Saturday, June 09, 2007

Philmont--Day 9

Day 8, July 7
We wake up at 5:30 AM but of course no one would get up. Danny fell by the latrine, it was pretty funny. We left Ute Meadows at like 8:50 AM and started to hike towards Head of Dean. We made pretty good time and had time to chill. Played Risk & stuff. Saw a mule deer at Ute when we woke up this morning and it was like 10 feet away from our tents. Danny and J.C. pwned at Risk. Overall today was a pretty easy day. Campfire tonight and challenge course tomorrow at 8AM.

Deer at Ute Meadows

Me on the trail to Head of Dean.

We got bored and put Danny's Therma Rest up a tree.

Danny couldn't find his Therma Rest...until he looked up. So
naturally, he had to climb the tree to get it down.

Postcard-esque view from the Head of Dean staff cabin.

Campfire with both crews.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Philmont--Day 8

Day 8, July 6
Got up at 6 AM, tried to wake the others up and went to get the bear bags down. The sick crew member wasn't feeling good again when we got back so we let him get better. Ate breakfast and finally headed for Mount Baldy at 9:15 AM. The hike to Baldy Town was pretty easy and we made it in 45 minutes. We stopped for 10 minutes in Baldy Town and then started the hard part of the hike. The first part had a lot of switchbacks so it was pretty easy but the second part was just a bunch of slopes and it was extremely hard. The trail became even harder once we passed the timberline. This part of the trail was at least 60 degrees straight up and it was terribly taxing on all of us. We finally summited the top of Mount Baldy around 1:10 PM. Ate lunch up top and took a bunch of pictures. The view was far reaching and beautiful. There was snow too, took kind of long to get back. Jamie slipped in mud and a guy from the summit was hurt. We ate oranges and got the food from Baldy town commissary. There was no showers at Ute Meadows camp. Oh well.

The trail up to Mount Baldy

(if you click on it you can see people hiking up the trail)

More Pictures from Mt. Baldy:


Philmont--Day 7

Day 7, July 5
We tried to wake up at 5:30 AM but we got up at 6 AM because I slept past my alarm. One of the crew members was sick so we waited for him to get better. As soon as he was feeling better we left with our sister crew and started to hike with them. Their burro, Elmer (like the glue--heh), was tight but they went fast. We eventually split up at the Well of Baldy Skyline camp and the other crew went to Miranda while we went to Ute Meadows. Gorgeous sights and rainclouds. Got to Ute Meadows acround 5:30 PM set up at campsite 2 (kinda bad but we made it work). The view from the latrine was gorgeous (ironic huh).


Philmont--Day 6

Day 6, July 4
Woke up around 5:30 AM to take nice hot shower but my shower head spewed water everywhere, so all of my clothes got wet, which really sucked because it was like 50-60 degrees outside. Ate the chuckwagon breakfast which was pretty good. Packed up gear/tents and picked up food, branded some stuff (like my wallet) and got some root beer. We were supposed to pick up a burro but we arrived to late so we had the choice o taking one or not--we chose not. We probably hiked 6 miles today, most of it uphill but we stopped too many times so it took longer. Got to Pueblano and the staffer tried to trick us into thinking it was another camp but he failed. Put tents up and ate dinner. Campfire was interesting but it got pretty cold, pretty fast. Star are awesome out here but so is sleep. Happy 4th of July, no fireworks for us.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Philmont--Day 5

Day 5, July 3

Woke up at 5:45 AM this morning, packed all the camp gear, got the bear bags down. Left Indian Writings at 7:17 AM and started on the trail to Hart's Peak (this was the highest point of the trek so far), Danny went fast for the first time, and it was a long hike. Ate breakfast on the trail and the peak was cool. We reached the 7,979 foot peak at 10:15 and saw Mt. Baldy, Little Castilla, Tooth of Time, and the Spanish Peaks off in the distance. We had to wait for about two hours for one of the crew members to get better because he became sick from the altitude, we think. It was cool to chill on the peak and hack up there. We made it to the next camp, Ponil, after about an hour (around 12:45 PM). WE got to our campsite and pulled out our lunches and walked to the Cantina and grabbed some root beer. Then we went to ride horses, which wasn't very good but oh well. Chuck wagon dinner was okay, we hacked and saw some girls our age. Got some more root beer and rinsed clothes. Now time for sleep.

The Ponil camp is a large trail camp in Philmont and is known for its large horse stables and it's Cantina which serves scouts root beer for $0.25 a cup. A $0.25 well spent, the root beer was great. The girls we saw were apart of a Girl Scout group hiking Philmont, yes girls can hike in a Boy Scout ranch.


