Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My soul's journey

To let go of the fear and anger which imprisons my heart,
To relinquish all childish expectations and live joyfully in the world as it is --not as I wish or imagine it to be,
To be free of the always craven and ever-craving ego,
To be released from the endless hungers of the body,
To see God in others,
To see God in everything,
To die without death and merge my consciousness into the cosmic sea of bliss from which I came,
To surrender my heart to love,
This is my soul's journey.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why I Want My Daughter to be a Hacker

Let’s define what I mean by the term “hacker” first. There is so much FUD out there around this term. Large controlling institutions want you to fear hackers, want you to think the hacker mindset is dangerous. This could not be farther from the truth. Hackers are simply empowered individuals that want to figure things out for themselves. With hacker properly defined, let’s get to the meat, why I want my daughter to be a hacker:
1. Hackers are not consumer lemmings – As large institutions continue to brainwash American citizens into becoming slaves to the systems they’ve created; hackers know that there is a life outside these systems of user dependence, a better life. Institutional dependence is literally killing us. Our dependence on the institutional food system has left us disease ridden and physically incapable. Dependence on western medical systems is bankrupting us. Our two major political parties both preach institutional dependence; one insists dependence on big government institutions, the other dependence on big corporate institutions. Hackers preach self and small community dependence. i.e. independence.
2. Hackers avoid what I call “The Knowledge Trap ” – Our education system is mostly about teaching people what to think, not how to think. This is true from kindergarten through undergrad. Hackers are more focused on skills than knowledge, and people with skills survive. Most importantly it’s attitude that make hackers effective. Knowledge is least important because they have the skills to get the knowledge they need when necessary. And their independent attitude makes them resistant to appeals to authority.
3. Hackers can hack anything – They are not just limited to computers and electronics. They can plant vegetables and by doing so hack the food distribution system. They can install solar panels on their homes and hack the energy grid. They easily shake the fear that advertisers and politicians instill in mainstream society’s psyche. Big institutional systems don’t faze hackers, they can see beyond them.
4. Hackers favor open systems – Hackers use and favor open non-controlling tools and systems. They support software freedom, and this ensures that non-restricted tools will be available to hackers for generations to come.
I’m sure there are many more reasons to encourage the next generation to embrace hacking. Feel free to add your reasons as comments. Happy Hacking!
by qchapter

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blah blah blah.....Weddings?!

Hi dolls,

Nothing much going on right now to write home about so I wont be posting for quite awhile. Plus,my final exams are coming up(wish me luck!) so that's going to be taking up most of the little time I have between work and school.

The only interesting thing going on is that I have 2 friends who are getting introduced in may..immediately after we are done with school. Am happy for them..they have found the people they want to spend the rest of their lives with so young and they have so much ahead of them. I can't say am not a little jealous. Of recent, everyone I meet(that is, the girls i went to school with) ask me when am getting married. This is a seriously unnerving question (and I swear am gonna hit the next girl/relative who asks me this) because firstly, I don't have even a clue about when am going to be married, secondly I really feel am too young to be considering such things(am 21 for crying out loud!). And lastly, I don't even know if the person am with wants to marry me(It has been hinted at, of course, but he has never come out right to say it). And frankly, am happy with the way things are.

All that this marriage talk has done for me is to make me want the ceremony. A pretty,intimate colourful ceremony!I have never been that girl who dreamt of her wedding since she was little and had it planned down to the colour of the napkins. The most thought I had given it before now was that i wanted a pretty simple ceremony with at most 50 people. But now, am wedding crazy- I have a wedding/introduction folder on my desktop with all sorts of things that i have gotten off the Internet;dresses, settings,cakes the works.

They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting it. I have a problem and am taking drastic measures to solve it before I drag some poor man down the aisle just so I can have my ideal wedding. Henceforth, am avoiding all the brides and all the friends. Next step, stop watching all the wedding programs that for some reason have flooded our T.V stations these days. I think that will do for now. I can't bring myself to delete the folder though. Am so loving the dresses and settings images I got.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Diary Of A Linux Newbie: The First Year Pt.2

