Testing Midori and Geary

Omygoodness,

Seamonkey has failed me for the last time. I figured this was bound to happen anyway, since the whole damn thing is built from Mozilla code. There are just some websites that refuse to load in Seamonkey that load instantly in other browsers. The mail interface is kinda dated and clunky. I don’t really mind that because it’s familiar to me and I’m used to it. But as a recommendation for others, wellll…. not so much.

Oh, guess what?! There’s actually such a thing as browsers that are not built from Edge, Firefox or Chromium! It seems like most people either don’t know that or they think they have to use something built on one or the other. It ain’t so, y’know.

So today, just for giggles and grins, I’m revisiting a couple of non-Mozilla and non-Chromium applications. The first is…. <drumrollllllll> …

The Midori web browser! A couple of years ago I test-drove this ultralight and simple browser and ended up hating it because it crashed randomly and frequently. It always “picked up where it left off,” but the random crashes were so frequent that Midori became unusable for more than a cursory glance at a web page. Now, however, even under heavy use for over an hour, Midori is nimble and quick as always, and free of whatever bug caused it to crash and burn without warning or provocation. The project is run by some private company now, no longer part of the Xfce Desktop project. But it’s still fully open-source and free, which I insist upon. If you’re using Debian and/or Ubuntu or variations of them, don’t bother with the .deb packaged version yet. It doesn’t work and it’s a known issue with the developers. It installs easily as a Flatpak in any Linux distribution, and it’s available for Windows as well. It doesn’t have all the features and add-ons and bloat of the popular browsers, except for the built-in ready-out-of-the-box ad-blocker, and it doesn’t have the “lemme hold you by the hand” kinda interface that slows other browsers down. It lacks documentation for now, but I suspect some good stuff is in the works now that the project is newly revived. Definitely worth a test drive!

The other app I have reviewed before and also really liked, even though the Geary e-mail client lacks a proper Address Book. It can collect email addresses and offer them in the ultralight but not-so-intuitive HTML-enabled mail composer. For the full-featured alternative for Linux, check out Evolution, which is a good and less bloated drop-in replacement for Thunderbird. I’m actually writing this blog post using Geary! It’s effortless, but again, it doesn’t offer the “lemme hold your hand” sort of interface that adds weight and bloat to most other popular email clients for Linux. If you’re an ElementaryOS user, Geary will already be mostly familiar to you, even without the changes eOS made to Geary when it was the default email app in that operating system.

Conscience-driven as I am about avoiding “woke” products even if they’re free, and with Seamonkey relying too much on woke Mozilla for it’s source code as well as hosting and marketing, I’m much more likely to adopt these two wonderful bits of software as my default apps.

2023: Linux rusting away into non-FOSS territory – Build rnote and you will see

I’m not the anti-systemd activist I once was (mostly out of ignorance and fear). But this post from the sysdfree writers is about the Linux KERNEL, not added init stuff and logging stuff. It’s kinda more about the future of Linux, and whether that future is more corporate or less so. Have a look! Comment is invited.

systemd-free linux community

Linux 6.2-rc2 kernel is out as the last commit in kernel.org at the start of the 2023 year.  RUST is here, the initial code-base is included in the kernel.  At least Arch seems to be disabling it for now, at the beta level at least, we shall see.

Rust is not just a language, as people commonly think, it is much more.  It is a building environment, system, and a mode change of the philosophy of building packages from source.   Rust incorporates its own git system in pulling code in from 2nd and 3rd parties.  So if you have never gotten into the real FOSS practice of auditing code before you build, try and audit this stuff.  If building in C you thought was a practice similar to building sand castles, by comparison, this is like building sand castles with quick-sand ON QUICK SAND.

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Systemback on Linux Mint

I used to use Systemback when the original was still fully supported. No longer supported or being developed, it got replaced by Timeshift (which is being maintained by the Linux Mint team now).

But Timeshift, awesome though it is as a “snapshot” tool, lacks one feature that was always present in Systemback: The ability to copy your existing OS (including user files if you like) to a bootable Live USB stick! MX-Linux has a separate app just for that, which is awesome, but Linux Mint and other Ubuntu derivatives lack that special feature.

