Archive for May, 2008

LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have reviews of 7 Audio Players and 42 of the best free games for Linux, the $100 laptop platform moves on, seeing Linux clearly, Chinese Linux rises 22 percent in 12 months and a great article titled Chicks Love Linux. We have lots Microsoft related articles including Microsoft blames users for Vista infections, Microsoft to make Office open to ODF format, Can Microsoft ‘do’ open source by 2015? and my favorite Microsoft offers cash back on searches.

7 Audio Players for Linux – Review: This article reviews 7 of the most used audio players for Linux, 2 KDE players (Amarok and JuK) and 5 GTK players (Banshee, Beep Media Player, Audacious, Exaile and Rhythmbox). I tried to keep the reviews objective, however the scores are (and I can’t possibly think of a way to do this another way) subjective.

‘$100 laptop’ platform moves on: An independent effort to develop the software originally designed for the $100 laptop has been launched. Sugar Labs will take the laptop’s innovative interface, known as Sugar, to the “next level of usability and utility”, according to its founders. It is intended that the free software will be made available on other PCs, such as the popular Asus Eee.

Can Microsoft ‘do’ open source by 2015?: The recently appointed head of Microsoft’s global Linux and open source team hopes the company will have a clear and comprehensible open source strategy by 2015. Sam Ramji wants people to clearly understand what projects the company is contributing to, and what code Microsoft is making available – along with the terms – on a routine basis. It seems Ramji is talking about people both inside and outside Microsoft knowing what’s going on. “We don’t have hard rules… right now, it’s still careful judgment case by case. By 2015, I think it would be set up a,” he told Reg Dev, just before his promotion.

Web Input – Securing Data, First Level of Defense: This article focuses upon testing the reliability user input at the lowest level. The first line of defense is use of automated searches that might detect malicious inputs. Personally I wish there were a better option. Being realistic, we are confronting coders with superior skills that have added advantage of surprise, stealth and economic incentives. Whereas we are reactive to new or suspected threats as they arise or worse discovered later.

Seeing Linux clearly: Demystifying KDE and GNOME: Ok, you have to give some kudos to Windows: everyone knows what a window is. In the Linux world, KDE and GNOME aren’t quite as obvious. A gnome stands in your garden or inhabits the World of Warcraft, and KDE doesn’t even spell a word. The truth is they’re the two major window environments for Linux today; if you don’t like one type of UI you have another. Here’s what they do, how they differ and how you can bend them to your will.

Microsoft blames users for Vista infections: Microsoft has claimed user “complacency” is to blame for malware infections, and denied that its Vista operating system is less secure than Windows 2000.

Chicks Love Linux: There I was standing around the LUG booth at the annual Linux expo when I realized that unlike years past, there were considerable numbers of female attendants. No, I am not referring exclusively to those female models hired to promote an OS (I won’t mention which one) wearing skimpy demon costumes.

Are Google and Amazon the Next Great Hope for the (Linux) Desktop?: There was a time when I thought the Linux desktop was going to take a market share at least equal to Apple’s. Maybe even 5% or 10% of the total desktop market. I had high hopes that the One Laptop Per Child Initiative would put Linux laptops in the hands of impressionable young minds who would never have the chance to become dependent on Windows. Though that plan has fallen through the cracks.

Microsoft to make Office open to ODF format: Microsoft was set to announce Thursday that it would make the interchangeable document format of a competitor available in its own market-leading Office 2007 software during the first half of 2009. The company, under pressure from European regulators, national standards organizations and its own government clients, said it planned to give customers the ability to open, edit and save documents in Open Document Format – the main competitor to Word – through a free update. By downloading the update, consumers will be able to save text documents in ODF format and adjust Office 2007 settings to automatically save documents in the rival format.

42 of the Best Free Linux Games: “Can I game on it” is a frequently asked question we hear from Windows users toying with the idea of trying Linux for the first time. Well, the simple answer is yes!

Microsoft offers cash back search: Microsoft is offering “cold hard cash” to persuade users to shop online using its Live Search engine and help the company catch up to rival Google. The savings range between 2% to 30% on products sold by select retailers through its so called cashback service. Microsoft’s new site is seen as an attempt to convince advertisers it can combat Google’s increasing share of the online ad market. “2008 is the year that search got competitive,” said Bill Gates.

