Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

After the failure of Oxwall to successfully allow me to host my own social web site, On the Other Side!, I have started to work on another version of the said social web site using WordPress and the plugin Buddypress which is going well at the moment.

Out of the ashes of Oxwall will come the new On the Other Side! Social web site which hopefully will be far more stable and maintainable than the previous incarnation of the social web site. So far it does look promising as both WordPress’s and Buddypress’s plugins have made the creation of the new social web site far more easier and provided a winder range of useful features for free. Add to this it looks like the resulting web site will be for stable and maintainable as my other WordPress sites have proved themselves to be.

So this time I am hopeful the life span of my new version of my social web site, On the Other Side!, will be longer than the previous incarnations so which me luck!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: If you are interested in my small social network just follow the link to On the Other Side!.

After yet another bad experience with updating Oxwall and it plugins, I finally abandoned my Oxwall based small social next work to replace it with a WordPress based small social network based around Buddypress.

I was very disappointed with Oxwall as other than that it certainly did it’s job and easy to set up but the maintenance problems it had spoilt it’s usability to a point it was more trouble to use. I think what did not help Oxwall were it’s lack of control of the quality of it’s plugins, especially the useful ones, which certainly detracted from it’s usability.

I am replacing it with a WordPress based small social network basically because WordPress plugins seemly more controlled and vetted by WordPress which means from my experience the updating and maintenance of the plugins is a lot easier and less troubled by major faults and issues.

Oxwall in the end may be a good idea for small social networks but due to it’s lack of quality control of it’s plugins spoilt it to a point it is difficult to maintain over time which is great shame!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: If you are interested in my small social network just follow the link to On the Other Side!.

After two minds if I would start to use of not use to create a web site and blog based on my own web server here, I finally last week decided to take the plunge and install WordPress on my web server here.

I suspect now I join a large group of people who have already done this and so far I am very impressed what I can and cannot do with WordPress and it’s various themes and plugins. Though this is early days so far so I have not found any major snags with it yet though knowing me I will find problems as I always have a knack of braking software or asking to do something it simply cannot.

So last week I have started to recreate my personal page using WordPress, probably not they way to use it but I tend to use thing in different ways, and so far I am very impressed with what I can do. Basically it is easy, quick and produce a nice looking site the only slow bit being the finding the themes and plugins needed to produce the site itself.

So it looks like my home page will for the foreseeable future will created and maintained using WordPress which has the nice additional side effect in so much I get to learn the ins and outs about WordPress based web sites and their set up.

If you ant to follow my progress on my new home page just follow the link:

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

What still amazes me just how ignorant people are about Open Source especially software though I should not be surprised by this as the big Computer Corporations like Microsoft, Apple even Google would like this to continue as it protects their market.

Open Source is not a mystery as they would like users to believe nor is it substandard software any more compared to the equivalent commercial packages. If anything a lot of Open Source software is better written and more stable than their commercial counter parts especially in the web server and network solutions.

A definition of Open-source software is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose.

But to users like myself it means we get access to software tools which would normally cost us money which we simply do not have.

Open Source may be free but it certainly does help people make money from it’s support and use in a commercial environment. It certainly shows free does not mean you cannot make money off it!

Currently the biggest use of Open Source software now is within the base infrastructure of the web itself as more and more companies use Apache Software to host their web sites to the most visible use on Tablets in the form of Android which is a modified Java on a Linux Core.

Strangely people now use Open Source software more and more without even knowing they are actually using it.

Personally I recommend people use Open Source software over the commercial versions were possible not because it is free but because due to the leap and bounds Open Source has made in recent years the quality and stability of Open Source software is starting to outstrip the more predestination commercial versions of the said same software.

Open Source is not a mystery but a quiet revolution for the users in so much we get the real tools to use our computers more effectively and innovate ways!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

In The Clouds!

Posted: 21 February, 2014 in Cloud, Computer, Software

I have started to use a cloud at home to save documents on to a second drive and allow me to work on them on two computers without having to move the files between the computers. It is working well and makes my life easier and gives me something I have not had in a while a constant backing up of my work. Too many times in the past I have lost work because a hard drive or computer failed. The cloud is certainly making my life easier and helping me here to be creative without the worries.

