Best 8 Free Software Alternatives for Building an Own hosted custom Social Networks communities


August 16th, 2018

top-7-free-software-alternatives-for-social-networks

Nowdays communiacation between people in different generation is worsening exponentially and as a consequence of the digitalization the real (physical) contact between people is exponentially dropping and this is a fact everyone could realize.

Even in people and more Eastern or sunny countries where traditionally the direct contact has always been of a crucial importance is declining seriously, the social networks such as Facebok, Vkontakte (The Russian space Equivallent of Facebook) – if you have VK and want to add me there My profile there is here , Viber calls, WhatsApp, Instagram, SnapChat and all these are leading people into micro prisons narrowing their worldview up to the box (jail) each of this companies has created for people, just because you don't own the data you communicate over this channels and your data is being used for a severy complicated computerized researches on how you tend to think, how you tend to communicate, what are your triggering keywords and your general mental (mind) structures and cues. Privacy of all of these is also very low as many of this digital medias are designed with the malicious features to serve as a spy networks for end people. Not to mention often data collected about you is being sold to a third party agencies which collect all the time data about product preferences, buying behavior, life style etc.

People who refuse to become part of this electronic prisons built by Megalomaniacs (or Evil Geniuses as Richard Stallman uses to call them), just to name a few Mr. Zack Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs (let him Rest in Peace), Elon Musk are being pushed into the Outside Zone., The more conservative and less exposed to technology older people or youngsters who value more their freedom and privacy, are slowly starting to being separated from the Digitalization and being looked upon like a little crazies who are psychologically sick.
In my opinion two major "camps", are being built, one of the people who doesn't have the skill or money to keep in track with latest technology advancements, these are usually people with lower education different thinking people, people with strong religious convictions, or burn out people who are overloaded by technology's chaotic ways as well as personalities trying to live as less dependent from society and social systems and are mindfully rejecting or limiting the technology use as much as they can.

The boom of Smart Mobile Phones (and the aggressive campaigns of Mobile operators for everyone to own some kind of Smart Phones be it Android, IPhone, BlackBerry etc.) and the imposed on society Digitalization of society by MultiCorporation companies is in my opinion, no doubt a planned process with a clear goals that people's reality is being more and more controlled and spied on not to mention that it is fully possible to Program People to certain degrees by using computer technology, interfaces, Alarms.

social-networks-why-and-how-they-suck-and-make-you-sick

Maybe not much of Citizens has thought over it or realize it but psychologists and peoples in roles within Medias long time are aware of the high role that Social Programming (Social Engineering) historically TV Channels, Radios and Nowadays Internet News / Medias play on disinforming the masses and let them believe an invented stories about wars, problems, famines that doesn't exist to keep them stuck in Fear through Fear Mongering (manipulation techniques). Moreover it is interesting fact that Programming of Human Mind through a slow repeatable processes has been a fact to certain degree and thus with Computers and Mobiles all of us are being programmed subconsciously to things we're not consciously aware (for more on that topic please see my previous article on Color Programming) as well as What is Predictive Programming of Mind (Society) and how it affect us ?

Not to mention the prooven fact that there are psychological mechanisms for making the mind to be addicted to things seen or experienced which are being adopted by Mostly all of large medias on the Internet.

The simplification of access to the Global Net (The Internet) and the unification of (I would say anti-social) web platforms such as Facebook, where mostly all with mid or upper education of people have registrations and are letting you without choice but either to live a lonely life of more or less rejection or join the "company". Those like me who nowadays are abstaining from Facebook and most of modern communication are being cut from the Digitalization slowly.

Through the last 10 – 15  years there has been a serious attempt from Free Software and Hackers to change the game into a more positive and more open frames of communication and give freedom to people with attempts for decentralization of social networks.  Unfortunately it seems we're loosing the Game of Freedom at least in the normal nowadays Highly Filtered and more and more government agencies influenced (not to say controlled) Internet, here I'm excluding from the equation the recent attempts of Alternative thinking hackers (and unfortunately) criminals to build alternative internet spaces such as DarkNet / DeepWeb

As I like to experiment with Free Software in general to explore its business applicability, here is my short results on my experience and yearly research on what is there as a free software that gives you options to build a self hosted social network.

 

 

1. GNU Social (known historically as StatusNet)

GNU-social-logo-free-software-social-network

GNU Social is a kinda of Personal Twitter service top recommended project the project started and seemed to be very promising and I myself some long ago Started an own version of it (s.pc-freak.net) to blog about my daily life obstacles and interesting info I've learned here.

However with time the project StatusNet become GNU Social and my attempts to upgrade it following provided instructions with the GNU Social files were a failure, so I kept the old version of statusnet and abondoned it just to adopt BuddyPress as a way to keep track of my Personal Interests in organized self owned Twitter like service.

gnu-social_screenshot-picture

 

2. BuddyPress

buddypress-free-software-social-network-logo-teaser-logo

BuddyPress (The distributed Multi user Self Owned Social Network based on WordPress)


"Fun & flexible software for online communities, teams, and groups."
This is the official description of the project my own efforts to establish it cost me at least 3 days up to a week just to establish something workable and a couple of more weeks to tailor it to my likings. I was planning to involve other people and build an online social community.
Most of available plugins for BuddyPress for extra-functionality are either old unmaintained or cost you good amount of moneys. I tried allowing Public Members registrations but soon the Network started filling with nasty spammer registrations. The available free plugins for Anti-Spam protection were real pain in the ass so finally I decided to keep the Network closed just to myself.
And create the user registrations manually after a primary email request contact from anyone who wants to own an account. As you could guess, as of time of writting this post, noone is contacting.
Considering SEO side of the network, even though I have around hundred posts with Videos, Music, Books, information and various Life Stuff of importance somehow Google, Yandex and Bing are indexing the pages (only about 350 pages are properly indexed). I tried to research why is that in Google Search console and Recrawl the site a couple of times, none of that didn't give me a very meaningful answers why BuddyPress Social network posted pages by my user are not ending up indexed properly in Search Engines and I don't have the full time to further investigate why is that, so anyone who is more advanced to Search Engine optimization (or better said have the time desite to help)   me with this project is mostly welcome to contact me and we can collaborate and perhaps grow that network.
 

