Why I Switched From FreeBSD 9.1 to Windows 8.1

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Some Background

First off, let me just say that I love FreeBSD for what it is, my complaints stem from what it isn’t (but that I think it could and should be) versus what I need, especially now. I’ve been using some flavor of Linux, FreeBSd, and Windows since 1995 and I’m fairly comfortable with each – when I have a use for it. However, this post stems mostly from my last foray into the world of Unix and Linux and why I’ll never return as a steady user.

The Story

I returned to the Internet on a regular basis around 2009-ish, and FreeBSD as my choice in operating system due to disillusionment with the supposed ease and compatibility of Ubuntu (I jumped on that ship around version 10.04) followed shortly thereafter. My main attraction is the low cost of entry, as at the time I still refused to pay what I still call the Microsoft Tax. Every Window’s computer I’ve had, I’ve bought it pre-loaded with Windows or managed to get my hand on a copy of a legit install CD to keep via legal means (thrift stores and yard sales). Windows has never worked well enough for me to justify paying the exorbitant amounts of money they wanted for their operating system and – for a time – I was quite happy with tooling around in Linux and Unix land, learning just enough to be dangerous to myself (oh the stories I could tell of epic failures and some really ingenious bits of code) and keep things useful enough to use on a daily basis.

Eventually I wound up with FreeBSD 9.1 (after having tossed around FreeBSD 8.1 some years earlier and moving on to other projects dealing with Linux) on what I thought was a nice laptop (64-bit, 2.1GHz AMD Sempron, 4GB RAM, sub-HD graphics). What better way to enjoy a nice, stable, secure outing on the Internet then with the creme-dela-creme of modern Unix computing? I choose FreeBSD because I like customizing everything I possibly can. I think it’s an OCD thing, and I definitely take it to irrational lengths at times, but hey. I could do it, and I did do it. The laptop I installed it on originally is now back to running it as I work on a more modern release of the brand and model laptop I have FreeBSD on.

Unfortunately I quickly found some things just wouldn’t work, and I’m not talking about the software. FreeBSD 9.0 installed smoothly and slowly, building source code from the base system on up. Even with the hardware issues I had (and will probably have forever more due to a combination of the hardware vendor refusing to release even a binary package and no one willing to build an unofficial but stable kernel module to take care of the problem), I was enjoying my use of FreeBSD. Though I will admit that even I was starting to get bogged down by my own choices. I literally spent a month testing various login managers to see which one I liked the most, then another month making it work mostly flawlessly.

There was also a few pieces of software I desperately wanted to use on FreeBSD (which worked on Ubuntu), but alas, the company in charge of that still to this day, as far as I know, hasn’t released a native package for FreeBSD and probably never will. Such is the life of a Unix admin, eh?

Of course, that brings me to why I finally switched to Windows 8.1. Aside from my best friend absolutely loving it on his phone and new laptop, aside from the cool ‘Metro’ interface, aside from its ridiculously low price (compared to previous Windows versions on new releases) for the Home version, what did it for me were constant reports of stability and usefulness. It’s slick integration with the Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, and the availability of all of the apps I will ever find useful in my current endeavor as a man of Yah and of business, and the fact all my hardware works, flawlessly, without having to spend several months digging for answers and trying arcane solutions (that still didn’t work). I still don’t like Microsoft, and it was definitely a move of desperation to actually buy a copy of Windows (though through Tiger Direct) and a new harddrive (remember, I still have FreeBSD running, though it hadn’t for almost a year).

Why do I keep FreeBSD around? Because there are some things you cannot learn from Windows, which does almost everything for you. I still also like being able to choose my environment from the picture you see during boot to login manager to desktop environment (or windowing manager if that is your cup of tea, I use WindowMaker myself). I can find software I need to run most applications on FreeBSD, but the more I needed cloud collaboration tools, the less I found FreeBSD useful. I’m sure there were some other flavors of BSD that I could have chosen from, but none of them really suit me. Heck, I still find myself frustrated I cannot even change my boot picture on Windows, but I live with it because the rest of the experience is just fine. I can deal with not having control over my windowing manager, login screen, and the like if it means I can collaborate with my best friend on a book via OneNote (and I can use OneNote on my android tablet, which is a bonus), or sync files via LiveDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive with one copy and three pastes. I can deal with not using open source software if it means my office documents are accessible 24/7 no matter where I am or from what machine I access them from. I can justify the Microsoft tax if it means I can focus on getting work done instead of having to spend hours to find a solution when a good one already exists.

