07.26.10

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Links 26/7/2010: GNU/Linux Sub-notebooks Comeback

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Ten Reasons to Dump Windows and Use Linux

      Now is a particularly good time to ditch Windows for good, for workstations as well as servers. For instance, now that Microsoft stopped supporting Windows Server 2003 on July 13, you’ll need to find something different to use for your servers. Whether it’s switching from Windows Server 2003 to 2008 or to Linux-based servers–or changing out tired and faulty Windows Vista desktops for the alien Windows 7 or something more user-friendly–Linux provides you with freedom and freedom of choice.

    • Linux: Retro Desktops

      I like messing around with my desktop. I decided to give it a retro Windows look. I used the Redmond theme, set all my fonts to Monospace 10, used a boring gray background, and tweaked my editor and terminal colors.

    • A Linux experiment gone horribly…perfect!

      After doing everything I (and the consultancy I work for) would have done, I determined that the best approach was to re-install the OS. Problem is, he couldn’t find his restore discs and (as I mentioned earlier) he didn’t want to shell out the money for Windows 7. This laptop was just going to be his spare laptop for home use (it was his primary laptop at work).

      I decided it was time for an experiment. I knew the laptop had a restore partition so if I left that partition alone we could still restore the machine back to factory defaults (if he could find his restore discs). So…it was time to bring out the big guns. Said big guns? Ubuntu 10.04. I was fairly certain 10.04 would work like a champ on the machine. It did. But the big test would be when the user had the machine in his hands and put it to use.

    • Disadvantages and advantages of Linux over Windows

      Linux is customizable. As the video for Compiz Fusion showed, the visual appearance of linux and the desktop environment can be extensively customized – and once again, this all can be done for free. In contrast, Windows has more limited customization. While there are programs that allow one to change the appearance of Windows dramatically, many of these programs are not free. Additionally, the capabilities for customization with linux extend past visual customization. Beginning users can stick with default settings, but more advanced users can dive deep within the system to tweak how it will work with their hardware, improving speed and power. In contrast, the Windows operating system is closed to a point, and tinkering is not supported or encouraged.

    • Deciding whether user-friendly Linux distributions is at the expense of core users

      The question is simple and understandable: does this shift to prepackaged, easy-to-use linux distributions alienate those who appreciate the ideals of linux’s origins? Do user-friendly linux distributions proliferate at the expense of the core users?

  • Server

    • BitNami Offers Express Ticket to Open Source Stacks

      If you ever wanted to explore the latest content management, wiki, or microblogging products without the headache of setting them up, a free solution from the BitNami Project is just what you need.

      One of the benefits of free and open source software is the ability to download world-class software and implement it gratis on your systems. At times, though, there is a big difference between theory and action. Complex server systems, like Ruby on Rails, Tomcat, Joomla!, or even a straight-up LAMP stack can be difficult to install and properly configure on a Linux system, particularly for admins with a little-less-than-expert rating on Linux.

  • Audiocasts

  • Applications

    • Canola Media Center Works Surprisingly Good in Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”

      Canola is a open source media center application which was primarily built for smart phones and netbook devices. To be frank, I had never heard about Canola before and so I decided to give Canola Media Center a spin in my laptop powered by Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

    • Simple Systems Administrators Toolbox

      My toolbox is very plain Jane, and for a reason. It’s basic because these are the tools that get the job done on every Unix-like platform available. Everything I’ve come to rely on is open source, even on proprietary platforms like AIX. If there’s a part of my toolbox missing, I’ll download the package or source and make sure it’s available.

    • Screen: A SysAdmin’s PowerTool

      gnuA major power tool that I left out of my sysadmin’s toolbox article is GNU Screen. Screen has been an absolute lifesaver in the past, especially because I sometimes work remotely over wifi connections that might not always be the most reliable. Screen is a session manager for shells, a way to run and preserve multiple shells without actually having to be connected to the server. The most common way I use screen is over ssh. When connected to a server over ssh, the bash session is run over that connection, so any programs or scripts that are run are also dependent on the ssh session being active. However, when screen is run, it runs in the background, separate from the ssh session. That means screen lets your wifi connection die in the middle of running a script without the script dying as well.

    • Dwarf Fortress for the console … sort of

      you can play Dwarf Fortress at the console, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. The 40d19 version for Linux which was released a few months ago allows you to set some options and send output to the console instead of its conventional SDL “translation,” if I understand it right.

