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Linux Mint 10 for a Whole Day

Posted in GNU/Linux, Review, Ubuntu at 1:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mint in green

Summary: Rave about Linux Mint 10, which is a recommended option to existing Ubuntu users

Ubuntu, Ubuntu, Ubuntu. Android, Android, Android. Welcome to the new world of GNU/Linux, where brands are merely trademarks of companies which increasingly treat “community” as convenient PR/free labour and do what the heck they want. I decided to give the nice Irishmen from Mint a go and see if it’s time to live a Minty lifestyle. On Saturday I used Mint 10 and it lasted almost all day. The reason it did not last a whole day will be explained in a moment. As a bit of background, I’ve been exploring Ubuntu alternatives that reject poor decisions from Canonical and take what’s good in Ubuntu. So, I went with Mint. It was not the KDE version, which had not come out before I burned Mint 10 to a CD and then wrote about it some time last month.

“Granted, a lot of credit is given here to Mint for what Ubuntu has done in the same way that Debian receives little or no credit for what it gave to Canonical over the many years.”The desktop experience based on the Live CD was fantastic on good hardware. It hardly felt like a live session at all, it was very polished, the default theme was stunning (although better wallpapers come with the stock), and the selected applications were just right for my needs. The only unexpected downside is that twice throughout the day the session sort of fell. First the mouse pointer vanished from one monitor (just the cursor, the pointer was still functional), then the session froze (just shortly thereafter). Having to restart a live session is a pain because all the stored passwords need to be reentered, not to mention bookmarks and the likes of those. The second crash came just an hour later and it was a real crash, not a freeze that came rather spontaneously. Based on my experience with a Live CD of PCLinuxOS back in 2009, this is not too unusual. Perhaps working uninterrupted for consecutive days on a live session is not too easy. A lot depends on what’s in memory and the CD is a sort of unreliable bus, as well.

All in all, however, Mint 10 is better than anything I’ve ever come across in all the Ubuntu versions I’ve used (almost all of them) and it is definitely worth using. Granted, a lot of credit is given here to Mint for what Ubuntu has done in the same way that Debian receives little or no credit for what it gave to Canonical over the many years.

The new “Techrights headquarters” so to speak has no wired Internet connection yet, which means I must use cellular networks to access the Internet (slow and expensive). As such, there’s going to be no regular posting pace in the week to come (if not week and a half, depending on BT).


Novell News Summary – Part I: Two Weeks of OpenSUSE, Some Reviews Accumulated

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Novell, OpenSUSE, Review at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Several reviews of OpenSUSE that we’ve netted, upcoming events, and a lot of technical writings assembled

LAST week was too quiet to be worth a post, so this is an accumulation encompassing two weeks.

The big news is that Zonker is leaving. Project activity in general seems low, but there are many IRC meetings as well as other gatherings.

Read the rest of this entry »


Novell News Summary – Part I: More Reviews of OpenSUSE – Rants and Raves

Posted in Database, GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, Review at 7:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dragon lizard

Summary: More reviews of OpenSUSE 11.2, the OpenSUSE Boosters Team, and site theme makeovers

THE release of the latest OpenSUSE is just weeks behind and one of its reviewers, Caitlyn Martin, has some followups on last week's review. In her blog she complains about what she describes as ‘the’ community, as though there is one happy family with a cohesive set of ideas and goals, all living in harmony. The reality is more complex because some factions advocate DRM, others exploit GNU/Linux for cost, and others value Freedom for example. There are many other dimensions of division. In O’Reilly’s domain, she writes some more about the subject in relation to her review of OpenSUSE. She did receive some abuse from people, but this is by no means unique to users of GNU/Linux. It is a little disappointing to see it attributed to people who are classified by the operating system that they use.

Read the rest of this entry »


Vista 7: Like Windows Vista All Over Again

Posted in Microsoft, Review, Videos, Vista 7, Windows at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New articles/posts about Vista 7 and some experiences that got captured in video (as Ogg)

THE previous post contained some new links that compare Vista 7 to GNU/Linux or put these two sides in context. It is not worth spending much time speaking about Microsoft’s launch parties and other such bogus celebrations. Here is just one perspective:

Early adopters always take a hit. But the same problems with Windows continue even though 7 was supposed to be the resolution for the mess that Vista was. When you take into account all the forced compliance issues with Vista and now 7 it does make you wonder if Microsoft has a hand in selling hardware like wireless cards, printers and scanners. In the past Microsoft has done many shady things like being sued for monopolies, paying for good press, bench mark fraud, and flooding the internet with so called “reviews” written by employees.

