Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kiara 10, remastered for 2010

I had noticed some corruption in some files, so I started over and created a new Kiara image, using a freshly downloaded Slax ISO image and pristine modules from an earlier edition. As usual, I spent most of my time selecting the Desktop theme, and this one, based on vladstudio's Winter Forest wallpaper, is pretty stunning.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kiara 09 "Festive" edition


Even though I have been a bit of a Scrooge sometimes, I just couldn't see releasing a dark gray Kiara Desktop in the week before Christmas, without a festive alternative. So here's something a little more in tune with the spirit of the holiday season. The background, the splash screen, and and the boot menu are the only things about this disk that are different from the previous disk.

As always, the artwork comes from Vladstudio source of some of the best Desktop art around. Vlad has created a whole series of beautiful designs that evoke Christmas without resorting to visual cliches. We think of Christmas as Red, Gold, and Green... but for Vlad, the color of Christmas is blue. His designs are fresh and original, yet somehow they evoke traditional feelings.

I deliberately chose "Where Snowflakes Are Born", which evokes Christmas without literally referring to it. In other words, it won't be obsolete a month from now, and if you don't celebrate Christmas, it won't necessarily be inappropriate. (Of course, you can change the wallpaper. Either temporarily if you run Kiara as a live CD, or semi-permanantly if you run Kiara as a live root (mounting a hard drive partition as Home) or as a hard drive install.

Kiara has been downloaded 104 times that are confirmed, and almost certainly more (there was an earlier download site that I just abandoned.) Besides the US, Kiara has been downloaded in Germany, Spain, and India. To those who have downloaded it, and to all those whose work went into it, including Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Patrick Volkerding, Tomáš Matějíček, Vlad Gerasimov, and the much-maligned KDE Team, my thanks. To you and to all the world, best wishes for a happy holiday season and a safe, prosperous, and healthy new year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kiara 09, stripped down, a new version of Firefox, that's about it.

Hey, it's Christmas, and I am, as the kids used to say back when I was a kid, "in a bad place". It sort of a holiday tradition with me. As I move from early middle age to middle middle age, I need to lose 20 pounds lest I become diabetic, and I need to clean up my apartment lest I become homeless.

I also need to work on the Kiara documentation. I had a hard time learning Linux, and I'd like to see what I can do to make it easier for others. The Linux community is run by programmers, and that makes it awesome, but programmers seem to divide users into two camps:"programmers" and "idiots". There's a whole world of possibility between click click click clicking for hours and hours and debating python vs. perl. It's my ambition to create a place for educating users to be empowered. And Kiara is is something I can build that

To summarize, Kiara has three missions other than, you know, being a Linux distro:

1. To preserve the classic KDE 3 desktop

2. To provide a showcase for demonstrating a more advanced version of Fluxbox than the usual default, with the help of Konqueror.

3. As an opportunity to help the Linux Newbie become the Linux power user.

For the time being, as I concentrate on pulling my life out of the crapper (it's a metaphor), and work on Kiara documentation, it looks like Kiara releases are going to follow releases of Firefox, and so, a couple of days after the release of Firefox 3.5.6, here is Kiara 09. It's stripped down, it's got Firefox 3.5.6 instead of Firefox 3.5.5. Other than that, it's not much different.

I've been laying low, and I'm going to continue to lay low. Sometime, in early 2010, With the help of God and St. Ignutius, I intend to start working on overhauling this site to accomodate these three objectives. In the meantime I'll keep up with basic software updates. Kiara is a customized version of Slax, and you can find a lot of the information you need at Slax. org, and if I can help anyone who is using Kiara (about 100 downloads so far, and only 5 or 6 of them are me) I can be reached through Twitter (@GNULinuxMadman) or by email (

By the way, I might as well let you in on the joke. Kiara 09 is listed as a "Unstable release Well, I think they're all going to be unstable, unless this whole operation chages significantly. At no point am i going to say: Sure go ahead and ruyn your business on my homemade CD.

The desktop is really really gray. That's to show you how much I've been getting into the Christmas spirit. Actually, I love this art, from vladstudio.