    • Feh is a fast, lightweight image viewer that uses imlib2.

      Feh is a fast, lightweight image viewer that uses imlib2. It is command line-driven and supports multiple images through slideshows, thumbnail browsing or multiple windows, and montages or index prints using TrueType fonts to display file information.

    • What’s happening in compizland?

      There are still a few more unofficial plugins to go until we have 100% feature parity with the 0.8 branch. Among some of the ones I’m working on right now:

      * Animations Plus
      * Newton (Physics Engine for Compiz)
      * Sound (ALSA based sounds on window events)

    • Gwibber Concept – Part 1
    • 5 Best Web eCommerce Software for Linux

      5 Best Web eCommerce Software for Linux: The buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks is called electronic commerce (commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce). Today, eCommerce is mostly done on the web and is conducted entirely electronically for buying virtual items such as access to premium content on a website and purchase of physical items using eCommerce payment gateway.

    • Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro

      New website PortableLinuxApps features a number of portable Linux applications, which will work on any Linux distribution. These can run off your flash drive or from a folder in your home directory; it doesn’t matter. Best of all, there’s documentation out there to help you make your own program, should you not be able to find what you’re looking for.

    • A GStreamer based Video Transcoder – Transmageddon

      GStreamer is a pipeline-based multimedia framework which provides an interface to programmers for writing various multimedia applications.

    • Proprietary

      • Cofio unveils AIMstor 2.2 to unify data protection technologies

        The new application also provides event notification for backup, continuous data protection (CDP), replication and file level activities; real-time tracking and alerts of user file system activities; and new support for Linux Master, Linux Client and Linux Deduplicated Repository.

      • Spectrum Introduces Linux-Based Signal Processing Platform

        The SDR-2010 is a very powerful and adaptable Linux-based signal processing platform. It is an Intel (News – Alert) 64 Architecture Server hosting the new high-performance PRO-2910 PCI Express based carrier cards. Each card has dual XMC/PMC sites.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Sauerbraten “Cube 2″ 2010 Update Released

        If you are looking to do some Linux / open-source gaming this weekend but are looking for something new besides the recent release of VDrift, the Sauerbraten developers are out with their first update in 14 months. Sauerbraten 2010-07-19 “Justice Edition” has been released with plenty of changes.

      • Sleep is Death

        I’ve been meaning to mention this game for months now, so here it is: Sleep is Death is the latest game from indie developer Jason Rohrer, who also created the acclaimed games Passage, Between, and Primrose. As with his other projects, Sleep is Death is not a traditional game, focusing on two players crafting an interactive story akin to an online multiplayer Dungeons and Dragons session minus the players’ guides.

      • glc – The Linux FRAPS

        For those wondering, FRAPS is a Windows program that can be used to record video streams of applications running on your desktop, most often games. For instance, I’ve used FRAPS to grab a handful of cool videos while playing Live for Speed.

        Being able to record your desktop activities has many aspects – educational, tutorial and sometimes sheer bravado. There are circumstances where nothing short of a video demonstration is going to work.

      • Mac Gaming On The Rise

        The Reticule recently posted a new article on the rise of Mac and Linux gaming. The article included discussion of the release of Steam for Mac, as well as the importance of independent developers in keeping Mac and Linux gaming alive. Developers such as Spiderweb’s Jeff Vogel and Wolfire’s John Graham offered their comments about the benefits of supporting multiple platforms.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • My first week on KDE, part 2 – A Review

        When I started looking at moving away from Ubuntu I was leaning toward KDE after the wealth of great screenshot I’d been seeing in the Ubuntu Forums monthly desktop screenshot threads. I was especially interested in the possibilities of Bespin, a theme/widget style for Qt4 that has knocked my socks off in some desktop screenshots. I’ll admit I haven’t played with Bespin much yet but I definitely need to track down the info I was given before so I could look into it. Logo for the K Desktop Environment (KDE)On the whole I’m really liking KDE. There’s a lot to learn, and I do have to relearn how to do some things in KDE but it’s definitely a learning curve worth climbing. One of the things you learn pretty quickly about GNOME is the fact that a lot of the configuration tasks are hidden away from the general user, and while the GNOME Configuration Editor and Ubuntu Tweak do help a lot there are some things, like screensavers, where all but the most basic things are not available, and even then you can easily have to deal with the command line to make further tweaks. If the tweaks are even doable under GNOME. With KDE there are user changeable options for just about everything, if you can figure out where to look. Unfortunately finding information isn’t as easy in KDE as it is in Ubuntu, which lets you search one in the Help app and get results in every installed app. In KDE I first have to know where I want to look and I’ve started in the wrong place a few times. I’ve also found the KDE help files aren’t nearly as in-depth as GNOME’s are so I’ve had to turn to my web browser a few times to find the information I need.

