feren OS Minor Review

feren OS Linux Distribution, was next on my test list. feren OS caught the attention of Distro Jumpers (Linux distribution jumpers – I used to be one), and I wanted to know why feren OS is so well liked in the community. I downloaded the feren OS iso, and ran it. I was pleasantly surprised! While feren OS is a long way from the future lightweight desktop in the plans, feren OS is an impressive distribution. An obvious amount of work and attention to detail being put in it.

Did I mention I appreciate the quality of thought and work going into feren OS? feron OS is a newer distribution and a work in progress. The distribution borrows a lot from the big Linux distributions, though it manages to stand out on its own. Taken from the feren OS website,

“…Cinnamon DE that’s simple to use as well as showing off many user contributions to Cinnamon. Soon enough, in a couple of years, feren OS will get an upgrade to its design with a new Qt-based Desktop Environment to look like the concepts of feren OS’s design.”

In the moment, feren OS is running a Cinnamon Desktop. feren OS’s closest competition is Mint Cinnamon, I am guessing. feren OS is currently not the lightweight the feren OS team hopes it will become as it transitions to Qt Desktop Environment, feren OSweighed in at 544 Mb usage at boot-up. For comparison, Mint Cinnamon booted up using 441 Mb. Not a lot of difference, but if memory is at a premium, feren OS may be too heavy for your system right now.

feren OS is a solid Linux OS being made even better. Check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two points really stand out with feren OS’s for me. The Desktop is pretty upon boot-up. A few mouse clicks provide several more desktop background images to choose from. Personally, I do not enjoy a dark desktop, so changing the background was my first priority. Perhaps if I sat in front of my computer eight hours a day, I would prefer a dark desktop. For now I do not.

The second best thing feren OS has going for it is the software. The menu is filled with programs I would probably pick myself if I was starting with a bare bones operating system. One major gripe of mine with a number of Linux Distributions is the overflow of software, or the overly minimalist approach. I think every computer user has their won default set of programs they prefer to use. feren OS, hits a perfect balance with their application selections.

The feren OS menu itself is clean and well thought out. I think almost any user, new or not, that is not set on the XFCE way of right clicking for the menu will find little fault with the menu layout. I think this comes from having a design in mind and working towards it.

If memory is not an issue, and you want a clean, well designed Linux OS, you could do a lot worse than feren OS. For myself, I am looking forward to the transition to the lighter Qt Desktop environment.

Wrapping up, feren OS, feels a little more polished than other Cinnamon Desktop Distributions I have looked at. feren OS has the right amount of applications for almost any user. Definitely resource hungry in the moment, I think you will find feren OS an enjoyable experience.

Solus 3 Linux Minor Review

I tried out at a number of Linux distributions this week with the goal of identifying one or two Linux distributions that could be used by several people who would be new to Linux. The Linux distribution needs to be simple, so anyone can operate the Linux OS without help. From that perspective there are several Linux distributions I looked at for this environment. Of course each one of us has their own opinions of what works and what does not. This is my initial experience with Solus 3, a Linux distribution which is starting to be noticed.

Solus 3 Linux was my first choice as a Linux system to be used by Windows users. I read many good things about Solus, and I thought it might be a great Linux OS to install on an older multi-user laptop. Solus 3, I found, does many things right, and is well thought out. There are just enough programs to satisfy a basic user, but not overwhelm or annoy them. The new user is shielded from too many settings, and too much software. Solus 3 looked like a winner right from the start.

Solus 3 is a winner if you have the correct printer, or do not need to print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then a major limiter made itself known. I have a Brother printer, and there was no included printer driver for my particular printer. No problem, I downloaded the correct driver from Brother website and started to install. I then found I could not install the driver for two reasons.

First, I learned Solus Linux uses Eopkg and not .deb or .rpm as is common. I thought this was a minor obstacle. I would unpack the printer driver on another computer and copy the files to the Solus computer, and install them.

Only root may install drivers or other software. I tried, SU, sudo, and sudo su as I had read in a forum note. None of these commands allowed me root privilege. I thought initially this problem was because I was using Solus 3, as a live cd. I proceeded to install Solus 3 to an empty local hard drive, which is a simple process.

During the install, I created two users, one with admin privileges and one ‘normal’ user. Once again however, I could not gain root access with either user. In fact I could not determine any differences in the privileges of the two accounts. To shorten this story, I was completely unable to gain root privileges and install the Brother (or any other brand), downloaded printer drivers.

Solus Linux uses an EOPG packaging, which is a packaging format few if any vendors support for their peripherals. Not being able to print, made an otherwise very pleasant Solus 3 Linux experience unusable for my needs. Per the website, only Hewlett Packard and some Espon printers are currently supported.

Solus 3 is very good for use, if the standard (across most Linux distributions) printer driver is present, or you have no need to print. Sadly, the idea that printer drivers cannot be installed, brings me back a decade or more in Linux life. Years ago, many peripherals were hit and miss for working in a random Linux distribution. You had to find a Linux OS where the Distribution Development Team used the monitor and printer you owned.

For myself, this printer driver issue, makes Solus 3 another Windows OS, in that it is a closed system. I hope in the future to see better from Solus Linux. Solus Linux has the potential to be one of the best, but it has to create some solutions for their currently closed operating system.

As a side note, if you really wish to to use Linux with the Budgie desktop, Ubuntu Budgie is an alternative, though Ubuntu Budgie has higher minimum operating requirements and may not be a good fit for an older laptop or desktop.

Feeling Better, Eating Differently

This is an edited copy of an email to a family member. I thought you may wish to read it too. I removed the eating plan name and the places I ate at, as my experience may or may not be the result of eating there. Fwiw, everything I have written is true for now. If anything changes, I will update this post.

