Category Archives: Computing

Why I switched back to Linux

As mention before my main reason to switch to Linux was to escape from all the proprietary, controlled environments, services, tools and software that we all become depended on over decades of computing.

In the beginning OS X was open and fun, finally a *nix system with a usable applications and GUI! All that changed with the arrival of the iPhone and later iPad resulting in a closer coupling with iOS. Don’t get me wrong OS X is a still a solid operating system for those who enjoy Apple’s vision of the ideal desktop. It offers access to pro-level applications that many companies rely on. However, after 15+ years Apple’s Walled Garden is no longer the most practical operating system for my standards development and photography workflows.

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Switching to Linux

As I mentioned in my last posting, 2016 New Year’s Resolution, I installed last summer Ubuntu Linux on my new Web Server and laptop. Over the holidays I got thinking; what is keeping me from using Linux on all my systems? The end result was my new years resolution to do just that, moving my day-to-day work from main desktop running OS X El Capitan to Ubuntu 14.04.

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Replacing Word With MultiMarkdown – Part 3

Part 1 provided my reasons for “Replacing Word with MultiMarkdown” and in Part 2 I addressed the features supported and challenges that may exist in getting free of Word. In this final part, I am provides resource links for those that want to be brave and free themselves of Word. For those of you that want to see what MMD looks like, click HERE to see the source code of this post.

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Replacing Word with MultiMarkdown – Part 2

In Part 1 of my article about “Replacing Word with MultiMarkdown” I provided my reasons for doing so. This part will address the features supported and challenges that may exist in getting free of Word.

To exchange documents with non-MultiMarkdown users, the last stage of my workflow requires Word-level reviewing and commenting tools. Most of those documents can be created with just about any text editor and can be translated into a Word format (.doc or .docx) or even a PDF with commenting and markup features enabled without additional handling.

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Replacing Word with MultiMarkdown – Part 1

I have never been a great fan of Microsoft’s Word. I avoid it as much as I can and use it only to open files I receive. It is, however, the de-facto Word-processing app and file format in use, something that will not change in the near future. That said, I have been actively exploring alternatives to Word for the last 15 years. For many years I played with DocBook, but dropped since the workflow to import/export Word files for the exchange with others became to time consuming. There was also the issue with the increasing use of tracking changes between editors and reviewers.

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Back to the late 1970s way of plain text writing

I got my first personal computer, the Altair 8800, in 1975. It came as a kit and included only the parts to build a case, power supply, an 18-slot card cage (with four slots available), an 8080-based CPU card, and a memory card with 256 bytes of memory (not 256k or 256mb, but 256 bytes).

Oh my, those were the days. What memories! Teletype machines, paper tape, boot loaders, ADM-3 video monitors, daisywheel printers (45 characters per minute), 110 baud modems that you pressed the phone handset into; eventually 5 1/4 and then 8 inch floppy diskettes that you had to remember to mount and unmount or you would mess up the directory to your files! I soldered many boards — CPU’s, memory, interfaces.

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