      • Using KDE 4 – Day 7

        Will I switch? I don’t know. What I do know is that starting Monday I am going to actively begin hunting for a good KDE distro that plays well with my WiFi card. I would LOVE to keep using this edition of Mandriva, but where I could probably find every package I need or install every utility I need from source I am less sure that I will be able to fix the suspend/resume +no wifi problem that I have.

        Because of the WiFi problem that I have in Mandriva I am going back to Ubuntu this weekend. For the sake of this series I stuck with Mandriva in order to use KDE4, but I cannot keep doing the reboot thing, I use suspend/resume a LOT.

        All in all this was a very informing exercise for me. I hope I was able to translate what I experienced this week in writing to you guys – if you have any suggestions on how to improve these seven day challenges let me know!

      • Why I’m not moving to KDE (yet)
      • Not Really The Best Approach

        Today I stumbled across Netrunner GNU/Linux Community Distro and it made me wonder about a few things.

        Originally, it was Ubuntu with out the “evil Mono(tm)”, now of course mainline Ubuntu has no mono either, so their USP was gone! So they changed their main idea.

        The latest release is based on Kubuntu (which makes it a 4th generation distro) and aims to improve the KDE that is provided by Kubuntu by, this is what really got me, integrating more of Gnome into KDE.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Introducing The Board

        I’d like to present you The Board.

        [...]

        What is it made of? The Board is built on top of bleeding edge GNOME platform. It’s written in Javascript using the GObject Introspection-based Gjs. The UI is fully written with Clutter and Mx (with some small bits of GTK+ and Clutter-GTK+). It’s a nice example of how you can do cool apps using the GNOME platform nowadays.

      • Desktop in the Shell

        In the light of the upcoming GNOME 3, the more document-centric Shell and the browser-mode nautilus (instead of spatial mode), I wanted to remix my thoughts a bit.

  • Distributions

    • Arch + XFCE: The perfect Desktop (for now)

      In the past week I’ve used Ubuntu 10.04, Mint 9, and Arch + GNOME, but Arch + XFCE seems to beat all of those.

    • Reviews

      • First Look: Jolicloud 1.0

        It’s been a while since our last review of the Jolicloud operating system, and since we just got a brand-new eMachines eM350 netbook (see it in the enclosed image) we thought to give you guys a glimpse into the new release of Jolicloud 1.0. As many of you already know, the distribution is not yet available for download as an ISO image. At the moment, Jolicloud 1.0 is only available as an upgrade option to selected users. But don’t despair, as it will be available for download by the end of the month!

      • Fastest OS on the world its Puppy 5 Lucid

        This is first review of Puppy 5 lucid which is Ubuntu based. It is the fastest OS I used ever,it feels better than DSL.So I am going to share my Experience with you.

        [...]

        Puppy 5 is a tremendous success. The boot sequence has been improved; it looks nicer, more polished and is more streamlined. The desktop is even more refined. You get tons of great programs. Then, there’s Quick pet. Everything works out of the box, including Wireless, Samba, multimedia playback. All of this in just 130MB.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Myths Surrounding PCLinuxOS 2010

        #1 PCLinuxOS is a Mandriva Spinoff

        It was started with a Mandriva base, but over the years it has grown to different personality. Except for the beloved Control Center none of the components are borrowed from Mandy. PCLinuxOS 2010 is built from the ground up using the home grown repository. Tex and PCLOS devs have taken bits and pieces from Fedora, OpenSuse and Mandriva, even some of the patches used are from Debian, PLD and Chakra. Would you call it a respin of all these distros?

        The greatness of a modern linux desktop distribution lies in how well you integrate components, no matter from where they are taken, and how well you take decisions regarding choosing/upgrading the critical components and introducing new technologies. In this regards, PCLinuxOS is tightly integrated, well-put-together, stable and out-of-the-box usable distribution. It’s a respin of none!

