Articles Tagged: open source software

About the standard of currency and the alternatives

August 26th, 2012 | By Pirate

For the last decade or so I have been researching the prices of alternative currencies to the United States Federal Reserve dollar  (USD).  I have researched gold and silver and in the last two years I have been keeping my eye on bitcoin.

Gold and silver make sense because they keep their value very well and they are a tangible item with intrinsic value.  Everyone knows how the price of gold continues to go up.  Silver has stayed very steady but has not saw the increase that gold has.   Silver has increased over the last 10 years, and is worth has had around a 900% increase from 2002 to 2012.  In 2002 the price of silver was about $4.25, and in 2012 the price of silver is around $33.50.   The same increase was realized with gold, but with much more over all value of course.  In 2002 the price of gold was a little over $300, and in 2012 the price of gold is over $1600.

You can view these charts here for the exact information at the present time:

Then there is the Bitcoin value.  In the two years that I have been watching bitcoin, I have watched the value start at nearly nothing per coin, then it went all the way up to $35, and now its down to about $10.50.
You can see this here:

The interesting thing about bitcoin is that it is based on current market value of the bitcoin community.  Like gold and silver it depends on no central government or bank, it is open source and community driven.  On the down side it has no intrinsic value, it is all digital.  Other than what the bitcoin market itself is worth.

More on bitcoin from wiki:

Bitcoin is an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is also the name of the open source software which enables the use of this currency.

The software is a community-driven open source project, released under the MIT license and originally created by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin is one of the first implementations of a concept called crypto-currency which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list. Building upon the notion that money is any object, or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context, Bitcoin is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.

Sourced from and Wikipedia.


But in any case, whether it be precious metal, or digital currency to me the value is more secure than the US federal reserve notes (USD).

Certainly if I had an ideal economy it would all be based on commodities like food and craftsmanship.  However in this economy it is difficult to pay bills, or send provisions or payments over great distances with commodities.

I have thought having cannabis as a commodity/currency would solve a lot of inflation problems.  But that is not feasible just yet.

So I have a few videos and points of interest to share with you.

First of all this is an animated video about the collapse of “the American Dream”.
The second video is from Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano about Bitcoin.
The third video is a video that describes Bitcoin and ways to procure bitcoin without any moneitary investment.

In cryptography we trust!


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Thanks for contributing!

Patient’s records taken in Washington raids

May 3rd, 2011 | By Pirate

I feel horrible about what has happened in Spokane, and my heart goes out to the sick and dieing in Washington who just lost their sources of medicine.  But let me just point out that some of what happened such as these dispensaries losing patient records, was COMPLETELY un-necessary!

We have sent out emails, post cards, and personally discussed with dispensaries and providers what they can do to protect their records and how they can better document “one patient at any given time”.   We started in 2009 and we modified some great open source software, and even paid a developer to upgrade our modification for a Dispensary management system.    This has the ability to store records remotely in a secured database in a secured facility, or locally, and it has many front end and backend dispensary management functions.   The best part is that it is not expensive like some of the other software systems that do the same thing.  Some software that is available for dispensary management is upwards of $7000.   Our software is COMPLETELY free!

My heart breaks after watching this video from Club Compassion.   Both for the owner and for the patients.



I hope that if nothing else comes from this, that other dispensaries will employ some sort of safety measures for their patient’s records.  This is very sensitive information and this issue NEEDS to be addressed!

See for more info (we also offer free video training on YouTube, to help you get set up):

New direction for xCannabis and Sensi Life

April 4th, 2011 | By Pirate

After a long and troubled road that we have driven on this I-1068 and I-1149 petition drive.  We have some sad news and some happy news to report.

So far between last year and this year we have given away almost 250 t-shirts for these initiatives.  We have also promoted the idea of full legalization by holding regular meetings, and last year we had a professional media/sign/t-shirt shop right across the road from Walmart, Home Depot and Rosaurs food at the Y in Spokane, and cannabis was our main theme.


We have been very blessed to have gotten to know many hard working activists like Renata, Dave, Ian, Jared, Don and so many others out there.


