My world- after switching to Ubuntu Linux.

Over the course of the last couple of years, I had read and watched enough videos, on the benefits of switching to Linux. The more I watched and read, the stronger the passion became. In the far past I was an avid CP/M user; using the all-powerful Z80 CPU- we are talking the start of 1980s- last century for many. From there it was MSDOS and Windows98 after that.

For the previous year, up until a month ago, I had been using a Kindle Fire 10 HD with Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, and an Epson WF-100 portable printer. I had achieved a nice interoperability between the Kindle Fire 10 HD, the Bluetooth devices, and both an Android and IPhone X. The WPS office software worked well, allowing me to port MS-Office and Excel documents back and forth. This setup worked extremely well in the field, though with time, more power was required than what the Kindle could initially provide.

As time would have it, I came into possession of a discarded Acer Aspire s3-391. After a little work, and battery replacement, the machine was up and running; though with a Windows 8 operating system, which caused more than a few grey-hairs. I re-read articles, and watched videos on what an Ubuntu Linux system would require, and the Aspire had the specifications.

Over a month ago the decision was reached to switch to Ubuntu Linux 18.04 distribution, and everything worked quick and nice, and no cost. Being a Linux system, I could change anything and literally everything I wanted or needed to, to fit the parameters of what I wanted, at no cost. I look around at the different desktop environments, media players, graphics editors, and office packages, and within the week the system was set, with everything in place. Complete interoperability had been obtained with the Aspire, Kindle Fire 10 HD, IPhone X, external mouse and keyboard, and Epson WF-100 printer. I could very literally take everything to go in a single small backpack, or set everything up in my vehicle, to do what I needed to do, and transport and transmit it, in a variety of ways.

in car interoperability with Ubuntu, IPhone X, Kindle Fire 10 HD, Epson WF-100

The LibreOffice package handled MSOffice files in a smart fashion, allowing me to work easily with them, and send them to those who worked with nothing but MS products, with no issues. GIMP and Krita worked very well for any graphics that were required, with people using Photoshop, able to read and interact with the graphics, without any issues. To date the only issue I have come across is what desktop environment I prefer to work in- there are many choices, where Windows you only get the one.

To be fair, I still maintain a laptop with Windows 10, though now it has been mostly relegated to free-time gaming, with the majority of everything else having been ported over to the Linux system. With the first month under my belt, I see nothing that would indicate a change of path from the current.

The only area of concern, that I have cautioned people on, was the use of the terminal. For many users, not use to the DOS era, this may present a small set-back, as they get use to typing in specific commands, though almost everything else is Windows-esque with Ubuntu.

Though I will digress, many who use Cinnamon desktop use the Linux Mint operating system; which is based on Ubuntu. As with most items, you can plug-play most of what you need. Cinnamon is the closest match to Windows, and thus easiest for those coming from Windows to use.

Should a person switch from Windows to Linux?
That is a question for the individual to decide. My own choice, (listed above), was due to necessity and system requirements of the computer I was blessed to obtain, for only the cost of a battery and a little time. Ubuntu Linux has worked far beyond expectations, and as mentioned earlier, there is nothing I have encountered which would cause me to abandon the decision. There has been no loss of productivity, and only time was required, to learn how to make certain things happen; which was time well spent. This time was spent watching and searching two YouTube channels, which aided immensely in narrowing the learning-curve- which are linked below. The “Chris Titus Tech” channel contains a Windows 10 area, which worked well, when applied to my Windows 10 laptop.

I would recommend watching those two channels, and reading various articles before making any personal decision. My own experience has been nothing but astronomically positive, though your own mileage may vary, depending on your own unique individual situation.

Chris Titus Tech

Bryan Lunduke

What a life is like without Television.

Freedom would encompass the entire experience, in a singular word- though this word does not convey the entire meaning. To a person, throughout my career, people were shocked to learn that no television in my house is used towards any main-stream series, nor following of any sports. The have been re-purposed as computer monitors, for a much larger developmental purpose; which requires no tin-foil hat.

There must be a confession towards feeling a minor amount of amusement when people double-blink upon learning this. It escapes them; a step outside of a comfortable norm. How could you not watch TV, how could you not follow sports, how is that even possible? Have heard a chorus of shocked responses- including a series of nervous jokes.

The transition was not easy, as the compulsion to not be a part of the norm once again, took focused effort- akin to loosing a life-long addiction. Over the course of a month the journey became easier, and with the passage of time, easier still- until one day it was gone. To see one in various stores, or in eating establishments, brings a smirk of knowing, that the tube was a trap; its’ jaws clenching on a mind, struggling to be set free.

Today’s series have been replaced with learning an eclectic range of interesting items- expanding horizons. Sports replaced with more cerebral pursuits; more than a few producing mild humor in their application.

The additional time gained, through the removal of the main-stream is one which can be filled with a lengthy myriad of pursuits. Working on various pet projects, learning, traveling, anything you can imagine. When you turn it off, and keep it off, other things begin to slowly turn on, until one day you look around and find yourself silently smiling, wondering what will awaken next?

Try it yourself, and hang on for the ride.

Organizational Minimalist

There exist numerous individual perceptions as to how these are individually defined. For myself they became the title of a process which encompassed an increase in organizational essentialism (quality vs quantity) which in and of itself beget minimalist characteristics of elimination of the unnecessary.

To aid in this adventure, four fabric 10×10 boxes were recycled, each labelled with their singular purposes’, as listed below:

a.   Donate items still fit for use- though excess for myself.

b.   Keep items still required.

c.   Shred and Burn redundant papers.

d.   Convert necessary papers into electronic media, and then move to box c.

