Monday technical

Getting rid of Google as much as possible is a good thing. The following is a critique of a hardware hacker who produced a phone analogue running FreeBSD (all good) but then used google services.

I would add this: every time people try to get me to join a facebook group I cringe. Facebook is censoring comments by the millions.

Reliance on Google:

Google is, like *literally*, the second-biggest threat to privacy on the planet. (#1 obviously being Facebook). No matter how many fancy security features you build in, they’re completely worthless if the device just shares the relevant data with some entity whose business model is extracting as much info as possible, no matter how intrusive.

By heavily relying on Google services, you basically fuck over the need for privacy for any and all users.

If it’s not clear to you yet, please also read up on why metadata is the most dense form of data and realize that leaking or outright giving it away constitutes is a *HUEEEG* problem.

Writing Stack

One of the things that happens when you upgrade a Mac is that things break. The most recent thing is Endnote. After some experimentation, I’m returning to Zotero.

  • The price is right (free)
  • It is cross platform, and word processor agnostic. This matters because it is often easier to write in Libreoffice or even Lyx than in word, but editors want word and track changes
  • Although Zotero is broken as a package in Debian, this is the packager’s fault. He has included the plugin for Firefox in the package. He should not have. Use the flatpak instead.
  • It syncs between devices, which is a significant benefit
  • It is not the smoothest interface, but it has been around for half dozen years at least. Some newer projects are single persons and have not.

This will increase productivity.

From the Ghost website.

As far as moving away from Linux: I managed to install FreeBSD, but things did not work as well as with GhostBSD — much better installer, allows you to move directly to accelerated systems, and MATE desktop. Not my favourite desktop, but its minimal, rolling, and that is good. The next thing is to set it up.

The server is remaining on Debian at present(and using Cinnamon). I move the server around rarely to never.

GhostBSD is becoming a slow-moving rolling release base on the latest TrueOS with FreeBSD 12 STABLE. When FreeBSD 13 STABLE gets released, GhostBSD will be upgraded to TrueOS with FreeBSD 13 STABLE.

Our official desktop is MATE, which means that the leading developer of GhostBSD does not officially support XFCE. Community releases are maintained by the community and for the community. GhostBSD project will provide help to build and to host the community release. If anyone wants to have a particular desktop supported, it is up to the community. Sure I will help where I can, answer questions and guide new community members that contribute to community release.

There is some effort going on for Plasma5 desktop. If anyone is interested in helping with XFCE and Plasma5 or in creating another community release, you are well come to contribute. Also, Contribution to the GhostBSD base system, to ports and new ports, and in house software are welcome

The plan is to run this as the blogging laptop for at least a month, and then report on what it’s like once I’ve got it modified… including seeing if Zotero works.