Open Source Musings The thoughts, ideas, and opinions of an open source guy

This is the end

The words 'The End' written in the sand on a beach

This is the last blog post I’ll be publishing in this space. Probably ever.

There are a number of reasons for that, but mainly I’m, in the words of Derek Sivers, giving up something I love. And that something is blogging.

Believe it or not, I love blogging. I’ve been blogging the early 2000s and have enjoyed it immensely. However, it’s starting to become more of a chore than it should be. Also, blogging hasn’t been working out for me for a while now. I’m finding that the benefits and the rewards of blogging are no longer commensurate with the effort involved.

So, it’s time to turn the page on the blogging chapter of my life. Will I blog again? My crystal ball is cloudy, but I won’t say never again. But for now, blogging and I are parting ways.

You’ll be able to find this blog in this spot until January 25, 2018. That’s when the domain expires; I won’t be renewing it. However, all of my blog posts will be available (as Markdown files) on GitLab or GitHub, depending on which service you prefer.

The posts that make up this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license, and will remain that way.

In case you’re wondering, I won’t be giving up writing entirely. For the foreseeable future, much of my written work (specifically about open source) will be over at My writing may also pop up elsewhere on the web from time to time. And I have a couple or three books left in me, which I hope to publish by early 2018.

Well, that’s that. Thank you for reading this blog, and its predecessor, over the years. I hope that you found what I wrote to be useful, interesting, and enjoyable.

Penguinizing a Chromebook with GalliumOS

A Chromebook sitting in the grass

(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at It appears here via a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.)

As a long-time user of Chromebooks, I know how useful and convenient they can be. They’re light, the hardware is solid, and Chromebooks are excellent devices to carry while travelling or working on the go.

The main drawback of Chromebooks, though, is how tightly they’re tied to Google’s services. Over the last little while, I’ve been steadily de-Googlizing my life. One of the last big obstacles to doing that has been my Chromebook.

You can see my problem. On one hand, I had a device that I didn’t want to part with. On the other hand, I wanted to decouple myself from the corporate behemoth behind that device. So what was a poor Chromebook user to do? Install Linux, of course!

After doing quite a bit of research and quizzing a few people whose opinion on these matters I respect, I turned to GalliumOS. Here’s a look at how to use GalliumOS to penguinize a Chromebook.

A few links of interest - 13 June, 2017

Manage your tasks like a geek with Emacs org-mode

A handwritten task list

(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at Notes From a Floating Life, and appears here via a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.)

Over the years, I’ve flirted time and time again with Emacs. Emacs, for those of you who don’t know it, is a popular text editor. I’ve been using Emacs on and off since the late 1990s, and for whatever reason keep coming back to it every few years.

In some ways, Emacs offends my minimalist sensibilities. Why? Emacs is big. Really big. It can do a lot more than edit text. Some people use it for just about everything — writing, creating presentations, browsing the web, email, organizing themselves, and a whole lot more. Sometimes, too much. In the colophon to his book Just A Geek, actor and writer Wil Wheaton joked that he wanted to use Emacs to write the book but couldn’t find the text editor in Emacs.

That said, Emacs does have some useful features, functions, and extensions. One of those extensions is org-mode. While I’m not a geek, I’ve used org-mode to manage my tasks and organize myself like one.

A look at 3 to-do managers for the Linux command line

A hand-written task list

(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at It appears here via a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.)

There are dozens, if not more, tools out there that can help you manage your ever-expanding to-do list. If you want to manage your tasks like a techie, or just feel like going back to basics, the best way to do that is to turn to the command line.

With the software that’s available, there’s no reason why you can’t effectively manage your to-do lists from the command line. You don’t need to worry about sacrificing features and functions, either. The three task management tools I look at in this article have something for everyone.