About & Vision

Welcome

     

Thank you for visiting junktext.org. This website, and any projects or other content found herein, serves to help enhance the world of technology in whatever way seems relevant, useful, or fun for everybody in general. This is a philosophy that I hold near and dear. Currently, one of my major interests is in supporting the Free/Libre and Open Source Software (F/LOSS or also FOSS) communities to help build a more transparent and scientific process of developing software that benefits everyone.

 

Vision

      Step 1.      Help others to love technology. This can be accomplished in multiple ways from providing detailed and easy-to-understand solutions to known problems, to helping to build custom software solutions that help make people and organizations smarter with less pain than before, or by sponsoring projects (such as the previous gaming servers) that bring joy to others by thinking and solving complex topics.

      Step 2.      Support Free/Libre and Open Source Software (F/LOSS a.k.a. FOSS): At present, many people today actual use some form of F/LOSS technology, but they have no idea that they are supporting such a beautiful concept. Quick examples include: using Google to search the web, having an Android-powered device (phones, tablets, and so on), using the Firefox web browser, or even having a Facebook account. This is because Google web servers use Linux, Android is officially called the "Android Open Source Project" (and is a form of Linux), Firefox is fully a F/LOSS project, and Facebook uses MySQL which is a F/LOSS database.

Generally speaking, F/LOSS is fully open and inspectable software. The 'Free' wording in F/LOSS is not about price, as F/LOSS programs can still cost money (especially for support or special features), as instead you have guaranteed freedoms such as being free to modify the software as necessary, and the freedom to distribute the program to others who want it (and is why the 'Libre' word is added for clarity, since libre denotes liberty). Anyways, F/LOSS is great and I urge you to learn more about it if you are confused. Check out the Understanding F/LOSS section of this website to get a deep-dive breakdown. Put simply, it's basically the virtue that sharing is a good thing. You know, that idea your parents taught you when you were little? :-)

Oh, and note: I do not hate Proprietary (non-free-and-open) programs. I simply love and prefer the F/LOSS ideals, and I believe that the free-and-open philosophy is the best path forward for the future.

      Step 3.      Repeat Step #1.

 

History

      To help further explain the purpose of this place, here is a historical perspective of my background. Originally, when I realized I had a love for the computer world, I initially began dabbling with building, modifying, or simply studying the hardware of a computer. Of course I did what all young, inexperienced technician does: I ended up accidentally breaking some of these computers, usually from static electricity. So, I was quite relieved that my Mother did not get too mad at me when I would destroy the family computer (thanks for the support, Mom!).

After time went on, I eventually found a love for tweaking things in the software land. I taught myself pretty much the entire mIRC scripting language by building various scripts, bots, and even some small games (mIRC is a way to communicate with other people but you can also program certain things as well). Next, I grew a love for the Half-Life computer game, which I promptly followed by running a Team Fortress Classic (TFC) and later a Natural Selection (NS) gaming server. While in the Half-Life universe, I had much fun modifying server-side programming plug-ins that helped to enhance the server(s) in various ways, and I also did other neat things such as building maps (the levels), converting maps from one game and porting them to another Half-Life game, or tweaking the models in the game to add a bit of customization to keep things interesting. (Oh, in case you are wondering, no, neither mIRC nor Half-Life is F/LOSS technology. I did not fully understand the F/LOSS scene when I initially gravitated towards these Proprietary software applications. Also, I'll still use non-F/LOSS programs, it's just that I prefer a free-and-open program if possible.)

As you may have noticed, I am no longer running any type of Half-Life gaming server, but I came out of these experiences a tad more enlightened on how to try and manage and interact with the technology that was relied upon (from the gaming server, to this website and forum, et cetera), but also I had more awareness of how to deal with the people that came to play. I've met great and wonderful people, from those who helped to volunteer and administer the server with me, to those that just came to have fun, relax, and think while playing a complex game. Additionally, it was always quite an experience in learning how to deal with the negative players who came to intentionally disrupt the game for others. In general, my fellow game administrators and I were pretty fair on how we enforced our #1 Rule of: "Be respectful (especially to new players)." Yes, we would kick or ban people when needed, and we even had a system whereby those who were banned could claim their innocence on our forum. Though, we never had one banned individual attempt to use this resource, so I assumed we were doing something right.

Moreover, I have also had the pleasure of working in the Information Technology (IT) world in a number of ways, such as being a computer technician (fixing customer problems for senior managers), or by installing wireless networks and building cables for a local Internet Service Provider (ISP), or by helping to manage enterprise database systems (creating advanced queries and logical-based reports, and assisting with the migration of old-to-new systems), and recently by serving as a Project Manager leading several high-visibility projects that enhanced critical technical infrastructure and applications.

But, what does all of this have to do with this website you ask? Good question! In short, I have learned from my many professional and hobby-based experiences one main theme: Technology has the power to inspire greatness or it can crumble and confuse people and services. Which is why I will try to build this website to provide a slice of sanity to help people learn to use technology in meaningful and enjoyable ways.

Thank you for reading,

        --William Paul Liggett (a.k.a. "junktext")
          E-mail: junktext@junktext.org



P.S. Even though I go by the name of 'junktext', I actually pride myself on writing and speaking proper English. I chose my obscure pseudonym when I had the first, true spark of seriously wanting to learn more about computer technology. I was in high school, the 10th grade, and I was taking a Desktop Publishing class which, if you are unaware, this was a class to learn about how to create various types of printed documents such as brochures, flyers, advertisements, magazine articles, and the like. Anyhow, we kept using a standard block of "junk text" to be used as filler text for the documents so you could have an idea of how the overall layout of your document design looked while not worrying about writing the rest of the content. The "junk text" was not valid English sentences but were instead garbled-looking phrases like "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" (and so on). Furthermore, I was not doing that well in the course initially, so as a challenge to myself I decided to try and get a better grade. From that point forward, I became a computer geek after I learned how vast and fun technology can be.

P.P.S. "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" is actually Latin, but written in a nonsensical manner. The history of the usage of this "junk text" goes back to the the 1500's. See these two links for details: http://lipsum.com/ and http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Lorem+ipsum.

Punctuation Note: I prefer to use logical punctuation, which the Brits use as well. Therefore, I only include commas and periods inside quotation marks when those forms of punctuation are actually intended to be part of the quote itself. Yes, after doing much research, the American English form of writing makes zero sense on this regard, which obtained the historical tradition of placing commas and periods inside quotations to make things look "neat". Have you ever noticed that a semi-colon, colon, question or exclamation mark (not intended for the actual quote) is always placed outside of American quotes? Why are some punctuation marks cherry picked for inclusion while the rest must stay outside? This is simply illogical, hence I use 'logical' punctuation. So, please don't view some of my sentences throughout the site as a grammatical error. Furthermore, I hope you join me on this crusade too!