Microsoft and ODF: Has Hades Gone Sub-Zero?: Most of the time, Microsoft’s public declarations are pretty easy to parse. A bit of pre-announcement here, a touch of FUD there, with the odd dollop of feel-good waffle thrown in for good measure. Occasionally, though, it produces what can only be called a googly – not to be confused with a Google – with announcements like this one about adding support for ODF in Microsoft Office:..

Chinese Linux rises 22 percent in 12 months: Linux sales in China have rocketed through the roof in the last year, but how many of these Linux PCs are being used as a cheap route to a pirated Windows machine?

Open CourseWare for Linux Geeks: 50+ Resources: The Open CourseWare movement is centered on freedom of information, so it’s only natural that Open CourseWare offers education on an open format such as Linux. Whether you’re just getting started or are an advanced developer, there’s something out there for you to learn. Here, we’ve highlighted more than 50 of the best Linux courses you can take.

Transforming your Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop to look like Mac OS X: MAC OS has been traditionally known for their impressive graphical interface and stability. Now even though i have been an avid Linux follower over the past 9 years I have been using Linux still i find my self attracted to MAC OS. Now even though these days it’s possible to run Hackintosh on normal Intel hardware but it’s not stable and well there are hardware compatibility issues. So well other alternative to using MAC OS is either to purchase MAC hardware(which would be naturally expensive) and run full fledged MAC OS or you could tweak and customize your Ubuntu desktop to look more like MAC OS X .


Read Full Post »

LXer Article

This week we have MIT students showing the power of open cell phone systems, a Linux ThinkPad, W3C ‘clarifies’ HTML 5 v XHTML, why your internet experience is slow and reviews on 7 Desktop Distros, 5 Linux Browsers and some great Linux programs for kids. Also, Carla Schroder shows us how to become system rescue gurus, fixing Debian OpenSSL, a Asus Eee PC review, Linux gains action RPG and we have a couple of funny articles for your reading pleasure, STFUbuntu – The HOT New Linux Distro and an advert on the Novell website, Taking the Vista leap?

A Linux ThinkPad: I was gladdened yesterday when techbargains.com reported a sale on a new Lenovo ThinkPad R61 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop ($552, see below). It’s not everyday that you run into a major PC vendor selling machines pre-loaded with Linux (excluding servers). Perhaps pre-installing Linux will become more popular, in part, due to a Vista backlash. Or, the popularity of Linux of ultra-cheap laptops (where Vista doesn’t belong) such as the Asus EEE PC, will lay a foundation for its expansion. Once people see and touch and smell recent editions of Linux, they’ll realize it is no more different from Windows XP than is the Mac OSX. And, as Lenovo says, Linux “Eliminates virus and spyware downtime”.

MIT students show power of open cell phone systems: What do you want your cell phone to be able to do? Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Hal Abelson put that question to about 20 computer science students this semester when he gave them one assignment: Design a software program for cell phones that use Google Inc.’s upcoming Android mobile operating system. In the process, they revealed the power of an open system like Android to shake up the mobile phone industry, where wireless companies are being pressured to loosen the control they have maintained over what devices do. If the brainstorms of these MIT students are an indication, phones will soon challenge the Internet as a source of innovation.

Why your internet experience is slow: This HTML page contains the first chunk of a piece of journalism by Patrick Smith; the actual body copy runs to approximately 950 words of text. The average word in English is 5.5 characters long; add 1 character for punctuation or whitespace and we would reasonably expect this file to be on the close order of 6.5Kb in size. But it’s not.

Install Applications in Ubuntu without Internet: Without an Internet connection, installing applications in Linux is a nightmare because of package dependencies. The aim of this guide is to help install applications in Ubuntu (should work with all apt based distribution with minimal modifications) when there is no Internet connection is available.

Taking the Vista leap?: This is an advertisment for Vista on the Novell website. I especially like the line “Migrating to Vista? We can help you make the leap” alongside a picture of man in suit and tie plummeting to the earth off a tall building. Equally helpful was the ominous exhortation “Prepare now, Windows Vista is coming”.

