From Facebook and Google+ to Diaspora

With the demise of Google Plus, a rush of people in search of an alternative is underway. Many of these “Plussers” and “G+ Refugees” have found their way to Diaspora! And a lot of folks are jumping over from Facebook as well, with all the news about censorship, bias, data-mining, and breaches.

I have written about Diaspora before. I complained that FOSS projects like Diaspora seem to attract anticapitalists and politically liberal folks who see all for-profit companies as inherently evil. So finding other like-minded conservatives and Christian folk on Diaspora, historically, was hard to do. Diaspora also attracts people who believe that “even hate speech is free speech, so don’t you dare try to limit my free speech!” So there are Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites, etc. I dumped Diaspora eventually because finding others who share my values was so rare and so difficult.

That has completely changed now, because of the vast numbers of folks fleeing the Left-leaning censorship of Facebook and Google. I have found dozens of conservative patriots and evangelical Christians on Diaspora, and a growing number of Diaspora pods are moderated and have terms of service that make better sense than before. When it was learned that some Islamic extremist groups were actually using Diaspora accounts to promote / recruit / radicalize and plan acts of terror, suddenly there was a bit of a backlash against the policy of absolute iron-clad non-censorship and non-moderation. Most podmins (these are the folks who run the Diaspora software on servers and operate their own Diaspora “pods”) cleaned up the mess they had made and erased and banned the terror extremists. They haven’t fully cleaned out the Nazi infestation, but that’s a fringe group that most people simply block and ignore anyway.

When I fled from Facebook this last time, I gave Diaspora one last shot before I thought I would simply give up on social media and stick to e-mail and forums. There are a few pods that are just downright awesome now, and lots of people using the hashtags #Christian, #Christ-follower, #conservative, #bible, etc. And at least one of them is working on opening his own Diaspora pod that will be Christian-friendly and heavily moderated to keep it family friendly. I would have done it long ago myself if I had the money and time it would take to set up and maintain a Diaspora pod. So I’m delighted to find someone else taking it seriously enough to start his own pod (a “pod” is Diaspora’s term for an instance, a server that people can use to receive and send posts and comments from others on Diaspora and the Federation.

Karin, a newcomer from Google Plus, wrote this really cool review of why diaspora is 10 ways better than Google Plus. She called Diaspora “pluspora,” but that’s the name of the particular pod she joined from.

It’s definitely worth a shot now, for those of you who may have been holding off, or who might have abandoned an older Diaspora account because of the very small number of people who share “family values” and respect for those with religious beliefs, traditions, and values. If you decide to try Diaspora, whether again or for the first time, look me up! Find me here and say hello!

Update

Hi fellow technophobes and trainees!

We just completed a move out of state and life is a bit crazy and chaotic until we get all unpacked and sorted out. Please forgive the prolonged absence, but I’ll be back soon! When I return I want to do a write about all the new updated supercool tools in MX-Linux 17!

More Awesome MX-Linux

This post is just to show off another of MX-Linux’s cool tools, called MX-Clocky! You can pick from several desktop clocks, including this cool-looking one that also monitors CPU and RAM usage. There have both analog and digital, from plain to fancy.

Today I have my “Salute to Mepis” desktop wallpaper on, and my newly-discovered neofetch display.

MX Tools, Backup, and Systemback

Hello!

I am always learning new stuff about my wonderful favorite MX-17 Linux distribution! Today I want to share some cool stuff about backing up data and making a bootable iso of your installed system!

BACKUP:

MX-17 ships with a supercool application called Luckybackup. Opened as root, it lets me save my whole /home directory (which has my bookmarks, email settings and kept emails, address books, documents, photos, videos and all that stuff) to my /DATA drive. My desktop ‘puter has two hard disk drives (HDD for short). One is “regular” and has what most people’s HDDs have on it, and the other is named /DATA (after the artificial lifeform who rescued our world and became my friend). /DATA keeps a bootable copy of my installed system and all my weekly backups of my /home directory. I was using Systemback for this on Linux Lite, but Luckybackup and MX Live USB Maker are better! One of the things I really badly wanted to do was keep Systemback when I switched from Linux Lite to MX-Linux. Linux Lite 3.x has Systemback, but the upcoming LL 4.0 will not ship with Systemback, and neither does MX. The nice folks at MX repackaged Systemback for MX-17 from MX-15 at my request! That was totally awesome! I later felt I needed to apologize for asking for Systemback before even trying out the wicked-kewl stuff MX ships with. It was only because Systemback was buggy and hesitant on MX-17 that I was forced to try something else, but lesson learned! Sometimes just sticking with the familiar stuff (aka being lazy and ignorant) is not advantageous!