Philmont--Day 4

To those of you who are intrigued by my adventures in New Mexico or for those of you that are just casual readers, I'm very sorry for being so slow at posting these things but here is day 4!

Day 4, July 2
Woke up at 6:45 AM (MST) this morning, packed, ate, and finally left camp at 9 (very slowly). The hike was short today, 45 minutes (without stops). Got to the Indian Writings camp and had a porch talk with the staff. Four our campsite, hung the food up in the bear bags and went to the Petroglyph tour. We saw Paotie Man and some other artifacts. Ate lunch, then went and did our conservation project. Straw was everywhere. Didn't play Anasazi ball, but drank sulfur water. Chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner. We get pound cake tomorrow!

The Indian Writings camp was our second stop on our trek and it had a bunch of artifacts and drawings from an old Indian camp that lived in the valley where the camp was. It was pretty neat and here are a few pictures:

Also here is some pictures of the beautiful scenery from the hike:


Monday, May 21, 2007

Philmont--Day 3

Day 3, July 1
Another 5:30 AM (MST) wake up call. Got dressed in Class A uniforms and went to breakfast. We had our "shakedown" , cleaned out our tents, and put our packs atthe welcome center. Crew picture was next, then we "hacked" at the trading post. Talked at 6 gates, after car ride about Red Roof etc. Everyone bought hackeys! Danny led us on our first 2 miles. Went at a good pace saw rattlesnake. Yay, I'm tired. Spahgetti, corn, biscuits, and cookies for dinner. Attempted to put bear bag up--sucked royally. Purified water from a creek and it's not too bad. Campfire--"Thorns and Roses" and "Outdoor Stories". Time for bed.

Tent City and Red Roof Inns (AKA Bathrooms)


Philmont--Day 2

Day 2, June 30
5:30 AM (CST) wake up call this morning. Put our sleeping bags and maps up, got dressed and all that jazz. Ate donuts and raisins, with OJ for breakfast. We left Amarillo a little after 7 AM (CST) and reached the TX/NM border a few minutes after 9 AM (CST). Made a gas stop and got back on the road to Philmont. Made it to Philmont 15 minutes after 11 AM (MST). Unloaded the packs and me out Ranger, <--Cory.He's really tight, and talked to this girl Nicole at the Trading Post. Today was a hurry-up and wait day. The bathrooms are nice and because of the thin air, our skin should clear up? Danny got an awesome hat. We played a name game and called our mommies. Camp fire is tonight. We leave at 1 PM (MST) tomorrow. Danny is stupid and whipped still, even after Haley broke up with him. We picked up food and gear today; tomorrow will be the "shakedown." Dinner consisted of Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes, a roll, corn and one of the best brownie's ever (according to Danny). Went to a Catholic Chapel service (saw people from different states, including New Jersey). Went to campfire, it was decent. Then we went to the "cantina" (snack bar) chilled and "hacked" (played hacky sack) for a while with Cory. Took shower, now going to bed.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Philmont--Day 1

In the summer of 2005, I trekked across northeastern New Mexico in the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch. Here is a bit of history behind the ranch: Philmont land was first donated to the Boy Scouts of America in 1938 from Waite Phillips who was a wealthy oil magnate and wilderness enthusiast who amassed much of the land from grants in the 1920s. Since then, the ranch has amassed about 127,000 acres of beautiful wilderness. Scouts travel in groups of 7-10 people and cover between 50 and 100 miles. I was apart of Trek 630H1 and hiked itinerary 3. We (Me, Danny Lutz, and J.C. Francis) traveled with a group of scouts from Troop 874 because our troop, 753, did not "win" a spot at Philmont. I will find a map and trace my route as soon as I can. I know it has been two years since then, but during the trek Danny Lutz (good friend and fellow Eagle Scout) and I kept a little journal of our daily adventures. So, here is the 10 day journal with all the details. I will differentiate Danny and myself with different colors.