OpenOffice.org obeys Moore’s Law?: Wirth’s Law states software becomes larger, more complex, and slower: in the end the win from Moore’s Law end is washed out by the loss from Wirth’s Law. Let’s compare OpenOffice.org against these Laws to see which one wins.

Linux gains action RPG: Linux Game Publishing has announced a Linux port of “Sacred Gold,” an action role-playing game first published for Windows three years ago. The U.K.-based game publisher plans to ship the title in August of this year, priced at 27 GBP (~ $50). Sacred Gold was created by Ascaron Entertainment, of Gutersloth, Germany. It will be the first action role-playing game carried by LGP, the company said.

Next Ubuntu LTS in 2010, unless Linuxes synchronize: Mark Shuttleworth, head of Canonical and founder of the Ubuntu project, has called on other Linux developers to synchronize releases of new versions of their distros. He also pledged to deliver the next Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu, version 10.4, in April 2010 – unless, of course, Red Hat, Novell and Debian decide to co-operate on a synchronized release at a different time.

Linux Shootout: 7 Desktop Distros Compared: In the last couple of years, desktop-friendly Linux distributions have taken enormous leaps — they’re easier to install, better maintained, and more powerful than ever before. There’s also that many more of them — which means that many more possibilities to sift through. In this roundup I’ve looked at seven Linux distributions, all mainly aimed at desktop users. Some ought to be household names; some are less widely sung but still worth looking at. All are meant to be top-of-the-line, “throw-and-go” distros for general use, so I paid careful attention to how they behaved on a fairly broad range of hardware — how display, networking, or other default configurations were set to behave both out of the box and after an update (if one was available).

Asus Eee PC 900 is a ripper not a rip-off: review: To be honest, I would much rather be writing this on my desktop with its full sized keyboard and 22 inch monitor rather than a sub-notebook with half-sized keyboard and 8.9 inch screen. However, that’s an unfair comparison. I would be using the Eee PC on the road instead of say my Dell Latitude or a MacBook, not in my office. Then the comparison becomes more valid and the ratios reduce. At 21 cm (8.25 inches) the Eee PC 900 keyboard is a bit more than 70% the width of my Dell notebook’s and the 8.9 inch monitor is about 65% the diagonal length of my notebook’s.

NPR station WBUR Boston adds support for free audio standard: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has marked a milestone in their PlayOgg.org campaign with the announcement that National Public Radio (NPR) news station WBUR Boston has begun worldwide webcasting in the free audio format Ogg Vorbis.

STFUbuntu – The HOT New Linux Distro: Have you ever wished your computer had the balls to tell you to STFU? Have you every wished it T4LK3D L1K3 7H1S? Have you ever dreamt of saying STFU every time you tell people about your HOT new distro? Have you ever dreamt of having sex with a rodent? Yeah, yeah. Haven’t we all? Well, now’s your chance!

Linux offers one alternative to Microsoft’s Windows: I left Windows a little over a year ago and have not regretted it. Bill Gates has plenty of money without me. I admit it was a scary step to take. I had never before tried another operating system, other than the occasional Mac that someone else owned. I have known about Linux for years but had always been fearful of trying it out. I thought you needed to be a geek to really know how to run it and that Linux was lacking a good graphic user interface – an area that Windows is known for. I was also concerned about the lack of good software because most programmers write for Windows.

Exceptional Linux programs for Kids: There’s nothing worse than hearing how an entire school district is switching operating systems from Mac to Windows (or vice versa) because that’s what the “business” world relies on or some other blather. The costs associated with the transition are enormous and the whole ‘to do’ is unnecessary, because features on applications mimic one another. Additionally, it seems one option is Linux, which is open source and free.

I’ve finally got my home Debian Lenny installation where I want it: It’s been a year and a half since I started using Linux (or GNU/Linux, if you prefer) for much of my day-to-day computing, but the past week or so marks the first time I’ve had to support another user — in this case my wife, Ilene, whose Macintosh iBook G4 is awaiting the end of the semester at California State University Northridge, where she teaches. … It has been a lot harder than I thought. We don’t think like our users. But we need to learn.