You may like reading my thoughts about a eating plan? I have passed the thirty-first day on the xxxxxxxx eating plan. I can call it quits if I wish. Thing is, I’m sticking with this because I feel so much better.

I have found I may have a few more food issues than I thought. I find I can not eat orange beef and brown rice at xxxxxxx. I never thought it was possible, but I felt like I had three different headaches going at one time, starting about an hour after I ate! Lasted until I fell asleep for the night. I wasn’t a happy camper as I have eaten the same dish at the same place many times.

Even a few more foods are strongly suspect. Tacos are suspect, maybe the corn? Then there is this almond butter bar that is supposed to be healthy. Guess what? Eating one bar raised my blood pressure 20 plus points, and it stayed up for several hours! One little (claimed to be healthy) almond butter bar did this to me. I know it is the bar, because I ate one bar every other day over six days, with the same results. Before this eating plan, I thought all these foods were okay for me. And there are probably more foods I will find out I do not want to eat. I haven’t ventured too far from the eating plan, so I don’t know yet. I feel so good now.  I don’t want to ruin it.

On the bright side. Eating as much as I want to, I have lost almost 14 pounds without feeling (need to eat) hungry! My blood pressure dropped 20 points and is now in the young person normal range. My sugar level is as low as its ever been. I do not feel like I’m going to fall over from trying to keep it in a low range.

Best Health question I ever read!

And I owe it all to changing what I eat! My muscles and joints no longer get stiff for no obvious reason. My stiff neck, which I have had for over two decades, gone! My knees, sometimes aching at night, gone. I thought these were a part of getting older. Finding out that was wrong think.

All this has led to thinking more about food. Do I want to be as healthy as possible, or do I want to take and have my sugar and blood pressure keep going higher, and my muscles and joints hurting, because food makes me sick? When I started this way of eating, I thought, okay, food is now going to be a maintenance function. That said, most of the xxxxxxx plan meals, once I have added chili too, are pretty tasty. Living in New Mexico I guess. Some meals taste awesome, and some need help.

One interesting observation about overweight people eating deserts and other unhealthy foods. This is something I read about why you won’t overeat on a Paleo diet: “An overweight person has no trouble eating a quart of ice cream after a heavy dinner, but they would not wish to eat a quart of Broccoli instead.” The truth in this thought really hit home.

No more cravings! For the last half of the first week, through the second week, I occasionally had cravings for something sweet. Then they went away completely. I just ate more food! In fact, some days when I wake up, I delay eating because I do not feel hungry. On other days though, I am famished. Same goes with lunch and dinner.

It is amazing! Just like when I quit eating wheat, how much better I feel, though it took a few weeks longer! How different I eat now, and it feels normal. Sometimes meals are a little strange, like sweet potatoes with eggs for breakfast. This has since changed to meat or eggs with leftover vegetables or an apple or two. Also I find I am perfectly happy drinking water. For some unknown reason, water now tastes really good.

I am going to transition to a Paleo diet. I enjoy the way the xxxxxx has made me feel, and I don’t miss guessing whether some processed food has gluten in it or not. With xxxxxxx and eventually Paleo diet, Gluten is not a concern as grains are not on the menu to start with. This is another one of those, “I wish I would have tried this years ago!”. I am eating and feeling so much better!

Ending on a funny note. I find some of the recipes call for half of some vegetable or other, usually bell pepper. The other half used to go into the refrigerator only to be thrown out when I found it on a back shelf some time later. I no longer have that problem. Now when I am prepping to start dinner, I now just eat the other half of the bell pepper. No more food waste.

Better Baseball Players

Many years ago I was a ski bum. I skied downhill on weekdays when I had the money. On weekends when the, “Flatlanders” arrived from Los Angeles and surrounding areas, I was out Cross Country skiing.

The two types of skiing are more different than similar. Downhill skis are shorter, wider, and stiffer. Heavy stiff boots are needed to manage the forces of gravity pulling you down the hill. High speed is the norm with lots of turns, small jumps, moguls, and such. One skies down the mountain and takes a lift back up the hill.

When Cross Country skiing, smaller downhill slopes are relaxation from the work not a having gravity assist to keep moving. Cross country skis are lighter, thinner and more flexible. Cross Country ski boots can be as simple as a pair of specially made tennis shoes.

It was surprising how much difference Cross Country skiing makes to downhill skiing. After a day or two on a skinny pair of Cross Country skis, downhill skiing feels like the downhill skis are three feet wide each. It would be as if it were impossible to fall.

Build your skills for Hardball using smaller bats and balls.

Stickball uses a, ‘Pimpleball’ or Handball for the ball. A cut off broomstick is all that is needed for the bat. Half Ball uses the same equipment except the ball is cut in half. Generally, the ball is tossed slowly towards the plate. Some players prefer a faster ball to be thrown.

Imagine the enhanced skill set it takes to hit an undersized ball with a broomstick handle bat. Hand eye coordination is higher for stick and half ball players, speed of the ball notwithstanding.

Players from Pre-Teen Private League Baseball to the American Legion hold baseball practice using the same Bats and Balls that are used in an ‘official’ game. What if Players used a smaller ball for batting and fielding practice? Players would enjoy increased hand eye coordination, and batting and fielding averages would rise.

Practicing with smaller practice balls and slimmer bats would hone skills. When batting in an official game, to the Batter it would look and feel as if an oversized ball was being used. Stickball or Halfball, both mostly inner city sports are good for a visual comparison.

Finally, confidence factor needs to be considered. If a Batter has a reasonable batting average with an undersized ball and bat, confidence is increased. The regulation size ball and bat would feel oversized to the batter and be easier to hit.

If Stickball or Halfball sound like fun, they are. The both can be played in the street, with no special equipment other than a broom stick and a ball.