What is known about Pizzagate is in a state of flux at the moment so this blog entry is likely to change over time.

Firstly what is “Pizzagate”? If you believe the Mainstream Media such as the Washington Post this is just the prime example of the term that they have newly coined of Fake News.

And here is a great David Icke Videocast about the worrying new trend of “Fake News” – VERY 1984!

IMPORTANT UPDATE FEB 2017 – a CBS journalist, Ben Swann, has covered the Pizzagate story without the normal rubbishing of it the Mainstream media usually does and afterwards HAS VANISHED from the Internet, his Facebook account has gone, his website is password protected, someone is trying (but failing) to keep a lid on this:


If you search of “Pizzagate” on Google you will find on the first page of results the above Washington post article debunking it and this supposedly old and irrelevant story from the BBC. Something really odd about Google’s result ranking all of a sudden that a 2014 football article makes the first page of results! Something very odd about this. The Wayback machine has the page from 2014 – mentioning “Pizzagate” BUT there are only THREE samples taken since 2014. Another BBC sport site I tried about the 2014 FA Cup final had 8 samples taken. Other sites have many more than this. Was it ever called “Pizzagate” at all? The 2010 version of the “Battle of the Buffet” Wikipedia page DOES NOT MENTION PIZZAGATE – “pizza” is just used once in the whole article.

Someone else has spotted how odd this is!

There have also been a banning of the Pizzagate “SubReddit” on the Reddit site and even accusations that #Pizzagate and the many related tags have been prevented from trending on Twitter in spite of huge public interest and discussion. Pizzagate researchers are so ticked off with the behaviour of Twitter that many of them are moving their research efforts onto the fledgling platform, itself only still in beta but with strong promises of respecting free speech. I myself have joined (come say Hi)- when I applied there were 1.3 MILLION people ahead of me – but I got my invite just a few hours later the same day so do not be put off my this. Another important place that Pizzagate research is happening is on Voat.

Ok so what IS Pizzagate.

During the hard fought US Election campaign Wikileaks was given access to thousands of mails from John Podesda’s gmail account. This was not a particularly clever hack as it turned out that he was really lousy at selecting passwords. As well as lots of inside knowledge about the way that the Clinton’s were conducting the campaign some researchers started to notice that some of the emails referring to food were rather ‘odd’. When it was revealed from an FBI document that paedophiles use various food related terms as code words these strange emails started to make some sense.

Lots of people have been digging hard on this and rather than just a turgid rehashing I suggest you watch some videos to get up to speed. There are at the time of writing there are nearly 85,000 videos posted about this subject! (UPDATE 13th Dec – its 181,000 now).

This is the most watched one at the moment (with nearly half a million hits): – UPDATE 13th December – Oh that seems to have been TAKEN DOWN NOW!

So in short Pizzagate is the hard evidence in the form of incriminating emails that has lead to a massive detective effort to find associations between people that really should not be there and are highly likely to be for the same sort of nefarious purposes as those between Jimmy Saville and members of the elite here in the UK.

Of course once the truth gets out the only way to counter it is by spreading half truths and lies, so it is up to everyone to be very selective about what you consider to be true and what could be just fake to “muddy the waters”.

Good advice here is for everyone to keep local copies of any evidence that they find. Videos have been disappearing form various sites including Vmieo and Youtube – often “Copyright” is used as an excuse for censorship. Several of the videos cited in this early Pastebin collation of Pizzagate information have already been removed on such grounds.

We know from our own experience in the UK that those with a lot to loose will stop at nothing to keep a lid on this all coming out. See my post 114missingfiles for lots of the broadcasts I have made of UK Child Abuse survivors giving their testimonies.

Are we going to permit more children to be raped and murdered?

This is a decision we ALL must make.

UPDATE 13th December 2016

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – the great philosopher Voltaire said this and how true it is about Pizzagate!

In the last few days we have had the Pope come out saying that an interest in such “scandal” is akin to having a desire to eat shit. This is from the head of a church that has paid out BILLIONS in compensation to victims of paedophile priests!

