Chris J Powell

A Dad's Renewed Dedication

There are few things in this life that are truly unconditional but one of those things that are, are the love of a Father for his Child. 15 Years ago today I became a very lucky man when I heard the first tender cries from my beautiful Daughter.  I will never forget the first time I held her in my arms and when she opened her eyes, I could tell that she was meant to be my little girl (FOREVER).  The two of us share a very special bond, one that goes beyond Father and Daughter…we are like two peas cast from the same pod…many years apart. She is my little Geek 2.0 and I am so proud of everything that she does. I have put her through a lot over the years…10 moves in 15 years is a lot for anyone but for the most part, the moves were always to bring about positive change…at least I hope so. Her strength of character is something that inspires me to be the best that I can be…to never stop trying to improve and to be … Read more

Free App Friday – I Want to be "Known"

It looks like I will be staying in this weekend and not doing much of anything as a “bug” of sorts has taken hold with both myself and everyone that I actually care about so it looks like there will be a complete lack of “extra curricular” activities which is not necessarily a bad thing because I wanted to get to work on some new things here and over at my other site ( that I have been putting off for quite some time.  With this latest bout of “Man Flu” hitting me I figured chaining myself to my computer desk and rebuilding my original site into something real and worthy of the 3 years of effort that I have put into it will be time well spent…but I was not sure how or what to do…until this week! Most nights I choose to listen to TwitTV Podcasts from my tablet to help me fall asleep and in theory learn a few things through osmosis…not sure if it works but it generally helps me fall asleep with the gentle musings … Read more

OS Sunday – It's Elementary My Dear Watson!

While I have never been a fan of the Mac OS there is something about it that has me wonder if it would be possible to build the sexiness of its look into the world of Linux that I love so much and sure there are docking bars and step by step instructions to make Ubuntu look, feel and act like a Mac but I recently stumbled across an OS that does all the leg work and configuration for you.  No messing about with extra installs, tweaks and Command Line Prompts…just simple and quick…the way that I like it!  For most of this week I have been sticking with an Education Theme and OS Sunday is the same: Elementary OS is built on the foundation of Ubuntu Linux but goes so much further in the way that it lays out the functions and the way that it connects to its users.  The 64-bit Download was a svelte 694 MB which would fit onto a venerable CD Rom and that to me has always been a sign that the developers are … Read more

The World's Biggest Open Source Experiment…OVER???

Parts of the web are buzzing with the rumour that the Munich, Germany transition to Linux may be classed as over and a transition back to Microsoft (Office and Windows) may be coming.  Having read the ZDNet article on the topic I can’t help but feel a little sad about the IT Pros that busted their collective butts to make the city of 1.5 Million an open source dream.  Having spent over a decade mucking about with Linux I can feel the pain of the Systems Administrators, Help Desk Pros and all other IT Professionals in the city that will now have to spend countless hours doing the bidding of bean counters who think that it is a good idea to scrap the all the hard work they have put into the project. Back in 2003, it was determined that it would be best for the city to move away from the dependence of a single vendor for their IT Infrastructure needs (namely the Redmond, Washington based Microsoft).  The process of migrating the 15,000 Workstations to an Ubuntu based LiMux and … Read more

Life Ain't Easy…But It Is Life!

There has been much talk around Facebook & Twitter about the tragic death of Robin Williams who succumbed to the inner demons that Depression bring out.  Depression is a silent killer that takes hold of more than 121 million people around the world each year according to the Conference Board of Canada and it is estimated that 1 in 5 people will experience some form of Mental Illness at some point in their lives.  That in of itself is a scary number, but what is even scarier is that fact that almost 2/3 of those people will never seek help for the voices of doubt that creep in upon them. My personal experiences with the demons of Depression, Anxiety and Panic are well documented and so is the lack of support that is actually available.  It lead to the loss of income, a marriage and thinking back, the estrangement of friends and family through out my 42 years.  It is funny that a disease that affects so many actually has far less support from the medical community here in Canada and … Read more

