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The HeliOS Project is now.....
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Saturday, July 04, 2009

As the TOYA Boy Turns...

A couple months back I coined an acronym for a specific type of person we are seeing more and more lately. Now we've talked about this before but for those that are recently joining this experience, let me rehash briefly.

TOYA Boy.

I, at all levels of logic, can understand Linux fanboy-ism. After all, we are not as much a Kernel, an operating system, and Free Software as we are a philosophy.

An important philosophy to my way of thinking.

So of course you are going to have those that take this philosophy to near, ahem...religious heights. Many of us actually have changed our life-course because we believe so strongly in this philosophy. There are millions of us across the globe that understand what computing freedom is...and we embrace it.

Zealot, Fanboy, NerdGeek...

Guilty as charged. More than willing to re-offend. Unrepentant Recidivist.

And I don't mind a bit evangelizing our philosophy...healthily demonstrated by the fruit of that philosophy...it's the core of what we believe...of what we know.

That's where the confusion starts to creep in.

The difference between a philosophy and a product. Let's break it down to what we are talking about at the core.

Linux (Gnu/Linux for my brethren who prefer) exists as much as a philosophy as it does a system.

Microsoft Windows is a product. Redmond cannot even spell philosophy.

Bought and sold with demanding stockholders eying its stability, big, with gleaming buildings and lots of people paid huge amounts of money to produce said product. I can understand liking a product...I like my HP 2710 printer, I like my poor old decrepit Isuzu Rodeo...

But I cannot understand defending it like they defend and protect Microsoft products, especially given the corporate entity that produces it and the Licensing agreement they must agree to before using it.

So if you like a product that's good...buy it, like it and use it. But when someone else, a free consumer in the market for Heaven's sake wants to try something else.....

Why are many of you prepared to do just about anything to keep him from doing it? Why are you prepared to mangle the truth or even lie in order to keep someone on your side of the fence? You will repeat complete falsehoods mouthed by others just as ignorant as you in order to sway a decision.

Why? And don't bother...it's rhetorical.

Well, I ran into another TOYA Boy this weekend.

Oh, and TOYA = Talking Out Your A$$. (when your mouth knows better.)

...and I do mean boy.

He was all of 16 years old.

A 16 year old with a smart mouth that stays in one piece by the blessing that he is only 16 years old...an adult with his mouth would have gained some hard-learned manners long before now.

I drove South to San Antonio and the surrounding area this weekend to do a spate of installs that I had reserved for a one-shot circuit. We've learned to schedule them at least 2 weeks from the time of request to insure that any other installs in that area can be done at the same time. It saves a ton on gas and wear and tear.

His name is Bryan and he too is 16, but much better behaved...well-behaved to the point where him calling me "sir" started to get on my nerves. Bryan has had it tough. He has bounced from foster home to foster home for the past 9 years and it has nothing to do with his behavior. The System simply sucks. The referrer was a CPS Counselor who calls me often with referrals and she told me his story. "Psychologically Brutal" is by no means an exaggeration of his previous circumstance. Through it all, Bryan has a 3.55 grade average going into his Senior year and has already been approached by two colleges. It seems that Bryan possesses some extreme music talent.

One of these Universities would surprise everyone...not many get that invite 3/4th's of the way through high school.

But Bryan is still a 16 year old boy...the voice of a man...just adjusting to the increasing testosterone levels and not at all comfortable with it. He's on that cusp that made all of us as young men extremely uncomfortable.

To take his mind from his problems, Bryan likes to play computer games...and write music scores. Original music scores.

Two of his friends had gathered in the family room with Bryan and his caregiver as I unpacked the computer and began to set it up. I had went out of my way to build Bryan a good computer. This kid captured my attention immediately upon his paperwork coming across my desk.

Bryan knelt down beside me and started putting the various cables and wires into the back while I bench-pressed the 21 inch CRT onto the desk. Have I ever mentioned in passing, my extreme dislike for 21 inch CRT's...? The wonderful woman that pledged to care for Bryan excused herself and told me that if we needed anything, to let her know.

When it came time to push the button, I nodded at Bryan.