Luckybackup is simple, graphical, thorough, and very fast! Not only did it create a full backup of /home and let me put it where I wanted it (it must be opened as root),

but it also lets me schedule my backups whenever I want to and to wherever I want them.

MX Live USB Maker:

One thing Systemback did (in Linux Lite, but not at all in MX-Linux) was make a perfect, beautiful bootable copy of my installed system. MX’s awesome tool does the same thing, just as easily, and offers two options: make an iso of just the installed system suitable for sharing with someone else, OR, make a full copy of your installed system including the /home directory and all the settings and stuff! Menu -> Ststem -> MX-Tools -> MX Live USB Maker.

I copied my entire system from my desktop to my laptop effortlessly in just a few minutes!

There are tools like a USB-formatter available too, just like MintStick in Linux Mint which I always thought was super awesome and simple. Someone requested it in the forums, and in a few days, there it was in the Testing repo for people to try out. After testing, it goes to the regular MX repo for everyone to enjoy.

No bloat, plenty of speed, rock-stable, awesome cool tools. What else does a technophobic Ba’ku boy need?

My Desktop

MX-17 is simply gorgeous right out of the box! But y’know I like to change things up a little bit, and I like a clean, simple, pretty desktop with just a tiny bit of bling. I still haven’t decided if I’ll keep Cairo-Dock on or go back to the awesome Xfce panel on the bottom that I always love. I’m just play’n around with it.

That’s just the notification stuff in the top panel, and favorite app launchers in the super wicked-kewl dock on the bottom that magnifies the icons when you mouse over them and bounces them when you click on one to launch it. I also always liked that 3D effect you get from the little table the icons appear to be resting on, reflected on the panel. So pretty, so cool.

This is Debian Linux made really easy, but without the instability and bloat of Ubuntu and most of it’s derivatives. With the ‘buntu-based ones (besides Linux Mint and PeppermintOS), I generally was very leery of updates from upstream (meaning, from Ubuntu). I have learned to selectively update, but for new users who haven’t learned to selectively update, I always recommend either Mint, Peppermint, or Linux Lite as long as the updater from unlockforus is installed first before updating a new installation. But that kinda limits your choices, doesn’t it? While that updater should theoretically work on any Ubuntu-based distro, including the official Ubuntu flavors (Xubu, Lubu, Kubu, etc), it’s intended only for the distros that ship with it or on Linux Lite.

Better yet, choose a distro that doesn’t need to be modified with added special software to make it safe. That’s one of the things I always hated about Windows for goodnessakes, you had to add extra stuff just to maintain the operating system! Like antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-ransomware, crap cleaners, optimizers, etc. Well I prefer to run applications, not the operating system! Of course the user should maintain his computer and it’s OS, I’m not say’n (s)he shouldn’t! I’m jus’ say’n a newcomer to Linux should start with a system that is already as safe and stable and reliable as it can be. If it’s super newbie friendly, that’s a nice bonus, but starting with a rock-stable foundation that isn’t borked by updates is, in my opinion, lots more important.

For goodnessakes I didn’t want a Linux that “looks and acts like Windows” in order to “make it easy for Windows users to adapt to Linux.” Fine, make it easy, but I don’t want a FOSS copy of the operating system I just replaced because it sucked and got in my way all the time and required abuncha bloatware and time to maintain. I want it to be different enough from Winblows to make me feel good about choosing an alternative OS, but point-and-clicky enough to be “friendly.” That’s one of the reasons I reeeeeally like the Xfce desktop! It can be modified all kindsa ways to look and behave just about any way you want it to, and it’s not a resource-hungry behemoth like KDE or Gnome. In fact, the Xfce desktop is the same one Linux Lite uses to “make it easy for Windows users to adapt.” Alot of people apparently like and want a “Windows-like” desktop, which is why Zorin and Linux Lite are so popular I guess. But for me, no thank you, I want nothing to look or act like Windows. In fact, if it looks a little scary and sinister, like “touch it and die,” that’s cool too.

Like Crunchbang Linux, for example, came with a warning that it could make your computer go “Crunch! Bang!” if you press the wrong button or something. It had a black, almost sinister-looking Openbox desktop that made you feel like a superduper-techno-wizard just for having successfully installed it! Mwahahahaaa! Now to try to take over the planet!

MX-17 is my favorite Linux now, because it’s got the newbie-friendly stuff going on (enough of it to make it suitable for competent newbies – not enough to protect them from being irresponsibly stupid), but inherently much safer with it’s Debian Stable base than any of the Ubuntu-based stuff.