Living in the Now!

Learning to enjoy my life more!

A Big Change

Why Change?

So recently I was working on a web site as part of my college project and after a discussion with another student I realized I have never paid for my own professional web hosting or domain name. It has always been something I wanted to do but never had much need of in the past, I always worked with people who already had hosting and never needed to do anything with domain names. My friend Richard Arkless pointed out how much it would cost to host a site for a year using Go Daddy, so after looking up all the options I decided to take the plunge as the client for my current university project would need hosting with some options.

The Change

This means that I will be stopping updates to this blog and moving it all over to An Unrelenting Mind for the next year at least. Also I plan on morphing that web site into something a little different to this one, but for the time being it’s going to just be the new home for this blog.

My Experience with Go Daddy

My experience with Go Daddy UK wasn’t as easy as I would have hoped, the whole experience of purchasing was a comedy of errors without the comedy. I just want to point out that below were I talk about supporting charity, supporting a charity is a good thing regardless of what country that charity operates, but I live in the UK and I would rather support a charity that does work in the UK or globally. An example is that one of the three charities was supporting US solders, and while I believe supporting soldiers is good I would give my support to my own countries forces before I support another countries forces.

Here is some of the feedback I left Go Daddy UK:

“Well when you try to encourage me to donate to charity I would be more likely to donate to a charity that is a) world-wide or b) UK specific. Also when you say “Charity of your choice” don’t then limit my choices to three US-based charities.

Also had issues with promo code’s, I tried to use the “Linux295” code from the Linux action show. But after realising my mistake and seeing it actually increased my order amount because I didn’t realise I was getting the domain for free. I tried to remove this code but no matter what I did it seemed to be reapplied to my order. it wasn’t till I removed it and added another “go20off6″ did I get the value of the order back down to what I had been offered previously.

Also don’t then notify me that you have changed the amount after I have entered my payment details, I had to go back and look to see what was added. If your going to add tax do it at the start, I am now wondering if I’ve been billed twice and will not be looking forward to explaining this to the bank if I do get billed twice.

It’s almost as if whom ever runs payment processing for your site has no concept of usability and user friendliness. Can’t say I’m impressed, I expected more of such a large name company as yours.”

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2012 in review

Its been a hell of a year, and for more reasons than I have previously mentioned. I am back in college at the moment and that means I really don’t have much in the way of time to write blog posts, but there’s a lot to go through so keep an eye out for my next post. I am due to finish college July/June and will be writing some articles then, I may if I have time post some stuff earlier than that but I cannot promise anything at this time.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A Few Changes

I’ve decided that it was time for a few changes here on my blog, so I’m starting by changing the theme and again the name and tag line. I’m also thinking about making some different types of posts that I currently don’t do here and some vblogs that I’m currently working on.

At the moment though I got a few computers to fix, (two reinstalls and another machine that needs a physical clean.) plus a reinstall and reorganization of my current computer, a twitter background for my wife and also some reorganization of the gaming community HN&M.

Also doing some programming courses on the website, and the python tutorials on raspberry pi tutorials on YouTube.

I also re designed my wifes twitter profile for her with this image.

My wife’s new Twitter background.

and profile pic.

8-Bit style picture of my wife

8-Bit style picture of my wife made for Twitter.

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IT Telephone Scams

Please note that as I find more information about this kind of scam I 
will update this post.

If you get a call!

Update 17/07/2012 – IT expert explains what happens during a a AV telephone scam.

It seems almost like its more of a question of when they contact you, the call will likely be from someone with a Indian accent and claim to be from Microsoft or some other big IT company that most people have heard of. They may also have your name and address, at this point they will say that “we have detected a problem with your computer!” and if you don’t let them fix it for you immediately that your computer will stop working. They may even try to convince you by making you go to your computer to look at something and try to convince you to install software so they can control your computer to show you this proof.

You should be relatively safe until you download that software and grant them access to your computer, you should never let someone local (in your home) or remote (over the internet) access to your computer unless you trust them. So what ever you do, DO NOT download anything they tell you too, Hang up as soon as you identify that it is a scam. They will try to convince you as hard as they can but do not listen to it a second longer than you have to and hang up. if they call back or try to insist then either tell them you don’t have a computer or that you will ask your IT support professional to take a look for you.