 

buddypress-demo-free-software-social-network-alternative.png

 

3. Elgg Social Network

 

elgg-free-software-social-network-logo-full.svg

A highly customizable web framework and CMS for building social apps with PHP and MySQL. – however my personal experience with Elgg few years ago just shows, elgg is far from ready for a productive use, and anyone who want to start an Online Social Network has to seriously work with at least of small team of developers and system administrators and testers to make the thing good enough for daily use for the masses. There are some Elgg based social networks out there performing, however the project needs much more work until it is ready for an easy and mass use and anyone who is willing to build a custom social network needs to seriously invest a good amount of money for it to be tailored and maintained properly and the multitued of its bugs to be fixed. 
 

elgg-free-software-social-network-test-experimental-dashboard

 

4. Pligg

Is a a Free software social network designed from scratch with the help of many contributors to help you build up your website. This open source social network software can be used  used and helps to lively setup communities, similar to Facebooks.  Anyways for anyone who is willing to invest time and nerves, let him try and understand the project is still far from completeness.

Historically I tried to install Pligg as I was investigating on best options to build a free software based social network in 2015 but though I was aable to bring a workable version the spam problem still persisted and I brought down Pligg install in a couple of days because of its lack of enough functionality plugins and rapid development, as overall my personal experience was that Elgg was a much more grown product ready for use …

 

5. Oxwall

 

oxwall-logo

"Oxwall® is an open source mobile-friendly community website platform that is suitable for brand communities, interest-based social networks, and other online community projects."
Oxwall has been actively developed since 2010 after the team behind it developed plenty of community site projects.
Today Oxwall is a strong project with 3rd party development community.

It uses PHP and MySQL environment for social network development. It comes with a varied range of plugins that helps you personalize with add-ons to add functionality to the website. Its CMS is compatible with both small and large scale networking sites and even with executive websites.
I never personally tried Oxwall.

 

oxwall-free-software-social-network-demo-page-screenshot

 

The development process is done by a  small but dedicated team of 22 peoples which makes the project quite promising, but as the other options availabe for building an self hosted social network community, the project has still a long way to go …

I have never tried to install and use it myself but the site offered demo (you can see it here) seems promising and seems to make Oxwall an adequate competitor to ELGG.


 

6. AstroSpaces

 

astrospaces-free-software-social-network-logo

Claiming to be the world's first open source social networking solution. Coded from scratch, it is highly efficient and very easy to use. As you can imagine its neither the first nor among the ones to easily build you workable solution, but for those who have intention to build something similar to facebook to the masses with the right Finances and Crowd Up raising or Business Angels eventually it can turn into something usuable with a lot of work and the right people

These free software (open source) based social networks are into a workable state, but because the enormous size of such projects and the fact that these projects are being done on a primary voluntееrs with almost little or none financial investitions the projects are moving slowly, have a lot of bugs, have a higher complexity to install and use by an ordinary uneducated people with little to less experience in the fields such as programming or system administration.

 

 

6. Mixxt is a social network design company, developing social extranets and intranets. It enables collaboration, communication, and Knowledge management through a single tool. It has a dedicated platform for fast development and enhancement. Develop your site with the help of custom designs, forums, wikis, and photos.

 

7. XOOPS

(XOOPS) is claiming or aiming to be "a classic tool for evolving from small to big community sites, intra-company web portals, and more. XOOPS has a modular format that can be extended as per needs. The web content management system helps in it. You may start with a blog and further augment it into a social networking website and with more functionality.
The module that is used to build a website with XOOPS is Yogurt. Environments used are MySQL, Linux, PHP, and Apache. But mainly MySQL and PHP are used. YouTube, friend list, pictures, communities, mp3 tracks, wall to post your messages are some of the features of XOOPS.".
Obviously even a little experiments with it shows, that the project has still a long way to go until it is usable enough without much tailoring for production use.

xoops-free-software-social-network-demo-site-admin

 

 

To sum it up, all of the 7 top free software social network projects gives a lot of options for free (if you have a network of dedicated developers with passion who are ready to commit work for free), mostly all of them offered a custom tailored packages with Themes and plugins sold for few hundred of dollars, for those who don't want to make things from scratch. But nomatter that developing a full featured ready to use solution, that is less buggy is amount of at least moderate to big investments.

If you happen to be a person who have an bright idea for the next competitor of Facebook at some time in future, you need to invest a lot and have to build an excellent company team and put the right amount of money / management effort to make the project succeed. However for a small and unpretencious social communities of up to few hundred of users (1000 to 100 000) users or so with the right scaling each of above projects could play well.

 

If you're interested just like me to build an alternative less-restricted more human rights respecting social network as an alternative to the already overcrowded commercial ones out there please get in contact with me, and perhaps we together can make a change  for better!

 

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What Every Body is Saying – one of Best books on Body Language ever written


August 14th, 2018

how-to-learn-to-read-people-and-become-a-better-communicator-What-every-body-is-saying-book-cover

Those interested in People Reading or holding a Management position position job inside some Small or Mid sized corporation could benefit greatly of a Book called
What Every Body is Saying

What Every Body is Saing is written by an ex-FBI Agent (JOE NAVANNO), probablythere are no actually ex-FBI agents, but that's a topic for another post.

The book is quick to read, especially if you follow the pictures of Body postures shown with their little description below.
Many of the Body Languages so commonly adopted by multitudes of people, thanks to the American of the Culture world-wide are being practiced
in some degree in mostly all people you might know (mostly unconsciously) …


What Every Body is Saying could be of a great help to people who want to make through in life and for Start-up company CEOs, Human Resource Managers, or anyone who want to better learn to communicate and Influence People.

