I don’t often post about anything other than running. Sometimes, though, I want to give you a little background about the tools I use that inform Barefoot Journey and make it tick.

Foundations are the tools I use to create and maintain this blog. They’re the result of the many years I’ve spent on the Net, and a whole lot of exploring and testing.

Ubuntu My home computer, on which I write almost all of my posts, runs Ubuntu 10.10 as its operating system. It’s a popular Linux distribution, and by far the best OS I’ve ever used. (I’m looking forward to the release of Ubuntu 11.04 later this month.) For many years, I was an enthusiastic OS/2 user, and still regret that its development was halted. A couple of jobs in the past saw me using Macintosh computers of various types. I didn’t much like them, though, to be fair, they were early versions. I’ve since checked out Mac OS X, and liked it much more, probably because it’s based on a version of Linux called FreeBSD. [Correction: FreeBSD is actually a fork of BSD UNIX. Thanks to Martin for setting me straight.] I use Microsoft Windows XP Pro at work, but only because I have to. Long story short, Ubuntu rules!

Chromium is my browser of choice. It’s the open source web browser project from which Google Chrome draws its source code. It’s distinguished from Chrome by not having Google’s brand, auto-update mechanism, click-through licensing terms, usage-tracking, and bundling of Adobe Flash Player. Chromium is a clean, fast, and robust browser. It’s user-configurable as all get out – and the fact that it’s open source makes me a happy user.

WordPress This blog wouldn’t be the joy it is if it weren’t for the good folks at (There’s another WordPress – – which is for self-hosted blogs. I don’t care to run my own server, so I use WordPress is a wonderful tool. It’s simple enough for anyone to get into and use well, and full of features that allow for almost endless tweaking. One example of this is the huge number of themes, both free and premium, that are available. I’ve tried a few, and now use one called Duster. WordPress is free, which I think is pretty incredible. (Visitors to the blog see the occasional ad. I’m OK with that, within reason.)

Interactions are the tools that make this blog come alive. Without you, the reader, Barefoot Journey would just be my musings. With your involvement, it becomes something quite wonderful. For that, I’m grateful.

Replies (aka Comments) are what I depend on to know how this blog is being received. Otherwise, it’s a bit like talking to myself. Better yet, regular visitors to the blog have started replying to each other via Replies, which means there’s a bit of a community growing here. That does my heart good. So I encourage you to Reply whenever a blog post tickles your fancy, ticks you off, or otherwise captures your imagination. I promise I’ll respond (and perhaps others will as well).

Share At the bottom of each post page on this blog, you’ll see a Share button. Clicking on that button lets you share the post in different ways, mostly to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Quora, and StumbleUpon. There are also buttons for e-mailing the post to someone and for printing the post. Please use the Share button! The more you do, the more this blog will get publicized, the more people will read it (and hopefully subscribe to it via RRS or e-mail), and the more our community here will grow.

Mail I like getting e-mail. You might want to ask a question, make a comment, or otherwise bend my ear, and would rather not do it via Reply. In that case, feel free to send it to me via I’m always here.

What I’m Reading I also like to read. I read a lot, usually having three or four books on the go at a time. Sometimes they’re about running, but more often they’re about economics, science, or history. I list the books I’m currently reading on the What I’m Reading tab on the front page of this blog. (You’ll have to go directly to it to see that and the other tabs, as they don’t show up in things like Google Reader.) If you’d like me to post a review about one of the books on the list, post a Reply or send an e-mail.


  1. Hi Alan!
    Cool! I also run linux/bsd , Ubuntu being my favourite distro 🙂

    FreeBSD is not based on Linux though. It’s forked from the old BSD UNIX, while Linux is a beast created on its own with UNIX in mind.

    I’m with you on all other accounts, chrome, wordpress and so on! (I might switch to self hosted wordpress to get more control.. )

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