VMRC CD sale and my anti-State Religion Blog!
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!> Stuart Shepard shares how his week is going after being named "The Worst Person in the World."

I. Introduction

The CD is burnt by Valued Materials Research Company to ease the transfer from Microsoft software to NetBSD, a UNIX style operating system. All the software on this CD was freely downloaded from the Web. It is a software movement best noted as "Open-Source" software.

II. Politics and Definitions

So far, it is still "legal" (I put that in quote marks because, if you are familiar with the old-school 'right&wrong,' you realize that now in this United States of America, what is right and wrong, and what is legal are two different items. They are not the same.) to share computer code and programs. Hence Open-Source programs. It is not the same as Free-ware. It can be free, but it does not have to be. Ask a veteran if freedom is free. The code is free as in freedom to change it as you wish.

Anyway, when you buy a car, sometimes, boys usually, may want to make a better car, i.e. install headers, change the injection system, a new paint job, or tint the windows. Whatever it is you can do that because you OWN THE CAR! However, if it is a Microsoft dominated computer, you cannot change a thing! Or Microsoft will take you to court! It is like a black-box. You push this button and pull this lever, and the box will do this procedure. What if you want to change how and what it does? TOUGH LUCK! Microsoft reserves that "privilege" for them to do. You OWN THE COMPUTER, but you cannot change much of how or what it does.

III. The HOW-TO documents

The first HOW-TO is how to partition your previously Microsoft only hard-drive to allow a NetBSD partition and a NetBSD swap partition. It is with the fips20.zip file if you have winzip or some archiver. Without any archiver, use fips20.exe, a self- extracting file. It would be easier if you put fips20.exe on a on a bootable floppy, extract it there and boot off the floppy. Fips 2.0 cannot work from a multi-tasking OS, it needs to be a straight a:\> prompt floppy.

It is the First non-destructive Interactive Partitioning Spitting (FIPS) program. It is best if you optimize your Microsoft part of the hard-drive to allow some extra space. Sarge can get by with 1 Gb partition and 128 Mb swap, but if you want to be able to do anything, please allow at least 5 Gb Linux partition and 256 Mb for swap. If you have a spare hardrive or 10 Gb is even better.

Notice that this NetBSD system does not 'automatically' make your swap partition as Windows or Lindows (I forgot their new name since Microsoft took them to court and won) does. You have to make it yourself during the NetBSD 6.0 installation.

The newer distribution is called NetBSD 6.0 which uses a partitioner called Gparted. It's a little easier to use than FIPS. It comes with Squeeze and I will compile it to come with NetBSD 6.0 i386.

The latest of NetBSD comes with many wireless drivers. I purchased an ebay special Realtek 8188CU usb plug for $5, and NetBSD 6.0 comes with urtwm Realtek 8188CU driver that works with our wireless Internet router, so I get the Internet for $5!

I also included some media software, like RealPlayer and FlashPlayer. They are binary files that just execute/install themselves.

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V. Getting Used to a UNIX-like System.

If you have no familiarity with UNIX, I'm sorry, but you have some learning to do. I learned the basic 'login,' 'password' system while at a university, but otherwise, I was very ignorant of UNIX. But I am very glad I suffered through another learning curve to learn Linux and NetBSD.

The first different thing you notice is that Linux uses forward slashes '/' and the only time a backslash '\' is used is to represent a carriage-return. Another thing different is that executable programs do not NEED to end in 'exe' or 'com.'

The next very important differences is that in order to be able to read a floppy or CD, the device needs to be 'mounted.' These NetBSD CDs make it fairly easy to mount a device. It appears as the 'home' icon on the X-window. By the way, this GUI is known as the X. The xfree86 system was started before Microsoft, Inc. made any money. PCs still had a: and b: floppies with no hardrives yet when MIT started developing 'X.'

The newer distributions usually have an automount, so any CD or flash-drive inserted with by mounted in a few seconds. But the 'mount' command is still important to learn about.

A VERY IMPORTANT IDEA TO REMEMBER IS TO NEVER REMOVE A FLOPPY IF IT IS NOT UMOUNTED YET!! I destroyed a floppy drive by not umounting the floppy first before popping it out of the drive. The CD is better. You CANNOT remove it until it is umounted.

VI. Internet Security

In the realm of Open-Source programs, the firewall comes with the system. You don't have to buy a firewall from McGee or some software company. The best one here is gnome-lokkit originated by RedHat and changed by the gnome people or the Debian people. The best configuration appears to be to maximize the protection. No telnet, no ftp, only port 25 and 110 for mail and 80 for the Internet. Your system should not be available for anyone in the outside Internet world. And even if it is, your root password should be protected by you so nobody could delete a file or write anything in your box. You are safe!

VII. Update Your System

A special method to update your software to the latest developed, is to, as root, perform a pretty simple series of commands from a shell prompt. The best method is to look at the NetBSD guide available at the NetBSD.org site. There are a few different ways to update your system. You can use the 'cvs,' or download a tar file the is updated every 3 months. 'apt' update, upgrade as you wish.

Then later on in your experience with Squeeze, if you have new CDs to install in order to upgrade use another command: 'apt-cdrom add.'

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NetBSD uses a method called pkgsrc, 'package source,' where you download source-code, compile it, and use new programs.

VIII. Conclusion

You have made a good choice in the NetBSD operating system. For a price of $5.99, shipping included, you get 1 DVD of NetBSD 6.0. I am in the process of downloading and compiling NetBSD 6.0_rc2 for an i386 DVD.

Or I also have the latest Fedora 19! Fedora is an offshoot of RedHat. RedHat is now a 'for-profit' company and Fedora is a volunteer for 'no-profit' group of developed and users.

Please email me any information needed if PayPal does not inquire properly, i.e., mailing address etc.

I also offer Fedora KDE 19 $3.99. Debian is more secure and well proven to work, but Fedora is more of a leading edge in opensource linux.

I recommend that you stay up-to-date with the debian.org group. The group began with Deb and Ian who I suppose were software developers. The group is made of many volunteer developers around the world.

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Contact me at contact@vmrc.4t.com if any problems.


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