No matter what Internet search engine you use including ones I would have thought more honest like duckduckgo you find that search results for Pizzagate are now totally stuffed with pieces decrying it as “fake news” and “conspiracy theory”. A big part of this is the huge meal made of the Comet Pizza Gunman and how he is now going to be charged with Federal crimes. Classic diversion tactic.

Even Wikipedia is dismissing Pizzagate offhand as a (debunked) conspiracy theory but the section on how it has been debunked is pathetic to say the least – all just footnotes, no actual explanation as to why these people are not guilty.

Looks like Voltare had it dead right! Why now? Why not during the Franklin Scandal? Maybe the Internet was not developed enough then to be seen as a threat to those in power?

Such a HUGE amount of effort to try to divert the public away from studying Pizzagate and no effort at all to question the ultra powerful about what they mean by the very odd language in use in the original Wilileaks revealed emails and the long trail of (mostly now hastily removed) social media posts as the ring bragged about what they were up to, hiding in plain sight.


Ok as the original video I linked seems to have gone here are the current top 3 views ones as of 13th December.

2.1 million views

(Comments are good though)

1.8 million views

Too bad I cannot understand Spanish.


An attempt to mock – but backfires.

And just out of the top 3 with just over half a million views:

You will find that many of the 181,000 and growing pizzagate related videos are just ordinary people, some of them going on camera for the first time, just to show their utter revulsion with what these people have been up to.

Windows on the World – just how much is Pentonville worth?

No I have not been playing Monopoly, but it looks like the government is.
I have been doing some work with Mark Windows recently, appearing in some recent episodes of Windows on the World including this piece about the goings on at Pentonvlle prison in London.

I could not help laughing, you will too. However there are serious questions to be asked. Who stands to gain if Pentonville is no longer a prison?

Urgent action needed on the Snoopers Charter

Last week the UK got potentially the most draconian surveillance powers in the world. Only Royal Assent is now needed before the Investigatory Powers Act becomes law.

In a dangerous world, the only way we can protect our civil liberties is by sacrificing them
Thanks to Martin Shovel for permission to use this

Teresa May has tried several times to get her “Snoopers Charter” past, each time beaten back by huge public pressure. Now with everything else going on they have managed to sneak it into law.

What can you do?

Firstly there is this petition which has nearly 150,000 signatures and rising fast calling for the repeal of this ridiculous law.

Secondly everyone who uses the Internet can start taking measures to protect your privacy e.g. with a VPN to outside of the UK, or alternatively swamp the system with random web visits etc. making it impossible for them to collect the volume of data if millions of us do it. Maybe this can be a new area of software development? Software that sits on your computer and visit lots and lots of random sites full of rubbish, so you don’t have to.

This strategy was mentioned in this UK COLUMN broadcast

Update for 1/12/16 – the inventor of the Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee has called this measure “A Security Nightmare” and The Register has weighed in too.

This is an email I sent my MP Alistair Burt back in March while this was still just under debate:

I am one of your constituents and I was also one of the organisers of the protest against ACTA back in 2012.

That vile treaty was defeated by massive coordinated action right across Europe.
Do you REALLY want to cement in place the infrastructure of a tyrannical police state Mr Burt? To be used by whoever manages to seize power? Kim Jong Un will be so envious!
Because this is exactly what putting into law the dirty tricks that the out of control and unaccountable spying agencies have already been using.
If you allow them these powers what do you think they will try to get away with next, under the cover of the gargantuan data flows coming to them?
The fuss between Apple and the FBI at the moment also illustrates the colossal commercial damage this will do to our Internet industry – people will not be able to trust any products that UK companies have any hand in for fear of back doors. Once a back door exists other dark actors will soon find ways of opening them – it is a path of true insanity so do not tread down it.
Needless to say that fell on deaf ears and we now have this very sorry state of affairs. Sign the petition, write to your MP and tell them what a grave mistake you think they have made. Give your full support to those within the Internet industry that refuse to cooperate with this attempt at tyranny.

