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Author Topic: Tinfoil Hat Linux  (Read 11100 times)

Ian

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« on: September 26, 2003, 12:37:16 pm »

I found this (homepage at http://tinfoilhat.shmoo.com/) while poking around today. Though it might interest some folks here... ;)
From the site:
Quote
What is Tinfoil Hat linux?
It started as a secure, single floppy, bootable Linux distribution for storing PGP keys and then encrypting, signing and wiping files. At some point it became an exercise in over-engineering.
Tinfoil hat is useful if:

    * You're using a computer that could have a keystroke logger installed. http://www.keyghost.com is an example of a tiny & cheap hardware logger.
    * You need to use your personal GPG keys at work, school or a web hosting facility where you don't trust or own the equipment.
    * If you maintain a PGP Certificate Authority or signing key and have to have a safe place to use the CA key.
    * If you simply don't want to risk putting a PGP key on a hard drive where someone else might have access to it.
    * The Illuminati are watching your computer, and you need to use morse code to blink out your PGP messages on the numlock key.

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And Tomlinson took up the tale and spoke of his good in life.
"O this I have read in a book," he said, "and that was told to me,
"And this I have thought that another man thought of a Prince in Muscovy."
The good souls flocked like homing doves and bade him clear the path,
And Peter twirled the jangling Keys in weariness and wrath.
"Ye have read, ye have heard, ye have thought," he said, "and the tale is yet to run:
"By the worth of the body that once ye had, give answer—what ha' ye done?"

Sunni

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2003, 10:51:56 am »

ROTFLMAO!!!!!

Thanks, Ian!
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debra

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2003, 11:42:15 am »

#9 from Claire's "Microsoft Anonymous"" article

"9. We downloaded alternative software where possible, but never a Microsoft product.

Linux isn't just for techies any more. But now that IBM, Hewlett-Packard, the NSA, and yes, even Microsoft, are getting on the Linux wagon, beware. We continue to avoid products from companies with a history of snooping into our computers and our e-mail.

When we became truly advanced in our paranoia, we even downloaded Tinfoil Hat Linux."
« Last Edit: September 29, 2003, 11:42:56 am by debra »
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Claire

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2003, 09:49:16 pm »

Quote
#9 from Claire's "Microsoft Anonymous"" article

When we became truly advanced in our paranoia, we even downloaded Tinfoil Hat Linux."
Ah, we're being so modest here. I must add that it was Claire and Debra's article, "Microsoft Anonymous."

But now that we're on the subject ... Tinfoil Hat Linux is too advanced for l'il Ole Non-Geek Me. But I've been happily using Mandrake Linux for 18 months now and I feel so  :) (she says with only a slightly phony lilt) liberated! On my newest (used) laptop computer, there's not a single MS product installed anywhere.

I'd be curious to hear from other non-geeks on these boards who use, or are interested in using, Linux.

And maybe from some Linux-using geeks who'd volunteer to (gently) help any newbies along.

There's a friendly, useful newbies e-list called NewChix that's run by the friendly, helpful folks of  LinuxChix. A lot of the "chix" on it are actually guys, just because it's more friendly than the usual guy-geek Linux lists.  
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Docliberty

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2003, 10:41:13 pm »

I'll be the first to admit to (semi) non-geek status.  In other words, I do ok with windows but don't even know how to start with Linux.    (Red Hat, Mandrake, Lindows?????)  I'll admit that I need help just to learn the secret Linux handshake and passwords.

Linux interests me because I gather that more can be done with it, but it takes more geek-like tinkering.  Any information regarding where to start and what is best (most effective and easiest to use) would be appreciated.
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Doc

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."  Marion Morrison

"I do not fear my government.  I fear what my government will cause me to become."   Docliberty

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H. L. Mencken

Ted Nielsen

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2003, 12:32:21 am »

*
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 11:14:59 pm by Ted Nielsen »
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Claire

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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2003, 09:59:37 am »

Quote
I'll be the first to admit to (semi) non-geek status.  In other words, I do ok with windows but don't even know how to start with Linux.    (Red Hat, Mandrake, Lindows?????)  I'll admit that I need help just to learn the secret Linux handshake and passwords.

Linux interests me because I gather that more can be done with it, but it takes more geek-like tinkering.  Any information regarding where to start and what is best (most effective and easiest to use) would be appreciated.
I agree with the recommendation for Mandrake. Can't speak to the virtues of Lindows, as I haven't used it. But it strikes me as a not-really-needed halfway step between Windows and Linux.

Doc, join the fraternity. The Linux secret handshake goes like this: Get a copy. Put the CD in your drive. Click to install. (With some distros, like MEPIS Linux, you can run Linux straight from the CD, without even installing it -- which could be a nice way to try it out.)