Even in a normal family relations, being able to properly identify the Body Language of your Wife or kids would seriously benefit you and if you keep attention (focus) would reveal there short term-plans.

what-sitting-posture-is-sayingbook-what-every-body-is-saying

Adopting some of the suggested body languages in the book would definitely help you improve how people perceive you and practising some so called "Confident postures" could even boost your Confidence levels dramatically both when you're alone or when you are in a group of people or A Company Team Meeting.

Reading the Person Body language is of a great help also to understand the approximate Emotional / Spiritual state the person in front of you is and even if applied proparly could help you make the person or group of people be positively influenced to change from a negative to positive mindset
or when working on a project, could help you dramatically to make the people work more efficiently and boost their motivation / mood about the things, they have to someday do anyways.

The reader has to know of course that most of the mentioned body language cues are generalizations and in order to find out the exact messages being sent on non-verbal communication level depends on a multiple factors and many of the Body languages talked might be in a modified form and even some could be totally different from any of the described of the book.

However the observation practice (at least mine) shows that at least 60-70% of the described Body Language postures are adopted and used by mostly anyone out there.
To check the validity of the things described in the books just sit somewhere in a park or in a bar / caffeteria and watch carefully how people interact, you will be surprised how many things are being communicated non-verbally and how often the lack of one of the two, or two have severe communication issues, just because they couldn't synchronize their body language or lack the ability to read the other interlocutor's processed and communicated intentions.

The book when red at least for me was a wide eyes opener and even though as a Christian, I've always been doubting that any-generalization model trying to frame up people is very untrue and trying to influence people with your Body Language is bad sinful (kinda of satanic) practice, realizing that even Christians does communicate and do use body language (because they're conditioned by the society they lived in), that means that improving your Body Language to be more convincing in mostly anti-christian society we live can do you good favour to be adequate in society, or at least you can be aware of the existence of the Body Language and its meaning.

By the way, many of the models and gestures as translated described as a behaviour body interpretations are perhaps highly used nowadays by Agents across all the major Secret Services agencies such as CIA, MI6, KGB, Mussad etc.

book-what-every-body-is-saying_or-how-to-improve-your-daily-relations-by-reading-people

This kind of things are learned in most business universities nowadays, but the way the Body Reading / Influencing knowledge is communicated in Business universities is a disaster, because it is usually compiled by Professors who alone are not expert or haven't been advanced enough in body language.
Thus even like that if you read the book, I'm sure you will benefit and perhaps reread it at least a couple of times in the coming years …

A summary of the book goes like this:

1. It starts with a short story on how the author get acquainted to the knowledge of body language and his personal life events

The author Joe Navarro was an emigrant from Cuba to US as the age of 8, because the author inability to speak English at all, his best way to understand what the other was saying or communicating in the first few years in US was to observe closely what the person in front was communicating non-verbally and makes guesses, what that could be.
His family and grandmother also played a key role to help him learn the craft of Body Language reaading.

Growing up and graduating college in the age of Baby Boomers, Joe Navarro was hired in FBI where he spend the following years as an agent specializing in Counter Intelligence
and behavior assessment.

2. It continues as the knowledge on Body interprations is being served in a very stuffed manner

 

what-everybody-is-saying-back-book-cover

The 3 key things to remember out of the book goes like that:

    A. At least 60% of what you say is not coming out of your mouth.
    B. There’s one more option next to fight or flight responce our brain does automatically
    C. To become a master at reading body language, you have to develop situational awareness.

The book claims that people tend to be stuck into 3 main states (as a result of the evolutionary development of species (Creationists and Christian fundamentalists could argue seriously here 🙂 ) , whenever facing a difficult situation these are:

  • Freeze
  • Fight
  • Flight

To sum up if you're looking for new ways to improve your current relationships with people and build a new ones, the book would definitely help you tremendously.
I've found the book in a PDF format with few simple searches online so those who can't afford it could also download it from the internet (at least as of time of writting this article).
A lot of the exampled Body confidence / influence postures described in the book you will find on mostly any Kids Cartoon and Internet top shows and in mostly everybody from TED Talks show and mostly all Youtube educational videos and podcasterers.

That's all Folks, Enjoy reading!

 

 

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A lightweight Email Client Graphical client for old computers with Linux (Claws)


August 12th, 2018

claws-email-logo-best-email-leightweight-client-for-older-computer-configurations-with-linux.

If you happen to be system administrating an old computers with some 512 Megabytes of RAM or 1 Gigabyte of Memory with preinstalled some archaic version of GNU / Linux distro such as Slackware, Calderra Linux,  Debian / Ubuntu / Fedora etc. and there is suddenly need to use this PCs with a decent graphical email client for its existing GUI environment LXDE / XFCE / WindowMaker / Mate etc. then Mozilla Thunderbird

Definitely won't be the client of choice especially if you have to add 5 or 10 email accounts (with a few hundred of emails laying on the remote mail server) to be periodically fetched via POP3 or IMAP protocol.

Of course there is always the option to just use a simple Text Email clients such as Fetchmail, PINE or MUTT and unload the PCs memory and CPU with the simplistic text interface however as most people are totally unacquainted with Linux console or terminal, for most that won't be the option of choice.
 

  • So what is the best solution for a lightweight Graphical Email Client for Linux for Old Computers ?


!!! Say Hello to Sylpheed CLAWS EMail Desktop client !!!

Best-Email-client-for-old-computers-with-Linux-Sylpheed-Claws_1-screenshot-on-Window-Maker

 

 

linux:~# apt-cache show claws-mail|grep -i descrip -A 3 -B 1
Breaks: claws-mail-extra-plugins (<< 3.9.1-1)
Description-en: Fast, lightweight and user-friendly GTK+2 based email client
 Claws Mail is a powerful and full-featured mail client formerly called
 Sylpheed-Claws. It is also extensible using loadable plugins, which can
 provide support for additional features, like other storage formats,
 feed reader, calendar management, mail filtering, etc.

