I published a little automated update script for Debian and Ubuntu called Up a while back. Up 1.0 was mainly designed as a teaching aid to show how functions work in bash scripts but it has become a tool I use daily nonetheless. Well, this morning Up got it’s first update and I just pushed it out to GitHub. Up now uses the more advanced apt command instead of the older apt-get command to get things done. The only reason Up used the older command was to be backwards compatible with Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17.3. Since those systems are being retired next month, Up can now offer a more modern display showing progress bars and so on. It is bittersweet to see Ubuntu 14.04 go away. It was the Ubuntu that finally got me to switch to Linux %100…
Looking back, looking ahead…
I’ve spent the last couple of days tidying up the e-mail accounts, moving data around a bit and doing full backups of all the machines in the house. I’ve done this in the week between Christmas and New Year’s for as long as I’ve been playing with computers and this year it feels a bit different because I have learned some things about myself in the process.
1. My Linux distribution hopping days are over… I have settled on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with GNOME as my daily driver and I plan on staying with it for at least the next couple of years. I have been using it with only a few short breaks to test other distros, since it went into beta in February, of 2018. It has proven to be rock-solid stable and it runs seamlessly on my aging Dell hardware. I also have an HP G6 laptop that has been running the same original install since the same time period without a hiccup. I see no need to change it.
2. I am no longer the wide-eyed Free Software/Linux advocate I was when I started EzeeLinux. Oh, I still love Linux and I will continue to use it and contribute to the Linux community in one way or another but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit dismayed by all the name-calling, elitism and general fragmentation within that community. I find it very discouraging to hear Linus Torvalds saying that he feels that the path to Linux success is through Chromebooks. Chrome OS is a locked down, mostly proprietary system that barely qualifies as being an “OS” which is owned by a mega-corporation that only wants to figure out new ways to scrape more data from its users so they can shove more advertising in their faces. That’s a far cry from the lofty goals of Free Linux Distributions, now isn’t it? Someone pointed out in a comment the other day that it is unbelievable how much hate and nastiness is slung at Linux from both outside and inside the Linux World, especially when you take into account the fact that Linux is given away for free… My mind cannot help but wander back to my time in Sunday school and recall Mathew 7:6. “Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (World English Bible.)
3. I will most likely be posting less Linux related YouTube content in 2019. Honestly, I don’t have much more to say than I already have on the subject. My YouTube vids are aimed at new users and I get a constant stream of wonderful feedback about how they have helped people get started with Linux. That is very gratifying but there is also a dark side to YouTube that has been very hard on my mental heath in 2018. Unless you’ve dealt with it yourself, it’s very hard to understand the amount of mental abuse reading all of the toxic hate-speech that comes from the cesspool of humanity that is the YouTube Comments section can be! I have recently put stronger filters in place to help catch a lot more of it. Most of the time viewers never see the worst but I see it all… On top of that, I have been stalked, people have made threats to harm me physically and my bank account got hacked. Honestly, it has been scary at times. I will simply have to be more cautious in 2019. I want whatever I post to be useful and positive.
I will refrain from making any specific predictions for 2019. I have mixed feelings about the future; I think it’s going to be a year of change and upheaval for Linux and computing in general. So much is changing so fast. That’s why I have fired up a RAID1 storage array, backed up all that is dear to me and got myself prepared to ride out whatever comes next.