Day 1, June 29
Got to the church a little before 8 AM (CST). Waited for everyone to arrive, then we loaded up and headed out. Danny, J.C. Francis, and I rode in a van so we were able to bring a TV and some DVD's along with us. Today, we watched Pulp Fiction and Old School About an hour or so (approx.) a tire on the trailer blew out. Luckily we had a spare, so the adult leaders quickly changed it and we were on our way. We stopped at a highway rest stop to eat lunch at about 12 PM (CST). At about 30 minutes after 4 PM (CST), we arrived in Amarillo and found Boy Scout Troop 80's "troop hut." The hut was a large room that serviced as a meeting room for the troop and they rented it out to other scout troops on their way to Philmont, because Scouting rules do not permit more than a certain amount of travel hours in a day. We ate dinner at Cici's pizza and then returned back to the "hut" where a fencing meeting was taking place. Since we had free time to kill, we watched the people fencing, played Foosball, air hockey, pool, and cards until about 10 PM (CST). Lights out was at about 10:30 PM (CST), so we all got ready for bed but most of us didn't get to sleep until after 11:30 PM (CST). That's all for today, bye for now.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Summer is here

I am so glad to be out of school and back at home with nothing to do--for now. I am in search of a job right now. I could go back to Boston Market, but I would like to try to work somewhere else. I have applied for a job at the Angelika theater in Plano and that would be a very cool job for me to have. Besides trying to get a job, I don't have anything to do right now. Summer classes start the 4th of June and then end on the 3rd of July and it's M-Th for 2 hours, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Besides school and work, I'm gonna get a new phone this summer but I'm not quite sure which one I want. A smart phone would be nice because it'll let me access my email and the internet but some of the new "dumb" phones look pretty interesting. I need help, if you have a new-ish phone and you like it a lot, please tell me what it is so I can do some research on it. That's about it for now, summer is starting off slow, which isn't a bad thing because I'm sure it will start flying by before I know it.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gov't Mule--Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa

Sorry it has been so long since I wrote last, I was bogged down with finals and such. Well, the Wednesday before finals (5/2) Trevor (friend and next-door neighbor from OU) and I drove out to Tulsa to catch Gov't Mule's only show in Oklahoma. We arrived at about 7:20 PM and waited around outside till the doors opened up at 8 PM. There was hardly anyone in the ballroom when we went in so we got pretty fantastic spots on the floor. Before the show, I looked on the Cain's Ballroom website (link) and found out it was "college student night" or something like that and the band was gonna hand out a bag of free goodies if you presented a college ID. So, I went to the merchandise table and picked up my bag of goodies which included a Gov't Mule Koozie, Pen, and Post-it notes!! Here's a picture of the stuff:

Trevor decided to wait till the end of the show to get his bag, but unfortunately they ran out of stuff. However, he did get one of the drummer's, Matt Abts, drumsticks. So after I got my stuff, we watched as the ballroom filled up and waited until the band was ready to go. Finally about about 9:15 PM the band came out and starting to jam. This was my first concert experience ever so it was pretty amazing. Since we were so close to the stage I was about 6 feet away from the famous Warren Haynes. Here is the link to the wiki on Warren Haynes. I was able to take some great pictures of the show because I was so close to the stage:

Warren Haynes

Matt Abts

Andy Hess

Danny Louis

This was an awesome show and even with this being my first show I could tell it was pretty awesome. To those people who are concert veterans, I'm sure this show would have blown you out of the water, it was that good. All of this "new" music that I have been listening to lately has been pretty awesome as well. The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and Gov't Mule are all spectacular performers and it is easy to hear in any of their live recordings. If you want any of their stuff live, it's free and I can point you in the right direction. We ended up getting back to the dorm at about 2:30AM but it was well worth it, I'm just now catching back up with sleep because the night after this concert I went and saw the premiere of Spiderman 3, which is pretty good btw--go see it. I leave with some more of my favorite pictures from the show, if you want to see anymore, just post a comment or whatever and I'll get them too you.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I like Digg

I like Digg, please don't kill it. The founders have stopped taking HD-DVD stories so stop posting them. Why must people always ruin the good things in life?


It's already May and I have a week left of school. Again, the end of my first year of college is almost over. I can not believe how fast this year has gone by. Although, it has been a very great year and I have lots of memories to take from it. Oklahoma has been a great place for me this past year. The atmosphere around here is awesome especially for sports. This year I have turned into a Women's Basketball fanatic, who'd thunk it. I'm not gonna lie, I can't wait for summer but I think next year is going to be even better.

In other news, the Mavericks staved off elimination thanks to Dirk's two 3-pointers and a monster block at the end of the game. Can the Mavs stop the Warriors in the next two games? I think they can, especially after this game. This has been a great series no matter what, but seriously if the Warriors (8th seed) beat the Mavs (1st seed) I think I might cry and I'm not even a crazy, fanatical fan. Don't get me wrong I love the Mavs but I don't keep up with them during the regular season. For one, I'm in Oklahoma and I don't get to see many games. Second, the season is 80 games long and its so hard to keep up with everything that is going on, so I get my daily dose of Mavs from Sportscenter. I'm pulling all the way for the Mavs, lets see if they can do it.