I keep LibreOffice around because I like it’s database editing/creation interface. I keep The GIMP around because even though I do not like the new workflow (yes, it sucks), it is still the best image editor in the world, hands down. There is nothing inherently wrong with open source/copyleft/copyfree software. It’s just that my own needs have dramatically changed from what they were even 3 years ago. In the end, personal computing is about meeting my needs, not the needs or goals of others. I still advocate for open source/copyfree software (and other forms of information) and see a place for them in the ever evolving computing landscape. Even though I have a strong distaste for Ubuntu, what they showed Linux could do if enough people put in a concerted effort was amazing. Easy to install, fairly easy to maintain, my biggest complaint in the end was the quickly growing bloat in the system. It was worse than Windows by the time I stopped using it, and the abandoning of hardware platforms even as young as 5 years old really ticked me off. The draw for Linux has traditionally been it’s low barriers to entry (running on low-end machines as well as high-end hardware) and Ubuntu abandoned that in favor of eye candy and money. Such is their right, I imagine, but as a user it wasn’t in my best interests to continue down that path.

The same is true for FreeBSD. Even with a mid-2000s, low-end machine it felt like I was back in the 90s. Which in some respects is okay. It is stable, secure, and frequently updated. That’s more than can be said for Windows 8.2 (I seem to recall a Department of Homeland Security bulletin warning people away from the latest incarnation of Internet Explorer), however, I have never willingly used IE so it’s not really a concern for me. I sit at home, typing this via Google Chrome.

That, my friends, is why I switched from FreeBSD 9.1 as my primary operating system to Windows 8.1 (now 8.2 if I’m not mistaken) and that is why I most likely will never return to a Linux or Unix platform as my primary. It will always have a place in my home for a file, web, storage, and media server, but as my day-to-day computer use requires more and more collaboration in the cloud and actually using what others are using for compatibility reasons, Windows has found a lasting home on my computer(s).

Why We Don’t Get Healed – Part 2

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Alex Nagy:

The second post in a soon-to-be series of 5 on healing and why we possibly have not experienced in our lives.

Originally posted on walking on water ministries:

If you didn’t see the introduction to this post, you can view it here. Once you’ve seen it, let’s get started on listing the ‘clouds’.

1. Lack of Knowledge

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.” But before you complain that I have taken this out of context, it is explained in even more detail in 2 Peter 1:2, which says, “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” I’m sure that we can all agree that healing would fall under God’s grace, and here it shows that God will show us more grace as we grow in knowledge. Lack of knowledge will see us miss out. In Acts 14 v 8-10, Paul is teaching, and when he realises that the person has the faith to be healed, he…

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Civil Disobedience and the Word of God

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There are people who, for whatever reason, like to try and put the screws to the followers of Christ. “Judge not!“, or, more recently, “Mind your own business!” and then they proceed to make it our business and then get mad when we decide following our faith is more important then condoning their sin.

Many, many laws have been passed recently. Most of them probably wouldn’t pass Constitutional muster – aside from the very liberal (and wrong) rulings SCOTUS has put out recently on the issue – if people actually understood what our Founding Fathers actually attempted to do (and they could if they’d intelligently read the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers). Unfortunately, like in ancient Rome, such attention to detail is inconvenient when you are trying to pave the way for unbridled hedonism. When your goal is to clear a path for unbridled amounts of self- and instant-gratification regardless of the consequences, such details and truths are highly and excessively inconvenient. Older, more conservative thinking is labeled as out-dated, and when that doesn’t work, it becomes labeled as hate.