Once again Open Source software has come to my aid with a simple and easy to use software package called ownCloud which was quick and easy to set up though you do need to know how to set up an Apache Web Server. Though anyone who is using Linux will already have the knowledge and wherefore all to set up likes of Apache and so on.

Other than a few glitches ownCloud has been doing its job here wonderfully all made better by the facts that some of the plug-ins which have allowed me to have a calendar, synchronise my Firefox browsers even share my files on my own server free from a third parties external servers.

All means I once again have even more control over my private data as it is on my own computers not some third party server run by a corporation which frankly in our current environment on the internet most people don’t trust their data to corporations been compromised by likes of the NSA.

Would I recommend someone who want access to a cloud use ownCloud?

Indeed I would as like all Open Source Software it is free, gives you more control over your data and wonderful set of plug-ins which allow you to have calendars and the such. Though it is not perfect and has it’s glitches but most are minor and annoying but it is very functional and stable for the majority of the time. The creators of ownCloud are improving it all the time so hopefully with time it will be even better.

The main web page of ownCloud is worth a checkout and is at the url

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

This is a gentle reminder that this journal will become a more serious journal from now on and somewhat less personal in nature. So if you want to see a more personal journal which will include more insight into my life and more personal thoughts will be in the more personal journal, Acta Spiritu Amisso, whose link is given at the bottom of all the journal entries from now on including this one.

Also feel free to leave any comments there.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

After resetting my main Linux Computer after which I realised I had not backed up the Acta Spiritu Amisso journal so all the previous entries were lost. Ironic really as it is one thing I keep telling customers at work is to back up their data and I failed to do it myself.

So the said journal has been set up again this time in a better location on my main Linux Computer so another reset will not remove the journal again something I should of done in the first place. This a lesson learnt.

So the journal starts again as before it will be a more personal journal than this journal and a lot of the pictures of my life will be placed in the Acta Spiritu Amisso journal leaving this journal for more serious entries and music which is a change of emphasis of this journal.

Wish me luck as the journal starts again!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

While I was looking for either blogging software or software to display my WordPress blog entries on my home page I stumbled on an Open Source Blogging Engine called FlatPress which is still under development which claimed to allow blogging without the setting up of a database.

So I thought I would try it on my Linux Computer here to find it was every easy to set up, easy to customise and more importantly even for piece of software still in development it was remarkably stable bar a few minor glitches. Though it is still early days in using it but it looks like the software has a great potential for those who simply want to host a blog on their own web server without the hassle of setting up a database.

So far I would recommend it for people like myself who want to host a blog on their own server at home just because of it ease of deployment and customisation.

Myself I am currently using the software in a more personal blog off my home page mostly as a test and somewhere where I can express myself a bit more than here.

The following are the links to both the FlatPress Home Page and my new blog:

FlatPress Home Page:

Acta Spiritu Amisso:

This is a question which still perplexes me greatly in so much why do people still pay for software?

This because of the growth and increase in the quality of the Open Source Software has come in leap and bounds in the past decade to a point they do the job better than their paid equivalents.

Myself I now excursively use Open Source Software including an operating system and still use my computer effectively. If anything more effectively than some 10 years ago when the only real software available where paid software created by software houses which I found consistently only did part of what I wanted and could be difficult to use.

With the advent of Open Source growth I am now finding I now have access to tools which I can use to be more productive and creative on my computers than even few years ago. It has meant I can now easily host my own web site on one of my computers, broadcast music even write on my computers without laying out a lot of money or bothering with constant problems of software licences and limitations the paid software has always put on users like myself.

But I know why people still pay for software is because they still labour under the misconception propagated by major software writers that open source both substandard and less safe software to use than their own creations. But those of us who have been brave enough to use Open Source software have found these views to be totally false if anything Open Source Software is now of high quality in general, very usable and very safe software to use as it’s vulnerability to viruses is much less than commercial software.

In conclusion by users closing their minds to Open Source Software are hamstringing themselves in so much they lose the chance to get the most out of their computer with the right tools which cost them nothing other than a donation of two if they can afford it.