    The original intent was to generate a series of boxes, which were small enough to allow for easy daily use. Though my home-office was not one which could be considered needlessly cluttered, the true scope of the under-taking was one which opened my eyes- generating the before-mentioned epiphany and paradigm shift.

   As each box was filled, it was noted that regardless of how quickly I filled the box, the first 33 gallon garbage-bin filled faster. When each box had been filled, three 33 gallon garbage-bins were equally filled, and the scene before me appeared almost untouched. Sitting with a nice cup of coffee, the scene before me was studied. In this moment of reflection, a sudden epiphany spawned.

The old saying “it is the small things” could never have rang more true, than in that moment.

   The garbage-bins were filled with the smallest of items, each belonging to a previous item, no longer in the inventory, and thus of no use to anyone. How they came to be in their current position was one of either procrastination and-or expedience. They were tossed into their previous locations due to being too busy at that time, or the more prevalent “I will get back to it later,” which of course few of us ever really do; the item having been removed from memory by an over-load of other information required for that period of time.

   This generated the before mentioned paradigm-shift, of taking care of the smallest things inside their individual key moments, vs. putting them off until a forgotten later.

   Each of us is guilty of putting off the small-things for later- usually to be erased from memory.

The lesson in the garbage-bins was of taking care of the littlest thing now. Of paying attention to the smallest detail- regardless of its’ position within the larger picture. They say it is always the minutest of details which causes the issues, and in this they are correct. They pile up, small enough to not be noticed until much later, when they grow large enough to fill multiple garbage-bins, meant for much larger items.

   After the first month on this journey, I looked around at the results, and found an oddly satisfying internal fulfillment and freedom; though the battle against the ever present “small-things” continues. The boxes are more readily filled, with only that of necessity and worth maintaining a prized place in the office. This experience has beget, what is quickly becoming an innate behavior of valuing items based upon their necessity vs. desire or want, and one of instant requirement vs. that of waiting for that which is needed. In this my logistical planning background bore fruition in that there should be no unfulfilled need, with rotatable and expendables being accurately forecasted, to insure a continual supply, but never a gross overabundance- especially of smaller items.

   In the above, the majority will look around at that which surrounds them, or hides in the furthest recesses of their office-desk drawers. Many will see something of their own, and a few will reach a point of decision, and begin their own individual versions of organizational minimalism. In this I would only ask that they share their experiences, and when enough have done-so, thrift shops should have an abundance to give, to those who have nothing, and the landfills will eventually have less, as we consume only that which is required vs. lust of the moment.

Tell the Stories inside of you

Inside the blank pages lays a story- begging for pixel or ink to bring to fruition.

What prevents a person from telling that which is in their heart? As unique creatures, we are blessed with an innate creative nature. We have developed wonderful devices throughout the ages, to expedite our nightly or daily lives; individual circadian rhythm dependent.

 As a people we individually practice the art of telling a unique story- we share this unknowingly on a regular basis. All which is lacking is placing this in a more permanent form, where it can be shared for time immortal. We generate internal excuses for placing forward that which lives inside each of us. We never have time for that, forget, or the most common…afraid of rejection; the inward emotional attempt at guarding oneself against not receiving a neurological dopamine fix.

 Where one bias occurs is in failure equates to loss, outside of the reality where the act is the reward- regardless of acceptance or rejection. Placing oneself into the vulnerable position of telling the stories within each of us provides an addictive rush unto itself; positively re-wiring the writer into one of obtaining the courage to place themselves forward, and share their inner gems, so others’ become inspired, there-by brightening a literary world; which remains incomplete without our stories.

 Where another bias occurs is in self-defeat; believing incorrectly that oneself is not worthy of telling their stories, basing this upon works of others’ they have read throughout their lives. They will tell themselves internally they could never match up nor come close to those people, and there-by tear the blank page. This is a hazardous fallacy which bleeds over into other parts of their world, stopping oneself before the beginning, through false comparison.

 As individuals we should inspire those around us to share, to place their inner stories forward without fear or bias. To let each individual jewel sparkle, without comparison, and free one-another to experience true freedom, and tell the stories which is in each of us.

The lost art of gaming support and logistics

In the gaming community there exist a healthy amount of titles to choose from, and inside a large majority is the sub-game of support. This side goes unnoticed by many, gravitating towards the more instantly gratifying and exciting roles, without notice that the sub-game they have either not seen or ignored is even more challenging and entertaining.

In many ways art mimics life, and when you are running and gunning with your friends online, far too often you start to run out of supplies, or lack fire and medical support, and end up losing a match due to these inadequacies. The corner you are unable to secure, the lack of forward vision, running low on ammunition, unable to assault the next objective without taking large losses, these are when the lost art of gaming support and logistics shine.

Support and logistics can appear in many fashions, from direct support of operations, providing intelligence, supplies, medical, engineering, and fire-support services, through forward preparation of areas, to better serve a longer term strategy.

In the real-world this is known as the tooth to tail ratio or T3R for short. In a matter of art mimicking life, a force with a heavy tooth ratio, is not as effective as one with a balanced tail ratio –in the same way that a spear that is heavy on the point, does not fly effectively as one which is balanced; though the tip gets the glory, it never would have arrived without the tail.

Though certainly not as glamorous as being in the front ranks, the sub-game of supply and logistics can more often than not, bring more of a fight to an enemy than the tip. While it will not receive the glory of wining the match, it will be hard to win the match without it.