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Welcome to My Homepage

Welcome to my site. I hope that you will find out something useful while you are here. This site has become increasingly devoted to Linux as I have explored the subject in greater detail.

I have also added some code samples that implement a variety of data structures, mostly in C++.

Most of the navigational links have been moved into collapsible categories in the left frame. Each category can be expanded by clicking on the check-box next to the category name.

The last year has passed rather quickly. I just finished the first year of my Master's study, working on many interesting projects along the way. The last several months, I found an interesting octoral projectso have decided to stay on here and go all the way.

My main hobbies are reading, running, and writing. I like to read on a variety of topics, but recently most of my reading has been devoted to computer science texts.

My running has been going quite well. I‘m getting closer to the condition that I was in 2000, when I reached my peak performance. Right now I have gotten my mileage back up to 30-40 mi/week. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so that I can continue running regularly as late in the year as possible.

I like to write a variety of creative works including sort stories, documentation, and of course computer programs in a variety of languages. I will hopefully have some time to write some new shorts and post them to the site soon.

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On many sites including the Official Linux Homepage, the description begins with "Linux is a free Unix Clone ......" For those that don’t already follow computers this isn‘t very helpful, so I‘ve written a guide to using it.

General Information

Linux Home
Linux Documentation Project

Distribution Sites

Debian Linux
Gentoo Linux

One of the most misunderstood understood aspects of Linux is that it is free software. Linux is not freeware. It is free as in freedom, which means that users are free to obtain the source code of it and modify it to suit their needs. The license even allows one to distribute the modified changes provided that while redistributing you provided others with the same freedom to modify the source that you had. To learn more about free software, the definitive source is The Free Software Foundation.

Another common misunderstanding, among programmers, is the belief the free software represents a threat to their ability to make a living. Here‘s why this argument is a strawman.

  • Most software is not written for resell.
    It is easy to see that if one were to work at a company that only produced mass-market software, Microsoft, then one might be threatened by Free software. However most programmers do not actually work in this kind of environment. Instead most either work for companies who develop software for in-house use or sell specialized packages that will never be duplicated by free-software projects.

  • Some software will never be Free.
    Specialized software many industries rely on will never have free equivalents. Why? First the free software development model requires the developer interest to work, for specialized projects there just are not enough developers available. Secondly these applications require rich domain-specific knowledge that further restricts the number of developers who are able to work on the project.
    In addition to specialized packages, mass-market packages that do some important tasks will never be free. Tax Preparation software is a great example. The rules change yearly, so the software has to keep up, and no volunteer to work on something that could have legal consequences should it not work. This situation exists for any software that would have to interact with important institutions such as the government, insurance companies, or banks.

  • Software will still need to be changed and customized.
    Free software is written for general use. Many institutional users will find that they desire additional features or changes that better suit their particular situation. Unlike closed systems, free software gives these users the ability to customize the software to an arbitrary degree. They can even keep the changes in-house provided they do not redistribute the software to third parties.
    Even individual users can have changes made. Most computer users don‘t know how to make these changes, so they will hire someone to do it for them. This arrangement is analogous to the situation that exists with other complex consumer products such as vehicles. Everyone has the option of fixing/modifying his/her own car, but most prefer to hire a professional.

A good deal of confusion exists about the relationship between free software and open-source software. Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably they refer to to different movements with different, but overlapping goals. As previously described free software is about freedom. To qualify as open-source a software license must meet certain qualifications which provide the user with freedoms, but often more restrictive licenses can qualify as open-source that would not be acceptable to the free software movement. For more information about the open-source movement and a list of licenses visit the Opensource Initiative

The free software and open-source movements have helped to inspire like-minded persons in other fields to develop similar licenses. The creative commons has information for artists, musicians, and authors interested in an open license.

Number of Visitors Since Jan 2002
Updated Mar. 28, 2009
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