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GRUB2 – editing the boot menu

When it comes to Linux bootloaders, I cut my teeth on LILO.   Learned that, got good at it!   But, time moves on and pretty much all the Linux distros went to GRUB.  So, learned that, got good at it, LIKED IT!   But, time moved on again.  Now most of the major distros have switched to GRUB2.  Granted, it did fix some problems found in GRUB, but we lost the easy-to-edit menu.lst file which was a one stop shop for configuring the boot menu in GRUB.   Typically, you would either want to manually added entries to the boot menu or to remove unneeded entries.  This much more complex in GRUB2, but not impossible.   With a little guidance, you can get back to having a boot menu done the way you want.   After some searching, I found these two articles that provide the best HOWTO info that I know of, particularly without being overly complex.  Both of these authors have done a very good job at making this understandable, and doable.  Check them out.

Understand the structure of GRUB2 and how to add entries:

Clean up your boot menu in GRUB2 and remove unneeded entries:

Save our Internet-Oppose SOPA

Opposition to SOPA.  We are in danger of losing a free American
Internet.  Unless you really want to enjoy internet restrictions
like those in China, you need to tell your representatives in
congress to oppose SOPA.  Read the following and take action!

A Private Internet

I have taken a great interest in personal privacy on the Internet.
I have found some things to help accomplish that.  Please comment
if you know of additional resources or techniques.

1) Private email via PGP encryption:  Seems to be most easily
accomplished using the Thunderbird email client with the Enigmail PGP
add-on.  Note, you will need to have PGP or GPG also, installed.  This
is usually true by default on Linux systems, but on Windows you need
to install GPG4Win.
To obtain the Thunderbird mail client program:
To obtain the Enigmail add-on:
Another option is the Claws Mail client which incorporates PGP support
A good article introducing the use of the Thunderbird email client with
the Enigmail add-on.

My public key for  wa5pb19 <at> gmail <dot> com  is:

2) Private surfing using the TOR browser, which is a specialized cut of
Firefox which incorporates the use of internet relays to help keep your
own internet surfing presence anonymous.

3) Private internet searching via the DuckDuckGo search engine.  Which
can also be added as a search provider for the Firefox search bar.

4) Encryption of files using GPG.
A good, brief intro to GPG.
The official GPG documentation.

Some people might ask, "Why? Do you have something to hide?".  To
which I respond, "No. But, why not?  Do we not have a right to privacy?".
However, it must be remembered that if we desire a right to privacy,
we much put effort into keeping our own information private.  If we
release information about ourselves, intentionally or not, it is no
longer private and we arguably lose the reasonable expectation of
privacy afforded by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The
problem arises when we unwittingly reveal information about ourselves
via the internet and other computing activities.  These resources may
help a person to avoid doing that.


On March 11, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled, in Rehberg v. Paulk, 598 F.3d 1268, that a person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in an e-mail once any copy of the communication is delivered to a third party.[80]

On December 14, 2010, in United States v. Warshak, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his emails and that the government violated Warshak’s Fourth Amendment rights by compelling his internet service provider to turn over his emails without first obtaining a warrant based upon probable cause.[81]

I use Linux Mint

I have just realized that I have not done an Ubuntu install in … well … a long time.   And it seems that the last time there was this crazy user interface called Unity that completely, utterly, turned me off to that distribution.   With all the very many things I do like about Ubuntu, the simple fact is that if I hate the interface I simply won’t use it or recommend it to others.   So, what to do?   I did do something.   I switched to Linux Mint.  Being basically build on top of the Ubuntu repositories, but with many improvements and the with the basic understanding that the application centric interface systems (like you see on the iPhone) are NOT suitable for use as a desktop environment.   All I really want is a normal desktop environment.   I did not need or WANT a new computer interface paradigm forced upon me.   I am convinced that most Linux users feel the same way.  Not only that, but I am very certain that Unity is also not the way to introduce new users to Linux.   Linux Mint has everything in it that I wanted and liked about Ubuntu, but without the terrible monstrosity of a non-dekstop called Unity and without the arrogance of thinking they know what is best for all us.  The Linux Mint developers have been committed to the needs and sensibilities of the users and that has won my loyalty.   I now tell folks that I use Linux Mint,  and I recommend it to others.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint, 2 thumbs up!

more about Unity badness…


Voting ABO in 2012

I have been asked by quite a few people who I intend to vote for President in 2012.   I tell them all that I am voting ABO, that is Anyone But Obama.   I am really at the point that I do not believe that we can do much worse that this would be despot that now occupies the White House.  He is a Marxist, a liar and a demagogue.  So, I will vote for anyone running against him.   That means I will vote for a Republican, any Republican.   That does not mean that the eventual Republican candidate will necessarily be my all-time favorite candidate.   Likely far from it, but any of them will be vastly superior to Obama.  At this time, my favorite of the Republican candidates is Newt Gingrich.  While he does have some baggage, he is clearly the smartest and best prepared person for the office of the Presidency.   So, GO NEWT!