Description-md5: f9d9f85803d938ab3d5fbc85f90e263a
Multi-Arch: foreign
Homepage: http://www.claws-mail.org
Section: mail

 

A. Installing Claws Email on Debian Linux distribution
 

Assuming you need to install claws on Debian based Linux distributions;

 

debian:~# apt-get install –yes claws-mail

 


B. Installing Claws on Fedora Linux distribution

For older Fedora Linux:
 

[root@fedora ~:]# yum install claws-mail

 

On a newer Fedora Linux installations (for those who are already used to Claws and migrate to a newer computer with a fresh Fedora install)
 

[root@fedora ~:]# dhf install claws-mail

 

Note that newer versions of Fedora Linux the default yum package manager has been substituted for the newer and (said to be more) advanced dhf
 

C. Installing Claws email on Slackware Linux

Claws Mail is also available as a (Tar XZ – That's a slackware highly compressed .tar.gz equivallent which saves a lot of space for its packages), to install on slack get the package from the CD / DVD or download from internet and:

 

darkstar:~# installpkg claws-mail*.txz

 


By the way Claws mail might be also the email client of choice (for those who don't have to be bound by the slavery of Office 365 / Microsoft Office and transporters and Active Domain Controller Directory with Outlook Express.

windows_claws-email-lightweight-email-client-screenshot

Even on old Computers with Microsoft Windows Claws email (which has also a Windows 32 Bit Port) might be among the best options for those who value their computer resources and interface simplicity and hence want to save memory and CPU load.

That is it,  try and enjoy Sylpheed Claws !

 

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Qmail redirect mail to another one and keep local Mailbox copy with .qmail file – Easy Set up email forwarding Qmail


August 11th, 2018

Qmail redirect mail box to another one with .Qmail file dolphin artistic logo

QMail (Considered to be the most secure Mail server out there whose modified version is running on Google – Gmail.com and Mail Yahoo! and Yandex EMail (SMTP) servers, nowadays has been highly neglected and considered obsolete thus most people prefer to use postfix SMTP or EXIM but still if you happen to be running a number of qmail old rack Mail servers (running a bunch of Email addresses and Virtual Domains straight on the filesystem – very handy by the way for administration much better than when you have a Qmail Mail server configured to store its Mailboxes within MySQL / PostgreSQL or other Database server – because simple vpopmail configured to play nice with Qmail and store all user emails directly on Filesystem (though considered more insecure the email correspondence can be easily red, if the server is hacked it is much better managable for a small and mid-sized mailserver) or have inherited them from another sys admin and you wonder how to redirect a single Mailbox:

(under domain lets say domain's email  my-server1.com should forward to to SMTP domain my-server-whatever2.com (e.g. your-email-username@server-whatever1.com is supposed to forward to your-email-username2@server-whatever2.com).
To achieve it create new file called .qmail

Under the Qmail or VirtualDomain location for example:

/var/qmail/mailnames/myserver1.com/username/.qmail

 

e.g
 

root@qmail-server:~# vim /var/qmail/mailnames/myserver1.com/your-email-username/.qmail
&your-email-username@server-whatever1.com

your-email-username@example1.com
/home/vpopmail/domains/server-whatever2.com/your-email-username/Maildir/


!!! NOTE N.B. !!! the last slash / after Maildir (…Maildir/) is important to be there otherwise mail will not get delivered
That's all now send a test email, just to make sure redirection works properly, assuming the .qmail file is created by root, by default the file permissions will be with privileges root:root.

Note
 

That shouldn't be a problem at all. That's all now enjoy emails being dropped out to the second mail 🙂

 

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How to stop REDSHIFT night light brightness and color saturation eye strain protection on GNU / Linux


August 7th, 2018

http://jonls.dk/assets/redshift-icon-256

You know on most operating systems such as Windows 8 / 10 ,  Mac OS X as well as  GNU / Linux / BSDs (FreeBSD) etc. with graphical environments such as  GNOME / KDE etc. , there is this default functionality nowadays that is helping to reduce eye strain and improve night sleep by modifying the light and brightness as well as coloring eminated by the monitor. 

On Windows this technology is called Night Light and is easily enabled by nagivating through menus:

 

Start  > Settings  > System > Display > Night light > Night light settings.


set-your-display-windows-night-time-windows-os-10

Windows 10 Night Time settings shot

On GNU / Linux and BSD-es the eye strain application that comes preinstalled by default on most distributions is redshift – for more what is redshift check out my previous article get more peaceful night sleep on Ubuntu, Mint and Xubuntu Linux.

There is also the alternative to use F.lux (which by the way is used to prevent eye strain on Mac OS X and was the program of choice to prevent eye strain in older Windows versions)

Even though Night Light / and redshift monitor color warmth change is often mostly useful and have a positive impact improving sleep as well removes eye strain on Linux my experience with it is not too positive as it changes the monitor color gamma and makes it often quite reddish and annoying even through a normal day and not only night time.
This makes the work experience on the computer not pleasurable thus just removing it for me and I guess for many would be a must.

Assuming that you have installed Free software OS such as Linux with redshift (note that on on older releases of Deb and RPM package based distributions: you will have to manually install it with something like:)

On Debian based distros with:
 

root@debian:~# apt-get install –yes redshift redshift-gtk


On RPM Fedora / Cent OS, Redhat Enterprise Linux etc. with a command like:

 

[root@fedora]# yum install –yes redshift redshift-gtk

redshift-on-KDE-settings-menu

Redshift settings on Linux with KDE GUI

So in order to remove redshift it completely from Linux which usually on most GNU / Linux distros is running as a default process

redshift-change-monitor-brightness-to-reduce-eye-strain-gnome

 

 

 

 

 


1. * Make sure you kill all processes called redshift and redshift-gtk


to do so check processes with same name and KILL 'EM ALL!:
 

root@linux:~# ps aux|grep -i redshift
hipo     44058  2.8  0.5 620980 42340 pts/2    Sl+  20:33   0:00 /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/redshift-gtk
hipo     44059  0.1  0.0 295712  6476 pts/2    Sl+  20:33   0:00 /usr/bin/redshift -v

root@linux:~# kill -9 44058 44059
 


2. * Set the color temperature of the Monitor / Screen back to 6500K (this can be done either by the button menu that most screens have)


or manually with redshift itself by executing command:

 

root@linux:~# redshift -O 6500


As the screen is back to normal color gamma, its now time to completely remove redshift in order to prevent it to mess up with your monitor colors, on next PC boot or on Gnome / Mate whatever UI used session logout.

