that’s pretty much because it’s a habit and I’m comfortable with them but, I’m getting more and more used to using the apps on my Linux hard drive (I dual boot Ubuntu and XP Pro) instead of the more familiar ones on my Windows hard drive.

My reasons are this:

I want to be as M/S free as I possibly can by year’s end with very few exceptions. I’ve grown to prefer open source apps and software to proprietary apps and software due to the nature of them being much more stable, less apt to be corrupt, less prone to malware or virus infections which helps to free my wallet from the anti- this and the anti- that companies who’ve sworn their devotion to wiping the ‘net’s infections out.

I like the freedom to do what I want with the OS (operating system) of my choosing and not having to dial home (M/S) anytime I reinstall it on my computer and asking their permission to install the OS I already paid for a long time ago.

Now with the exception of my wife’s work having to be on a Windows machine and my new laptop I bought for some work but mostly for some gaming I try to fit in in my spare time (chuckle), I’m slowly working my way to more freedom.

So, in closing I’d like to ask the readers here what their favorite web design programs are or what their favorite apps period are in their distro of Linux. I’m open to new ways of doing things unlike M/S who prefers us to keep our heads in the sand.

I’d like to offer a weekly spot on the Inflatable Soapbox for a guest post. Anyone who’d like to share his or her views on an Open Source topic (Linux, WordPress, GIMP, MySQL, GPL, distro review, etc.) is welcome to submit a post. You must register first to gain contributor status.

Since I don’t have a guest lined up for today, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Inflatable Soapbox.

My friends and family have come to accept tolerate my style of communication: lecture. I don’t actually discuss an issue, I pontificate. I can frequently be seen standing at the virtual podium, left arm raised, index finger pointing skyward, “…and furthermore…”. You get the picture. I grew weary of lugging my soapbox around, so I did what any other pompous, didactic ass would do: I invented the Inflatable Soapbox. I carry it with me everywhere and can inflate it faster than Microsoft can pervert an open standard.

I’m currently running this on a ten year old Compaq DeskPro with a 500MHz Celeron, 384MB RAM, 10GB IDE HDD, from my home office on a Comcast high speed (1.5M down, 20M up) connection. This is far less expensive than a co-located setup, although my power situation leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, the ext3 file system and Ubuntu Linux (7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, LAMP server) recover nicely from the inevitable outages here at the shore. The second drawback is redirecting the domain from my hosted space at Hostway’s Chicago data center to my static IP (six month lease) on Comcast. That is why you see http://timkissane.com/ in your address bar instead of http://timkissane.com/.

Finally, as an experiment in traffic generation, I’ll be posting a photo of Lindsay Lohan nude (don’t worry, as you can see, it’s safe for work, the kids, whoever) that I found on Alexa while checking site rankings. Do you think this will help? ;-)

Don’t forget to submit posts in time for next Wednesday’s guest spot!

Peace.

Lindsay Lohan Nude

Today is the first in a regular weekly series, Tuesday Tech Troubles and Triumphs. I think I’ll probably have more troubles than triumphs to share, so let me start with one I’m having now. A client of mine wants his WordPress archives to be displayed in an expandable/collapsible format in the sidebar. He referred me to this blog on blogspot.com as an example. The code that displays the archives is a widget written by Google software engineer I’ve been looking for a similar plugin, because that would be much faster (and cheaper for him). I’ve found several, including this one by Ady Romantika that would be perfect.

The trouble: they are all only available as widgets and his heavily customized blog is not widgetized. Unless I have a better suggestion from one of my readers, I’ll have to reverse engineer a widget into a straight plugin. I have almost no time to do this. Please comment with suggestions or WordPress plugin stories of your own. Hopefully by next Tuesday, I’ll have turned this trouble into a triumph.

I’ll now tag five unsuspecting techies and turn this into a meme:

Merlin, Merlin’s Minute

Ian, Failure is the Key to Success

Joe, JoeTech.com

Chuck, D is for Dad

Rob, All Things Seen and Unseen

Gentlemen, start your engines.