My respose to someone saying: Why I Left Linux

by on Jul.29, 2008, under Linux, Music

This is a post from the Ubuntu Forums from a guy who wrote about why he left Linux. I felt a need to respond both there and here, just for my piece of mind.
Below is the thread he started, it’s currently 28 pages and I really only wanted to respond to his initial post so here’s what he wrote and my follow up after his.

Why I Left Linux

I’m writing this thread to show how someone like you moved from being exclusively Linux for years to being exclusively Microsoft. This isn’t because I love Microsoft, or hate Linux, but because I assessed my option and chose which one suited me most.

A quick bit of history: I started using Linux with Red Hat 9 and was exclusively Linux not long after. Since then I have tried every major distribution and some of the smaller ones. Where I remained for the last couple years was on Ubuntu due to its large user base, professional releases and support.

Recently I realised I was being too fundamentalist about many things in my life. I was very much set in my ways and was not open to different options. I discovered that I was doing this and made a lot of changes. Then I realised that I hadn’t given Windows a chance in many years. Linux was great and had been a lot of fun, but I wanted to spend more time using my computer than tinkering with it.

So I took the plunge, wiped Linux and installed my old copy of Windows XP for a trial. Were there issues? Absolutely, but as a Linux user they were no problem to solve. Not only that, but learning the quirks wouldn’t benefit me for one 6 month release cycle, but for several years and on countless computers. I had become clueless about the vast majority of computer systems out there and needed to relearn a lot of it.

So after years I played around on the seven year old Windows XP. I installed Windows versions of Firefox, Skype, Flash and Opera. They all worked better. Firefox supported more plugins, Skype was a generation ahead, Flash didn’t have Z-Index issues and Opera didn’t have a mismatched menu bar. I then installed software (trials) that I hadn’t used in years: Office 2007, Photoshop CS3 and some games. Their capabilities were phenomenal. Of course they’re not free and cost a fortune to produce, but that’s the point. They are a better product for a higher price.

I soon took the plunge and bought Vista. It sure isn’t perfect, but it is still fantastic due to what it enables me to do. I can still support free software, but when it is advantageous for me to do it. I use Firefox because it is better, not because it is open source. That is also why I use Office 2007 over

I love computers and marvelling at the new things that software can do. I used to think that the best way to pursue this hobby was with Linux but now I’m not so sure. Just playing around with the free, integrated voice recognition in Vista demonstrates that.

Linux is a massive testament to collaboration and what it can achieve. All I’m saying is keep your options open. Sure it costs more money, but considering how much time some of us spend on our computers it may be worth the investment.

My Response:

Well, I have been using Linux for almost 12 years. Exclusively for over 3. I don’t miss Windows one bit. Sadly, there are a couple of pieces of hardware the force me to pull out the spare hard drive for my laptop that has XP on it to only update my Garmin and TomTom GPS’. Other than that I have no other need or desire to use Windows. I find that Linux, Ubuntu, Mint, eLive, and Debian all do what I need with aplomb. I love the fact they are community supported and that I get security fixes as they are discovered and coded not months later because the board decided it wasn’t a big enough issue to release a patch for and in the meantime, my system is wide open to exploit for anyone with the know how on how to do so.

Sure Linux and all it’s derivative distros aren’t perfect but the chances of it being more perfect are far greater with the model they use to make, distribute, and support it. Unlike any other OS available out there – IMHO of course.

Similarly, the fact that I have 3 kids, a dog, turtle, cat, and two birds, along with a wife, an ex-wife truck and a motorcycle oh yeah and and a healthy mortgage payment, all contribute substantially to my need and desire for Linux. However, after using it as long as I have I find I love the challenge of trying to find an open source alternative to all of the pay software you find for Windows. To me this isn’t as much about Windows vs. Linux but about what works for me as an individual consumer. It’s also about the principle of the whole hacker mentality which spawned the computer age as we know it. I don’t refer to hacker in the “exploit you bank records” type but to the hacker that believes all information should be free and that we should be able to hack anything we own for learning and informational purposes.

I’ll keep using Linux until they pry it from my cold dead hands.

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The Final Days of DRM: Yahoo Music Store Closing

by on Jul.25, 2008, under General, Music, Tech

This is one of the best reason’s to never have supported a company that offered DRMed music. Say, “So long” to hundreds if not thousands of dollars of your hard earned money that you spent on it. You’d better find a way around that DRM if you want to keep your music, that you rightfully purchased. Imagine that, if you bought a CD, you could rip it until your little hearts content, regardless of how many computers you owned.