This just out from swilliamism:

And here, if you need reminding, is the sort of turnout we had against ACTA in 2012

Needs to happen again and again.

Data inflation

Some 25 years ago now I did a spell of work for BG Transco. These are the gas pipeline equivalent of the National Grid – they are responsible for delivering gas supplies form sources such as North Sea and LPG tankers coming from far away to every home and business in the UK that is connected to the gas main. As you can imagine with all that pipeline and all those customers to look after the used a lot of computers. The main bulk of the file storage was on a massive EMC Storage Area Network – or SAN. Physically this was very impressive, jet black cabinet after cabinet with lots and lots of flashing lights. Disk drives were much smaller back then. 1GB was considered very large! I once asked how much useable storage this giant split site EMC storage array had and was told “About a Terabyte”. A Terabyte back then would be 1,000 1GB sized disk drives or more if the drives were not quite that large. This was sufficient capacity to look after all the gas pipes, all the work being do to maintain them and the millions of customers. Let that sink in.

About a 8 years ago I was working for one of the big London Hedge Funds. They had a Hitachi SAN system that supplied disk space to computers over Fibre Channel. This arrangement allowed computers to be configured to see as much or as little disk space as they needed to do their job. Being a SAN the storage was redundant and backups were all taken care of by the team that ran the storage system. There was an internal price set to the business for this disk space of £20,000 per Terabyte. Clearly this was a lot cheaper than a Terabyte of storage had cost just over a decade area when it would have required millions of pounds worth of hardware to provide! However I remember at the time there was some grumbling from internal customers as 1TB disks for fitting inside PCs were getting available and affordable – more like £100 than £20,000!

This sudden explosion of ultra cheap storage has been seen by many as a good thing, it opens up the world of “Big Data” where the sort of incidental data such as the browsing habits of millions of computer users can be analysed for things that might give “business advantage”.

Call me pessimistic if you like but I for one do not share this boundless enthusiasm for ever increasing amounts of storage. In this article I am setting out some of the reasons I think it is not a very good idea. Fee free to debate & disagree with me in the comments.

  1. Disks have got bigger, fast but have not got that much faster. Yes there is the very worthwhile speed boost you get for going to SSD storage, especially for random access storage needed for things like databases. However the more you store without clever indexing the longer it is going to take to find it by brute force searching. In fact past a certain point brute force searching becomes unfeasible. If you have no index entry to data then that data is in effect lost.
  2. The apparent low cost of storage has made individuals and companies deeply complacent about “Data Hygiene”. Many times in my career as a System Administrator I have come across situations where large amounts of data that are causing a problem in some way (such as tens of thousands of files in a single directory) but no owner and nobody willing to take the responsibility to delete can be found! There was a program on British TV a few years ago called “How Clean is Your House” where people who have let their housework lapse (often to a truly disgusting extent) get a deep clean blitz and gentle advice not to let things slip back into the same state. The insides of many peoples computer storage systems equally horrifying (well maybe without the maggots and rats). Storage being cheap means the path of least resistance to running out is just to “buy some more”, not to put real work into finding which data is actually useful and which is just dead weight.
  3. Computer and storage vendors have no incentive to help users out of their “storage addiction” – in fact the incentives are all the other way with literally millions to be made out of Petabyte sized Enterprise grade storage systems. This is a problem that the users have to recognise that they themselves have, and take steps themselves to deal with it.
  4. Not really knowing which of the data you are keeping is important now, was important once but not anymore, or was never important is particularly acute when it comes to Disaster Recovery. If disaster strikes and the data has to be loaded into new computers from some off site silo would you know which to load first? I would bet that creeping data growth has made the DR plans of most organisations inoperable by now. Volume is a big issue in that the rate at which data can be reloaded is finite. If it has to come from remote storage across the internet it is limited to the speed of your incoming Internet connection.

