[CDBUG-talk] Fresh BSD Meat :)

Kevin McAleavey kevinmca1 at verizon.net
Mon Aug 24 06:02:28 EDT 2009

 Greetings, all ... wanted to introduce myself and say hello. Apologies in advance, I'm one of those "stream of consciousness" types where I type as I'd talk face to face.  :)

 I'm Kevin McAleavey, and I live over in Voorheesville, Albany county. I'm 58 years old and have been playing with these silicon monsters since back in the days of the MITS Altair. My main background is in electronics engineering from the days of designing televisions to being chief engineer of the towers which fed them sync pulses, video, chroma and sometimes audio as well. God never meant for pictures to fly through the air, as surely as he never meant for packets to fly through ribbons of glass.  (grin)

 Spent many of my years in radio (DJ) as well as television as well as print media in journalism but most of my gigs were engineering. Also spent many years performing the "people's duties" in the Empire State Submarine Pen in engineering work for the NYS Cable Commission, the NY-SCAN channel, as well as time in the Department of Public Service whose internal nonsense caused me and my wife to start a company called NSClean.com back in the 1990's when privacy on the internet became an issue. Interesting story there too. 

 Subsequently, our company Privacy Software Corp, was drawn into the early Windows "trojan horses" as a result of Billyware allowing anyone (and uninvited guests) to run as root. The product was called BOCLEAN (feel free to google) and it worked well until sales dropped to the point where we had to sell it off. One can't compete with "free" if they want to eat and pay others. It's a sad story and I am now out of work once our stuff was fully subsumed by its new owner.

 Back when I worked for the state, I was a Novell geek and was continually disappointed when my wiglets demanded arpa/mil access and throughout versions 3, 4 and 5 of Novell, "no can do." So a dose of mounting slackware 2.0.1 allowed me to provide what was needed prior to Al Gore (algore-rhythm was never spelled correctly) inventing IE ... early Linux was actually pretty good, but SYS V was so much better. But Novell hated it. Slackware at least mounted. Heh.

 When I joined DPS, discovered the cocoon of Slowaris, and kept wondering why Linux just got more fragmented with time instead of being a contender. As our "collective saying" goes, "Linux is for people who hate windows, BSD is for people who LOVE Unix" and it saddens me to see what happened to Linux in short order as "too many chefs" soured the milk over the years. Then came RedHat. Caldera wasn't so bad, but wasn't to be.  :(

 Wasn't until the near-demise of our company back in 2007 that I got into BSD myself, and was delighted to see how pure it remained. I was particularly pleased at how the "too many chefs" mode never sunk into BSD, and how the maintainers refused to release the unstable just for the cult phenom of living on the bleeding edge. I was quite impressed, and remain so.

Given how Windows (forgive me, Billyware PAID me for better than 20 years) is little more than a petrie dish, and being DIRECTLY involved in attempting to protect the sack as an antivirus/antimalware coder, by the time we sold off BOClean, I knew then that the battle was lost and that Windows was no longer tenable for the average computer user. The "l33t" of course still think they can win, but that's another story. So at that time, discovered the FREESBIE utility and BSD 6 and went about building a CDROM which could never harbor malware. Alas, BSD as a desktop lacked so many important features since it was designed for servers, not desktops. But used it for myself ever since on an old Lenovo chuckling while I visited sites that attempted to download EXE files, or showed me XP like screens telling me I was infected with DLL's. Heh.

 During my time with COMODO, they expressed zero interest in a livecd for those who had no concept of security and had a choice once they were infected of paying for it to be partially cleaned or just buy a new machine. But I guess it makes sense ... after all, if you're selling Win firewalls and AV's, it'd be admitting defeat.  :)

 So now freed of COMODO, have been back to work on a customizable livecd for distribution solely for the purpose of protecting people on the internet with a safe desktop to run without disturbing Windows or their warrantee. That's what Nancy and I have been up to lately, in hopes of earning enough money to eat with a pretty neat little safety tool for the masses.

 Since FREESBIE hasn't seen anything useful done with it since 2007, it's been quite the adventure trying to work with the original code, writing new code and building a safe operating system for use by the public without them having to configure it. That's what I've been up to. Now that 8.0 BETA 3 is out, and apparently includes the packages, I'm hoping that some of the remaining hardware issues 7.2 had are solved ... and we can press ahead.

 Sorry for the longwindedness here, but wanted to let everyone know where I've been, where I'm at, and what I'm into in order to let folks here know what I'm about and what my own interests are ... looking forward to meeting anyone interested, perhaps a little "show and tell" and lots of grins. I'm already quite comfortable with the beastie, and won't be a leech. Heh.

 Hope to be able to contribute and perhaps offer some work to anyone interested if somehow we can get some funding for this "Ubuntu-like" project we've been doing on our end. I see some great potential to the project we're engaged in given where Ballmer is showing us where he wants to go today ... straight in the dumper ...

 Thanks for reading ... hope to be at least an entertaining member of this group if not useful. Be looking forward to meeting and talking to you!
"I took a train once, but they made me put it back" - Groucho Marx

Kevin McAleavey - kevinmca1 at verizon.net

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