The good news is that systemback has been forked and is currently being maintained again! The latest version is available here!

It creates restore points like Timeshift does, but it also does “Live System Create!” You can make it an iso and write it to a pen drive for use on multiple computers, to share your custom-mixed favorite settings on Ubuntu (Xubu, Kubu, Lubu, etc), Linux Mint, ElementaryOS, Linux Lite, or any Ubuntu-based distro.

Download and extract the .zip file, extract it, and use Gdebi to install the resulting .deb files. One or two may lack dependencies, but on Linux Mint at least, gdebi offers to install them from repositories. No snapd, no flatpak.

Enjoy!

U.S. Department of Defense issued a ‘COVID-19 Research’ contract 3 Months before COVID-19 was known to officially exist, by The Expose… — Freedom Is Just Another Word…

Well, this is certainly curious. From The Exposé at expose-news.com: The discovery of a contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense to Labyrinth Global Health for “COVID-19 Research” in November 2019 has raised questions about the Government’s knowledge of the novel coronavirus. The contract was part of a larger project for a “Biological threat […] […]

U.S. Department of Defense issued a ‘COVID-19 Research’ contract 3 Months before COVID-19 was known to officially exist, by The Expose… — Freedom Is Just Another Word…

Linux Mint 21.1 is Now Available to Download — OMG! Ubuntu!

Linux Mint 21.1 ‘Vera’ is available to download, ahead of an official release announcement expected soon. This point release of Linux Mint rides atop of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, and it includes a curated crop of user-interface tweaks, bug fixes, and performance improvements – though there are no major changes from the Linux Mint 21.1 beta…

Linux Mint 21.1 is Now Available to Download — OMG! Ubuntu!

Linux Mint vs Linux Lite: Philosophy

There are already a zillion and twelve articles, blog posts, and videos on the web comparing these two beginner-friendly Linux distros. I’m not going to add to the clutter by writing yet another “Which is Better” post. They’re both superb, and compare roughly the same way. The only real difference technically is that Linux Lite ships with a highly modified Xfce desktop, where Linux Mint is available in several desktops, most notably Cinnamon which is their flagship.

The purpose of this post is to focus on the philosophical differences between the two, which probably doesn’t even matter to most users.

But being a person of severe conscience, ideologically driven probably more so than most casual computer users considering Linux, these philosophical differences matter a great deal to me. It’s why I made a fuss over the bookmarks in antiX Linux. In the end those bookmarks are no big deal if you want an ultralight systemd-free distro without elogind or any of that sort of thing. They’re not hidden for goodnessakes, those bookmarks appear in their own folder inside Firefox and can be instantly deleted with two mouse clicks! So go ahead and remove the offensive bookmarks and enjoy antiX Linux with a clean conscience. It’s a great little lightweight OS. I made a fuss, yes. But I don’t mind using antiX developer Anticapitalista’s work to advance capitalism and conservatism and all the stuff he hates. I actually rather enjoy the irony of it, using his own work “against him” in a sense. Heh heh heh, evil grin.

But when it comes to the philosophical issues I’m writing about in this post, it’s more complicated than simply deleting offensive bookmarks. The philosophical differences between Linux Mint and Linux Lite mean, for me at least, choosing one over the other from bottom to top.

Linux Lite compares best with Zorin, I think, rather than with Linux Mint philosophically. Zorin and Lite are both specifically targeted towards Microsoft Windows users. They are designed to look and act like Windows and be “familiar” to those users. Linux Mint is not specifically targeted towards that group, yet it appeals to many more people in that group who want to switch to Linux than either Zorin or Lite. I think the developers need to ask themselves why. And no, it isn’t just because more people know about Linux Mint because it’s been around for a long time and appears at the top of Google searches for beginner’s Linux. I think there’s much more to it than just those things, valid reasons though they are.

Also, both Zorin and Lite are developed and maintained by “benevolent dictators” whose vision is their own, without nearly as much community input as Linux Mint enjoys and includes in it’s products. I happen to think this is a very big deal.