Last Saturday, Adrian Peterson was drafted number seven overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL Draft. I hope and think that this will be a great place for AD (Adrian's nickname "All Day") to start off is pro career. Some pro football analysts think that he will be the Rookie of the Year. That'll be a tough feat considering JaMarcus Russell and Calvin Johnson will be getting a whole lot of playing time. AD was a great player for OU and I know that he will be an amazing professional. The Vikings practically added the entire OU football fan base to their fan base, so good job Vikings--heh.

That's all I've got for now, I'll try to post more but with finals coming up it might be a while in between posts


Friday, April 27, 2007

New found music

Recently, a friend of mine, Trevor, has led me to a new genre of music. A genre of jam sessions, kickin' guitar solos, and a medley of all great musicians. It started with the Allman Brothers Band, then it led to Gov't Mule, and now I'm hooked on the Grateful Dead. I am by no means a Deadhead but they're music is just so awesome. For some of you, this music may be old stuff but it is very new to me and I think it is just awesome.

The style of this music is just so laid back and easy goin', all you can do is sit back and enjoy the passion these guys put in their music. At the top of this page is a link to some video clips of a few of the Allman Brothers Band songs. The first album that my friend gave me was entitled "At Fillmore East" and he said the reason he lent me it was because it is considered the 'godfather' of all live shows. At first I was a little skeptical, but after listening to it I have to agree that it is a pretty great album. The most impressive song on this album is called "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" which is a 13 minute long jazz fest with an extended guitar solo by the famous Duane Allman that brought comparisons to famous tenor sax player John Coltrane. You can listen to this song for free here. Not only does this song feature an amazing solo by Duane but some masterful writing by Dickey Betts, especially the transition at around 2:30 into the song. For the last week this has been all I have listened to because it is pretty amazing. Go ahead, give it a try. It is definitely worth listening to.

Gov't Mule started out as a side project for the Allman Brothers Band but it soon took a life of its own. It is a jam band that fuses music from all genres into one big package. Gov't Mule fuses rock, jazz, bluegrass, folk, and many other types of music to create a relaxed but passionate style of music. My friend lent me a CD of theirs entitled "The Deepest End, Live in Concert" and features many of their famous songs along with famous guest such as Bela Fleck and the Dirty Dozen brass band. Great stuff. Here is some more info on Gov't Mule.

The last group I mentioned was the Grateful Dead. They formed in 1965 as one of the first jam bands and are considered one of "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world." The genre of music that this group created had never been heard before and this unique style of music has led to their popularity. Fanatic fans that followed the band around began to become known as Deadheads. When the Grateful Dead formed, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones had already been around, so their music had to differ from anything anyone had ever heard. The rich mixture of blues, folk, rock, and more gained interest in the music industry. This new style of music stayed popular for 40 years as the band toured from 1965 to 1995. The band broke up in 1995 after famous guitarist, Jerry Garcia, died of health problems. However, the legend of "The Dead" lives on in a group entitled Dark Star Orchestra. Formed in 1997, DSO was formed as a tribute band for The Dead and performs shows exactly as the original band, therein recreating history. The Dead will remain immortalized in history forever but if you've never heard their music I highly recommend listening to something right away. Info on The Dead and DSO.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Earth Day and going green.

There is 16 days of left (including weekends) until I am completely done with school (I get done with finals on Wednesday). I can't believe how fast this school year has gone by but I still have a lot to finish before I can go home. Well, I didn't get that summer internship that I applied for, oh well guess I'll have to look for something else. Yesterday was Earth day for those of you who didn't know, so I've decided to give you my perspective on global warming and the issues surrounding it.

Many of you know about Al Gore's documentary/power point presentation "An Inconvenient Truth" that provides hundreds of facts on the global warming issue. Gore provides evidence that there are no dissensions in the scientific community that global warming is a problem for our world. However, in the media there is a split between journalists who believe it is a problem and those who don't. I personally think that there is a problem with global warming but I think it is becoming a little over sensationalized because of Al Gore's high profile status. We do need to reverse the trends that have been going on for the past two decades and this can only happen if everyone pitches in. Many activists will give you a long list of things to do that are environmentally friendly but sometimes they just aren't possible. For instance, many environmental activists tell us to start riding a bike or walking to work/school but for many of us that is just not possible. Even if school or work is less than 5 miles away we all enjoy sleeping so if you wanted to walk you would need to wake up an hour earlier! Then all the scientists who study sleep health would complain because the environmental scientists are telling people to get up an hour before they need to, imagine those fights.