Do you have an over indulgence in data problem? Need some help analysing the nature of the problem and taking steps to “slim down”? Give me a call.

Here is a little example of the sort of steps that can be taken. A few years ago I did some work for an insurance company that had several Terabytes of archived correspondence to customers. These were all stored as PDF files. Some savings were made at the expense of instant access by archiving up related PDFs into zip files but still the sheer volume of documents was formidable. I did some analysis and found that the documents were in fact just the result of several dozen different standard letters. Also around half of the space in each letter was taken up with a single element – that was the scanned signature one of a dozen or so people who were the senders of the various form letters.

Converting the PDF form letters into SVG allowed the sections of boilerplate that always remained the same to be changed to include file directives, with by far the greatest saving from including the correct signature block. Rendering the PDF back from the SVG equivalent was trivial to do if the PDF (and a printout of it) was ever needed. The important thing about this approach is that it only used about 5% of the space that the original archive had done. This has practical implications far beyond just the saving of a few pounds of disk storage. 5% of the original size means that in a DR situation that data would be available twenty times faster. This is why Data Hygiene needs to be treated much more seriously.


Important Statement from the WhiteFlowers Campaign about CSA Enquiry

Received 21/11/16 Reproduced verbatim – this is crunch time for a charade.

See also this from the Independent – calls for Alexis Jay to be sacked.

Allowing the Home Office to conduct an enquiry into prominent paedophiles looks like it was never going to work.

Survivors and the Jay Inquiry

The withdrawal from the Jay Inquiry by Shirley Oaks Survivors’ Group represents the tip of the iceberg regarding survivors’ involvement with the shambolic Inquiry. Many Core Participant survivors, who had little reason prior to engagement by the Inquiry to have faith in the institutions of this country to deliver justice, placed their last ounce of faith in the Inquiry.

Significant numbers of child abuse survivors that have agreed to participate officially in the Inquiry are living on the breadline and still suffering the trauma and impact of the crimes done to them.  All inquiries by their nature carry uncertainties about outcomes. However, due to successive governments’ wilful refusal to appoint a leadership that has demonstrably shown an ability to cut through establishment interests and secure difficult truths, this inquiry is riddled with confusion and doubts about its abilities to deliver any productive outcomes whatsoever.

Survivors are constantly being manipulated by the Inquiry. professor Jay stated in September that no major changes in the Inquiry would occur without survivor Core Participants being consulted. However, whilst, as Core Participants, Jay has not consulted with us over the three months, she has proceeded to place a cap on the number of hearings, kicked the Janner hearings into the long grass (to the dismay of survivors) and is presumably preparing further announcements to once again present survivors with a fait accompli … failed process… failed outcomes.

Whiteflowers has constantly warned that whilst the Inquiry claims that “survivors are at the heart of the Inquiry”, the fact is that many feel totally marginalised and treated disrespectfully by its officials and processes. To counter this process, the Inquiry must begin to deal with survivors in the supportive manner that all people deserve when they are contributing freely to the process of government.

Whiteflowers has for two years seen the government appoint Chairs of the Inquiry supremely ill equipped to deal with the forensic and political nature of this inquiry into abuse and cover ups of abuse at the highest level of the establishment. Sadly, Professor Jay, has many demonstrable talents but none of which has been forensic or an ability to challenge those in the highest echelons of the establishment. Theresa May has continually avoided bringing in a legal representative with the skills and experience in these matters such as Michael Mansfield QC. The consequence has been one inappropriate appointment after another.

If Theresa May is serious about the Inquiry now she will go to Mansfield Chambers and offer him all the resources he needs to work alongside Jay and ensure the Inquiry not only stays on the road but is a resounding success.

Survivor’s representatives of Core Participants report a seething discontent with the Inquiry over its lack of material support and contemptuous manner of dealing with them. The representatives have a duty to protect their people from further harm and if they see the Inquiry further using survivors like PR tokens, to be played to please the media and public, then more will pull out.

