I'm Passionate But Still Learning

I’m going to try and keep this short, because I have a tenancy to ramble and write 23 paragraph posts on forums – which nobody reads (and the only comment I get is “TLDR”) and then I don’t get the traction I’d hoped for.

In short: I became a full time Linux user 18 months ago. I’m still learning. I currently use Linux Mint (I refuse to use Microsoft anymore, or Apple for that matter). I have a Nexus 5 phone, running Ubuntu touch. I also have a Lineage OS android Nexus 5. I don’t use Gmail anymore (as my primary email). I use Fastmail. I use a VPN. I use DuckDuckGo. I don’t use Google sheets, I use Zoho. Even for my website analytics, I am currently phasing out Google Analytics and I am trying out Matomo (once I figure out how to install it into my VPS). Instead of Facebook, I use Gab. Instead of uploading videos to YouTube, I use Odysee. I also have accounts with Bitchute, Brighteon, Rumble and Rokfin. I’m also into crypto, crypto domains – and I love creating blogs and websites.

The basic idea is that I am trying to phase out the big tech corporations and social media out of my life. I want to document what I use, why I use it and try to encourage other people to take the same route – because I want to try to help build a world where we’re not all corralled into what I refer to as “digital ghettos”.

Ironically, I work in IT and my job is a digital marketer. I use the entire suite of Google and Facebook products and advertising. I have to. It’s my day job. I run a completely separate laptop for work. My own laptop has none of that stuff on it. I’m living two lives! I have converted to Linux, even from my work computer though! …which is exciting. I don’t have one Microsoft product machine in this house.

I use Brave browser for my personal use and hardened Firefox fro my web development purposes.

Anyway, point of this thread:

I want to build a blog that takes people on a journey of what the best tools are, how to use privacy solutions – which software and corporations to stay away from etc. I am hoping I can create some discussion about that here and get some ideas for the blog. However, most of all I want to let you guys know my current understanding and tell me if I have been mislead about anything – because I don’t want to create a blog that’s full of inaccuracies (or BS). I want it to be factual – and helpful!

I even want to hand code the website for IPFS and use Matomo for analytics etc. Do some testing and marketing using different tools and alternatives as well. There’s no shortage of alternatives. I’d rather use 23 different projects by 23 different companies than to put all my eggs in one basket with companies that develop whole suites (and monopolies). I think people will like my blog, because I am putting my money (and time and effort) where my mouth is. I am living the life. I am practising what I preach.

I am subscribed to all the privacy channels online and Linux guys, etc. I’m always playing around with phones. I like Lineage OS, /e/ project and Ubuntu Touch. I’m really putting a big effort in to live a completely big tech and social media monopoly free existence online.

So I guess I am just going to stop here and see what reactions I get. This is actually a short post for me! I hope that this thread will turn into a very productive discussion.

Please don’t reply with “TLDR” lol.



First things first: Welcome to our community!
I hope, you’ll find to be friendly and helpful.

Going completely big-tech-free is quite an endeavour, but definitely a good one.

Once you have set up your blog, let us know its name. I’m sure, some people will be very interested.

1 Like

I am convinced, this is not ironic, at all. Most of the time people only notice how bad some stuff is, when they actually work with it and actually find out how bad it is, while normal people just never get to open that particular piece of pandora’s box.

I still remember when an old man who worked in a slaughterhouse as a kid told me, that when you actually see how they make the cheapest sausage ever, you will never eat it again. This sausage was back then one of the most popular meat products where I live.

Who doesn’t? :laughing:

That sounds great. However, I would still recommend you to make clear that whatever you use is in the end sometimes a matter of opinion. Sure, other times there is a clear winner in a category, but too often people fight over different directions, when several are valid at the same time.
For example, I don’t like Mastodon. I just never couldn’t like it. But in the privacy aware open source community this tool is very much liked by many and is used all over the place; integrated in other open source alternatives, even.

This is one of the biggest gripes I have about “normal” people. “Normal” people always want everything easy. Just 1 company for EVERYTHING you do, buy, need, pay for, whatever → completely disregarding the sense of what a monopoly is and why it is so bad for our society.
People are sick, all the time. No, not since 2020. Since humans exist people are sick. Whenever people are sick, they always look for a quick one-time solution to all their health problems. It’s like obese people are trying to get healthier and instead of getting on a bicycle or doing some sit-ups, they try to find a diet, that doesn’t do anything or even take pills that do not help, but sometimes make things worse.

The average Joe is extremely dumb and the biggest irony about it is that such people don’t even get it – leading to even more dumbness.

This is extremely important. Where I live, there is a saying that goes like “you are preaching water, but are drinking wine”.
The most extreme example I can think of right now, showing the irony of such double standards is when you read what is going on on Twitter (of course not through an account I created, but through third parties, telling me about it :wink:).
People complain there 24/7 about the stupidest shit, tell others to behave like this or like that.
You don’t even need a week to see the exact same people doing the exact same thing they were just complaining about to other people, 24 hours ago.