"It's your computer son, you turn it on."

The Dell Bios bar crept slowly across the screen until the Super OS logo appeared in brilliant color. I glanced at Bryan and his friends to catch their expressions.

It wasn't any where near what I was expecting.

Bryan was not frowning but I could tell he wasn't exactly ready to do cartwheels either.

Bryan is a gamer and he was expecting Windows.

I sat down in the side chair and motioned Bryan to take the Captain's seat. I had him drop the menu and we started exploring his system. As he traveled through the various sub catagories, I explained how the menu system is set up and how to prioritize the applications to his particular needs. Bryan likes to manipulate music and by the time I showed him Rosegarden, LMMS, Audacity, and ZynAddSubFX, he had forgotten his initial disappointment. He was excited. He was absolutely enthralled with ZynAddSubFX.

I explained to Bryan that while Linux was not anywhere near on par with Windows in the gaming sense, it far surpassed Windows in about everything else. I was about to show him the Gimp when one of his friends chimed in from behind us. It was TOYA Boy.

"I've got a cracked copy of XP at the house Bry...we'll go get it later"

I turned in my chair and the kid smirked as I met his gaze.

"Why would you want to ruin a perfectly good computer by putting XP on it. It will be ate up with viruses in a month. Besides, Bryan doesn't have to steal anything...everything he wants is one mouse click away and absolutely free." I glanced over at the cased laptop on the end table. "Have you ever used Linux?"

The kid snorted in reply. "Dude, If he wanted a toy he would have went to the mall and bought one. Besides", he jerked his head toward the brand new Dell. "I haven't gotten a virus on my computer ever, so that's a bunch of crap. Power Users don't get viruses.

I eyed the other kid then TOYA Boy. "That is a sweet computer. Can I see it?"

He froze for just a moment and then went over and picked it up from the table and handed the case to me. I opened the case and pulled out the gleaming black beauty. 2000 bucks worth of upgraded Dell studio XPS laptop wasted on this rich boy snot.

I opened the lid and he smiled with pride as I turned it on and waited for it to boot.

"Do you have any games on it now?"

"Well yeah...that's what it's for. Check it out."

I opened the Experienced cracked menu and started looking through the games he had...all cracked...no CD needed...not a thing on it legitimate. Even Photoshop was stolen. This particular "release" of XP comes with the ability to install some impressive software...all cracked without any of the keygen or serial hassles. The only real protection he had on it was an expired copy of Norton and it had a big red X through it. I didn't pull it down from the menu but I would guess it was nefariously gained as well. Wireless dutifully found the open signal and connected.

Bad move.

I shifted in my seat and reached in my pocket for the right thumb drive, carefully holding the XPS as I did so. I pulled the cap with my teeth and slid it into the side slot. I waited for the device to register than opened the directory.

"Here's a game you don't have. Click that icon."

The kid glanced at the explorer box then took the laptop from me and took two steps back toward the love seat and sat down. He looked up at me with a raised eyebrow.

"Dude, that's a kid's game man...that's not a real game."

I just smiled.

"Oh trust me...it's as serious a game as you can get...try it and see if I'm not right".

He shrugged and tapped twice on the indicated icon. He fooled with it for about two minutes then laid the machine on the bed. Bryan was still deep into the menu of his new computer. He and his well-mannered friend had discovered Rosegarden and were excitedly exploring the options and features of the application. There was an almost gleeful dialog going on between the two friends.

"Dude, that's so lame my sister wouldn't play it." He pulled the 8 gig drive out of the slot and tossed it back to me.

I just shrugged and turned, put the drive in my pocket and focused my attention back to Bryan.

I took my time with him, explaining to him why Linux and Free Software were a better bet for him, not only now but for the rest of his computing life...barring The Cloud descending upon us all that is. I did accentuate that this was his computer and that indeed he did have a choice of what he put on it but that he should not buckle to peer pressure. Bryan should do what's best for Bryan. I noted with satisfaction the similarities between Bryan and a young man I encountered in Felton California. That was a good thing.


It would seem that helios is geographically-challenged...see if you can spot the boo-boo.


The other young man was listening just as attentively and that seemed to bother our Little Eddie Haskell.