To do so issue commands:

 

 

root@linux:~# dpkg –purge redshift redshift-gtk
(Reading database … 516053 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing redshift-gtk (1.11-1) …
Purging configuration files for redshift-gtk (1.11-1) …
Removing redshift (1.11-1) …
Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2) …
Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.17-2) …
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.61) …
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-11) …
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-3) …
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47+b1) …

3. Enjoy normal colors on your monitor  Goodbye Forever REDSHIFT, goodbuy dark crappy Screen during the day. Hello normal Screen light !!! 🙂

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Virtual Keyboard for Linux and other Freedom respecting operating Systems


July 30th, 2018

How to install and Use Linux Virtual Keyboard and other freedom respecting Operating Systems

  •  Looking for a quick way to use VIRTUAL KEYBOARD ON LINUX COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM, you can do it just this 1 task in 3 simple steps  ???
    – Logical question emerges, WHY ??? would you need a virtual keyboard on Free Software OS such as Linux?
    Well, just because sometimes it is much more secure to use a Virtual Keyboard, especially if you have doubt that your keyboard has been tapped or a Key Logger (Sniffer), intercepting the Keyboard IN / OUT jacks, is installed on the computer or you might have sit on a computer of ,a friend running Linux, and you want to make sure he did not install sniffer to intercept your ,SSH login passwords and ,later hack into your Servers, after stealing, the password

 

  • Assuming you're on : – Debian / Ubuntu Linux, or other of the numerous IT systems such as ,FreeBSD / OpeBSD etc. out there, you can run simply this commands:

     

  •  apt-get install –yes florence
    * A. To make it, easily invokable for laters, create a small bash, shell script in directory; – location /usr/bin/virtual-keyboard like, the one below:

    vim /usr/bin/virtual-keyboard

    * B.. INside the file Place following 1 liner code
     

    #!/bin/sh
    /usr/bin/florence

     

    * C… To later invoke it any time:
    Press ALT + F2 (or use Run Command Dialog in GNOME / KDE / Windomaker / IceWM whatever or any other crazy graphic environment of your choice and run:

    /usr/bin/virtual-keyboard

 

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* How to stop unattended upgrades on Debian / Ubuntu and other deb based Linux


July 21st, 2018

If you wondered how to stop the annoying automatic upgrades that push unknown software in background loading the computer while you browse or work and Why here is how:

* 1. Stop Annoying Unattended Upgrades on Debian and Ubuntu Linux

As root you have to execute following command
linux:~# apt-get remove –yes unattended-upgrades

And TA DA DAAA DAA DAaM !!!
 

* From now if you like to upgrade to latest in order to upgrade you can do it manually with these 3 commands:

linux:~# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade dist-upgrade

Your thanks to me are very welcome

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Saint King Boris feast and a Holy Liturgy in the Great Basilica of Pliska – 2nd of May 2018


May 3rd, 2018

Pliska-Great-Basilica-air-view-biggest-medieval-church-Europe

Pliska is the first capital of Bulgaira and an ancient city that traces its roots back to the Baptizmal of Bulgaria by Saint King Boris (The Baptizer of Bulgarian lands and Slavonic People) the feast is of a great importance for Bulgaria to be pressent on the map of Europe over the last XV centuries since Bulgaria's establishment in 681 A.D. 

 

Pliska which is an enormous architectural complex dated from IX / X century hsa played a pivotal role for the Baptizmal process of Bulgarian nation as it was King Boris's palace at that time and the Christianization of Bulgarians and Slavonic (natioons) people started exactly in the newly built so called Great Basilica of Pliska  which was an archibishop seat and a central Monastery and Palace Church of Bulgaria, the building was completed approximately in 875 A.D. and was the biggest Cathedral church in Europe for about 1000 years onwards with the gigantic area of 2,920 square meters (31, 400 ft).

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20 century reconsturction of the Church walls based on descriptions from history annals 

The Basillica was build on top of ruins of older Bulgar pagan temple and has martyrium (a place dedicated to a martyr who has been martyred there) as many of the ancient Churches had. It is believed that the martyrium may be Saint (Boyan) Enravota – the first Bulgarian saint (circa 833). The basillica has a form of a Cross shaped mausuleum.

 

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Reconstruction of walls left part of the Altar


The archibishop residence was north and south of the basillica on the northern yard there was a residential building with a bath which included hypocaust (an ancient water warming system). Building south of the cathedral was used as school and scriptorium. Nearby the basillica are situated necropolis (most likely monk graves).

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Pliska Sarcophagus near the Great Basillica Church altar

As with every basilica of that time there is a special allocated place of the Church for nobles. Yard northside was used as a kitchen and a dining room and accomodated other monsatic buildings.


The Old Basilica reconstruciton original model should have looked something similar to below picture which is found in the Museum (which holds a little part of the artefacts found) situated about 1.5 kilometer from the Basilica.

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A presumable reconstruction model of the Old Basilica

On 2nd of May KIng Boris Feast in 2015 for a first time since many centuries in memoriam of 1150 years since Christianization of Bulgaria in the Great Basilica was served an Eastern Orthodox Christian (an open air) Holy Liturgy headed by the Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit with many Metropolitans guests from other Eastern Orthodox national Churches where the ex-president Rosen Plevneliev and the Living ancestor King Simeon the III-rd was present.

