“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for October 20th, 2009

Size and Linux.

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As requested more Linux, a review of sorts, rather subjective and unscientific, pay no attention!

There is a strong tendency amongst developers of Linux distros to emulate Microsoft.

No, not in a nasty way, rather to include everything and the kitchen sink, just in case.

The end result is that a fast operating system is burden with bloatware and unnecessary frills, KDE4 is a prime example.

But I am not going to moan about KDE4, if people like it, fine, I don’t and prefer less inflated software, so trying to find a really small usable Linux-based operating system for a small and slow machine is hard. Not impossible, but harder that it ought to be.

Antix Linux is fine for most things, but I wanted something smaller, compact and workable even on the smallest of old PCs. That way, when you put it on a half way decent machine then it should positively zip along, like a greased whippet. Well, that’s the idea.

So in an unscientific way I picked Puppy, TinyCore and SliTaz as possible choices.

Firstly, Puppy. It gets good reviews and it is about 100 Mb to download, boots up well enough, finds the NIC and allows usage straight from the LiveCD. But you can’t (as with other LiveCD) installs packages until it has been dumped on a hard drive. That’s where the problem begins. Whilst Puppy works well as a LiveCD the installation routine seems like an afterthought, written on the way back from the pub. It is very chatty and less than straightforward. Installation to the hard drive does work in version 4.3.1 but seemed a bit buggy on the X setup, looping, shutting down and going thru the same script again and again. It can work, I know cos I got it working ages back on an older version, but it seems happier on as a LiveCD or USB stick setup. Why the developer couldn’t have followed others when putting together the installer I’ll never know. All in all strikes me as a bit eccentric. But if it works for you, OK. 5/10.

TinyCore is, I believe, from one of the ex-authors of Damn Small Linux. It is very small about 10Mb, and then later on you add the packages. I confess I had wanted a chance to trial this out, but the install is weird. Not too complex, but I couldn’t see an easy way of “re-use an existing partition” for a full hard drive install, still the LiveCD boots up well enough and you could run from there without touching the hard drive, from what I’ve read. I must concentrate and re-do this one, sometime, it has great potential. An optimistic 7/10.

Finally, Slitaz, which took the field by storm a few years back. Sadly it seems to have stopped pushing itself, but is still just around. A 30 Mb download, burn to CD and reboot. Slitaz comes over as the more conventional of these three distros. Install is simple, follow a menu, and 10 minutes later it is on your hard drive, using GRUB. It made the old wreck of a PC that I tested it on usable, a Dell laptop, 400Mhz Pentium 2, 256Mb of memory and an old 5 Gb disk. Slitaz comes in two version, a stable release and a cooker. Software installation on Slitaz is using its own package management, but it is functional and not hard. All in all it feels like a normal distro, but a smaller one, with all the necessary bits and pieces in place. Very commendable. 7.5/10, as Slitaz seems to be in hibernation for the moment, I hope it doesn’t fade out as so many promising ones do.

Written by modernityblog

20/10/2009 at 17:33

Leaking Neo-fascists.

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It seems that another discontent neofascist has leaked a newer BNP membership list, according to the Guardian:

“The BNP is bracing itself for potentially fresh embarrassment tomorrow when details of the party’s rank and file UK membership are expected to be posted on the internet.

The list, which purports to be a snapshot of the party’s support in April this year, includes the names, addresses, postcodes and telephone numbers of people who have signed up to the far-right group, including the grade of membership assigned by the party – standard, family, family plus, gold, OAP, and unwaged.

This list was leaked to a website, which insisted today that it was genuine, and that it intended to publish the information tomorrow. Today the BNP seemed unaware of the potential disclosure and said it appeared to have been timed to undermine the party ahead of the appearance of its leader, Nick Griffin, on Question Time on Thursday.”

what the BNP list says about its members.

Update 1: Wikileaks has a copy!

It can be found elsewhere too.

Update 2:
Wikileaks is, understandably, overloaded and rather slow but here’s the direct link to the BNP page related page.

Written by modernityblog

20/10/2009 at 13:59

Antifascist Generals Outflank The BBC.

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Not quite, but at least a few incredibly conservative, small c, pillars of the military establishment are actually prepared to put some distance between themselves and the BNP, whereas the BBC couldn’t.

In the past, military officers and establishment figures have often been the mainstay of fascist parties, but these modern day generals are far more radical than the BBC, and in particular, those organising the BBC’s Question Time for this Thursday, as the Times reports:

““We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military for their own advantage to cease and desist,” they write. “The values of these extremists — many of whom are essentially racist — are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military, such as tolerance and fairness.”

They point out that 10 per cent of servicemen and women are from the Commonwealth. “The reputation of our Armed Forces was won over centuries of service in some of the most difficult areas of the world,” they say. “Political extremists should claim no right to share in this proud heritage.”

The letter is part of a campaign launched today that attempts to highlight the BNP’s strategy of cloaking itself in the military.

It comes amid anger at the BBC’s invitation to the BNP leader Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time this week. The Times revealed this month that the party had been targeting veterans’ charities to widen its appeal.

General Jackson told The Times: “The BNP is claiming that it has a better relationship with the Armed Forces than other political parties. How dare they use the image of the Army, in particular, to promote their policies. These people are beyond the pale.”

It is a pity that the producers of Question Time are so keen to legitimize neofascism in Britain all for the sake of ratings and their own self importance.

Written by modernityblog

20/10/2009 at 00:48