"Dude, but what about our games. He can't play our games on that junk."

I patiently told him that "that junk" was a dual core 64 bit AMD Turion with a 250 gig hard drive and three gigs of memory. Because I knew ahead of time that Bryan would have some specific graphics needs, I installed the Quadro FX 5800, bypassing the onboard ATI setup. I also did a mini lecture on the abilities of Wine, Cedega, Crossover Office and some virtualization engines that would allow him to play at almost peak.

It didn't bother me at all to emphasize with authority that Bryan was being given this computer so he could better himself academically...not putz around at LAN parties and form associations with kids that prioritized gaming over building their futures. None the less, I directed Bryan to a text file in his home directory that listed all the games that played fine on Linux. Then I ended it with my regular finger-wagging .

"AND, it is all but impossible to get a Windows virus on Linux...it's almost impossible to get any virus."

Spawn of Satan snorted. "Big deal, that's not a problem for me either."

I looked him dead in the eye.

"Pull up your favorite game." He just looked at me like I had spoken to him in Swahili.

"Do it...I'm going to show you something."

I motioned Bryan to quickly vacate the seat he was sitting in and dug the red thumb drive out of my pocket and inserted it into the front of the computer. When the sdb1 drive opened, I clicked a folder and double engaged the Sub7 Server...who's client was softly nestled in the whack-a-mole game I allowed him to execute. While Bill Gates Jr. was yammering on about how he didn't need security protection and that Windows was as secure as Linux could ever be, the server connected and I clicked the control panel - screen text:

DO YOU WANT TO PLAY A GAME?

Bryan looked at me with his head cocked and without looking behind me I typed again:

Yeah, I'm talking to you, "Mr. I-Don't-Get-Viruses."

Plato responded in the way I figured he would.

"Hey, someone's typing on my computer."

Boy genius, ain't he?

Bryan smiled widely and I winked.

Again, appearing in a little yellow bordered box on his desktop: "How's that Windows system working out for you now sport?"

For good measure, I opened about 12 incidences of his desktop calculator and choked his 2 gigs of memory to a crawl.

By then, the kid had caught on. The sound of initiating applications was still dinging on his computer. He all but flung his laptop onto the love seat and came stomping over to the where we were seated.

"You put a virus on my computer?"

I just smiled at him.

"No pal...YOU put a virus on your computer. And it's a trojan, an OLD trojan. A Power User should know the difference. If you had any kind of protection at all, it would have warned you. You might want to think about re-enabling system messages while you are at it. It would have told you something was altering your Registry. You were dumb enough to click on a program given to you by a complete stranger so welcome to the world of social engineering Dilbert."

Bryan and his other friend almost fell out of their chairs laughing. The kid sputtered and spewed impotent threats about suing me and police reports...I think he even said he was going to tell his mommy.

That sent his friends even deeper into hysteria. Bryan's "Mom" stuck her head in the door to see what was going on. They were completely at the mercy of their own laughter. I smiled and waved. she surveyed the room, waved back then closed the door.

I unmounted the thumb drive and tossed it to the next candidate for the cover of Mad Magazine.

"Open the same folder, click on the "untitled" folder and double click the icon that has the red and white lifesaver. It says "rescue" under it. When it says to reboot, do it. It'll take the trojan completely off. Oh, and be patient closing all those calculators...Windows does not handle memory very efficiently."

The removal tool had him back to normal in 20 minutes.

I spent the next two hours with Bryan, Michael (the quiet kid) and David...a much subdued David. We used the time to explore OpenOffice, Ekiga, Pitivi and a host of sound manipulation applications. I also showed them how to use both synaptic and the shell to apt-get new applications. Even David was obviously impressed and sheepishly asked me how he could obtain the same Linux System Bryan had. I dutifully dug in my bag and gave him a disk and explained it was simple enough even for a Windows Power User.

As I prepared to leave, we gathered in the living room and I spoke to Bryan's caregiver, I made sure Bryan AND her had the username and password, our business card and instructions to call if there were any problems. I even told Bryan's "mom" about the incident with David and she laughed softly as she shot him a sideways look...something told me that she was pretty sick of his mouth as well.