Except, of course, when it comes to trying to put the screws to Christians. Of course non-believers will never understand, not fully. They have not an understanding of the book they try to throw back in our face, and unfortunately not many Christians have enough knowledge, wisdom, or love to be able to correct those who try to use our own faith to control us in such deceptive manners. Unfortunately, I’ve had my own issues, not from unbelievers but from a Brother, no less, dealing with issues of obeying the government and how exactly that applies to us. Unfortunately I didn’t handle the situation very well. I pray, though, that this little devotional, shared by a Sister I know on Facebook.

It is, however, a bit lacking. Not in understanding of the issue, the author is obviously a mature individual and has studied this out quite a bit, but because I feel he leaves out some critical pieces of Scripture from his teaching. Following in the blockquote is the devotional intact, without commentary from myself, followed by my own addition to it. My prayer is for my fellow Brothers and Sisters to come to a deeper understanding of this issue. You cannot help but grow from truth, and this is nothing but the truth.

Civil Disobedience

Acts 4:1–22 “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (vv. 19–20).

Christian ethicists have long debated whether or not it is ever legitimate for believers to defy the state. This is understandable since there are many passages, such as Romans 13:1–7, that seem to encourage submission to the ruling authorities no matter what. Paul, however, was not reflecting any sort of naiveté when he instructed us to submit to the earthly authorities. After all, as one who was often imprisoned for preaching the Gospel, he well knew that the state could very easily become an instrument of evil. His commands to obey the state, as with all of the biblical injunctions to submit to the government, carry with them the assumption that our rulers are, broadly speaking, fulfilling the task that God has given them to preserve life and protect the right to private property.

Yet when the state forbids us to do something the Lord commands or commands us to do something He forbids, believers must not submit to the decrees of the authorities. Christians are never given the license to sin, nor are they permitted to abandon the dictates of God in order to obey the orders of other human beings. Christ alone has ultimate authority, as the apostles demonstrate in today’s passage. Given the chance to preserve their freedom and safety at the cost of preaching Jesus to sinners, Peter and John choose to obey the Great Commission (Acts 4:19–20; see Matt. 28:18–20). Make no mistake, they are engaging in an act of civil disobedience, but they are doing so in order to be faithful to the Lord. Such circumstances alone can justify such actions.

The principle that we may disobey the state if it forbids what God commands or commands what He forbids is easy to learn, but difficult to apply. The state will sometimes engage in unfair practices that we must follow because we cannot make the case that such practices violate Scripture. For example, the so-called “progressive” taxation that exists presently in the United States may be unjust, but we have no right to refuse to pay taxes (Rom. 13:7).

Our default position as Christians is to bend over backward to be model citizens. But when the demands of God’s kingdom directly contradict the demands of the kingdom of men, the mandates of our heavenly citizenship must win.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Because of our fallen nature, it would be easy to twist the principle for Christian civil disobedience enumerated in today’s study into an excuse to avoid the Bible’s call that we submit to the government. Indeed, our fallen nature makes us prone to find any loophole we can in God’s law in order to render something less than true obedience. Beware of this tendency in your heart, but also remember that your allegiance belongs ultimately to Christ, not to the state.

For further study:
Exodus 1:8–22

The Bible in a year:
Ecclesiastes 10–12

For the weekend:
Song 1–6

INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

I think for further study one need look no further then Daniel chapters 1 through 7. It is a classic case study in defying the authority of men in order to be in submission to the Lord. In Daniel, three clear cases are presented.