There are some easy ways you can help the environment and I'm sure you've probably heard many of these. The easiest thing you can do is recycle everything you can. At my house, the city recently distributed recycle bins that are as large as the trash cans and my family has probably cut the amount of waste in half since these new recycle bins were available. Newspapers, plastic bottles, scratch paper, and many other things can be recyclable. You can also switch your interior lights for your house. They are a tad more expensive but they light rooms better, longer, and produce far less energy waste. One other thing that is very easy is to watch how long you keep your lights on. Whenever you leave a room and you know you won't be back for a while, turn off the lights to save money and the environment!

Here are some more tips on making your house "green"

Well these were just a few reiterations of tips that I have heard in the past. If you have any other tips, please share them because there is no harm in keeping the environment clean.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux--Part 4

Sorry for such the delay between operating system posts I got bogged down with writing a speech and a paper along with the tragic events at Virginia Tech. Well here goes the last post, I think I'll talk about some positives and negatives for each system.

Lets start with Macs: Some complaints of the Mac are its expensive price tag. The cheapest Macs go for about $1100 while comparable PC's with Windows can be as low as $500. Another complaint is that some software is not always compatible for Mac as soon as it is for Windows. Also, Macs have had a problem of overheating laptop batteries (but this is also prevalent in some brands of Windows PCs). There are not many other complaints besides that, that I know of but there are probably more.

Windows: Because Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, there is a large amount of viruses, spyware, and adware. This is the biggest complaint of Windows because it slows down the computer, erases files from the hard drive sometimes, and even make the computer unusable. Another big complaint about Windows is that it can sometimes be very difficult to use. For instance, all of the programs inside Windows are tied to each other and if one program stops running, sometimes the system shuts down completely. Those are only the complaints I can think of now but I'm sure there are more.

Linux: The biggest complaint with Linux is that there is quite a bit of hardware and software that does not work at all with Linux. Also, there is not enough support for novice users to be able to understand how to use the system and that makes the operating system hard to use. Other complaints include diffuculty of installing the system and lack of music and video files supported.

My preference of systems is Windows, I like to use it because I have been using it for so long and I know exactly how to use it. I have not had a virus on my computer since I've had it. All it takes is the right tools to keep the viruses off and the computer will be fine. I do think that Macs have a very intuitive design and they are very easy to use but they are out of my price range for now. As for Linux, I have tried using it but with Windows it is very difficult to dual boot both systems (well it is for me, if you can help me, please do).

Well, thats all I've got for now. Thanks for reading this series on operating systems. Hopefully, I've made it somewhat informative to you non-tech savvy readers. If you disagree with anything I've said or have anything to add to the discussion please leave a comment. Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Never forget Virginia Tech

Let's keep them in our prayers and ask for the forgiveness of Cho Seung-Hui's soul. You may not agree with that right now but I think that is the way those that are grieving will only heal right now. Please do not try to put the blame on the government, the school administration, or anything else. It is only one person's fault. There are 93 schools represented in that picture, keep up the support the Hokies need it.

ABC Story
Yahoo Story-A look at the victims

Here at OU today, we had a minor scare this morning. At 9:50 AM, a mass e-mail was sent out from the University President, advising all students, faculty, and staff to stay indoors until an all clear signal was given. In an email sent at 10:19 AM President Boren stated:

"TO: All Students, Faculty, and Staff

The OU Police Department has made a saturated search of the area where a person carrying a suspicious object was spotted. No person with a weapon has been found. It is now believed that the person was possibly carrying a yoga mat which was mistaken for a weapon.. We should therefore proceed with the normal schedule. The individual carrying the items was described as a caucasian male of student age partially balding or with short hair and wearing a yellow shirt. If such a person is seen carrying a suspicious object it should be reported to the OU Police Department at 1911 or 325-1717 or blue phones should be used. If anyone feels that he may have been the person who was seen and was thought to be carrying a weapon that person should also call the OU Policy Department to reassure the community.

