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Posts published in “Potpourri”

The Day the Light Came On for Eddie…

Eddie Baker is a 16 year old high school student and his family was one of our Reglue 12 Geeks of Christmas program recipients. Not only did he qualify for a computer, his family was qualified for help with Internet via our Prometheus Project. Eddie is a big guy. He’s well over six feet tall and goes a good 230 pounds. The stuff football linebackers are made of. Football is of no interest to Eddie. When he says so, he’s almost apologetic in the way he says it. Here in Texas, high school football is darned near a religion.

ReglueHe wants to study and work in the field of geology. Specifically, the archaeological wing of geology. Eddie wants to study things like the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction. He wants to know more about what really happened in that time period. He wants to know how the molten rock and metals at our core generate a magnetic field that prevents us from being destroyed in a micro-second by a heartless, murderous universe.

Football is of no interest to Eddie. Eddie doesn’t care about games. He cares about contributing to the human condition in a positive way.

Dammit Jim, I’m a Doctor, Not a Computer Engineer

As computer technology races forward, with storage becoming cheaper and cheaper and machines becoming more powerful by the year, it’s odd that some things just don’t change. I am using a four year old computer with an Intel quad core processor at 2.4 gigs per, with 8 gigs of RAM, an Nvidia GTX660, and a 750 watt power supply. It runs great; it’s given me zero problems. And yes, I did build this machine but still…

McCoy_KirkMcCoy_KirkWhat reason do I have to upgrade? I spend a little time in some shooter games, getting my DNA reduced to gloppy puddles of goo. I work in Blender and Gimp just a bit and I do some low-level audio work via Audacity. From time to time I will find the need to fire up Eric IDE and do some low-level coding. Other than that I just browse, exchange emails and do my banking and parts ordering online. Add to that watching online entertainment and you have my computer use down.

Ken StarksKen Starks

Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue

Why Schools Require MS Office; Nokia Plays Rope-A-Dope & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Pretty fonts coming to Linux?

Most of us here at FOSS Force have been using various flavors of Linux for thirteen years or so. During that time we’ve gotten used to reading comments on the ugliness of fonts in Linux, especially when it comes to browsers.

We’ve never particularly understood this or noticed any homeliness in regards to Linux fonts. Of course, we’ve also never been able to understand reviewers who write about how unexciting they find fonts like Times New Roman or Ariel to be. In our experience, Hunter Thompson is brilliant and compelling no matter what font is being used to render his rants, while Tom Wolfe is a pompous ass, no matter how humble a typeface used to display his insufferable prose.

The Robo Cloud Is Coming

I was just getting used to yesterday and suddenly it’s tomorrow.

Am I the only one who worries that we’re going a little too fast in our move to bring robotics into everyday life? Shouldn’t we sit down as a group and ask first, “Is this really something we want to do?” Maybe I’ve read too much science fiction, or maybe it’s those images from The Matrix that I just can’t get out of my mind. Or maybe it’s the memory from 2001 of the mentally ill computer with self awareness, Hal, trying to convince Dave that it was all a misunderstanding and that he promises to be good if only he’s not disconnected from his power source.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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