Three Case Studies for Believers to Disobey Government

  1. With the introduction of Daniel we see the very first act of civil disobedience: Daniel and the three Hebrew children purpose within their hearts not to defile themselves by eating food offered to idols (Daniel 1:8). Because of this, and because of their faithfulness in the Lord, an alternative is provided (eating nothing but vegetables) for the entire period of their training at the king’s court. They even propose a test run in which they agree to eat the idol-offered food if they suffer in health or looks because of their choice. Because we can read ahead, we know the outcome is assured and those 4 become the king’s top students and the best looking of the men selected. (vv. 15-21)
  2. Later on, in Daniel 3, the king creates an image of gold and Daniel and his friends are put into an awkward position, again (4-12):

    Submit to the king of Babylon or submit to the Lord. This time it is an act of worship whenever music sounds. The jealous court officers want to get Daniel’s buddies to dance/worship to a golden idol (not sure where Daniel is during this, but one would assume he didn’t obey, either). Once again they disobey, and the king calls them on it (vv 13-15). Now, they are facing what some may see as a lose-lose situation: Worship the golden idol and sin, or don’t sin and be thrown into a furnace of fire. They tactfully tell the king that they cannot and will not sin against the Lord, whether or not He keeps them safe from repercussions (vv 16-18). Into the furnace they go, only to dance with the pre-incarnate Christ in full view of all present. Not only did they not receive any harm from the immense fire (one so hot several of the king’s loyal men died in the process of putting the three Hebrew children in the furnace) they also did not smell like smoke or have a single hair singed (vv 19-27).

  3. One final time, this time in chapter 6, Daniel’s counterparts were out to get him. They saw how blessed he was, and they attributed it rightly to his obedience to the Lord. They also saw the favor he curried with the king and it must of stuck in their craw something awful (vv 1-5). This time they had what they thought was an iron-clad, fool-proof way to get rid of Daniel and once and for all get the recognition they thought they should have.

    They got the king to declare a law, according to the custom of the Mede’s and the Persians, with no loopholes. The law was an onerous one, too (vv 6-9):

    For 30 days one could only worship the king, if they worshiped or petitioned anyone – or any God – else than Darius (king of the Chaldeans at the time), they were to be put to death by being throwin into the lion’s den, no loopholes. They knew Daniel would violate the law,they just had to catch him. Since Daniel made no effort to conceal himself or his worship of the Lord, this was fairly easy. Daniel, of course, offered no resistance. He knew he had broken the law but he also knew not doing so would have brought him into sin and soiled his relationship with the Lord. He was willing to die for his faith (v 10).

    Once again, the Lord protected him and this time the king – who had enough of the other’s scheming, had them thrown to the lions (whom, according to scripture, ate very well that day). There is no doubt in my mind – according to the account of Daniel – that the king became a believer that day (a tertiary thing in this discussion, but worth mentioning) (vv. 11-28).

Disobedience to those in authority over us comes in a very, very narrow line. As the devotional mentions above, do not twist Scripture and the laws of man to find reasons not to obey the laws of man. Government and those in authority over us are there as the Lord’s ministers for justice. Do good – as Daniel and his three Hebrew friends did – and you have nothing to worry about. Remember, though, when man’s laws try to get you to sin against the Lord, your allegiance should be to Him.

Christ Died for Isis, Too

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John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Let’s start off with a familiar quote from Scripture. YHWH doesn’t want anyone to perish without knowing Him. No one, even the repugnant members of Isis, or Hamas, or Hezbollah, or Westboro Baptist Church members. As repugnant as they are today, they are His creation whom He wants to have a relationship with. He wants all of His favorite children (that is, all of humanity) to return to Him in willing obedience. It is a choice we all have to make, and no one can make it for us.

Christ Himself put it better than I ever could:

Mark 2:16-17 King James Version (KJV)
16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

It was for those people who need Him the most, who are so mired in their sin they do not have the strength to climb out of the well of their own sin. None of us have that strength, no matter how much we think we might.

While I abhor Isis, Hezbollah, and Hamas and would more than love – in my flesh – to see them blown off the map, let us remember it’s for people like these – people just like what we used to be – that He died. Not just the yuppie in their subdivisions, or the slick CEO in his ivory tower, or the redneck in the woods. He died for everyone’s sins, past, present, and future from the time He was crucified. He died to make a way for members of Isis, Westboro, Hamas, Hezbollah, you, myself, everyone. There is no one’s sins He didn’t take upon Himself when the full wrath of YHWH was poured out upon Him during the 3 days He spent in Hell. In 3 of our days, He took on the just, rightful punishment of you and I and everyone. He did so out of love. A love we do not deserve because like those four groups I keep mentioning, we spit in His eye and say, “No. I will do things my way, in my own strength, regardless of the consequences.” And so we wind up instead reaping the wages of sin instead of enjoying eternity with our Father.