Tutorial: Become A System Rescue Guru With Linux, Part 1: One of Carla Schroder’s favorite Linux features is its endless adaptability as a cross-platform rescue tool, and her favorite rescue Linux of all is the excellent Gentoo-based SystemRescueCD. In this series, you’ll learn how to set things right when things on your PC go awry.

Fixing Debian OpenSSL: Debian, the popular Linux distribution, has just been shown to have made an all-time stupid security goof-up. They managed to change OpenSSL in their distribution so that it had no security to speak of. Good job guys! OpenSSL makes it possible to use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) in Linux, Unix, Windows and many other operating systems. It also incorporates a general purpose cryptography library. OpenSSL is used not only in operating systems, but in numerous vital applications such as security for Apache Web servers and security appliances from companies like Check Point and Cisco. Yeah, in other words, if you do anything requiring network security on Linux, chances are good, OpenSSL is being called in to help.

Essential commands for Linux network administration: In this article, Mark Rais shares a list of those essential networking commands every beginning Linux administrator needs to know.

W3C ‘clarifies’ HTML 5 v XHTML: Potential conflicts and overlap between the first update to HTML in a decade by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and XHTML has been addressed by the standards body. The group, meanwhile, has also acknowledged vendors are – once again – pushing their own platform-specific technologies, this time on RIA, with the standards process unable to keep up. This poses a problem on interoperability.

Comparison Between Linux Web Browsers – Review of 5 Linux Browsers: I chose to only review the GUI web browsers, since it’s not exactly appropiate to compare a text-based browser like Lynx with Opera, for example. The browsers reviewed are the latest ones included in Debian Lenny, current date (May 17, 2008). The system used to review them is a Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz with 1 GB DDRAM2. The comparison includes the major five Linux browsers: Konqueror, Firefox, Opera, Epiphany and Galeon. I’m aware of others like Dillo or the older Mozilla, but decided to include only the big players at the moment.

Read Full Post »

LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have why Brazil loves Linux, a review of the top 5 tiny Distros, an article on how the Eee PC is easy enough for kids and why the Eee PC is cheaper with XP on it for some reason. Also, 80 of the best Linux security applications, Should Linux standardize on a single distro, an interactive Linux kernel map and for some laughs we have the top ten reasons for a Linux laptop.

Why Brazil Loves Linux: Brazil often makes Linux-related headlines, the latest being the adoption of KDE in Brazilian public schools. It’s clear that Brazil is enamored with Linux, but why? This is an important question for Microsoft since emerging markets are key to sales growth. Microsoft’s Annual Report 2007 reported that “impressive growth included India, China, and Brazil which all delivered revenue growth that topped 40 percent”, which is much faster than growth in developed countries. These markets are also friendly towards Linux and pose significant challenges for Microsoft. This post is my take on the reasons for Brazil’s fondness of Linux.

VirtualBox 1.6 Arrives!: The new version of VirtualBox, 1.6, for Linux, Mac, Windows, and Solaris has just recently been released with lots of new features.

The Eee PC: Easy Enough for My Kids to Master: I’ve had the Asus Eee PC at home for about four hours. But I haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet because my two pre-teen sons LOVE the Eee PC. They didn’t ask a single question about how to use the sub-notebook. In fact, the Eee PC shatters the myth that consumers aren’t ready for Linux. Here’s why.

XP cheaper than Linux on new Eee PC 900: It sounds crazy to say this, but the XP-based version of the Eee PC 900 (the new version with the 8.9″ screen) will actually be considerably -cheaper- than the Linux based version. At the official launch today, the company told journalists that “Microsoft has been a longstanding supporter of Asus” to explain the price discrepancy. And — get this — only the XP-based machine will be sold at mass-market retailers, while the Linux-based model will be consigned to computer stores.

Top 5 Tiny Distros: I was cleaning up my /home partiton when I noticed I had several tiny distros hanging around waiting to be tested. So I thought this might be a good time to write an updated Mini-distro Roundup. Unlike last time, the five contestants are all less than 88 MB in download size. The five contestants are CDlinux 0.6.1, Damn Small Linux 4.3r2, Puppy 4.0rc, Slitaz 1.0, and Austrumi 1.6.5. All of these are the latest stable except Damn Small and Puppy, that are release candidates. So, we’ll cut them just a bit of slack in the stability department if need be.