So even though we resigned today as coordinators from Sensible Washington, we wanted to not worry about the troubling and hard aspects of what led us to that decision, and instead we wanted to talk about all of the great things that have happened in the last couple of years.


We had the privilege in 2009 to help CHANGE build their business, and we were responsible for designing, and as a result of Change getting shut down, we also developed some open source software that we released for free to help dispensaries run their business legally and to keep records of serving “one patient at any given time”.


Twelve years ago, as a homeless young adult I was blessed to be able to get paid to get signatures for I-691 which started all of this, and ever since then I have been glad to continue with the fight for all of these years, throughout 4 different states.


My wife has been coordinating for Sensible Washington, until last night when we got some threatening calls from someone who desperately wants to be a coordinator, and we decided to step down because as it is we are pregnant and we have bigger things to worry about than some drama queen who wants to be the boss.


We are going to try to continue to help get petitions back, because as it is we don’t trust the person claiming to have all of the authority out in Spokane.  So we are instructing people to send their petitions back that we handed out directly to Sensible Washington at this address:

Sensible Washington – P.O. Box 1184 – Seattle, WA 98111-1184 Phone: 206-707-5502


If you need help with postage or envelopes we will gladly deliver these supplies to you or your business.

We also want to explicitly announce that we do not condone or feel represented by either Britney Lanza or Barbara Kirk.
We remove any support that we have lent to them in any way, and we want our friends and colleagues to know that they are not a part of anything that we have going on in this state or anywhere.   We are in fact rather embarrassed by their conduct and we are removing ourselves as representatives from Sensible Washington directly related to their participation in this petition drive.

We feel that this effort needs to be better represented and in our opinion these two are not representing well.  They certainly do not represent our interests or our efforts!

We are encouraging people to continue to the petition drive though, and as I have been recommending to people, please turn your petitions in directly to Sensible Washington via the address that is printed on the petition.


We are also encouraging people to participate in your local government.  We are aware of petitions that are being circulated around town to have our city council in Spokane to put cannabis criminalization as a lowest priority similar to Seattle, Denver and Breckenridge CO.



We encourage people to participate in the Spokane City Council meetings every Monday at 6pm.

There will be many like minded folks there as well, and the community needs your support.


If you need petitions for I-1149, we still have plenty and are more than willing to get them to you when you need them.


We will continue to have meeting every Friday at 7pm at:   1312 North Monroe St., Spokane WA 99205

Emerald POS still helping dispensaries, with freebies

April 15th, 2010 | By Pirate

We are still operating Emerald POS (, in hopes to help dispensaries and lower operating costs and set up costs.

We started Emerald POS when the police in Spokane started misinterpreting the language  in I-692, where the police were saying that “one patient at any one time” meant you can only ever provide to one patient if you are a provider. 
The law of I-692 provides language that states that a provider can provide to a patient, even if the provider isn’t a patient them self, as long as the provider meets certain criteria.  See more at this link I-692 Full Text.

So we recoded some opensource / freeware software that is really great software  (   Our version included the ability to add patient documents and photos, as well as a Time/Date stamp that would be placed on a receipt at the time they start the transaction, and when they end the transaction.  We also recreated the layout and graphics, making it more touch screen friendly.

We have several upgrades still in the works for this software.  But we have also been using OpenBravo for the last few months in our own store.
At the Emerald Sun Design Studio we are using a 15″ touch screen system, which is exactly the same unit as the Opal System @

OpenBravo is very touch screen friendly.  It even has a restaurant module built in for waiting tables (optional). 
The reports are amazing, it creates barcoded labels for your products, and has the ability to use scales.
There is a long list of features.  But we are impressed by the security, and the flexibility of the software.
You can use the same secured database in multiple locations, such as a warehouse or a second store, or even do management functions from home.
See the features here:

For a dispensary, this software is invaluable, yet it is free and the best part is that it is opensource.
If you need something add to this software that isn’t already there?  Pay a developer.  How do you find one?  There are many places on the net to find a developer.  I often use Craigslist so that I get someone local, and qualified.