I was at the front door with the four of them standing in the hallway, I turned and looked at David.

"So did you learn anything today Dave?"

Shuffling his feet, he repeated that he should never trust a stranger or his word when it came to putting stuff on his computer. He also mumbled something about not talking about things until he knew what he was talking about.

I nodded and smiled. "Yep, that's a good start." I began to open the door to leave, then stopped and turned back to him.

"So Dave... was I less of a stranger to you when I told you to click the second icon...?" I met his blank stare for the three seconds it took him to understand what I was saying.

I'm betting there is a good chance he finds a way to re-activate that anti virus program...or if he's smart, he'll follow Bryan's lead.

With that I pulled the heavy front door behind me closed and stepped into the blistering Texas afternoon. I had two more installs in Schertz and New Braunfels before the day was allowed to finish and it was already 1 PM. Eventually, I would return to my home at 12:10 AM on Sunday.

It was a good day.

All-Righty Then

For those who may be concerned, all parties mentioned in this article have read, approve of their participation in the article and bear no ill will toward the author. David's father thought it was a scream and donated $50.00 to The HeliOS Project - h

41 comments:

Carlos said...

Sometimes the best way to learn is the hard way. Great story!

bambambambam said...

Awesome story. I've had similar experiences with the Windows users I know. The number of times I've used a LiveCD to fix their broken heaps of junk... Ah well.

NoobixCube said...

haha,hilarious :P. This means you're always prepared with that trojan in your pocket for just these circumstances, doesn't it?

Martin said...

love your teaching methods for idiots :)

oh and a couple of the links in this article are broken, the "Eddie Haskel." link and the "Experienced cracked"

keep fighting the good fight :)

Blog of helios said...

I carry a minimum of three drives on me at all times. One is a 16 gig drive partitioned with 4 different live distros and various eternal applications,

The second is a drive with my 4 gig icon and graphics, plus a live version of Testdisk, Acronis True Image, CD Rescue and g4l

The third drive is the "RED" drive. It holds a library of over 3000 known Windows viruses, trojans and malware applications. I use them to infect demonstration Windows machines. I allow one of the audience or group members to actively execute the .exe file and we watch in real time as the virus or trojan takes control of the machine. We then execute it on a Linux machine and note the absolute boredom of the action.

I have never used sub7 in this way before but it hit me to do it as this kid smirked...turns out to be an ok kid...he just needed some education. Properly administrated, Sub7, even the oldest editions, is an efficient way to communicate between computers. Unfortunately, there are tens of millions of scanners out there, sniffing thousands of times a second for open ports...you need to be extremely careful using it in legitimate ways.

Should you doubt I carry these with me, well, I can't do anything about that. That's a burden for you to bear...

h

metelliuscode said...

This was a great read!

Randall Meyers - Dallas said...

Ken, great, great blog. I think this ranks as one of your best. If it wasn't for the fact that you identified the kid as being in Texas, I would have sworn you were talking about my Nephew. Mommy and Daddy have given him everything and at 17 he has stuff that people working half their lives don't have. There's times I just want to choke his smarmy little a**.

Inciting the kid to infect his own computer was a stroke of brilliance. Leaving him wondering if he had further infected himself when you left was absolute genius. It gives us all a little insight as to how your mind works.

I am personally glad we are on the same side.

Randy

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! That is hilarious and scary at the same time!

I don't think I would have had the courage to do something like that. I would be too worried about retribution in some form or other.

Keep up the good work!

- Gavin

Felix Pleșoianu said...

"Why are you prepared to mangle the truth or even lie in order to keep someone on your side of the fence? You will repeat complete falsehoods mouthed by others just as ignorant as you in order to sway a decision."

Because they know their position is indefensible. They know all the evidence points the other way. They know they are allowing a delusion to drive their lives. Yet they have invested so much in it... their entire worldview is built on the absurd idea that Window is THE operating system. They speak out of sheer, deep insecurity, because they know they are ultimately wrong.

(Any resemblance with other cultural phenomena is not coincidental.)

JohnBauley39 said...