Should Linux Standardize on a Single Distro?: When I demonstrate software for Linux Journal, I tend to use Ubuntu as my operating system. The reason is simply because Ubuntu is extremely popular, but it begs the question, should the Linux community standardize on a single distribution?

80 of the Best Linux Security Applications: The aim of this article is to provide the user with a starting point for improving the security of a Linux machine. Basic system security (e.g. having a regular backup strategy, using hard-to-guess passwords, removing services that you don’t need) is essential administration in protecting your data. But you need a more sophisticated approach to keep intruders out.

My Boss Makes the Move to Ubuntu: There’s a myth that Linux is too technical for everyday people. But I recently helped my boss make the move to Ubuntu Linux. Here’s how.

What can you do with a second Ethernet port?: Purchase a new PC or motherboard soon, and the chances are good that it will come with two built-in network interfaces — either two Ethernet jacks or one Ethernet and one Wi-Fi. Tossing in a second adapter is an inexpensive way for the manufacturer to add another bullet point to the product description — but what exactly are you supposed to do with it? If you are running Linux, you have several alternatives.

Interactive Linux kernel map: Have a look at Linux kernel source from a bird’s eye view. The Linux kernel is one of the most mysterious open source projects. There is a lot of documentation, however it is still a difficult subject to comprehend. The Interactive Linux kernel map is intended to help people gain an overview of the structure and interactions of the Linux Kernel.

Outsider to lobby for OLPC Down Under: It’s quite characteristic of the cultural cringe that prevails in Australia that a man who works in America, Barry Vercoe, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is coming to the country next week to lobby for the local branch of the One Laptop Per Child project.

Blizzard Wants Copyright Laws Changed:
Cheating is bad, but does cheating infringe on a video game publisher’s copyright? World of Warcraft-maker Blizzard, a subsidiary of Vivendi, is trying to argue in court that it does.

Top Ten Reasons for a Linux Laptop – Humor: In a bit of off the cuff humor, Mark Rais creates another Linux Top Ten countdown. As always, he recommends downloading and listening to a drum roll mpg while reading the list.

Why many MCSEs won’t learn Linux: The serious question here is, I think, hidden a bit behind two emotional red herrings: I dealt with one in my immediate response by quibbing that elitism is characteristic of rich left wingers who want to keep their inferiors inferior, whereas I’m sometimes arrogant but always right – and frequent contributor bportlock promptly called him on the other by pointing out the obvious hypocrisy involved when a Microsoft devotee attacks Unix for structural diversity and instability over time.

Analyzing The Eee PC Windows Linux Price Issue: Many recent headlines have read that the Windows Eee PC 900 is cheaper than the Linux version, but is this really true?

Linux for the self-employed: This paper surveys Linux’s suitability for use by owners of very small businesses and the self-employed. It was written by Howard Fosdick, a self-employed database consultant who finds Linux fairly well-suited to his needs, and reckons it has saved him thousands of dollars in recent years.

OpenSolaris gets its wings …: I don’t follow Sun or OpenSolaris all that closely, although I have tried Project Indiana, been intrigued by a “Damn Small” take on OpenSolaris, and generally think that Sun is doing all the right things to survive and thrive in the post-proprietary world. I still want an old Sun SPARCstation, but I can’t seem to get that hooked up … but be that as it may, OpenSolaris — the open-source, community-fueled version of Sun’s Unix-like Solaris operating system — has been officially launched.

Microsoft U-turn to stop Linux dominating ultra low cost PCs: Microsoft is launching a program to promote the use of its Windows OS in ultra low-cost PCs, one effect of which will be to limit the hardware capabilities of this type of device, IDG News Service has learned. Microsoft plans to offer PC makers steep discounts on Windows XP Home Edition to encourage them to use that OS instead of Linux on ultra low-cost PCs (ULPCs). To be eligible, however, the PC vendors that make ULPCs must limit screen sizes to 10.2 inches and hard drives to 80G bytes, and they cannot offer touch-screen PCs.