Some things to keep in mind.

Microsoft will never contact you personally out of the blue about problems with your computer. You should always have security and should not rely on it being already on your computer, you will need a minimum of Anti-virus, (this looks for suspicious programs on your computer and will give you the option to remove this software from your system if it is detected and can also check incoming downloads for infections and warn you accordingly) and you should also have a Firewall, (most routers/modems have them built in, but having one installed on all your machines is a good practice. This will monitor your network connection for suspicious activity and block it.) But it’s not just good enough to just have these installed, you should really know what to do with them if you get a warning from them.

Update 21/08/2012TWiT TV Know How episode 6 Make Your Tech Life More Secure. (A video to help you secure your virtual world.)

Heres some free security software that I personally approve of and have used.



NOTE: These are all free products but they will try to get you to get the paid for version, but if you look carefully you will find the free version links. They also provide limited time licence that will last a year or 6 months and you can renew for free but they will ask you to register. They just some information about you as a user so that they can see your not a business trying to take advantage of the free software. If you pay you will get many more features and even a more complete security tool and better support. Also please take care in selecting other software that’s not listed here as some viruses can masquerade as legitimate programs.

Also keep your computer up to date, there are fixes for security problems as well as fixes for other issues in the updates for all software not just the operating system.

There are other security tools you can add to your computer to make it even safer to use your computer on the internet. And as always knowledge is power, and here is a Wikipedia article to explain more about internet security and a guide on what you should use to be secure.

This is all very good but I’ve already fallen victim to this

In this case first thing you should do is download anti virus software if you dont already have it, install and update it. In the following steps I wont detail exactly how to carry out each step as there are too many variations for each person, if you don’t know how to do a virus scan of any of the other steps I suggest you use your favourite search engine and look it up.

Step 1: Scan your computer for viruses and any other malicious programs.

Step 2: Ring your bank or banks and notify them of your situation, even if you only gave them the information for one of your cards they may be able to recover account information from any website you have ever used.

Step 3: Change Passwords on your computer, and every web site you use of have used. DO NOT use a password you have used in the past.

NOTE: You can ring the police (don’t use the emergency number 999 (UK only) use the non-emergency number 101 (UK only)) but there is little the law can do to stop these criminals. But each time some one registers being scammed there will come a time where the government will put more pressure on the country of origin to stop this kind of crime.

These criminals will use your data to try and steal your identity, your money and anything else they can possibly do with your information.

Spread the Word

Tell your friends, colleagues and anyone you meet about this so that it can be stopped.


17/07/2012 – VIDEO IT expert explains what happens during a a AV telephone scam.

21/08/2012 – VIDEO TWiT TV Know How 6 video.


A Raspberry Pi Update

To Start With

A macro shot of the Raspberry Pi’s logo printed on the circuit board.

At the moment it’s still in development, and its very much a learning tool to teach technical concepts. But that doesn’t mean that this is not suitable for kids, they will be fine. The whole thing will be a learning experience just like it was for me when I was 8-9 years old with my Commodore 64. But unlike then there is so much help available on the internet that anything can be over come with a little time searching around.

From what I’ve heared of Eben Upton (the guy behind the Raspberry Pi) it sounds like he wants to bring back this raw basic form of comuting to children so that they learn that a computer is more than just how you use the mouse and how you use word. its about how you properly formulate a IF statement. Yes its a complicated subject to grasp but just because most adults struggle to open a word document doesn’t mean that a kid can’t program.

And yes its a confusing and complicated subject but that’s because computers are complicated, it doesn’t matter how much companies make using a computer as easy and friendly as possible because all they are really doing is making it harder and harder for people to actually know what’s happening behind the interface and develop these things.

For those that may have problems with the terminology used in the rest of this article or want to know more about a specific thing I have provided links to more information. If I’ve missed something then please comment or send me a message on Twitter @dfragglet, thanks.

