Tag Archives: Bruno Knaapen

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Linux Forum

When my Linux Adventure began a few years ago, I did the same thing I did when I was learning the ins and outs of Microsoft Windows, I went searching for a friendly community tech support forum.

I had a bit of a head start in my search for a helpful and friendly Linux forum, though. My favorite Finn, Urmas, had started his Linux Adventure a few months prior to me. He converted. Then he converted his mom. Nowadays he’s one of my fellow Admins over at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, the very forum where he recommended I go to find the friendly help I was seeking.

Why the complicated name for that forum? Well, it’s like this… Scot Finnie, the Editor-in-Chief for ComputerWorld, started this board back in 2003 as an adjunct to his excellent MS WIndows-based tech newsletter. Scot has since become a bit of a Mac fan, but that’s a whole ‘nother story, pardner. Anywho, Scot’s board has many forums. There’s All Things Windows, All Thing Mac, and there’s Hardware, Application Software, Browsers and Email, etc. It’s all there for your reading and posting pleasure. The members of the community are known as Highlanders. Get it? Scot = a highlander. Oh, nevermind.

The area of Scot’s board that I visit most frequently is, of course, Bruno’s All Things Linux. Why is it Bruno’s? Well, you can read my very first article on this blog to find out that story. The man I’m talking about in that article is Bruno Knaapen, the founding Administrator of All Things Linux at Scot’s board. We changed the name of the forum to honor Bruno’s memory. He was a special man. You can still read my first posting over at Bruno’s All Things Linux about my issues with my Zip100 drive on my newly installed Ubuntu 6.06 installation. Bruno quickly solved that issue for me. The rest is history.

Not a day has gone by since then that I don’t visit Scot’s – BATL at least once a day. Usually, it’s 5-10 times a day. The staff and members are the very best. I’m at home at Scot’s. It’s a nice feeling. There are other Linux forums out there, but none have that feel of community that Scot’s – BATL does for me. If you’re looking for a friendly community of geeks, tech weinees, and all-round great folks, stop on by for a visit. Tell ’em Urmas sent you. Heh! I’m not getting involved.

I’m going to close this with a quote that Bruno was fond of posting anytime anyone would use the verboten word “newbie” over at BATL:

QUOTE (Bruno @ Forum May 25 2003)

We try to avoid the word “newbie”, it does no justice to the efforts we, also the beginners, put in to learn a new operating system. I think the wish to learn Linux shows a brave attitude and deserves a better qualification.


To this day, we honor Bruno’s wishes regarding that word. Oh, and you won’t ever see RTFM there either. I guarantee it. How can I guarantee it? Because I’m an Admin there. If I don’t catch it one of the other staff will. We try to make Scot’s board a learning place for explorers of all levels and interests… not just Linux. If you’re looking for a change from the overcrowded, impersonal places you’re used to visiting, give Scot’s a shot.

Later, folks…


The Helios Project

Once there was a needy child who wanted to learn, but had no computer.

A man named Ken Starks in Austin, Texas saw that child and wanted to do something to help. Ken had been a student of Bruno Knaapen of Amsterdam, a tireless, selfless teacher of All Things Linux. Ken created something that served to provide that needy child with that necessary computer so that exploration of the world of the Internet could begin; quenching that burning desire to know what is out there to be known. How did Ken do this?

By creating The Helios Project, an Austin-based not-for-profit organization that provides computer systems installed with the GNU/Linux operating system to needy children. There are no paid directors or staff at The Helios Project. Everyone volunteers his or her time and effort to this cause. Bruno Knaapen himself deemed Ken’s project highly worthy of praise and support, as do I… as I’m sure you will also, once you become familiar with it.

A child who wants to learn but has no means to achieve that goal is indeed a sad thing, in my opinion. Knowledge should be the most free of the freedoms that a society enjoys. No child should be denied knowledge for monetary reasons. Those who hoard knowledge to themselves, guarding against its spread to the masses, are paranoid and selfish souls; securing knowledge to themselves and as a consequence… power.

FREE knowledge = FREE world = FREEDOM!

Help Ken and the Helios folks spread that knowledge. Visit the site and see if you have anything they might need in the way of hardware and parts. If not, maybe just consider clicking that Donate button, hmm? Feel really ambitious? Follow Ken’s example and set something like The Helios Project up in your own town.

Check out The Blog of Helios (on my Links You Might Like page also) when you get a chance. Also, Ken was just recently awarded the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award. Congratulations, Ken!

Until next time…