As stated elsewhere Open Source Software is the future of computing not commercial software as it has a better chance to release the creativity and innovation of the users once again!

Why is open source so important to modern computing?

All this can be summed up in one word Freedom!

Open Source returns back to the users and developers a freedom to use and develop software which takes account of the users real needs not what a major corporation think the users and developers need.

Open Source returns back innovation and forward thinking into software which has been long missing in the software created by the major computer companies in the past decades.

Most importantly Open Source beings back the freedom of the user to use their computers and software how they want to not as they are currently are which is to be forced to use computers in a way major software companies think they should.

What has become very apparent there are a growing number of people out there who want to mess around with their computers and software basically for fun, to be creative and explore what they can do or not do with software and computers in general. This something the major computer corporations have denied such people over the past few decades!

Because of the major computer corporation actions by locking up both software and hardware closely to themselves, they have managed to kill off the much needed innovation and development needed to push the industry forwards and it shows in the products they produce now which frankly lack any imagination and even innovation.

My personal view those people both within and outside computer industry who keep their minds closed to open source or keep giving it lip service will find the quality of the hardware and software they as development and innovation will simply dry up as things become stale.

Open source gives back the much needed innovation and freedom to develop new things needed within the computer industry to move if forward into new and better things in the modern world. It also gives jaded users and even normal users the tools to use their computers in a way that is comfortable themselves down to a personalised desktop or simply a familiar and easy to use desktop.

Simply put ignore open source at your own peril!

There seams to be this view from the large majority of computer users both professional and home that Open Source Software is the personification of evil even virus ridden. I suspect I know why these users got this view with the established software companies bad mouthing open source software and association of Open Source with more politically active side of the computer world.

But from personal experience this is far from truth and I have found Open Source software to be of the same standard and even better than the commercially brought software especially over the past decades. While most commercial software has got more bulky with many unwanted features Open Source software functionality and usefulness has grown over the same time.

This to a point now I do not have to buy any commercial software to do what I want on my computer as I will find an Open Source equivalent to do the same job most of the time far better than the commercial equivalent. Even the operating system I use now are Open Source because they are far more stable and usable to the commercial equivalents.

As for the perception that Open Source are virus ridden or has an association with likes of Hackers that is far from the truth. Yes some Open Source software is associated with such groups but the large majority of people who are associated with Open Source have far more noble ideals in so much they want to bring computing and choice to all users.

Biggest irony of all the commercial software creators now use Open Source software to create their products to sell to the public but they are hypercritical as on the same hand they discourage their users to use Open Source software under the pretence it is not as good as their creations and as safe.

In conclusion Open Source software is not evil cousin of the commercial software but a serious contender which is constantly improving and allows people to use their computers more effectively especially those who are short of money like myself.

Let put it this way this is written on a laptop which only has Open Source Software on it and if anything more stable than a laptop with commercial brought software and it did not cost me a penny without a loss of functionality!

What still amazes me are the amount of people who use computers who still buy and use software from the major corporate software makers rather than use the free open source versions of the said same software!

This considering the brought versions of the software are overpriced and on the while it can be bug ridden with ill thought out front ends which make the software difficult to use. While there are free alternatives which actually do the job with more user friendly front ends available.

I am not saying all brought software is bad or all open source software is good just the fact you don’t have to always pay over inflated prices for software to do the job you actually want which for people like myself who have little money means we can get tools to do what we need for free.

The sad fact is most computer users are far to lazy or simply frightened to try anything different other than what is recommended by the computer manufactures themselves. This not helped by a small band of so called computer experts who claim open source software cannot be good because it is free frankly a silly but effective argument with less informed computer users.

Those of us who are brave enough to use open source software actually find it is actually easy to use and remarkably stable as software goes plus most of all it is easy on the pocket. Myself the only software I now buy are Internet Security and PC Tune up software even on a windows computer as in both cases the brought software is better than most of the open source versions currently.