Though, I honestly think, a privacy aware person has no choice but to. Imagine what would happen to your data, if you wouldn’t play around with your phone, but keep it stock…

That’s great to hear. I am usually extremely annoyed by people saying 5 incoherent words and then them expecting other random people on the internet to exactly know what they are talking about.
Especially, in an environment, where bodily language is completely cut off and you can’t even hear someone’s voice, you have to really elaborate even pretty simple things very clearly, as things are perceived differently, by each person and whatever is said is interpreted in another way, whenever another person reads it.

I would stronlgy consider a person commenting with something like this wouldn’t fit into this community well. And I just can’t stand such behaviour to be honest. Such people either have to learn to read or go back into their baby crib, so they can start over learning how to become human.


Thanks Mina :slight_smile:

Yes, it is quite the endeavour. But I am enjoying every second of it :slight_smile:

I think I’ll set up some kind of spreadsheet or web page documenting all the stuff I think is best to use. The I’ll share it here to get opinions. I’ll make the blog out of that.

Thanks for the welcome. :sunglasses:


I have a Mastodon and PeerTube instance. I love the idea behind Mastodon – I mean on paper, but in actuality I really can’t stand it. I don’t even know why I’ve continued paying for the hosting for the past 18 months or so. The part I don’t like is that the feed is mixed up with a heap of nonsense from the “federation” in languages that I can’t even understand tat has absolutely nothing to do with my instance. I’ve been baffled by it the whole time I’ve tried to run it. I just figured I must be a bit slow and there’s something I’m not getting or understanding. I hope one day I will understand it, because I like the idea behind it.


(not long enough, tell me more :smiley: )

Great post - I’ll be interested to read more… Writing as someone who often writes emails with several paragraphs - whereas most people seem to email with partial sentences only…

I’d like to be as driven as you obviously are, but I just don’t have the energy… and everything’s so damn convenient… but I do exclusively run Linux desktops at home, and work (I use a spare “personal” Dell laptop at work intead of company supplied Windows 10 laptop). However I still use lots of proprietary “solutions” or platforms, e.g. Chrome, Google / Mail / Drive / Office, Facebook and others…

I still have a Nexus 5 - great handset - but - I mostly ran MaruOS (runs an XFCE desktop accessible via Slimport → HDMI dongle) on it - but the battery “blew up” (it didn’t actually explode, but it expanded enough to warp the chassic on the handset) - and - now I need to have a reasonably “stock” Android or iOS phone for my job (several MFA application) - and that 32 non-expandable/no SD card slot is a real limitation for me… Note : these days MaruOS is using LineageOS as its starting point…

I have a Lineage OS phone. However, I am now about to purchase a Google Pixel 2 so that I can install CalyxOS

I’ve been doing a LOT of research about phone operating systems. From what can gather:

LineageOS isn’t as secure as it’s cracked up to be.
GrapheneOS is very private but slower and more restrictive than CalyxOS (and is hard to install if you don’t have the right phone).
CalyxOS is VERY easy to install, but you have to install it on (ironically) a Google Pixel phone.

About 2 years ago I was using Windows and all the proprietary nonsense too. However, I’ve really become very adamant and determined not to be a product.

At the end of the day, you can’t really be TRULY incognito no matter what you do. I’m not trying to hide from governments or authorities. I’m not doing anything illegal or weird. I just don’t want my life to be fuelling someones database so they can profit off me.

If we want to be truly private and not trackable at all, we need to throw our phones off a pier somewhere and run into the jungle naked. And even then we’re still trackable lol… so you can’t win.

All I want to do is make it hard for corporations to know much about me. Because I am not a product.

1 Like

I was recently (i.e. last couple years) investigating how to get my hands on a handset (some Sony Android handsets) to run Sailfish OS on, but even getting Sailfish OS went into the too hard basket…

Sailfish is a fork / port of Nokia’s aborted Maemo by some of the Nokia guys who worked on that… they’ve done “deals” with a few handset manufacturers in “other” markets - mostly Latin America - and you can’t buy the O/S from Australia unless you do something sneaky like pretend you’re not in Australia… I suspect the main handset manufacturers are doing their usual extortion to stop competition - when it would never be a competitor for Android or iOS, just an alternative choice for a niche market… Oh well…

Yeah, most of the DeGoogled OS’s are in the too hard basket for me too.

But check this out:

CalyxOS Installation

You can buy a Google Pixel 2 on catch.com.au for $169

They are still AWSOME phones apparently, ie:

It’s easy to install, cheap and still a good phone.

I’m about to order one.

All this stuff is what I want to put on my blog.

*I live in Townsville. I am from Melbourne.

Also, these are the phones you can install CalyxOS on:


Damn, gotta remember that one. I need to post this under every post that got a stupid TL;DR from anyone.

Indeed, there are many great old(er) phones out there. However, most of the time, the problem is not with features or anything related to that, but with them being used and re-sold.

