Archive for January, 2009

LXer Article

This week’s Roundup starts off with Steven Rosenberg talking about his Thunderbird IMAP setup and why he wishes it was better at it. We have a couple of desktop related articles where Bruce Byfield gives us his Ideal Linux Desktop Setup and gHacks shows us how to shorten Linux boot time by going through what services you really need turned on.

It looks like the British Navy’s decision to ‘upgrade’ their ships to Windows has not gone as planned. One of their ships disabled because of a software virus. Our own Paul Ferris tells us how Belkin got caught paying people write positive reviews of their products or ‘Astroturfing’ as it is called. Paul goes into some of the social issues that are behind it. Matt Asay tells us about some of the events and people behind Microsoft’s anti-Linux campaign. Tomáš Kramár liked Enigma so much he decided to port it to Linux.

A longtime Windows user Preston Gralla tries to see if he can survive 2 weeks without Windows and then he interviews Linux founder Linus Torvalds where we find out he has recently switched from KDE to GNOME. Blair Mathis gives us his list of the Top 50 most popular Linux Programs.

To close things out we have a couple of articles by Carla Schroder that speak to ongoing issues in the world of Linux Journalism. It has been revealed time and again that most of the people who are paid to write about Linux and Open Source have never actually used it, which explains the ‘quality’ of their writing. Carla hits the nail on the head in her article “Careers In Linux Journalism– No Knowledge Required!” and then she asks why hypothetical Linux users are always portrayed as idiots and why “Joe Sixpack Must Die“.


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LXer Article

The Wall Street Journal had a piece on Mark Shuttleworth and our own Steven Rosenberg thinks All roads lead to Ubuntu. SJVN goes over Linux 2.6.28’s five best features and
Sander came across this great piece of FUD called Why Windows 7 will crush Linux and Hans Bezemer noticed and couldn’t stop himself from responding with Why Linux makes Windows 7 obsolete.

I came across something that made me scared for Comcast customers. In some OO.o news Bruce Byfield does a nice review of multiple Office Suites and it seems that some of the brass inside of the organization itself are worried about getting among other things, more involvement. Over at Linux Today Carla Schroder tells us how Linux is succumbing to Creeping Windows-Itis.

Apple made newswire this week with Christopher Dawson talking about the end of his love affair with Appleand Steve Jobs announced he is stepping aside citing health issues until some time in July. I personally think it is going to be much longer than that. Apple has transformed itself into something much bigger and better under him, again. Apple is on a permanent upward swing now, take care of your health Steve, Apple is going to be just fine.

It seems that a virus sunk the British Royal Navy fleet comms recently. I guess I know how that “upgrade” to Windows 2000 is going huh? Shane O’Neill asks if Linux stands a chance now that Windows 7 will run on netbooks?. Vista 2.0 on a Netbook? Only if every laptop under $500 is considered a Netbook.

And last but not least we have some LXer news, earlier this week I announced the addition of “tracyanne” to our staff and I should be flogged for forgetting to mention to everyone that on January 1st 2009 LXer celebrated its 5th Anniversary. It was five years ago that Dave Introduced LXer, and the world of Linux News has never been the same…

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LXer Article

Sorry for being a day late on posting this. Some new things going on with the kernel like Btrfs put in the mainline and SJVN’s review of Linux 2.6.28’s five best features. Someone decided to try Linux for a week as their new year Linux resolution and 14 file managers for linux as well.

Linux-Tip has a nice article on choosing a secure password which is critical if you want any amount of real security on your systems. Christopher Tozzi says he’s happy with Wine in his piece “Gaming on Linux: I’ll Stick With Wine, Please“. Cisco was in the news with word that they are getting into blade servers and the lawsuit pending over GPL violations.

Tina Gasperson gives us her take on the book “How to Be a Geek Goddess” and UK citizens can now enjoy the knowledge that their government gave itself the right to remotely hack into their computers without prior notification and without a warrant too, nice huh?

Carla Schroder talks about Super Hi-Fi Digital Audio in Linux and Mark Shuttleworth is talked about in Ashlee Vance’s NYT piece “A Software Populist Who Doesn’t Do Windows“. tech Radar has a great review of 7 Linux web editors that get the job done and last but not least my piece on how I barely avoided an epic fail at CES: 2009.

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LXer Article

A review of my time walking around the largest technology exposition on the planet and how I barely avoided an epic fail at finding something FOSS related to write about.

So here I am at the largest technology show on the planet, its big, there are thousands of exhibitors, buyers, sellers and of course a ton of Press from all over the world. It is my first time so I have no point of reference with which to judge it by but from what I have found out from CES employees and other members of the Press it is a down year for attendance and participation. Gee, I can’t imagine why? 😉

I came to CES for several reasons. I had never been to one and thought it a great opportunity to go to a “mainstream” event and see just exactly what goes on. I wanted to see if it really was the biggest of them all (which it is) and I wanted to see how much FOSS related stuff I could find and in so doing get an idea of just how far Open Source has penetrated into the “mainstream”. Needless to say I was in for a surprise, if you could call it that.

I will tell you that I did not set my expectations very high, I did not expect to find Open Source products, software or hardware at every turn. But I did expect to find some, or a few, or a couple though. So far I have found one, that’s right one, just one thing running Linux on it. So here is my story of how I barely missed experiencing an “Epic Fail” at CES 2009.