When the Yahoo! Music Store closes its doors this fall, the company announced today, past customers dependent on their music “phoning home” to get license approval before playing are out of luck. Just another reason DRM should die forever.

read more | digg story

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Sammy Hagar talks about Van Halen

by on Nov.22, 2007, under Music

Hagar talks about Van Halen
By David Burke

Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year wasn’t the experience that Sammy Hagar had hoped for Van Halen.

Hagar and bass player Michael Anthony accepted the award on behalf of the band, with guitarist Eddie Van Halen (who was in alcohol rehab at the time), drummer Alex Van Halen and former lead singer David Lee Roth all no-shows.

“I was hoping so bad everyone from the band — all the brothers and even Dave — would show up together and we’d go up there finally and go, ‘This is all worth this,’ ” Hagar told radio station WXLP-FM (96.9) morning show hosts Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels last month.

“Of course, if Van Halen ever did it right, something would be wrong,” he added.

Hagar brings his tour to the i wireless Center in Moline on Tuesday night, playing a combination of his solo hits, Van Halen songs and material from his first band, Montrose.

“It’s gonna be so much music and so many great songs in our lives,” he told Dwyer & Michaels.

The concert is three hours long, Hagar said, with only a 10-minute break.

“As old as I am and as hard as I think, to go out and do that isn’t fair to me,” said Hagar, who turned 60 this month. “But I’m a givin’ kind of guy.”

Hagar told the morning show hosts he saw Eddie Van Halen’s downfall because of alcohol abuse during his years with the band.

“Everything was so good for nine, 10 years when I was in Van Halen,” Hagar said. “We were the tightest, funnest people together and all of a sudden … Ed went nuts.”

Hagar told about finding bottles of alcohol hidden throughout the Van Halen studio, next to the house Eddie shared with his then-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli.

“When he was sober, we did some of the greatest things in the world together,” Hagar said. “We made some of the best music I’ll ever make in my life together.”

The band crumbled during its 2004 tour, he said.

“Some nights were magic and some nights were the worst I’ve ever heard a band play,” he said.

Hagar’s concert tour is a party, complete with palm trees, dancing girls and margaritas, he said.

“It becomes a situation where it’s not really work. You’re out there pleasing yourself,” he said. “I’m out there having the time of my life.”

Ex-Van Halen bassist talks about ouster

It was bad enough for Michael Anthony that he was replaced as the bass player on Van Halen’s current tour.

But to add insult to injury, every visual reference to Anthony on the band’s Web site was replaced by Wolfgang Van Halen, the new bass player and 16-year-old son of guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

“That really zapped me,” Anthony said in a telephone interview from Dallas. “I was part of the history, and it was sad to see them think otherwise.”

While Van Halen criss-crosses the country on its own tour — bringing back original lead singer David Lee Roth — Anthony is on tour with Roth’s onetime replacement, Sammy Hagar.

That tour stops Tuesday night at the i wireless Center in Moline.

Anthony, 53, said he checked out reviews of the re-formed Van Halen’s early shows, but he hasn’t looked at them lately.

“It’s not like I’m reading reviews thinking, ‘I hope they suck, I hope they’re bad,’ ” he said.

A combination of factors — Eddie Van Halen wanting his son to join the group and Anthony’s allegiance with Hagar — were the likely causes of his being snubbed, Anthony said.

He said the 2004 tour, which came to the former Mark of the Quad-Cities, ended in disharmony.

“I can’t for the life of me understand why he’d be mad because I’d never do anything to degrade the band or tarnish the band’s name,” Anthony said of Eddie Van Halen. “I’m not going to talk smack about him. It is what it is.”

The current tour finds the bass player stepping into the lead singer’s role for 30 minutes a night as the frontman for the Mad Anthony Express.

The three-man band plays some early Van Halen music and “covers of stuff we really like,” he said.

The band first played together on Hagar’s annual cruise. Anthony said he didn’t want to be just a backup for Hagar and put together his own band.

“It went over so well that Sammy just wanted to roll that into part of the show,” he said.

Anthony said it’s different to be a lead singer instead of a backup player.

“It’s more work,” he said. “You’ve got to pace yourself a little bit better because you’re not just playing an instrument and singing background. You’re lead vocals now and you’ve got to take care of yourself a little bit better.”

Songs in the set include “Running With the Devil” and a few Van Halen album cuts. That comes from the David Lee Roth years, but Anthony doesn’t do an imitation of the flamboyant lead singer.