Pretty much all the smartphones on the market have non-removable batteries (or at least very hard to remove the right way, if you have no experience fiddling with phones).

So, unfortunately, even if the phone itself is still pretty good, you often have a problem with the longevity of the battery. Even worse, this become dangerous, if the battery is so much worn out by now, like in this example 3.5 years later, that it may even swell and blow up at some point. Of course, this is the worst case scenario, but not impossible.

That’s why it too often does not make much sense to buy an older phone, because it usually is so worn out already, that you would need to put too much money into this phone, to make things like the battery “new” again.

Additionally, people change their phones all the time, so they don’t even care to do good deeds to their phones and treat it properly. So, I usually expect such batteries to be even worse off, than in other electronic products, where people actually still care (only a few are left).

Of course, all this wouldn’t be a problem when a strong Right to Repair legislation was empowered in governments all over the world, well, or at least in the USA, Australia and Europe.

As is understandable in this video, it’s often about warranty and where you are able to repair your device, like e.g. your phone.

However, it does not stop there. It’s also about how devices are constructed.

Nowadays, electronic devices are constructed as complicated as possible, so it’s even really hard sometimes to remove the battery. Back when I was running around with my old Nokia non-smartphone, a 7 year old family member could’ve replaced the battery properly, on their own. Now you need a lot of experience with repairing electronic devices or just ask a repair shop to do it for you, which usually does not make sense for cheaper, older phones.

If we had strong Right to Repair legislation, then those devices would also be easy to repair. Imagine you buy an old Smartphone and all you have to do is buy a Chinese 20 bucks replaceable battery and put it in yourself, within 5 minutes max. without force-opening the phone’s plastic case, risking to break stuff. Don’t let me start about the glue!


That’s the problem, technology and the greedy awkward phone manufacturers, that do not allow you to fix your own phone. I had my arm ripped off to buy a smart phone the actual saying is twisted, after shopping around as I don’t want to be tied down with contracts because O2 think I have my phone glued to my forehead 24/7 night and day, I opted for a Ulefone (Pronounced like Oil Of Ulay How it used to be before they changed it Oley. My Granny swore by it. )
Oil Of Ulay
It’s a P6000 Plus (Whatever that means?) Quad core processor, though takes ages to boot because of the integrated splash screen of the word Ulefone. Reminds me of Nokia phone days non smart that took forever to boot, as the manufacturers have to have their name splashing everywhere.

Anyway this Ulefone is good, but all I had to do was pull on a tab to activate the battery, after inserting my O2 SIM, as is with all phones these days. They obviously had to lock down phones innards to stop people meddling, but I bought this phone at nearly £180.00 pounds, has a lot of features that Samsung phones don’t, like the battery for instance, though I hardly use the phone only for emergencies or in case I need to get in contact with someone, but these days I do all my correspondence stuff here at home on my computer.

The battery has up to a week and a half of charge, that’s with all notifications switched off, though I keep text notifications on and even if the screen is set to lock, it displays the notification and if I don’t check my phone for a few days, battery drains really quickly. I would love to get inside my phone and clean the camera lense properly, as the camera is good on this phone HQ-HD can be recorded, it has loads of effects for still pictures or photography too, but even though it is in a case that is meant to protect the camera and screen, the camera has dust on the lense making cleaning it a pain to get to. Would love to be able to take the back off, but it seems to me phones are going the same way as cars are, take the phone in to your dealer or garage to get fixed.

Even with all the components being protected by it’s outer shell then an another hard case with a damn annoying flappy thing that gets in the way when you’re videoing or taking pictures, dust still manages to get inside and God only knows what the actual motherboard is like? Whether or not the processor needs reseating I have no clue about that. When we buy stuff, how long have they been sitting on a shelf in the factory they are made from, before released to shops? Phones are miniature computers now, so like any computer the innards need cleaning, twice a year with my computers. Spring and Autumn, including if possible reseating of processor. So why can’t we with our phones? Because they are so damn fiddly and no doubt the processor has been soldered to the board? I bet I have a spider nest in mine, or full of dust bunnies?? I can keep the screen clean and not cracked, but not allowed to clean the inside of it. Dumb proprietary way of thinking.

1 Like

CalyxOS apparently is not slow at all. Faster than Graphene OS at least and more secure than Lineage or Google Android.

Anyway, I’m about to replace my 7 or 8 year old Samsung with a Pixel and CalyxOS on it. My mistake the first time around was thinking that I’d install it later after a few years when the warranty runs out and the phone’s running slower anyway. That’s the disadvantage of Linux and open OSs most of the time - they’re second class citizens on machines not evaluated while they’re brand new. Well, by last year when I decided to install /e/ on my Samsung, I discovered that the USB port isn’t working properly at all and it’s not possible to install anything or even charge it consistently.
So this time around, I’m replacing Google with CalyxOS straight after purchase and testing.

Found this page of useful, online apps via a friend at Vivaldi forum.
All free stuff that might interest the initial “poster” here.

1 Like

on gab since 2017. Let’s connect @jamesread