We work primarily with open source software in our business.  We have many computers that run CentOS 5.1 (Linux).
On the computers that are running Windows, we use a variety of OpenSource software, such as OpenOffice, GIMP, and others. 
Our website’s include software from WordPress, which is also OpenSource.
On we offer two OpenSource software’s for free.  PHPPointOfSale (with our upgrades), and OpenBravo (as-is).

Both of these POS programs are used by many, including software developers, and store owners.  There are thousands of professional users of these softwares.  But why OpenSource?  Is it because it’s free?   My answers are this.

  1. OpenSource software is open, and able to be modified by anyone.  Even redistributed.  This makes usability increase because there are many more developers working on it, than a private for-sale software.  The more developers the better!

OpenSource is economically friendly since the cost is much lower than private for sale software, usually OpenSource software is free.

But it mostly comes down to the community.  Supporting other developers and store owners in refining usable and scalable software.

Now some people like private for-sale software.  Which is fine, and we do offer the option of installing QuickBooks POS, or Microsoft (Dynamics) POS for the retail cost of the software.
But the two softwares that we offer and support are OpenBravo and our version of  PHPPointOfSale based on these having more scalability, usability and features than in other software.

Some of these medical marijuana dispensaries have chosen to go with other brands of paid software.  We respect that.  But my warning is this.  If it isn’t opensource software, someday the developer is going to move on to something else, or die.  Will you have the needed upgrades and support?

What if the next generation of operating systems comea out?  Not all XP software is compatible with Vista as is right.  So that next generation of operating systems will need to have software upgrades for the POS system that you are using.   With OpenSource, you can ensure that your POS system will be usable forever, because if nothing else you can pay a developer to upgrade your software.
But more than likely, you won’t have to, because 100,000 other people need the same upgrade and one or more of them will get the job done and give it to the community for free.
With private for sale software, that is usually not an option.  For-sale software is typically closed source, and no one else can improve it.

For example, you can’t pay someone to modify the core files of your Adobe Photoshop.  Wny?  Because it’s not OpenSource.   You have to depend on Adobe to make those upgrades.  With this smaller developers that close their source, and reserve their exclusive rights to the software, they don’t have the longevity that Adobe or other software developers have.  Let’s face it, most companies don’t last beyond their first 3 years in business.   Can you trust that you’re developer will be in business as long as you need him to?  Probably not.

Im not going to name any of these developers.  They have great sales agents though.  I just want to give people a different option, because we want to help keep dispensary costs down.  We love the dispensaries, we just hate the high prices on their meds.

Im glad that I vented that.

Now as a little advertising for   So far, none of our competitors can beat us on hardware prices.  With our hardware, you can install ANY POS software.  Our hardware comes with Windows XP, Vista or CentOS 5x (Linux) installed.  You choose the Operating System and the POS system.

For example on our prices we offer a Industrial POS computer from HP (high end POS equipment), with a 15″ touch screen monitor both with 3 year replacement warranties (The HP rp3000 PC has a 3 year, 24 hour response ON SITE business warranty included), it comes with a barcode scanner (5 year warranty), Thermal Printer (2 Year replacement warranty), cash drawer, and standard peripherals for $2199 with free shipping.    To get the same thing, without all of the warranties from our competitor, you’ll pay over $2600 after shipping, and if you want the warranties it will cost more.  The HP Onsite Business warranty is very valuable, but our competitors don’t even offer that.   See this link:

Anyway, I just wanted to be very clear in my intentions.  We are here to help, not to increase the cost of business or make things harder than they need to be.

We love cannabiz and we would love to see MORE of it!!!   So let us help you set up your cannabiz.

If you want to test our POS system at Emerald Sun Inc, come on down to  9423 North Division St.  Spokane WA.

If you need promotional material for your cannabiz, Emerald Sun is a Design Shop, and we do all types of print media, including shirts, signs, business cards, brochures, etc..   We also offer our own line of hand sown (by us) patchwork clothing!

Happy Trails!