What can I say... CLASSIC!!! Especially the parting gift..

The best I've done is scare the hell out of a similar teenager that thought it would be cool to say he was a hacker in a chat room.. I still wind him up about it today..

Dante said...

My nephew, to an extent, is like that kid, but worse. He has hacked editions of all software, pirates movies...has a hacked Xbox (so he can download games and play them, often before they even hit the shelves) I have to admit he gets the same basic freedoms as we do, but at the cost of always making sure his system dosent find out and yell back to it's activation servers.

I have attempted to get him onto Linux, and he does, for a while (Xubuntu is the only distro that will work on his comp) then goes back.

Personally, I think Windows is the toy here; it breaks easily, you spend a small fortune to get it running properly...about the only use for it is running my games on it (stuff like 'Evil Genius' or 'Space Colony') and hell, with the newest VirtualBox, I dont even have to duel boot anymore.

Oh, by the way, I'd love to get my hands on your Red drive...could be very helpful...

r_a_trip said...

"Why are you prepared to mangle the truth or even lie in order to keep someone on your side of the fence? You will repeat complete falsehoods mouthed by others just as ignorant as you in order to sway a decision."

I think it is down to fear. Fear of the unknown. There are a lot of irrational fears associated with the unknown and with change. Linux is the unknown other OS and it is on the brink of becoming mainstream. To entrenched Windows users it can seem like a threat to their known way of computing.

What if Linux suddenly "takes over"? What if from one day to the other, I find myself in the minority using Windows? What if I can't learn Linux? What if I can't make the cut and fall by the wayside? What if the gaming industry won't support Linux? What if I'll always be dependent on others for my computing maintenance? What if I have to work in the CLI forever? What if my machine can't run Linux? What if I want to stay with Windows, but the vendors don't support it as well as they once did?

To stave off this "sudden take over", people revert to FUD. If you can hold off others from switching as long as possible and maintain the status quo, your own computing environment is safe. Even if what you have is the last dreck on earth, it is the dreck you know and love.

Leaving your comfort zone is hard. I know I had a hard time adjusting when I started playing around with Linux in 1998. It took me about two years to make the plunge to use Linux full-time. Now I can't imagine going back, but in those first years I from time to time wondered if Linux would ever be my system.

Anonymous said...

One of the easiest issues to get past on Linux is gaming.

First, Linux plays games just fine as long as you have the right video card and drivers installed.

Second, there are lots of good 3d games for Linux. While they may not be the big name commercial offerings they are just as good as the over priced Windows games Bryan's so called "friend" feels are life essential.

Third, if EVERY Linux system with a capable NVidia or ATI card was loaded with a selection of some decent 3d games and ready to go right from the start, meaning having working 3d graphics, this would be less of an issue and the Linux can't play games myth would die the death it so justly deserves.

The Linux is not a gaming platform myth died a long time ago. In my experience games perform as well or better on Linux than they do in Windows.

The only stumbling block to Linux as a gaming platform at this time has more to do with commercial gaming companies and Microsoft and a bit of backroom collusion intended to keep Linux down as a gaming platform by Microsoft.

Microsoft's XBox is nothing more than a locked down gussied up Windows computer disguised as a game console. Microsoft is losing money on the product but their long term goal is more to gain and keep control of the computer gaming industry. Profits will come later if they succeed.

Whats even more irritating is the fact that many of these same commercial gaming companies that refuse to support Linux clients use and rely on Linux heavily in their background game server functions and infrastructure.

Kids like Byran's brat friend suffer a constant barrage of ad inspired propaganda from companies like Microsoft. By the time many of them hit 17 they have their heads so stuffed with BS they can barely think for themselves. They are only acting like the mindless consumers they have been trained to be from birth.

I recently had a similar experience as yours. A Mother and Son stopped by to discuss a system for her son. He was badgering her to buy an XBox. She was reluctant because of cost and practicality. To her the XBox was one dimensional, gaming only. Anyway, during the visit, I was able to sit them down in front of my system and run them through several quick demos of various Linux games. The boy was impressed but I could see that ad propaganda mindset battling against the evidence that was right in front of his eyes. In any case he really did like the Linux games he was shown and was very surprised that they were free.