The steps that May and the Inquiry must undertake to ensure maximum survivor confidence in the Inquiry and so save it from ruin are:

  • To bring in someone legally qualified who survivors can have confidence in e.g. Michael Mansfield QC with a forensic investigation team drawn from Police forces.
  • Remove the Home Office from being the sponsor and host of the Inquiry, and return its senior staff to their posts at the Home Office.
  • Fully Fund survivor Core Participation for all meetings with their legal representatives – this from the day that they are accepted as Core Participants
  • Fully fund legal representatives’ pre-hearings and hearings work
  • Guarantee access to counselling support for all survivors once they are accepted as Core Participants – from the pre-hearings to post-hearings stage.
  • Call an immediate conference with survivor core participants and their legal representatives to debate rather than announce a way forward.
  • Establish a clear fixed timetable of hearings
  • Whiteflowers and its supporters will be pressing these demands when they meet with the Inquiry at the end of the month.

This video made by survivors and their street art in Jamaica Street, Stokes Croft, Bristol says it all

114 Missing Files

The Whiteflowers campaign is one of many groups in the UK fighting against the organised paedophile rings that pervade the British establishment.

Today I got an email from them about a new song that has been released that they are hoping become the Christmas Number 1!, Well perhaps not but the flagrant and repeated attempts to cover up for the rich & powerful child molesters within the UK power system is just getting beyond tolerable!

Here is the song, called “114 Missing Files”

Please share it, tell your friends, get them to tell theirs. Let’s get some of those involved at the lower levels of this cover-up to turn against their criminal bosses.

Would’t it be great if the act of trying to cover these crimes up would in the end not be the thing that saves their necks but instead helps to condemn them?

Somebody must know where the files might be

I got involved with all this not because I am an abuse victim myself, but while at Occupy London I met Brian Clare, who was one of the children who claims he was raped by Leon Britian and others. When the Whiteflowers campaign wanted someone to broadcast the vigil outside the site of Elm Guest house.

I then went on to cover other events in Islington:

And at Westminster – The 3rd Whiteflowers event:

And the Big rally 11th April 2015 (Many survivors give testimony here):

And the CHRIS event outside downing street:

This is the one that contains that famous speech by the victim & campaigner Russel Burton. 2 versions of this exist on YouTube both with thousands of views, such is the power of direct broadcast alternative media!

This one just the speech:

And with added visual material for even greater effect:

Not forgetting Melanie Shaw who is another child abuse victim held as a political prisoner by our corrupt government.

If after all this you still think it is just people “making it all up” then you are the one who has the problem!

This is NOT just a UK problem either – it is rife in the corridors of power in many other countries too. Particularly the USA as we have found confirmation of from the Podesda email leaks:

Selling Unix in the 1990s

Back in the days before Linux was invented there was already a much better choice compared to DOS and the primitive versions of Windows available then. Back in 1989 I started out in business as a re-seller for SCO Unix, having worked side by side with SCO porting their Unix onto computers at Apricot. I have scanned some of the original documents back then – it is interesting how far things have come, but how some concerns have stayed the same.

houston_technology_1989 This is a pdf of a scan of the original press release back in 1989. It it looks a bit quirky it is because it was done on a daisy wheel printer. That was the technology at the time for a smart looking letter. It was slow, it was noisy, but produced something far better than the other technology at the time, the dot matrix printer. Laser printers were just about there but were themselves rather primitive and prone to go wrong. So they only tended to be used by larger companies and specialised copy shops.

Also from 1989 an early ‘flyer’ that I produced – this time on a dot matrix printer as can be seen form the lower quality of the typeface (but more flexability such as simple graphics) houston_technology_1989_infosheet

The Free Software Foundation itself was in its infancy in 1990, the two main products at the time were the GCC compiler and the Emacs editor. I managed to obtain source code for these and cross compiled them using my SCO Unix system. I found that even then the compiler was much better than the Unix standard one. Here is an article that I had published about my findings at the time: houston_technology_free_software_foundation1990

And here is a collection of advertising in the Chamber of Commerce directory, photography of the machines at the time and a marketing flyer: houston_technology_1990

Did the small business people of the Midlands flock to buy Unix systems? Sadly no. As the Unix software itself was not free complete systems with enough memory and a couple of terminals added up to  a lot more than customers were willing to part with.