First Experience

Using the Pi and my net book late at night just like when I was a kid hacking away on my Commodore 64

An example is when you first get it you have to download the OS (Operating System) image to your computer and then unpack the image on to the SD card. First time I did this I did it in Windows and used the tool suggested, work flawlessly. After a few weeks there was a new version that they were asking people to beta test, I downloaded it and used a tutorial I found in Linux Format magazine to help me write the image to the SD card using the command line. This worked fine for the original image but when I tried it with the new updated image it messed the SD card up and made it unrecognisable to any OS I plugged it into. Eventually I found that despite my computers not recognizing it my camera would read it and say it had an error but allow me to format it and that fixed the issue of it not being read in any OS.

Eventually I found that the tutorial in the Magazine had a few steps missing so I followed the official tutorial on doing it through the Ubuntu terminal and it worked fine. Now in Windows you can do it through the command line or there’s a special tool, same for Linux and Mac.

When Ubuntu Terminal sessions go bad.

some unusual output from a terminal session on Ubuntu.

Once the SD card is prepared, pop it into the Raspberry Pi and power it. Now if the image is written correctly it’ll boot (first boot will take a little longer as its setting it’s self up to the hardware) after that it will just stop at a Linux command line asking you to log in. Default log in is username: pi and the password: raspberry.

Once logged in your still at the command line and to start a graphical desktop to do some work you need to type “startx”. then it loads a GUI called LXDE. its a Debian based Linux distribution but unlike alot of the other distribution for desktops this comes with tools to get started but nothing else.

The next step was finding a WiFi dongle that works, really long and technical process or trawling through the Raspberry Pi wiki finding the dongle that people have got to work and then following the steps that are there to make it work. Took 8 hours with the help of Phill at first to research and refine the process for using one of the WiFi dongles but after that we managed to refine that process down to 6 steps that took 5 mins to complete.


It will not give you an easy ride but you will learn a lot from just using it. I know more about Linux from using my Pi for a month than I did from running Ubuntu for the past 2 years. mostly because Ubuntu is refined and well developed OS. The raspberry pi, not yet, there’s still a lot of performance to be unlocked from it as there’s no driver yet to use the GPU, no login manager (Note: the link to the left take you to a page for a login manager, it has a very good definition of what a login manager is but I am unsure if this particular Manager will work on the Pi) to make starting it up easier or package manager to make installing software easier by default, but there is a way of adding these things later.

If you want a little computer to view web pages, word process and play games or to just generally use out of the box then this is not for you. If you want to get dirty and learn how it works and get involved in then yes its for you. Its basically the same with a car, you want to own and use a car but don’t care or want to know how it works then stick to the well know manufacturers. You want a car that’s going to force you to learn how to keep it on the road then you get and MGB GT or any other classic car.

Other Impressions

The guys over at Jupiter Broadcasting have done a review of the Raspberry Pi and if you want to hear what they thought you can either got to the site Jupiter broadcasting or watch the embedded video right here. 


31 and Facebookless

Since you’ve been gone

So its been a few weeks since I left Facebook and I can’t say I’ve missed it, only thing I did feel I missed was somthing incredibly minor in the end that I felt glad I wasn’t there to get sucked into it.

Facebook have got such a tight hold over theyer users that it just draws them in, as I type I am also watching last sundays This Week in Tech and Leo Laporte happens to just quickly open his Facebook and he gets drawn in, he exclaims that he wants to check it and post.

This hold over the user is not healthy, and to a certin level this applies to all social networks but I find that with Twitter I spend a significantly less time browsing and checking tweets than I ever did on Facebook, and this has acctually lead to me spending less time on Google plus.

But with Google Plus I find that I can’t scan it as quickly and that even though I spent quite a while building up circles its all stuff I’ve already seen on Twitter so I’m loosing interest in Google Plus, but I’m going to carry on using it for the time being to see how it progresses.

Lets see…

One of the things I’m looking forward to is seeing how many people will congratulate me on my birthday without having that reminder from Facebook. Personally I dont care who does or doesn’t remember me getting another year older, I always find birthdays slightly pointless but its a widely accepted tradition and gift giving is nice regardless of the reason.

But yes this is my 31st birthday, I’m planing on spending the day with my wife and my friend just chilling and having a good time, in a week or so I might have a little family get together and have some food etc.