Additionally, as a Linux gamer, I have noticed some commonalities while playing online.

The rudest most obnoxious players tend to be using Windows.

The ones most likely to be using cheats tend to be Windows using players.

The ones who are most likely to "beat up" new players tend to be Windows players.

The loudest "mouths" in most games tend to be Windows users.

The ones who "freeze" up most often tend to be Windows users. (MSN IM and AV apps)

Linux is a great and stable gaming platform and promoting that fact should be the norm among Linux supporters including selling/giving systems prepared from the beginning to do that.

PV said...

That was absolutely hilarious, and I really appreciate what you did and made him do. I know a few TOYA people myself and I was just wondering what the best way would be to make them change. I have not enjoyed reading a blog post this much until now, and I want to see more of these kinds of posts in the future!

--
a Linux Mint user since 1 May 2009

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys. I have seen myself that many games run better in Linux under Cedega and/or Wine than they do in Windows on the same machine.
Better as in being able to run the games in higher resolution modes, with more eye candy enables, and they still run faster. Better as in without the games suddenly freezing, exiting unexpectedly, or having errors.

From a happy sidux GNU/Linux user from the time sidux was first released. Before that I used Kanotix, and Knoppix.

dr. Hannibal Lecter said...

Heh, talk about "Fortune favors the prepared mind".

Best story I've read in quite a long time. Keep it up!

jamest said...

@dante:

did you mean to spell it Duel Booting?

If so, that's just plain funny!!!

Christopher said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31766751/ns/technology_and_science-security/

Ken,
You may want to make sure said "Power User" see's this. Power users don't get viruses my a$$.

Kyin said...

Great story, wish I would have thought of something similar on the few occasions I've encountered a TOYA Boy. I talk about Linux at work all the time, but have only gotten one person to switch so far. Gave her a Mint live cd to try out, and she ended up installing it.

Far as gaming on Linux, I think the PS3 has disproved that theory.

On another interesting note, check this out

http://www1.euro.dell.com/uk/en/home/mini_laptop_deals/fs.aspx?refid=mini_laptop_deals&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1

Notice the OS on the one farthest to the left.

Screenshot here in case it gets fixed before you see it. http://tuxradar.com/content/ubuntu-brought-you-microsoft

neonblue2 said...

That was so painfully funny.

Anonymous said...

This is beyond funny.

Helios does what so many of us would like to, but don't have the guts to do.

Will said...

Well said, previous anonymous.

You're a hero, Helios. And no one fights the good fight quite like you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe already said by others, but you missed a golden opportunity to set him up with "duel boot" right away... I know, he's got to "want it" first, but it sounds like he was already there and just needed to see how easy it would be.

Blog of helios said...

That would have been nice, but the machines we build for these kids do not come with any Microsoft Licenses for their operating system.

We don't offer Microsoft products under any circumstances or conditions. If we are asked to put Linux on an already existing machine, then we will set it up to dual boot. However if we are building a machine for a disadvantaged kid, the chances of a Microsoft Operating System being on that machine are as good as you hitting the lottery and getting hit with lightning at the same time.

h

Chelle Minkin - Seattle said...

but you missed a golden opportunity to set him up with "duel boot"

Are you familiar with The HeliOS Project's work? You are not obviously.

Taking one of Ken's hand-build machines and putting Windows on it is like painting someone a picture and then smearing it with crap.

Not very lady-like but it gets the point across.

Chelle

JHardin said...

'Chelle & Helios: I think the idea was to set up "duel boot" on _(David|Eddie Haskell|TOYA boy)'s_ laptop, not the one being installed for Bryan.

Beemer said...

I think he meant you missed an opportunity to install a dual boot on TOYA's laptop.

--Beemer

Blog of helios said...

@ Beemer

I thought that's what he meant too. I emailed Chelle and told her that she probably missed the point. LOL...haven't heard from her yet. The Anonymous guy I have no way of contacting...but you are right, I am sure that is what the poster meant.

I really didn't have time to do it, but I did leave him with a customized disk with step by step instructions on the desktop.