The installer on Mandrake is graphical, and if you choose, your new Linux will come up with a graphical interface that any Windows or Mac user will be breezing through in just a few hours.

For the most part, Linux will even "automagically" recognize and configure all your hardware. (Winmodems present the only typical difficulty on desktop computers. Some laptops have Linux incompatibilities -- though I've installed Mandrake on two older IBM laptops with almost no cussing, and there's a ton of info on the net about how Linux works on various laptop models.)

You're right that Linux can, and usually does, require more tinkering once you've got it running. There are still many things best done from the command line, rather than by point-and-click, too. And Linux documentation mostly sucks and Linux geekoids will talk over your head. But help is out there!

It took me years actually to make the switch to Linux. I wasn't motivated enough and Linux wasn't ready for a desktop user like me. But looking at cost ($0 - $70 vs $100s for Windows), the incredible number of pre-installed freeware programs (some, like OpenOffice and the graphics program the GIMP, that are every bit as good as their costly Windows counterparts), the added security, the anarchic software-development model, the easy ability to keep my data on a partition separate from the operating system (in case the OS crashes, the data doesn't) ... I'd never go back.

Have you got an old computer around your house? Try it, you'll like it! Or if you're the rich kind of doctor, buy one of Wal-Mart's  inexpensive computers ($200 and up) that come
pre-installed with Linux.

Yikes. I'd better shut up before I start sounding like a Linevangelist.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2003, 10:01:21 am by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Sunni

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2003, 11:04:51 am »

Quote
Yikes. I'd better shut up before I start sounding like a Linevangelist.
Too late.  :P  But it isn't a bad thing!

My experience, albeit short-lived, was with RedHat. I got a tower built (allegedly) to my specs -- that it be penguin-friendly -- and installed both Win 98 and RH Linux as a dual-boot system. I had a friend virtually hold my hand (through email correspondence) through a custom install to accomplish this.

And it worked the first time! I didn't like some of the things I'd set up, so I went through the install again ... and again and again, as I learned more and wanted to structure my machine the way I wanted it. It was not difficult, though it was time-consuming. But so are dealing with BSODs ... and they're much more frustrating.

The problem that led to the end of Linux for me was that my computer was not pengy-friendly. It had a winmodem that I never could get to work on the Linux side, and the sound system was utterly capricious as to whether it would work in RH. As my work depends on being online, RH never got a fair trial from me.

I liked the basic word processing and spreadsheet software, as far as I played with them on RH. However, some specialty apps -- like Adobe and some graphics apps (as I understand it -- an arteest I ain't) don't have Linux-compatible versions.

My advice: sit down and think about what you really use your computer for. Then do some research to see if Linux-friendly alternatives to all the software you need to do those things exists. (Chances are it does, again, unless you're into specialty stuff.)

It's pretty likely that more than one Linux distro will meet your needs. Look each of 'em over a bit, ask around among tech friends, colleagues, etc. to get users' opinions, and make a decision. Stick with the basics -- and the most newbie-friendly distros -- as you learn.

Then, if you like Linux, expand your horizons whatever way you wish. It really isn't hard -- but it is different, and Microsoft makes great hay out of that.
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Claire

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2003, 11:50:22 am »

Quote
Quote
Yikes. I'd better shut up before I start sounding like a Linevangelist.
Too late.  :P  But it isn't a bad thing! ...

However, some specialty apps -- like Adobe and some graphics apps (as I understand it -- an arteest I ain't) don't have Linux-compatible versions.

 
Brethren and Sistern! Welcome to the Foresquare Damn-Everybody-Else-to-Hell Church of the Gospel According to Linus!

Nah ... I think I'll leave the evangelism to somebody else ...

Sunni, thanks for giving your perspective. Probably even more important to hear the struggles than my kind of cheerleading. I remember how doggedly you worked at getting the sound and modem to work. So frustrating after specifying a Linux-friendly system. (Sigh.)

I recall that the sound system on my desktop didn't work with Linux (like Winmodems, was set up to be used only by MS software, which is quite a racket, IMHO). Just popped in a new sound card, though, and everything was fine. Many winmodems can also be made to work, with some dinking. There's even a site called Linmodems.org dedicated to making winmodems work under Linux.

But I realize even that is more tinkering than most people want to do, or than you had time to do.

A general comment on the compatibility of apps: Compatibility between Linux apps and Windows apps is gradually increasing. And software that lets you run Windows programs on Linux is (slowwwwwly) improving. The two big Linux office programs, OpenOffice (freeware) and StarOffice ($ware) are almost entirely compatible with MS Office, except for occasional formatting isues.

I don't know whether Adobe makes software for Linux -- but at least three pdf readers came with Mandrake that present Adobe-created documents just fine.