Thank you for your cooperation

David L. Boren

Later on, the student that had been carrying the "mysterious object" had self-identified himself to the OUPD and told them he was only carrying an umbrella and not a weapon. Although this was not anything serious, I am glad to see that our university is taking everything seriously and not leaving anything to chance. The easiest way to prevent tragedy is over cautiousness, so I applaud the administration and OUPD for keeping all students, faculty, and staff safe. The time period right after this tragedy is the most vulnerable because of possible copycat attacks so be aware of anything suspicious. Again, please keep the VT family in your prayers, whatever religion you may practice.


Virginia Tech shooting leads other universities to take precautions.

For those of you who don't know about the events that transpired today, turn your TV to the news or check out Yahoo!. The biggest news of the day was the Virginia Tech shootings, with 33 people killed and more wounded in the hospital. These horrible events that occurred today have prompted other universities around the country to take extra safety precautions.

Here at the University of Oklahoma, the president of the university has sent an email reading:

"As an extra security precaution in light of the tragic events at Virginia Tech University, the security doors in our residence halls will be locked 24 hours a day for the remainder of the semester and require an ID card or room key for access.


David Boren
Before now, residence hall floors were just locked from 10PM (12 PM on the weekends) until 7AM or 8AM but as the note says, the doors will be locked 24 hours a day for the rest of the semester. I believe that this is a necessary precaution for the university to take and I applaud them for their efforts. A friend of mine a Texas Tech told me that there was an increased security presence on campus and he believes there would be more precautions coming.

As a fellow blogger (link) says, this is a very scary situation because it is just one or two events away from occurring here or at any other university campus in the nation. Hopefully, other campus will take security precautions or any other actions that will prevent this from happening anywhere else. This is the worst shooting massacre in the U.S. (I believe) and worst on a university campus since the University of Texas shooting in 1966 (EDITED from 1964). Please keep the departed, the wounded, and families and friends involved in your prayers. If anyone at other universities has any other news about safety precautions, please let me know.

EDIT: I recently found this story from a few first hand sources at Virginia Tech. One of the students was in the class next door to the class that was shot and told a story of his teacher risking (possibly sacrificing) his life so his students could get out. Read the full story here.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux--Part 3

This post will cover an overview of operating systems that run off of the Linux kernel. Operating system kernel's connects a computer's hardware to applications that run on the computer. Since all operating system's run off of a kernel you may be wondering what is so special about Linux. Well, the Linux kernel is open source (or free) which means that anyone can alter its code and anyone can use it without having to pay a dime. There are many distributions of the Linux kernel in the form of many different operating systems. A list of Linux distributions can be found here. Most times, Linux is used to run servers because it is the most reliable but I will talk about the distributions that are meant for desktop and laptop computers.


Since there are hundreds of different types of Linux it is difficult to discuss the features of just one system. So, I will talk about some of the applications that many distros use. Due to the open source aspect of Linux, all the applications are open source meaning there is no Microsoft Office, iChat, or iTunes. Instead, programmers from all over the world have created quite a bit of applications that make using Linux very easy. Instead of Microsoft Office many distros use which is very similar to Microsoft's product is free, many of you use Mozilla Firefox and since it is open source this is the web browser of choice for many distros. Instead of using AIM, you will often times find GAIM (which recently changed its name to Pidgin, because AOL was complaining) which allows you to connect mutliple IM services into one application, there is even a Windows version (not sure about Macs) found here. Linux has been long associated with computer programmers and techs but recently, there has been some good news for Linux.

Dell recently announced they would be shipping their computers with a pre-installed version of Linux on it. This is great news for people who are tired of using Macs and Windows but are afraid of using Linux because they don't know how. With Dell pre-installing Linux, customers will be able to get support from Dell instead of having to scour internet message boards for help. I have been experimenting with Linux lately and the distribution I have been using is Ubuntu (link). This is a really popular distro and has about 8 million users so far. It is quite easy to use but I have not had any luck with it yet possibly because I don't have enough time. Everyone should check it out, the company that makes Ubuntu will even send you a free CD so you can try it out!

Well, that is all I have about Linux. It is a very stable and reliable operating system that deserves more attention than it gets. Many of you may not be tech-savvy but know you sorta, kinda know what that Linux thing is that some of your computery friends talk about. The most important thing you should know about Linux: it is completely free and won't cost you a dime!

Thanks for reading this series about operating systems. I think tomorrow I will wrap it up and talk about my preference. I will also discuss some of the pluses and negatives of each system. On an unrelated note, The Big Event was a great success and I will post pictures up very soon. I got to paint a room in a Hispanic preschool in Oklahoma City. It felt great to help others out and hopefully I can get out to do more (and you too!).