OS Sunday – I think I saw a "Ghost"

I started the day thinking that I would take on the adventurous task of trying out two new Distributions today but when I tried to install the Fedora Based Qubes OS, I had a complete and utter failure in getting it to recognize the Virtual Machine that I created for it so it will be a single OS this week and I figured if I was stepping out of my comfort zone with a Fedora Based OS, why not do double duty and try a BSD flavour as well!  The relatively large 1.72 GB Ghost BSD ISO I downloaded (64 bit LXDE version) took a while to download but when it came to booting up to the installer, I was more than happy with the speed and responsiveness of the system. I have been a fan of the LXDE desktop for a while and while I had several options to choose from when picking a desktop environment (Mate, XFCE, LXDE and OpenBox) I chose LXDE more for comfort sake than anything else as I enter into the virtually uncharted waters … Read more

OS Sunday – What's the Point?

For some time I have been exploring the world of Linux from the perspective of trying to find the ultimate desktop.  This has been more than a little bit of a challenge as there are so many solid choices out there and as soon as you go beyond the big names like Ubuntu, Mint Linux, Open SUSE and Fedora, the quality varies greatly but it is that very choice that has me heading out week after week to find one that I can stay with for the long term. This week I looked at and found a distribution based on Debian Linux that uses the Mate Desktop and at initial glance seemed to fit the bill as something that I could live with. Point Linux comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors and in both Core and Full versions so I decided to give the Full version in 64-bit a try.  The direct download of 993 MB was a good size although I do kind of miss the days when the groups that produce these versions of Linux at least tried … Read more

Microsoft's Marching Orders a Sign of a Different Company?

I have purposely avoided weighing in on the email that the new CEO of Microsoft sent out to his employees earlier this month because I wanted to sit back and gauge some of the reactions from around the Tech World.  If you have been under a rock or out of cell range for the last little bit…Microsoft is letting go of 18,000 employees globally (mostly in the Nokia Division). I never thought that I would be a fan or even like using Windows or any Microsoft product that I wasn’t forced to when having to use it in a work environment but having experienced some of the good things (there are a few) of  Windows 8 and Office 2013, I can say that as far as usability and function…I kinda like the new layout.  Metro is really not all that bad and with Windows 8.1 you really don’t even notice it all that much as I live most of my life in the regular desktop anyways. But back to the memo that was sent out, I remember not too long … Read more

Throwback Thursday – The Cloud's Humble Beginnings

I have always been intrigued by the ability of Business Leaders to be convinced that the “next big thing” is actually new and shiny.  Cloud Computing or “The Cloud” is one of those things that I have never quite understood how it became such a catch phrase that had IT and Business Leaders wondering how they would be able to catch up and be safe.  Sure the ability to transport data across many hundreds of miles of Fibre Optic Lines has enabled the concept to expand to the level it is at now…but when we take a Step Back say 50 years…the Cloud has always been with us. Back in the day, long before the proliferation of PCs, Tablets and Smart Phones was a world that had was built around Terminal Workstations and Mainframe computers.  This to me in its purest sense is a form of Cloud Computing…sure it was not raining Data but it did enable companies like IBM, Hitachi and Cray to empower business to do more, faster and more efficiently. The connection of the Workstation to a … Read more

Free App Friday – Getting In Touch With…

So one of the great downfalls of being well connected is the vast number of Contacts that end up in your phone’s Directory.  Between Social Networks, family and the random people that I decide to add to my list (from the Las Vegas Conference I attended in February I think I added 50-75 Contacts) I now have a nearly endless list of contacts, many of which are duplicated because the standard People App on my Nexus 4 isn’t quite smart enough to figure that the same Name and Phone Number are actually the same person. Contacts+ is available for iOS and Android and what impressed me right away was the fact that it is not just a Contact Manager it is a Dialer and Text Messaging App as well and I had been in search of one (see Free App Friday – Texting with Android). The App connects to your Facebook and Google+ accounts to pull down profile pictures for you and is really easy to use which is a real plus as at this point in my life, I … Read more