The advent of Linux where there is no longer a charge for the software has changed the dynamic of this though. Also the computer power you can get for your £ has increased beyond all comparison. Back then most computer software ran in text mode, sometimes with simple graphics (like Lotus 123).

I thought people as old as me would like to remember what the computer industry used to be like 🙂 Not the “good old days” by any means  but it is important that what was already got right by then should not be forgotten, thrown out just because computers are now thousands of times faster.

My thoughts on the Trump victory

My it has been an interesting week in politics!

For months now there has been a huge amount of discussion about the US Presidential election in both the mainstream and alternative media.

I won’t bore you with a detailed analysis as I am sure most people are thoroughly sick of it by now. Like most people I thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win. Not because she was a ‘better’ candidate, but that the Mainstream media had waged a relentless campaign to both demonise Trump and distract from the very real problems with the choice of a Clinton as the only real alternative to him, problems now confirmed and magnified by the range of incriminating information about her now in the open thanks to Wikileaks. In the Alternative media there was also a degree of disagreement. Some commentators like Alex Jones came out very strongly for Trump, even having him as a guest on the much watched Infowars channel. Other parts of the Alternative media recoiled at Trumps lack of “Political Correctness” with assertions that minorities would suffer if Trump got into power.

Since Trump has got into power this dislike for him from certain quarters has lead to people who thought they were on the same side having significant falling out. Maybe this was the plan all along in fielding two ‘less than ideal’ candidates for the race for what is considered the most powerful job in the world. For instance the Angirifan blog is asserting that the election has been rigged for Trump (the opposite of what most people expected to happen) with the rationale that Trump is far more pro Zionist that Clinton, and it is the Zionists who really control what happens in Washington. This idea has some merit. Using electronic voting opens up more possibility for fraud than the old fashioned method.

What is important is to realise that there is a lot of disinformation flying about as once the truth starts to be known the only way to counter it is myriad half truths and lies to confuse us. An informational equivalent of the chaff that a fighter aircraft throws out to confuse a homing in missile.

Some things about these wretched people we know to be true because there is hard physical evidence, such as flight logs showing the Clintons flying out to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private “Orgy” island multiple times.. 

Thanks to the Wikileaks Podesta emails we finally also have tangible evidence of what many people (such as David Icke) have been alleging for years. That paedophilia and the associated satanism is rife within the Washington elite.

The big big question is this: Is Donald Trump implicated in the whole “Elite Paedophile” scene? He is somewhat of an outsider to the circles of political power so maybe not. If you do your own research. He also moved in the same circles as Epstein, but that in itself proves nothing.

He is a “Non PC” admitted womaniser but again that does not prove he has any desire to abuse and torture children.

Over the past few months I have seen conflicting opinions. Some commentators allege that Trump also has the same sort of connections with Epstein that Bill Clinton has, others have said that dragging Trump “into the swamp” is just a way to prevent him from any real action to “Drain the Swamp” as he promised to do in the campaign, without being too specific about the exact nature of that swamp. That cancer at the heart of government seems to be the same regardless of which side of the Atlantic you are. Here is one of my own broadcasts when I was invited to cover a survivors vigil at the site of the infamous Elm Guest House:

Of course the whole Epstein scandal also has links to powerful people in the UK too.

Donald Trump has a number of things going for him (in my opinion):

  • During his campaign at least, he was willing to appear on alternative media, not just using the increasingly discredited mainstream media as a mouthpiece.
  • He is on the record sceptical about New York 911 attacks, Vaccines & “Man Made” climate change.
  • He is outspoken with the appearance at least that his views are his own, not those of some focus group. His views may not suit everyone but that is par for the course in politics.

