Mediocrity

When I was a small kid I was fascinated by science and technology. I watched the landing on the moon live on TV and it captivated my little brain. It was obvious to me: with the rapid advances in science and technology we would have to work less and enjoy life more. Things would be automated, robots would assist not only at work, but at home too. Advances in medicine will let us grow older and feel younger.

Almost 50 years later, people still work 9 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. People today work as hard as people in a feudal system hundreds of years ago.

Obviously something went wrong – big time! How can it be that modern technology allows us to work faster and more efficiently, and yet we still work 40-50-60 hours a week? Where is this hugely increased production surplus going?

The answer is simple: It’s going to the junk yard. Every day billions of people around the planet produce junk!

sea of junk
A sea of waste (Margaret Bates)

Continue reading “Mediocrity”

Linux Security Part 2

I already wrote about why I think Linux is the way to go, and why I consider Linux more secure than most commercial operating systems. But what if your favorite distribution gets hacked?

Exactly this happened a little more than a year ago, when the Linux Mint website – probably the most popular Linux distribution – got hacked. The hacker placed a backdoored version of the Linux Mint ISO onto the download page. The perpetrator was also successful in hacking into the forum and stealing all user data and passwords. The user data / passwords are still available for purchase on the dark net, anyone paying the requested amount can download it.

Today, a year later, the Linux Mint forum and community websites are down. In the meantime the site has come up – according to a admin note it was shutdown for maintenance. Continue reading “Linux Security Part 2”

Monitoring Hard Drives Using Smartmontools

Yesterday I wrote about Linux security and the need for monitoring hard drives for failure symptoms. As if this was an omen, today the following message popped up on my screen:

smartmontools
Smartmontools notify: Hard Disk Health Warning

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Linux Security

In my “Why Linux” post, I explained the advantages of Linux over commercial operating systems such as Microsoft Windows or Apple OS. In this post I like to point out some of the risks running Linux. The risks are by no means limited to Linux – you run the same or similar risks with all the other OS. So why bother reading this post? Continue reading “Linux Security”

Why Linux

Most PC users will be familiar with Microsoft Windows, some with Apple OS X. But what about Linux?

Linux has become popular as a server OS, but couldn’t win any desktop battle, yet. One of the reasons for Linux’ failure in the desktop market is its fragmentation. There is no Linux operating system, but dozens of different (competing) distributions, as these different flavors of Linux are called. “You got lots of choices” would the Linux aficionado explain.

While the software landscape under Linux has greatly improved, Microsoft is still the king when it comes to commercial software. And the fact that the vast majority of desktops run Windows practically guarantees that hardware will be compatible with Windows, which is not always true for Linux.

So why on earth should a Microsoft Windows user bother with Linux? Continue reading “Why Linux”