Please Let Me Know When You Have A Live CD With GUI

Mel Thompson melvinbrand at
Tue Apr 8 04:20:02 UTC 2014

Dear FreeBSD:

I'm a decades-long Mac user who is eternally grateful for your providing the basic world-structure for my favorite OS. Of course, I'd rather just go around MAC and use FreeBSD most of the time. I started doing computer jobs, computer testing, and computer experimentation, part-time, way back since Fortran punch cards and BASIC and Database III, in the 1980s. Heck, I even remember using a Wang Terminal with timeshare systems.

I was a distro-freak who would wipe my hard drive clean ten times a night and try ten different distros, going to bed at dawn, loving all those experiments, everything from Damn Small Linux to massively-bloated versions of Debian. And, although I vowed not to, I spent years fiddling with line-commands in virtual terminals. Sometimes, at jobs, there were literally rows of printers, CPUs and monitors. I was one of the first beta testers of Windows 95, having survived strange years on the bizarre Windows 3.1 system. And, it goes without saying, I was a clerical worker who did DOS-based Word Perfect and even Word Star, (if any living soul could remember such a thing).

During this time I got a BA in Philosophy with special training in Philosophy of Science and Scientific and Linguistic Methodology. I worked as a "tutor" and "companion" to various artificial intelligence programs meant to mimic human conversation or human speech, correcting their grammar, and so on, even once working as a "test patient" with a massive computer that had "the mind of Carl Rogers" in it. I was a pioneer in Desktop Publishing and my Desktop Publishing work. While not attaining the literary fame I had hoped I would, I did, as a technical matter, interest the press, because, at that time, the poetry world was very backward, and almost no one was doing almost full-time desktop-graphics-publishing of poetry books. In this way, although I never attained enough computer proficiency to become a "real" programmer, one could hardly think of a humanities person whose life was more infused with technology.

I mention all this just to give you some perspective on the main issue I want to bring up to you: If a person of my background still can't get any version of FreeBSD installed on what are, admittedly, the old and outdated computers I can afford to maintain, it seems then that, in spite of many errors I am sure I am making, that the process of installing FreeBSD is still somehow not user friendly. For that matter, forget installing: I've never been able to get a Live CD, which should require not installing, and should be complete on its own, to boot into a Graphical User Interface. A kind of terminal-line-command-prompt is the best I ever got.

While I'll admit to many weaknesses in my understanding of technology, and will admit to still having many devices that are unacceptably-outdated due to my low income, which stands stubbornly at $1,139 per month, (in spite of my occasionally being able to game the travel-points systems to win a trip or two per year), still, I am hoping one day that one of my computers will boot into a graphical desktop environment of FreeBSD, since I regard it as a "Father OS" to Mac, which, as you might guess, changed my world in many ways.

Let me know if such a product is ever developed, as I should eagerly await it's arrival. Too, part of the fault is mine because I have quirky machines like Aopen mini-computers and Mac Minis which are quirky anyway. But, in spite of all the weakness of these machines and the huge gaps in my technical knowledge, I notice that I've gotten probably dozens of distros of Linux to work, even on weird drives where they aren't supposed to work, and even on old, ugly machines with the wrong specs. So I appreciated the flexibility of those distros to accommodate both my flaws and the flaws of my rather haggard equipment.

Even if you are unable to accommodate me, I will always be a fan of your work and grateful for what you've done for the universe of computing. And, of course, I know real system administrators who have great technical prowess and world-class equipment. They are often quite clear that, at the level they work on, FreeBSD is light years ahead of almost every OS one could think of. In any case, please keep me informed if developments happen to go my way.


Mel Thompson.

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