If he has problems he will call...

If I promise not to put the sasser worm on it.

h

Anonymous said...

A dual boot of Linux + cracked Windows could very well end up being a real-life "duel boot", though. ;)

If you can turn TOYA boy around (possible, since he is still young) then maybe you can convince him to go 100% legit for his free software! Hey, even the lottery and lightning bolt is possible. Just because it hasn't happened yet...

- Gavin

bin-it said...

Hey! awesome post. Guess I read it late, but better than never. Could you somehow make this collection of three drives available online? I would love to emulate what you did! (wicked smile across the face). There are simply way too many non-believers down here.

michelle Minkin - Seattle said...

@ anonymous

I totally misread the meaning of your post and apologize for the catty response. No excuses, I just misunderstood what you were saying. You bring up a good point.

Chelle

Blog of helios said...

@ Bin-It

No, LOL...I won't publish the contents of that drive to the Internet. Talk about putting a gun in the hands of the crazies.

However, it might take the determined collector the better part of two hours to collect everything I have by going to astalavista.box.sk.

WARNING - DO NOT go there on a Windows Machine with Internet Explorer. There are some nasty java scripts running there that have an even-money chance of screwing your computer up. We wrote about it a couple of years ago...If you have noscript in Firefox and Linux, you are perfectly safe.

h

Anonymous said...

Love the story, brilliant.

You mentioned SuperOS Linux, wheras I thought you'd moved to using Mint Linux for all your installs. Did I miss something?

My wife just got given a laptop with a broken power connector (which I will fix) - it's a Vista machine, and I was considering Mint instead of Ubuntu (she's a computer novice) largely based on your blog. (I've never tried it)

If you think SuperOS is even better then I guess I should take a look.

Blog of helios said...

Mint is a fine distro and we still install it however we have found that the Super OS gives us 100 percent of all the codecs and stuff that a new user needs for a complete out of the box experience. A couple of times, Mint has had to be tweaked and some stuff added. Also, Super OS comes with a slew of themes and color schemes already installed...You can make that baby look awful dark and dangerous with the click of a mouse...

Nothing against the Mint System...I just have much less to do with Super OS to get it out the door. Remember I am doing 2 and 3 machines a day and at the end of the day, those saved minute count.

h

Blog of helios said...

adding to my last comment, we will most assuredly be using Mint on the East Austin Learning Center install in August. That is 25 machines in one place. When you want a unified and relatively simple install for a group of people, Mint has it over about everyone else. Simple, fast and good looking. Super OS comes with some apps installed that may tend to confuse the new user...Super OS is for those who want to go from zero to holy-crap in 3.2 seconds.

h

Feitze said...

Wow did you really give that kid a $3500 nVidia Quadro FX 5800?

Blog of helios said...

Yes I did. It was donated to us and we simply pass along what we get to our kids. That being said, you do not want to give something like that to someone who is not going to use its potential. Bryan is a music and art prodigy and I have sat on that card for a long time, waiting for someone worthy of it. Bryan in my opinion is worthy.

To be honest, I am not completely sure that the company that donated us the box of hardware knew it was in there. Still in the box and unopened. There were several of them like that but the most expensive under that was 149.00.

The kid had a good day.

Besides, now that I know who his friend is, I want him to beat the crap out of him in any game he challenges him to.

h

Anonymous said...

Helios that was one of the best blog posts I can remember reading in a long time. You are one devious son of a b****.

Blog of helios said...

@ JHardin

Yes, I completely missed his point of view and acknowledge that he has an excellent point. I will do what I can to contact him and suggest it.

If he'll let me any where near his computer.

h

Feitze said...

@Blog of Helios:
I wast just wondering if it was a typing error or something, because you said it had just an AMD Athlon dual core 3200+ cpu, which doesn't exist (AMD has a dualcore 1,8ghz cpu for desktop, the 3600+ and a singlecore 3200+, but not a dualcore 3200+ with 1,4ghz).

Blog of helios said...

LOL...thanks for the heads up. It was more than a typo, it was a complete brainfart. I only build about 9 of these a week, sheesh.

Thank you for pointing it out.