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#1129555 - 08/05/17 01:37 AM An Eye Opener!  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,792
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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#1129561 - 08/05/17 08:19 AM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Feb 2005
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Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Hi John:

I've been aware of GNU, Unix, Linux and other "Free" Operating Systems for a number of years. Unfortunately, most of us do not possess the training to empower us to learn and use the various forms of "code" needed to control these Operating Systems. (OS's) Only recently (at least to me) did Graphical User Interface (GUI) Based Free OS's begin to appear and be available on a fairly broad front for free to the common man or woman. Furthermore, many were glitch-filled pipe dreams of half-baked programmers who had no clue about the needs of the public to free themselves from the tyranny of Microsoft, Apple and others.

I am using a form of Linux called "Mint" as I write this and have been "experimenting" with it for a few months now. I use the term experimenting only to indicate I am "kicking the tires" to see what this OS can do for me... and to discover it's limitations. I began using personal computers when the only operating system was CP/M and it had more limitations than benefits. Next, I migrated to the DOS OS made popular by IBM and Bill Gates. When the Amiga Computer became available (regretfully before it's time) I quickly jumped to that opportunity but Commodore, the developing company, quickly failed.

Later, I purchased an Apple iMac with it's quirky OS and promising GUI interface, working much like the Amiga but with a hard drive, more memory, and more support from a now established company. All the while, on a parallel track, I migrated from DOS to the promise of Windows OS which had ten times more software available (at a cost) and which OS began to change every year as Gate's team discovered new programming techniques and methods. (At the user's expense.) Thus began the tyranny regarding OS's.

Let me further explain that I have no desire to be a programmer or mad scientist, LOL! I am a user to the fullest extent humanly possible. Word Processors, Spreadsheets and Databases are my primary interest and Apps (a recent term for the telephone crowd using computer-based phones) which have a useful purpose. Games (except for chess) are for mindless, dumbed-down children who go on to become societal anomalies, sociopaths or sometimes worse.

There is a crying need for our world to be freed from OS's that require us to upgrade constantly (at our expense) and for an Internet that is safe from scams, invasion of personal privacy and all manner of criminal activity. Most of us lack the knowledge or resources to defend ourselves from any of these behemoth problems or organizations. Our Government certainly does not seem to realize the many problems and dangers being pawned-off on the general public in the form of Apps, OS's and Software.

I keep a computer totally off-line (not connected to the internet) for my song-writing and recording activities. The internet is a risk I prefer to keep at bay.

The real "conundrum" about "free software" comes about as a direct conflict to what we song-writers call intellectual property. (Our own song creations.) It is a conflict I am still attempting to come to terms with. On the one hand, I want free software but on the other hand, I want to have protection for my songs... and have a desire to generate income from them. Isn't this a double standard of morality and logic?

As Shakespeare would have said, "There's the Rub." Where do we draw the line?

Thanks for sharing the video. ----Dave

#1129562 - 08/05/17 08:53 AM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: May 2001
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Free software? The hell with "Free Software". I want free groceries, free haircuts too. Is "1984" here yet?

Ray E. Strode
#1129612 - 08/06/17 09:14 PM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Apr 2003
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Andy K Offline
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Andy K  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 739
Clearwater, FL, USA
I feel Dave's critique of Linux and other public domain software is a bit harsh. Most people only use their computers to surf the internet, watch videos, and listen to music. For that, Linux is already there with regards to user friendliness.

What may be a bit confusing is that there are many versions of Linux, compared to Windows or Apple, which only offer their latest rev in maybe home and business versions. Linux, though, has many different versions, depending upon what you are looking for. I've tried Mint, but I felt it was a bit bloated, just like recent Windows and Apple versions. I've been using Lubuntu, which is a lighter, less bloated version of the popular Linux Ubuntu, for most of my work for the past four years.

The public domain software for internet surfing, word processing, spreadsheets, animation, picture viewing and editing, professional graphics, watching videos, and many other functions are as good as equivalent software offered but the big corporations. But some areas are admittedly still lacking, such as video creation and website creation and maintenance. There is good quality audio recording software out there, but it is still a bit clumsy to set up, not well integrated (like separate software required for audio, MIDI, and drum pattern creation), and definitely lacking in quality loops and samples. So I am still doing my recording on a Windows machine, even though most everything else I do on Linux machines.

I am not adverse to paying for quality software. I have spent thousands over the years for software. What bothers me is spending all that money on something that only works for a couple of years before it no longer useable. Many times the "upgrades" offer little improvement over the older software; it is just different. Often the software still works and meets my needs, but I have a hardware problem and when I fix the hardware problem, I can no longer authorize the software. And many software suppliers are going to leasing instead of selling the software. These are the main reasons I've been doing more and more stuff with Linux and other public domain software.