And I'd put The GIMP (freeware) up against PhotoShop, any day.

There are Real Players, Flash plug-ins, great mail readers, audio programs, a wide selection of browsers, etc. for Linux. A few years ago, Linux was weak in the CAD area, but CAD folks assure me that's changed now. The ONLY big lack, in my experience, is a QuickTime player for Linux. (There are QuickTime development tools, but no player for us ordinary folks.) An awful lot of online movies are either in QuickTime or Windows Media format ... and they're the only reason I ever boot to the Windows side of my desktop machine.
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Scarmiglione'

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2003, 12:31:35 pm »

Every couple of years I install the latest linux on my system. I've yet to find a version that allows me to do what I *need* on my home PC.  Now that I'm got some fancy-dancy M-Audio card I doubt it would work.

But I love the desktops much better, and the security, and I know enough unix stuff to be able to move around.  It may be time for me to try another dist, although for me the biggest difficulty with linux is trying to figure out how to freaking install something.  I mean, i can handle the tar command, but holy crap what I wouldn't do for a linux "click-it" software installer and decompressor.
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Claire

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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2003, 01:00:41 pm »

Quote
I mean, i can handle the tar command, but holy crap what I wouldn't do for a linux "click-it" software installer and decompressor.
Hi, Scarmig!

LOL. I know what you mean. I have to get out my cheat sheet on using tar every time I have to unbundle software that comes in a tarball. "tar xvzf [filename]." I mean, what the hell is all that supposed to MEAN???

However, not to scare anybody away ... if you get your software in .rpm (RedHat Package Manager) form rather than .tar.gz form, you CAN install with a click. I'd say about half the software packages I've downloaded are that simple.

And theoretically, you can also untar and unzip packages with a click. But I'll admit, that's one bit of software they still have to do a leeeeeetle bit of work on.

So we're pioneers, brave and bold. And sometimes that means we're more like the Donner party than the nice, organized Mormon trailers.

But I'll bet in a year or so, we will be able to unbundle tarred software with a click.
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Scarmiglione'

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2003, 01:55:09 pm »

Quote

But I'll bet in a year or so, we will be able to unbundle tarred software with a click.
Yeah... that's what I keep thinking every couple of years!

 
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enemyofthestate

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2003, 05:51:56 pm »

Quote
And maybe from some Linux-using geeks who'd volunteer to (gently) help any newbies along.

What kind of help are you looking for?
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Bear

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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2003, 07:17:58 pm »

me: "My name's Bear, and I've been a UNIX user for 23 years."
group: "Hi Bear, we're glad your here..."

Sersiously, the reason UNIX / Unix / Linux / BSD / AIX / Solaris / Xenix* (did I leave anybody out?) commands seem like
some strange language, is that the systems were designed with the professional programmer in mind, and assume that
you know something about the set up of your computer, or sit in a cubicle near someone who does. It was never meant to
be user friendly. Getting over the bumps and hurdles was a red badge of courage (if not persistence). It also assumes that
you are not keyboard-phobic.

Once you do figure out how it all works, you can make your system fly. You will also understand the point and
click limits you to what the programmer thinks you should do
. That's right, once again freedom comes at the price of convenience.

For those of you who must have a point-and-grunt interface (no bias here!), the various Linuces do have them
now, and they work pretty well. Also, Apple's new Mac has OS X (10.2.mumble) which is Unix with a GUI on top. I have
one, and I like it. I haven't done any serious programming on it yet, but it seems solid.

Quote
LOL. I know what you mean. I have to get out my cheat sheet on using tar every time I have to unbundle software that comes in a tarball. "tar xvzf [filename]." I mean, what the hell is all that supposed to MEAN???

tar:   Tape ARchive command. Create and read tar files
  x:   Extract (read) the tar file
  v:   Verbose. Tell me what your doing.
  z:  Heck if I know.
  f:   Next argument is the name of the device to read to get the file.

Now if you buy me a beer the next time I get to Hardyville, I'll explain why you need all of that gibberish, and why you
should be happy that you have that much control.  :rolleyes:

Bear




* This are all descended, or derived from the original UNIX developed by AT&T at Bell Labs. There must be something
  to an idea that is repeated and re-invented so often!
 
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Claire

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Tinfoil Hat Linux
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2003, 07:28:42 pm »

Quote
What kind of help are you looking for?
I'm not looking for any specific help myself. Well, not at the moment, anyway. :-) But I thought if other newbies like me wanted to take the Linux leap, it might be nice if some of the experienced Linixicians around here wanted to offer a helping hand.

If that's what you're doing, enemyofthestate, then thanks and maybe somebody else would like to take you up on it?
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi
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