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Passes The Test

        As others have said, Ubuntu is the great beginner’s distribution, and now, after seeing how well my less than mainstream hardware was handled, I can say it should be the very first distribution anyone should try. [I did not always feel this way, as only last year I truly believed that there were fewer problems with OpenSuSE 11.2 versus any other distributions I have tried, which includes all the usual suspects, and few less popular ones, like Zenwalk]

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Seven Ubuntu Derivatives worth Checking Out

          I make a point of trying as many different variations of Ubuntu as I can, this way I can be informed when I recommend one version over another to friends and family. The following is a round up of my favorites I have found over my last three years in the world of Linux.

        • New Artwork For Lubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat [Screenshots]

          Lubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, the unoficial LXDE flavor of Ubuntu got an artwork update last week. I’m posting this only now because I had some issues downloading the latest Lubuntu development ISO.

        • Manhattan OS (Based On Ubuntu) Makes It Easier To Convert Users To Linux [Review]

          Manhattan OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu created by Kevin McDole, a frequent WebUpd8 reader and commenter. Manhattan OS is in fact inspired by everything we post here, at WebUpd8. Initially I though this review would be really easy to do since I am very familiar with everything in Manhattan OS, but I then realized half of WebUpd8 is used in Manhattan so that would take like… a year for a full review. So we’ll do a light review only and for any application for which you want to find out more, just search for it on WebUpd8.

        • Peppermint

          • Peppermint Linux: An interesting approach

            There are so many Linux distributions out there. Some of them are pretty standard and some of them go well out of their way to try to bring something different to the table. I’ve seen just about every take on the Linux desktop. Today, however, I came across a distribution, Peppermint Linux, that added another new twist to the desktop. It’s nothing earth shattering. In fact, it really only takes advantage of a technology given to us by Mozilla Labs. That technology? Prism.

            [...]

            With just a bit of tweaking on the desktop I believe Peppermint Ice has a real winner on their hands. It’s a unique idea that needs just a bit more work to make for the ideal social desktop.

          • VPS.NET Is Proud to Announce its Sponsorship of Peppermint OS

            As one of the world’s top providers of virtual private server cloud hosting, VPS.NET is constantly researching and developing smarter and more intuitive services to meet these growing needs. As part of its commitment to innovation, VPS.NET is sponsoring the soon to be released Peppermint OS, a Linux-based operating system that is cloud/web application centric. VPS.NET will be providing the infrastructure for Peppermint OS’ online presence.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embest announces Devkit3250 evaluation kit

      Embest has released an evaluation kit – the Devkit3250 – based on NXP’s LPC3250 ARM926EJ-S microcontroller, supporting by the Linux open-source operating system.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • BMW, GM, others choose MeeGo for in-car computers

        The nonprofit Linux Foundation on Friday said the GENIVI Alliance will go with the open-source MeeGo OS for its new In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system. The decision gives automakers like BMW, GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen the new mobile platform and makes Delphi, GM, Intel, Magneti-Marelli, Visteon, Wind River and others the suppliers. IVI includes apps in vehicles that can be used by everyone in the car, including navigation, media, location-based services, and access to the Internet as well as media players and phones

    • Android

      • Vodafone 845 review

        One of the massive advantages of the Android platform is that it’s open source, so anyone can use it to load onto their phones.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • WebOS Netbooks in the tunnel

        Jon Rubinstein confirmed the Fortune Brainstrom Tech that netbooks running webOS platform are in the pipeline.

      • OLPC: What does the XO-1.5 HS look like?

        Ok, so you know about the XO-1.5 and you’ve been told about the XO-1.5 HS which is an X0 but with a different keyboard.

      • How can India build a $35 tablet? More details emerge

        On Friday I covered the $35 tablet prototype that the Indian government unveiled. Over the weekend, it’s been called everything from the “future of computing” to “devices [that] cannot compensate for [India's] crumbling education infrastructure and absenteeism of teaching staff.” A few more details have emerged, however, suggesting that this prototype is a lot closer to a reference spec than something that will see the light of day soon.

        I started digging into this a little bit further when a little birdie from Intel said “It doesnt add up – the sum of the parts is no where near the whole cost they are claiming…” Not a literal birdie, of course, but I’m waiting for an OK to attribute the quite reasonable statement to a source. Regardless, both the Times of India and thenextweb.com shed a bit more light on the device.

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