Stone Marmot
nouveau retro pop-rock music
Check out our latest song, "Black Hole Jezebel"
Video at Black Hole Jezebel
#1129617 - 08/06/17 11:51 PM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Feb 2005
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Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Hi Andy:

Sorry you took my mini-rant as a harsh critique of Linux. Au Contraire, my friend... we owe Linus Torvalds a significant debt for his work... and for making this variant of Unix Open Source. If I was interpreted to have been critical... it would have been my frustration with early commercial versions of Linux such as Red Hat. I will repeat my claim that I am a "user" of computers and software... and have no interest in programming. It seemed like every early version of Linux required someone to be familiar with "code" and I only wanted to circumvent Microsoft and/or Apple's strangle hold on Operating Systems. I call it that for what I believe is the same reason you disdain them... they expect you to pay for each new release when in reality, all they were doing was correcting the mistakes of the previous version of the OS. In the early years, Apple was not as quick to change and I respected that. After version X came out, it seemed like the "arms race" of new releases became the method in which they paid for their R&D... at our expense.

Like you, I am not adverse to paying for good commercial software... but I don't appreciate being "nickel and dimed" into infinity on constant, expensive upgrades.

I still have mixed emotions about the comparison of creative commons software... and the desire of some individuals and entitities to migrate that concept into the music biz. I've worked hard at writing my catalog of songs, copyrighting many of them and registering those with ASCAP after recording more than a thousand songs and compositions. Not all of my songs are ready for prime time... and I don't bother to register those. I do spend a great deal of time re-writing and re-recording many of my older songs, doing my best to turn sows-ears into silk purses. LOL!

Like you, I'm using Windows (in my case XP) to record songs in WAV format coupled with a Digital Recorder and connected to the Arranger, then making minor volume adjustments and edits on the computer before creating MP3s. Also like you, as Linux or a future alternative is available especially for recording while using an Arranger Workstation... I will be first in line to acquire and learn it.

As you know, XP is no longer supported and I don't risk it "on-line." (If you don't consider using memory sticks for transfer of files as a risk.)

Windows 10 is now a significant invader of privacy and I don't like the constant updates being added to my system, even after I've turned the system "off." It is most disturbing to me to come home to what I expect to be a dormant, off-line computer and to know I turned it "off" before leaving... only to discover the damn thing is "on" by some remote method and they are screwing around with my system and files.

Eventually, this invasion of privacy by Microsoft and others must be stopped. I want to be able to know what changes are suggested to be implemented in advance... and to have the right to refuse changes. It's all about "Freedom" to me. I served my country in the military and protecting our right to be free and choose available options is what it is all about to my way of thinking.

When it comes to the Internet... Caveat Emptor! I hope all of this has explained my "take" on Operating Systems and Software. I don't worry about Apps very much unless they are free, very useful and allow me to make better use of my time. I own a cell phone but use it for emergency or high-priority calls only... and usually when I am "on the road." I don't Text or Twitter/Tweet...and I stay away from Facebook.

Regards, ----Dave

#1129693 - 08/08/17 08:24 PM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 739
Andy K Offline
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Andy K  Offline
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Clearwater, FL, USA
I also am using XP with a 2005 version of Cakewalk Sonar 5 for my recording. This has met all my needs and I have never seen a reason to upgrade.

I use Windows 7 Professional for the handful of other things I still haven't transferred to Linux. These tend to be really specialized software that have few users to start with, like assembly language development software for microcontroller chips, so have never had Linux versions written for them. It is possible to run Windows programs in Linux with the Wine Windows simulator, but I've had mixed luck with that.

I also didn't start using Linux until they came up with reliable graphics user interfaces (GUI, mouse and windows type user interfaces), as opposed to the old script interfaces, where you had to type a bunch of commands to do anything.

There is a very simple solution to your computer being remotely turned on: Switched power strips. If your computer is plugged into a switched power strip and you turn it off when the computer is not being used, no one can remotely turn your computer on. It also saves electricity. I use these all over the house. You would not believe all the stuff in your house that you think is turned off but is still drawing power. This is a big reason (though obviously not the only) why my electricity use is less than 10 % of the typical US household. People argue that this stuff doesn't use much power. But when you have over 30 of these things that are never completely turn off by their power switches drawing power all the time, it adds up. This wasted electricity also heats up your house, increasing your air conditioning use, which is a big concern here in Florida. More info on this may be found here:

Reduce Electrical Use - Part 1
Reduce Electrical Use - Part 2

Last edited by Andy K; 08/08/17 08:27 PM.

Stone Marmot
nouveau retro pop-rock music
Check out our latest song, "Black Hole Jezebel"
Video at Black Hole Jezebel
#1129920 - 08/15/17 06:00 PM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 599
Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 599
I've been thinking about Linux for a long time.