Linux Mint is a community-driven Linux desktop distribution that is not aimed at any particular group of computer users. It’s “beginner friendly” because that’s how most computer users want things: Point-and-click, no fancy command strings to type in a terminal window, stable, easily maintained, and polished to a high shine without gobbling up RAM and CPU resources. While it’s really not “aimed at” new Linux users, it is far and away the most popular Linux distro for that market. One reason in particular, which I have written a lot about in the past, is the wonderful mint-updater that allows users to selectively update their OS and avoid the breakage and regressions that inevitably happen with most Ubuntu flavors and derivative distros. It’s safe and stable, very much more like Debian than the others. It won’t break unless you deliberately do something stupid. Other stupid Ubuntu stuff like snaps are disabled by default in Linux Mint. They fill up the hard drive like crazy by not sharing libraries with other applications. I know they have some advantages, but popularity with most users sure as heck ain’t one of them. It’s a Canonical gimmick that saves them some money they would otherwise spend on maintaining packages, and that’s fine. But their users pay a price for that in duplication and hard drive space. In Linux Mint, it’s not an issue. The decision to disable the “snap store” was made based largely on community input, which goes a lot farther in Mint than in Lite.

When I first decided to try out Linux, I wasn’t looking for anything like Windows at all. I freakin’ hated Windows and I still do, all these years later. The last thing I want in an operating system is for it to look and act like Microsoft’s abomination. Point-and-click ease doesn’t have to imitate Windows in order to be intuitive, for cry’n out loud!

Philosophically, from this writer’s conscience-driven point of view, Linux Mint beats it’s younger siblings hands down, and should continue to be the top recommended Linux distro both for newcomers to Linux and for users like me who enjoy the simplicity and stability of a rock-solid operating system with a few safeguards built in. I still love my Xfce desktop, so I chose the Xfce version of Linux Mint over the highly-modified Lite desktop. Philosophically, it’s far and away the better of the two.

Escape from Idolatry

In my previous posting here I described America’s new religion (idol): Comforts, ease, entertainment. In light of the worldview that we are just highly evolved germs whose existence is meaningless, it only makes sense in such a hopeless world, doomed within a decade by the presence of humans to climate extinction, to just “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Given over to their basest desires, humans tend to simply self-destruct, taking the whole civilization along with them. Re-read Romans chapter one, which describes the results of what theologians call reprobation – God simply takes His hands off that person’s life and abandons them to their own self-destruction.

Once handed over to one’s own desires, there is no possibility of redemption or salvation.

Those who have not been handed over to our own self-destruction still have to live in a world run by the reprobate, but we don’t need to suffer their fate! The world may suffer ruin all around us, but we were created for better things. We are being prepared in this world for the world to come – a new heavens and new Earth. That is our inheritance if we forsake this fallen world and it’s pursuits to follow Christ, who lived, died, and rose from death to rescue His followers from the fate of the reprobate.

His enemies face not only self-destruction, but the just wrath of their holy and righteous Creator. Their punishment serves God’s purpose of demonstrating His character of justice and holiness. Those redeemed by Christ demonstrate His characteristics of tender mercy and love towards undeserving and helplessly sinful creatures made in His image, but fallen and corrupted by sin. Both groups, in the end, glorify God and reveal His nature and character.

Escape from the destiny of the reprobate world is possible only for those who depend on Christ as a little child depends on his or her parents to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. No sinner can stop sinning and be forgiven and cleansed by his own efforts. We cannot act on our own, we must be acted upon by the only One who is capable of raising a dead spirit to life. Christ did not come to Earth, live a perfect, sinless life in our stead, die to take the punishment for our sins, and be raised again, merely to make it possible for people to be saved. Rather Christ actually and fully accomplished the redemption of His own, and His Holy Spirit applies Christ’s work to believers. Supernaturally. It’s not in our own capability as fallen sinners, dead in sin, to believe in Him, much less to repent our sins and live for Him. He cannot fail to fully and eternally save those that were chosen in Him to become His inheritance and to inhabit the new heaven and earth to come.

