Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published by “Ken Starks”

Ken Starks writes and publishes The Blog of Helios, a finalist in our Best FOSS or Linux Blog competition. In addition, he's the person behind the Reglue project, which refurbishes older computers and gives them to disadvantaged school kids in the Austin, Texas area. Follow him on Twitter @Reglue

‘We’re From Microsoft and We’ve Been Remotely Watching Your Computer’

It’s getting harder and harder to scam little old ladies these days. They’ll just up and switch to Linux on you.

The Heart of Linux

We are going into our third year of living in the Gardens of Taylor. When you come off of the city street and onto this property, you can sometimes get a creepy feeling, like this is familiar in an unpleasant sort of way. It can feel like you’ve just stepped into Stepford Village. Every yard has been manicured to match the ones on either side of it. The edging along all driveways and sidewalks is a perfect two inches across and if a weed or mushroom happens to grow within that etched space, it is gone the next time you look for it.

Conversation With Jonathan Thomas of OpenShot

The OpenShot Video Editor has had over a million downloads and might seem like the work of a large corporation. In reality, the founder, CEO and lead developer of the project works out of his home in rural Texas.

The Heart of Linux

One of the main benefits of having a booth at a conference like Texas Linux Fest is having the opportunity to hobnob with the people behind or inside some fairly impressive organizations. This year I had the good fortune to meet Jonathan Thomas, who has provided the world with OpenShot, a premiere video editing tool available for Linux, Mac and Windows.

OpenShot logoOpenShot logoThe meeting came about because Reglue’s booth was right across the aisle from OpenShot’s booth. and their display caught my eye immediately. I’ve worked with many video editing tools over the years, and frankly, I’ve usually ended up paying someone to do the work for me because I found the level of complexity and the learning curve to be insurmountable. So being placed this closely to the OpenShot Studios booth rang out as a golden opportunity, which indeed it was.

Respinning Linux

A talk with Randy Noseworthy, the man behind the Linux respins on the old computers that Reglue makes new again.

The Heart of Linux

It started back in 2009, the first year of Lynn Bender’s fantastic brainstorm “Linux Against Poverty.” Lynn’s idea and subsequent involvement with our organization, then named The HeliOS Project, would infuse our effort with an energy and inventory we still rely on today.

Respin LinuxRespin LinuxBender contacted me early in 2009 and proposed we organize an event to bring the greater Austin community, the Austin Tech community and HeliOS under one roof. We would ask people to bring unused or broken computers to our event. Through Lynn’s network connections, a 6th Street bar owner gave up his bar for an entire Saturday. That, in turn, allowed over 50 Austin geeks to converge on 6th Street to set up stations and transform the broken computers coming in the front door into fully-functioning computers going out the back door and into our waiting truck.

Having a Gas at Texas Linux Fest 2016

Deep in the heart of Texas, the Heart of Linux delves into the heart of the Texas Linux Fest. A good time was had by all.

The Heart of Linux

Texas Linux Fest 2016 is in the books, safely tucked away in the annals of free open source history, The wonderful folks who make TLF happen were again gracious enough to give Reglue a booth in the expo hall, and for those who are watching from home, space in any TLF expo hall ain’t cheap. Just like last year, Reglue Vice President Carolyn Huxley was gracious enough to work our booth and answer questions like, “What’s a Reglue?” My personal thanks for her help.

Slow start at Texas Linux Fest 2016Slow start at Texas Linux Fest 2016

The Windows Zealot

“Linux is a failed experiment,” she spit. “It has no business even existing in the tech world and I am fully capable of recovering any important files myself. I do not need your help.”

The Heart of Linux

I live in a pretty cool place. We were lucky enough to find a quiet retirement community for those over the age of 55 and/or those who have disabilities that prevent them from working. Our rent is controlled by the government, so we are living in a two bedroom, two bath apartment but are paying the average rent for a studio. How cool is that? The waiting list for these apartments is usually nine months, so we were happy to have the management call us and tell us that we could move-in less than ten days after filing our application.

broken Windowsbroken WindowsThis is an extremely nice complex. It’s what I call a Stepford complex, a neighborhood tucked away on a side street that, if you didn’t know it was here, you would never see. Everything is neatly built, with buildings perfectly in line with those on each side and with the unit across the street. The understated entrance is often blindly passed by, even when people are looking for it. The residents tend to be close to their neighbors and there isn’t a stranger in the whole place. New residents will find that within a week of their arrival, people will be standing at their door presenting them with cakes, pies, casseroles, cupcakes and cookies, all in the name of getting in the door and seeing who they are and what they are all about. Retirement communities are like that. Diane refers to folks like this as having “nose troubles.”