“I feel comfortable singing Dave’s stuff, but some of this stuff — let’s face it — Dave’s the only guy who could sing it,” he said. “I don’t even want to touch those songs.”

The Mad Anthony set is followed by Hagar and his band, the Wabos, with Anthony returning sometime later in the night alongside his former bandmate.

“After that, anything goes. I hover around the stage because you never really know what’s going to happen,” he said. “That’s what makes it great. You’re never gonna see two of the same show on this tour.”

The tour, which is set to continue well into next year, is a re-creation of Hagar’s 60th birthday party at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo, San Lucas.

“The only thing we’re missing is the sand and the ocean,” Anthony said.

Anthony said he does not think the split with Van Halen, the band he was a member of for 25 years, will divide fans. But he recognizes that there may be a choice of buying a ticket for one concert or another in many markets.

“In this day and age, with ticket prices and the whole bit, it’s not like everybody can afford to go to every show,” he said. “Dave and Ed haven’t been on stage for 20-plus years, so I know a lot of fans are wanting to know what that’s all about.”

Anthony said the split is indefinite, but it may not be permanent.

“At this point, I really do not see myself playing with those guys again,” he said. “But The Eagles have shown us all that hell freezes over, so you never know. I’ve always been the never-say-never guy, but I’m not going to hold my breath.”

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Van Halen back with a vengeance.

by on Oct.08, 2007, under Music

Van Halen back with a vengeance
Monday, October 08, 2007
Music writer

UNCASVILLE – Meet the new Van Halen, same (almost) as the old Van Halen.

Taking his rightful place as the front man of one of rock’s legendary bands, David Lee Roth led Van Halen through a triumphant two-hour performance at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night.

“This is the new band,” shouted Roth, describing the outfit as “three quarters original and one quarter inevitable,” in reference to the cherub-faced Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie, filling in on bass.

The new band, like the original version and the Sammy Hagar version (in fact, all but the failed Gary Cherone experimental version) rocks like a muscle car, vintage for sure, but still hot off the line.

Eddie Van Halen, who just a few short years ago looked like Ghost of Rock Stars Passed due to his bad hip, battle with cancer and carpal tunnel syndrome, appeared ripped and sinewy with his shirt off in front of the curtain to open the show with a searing guitar introduction to “You Really Got Me.”

After “Running with the Devil,” the band received a wild, disruptive and deafening ovation.

“Look at all the people here tonight,” shouted a relatively subdued Roth, who retained just a few high leg kicks and the occasional hip shake from his once-flamboyant stage routine.

The band offered the hits right alongside some more obscure fare, going from “Dance the Night Away” and “Beautiful Girls” to “Mean Street” and “Little Dreamer.”

While the famously feuding Roth and Eddie Van Halen did partake in a few phony, choreographed embraces, the pair did at times seem genuinely entertained by each other and engaged in some subtle on-stage acknowledgments that suggested the hatchet, if not buried, has at least been hung on the wall for this tour.

The highlights of the set were surely the hits, from “Pretty Woman” and “Hot for Teacher” to “Jamie’s Crying” and “Panama.” Roth also scored with his acoustic kickoff of the “Ice Cream Man.”

Roth was in good voice, Alex Van Halen’s lengthy drum solo showed he still has the chops, and the young Wolfgang, who stayed mostly in time and out of the way, proved to be a viable vocal harmonizer with both his father and Roth.

For his part, Eddie Van Halen was the guitar beast he has always been, hammering chirps and squeaks out of his instrument during the solo that introduced the set-closing “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love.”

The band encored with “Jump” as confetti sprayed around the arena and Roth rode the stage on a giant inflatable microphone.

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The Van Halen Show – at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.

by on Oct.06, 2007, under Music

Van Halen Logo.

I went to see Van Halen last night with a friend and all I can say is AMAZING!!! These guys are spot with their singing and playing. And Eddie’s son Wolfgang fill Michael Anthony’s shoes very well for a 16 year old kid. I didn’t think I would really care much if I saw Diamond Dave back in the band but it was completely surreal last night. I absolutely thought the day would never come when they would lay down their differences and give their fans what they had been asking for for so very long. Assuming their on stage admiration and antics are true, it appears that Dave and Eddie are happy to be back together and playing the music we all love. If any of you are fans of Van Halen go see this tour. I highly recommend it. They played for 2 solid hours without a break except for the encore and that break lasted about 30 seconds. Eddie played many of his signature guitars so they was nothing missing on that front. There was one small technical glitch early in the show but they rolled with it without a hitch and Eddie didn’t throw a fit like he’s been known to do in the past. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, I give them a 10!!!


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