Linux is ready, but consumers are not: Both big open source vendors have in the past month expressed intentions to stay within the enterprise space. Red Hat said in a blog post the consumer space does not pose a viable business proposition for it at present: “The desktop market suffers from having one dominant vendor, and some people still perceive that todays Linux desktops simply dont provide a practical alternative…building a sustainable business around the Linux desktop is tough, and history is littered with example efforts that have either failed outright, are stalled or are run as charities.”


Read Full Post »

LXer Article

With the release of the newest Ubuntu this week we saw a fair number of articles related to it including The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment and Ubuntu man says Microsoft’s about to ‘swallow a hand-grenade’. We also have two LXer Features, Introduction to Secure Web Data Input and Accurate market share statistics and The $60 Billion dollar question for your reading pleasure. Also, The Top 75 Open Source Security Apps, KDE in Korea, Magnatune gives money to Open Source, How to Make People Love Linux and we have several Microsoft related articles as well.

Ubuntu man says Microsoft’s about to ‘swallow a hand-grenade’: Well, here I am just a few miles from Yahoo!’ headquarters and Microsoft’s Silicon Valley residence. It’s Sunday, and I’ve yet to hear screams from either camp. So, it seems that Microsoft’s call to action deadline around the Yahoo! buy is passing with a lack of fanfare. Yahoo! may surprise us yet by leaking something to the New York Times or perhaps Steve Baller will call up his buds at the Wall Street Journal, but in lieu of such actual movements, I’m left wanting.

The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment: I’ve toyed with Linux since 2002, when I first installed Mandrake. With the latest release of Ubuntu, I was interested to see how far Linux had come since then in terms of being used easily by the mainstream. So, I tricked my grudging girlfriend Erin into sitting down at a brand new Ubuntu 8.04 installation and performing some basic tasks. It’s surprising how many seemingly simple things become complicated and even out of reach for someone without a knowledge of Linux. There are a lot of little things that could be done to make the experience a lot more friendly for non-computer-literate people – some of them easy to implement, others not at all.

Introduction to Secure Web Data Input: The html form can be an effective means of allowing screened content onto a web site. My focus is upon trusted members that need to deposit articles and news. Moreover, this route is designed to circumvent restricted environments that do not allow them logging directly onto the site. While security is certainly an issue, my suggestions will be limited in scope.

Accurate market share statistics and The $60 Billion dollar question: Earlier this week an article concerning Vista and market share and one about how Open Source Software has cost the IT Industry $60 Billion dollars over the last five years or so hit the newswire. Needless to say this generated some conversations about their validity. I got to wondering if there have ever been accurate market share statistics for Linux or any operating system for that matter and to ask myself the $60 Billion dollar question.

Should We Boycott Microsoft? Can We?: Captain Charles Boycott was an unfortunate chap. Not only was he the object of prolonged social ostracism, but his name has passed into history as both a noun and a verb describing that action. At the moment, the idea is much on people’s minds because of suggestions that the Beijing Olympic games should be boycotted, but here I want to discuss something quite different: whether the open source community should be boycotting Microsoft, and if that is even possible.

Review: The Top 75 Open Source Security Apps: Without much fanfare, the open source security area is growing rapidly. Here are top contenders from anti-virus, firewalls, forensics, intrusion detection, and more.

KDE in Korea: Following our interview covering KDE in Japan last week, we now turn to South Korea. Cho Sung Jae tell us about the Korean KDE Users Group, including some of the problems of using KDE with Korean and just how fast their broadband is.

KDE 4.1 Alpha1 Release Announcement:
The KDE Community today announced the immediate availability of KDE 4.1 Alpha1. With the soft feature freeze in effect, KDE 4.1 provides a first preview of what can be expected from KDE 4.1, due in late July this year.

Interop : Using Microsoft to Monitor Unix and Linux: Guess what? You can now use Microsoft to monitor/manage Linux and Unix servers as well as open source databases and webservers. Even more surprising is the fact that Microsoft is using open source to enable their management of open source servers and applications. It’s all part of the new Miicrosoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 with cross platform extensions.

Giving money to open source: A year and a half ago, the excellent Linux music player Amarok added extensive support for Magnatune. The programmer, Nikolaj Hald Nielsen, did this on his own initiative, simply because he thought it’d be a neat thing for his favorite music player to have, and because he liked Magnatune’s business philosophy.