So far

This year I’ve dropped out of college due to illness, lost my uncle, fallen out with some people. Also had some good things happen to me, me and my sister have put aside our differences and issues we had with eachother, I have made a very good friend whom has become quite a close friend in a very short space of time, Le Mans was a little disappointing when the delta wing got taken out but it was still a good race and provided many thrills. Monaco for the F1 was unusually boring and the European Grand Prix was unusually exciting, possibly the most exciting race all year but for all the wrong reasons.

Yet to come this year is my hopeful return to college and to achive some personal goals.

Recent Pi activities

So since I’ve gotten my Raspberry Pi I’ve been playing with different things, mostly just trying different distributions and following the tutorials on Raspberry Pi Tutorials You Tube channel, not gotten too far with them just yet.

small credit card sized £25 computer running linux on a 19" tft

small credit card sized £25 computer running Debian Linux.

Also I have been trying different wifi adapters with it, installing and getting them to work and thats not as easy as it might sound and I had a lot of help from Phill. At one point I thought I had broken one of my SD cards as when I had completed writing the image to the SD it would no longer be recognised and wouldn’t boot the pi, if I plugged it into anything it wouldn’t even be detected and forums and friends were saying that it was broken and I may as well bin it.

Until I thought I might try it in my camera and it was detected but said it had an error so I went to the format SD option and formatted it too it out and polugged it back inot the netbook and detected it instantly no problem, since then I’ve had to use this a few times to restore a SD to working order again.

I plan on doing more programming with my Pi, although I’m unsure if I should continue with Python or Java or switch to Visual Basic. I know it may sound a bizarre choice but when looked from the perspective of the coming collage studies I will be needing to study VB in collage, I already studied some Java and I only really know how to do really basic stuff in Python.

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Wow where to begin.

This week

I have been using my Raspberry Pi, having a lot of fun with it but I could do with a HDMI to DVI adapter but moneys a bit tight so it will have to wait. Also plan on making a case for it out of Lego, I can’t wait till it’s sorted out and they release the Drivers for the GPU. I did get a USB 3 4 port powered hub for it, slight waste as the Pi is only USB 2 but it’s a solid hub with no stupid styling or extra “features”.

Me pulling faces

Do you Like My Duck Face?

I’ve been to the hospital for a consultation to try and get to the bottom of the illness I experienced over Christmas, lots of tests to be carried out, blood and heart. But it seems to be leaving me and now I only have a episode two or three times a month, and it can usually be sat out and after about an hour I can go back to what I was doing. So soon one way or another I will be back to proper health.

Been watching a few films, see Prometheus and I quite liked it and so did Vicky, but not everyone in our party enjoyed it. And from what I’ve seen on-line there are more who dislike it than like it. Another film I watched was Indy Game: The Movie its basically a documentary following three independent game developers as they put them selves through trials and tribulations, it can also be purchased through Steam.

Coming up

Also starting to get my diet right, cutting out some of the rubbish and getting a few more greens and fruit. Vicky is training for a in-door triathlon at out local gym, I think I’m going to aim to do it next year but I will be there to support her and will try and train with her. Also de-stressing and putting last weeks drama behind me and looking forward to getting back to college soon.

Le Mans this weekend and I’m going to be enjoying some company through the 24 hours, Vicky has decided to watch it with me after she watched it with me last year and her brother Tim will be watching it for the first time. So for 24 hours the diet is going to take a back seat and we are going to enjoy a laid back party atmosphere. (can’t use too much energy or you wont make the 24 hours.)

A computer the size of a credit card called the Raspberry Pi

A computer the size of a credit card called the Raspberry Pi

Going to wire the place so that we wont miss any of the coverage with thanks to Radio Le Mans streaming live commentary on the internet. So Phones will be charged with links to the site for toilet visits and kitchen breaks, the TV will be following the Euro-sport coverage and live timing and twitter feeds on the desktop. So this means altering my sleeping pattern a bit but not a major issue as I’m a night time person anyway.

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Chill out

Sorry for the lack of posts for the past few days, had to deal with a few dramas. But now that’s delt with it’s business as usual. My Raspberry Pi arrived, got it all working and started programing in Python. Going to make a case for it out of Lego and waiting for a WiFi dongle to arrive before I find a place to put it and use it.





Facebook deadline is drawing closer and now almost everything is cleared out. Although new pet peeve, send an important e-mail and receive no response. An acknowledgment would be the minimum I would expect.