Remember this next time you’re in church and you are praising YHWH for your salvation. Yes, Him saving us is praiseworthy and should be celebrated, but don’t forget, He came for all of humanities sins. Not just Anglo-Saxons, Europeans, Asians, Africans, or any one group of people. He died for ALL of the WORLD’s sins. Salvation is available to all, not just a select few.

Don’t Want to Feel

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There used to be a time in my life when I wondered what it would be like to not feel anything. No physical or emotional pains (or joys) at all. Not having to worry about emotional drains, or the lasting pain of a severe cut or gash. Not have to feel when a loved one dies, or a girlfriend breaks up with me. Of course that would come with the inability to feel the cool breeze on my face, or the joy I have while I’m at work knowing my wife is waiting at home for me. I wouldn’t be able to be happy on Sabbath’s knowing that my rest is in Christ and that I’m about to study the bible with beloved brothers. No sensation of holding a puppy in my hand only hours after it has been born – and the accompanying laughter as it moves around searching for a teet to suckle from – and its soft fur tickling my skin.

Unfortunately, though, and not because of any current wish, I partly got my wish. Because of the surgeries I went through because of my osteosarcoma, I have no physical sensation in my left pinky, the left half of my left ring finger, most of the top of my left hand, most of the top of my left forearm, and part of the palm of my hand. I am never 100% certain when it has sustained an injury or burn. Never sure if I’ve crushed the pinky. There is no hot or cold. No way to feel cool breezes I can feel in other places of my body. No way to fully enjoy holding hands with my wife with that hand, and because of loss of dexterity I also have to be extra careful with fragile loads.

I don’t wonder anymore what it’s like to not have emotions, I’ve tried stoicism and found it unhealthy and dissatisfied; I don’t wonder anymore either what it is like to not have physical sensations, as I have been partly granted that and I now pray with every fiber of my being that someday, that sensation will return.

How Ephesians Killed My “Radical” Christianity

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Alex Nagy:

I really cannot add anything to this than to say the author is spot on.

Originally posted on The Log College:

by Pastor Peter Jones

Note: This has nothing to do with David Platt’s book Radical. I have never read it or to my knowledge read anything else he has written.


What is a Radical?

Definitions matter. So before proceeding I wanted to define the term “radical.” By “radical,” I mean that strain of Christian thinking that says living a normal Christian life, getting married, having children, raising them in Christ, loving your spouse, being faithful at your job, attending worship, reading your Bible, praying, loving the saints, and then dying is not enough. It is that strain of Christianity that says, “There must be something more that I must do to be a good Christian.” The radical thinks and preaches that, “Good Christians do amazing things for Jesus.” This type of thinking is found in all branches of Christianity. There are mission weeks, revival meetings, monks who abandon all…

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I am afraid of this indisputable pro-choice argument

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Alex Nagy:

This is a wonderful refutation of what some see as the ‘ultimate’ pro-choice argument.

Originally posted on The Matt Walsh Blog:

I took the bait.

I couldn’t help but open an email with the subject line: “You’re afraid of this pro-choice argument”

Afraid? I’m afraid of a lot of things. Actually, five things: spiders, asteroids, ghosts, head lice, and malaria. But arguments? Especially pro-abortion arguments? Definitely not on the list.

I might be frustrated by them; annoyed, angered, even disturbed, but afraid? I don’t think so.

Here’s Rachel, trying to strike fear into my heart:

Dear Matt, ever since I first read your blog I knew you were a cowardly fake. It wasn’t until I started reading some of your anti-choice articles that my suspicions were truly confirmed. You spend a lot of time picking the low hanging fruit. You attack the weakest abortion rights arguments while ignoring the glaring weaknesses in your own position.

If you had the guts or the brains you’d try to respond to the most important…

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