Archive for March, 2014

Solyd XK Linux Review

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

At First Glance

After being told about this distribution by someone who was looking to scratch their own itch, I thought it well worth considering.

An up to date Debian Testing based Linux system with limited or controlled updates. Debian Stable based Solyd XK (back office and business editions) are also available for download. Live boot/install ISO for USB or DVD.

Solyd K Linux

I started by installing Solyd K Linux to virtual-box on my Debian Wheezy workstation. Boot-loader didn’t seem to catch first time but second install was good. My only comment would have to be so far everything has turned out well. Strange in fact because I could think of nothing to nit pick about. A very decent project.  I installed a few extra programs, and their Graphical User Interface actually worked. It seemed bent on making all the correct decisions , no errors or hidden errors. Not only that, but the package manager seemed pleasantly free of annoying habits. I did not fully expect that.

Solyd X Linux

A day or two later I install Solyd X Linux via virtual-box. This time no issues again. I like the minimalist type install, but will have to customize by extra programs to get to my taste of minimum needed functions. Their Fonts category has proven handy. Video driver for virtual machine was able to allow resizing of virtual screen on the fly. Other distributions I have tried could not do this.


The Operating System itself seems solid (solyd?) I tried installing Solyd X on an Asus EEEbox.

Working sound, video, network, printers, etc. I listened and watched some of the news or video in v machine and the EEEbox. Only a limitation I am thinking of so far is in virtual box video acceleration, not in Solyd Linux actually.

I will be helping with two real metal installs tomorrow on a laptop and full workstation. An update is possible in a day or so, as my client has high expectations for functionality and easy updates.

One of the systems had a hardware or BIOS setting install problem. I will let you know in a day or two.

Sorry that a timely update was not possible. My customer had his workstation (3 yrs old from memory express) a checkup and a BIOS update while they were at it. They found not hardware problems, but let me try another Solyd install after the BIOS update. This time the installed was successful. Both systems have been performing well.

The only real glitch was the driver detector wanted to install an accelerated ATI driver for the workstation and we lost Xwindow. I was able to recover use of the generic open source driver by renaming the /etc/X11/xorg.conf (same as having no config file).

ie: mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.notworking

I’ve not yet investigated what is going on here.


Future of Linux User Groups

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Mel Walters

Insanity Keep repeating the same again and again and expecting different results.
(definition by Albert Einstein)

Being Remarkable

Peoples’ expectations have changed. The new normal is remarkable, [1]  or something worthy of remark. Call it weird, normal is just plain boring. Authenticity[2]  is also a must.
I propose we stop being boring or irrelevant; and remarkable will become easier with practice.

What Can We Do?

Here are a few ideas:
  • Improve things for people who want to be creative and not fussing with their computer all the time. Minimize incomplete, inaccurate or bad technical advice. I will use virtual machines to try out my own advice. There are definite advantages in doingsomething including:
    • Installation dependency requirements will all be met by starting with a base system install.
    • Achieving letter perfect documentation by copying from true to life examples, even though they be virtual.
    • Not having to disturb your real system to do the trial runs.
    • Define preferred Linux distributions and configured programs to fulfill desired functions.
    • Being able to prepackage a custom Linux distribution may also work out as a bonus. I will be trying this on my virtual-box.
    • Instructions can be considered adequate only if clear and complete enough to be followed to success.
  • Do something. A perceived risk will not be as risky as doing nothing at all.
  • Look at the whole job. Being only 98 percent done is is very frustrating. Don’t stop short.
  • Do not become hypnotized into self imposed limits.
  • Let us drop the black and white, right and wrong. Adopt Integrative Thinking.[3]  So by seeing both sides, you pick neither one or the other, but come up with a better solution. (You keep more friends this way too.)
  • Everybody is really good at something, so look inside and drop the “I can’t”.
  • We repel those we really need; if we put false class distinctions on abilities.
  • It takes demonstration (leading), not memos or bylaws to change culture. [4] 
  • Questing for the ultimate programs/operating system combination is worth revisiting. Thanks Jerry for pointing out Solyd XK Linux, looks interesting. I have taken it for a spin in virtual-box.
  • Just to show you we can be interesting, I would like to give a talk about how cool and easy high quality FOSS[5]  self publishing is these days. Now why on earth would that be useful or noteworthy in our modern economy? (e-publishing and paper too)
  • By appreciating our potential and present members,[6]  boring will go out the window.
  • Freedoms and Fair Use “License”: Abundance is the new market, not scarcity. It’s like Love; It works when you give it away. Don’t hold back. Trust your customers and they will trust you. When they trust you they will buy from you. Think of it as the only thing that scales big and small. There is no where to hide in our information economy. Share your knowledge.
  • There are 10(2) types of people in the world; Spoiler [7] 
    • 1(2) Those who get it.
    • 10(2) Those who don’t.
  • You can join a local LUG,[8]  or if that will not work for you, consider joining ours.
At our last meeting I saw a passion in some to experiment, to try out new. They may be among our future leaders? All it takes is joining our mailing list,[9]  and your involvement qualifies you as a Tier I member of CLUG[10] .
People are telling me that meeting in person is still important. Lets face it, we must have fun while doing it.
The future looks bright for CLUG, to anyone willing to collaborate in doing what’s needed. Complicated has to get easier and easier, do more with less!


1)  Seth Godin, Book: Purple Cow – Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (2009)
2)  Seth Godin, Book: All Marketers Are Liars Tell Stories: How Marketing Really Works
And Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All (2012)
3)  Roger L. Martin, Book: The Opposable Mind – Winning Through Integrative Thinking (2014)
4)  Jason Fried; David Heinemeier Hansson, Book: Rework (2010) from and
5)  Free(dom) and Open Source Software
6)  those wanting to use such cool technology as Freedom and Open Source Software
7)  10base2  = 2base10  think binary numbers
8)  Linux User Group
9)  Club members have experimented with things like IRC chat in the past, so keep in mind other ways to collaborate.

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PDF Files of Article

LUGsLetter  LUGsA4

April 2, 2014 Meeting

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Annual General Meeting  7:00 PM – till done

Time left over maybe used for

General Meeting

Topic: Unlocking Freedoms In Technology for Fun and Profit

Audience: Everyone!
Speaker: Mel Walters

A series of educational lectures and expanding topics of interest.

  • Unlocking Freedoms: Not only coders, but everyone can now be involved and benefit from sharing their knowledge. With self adjusting scalar economy, your idea of possible…(hint…anything is possible)
  • Digital Signal to Noise Ratio
  • What counts and who matters
  • Cool Tools
  • It’s Electric…(Education)

Meeting Time:  7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Room  No: 426

Location: U of C down town campus: 906 – 8th Avenue SW Calgary AB