#1129974 - 08/18/17 08:46 AM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,802
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,802
Hi John, Ray, Andy and Pat: (Those who have responded to John's original thread thus far!)

My response this time is initially for Pat and then Andy:

Pat: If you have a spare PC with an older Windows Operating System, provided you are willing to be prepared for some trial and error... by all means, I recommend a recent free version of Linux in the form of "Mint" (now upgraded for free in more than 18 versions) and because it is written by "volunteers" working for a common cause, is now thankfully a pretty darn good Graphical User Interface. I'm using version 17.2 lovingly called "Rafaella" by someone in that organization. I suspect the later versions include better interfaces for music oriented activities because I had to figure out how to make mine let me play MP3s and store them in a file for retrieval and transfer to memory sticks. I only copy and reproduce my own original material (unless someone has given me explicit permission to copy their songs... or "covers" I've done... like "Armadillo on the Interstate" by JPF's own uniquely talented songwriter, Joe Wrabek.

They tell me there are versions of Linux that can actually co-exist with Apple and/or Microsoft... but I have no experience with that aspect of things. In fact, as previously stated... I wandered into the Linux "camp" seeking a way to circumvent the "tyranny" of Apple's and Microsoft's stranglehold on Operating Systems. (...and other things... like Music)

My family also uses another PC and it was originally a Windows 7 gift to my wife for her birthday. She enjoys Facebook (which I avoid like the plague) and she seldom does programs or apps other than sending E-mails to friends and family when the telephone is not a convenient opportunity. (Sometimes it is easier to leave someone a message in lieu of engaging in a long-winded conversation... LOL!) I usually use her machine to access a few "safe sites" on the Internet. (I doubt if any of them are really safe these days.)

Sorry for that diversion. I only wanted you and Andy to understand the back story I'm leading up to. One day, out of the clear blue, due to no action or request from us... Windows 10 "invaded" our computer without our permission. It arrived with no prior notice or warning. Plunk, bah-bam... there it was in all it's radiant (and confusing) glory. With no manual or desire to waste three tons of printer ink and paper, I had to learn to navigate this foreign invader/system. Now, those Turkeys are more or less demanding that we "upgrade" to whatever they are choosing to send our way. They don't bother to explain the benefits or adverse facts about why we need another "electronic enema"... they just expect us to be obedient serfs and let them "have their way with us."

Does all of this have a "Nazi-esque" ring to it? It sure doesn't seem like anything I was brought up to believe in. To make matters worse, when we leave our home to drive to the next town for shopping (Wal-Mart)... I intentionally turn off her machine. Nine out of ten times, when we return, the system is "active"... all lights on the front panel "ablaze." I push the "on" button and instead of turning the system on... it displays the famous Microsoft Blue Screen and a message, complete with whirlygig, telling me they are turning MY machine "OFF!" Damn, that makes me angry! I know, Andy... I should pull the plug and disconnect the network cable to our ISP and Wi-Fi Broadcasting Device. (But I am a stubborn old man and I want to do things "my way.") LOL!

Eventually, I'll get around to writing my Senator and Congressperson (notice my political correctness...) and complain to the high heavens about these acts of Tyranny. For the present, I continue to "tilt at the big blue windmill" (Microsoft) out of my belief that they are wrong and I am right. As I've said before... I have no desire to be a programmer but stubbornly cling to the idea of "self-sufficiency" as long as God will allow it.

Now you (and the world) knows my story of sublime ignorance and stubborness.

I hope all of you have a great week-end. ----Dave

#1129986 - 08/18/17 12:49 PM Re: An Eye Opener! [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,403
Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2003
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Garibaldi, OR USA
Me with Dave. My current laptop (hight "Olivia"--they all have names) came with Windows 8.1, a real garbage operating system--but I only use the laptop for square dance calling, so all I need it to do is be an "engine," playing music from a flash drive through my PA. Accordingly, I have not changed anything.

I'd heard about the nasty Microsoft was doing, automatically infecting people with Windows 7 and above with Windows 10, which apparently nobody wanted, so I changed the "settings" to force it to ask before it did anything. And it asks--repeatedly. I always tell it "no."

I also don't let "Olivia" connect to the Internet. As far as she's concerned, there's no such thing. Lately, I've been getting error messages at bootup, saying "You haven't connected to the Internet in a real long time, and Microsoft has important updates to install." And I ignore the messages. Yes, "Olivia" has wifi--I think all modern laptops do--but she doen't know what it's for. And I'm keeping it that way.

I have had--on Alice," my last desktop--Linux Red Hat 8.1, and still have the CD and manual; at the time, Linux had a real good DOS emulator, but still didn't have a Windows one. "Alice" had a dual boot--to Linux, and (for my graphic design work) Windows 98. I made the mistake of hiring a computer repair guy to install Windows XP, and he erased *everything*, including Linux. I haven't re-installed it.


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