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Patriarch Neofit Patriarch and head of Bulgarian Orthodox Church blessing in Great Basilica y. – 2018

The event in 2015 was continued with the idea to become an yearly event on the feast of Saint King Boris each 2nd of May yesterday in 2018 by the Metropolitan of Varna and Veliko Preslav his eminence Metropoltian Ioan (John).

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Orthodox Christian Believers in the Great Basilica Preslav 2018 (People gathered being transported by free of charge buses organized by the Eparchy from Dobrich, Varna, Shumen, Targovishte 

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Fr. Peter reading The Apostle readings

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Metropolitan Ioan (John) of Varna and Veliki Preslav Blessing in Holy Liturgy 2018

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The Holy Altar with the Holy Sacraments in Pliska Basilica in 2018 (Metropolitan Ioan and his deacon)

The Church service was a big gathering for the region (if we take the fact that the current town Pliska has about 900 citizens and is in practice a village), the overall present people were perhaps about 200 to 250. More than 1/3 of the priests (38 priests) from the whole Eparchy served the service together with the Bishop. The weather before the service was rainy but just after the service and onwards, it came sunny again just like it was saint King Boris with all the Christian saints rejoiced to see so many Christians gather together just like the times when Christianity started to spread from this same place over the lands of Bulgaria country and later during the golden age throughout the territories of Bulgarian Empire and all the Slavonic borderlines such as nowadays Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia. 

The whole set of pictures from saint King Boris feast in Pliska can be seen on the official  website of Varna and Veliko Preslav eparchy here

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Ancient Orthodox Christian Monastery Patleina and Great Preslav the First Bulgarian Kingdom Capital city near Shumen


February 14th, 2018

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Recently I had the great oportunity to Visit another two great History Landmarks of my homeland Bulgaria the monastery Patleina (Saint Pantaleon (known in Slavonic tradition as Panteleimon) – in memoriam of the great healer Christian Saint) where according to Orthodox Church tradition and archeologists is the historical monastery where Saint (Tzar) King Boris the Baptizer of Bulgaria has concluded his early life as humble monk praying for the heavenly blessing and prosperity of his young Christinized Country Bulgaria.

Saint Panteleimon is famous in west Roman-Catholic Christian tradition to be one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers a patron of doctors and herbalists especially famous during the middle ages 14-19 century summoned by people as a shield against various diseases and asked for help for untreatable sicknesses.

Besides the famous monastery Patleina region is a natural reserve 40,62 hectars in North-East Bulgaria, after 893 just few years after the Christianization of Bulgaria in 865 by King Boris the region is famous for being a host of a world famous ancient Presval Literary School near the region are found the oldest known cyriic datable inscriptionsJust to name a few of the famous Preslav Literary School authors that is Saint Naum of Preslav, Bishop Constantine of Preslav (Author of Alphabet Prayer), Historics and various other ancient Bulgarian spiritual literature, John the Exarch, Tchernorizets Hrabar etc.

Notable to see near Patleina monastery are Orthodox Christian icon craftman workshops.

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Ceramic Icon Workshops near Patleina region (picture source Wikipedia)

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Just 6 km away from Patleina is situated another Great Historical Landmark, the first Bulgarian capital Great Preslav (Veliki Preslav).
 

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9th century Monastery Patleina Church wall remains – picture source Pravoslavieto.com

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Patlejna (Also known as Saint King Boris Monastery) IX century entrance Church wall remains
 

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Patleina IX century monastery Church alter view
 

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Veliki Preslav the famous Ceramic Icon found during archeological excavations in Patleina Monastery (2 km away from Veliki Preslav)
The icon style reminds of Byzantine art of 10 century, the icon image looks very much alike saint Theodor Stratilates though it not 100% proven whose image does the icon depicts – It is interesting fact that Patleinas craftman workshops are believed to be the biggest ceramic workshops on Balkans in 10th century consisting of a separate ceramic plates – picture source Wikipedia

Besides its  ancient monastery and archeological excavations Patleina region is famous for being a reserve keeping one rare type of tree Carob Tree (or Ceratonia siliqua).

Just about 300 meters away from the ancient monastery Patleina there is functioning monastery that was recently restored bought back by Bulgarian Orthodox Church from the Government, the monastery building started in the 1930s (in which Bulgaria was in a serious spiritual and economical boom, however the building completed right before the completion of the Second World War before 9.09.1944 the date at which the Third Bulgarian Kingdom finished its existence and the communist came to power.

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Saint Panteleimon Monastery Patleina region – (notice the unusual architecture, the whole monastery is one big rounded monastic wall

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Saint Panteleimon Monastery near Veliki Preslav (picture source pravoslavieto.org)

The monastery saint Panteleimon was planned as in impressive building as in the 30's there was a hope for a restoration of Patleina as a spiritual center that will elevate itself to the importance it once had in the 9th century for the raise of Bulgarian Empire, the building is 4 floor and has the shocking number of 120 rooms. 
The fresh air and nature all surrounding it makes it a great place for rest for people who are overwhelmed by their daily stressful life and as far as I understood there is possibility for renting some of the rooms for a couple of days for pilgrims or even tourists.

Currently the whole enormous monastery is inhabited by only one monk Hieromonk Father Constantne who is also appointed as an Abbot of the Monastery and is in process of doing his best for restoration of the monastery and building a monastic brotherhood.

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Hieromonk Konstantin (the only abbot and monk of saint Panteleimon monastery near Shumen)

As it is visible from the picture (the boxes under the icon of the Virgin Mary) the monastery has holy relics of Saint Panteleimon and relics of few other saints. What is interesting about father Konstantin is he used to be working in the Bulgarian Atomic Central (AEC Kozlodoi) scientific work before he converted to become a fervent Christian. 

After father Konstantin understood God is a reality he decided to dedicate his life to Christ and he used to be a (novice – neophyte) in the Holy Mouth Athos monk republic in the Bulgarian Monastery saint George for 8 years!!!

It seems in this years father Konstantin realized he would be more helpful to become a monk in Bulgaria instead of Holy Mount Athos as here in Bulgaria, there is a lack of monks at the moment Bulgaria has according to what I heard a maximum of about 200 (monks and nuns) which is critically low.