How to Make People Love Linux: There are two kinds of Linux people in the world, those that will help people fix their Windows spyware problems, and those that will not. I land squarely in the former camp, and I think that it’s important for us all to consider doing the same.

PCLinuxOS goes the extra mile: Ever since my exploration of the various PCLinuxOS spins, I’ve been impressed with the project. Now that I’m having so much relative success with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, it’s unlikely that I will be running PCLinuxOS on my Gateway Solo 1450 laptop, but a) you never know and b) I’m looking for a good system to install for others, and PCLinuxOS is a top contender in that department.

The Perfect Desktop – Kubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron): This tutorial shows how you can set up a Kubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Kubuntu 8.04 is derived from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and uses the KDE desktop instead of the GNOME desktop.

You’re A Linux User/Supporter: You Just Don’t Know It Yet: I’D like to start by asking you a series of seemingly unrelated questions. Have you watched Shrek or Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone? Have you flown on Continental, Virgin America or Singapore Airlines? Do you drive a BMW, Fiat or Renault car? Are you serving in the United States Army? Have you ever bought anything online using Paypal? Have you ever stayed in a Sheraton hotel? Or travelled by train in Canada? Don’t worry, I’m not about to try to sell you something; rather, my aim is to enlighten you. Unless you’re a self-confessed geek like me, you probably don’t care how all these things, and many more, are created, run or maintained. You just want to know that your car will start, your movie will play in synch with the sound, your hotel room is ready and your flight or train will arrive on time. That’s perfectly understandable, but here’s the thing.

Cuba puts first computers on sale to the public: Cubans are getting wired. The island’s communist government put desktop computers on sale to the public for the first time Friday, ending a ban on PC sales as another despised restriction on daily life fell away under new President Raul Castro. A tower-style QTECH PC and monitor costs nearly US$780 (euro505). While few Cubans can afford that, dozens still gawked outside a tiny Havana electronics store, crowding every inch of its large glass windows and leaving finger and nose prints behind.

Linux vs. Windows Metrics — Nothing Is Quite What It Seems To Be: 10 days ago the Linux Loop blog had a post titled “Linux Eee PC Far Faster Than Windows Version”. I’m sure many Linux users nodded and had assumed as much. The author compared the times of three tasks: boot up, loading Firefox, and shutting down. That’s hardly a comprehensive set of tests. Some people commented to dismiss these metrics as “meaningless”. They aren’t meaningless but they certainly aren’t the whole story. Others pointed out that IE on Windows was faster than Firefox on Linux and that MS Works was faster than OpenOffice. Some then responded that Works isn’t the equivalent of OO and that MS Office would be a better comparison. It all got a little shrill with those who believe that Linux is faster than Windows and those who say it isn’t so talking past each other and resolving nothing.

Bill Gates’ Disdain for Open Source Even in Retirement: Bill Gates steps down as the Chairman of Microsoft on July 1st to transition to full time philanthropic efforts with the Gates Foundation. However, I wonder how effective Bill will be other than writing checks. You see Bill’s never played well with others.

Microsoft arguments against Linux are bollocks: Microsoft PR threw down the gauntlet; “see how Windows Server 2008 stacks up versus Linux,” they say. There’s a “Get the Facts” URL being promoted with claims of direct comparisons between the two operating systems. Anyone reading the headlines alone could be fooled into thinking there’s substance to be found.

The Biggest Windows XP Myth of All: As thousands — perhaps millions — of users seek to avoid Windows Vista, a new myth about Windows XP is emerging. But the myth, much like Windows itself, is full of holes.

Why Microsoft will dump their anti-Linux rhetoric: I’ve been combing through Microsoft’s “get the facts” web site this last fortnight. Here Microsoft promise to reveal the “facts” on Windows vs Linux solutions. They cite company after company that abandoned Linux because it was slow and unreliable and generally hopeless, but opted for Microsoft servers and found unsurpassed profits, efficiency and general happiness. Yet, the headlines have little relevance to the case study. Microsoft’s PR department are insulting their audience. They are lacking in integrity. It’s time for the site to be pulled down. Here’s why.

Read Full Post »