Over the course of the last two days I have wandered around the different showrooms at the Las Vegas Convention Center and two different casino convention centers looking for things to share with our readers. I went by the ASUS booth figuring that of all the vendors they would have some Linux machines up and running for show attendees to look at. They all but invented the Netbook market with their Eee PC that came with only Linux on it until Microsoft realized they were getting cut out of an entire market segment and brought XP back from the dead. So I should have been able to see a whole line of them at their booth running Linux on them right? Wrong.

I looked and looked and all I could see was XP, XP, and some more XP. So I finally got myself in front of a ASUS representative and was politely told that there were no Eee PC computers running of any kind of Linux on them, none, not even one, and there wouldn’t be either. I have to say that the rep was not exactly willing to talk about it much more than to tell me “No” and then disappeared quickly soon after. Not one Eee PC running Linux at the biggest Tech Expo on the planet? Interesting to say the least.

So I went to the LG and HP booths as well looking for one or two Netbooks running Linux and guess what? I got the same answer and as interesting (to me at least) got the same reaction from the representatives too. Not a single Netbook running Linux and not a single vendor rep willing to say more than “Sorry, there are no computers here running Linux.” Needless to say I was starting to wonder if I had stepped into the Twilight Zone of Tech Shows. Was I just blind and not seeing them? Was I stupid? (don’t answer that) or was I just in the midst of an ‘Epic Fail’ in finding something, anything to write about?

To my surprise I did find something..

I was walking around feeling a little despondent to say the least and found myself at the Intel booth directly across the way from the Microsoft booth. The Intel people were touting their new Atom Processor and such and I started looking around at the dozen or so Netbooks that they had out and to my complete and utter surprise I found one Netbook running Ubuntu on it. I literally stood there like a ‘Deer in headlights’ for a minute dumbfounded at my find. I FOUND SOMETHING RUNNING LINUX ON IT! I am not an Epic Fail!

It was a little Dell Netbook that unlike all the other Netbooks around it, was and would not get on the Internet no matter what. Believe me, I tried to no avail. I couldn’t believe that of all the places to find something running Linux on it, I find it at the Intel booth. Which just happened to be within throwing distance of the Microsoft booth too. It felt kind of like sneaking into the Dragon’s Lair by walking right under his nose, while he was awake! Again, very interesting.

So after coming down off my “I’m not an Epic Fail” high I found a friendly Intel person and asked if the one little Dell was the only thing running Linux on it in their booth. He said yes. It was the only thing they had not running Windows on it. My immediate question then was did he know where the Dell booth was because they certainly would have more, or at least one more of their Netbooks running Linux on it right? Wrong again. Guess what? Dell had recently pulled out and was not at the show in any shape or form.

What? You mean to tell me that the only computer I could find running Linux on it at CES was a Dell running Ubuntu and they were not even at the show? Wow! Really? Are you sure? Is this some kind of joke? Have I been drugged? Come to find out, no joke, no drugs and no Dell at the show. Along with no Novell, no AMD and scores of other vendors who have been staunch attendees for years. I guess they were right about it being a down year weren’t they?

Having a Press ID hanging around my neck made me stick out a bit while walking around and I had many vendor reps flag me down wanting to talk about their products and such. When I asked if it was Open Source related I was time and time again told, “No, sorry” and quickly brushed aside. I know there has to be more FOSS related stuff at CES, there has to be, and I just haven’t found it. I know there will be others who find it but I swear I looked and looked and looked and all I found was one Dell running Ubuntu. I am not sure what to take from this except that FOSS has a long way to go in getting the attention of the ‘mainstream’ consumer electronics industry.

Luckily, time is on our side. Right?

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LXer Article

Welcome to the first LXer Roundup of 2009, I hope your new year was a good one. ChannelWeb has a list of what they think are the 10 Coolest Open Source products of 2008 and Phoronix has their take on the great Linux innovations of 2008. Bruce Byfield gives us his list of the seven most influential Linux distributions. I like the list overall but I think it should include Damn Small Linux.

At around midnight Pacific Time all the 30GB Zunes froze. Why? Because 2009 has an extra leap second. Not a whole day, but just one second. TG Daily talks about Internet Explorer’s continued market share decline and how Mozilla is picking up roughly 2 out of every 3 people who switch away from it. With Google saying IE6 is not secure and actively pushing Chrome, it is making even the casual computer user ask themselves what else they can use to surf the Internet with.

In some somber news Caitlyn Martin reports that MadTux has closed its doors for good. Its sad that the small Linux vendors that actually provide worthwhile support are feeling the pinch of the major vendors now offering Linux on some of their models. I am sure that the effects of recent economic events was a factor as well. It seems that someone has ported Google’s Android to the EEE PC and it wasn’t very hard either. So Android is the Linux OS they ‘haven’t’ been working on all this time, interesting.

The Debian Developers have decided to release Debian 5 with proprietary firmware in order to get Lenny out in a timely manner. I thought that Lenny was supposed to be completely free of any non GPL’d code? Andrew Min talks about why games are the key to Linux adoption how the big names in FOSS could be doing more about it.

To finish things up we have Dana Dana Blankenhorn’s most recent article about the biggest threat to open source in 2009. Dana has been on a roll lately but with a statement like “..but most open source lacks update services”, I am left asking myself if he has ever run Linux on anything or used any FOSS software ever. You smell what I smell?

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