Holy Liturgy Church service is being served regularly in the small monastic Church which is more looking like a Chapel and is on the first floor situated in the monastery building.

Father Constantine is famous for his hospitally just like most of the Holy Athos monks and right after the Sunday Service it is a tradition to feed all his guests, as a guests we were richly fed and we shared his lunch table just like Agape (the dinners of love of ancient Christian times).

To find out more about Saint Panteleimon Monastery check out the monastery official site here.

Very near to Patleina Monastery there are other great landmarks for those interested in archeology as Veliki Preslav (Great Preslav) the first Bulgarian Capital and Ancient Center of Orthodoxy who had a major influence on Russian Cyrillic and Orthodoxy and from where most likely many Christian icons and books were transferred later to Russia to help them raise their spirituality after Baptizmal of Russia is situated just few km away.

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Entrance Walls fortress Great Preslav (picture source Izvora)

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Fortress Walls Great Preslav – The First Bulgarian Capital (ruins from the IX-Xth century) – picture source Wikipedia

In the historical Veliki Preslav the most notable archeological remain is the so called Golden Church

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Great Preslav the famous Golden Church – the Church was partially restored to show the visitor how approximately it might have looked like in the X-XII century (The church was found during archeological excavations in 1927-1928 by Krystio Miatev and Jordan Gospodinov – according to  written sources from 907 by Tudor Doksov, the Church coincides with the Church built by Simeon I the Great who proclaimed himself an Emperor of Bulgaria 

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Preslav the Golden Church (also famous as the Round Church) – picture source fonstola.ru

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Cross on a Stone The Round Church – photograped by Angel Pavlov


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Patleina and Great Preslav region view

Another Memorial Church worthy to visit in the region is situated on another fortress nearby to Great Preslav. The Memorial Church has the size of a Cathedral and is one of the biggest Cathedral Churches in Bulgaria.
 

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Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius Memorial Church (In veneration of the creators of Glagolic Alphabet, later Bulgarian Cyrillic Alphabet)

St. St. Cyril and Methodius Church was planned as a memoriam of Saint Methodius (1000 years since his passing to Christ) planned to be build earlier in 1890s but delayed and later built in memorium of the Christianization of Bulgaria and 1000 years passed since the glorious Rule of King Simeon I, the Church building works completed thanks to Metropolitan Simeon in 1926 (the building works were delayed from 1897 'till 1918) A.D..

Very near the Church, one can see the ruins of another old Monastery dating again from the IX – X century, the construction is of a massive craved stone and was a masterpiece in the X century.

As an ex monastery the place can be considered holy as well and some people says it along with Veliki Preslov are a Gracious Energy filled places that can positively impact the human spirit.

Very near is situated also an Archeological Museum containing some of the artefacts found in Patleina, Veliki Preslav and the surrounding monasteries  – the museum is in the list of 100 Bulgarian National Museums and Landmarks.

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Archeological Museum Great Preslav – picture source 100 Bulgarian National Landmarks

The museum has a very unique collection of artefacts and the entrance costs of 5 EUR is bearable, note that it's closed on Sundays.
The museum has an overall of 35 000 objects but unfortunately only 1700 artefacts are shown for the visitor, it is notable for holding one of the largest collection middle age Byzantine insignias, The Preslav Golden Treasure, bronze silver and ceramic artefacts.

The archeologists so far has determined that Veliki Preslav with all its Past Greatness and enormous territory, Churches and surrounding monasteries nearby has been planned as a rivalry Empire city to Constantinople and Preslav will definitely impress you if you're keen into archeology and history, hope you visit it soon, Enjoy! 🙂

 

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A great way to relax visit to Sliven Cathedral, Planetarium ( Observatory ) and an Ancient History museum in Yambol, Bulgaria


January 29th, 2018

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It is very odd that nowadays most of people, don't know even their own countries but visit many other countries and significant places, without even knowing the hidden gems (the great places you can relax in) in their own country. I'm not exception to this rule and I've never made a trip visit through whole Bulgaria even though I live here most of the time for the last 34 years of my life. Just before Christmas, I was in Pomorie Monastery for a 4 days spiritual and physical rest and it happened that one of the Monks Father Sergij with his novice monk Damian had to travel to a village near Yambol for an unexpected funeral of the Godfather of Damian.

Since they were about to travel to Jambol (Yambol) and there was 2 places in the car, they agreed to take me and my wife for a short few hours trip to Yambol. And that's how I got the great chance to visit Yambol, Bulgaria for a first time in life. I didn't know what to expect as I've never been in Yambol but only have been near by in Bakadjika's Monastery and the nearly organized Motorcycle Show Rocker feast just one time.

1. A first stop Sliven Cathedral Saint Demetrius Sliven

We jumped into the Car and father Sergij drove us to Yambol with a few minutes stop in Sliven, because father Sergij had something to do in the Metropolitan Building (Bishop Residence) in Sliven (just for info Yambol is a spiritual district of Sliven and the city is governed by Sliven's Metropolitan Joanikije), meanwhile we used the time while hiero-deacan Sergij was on his visit with the metropolitan to eat some food and have a 10 minutes walk around and a few minutes to pray in the Cathedral Sliven's Church Saint Demetrius of Sliven

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Cathedral Church saint Demetrius of Thesaloniki holds icon of saint Demetrius of Sliven

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Holy Icons of Saint Demetrius of Sliven the New Martyr (A Bulgarian Christian Martyr of the Turkish / Ottoman Slavery)

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The Church Interior a Holy Liturgy Snapshot with his eminence metropolitan Joanikij

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The Holy Relics of Saint Demetrius of Sliven new martyr

Here in Sliven, it is interesting facts that earlier there was quite an attempt from Roman-Catholicism missionaries to take over the Christian Orthodox people but by God's grace and efforts of the Holy Synod and the bishops who were governing the city, catholicism never spread widely even though catholics did they best to attract people by means of money, free education and other various mathods which franciscans and other catholic missionaries use.