First Operating System Installation, FUDcasts

I started looking around at once for another computer, one on which I could make all the mistakes I needed to without endangering my original box, and soon got the eMachine. And here's the measure of my lack of sophistication at the time: the machine had been wiped, and I was suddenly aware I didn't know how to do anything at all with it. I did know I couldn't even get the DVD into it unless the power was on, so I pushed the button.
Almost from that moment on, there was little doubt what to do next.
Success!Find the machine's BIOS boot order, choose DVD drive, let it do its thing. Don't hesitate, choose Install to Hard Drive, and answer some simple questions (go ahead, use the whole drive), then bite my nails while the drive grinds and whirs, incomprehensible messages appear and vanish, and a great blackness descends. I know to wait (I've read the books, I know it takes a while), and suddenly there it is! Ubuntu 8.10! I installed it! Well, it really installed itself, I just sort of facilitated it a bit.
For the next few days I explored the rich stew of programs that were either installed or offered via the Synaptic Package Manager and I even -- gingerly -- my toes in the waters of the terminal. Not to DO anything at first, just to read some man pages, but it gave me the sense of how to get into and out of that powerful area. It all went so smoothly, at first I was almost disappointed at the lack of challenges. Of course those came along in due time, but fortunately not until I was better prepared to face them.
FUDcast BackfiresI'd not been at it very long when I came across an article by Lance Ulanoff titled Diary of a Linux Virgin. I am really glad I had already done my own installation, because I might otherwise never have done it at all.
You see, Mr. Ulanoff was apparently intent on generating FUD in support of his publication's proprietary-system advertisers like Microsoft and Apple. He described his experience at installing Ubuntu 8.10 as if it were the most computer-threatening, nerve-wracking, brain-challenging experience of his life. Zapped computer. Several required reinstalls of Windows XP Pro (which he made sure to say he tossed off quickly with his indominatble expertise). Finally, with a lot of help from experts both in his office and online, he heroically managed to get it up and running. There was no account of what he actually DID with it.
And here's a thing for all Linux fans to take into account: the working (read "paid") reviewers derive their income from corporations that advertise in the publications for which they write. How likely is it for them to heap praise on a system that offers a viable, inexpensive, and sometimes superior product to the ones which are the ultimate source of their pay?
Most of us know this already. We gripe a bit, grumble, comment prolifically on their articles, and let it go at that. But what about all the people who haven't yet tried Linux -- or even heard of it? Is their only source of information the Fudcasts of the advertising-driven press? And to put it in the bluntest possible terms, how the heck is Linux going to grow additional market share if it doesn't quit preaching to the choir and start marketing to The Public? That means writing about Linux in a way that assumes the reader is a very intelligent but severely underinformed user of a computer who is interested in learning more about it. I'll probably get flamed for the following, but even offering Linux as simply an inexpensive potential hobby could bring a whole lot of people close enough that they'd soon be won over.
Herd of LinuxesOkay, I lied in the title of this article, to compare it to the Ulanoff piece. I didn't say much about my first year. What the whole year really amounted to is that right now I'm up to three computers running a bunch of distros to see which I like best in the long run.
At the moment I have Ubuntus 9.04 and 9.10, openSUSE 11.2, and Mandriva 2010 on computers, with Knoppix 6.2 on a thumbdrive and DSL and a beta of TinyMe on CDs. Windows XP remains in double-boot on my original Compaq, but has been permanently disconnected from the internet to serve, for the present, as my version of clod storage (no, I didn't misspell that). I am an unabashed Linux fan, still a beginner but learning fast. I've had my share of temporary disasters and unbootable systems, but nothing my well-used CD of Parted Magic didn't get me out of. I compare that to what it would have been like if I were still a standard Windows victim way off in my remote little mountainside home!

Diary Of A Linux Newbie: The First Year

From FUD to Fandom

Just a year ago -- April 21, 2009 to be exact -- I installed a Linux distribution. I installed it from a DVD of Ubuntu 8.10, Intrepid Ibex, that came with an issue of Linux Pro magazine I bought from a news stand, and I put it on a hand-me-down eMachine with 384MB RAM (the other 128MB being dedicated graphics). It was the first time I had ever installed an operating system. In fact, it was the first time I had ever installed anything at all, anytime, anywhere. I had always just called for (and paid for) professional help from a neighbor who extended me rates more favorable than his enterprise customers paid. Raised at IBM, he had become a born-again Microsoft True Believer and wanted to keep us all happy Windows users.
I had wanted to do something with Linux for quite a while. The idea of a whole new approach to computers, one that allowed someone without formal training to explore the way computers ran, fascinated me. I was much too timid to leap into action at once, risking my one and only machine (2002-era Compaq, Windows XP Home) that contained several years' worth of writing, notes, and comparable trivia. Instead, I did what every ex-academic would do, I read up on the subject.
Linux for Non-GeeksNow here's a point some distro fans might like to take into account: I started my reading with Ubuntu not just because it was well-advertised, but because the books (by Brian Proffitt, Paul G. Sery, Keir Thomas) were readable by humans like me who were starting with absolutely zero computorial vocabulary. These books are scorned by the geek world cognoscenti, I'm sure, but I can bet you they have actually drawn more newbies into the throng than a score of the deep-knowledge textbooks have. You can catch up with the Real Story later -- first you've got to start from scratch.
One evening last year when I carted my Compaq down to my neighbor for its annual cleaning and checkup (he had a satellite internet connection -- at the time the rest of us in our tiny community had dialup that downloaded at a peak rate of 2.4 KiBps!) he announced he was moving away in a few months but assured me I could call him for questions.
That was a real uh-oh. What was I to do? It's 50-plus miles to the nearest city, I'd be at the mercy of a stranger to fix my computer (and see all the personal stuff on it), and it was just at the time when Microsoft was making strenuous noises about abandoning Windows XP very soon. So I took him up on his offer and asked a question.
"What do you know about Linux?" I asked.
"I know how to spell it," he said -- not in an unfriendly way, but it was clear it was not a topic he wished to pursue.
I should have known at the time his reply would become my quick-launch into the world of Linux...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Corporate Kampala,WTF?!

Hi dolls,
Am left with only 2 months to complete my undergraduate degree and I've been pondering on what to do with myself after am done. Of course, the first thought that has come to my mind is to get a job in a bank or a telco and live the glossy life of a young corporate in kampala. This thought was banished out of my mind soon as I started temping at one of the the telco's I really wanted to join.

The reality is that most of these corporates get dressed in fancy clothes that they buy for work and drive through traffic in a car that they are still paying for-in order to get to the job they need to pay for the fancy clothes and the car, and the house that they leave vacant all day so that they can afford to live in it. This is the proverbial golden cage, all shinny and glossy from the outside but it's still a mother f***ing cage on the inside.

This is not the life I want. So on to thought number two- hustling!