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Bye bye Facebook, you’ve changed!

At first…

When I first joined Facebook back in October 2008 it was with a degree of reluctance, I didn’t really see what was so good about it and I was happy with MySpace. I met my wife Vicky on MySpace, I had been using it since I was in college and had a lot of friends and enjoyed it. But after speaking to a few people and looking at a few articles I decided I was going to take the plunge and give it a try. A picture of the Facebook time line at the point I joined.

After the first few months of finding out what everything did and how it worked, playing games and uploading pictures I started to settle into a rhythm of what I liked using and didn’t. Added friends and discovering groups. and I happily used it for years.

Dealing with Facebooks short comings

Over the years I’ve had various different issues crop up and most of which were easy to forgive. When a service like Facebook goes down or a part of it stops working, I can forgive it that. Its a free service and there has been no promise that this would never happen so I let it go, (unlike a lot of other users that feel entitled to have a problem free service and get outraged when it suffers the smallest problem.). showing one of facebooks bugs

But when the problems that arise are because of an ill considered feature then I tent to start questioning the company’s ability to create a quality service. The ability to block game posts was a huge plus for me as I hate the constant stream of game posts coming from other users. but when there are some that cannot be blocked then I get a little pissed off. It’s not even the same as a service like Raptr that just updates friends about game activity, its the constant begging of users to give stuff or collect stuff or even to join the game.

There are many other ill considered or implemented features that make using Facebook a pain, the lack of proper controls and the constant changing of where and how options work.

previously hidden posts.

This all adds up over time and eventually I began to feel as though I was using a half finished site and never knew if I was going to be able to use or control something the same from one day to the next. This is a particular pain as I ran several groups and fan pages, and was part of many more.

Facebook likes to filter information, I was annoyed constantly when the default view was what it considered top stories, when I like a chronologically ordered feed. How hard is it for them to make it so that when I select most recent on the sort option, the site remembers what I last selected and sticks to it?
(here is a hint, not that hard! I’ve written something similar my self in PHP.). But all this information filtering has also means that I am not seeing all posts from all my friends. I didn’t discover this till I started to use Tweet Deck on my phone, it would show me posts in chronological order (that’s why I love it!) and seems to ignore all of Facebook filtering (for good and bad, blocked game requests would now be visible but only in Tweet Deck.)


There are many types of Facebook users, the Facebook gamer, the whiner, the preacher, the show off and more that I could mention but we aren’t creating a list here. And most normal users are guilty of indulging in all of these activities at any one time, my self included. But variety is the spice of life and that’s good but when the gullible start falling for scams (and there are a lot of gullible users on Facebook). My daily feed is just filled with pathtic attempts to find who’s been looking at another users profile, or attempts to get £175 in Tesco vouchers, or what ever scam has been rife among my friends list. Sometimes I can see it start with one friend and watch it spread from person to person, attempts to warn others either results in scoffing or ignorance.

Most users are like sheep locked in the pen in a nice field, safe, protected or so they think. it is actually a island in the middle of a motorway at rush hour and the only things on the road are trucks, big 18 wheeler trucks with heavy loads and inattentive drivers. But this is true of the internet in general not just Facebook.

But this all boils down to the fact that Facebook doesn’t actually care about its users, otherwise there would be more safe guards against scam’s. Better controls for filtering what information get’s to our feeds and more protection of its users. Because a lot of what I’ve mentioned isn’t the users fault, yes there is a severe lack of education among internet users but the services they use should try everything in they’re power to protect the users.

But as a more seasoned internet user I am personally unaffected by such things, but it’s witnessing this happening everyday, seeing my reports of abuse going unheeded day in day out.

Mobile Application

The mobile application is OK, but it lacks all the features of the full site. Biggest missing feature for me is the ability to re-share content. Take a look at the next screen shot, where is the re-share button? Not there is it? there are plenty of other social networks out there who also have a mobile application, and they have re-share buttons. Even twitter has the ability to re-share a post.

Some one doesn’t like sharing!

Why not Facebook?

So where has this left me

I have had enough of all the problems above, I also think that I like many other Facebook users spend too much time using it. Also it’s not the only Social Network on the block, and the others do things differently and better. I’ve had a Twitter account for years started around the same time as I started on Facebook, but at the time I didn’t get twitter, didn’t understand it and thought it was limited and cluttered. The past few weeks I’ve grown to use it more, and the more i use it the more I’m begining to enjoy it.