Sliven historically has always been a city of revolutionaries and played a key role during the Bulgarian-Turkish Liberation war, the city has given a multitude of national heroes, it also an important war preparation center both during The Ottoman Bulgarian slavery as well as onwards during the years of communism 1944-1989, even nowdays there is a military forces in the city, near the city are a lot atomic shelters left from communism carved as caves in the mountains. Other interesting thing about Yambol is that near it are located the so called Blue Stones, which are rich of uraninite and therefore near it the region is higher in radiation.

2. Visit to the Planetarium (Observatory) in a Mathematics High School and a History museum in Yambol

Onwards we jumped in the car and travelled to (Yambol) Jambol – an old thracian city which lies on both banks of Tundzha river which lies in the historical region of Thrace. Near Jambol there is a historical ancient thracian city Kabyle.

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Ancient Thracian City near Yambol – Kabile

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Yambol Park Ormana (picture source Wikipedia)

It is interesting Yambol Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Yambol.

To be honest my first impressions from Yambol were much far from excitement, you see some old buildings left from communism situated on a stiff places in a short it looked like a city of ruins of an old communist experiment, but if you put away the not ideal architecture and communistic landmarks and the kind of little depressing mood (maybe partially because of the winter) and partially because of the many buildings that are to gone through repairment works or be totally destroyed, once seeing the river and the sideview of short mountains, the mood cheers up a bit and one things maybe I was over pessimistic about this place, after all there also live people like us and perhaps they had a lof things we miss in our places.

 

Yambol center area makes big difference from rest of the city, as it seems shortly being reconstructed and it looks pretty much new and shiny while compared to rest of the city.

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Yambol city center, the 4 domes buillding leftside is an ex-turkish Bathroom, the other right side dome bld. is a Mosque
(Notice how odd and unusual seems to see some Ottoman Medieval buildings mixture with the Concrete high-heel buildings) – picture source Delnik

On our way to the city center, we passed through a Armenian Apostolic  Church building Serp Agop, all surrounded by a buildings which looked in a post-war state

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Armenian Apostolic Church – saint Agop Yambol
 

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Yambol city in pictures (src. Wikipedia)
 

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Yambol Panoramic view from Borovets (src. Wikipedia)

After having a walk on the city center, went to a caffeteria had a coffee with Svetlana and walked near river, we went to see the Ancient history museum, which keeps a lot of artefacts found in the Kabyle ancient Thracian village, the museum is also rich of national folklore costumes traditional for the regions, artefacts left from the Turkish-Russian liberation war an exposition of local poems, writtings, information about local customs connected with ancient Thracians and mostly a lot of artefacts before Christ.

To find the location of Yambol history museum, we had to ask some local people, as the museum is situated in a building that is not on the main centrain square but a bit aside in a cross street nearby.

After having really enjoyable time in the Museum, we went to look for the Planetarium (Observatory) which in my opinion is the greatest attraction in Yambol.
I've been to a Planetarium somewhere in Bulgaria one time as a kid and this experience has inspired me so much that later on in school the cosmos and the knowledge about the stars has always being in my heart and I learned Astronomy subject in 11 grade in school with such joy, that it was among the most interesting things I ever learned in life.

Yambol Planetarium is situated in a Yambol Mathematics High School and the Observatory is functional already for 47 years, the projection of the Stars is made via a complex device with a lot of lens manufactured by the famous Karl Zeiss East German optics and lens producer

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Picture Source ranica.eu

 

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Karl Zeiss lens Stars projection device in Yambol Observatory (Pretty Futuristic), ain't it?

The price of the Planetarium for a group is only 20 leva per group (10 EUR per group) and usually a group of 10 people each paying 2 eur is visiting through
prior reservation. But for people like me and my wife who don't have a previous reservation, you have to ask for a school pass by the school guard person an old good hearted man.
The price for 2 people was 5 EUR per person and we had the luck to visit the planetarium without any prior reservation, but I guess other visitors or foreigners can also agree
easily to have a visit to the Planetarium for the symbolic price of 10 eur per Planetary show.

The Planetarium's system of projection is pretty old but still the overall experience is really outstanding and it is impressive even for an grown kids like us. The lady that give us presentation
about the stars has a very indepth knowledge on astronomy and is a teacher of astronomy herself in the school (as far as I understood). The overall presentation of the stars in the Planetarium was about 2 hours and we learned tons of information about the constellations, the star order how to recognize them under a clear night sky etc. etc.

Planetarium rox and it is definitely a place to visit for people with kids, beside the planetarium room, there is an observatory with a relatively modern telescope, where on clear sky, one can enjoy watching the night sky.

Finally our trip to Yambol was over with our visit to Yambol Cathedral, saint Nicolas the Wonderworker.
The Church saint Nicolas the wonderworker was built after the Russian-Turkish liberation war, the church History starts in 1878, where a Small Russian Chapel was built by the Russian army on the place of the 2 Turkish houses. In 1894, the new Cathedral initiated by the Mayor of the city started and a Majestic Church was built whith today is an emblematic one for the city, the size of the Church is really impressive especially for a city where only 60 000 people live.

No doubt the Church is beautiful both outside and inside but unfortunately as many things in Bulgaria is to begone a reperation works so donations are welcome for sure.Yambol-Cathedral-church-st-Nikolai-chudotvorec-worndermaker

Saint Nicolas the Wonderworker Cathedral Yambol

Our trip to Yambol ended here, where we waited for father Sergij who took us with his car Daewoo and brought us back to Pomorie, where we had 2 more blessed days in Pomorie Monastery.
The trip to Yambol and the time spend with the fathers in Pomorie, as always was a real gift from God to me and my family, so if you have some free weekend and you wonder where to go in Bulgaria or you simply live or come to Burgas region and you want to change the routine boring daily pictures visit Pomorie, Sliven and Yambol, I'm sure you'll enjoy.

 

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