On the negative side:

  • Clear supporter of the deeply oppressive Zionist government of Israel
  • Outspoken willingness to use torture against enemies to gain information.
  • Issues with failing to pay taxes in the past mean he is compromised in trying to get global corporations to contribute their fair share to government spending.
  • His invest in infrastructure plan sounds good but USA is heading for $20 TRILLION in debt already. He needs to come clean that the whole current debt based monetary system is a failed idea.
  • And the big one.. IS he just part of the system, compromised by dark secrets so that those behind the scenes, what David Icke calls “The Hidden Hand”? If so they can control him just as easily as previous presidents. If this is the case this election is just the illusion of choice, no real choice at all.

As Alex Jones from, one of Trumps most vocal supporters in the Alternative Media has said. We must “Hold Trumps feet to the fire” to make sure he does not just turn out like his predecessor – cue the song 🙂

Please use the comments to discuss 🙂

UPDATE 14th November 2016

Many thanks to NRGTV last night for including my reading of this blog post in their Sunday night show. If you are the impatient type fast forward to 8:50 🙂

Also sadly the Donald Trump “honeymoon” period if there ever was one seems to have already ended. He is dragging his feet on the election promise to prosecute Hillary! Wavering at least – maybe just seeing how much more of the US public he can piss off to go with the George Soros paid opposition.

I will leave you for now with this great joke from Paul Craig Roberts. That long list is incomplete – misses the most unsavoury stuff altogether, but I suppose for a joke that is ok.

Persuading a Windows 10 machine to take to Linux

I had a customer yesterday who wanted a Linux install on his laptop.

The laptop had tricked him into an unwanted upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10. As it was a machine with only 2 cores and 4GB of memory he was not happy with the performance of Windows 10 and wanted to move over to using the machine purely for Linux.

I already had an external SSD set up with Ubuntu 16.10 “Yackety Kak” release so I could demonstrate what we would be getting before the install. The computer had other ideas! Every time it was restarted it eventually resulted in the Windows 10 sign in screen. There was no prompt during boot to press a key to select anything else.

After about 4 times round this loop, including taking the battery out in case the ‘shutdown’ was really just a sleep it was time to get drastic. Luckily I had my small bladed screwdriver with me so I was able to remove in internal SSD in the laptop.

Now with nowhere to boot to the machine was finally forced to show me a BIOS configuration screen. Humanity 1 Machines 0!

The problem was the default boot option called something like “Windows boot mode”. I did not take photos or notes, but that is probably just as well as the details may differ from your brand of PC anyway.

The settings I changed was to disable “Windows boot mode” and changed from UEFI to ‘Legacy’ boot mode. I also explicitly turned on the option to boot from USB which was also off by default. Note that some Linux distributions can operate with UEFI boot mode but it means that only kernels that are signed by a party that the computer maker trusts are permitted to boot. This may be good for security but is also a huge curtailment of the freedom of owning a general purpose computer (as opposed to a games console or some other piece of consumer electronics).

These changes were enough to persuade the laptop to boot to my external SSD! Impressively fast too, compared to what Windows 10 with who knows what bloatware was managing. As an aside here: if your computer is new enough to have USB3 ports on the main-board you will most likely be able to boot from them. USB3 is only slightly slower than the internal SATA3 disk interface so if you want the convenience of being able to take your hard disk away and lock it in a safe overnight this is a good way to achieve that.

The next stage, once the direction to boot Windows right away has been removed,  was to replace the disk and boot the computer again from a Ubuntu Linux installation USB key – this is just the DVD image copied into an empty USB stick. This allowed the install to happen in the normal way and 20 minutes or so later the customer was happy playing with Linux on his previously stuck with Windows laptop.

So the moral of this is: If a computer BIOS has been set so that it seems impossible to stop it booting to Windows, try taking the disk where windows resides out, at least temporarily.