I like the simplicity of it, quick little sentence that’s all, nothing overly complex. Throw a hash tag in there to make something searchable throw someone’s name to give them a mention. it works really well when your out and about as these quick little messages come in a bit at a time and any other media is linked so you don’t have to downloaded it if don’t want to. All features work and work well, the level of discourse is as good or bad as you want it to be. and there’s so much scope for tailoring it to the way you want using 3rd party applications or services. There is no extra faff to distract you, it is clean simple with no messing about.

Google+ is nice, it has a lot of the functionality of Facebook and in a format that wont be too alien to some Facebook users. it has a few improvements over Facebook and a few features that Facebook doesn’t have. But it’s still developing and still changing, the nicest thing is the lack of advertising. But out of the three only Facebook advertises to its users directly, so it’s not a unique selling point. But I have this saying “If the service is free then you are the commodity!” and because of this and a few other things I get the impression that Me, I as a person is being analysed and Google are storing every little thing about me they can just so they can target me better. And just because Google don’t have adverts on G+ doesn’t mean they don’t use that information when I use the other services that do advertise using Google’s information.

But then conversely I’m not sure what to make of Twitter with regards to the same thing but I don’t see them advertising and yet I don’t see what information they could possible collect from my tweets. So I fail to see how they make money. But they don’t worry me as much as Facebook do when it comes to this, Facebook are underhanded and I distrust them and the methods they use. I spent a day just going through my Facebook account deleting all my information by hand because I don’t trust that they will remove it after my account is closed. And yes I’m not so stupid that I think they don’t have a backup and could restore anything, any time or that the history of my profile isn’t already full of past information and sold long ago to the highest bidder.

It was the price I paid

It is the price everyone pays and most pay it without knowing or caring, I knew from day one and cared but not enough to stop me using it. I don’t even object to them making money off me, as I’ve said it’s a free service and they have to cover costs and pay staff some how. But I dont want it anymore and I dont care for it anymore. Time to move onto the next thing.

So I say, so long and thanks for all the fish, sorry spam!


Helping hand

What I do.

I like to give people help where I can and in a way that I can, usually this takes the form of my time and knowledge. Some times its just being there and helping set up and clean up, I often help a charity called Bobath with fate’s and fairs and the like. I go with Vicky and sometimes my mum and we’ll help set up stalls and my mum and vicky run what ever stall we are on and I go around doing odd bits here and there and keeping Vicky and mum in drinks and food and covering for a few minuite while they go the loo.

I also help friends with problems they might be having with they’re computer’s, and will often give away parts that I can spare. And in return I get parts and PC’s donated to me, I then recycle what I can’t use and repurpose what I can. This has always worked well as it gives me experience and a stock of spare parts and my friends get a service that they might have to pay a lot of money for. I, Vicky, Lynne (mum) and a few other family members also give a lot to the Bobath charity shop.

Why do I do it?

I like being helpful, if I can do somthing to help then I will. I also like to see people do well and if I help then I get a feeling of having been a part, large or small in they’re success.

A stranger is just someone you haven’t talked to yet.

When I help people I don’t just help friends, it could be anyone. I don’t pick and choose, some times It’s just some person I come across in the street.

How to help

As already mentioned Bobath, they could always do with help, check the Far Lands or Bust YouTube page to help raise money for Childs Play. Hob Nob’s and Murder is a friendly gaming comunity that need money to run the servers and eventually we would like to have charity fund raising events.

Then here’s someone who is trying to open source the software he makes and put it out there free for all to use. But to do this he needs help, he has a baby, a wife and some goats to support, so to help him go to and read about the support you can give. Bryan Lunduke makes awesome and is trying to change how open source apps are funded and you can find out more about him on his blog and on the Linux Action Show on Jupiter Broadcasting. Also if you feel extra helpful go to Jupiter Broadcasting and see how to help them, but just giving the shows a view and spreading the word if you like it or know some one who would is a big help.

Also if you have the time and are interested in gaming and the point of view of a gaming consumer, pay this blog a visit and give him a read, he does also write about other things.