The escape for us is not an escape from this crazy, reprobate world, but escape in this crazy reprobate world. Living in and for Christ frees us not only from self-destruction, but also the wrath of Holy God that is stored up for the reprobate.

The wrath of God that is due us was borne by God’s own Son in our place on the Cross. The everlasting life offered in the gospel is for those who were raised in Him and with Him. The righteousness that we could never achieve was achieved for us by His sinless life, and is credited to those who love and follow Him, enabled by His Spirit. This the Scripture calls imputation, which means “reckoning.”

Adam’s sin and the guilt of his rebellion imputed to his progeny.

My sin and guilt imputed to Christ, and borne by Him in my place.

Christ’s righteousness imputed to me the moment I first believed on Him.

In Him I am as righteous before the judgement throne of God as His own Son is! And my inheritance is the same as His: Eternal life and a place in the world to come, free of sin and it’s corruption and consequences, free to live as we were meant to live, joyfully in His service and for His glory. Call upon God to do what only He can do. Ask for Him to give you faith and repentance to live His way and for His glory, with the promise of everlasting life to come, spared from the fate of fallen humanity. This is escape from idolatry!

America’s New Idols: Ease and Comforts

Change requires effort. Sometimes lots of hard, prolonged effort, even sacrifice. We have every reason to want change in America, since the last two years have brought real inflation up at 480 percent (don’t gimme that 8.5% bullcrap, factor in real costs of things like groceries and fuel and it’s 480%), Supply chain breakdowns while our Secretary of Transportation takes a 4-month “paternity” leave, shortages of vital supplies including food and medicines, an invasion of un-vetted hordes across our Southern border, disease outbreaks (many coming from the aforementioned un-vetted hordes), and a new threat of nuclear war on two fronts.

Yet when given the opportunity to bring some meaningful change or at least to stop or slow down the insanity, Americans voted to maintain the status quo, even as far as electing a Senator in Pennsylvania who can’t process or express ideas, and a state legislator – also in Pennsylvania – who died a month before the election! Some states are still counting votes days later because in our modern age of advanced technology, somehow we can’t manage to count votes nearly as well as we could using paper ballots. There are close races between constitutional patriots and big-government socialists where the choice should be crystal clear and obvious. Yet voters, largely far more “educated” than in previous generations, find it difficult to decide between them.

I have a theory to explain America’s national suicide: Idolatry. We’re talking Romans chapter one kinda stuff here, so let me just quote it:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God has made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made*, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures (Romans 1:18-23, New American Standard Bible, emphasis mine).

*SCIENCE!

We chose to believe what we wanted to believe about reality in spite of science, because if there’s a God and He is righteous, then His creatures must answer to Him for their lives. But today’s “science” tells us that gender is merely a social construct, that males can get pregnant, that humans can effect and change the global climate, that the fruit of a woman’s womb is not human, that evil is good and good is evil. And we want to believe it, because it provides us with “evidence” to counter what our eyes see, what our ears hear, and what our own experience and the light of nature clearly demonstrate. There is no God, so we have nothing to answer to Him for.

The result of such idolatry is found in following few verses of Romans 1:

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also them men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind… (Romans 1:24-28, NASB).

We worship pleasure, physical comforts, ease, and the pursuit of our passions and lust. The result is being given over to depravity in our minds. And depraved minds vote for further depravity when given a choice in matters of government. Instead of government functioning to restrain and punish evil and protect the rights of a free people to do justly and worship God as were designed to do, we rely on government to suppress the knowledge of God and leave us “free” to debase ourselves further. The result can only be death and the multiplied wrath of a Holy God against us for our rebellion.

There is a way of escape, but only few ever find it. Only few even really want to find it. Because change requires effort. Sometimes even lots of prolonged effort, even sacrifice. More so now than at any time in human history so far, now that the world has adopted false “science” and used government “education” as a basis for validating it.

What is that way of escape? Look for that in the next thrilling episode of Robin’s Rants and Raves!