The following are some of my recommendations of open source software most of which I currently use on my computer:

Audacity – An open source audio editing package.
Clementine – A good open source alternative to iTunes.
Gedit – An open source text editor.
GIMP – A good open source drawing package.
Google Chrome – The fastest and most stable web browser to use.
Inkscape – A good open source vector drawing package.
LibreOffice – An office suite which shoots Microsoft Office products out ofthe water for ease of use.
PeaZip – An open source version of WinZip which unlike WinZip is a full version of the software.
Thunderbird – A good email package though with minor glitch and to.

Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

What I find a little strange in the past 5 years Linux, in all it’s variations, has developed from an operating system which at the start could only be used by the very technically minded to a series of operating systems whose stability and ease of use that surpasses that of Microsoft Windows and Apple o/s!

All this done under the auspices of of Open Source Software that is without the backing of a major Software Corporation, other than few donations, and on people’s own time with less resources than their collogues within the major Software Corporations. Add to this they have in this time have also shown more innovation and inventiveness than the so called major Software Corporations.

Then you get around to the major Software Corporations like Microsoft and Apple whose operating systems to be frankly have not really changed in the background for the last 30 years bar some so called performance improvements and modifications to the front ends and you have to ask them what have they been doing for last 30 years?

As observer from the outside of both Microsoft and Apple both major corporations have become very complacent and stale over the last 30 years because of their strong market positions. Both in their different ways show contempt to their users and markets with a we know better than the user attitude. This has been borne out by Microsoft’s recent fiasco of Windows Vista a terrible operating system and Apple’s iPad which was only successful because it has the Apple name and not because it was actually innovative and new!

But as I have said you have to question what these big corporations have been doing while the Open Source community, especially in Europe, have been making big strides in development of Linux and software in general at a fraction of the cost over the last 5 years. As I have said before if the likes of Microsoft or Apple do not embrace, rather than currently give lip service to, the Open Source community in the end both Corporations will find themselves in the cold eclipsed by people working in their own time creating both stable, easy to use and innovative software!

In conclusion Microsoft, Apple and all major Software corporations should take note of the Open Source community as it is not going away and becoming a real force in the software industry in general. What company in it’s right mind is now going to pay large amounts of money to the likes of Microsoft for licences for software when there are free equivalent  Open Source software out there which does the job as well?

Please note: If  want to see my second life journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Well it was a nice surprise I found an interesting Twitter from someone I now cannot remember.

It seems that OpenOffice team have recreated themselves as The Document Foundation who now are creating a new OpenOffice Productivity Suite with the name Productivity Suite which is a direct descendant of Sun Systems now Oracle’s OpenOffice itself.

Those of you who are not in the know OpenOffice is, it is an Open Source Productivity Suite which includes a Word Processor and Spreadsheet which currently rivals Microsoft’s Office Suite with one major bonus in so much OpenOffice is free and in my opinion far more easier to use than Microsoft’s Office.

OpenOffice was originally developed by Sun Microsystems as an Open Source package which was taken on by Oracle when they took over Sun Microsystems since when I suspect that large majority of OpenOffice users where waiting for Oracle to pull the plug on it as like Microsoft, Oracle tend to put profits first and customers/users last!

So the formation of The Document Foundation by the OpenOffice Team came as a very pleasant surprise as it finally frees the OpenOffice Productivity Suite, be it in another name, from the clutches of large American Software House who we all suspected all along would like to charge everyone to use OpenOffice.

One other thing has also come out of this formation of this foundation it looks as if it is run by people who are largely based outside of the United States and in Europe the heartland of the new wave of Open Source Software both it’s development and use! You might say OpenOffice has come home.

So now I will start to use LibreOffice Productivity Suite by The Document Foundation and stop using Oracle’s version of OpenOffice Productivity Suite as I will support true Open Source Software as in the end we all will benefit from their work.

Myself I would urge people out there  to do the same and start to use LibreOffice Productivity Suite over OpenOffice Productivity Suite so we as a whole can encourage the growth of Open Source software and for once get decent working software we all deserve!



Please note: If you want to see an archive of my older blog entries then go to my blog The Thoughts of Chairman Turner. Otherwise if you just want to see my second life blog then go to my blog Journal of a Spectral Traveler.