Another piece says that Vista 7 might be a relic.

People once relied on PCs for e-mail, for instance, but many now get their messages on smart phones and Web browsers through services such as Hotmail or Gmail. Developers are putting their juice into making iPhone apps rather than PC software, or into so-called cloud applications, which run online instead of in Windows.

Has Microsoft built a faster train while the rest of the industry is making planes and automobiles?

Our reader David Gerard has published a parody about Vista 7′s release.

It said it had been “demonised” and repeatedly denied doing things which have been attributed to Vista. It attributed photos of it wearing a T-shirt saying “The Wow™ starts NOW!” to youthful foolishness. Windows 7 also decried the leak of Microsoft’s latest dismal quarterly results on Wikileaks, saying the contents were complete fiction and a breach of private matters between the Microsoft National Party and the financial authorities.

Our reader ‘Goblin’ has found various videos that already show people having problems with Vista 7. Here are 3 examples.

Windows 7 Problems with 7 Loader. Help!!

Windows 7 Problem playing DVD in Media Center

Windows 7 games problem HELP!!!


Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE Marketing, ASUS Xandros/Scalix, and Turbolinux IPO

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Novell, Review, Scalix, Security, SLES/SLED, Turbolinux, Videos, Xandros at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: A glimpse at distributors who pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux


FOR SUSE it has been an exceptionally quiet week, but SUSE Studio still generates a bit of a buzz and there are also reviews that are largely positive.

Read the rest of this entry »


Another Review of Vista 7 and the Uncertain Future of Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Review, Vista 7, Windows at 8:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: Months before the release of Vista 7 and Windows Mobile 6.5 there are troubling signs

PARTICIPANTS of this Web site occasionally offer a story about their experiences with Vista 7, which is all about marketing. There is an example from April and also from earlier this month. Another short review comes from a reader whose experiences are reproduced verbatim below:

I installed Vistas 7 RC1 on my Acer Aspire 7220, with these isues:

- 1400×900 flatscreen was recognized as a 800×600 CRT;
- Nvidia Geoforce 7000M GPU was recognized as a standard VGA adapter;
- Nvidia nForce Ethetnet adapter was not recognized at all;
- Atheros PCI WLAN adapter was not recognized at all.

I downloaded the Vista drivers from the Acer website on my Fedora 10 machine (Pleunix) and copied them to a USB thumbdrive. Installed them on Vista 7. However I was still unable to make any connection (neither wired nor wireless) to “the Internet”.

Vista 7 didn’t understood that my Sitecom (Linux) wireless router/firewall/switch/nat only serves as a access point and switch behind another router. That is obviously too complicated for Vista 7.

After 12 hours I gave up and re-installed Ubuntu 9.04 on that machine.

My final conclusion: Vista 7 is even worst that Vista if it’s not preinstalled.

I am wondering if people are stupid enough to pay for that piece of junkware.

The point about poor hardware support is also emphasised in this brand new blog post which starts as follows:

5 Things Microsoft does not want you to know about Windows.

Truth no 1
You are paying way more than you are getting. This is a simple truth that most users of Windows do not seem to appreciate. Why do you have to pay as much as $100 to get a license to use an OS which is bare to the bones? An installation of Windows is just the first in a series of long processes to make your computer useful. Your computer can in virtually all cases not be used to do anything meaningful after a Windows installation until you have installed numerous third party drivers and other utilities most of which you would have to pay for separately. That is very much being short changed to me.

Truth no 2
You are never safe with Windows. The recent DDOS attacks on Twitter and Facebook makes it very clear that if anything at all, Windows is a very big threat to the future of the internet and computing in general.

This second point was also addressed here before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

It is interesting to note that the “mobile” version of Windows seems to be on its death throes and this is even covered by a news Web site right now.

Did Microsoft Just Throw WinMo Under A Bus?


Just don’t act surprised when the next version of Windows Mobile turns out to be the last.

Microsoft bought Danger for a large sum of money and some say that Microsoft was pressured to buy RIM (for BlackBerry). There are still many writeups about Microsoft’s prospects with Palm, but that would be Linux based. Either way, Windows Mobile has been a great financial failure for Microsoft and there is no sign of this trend reversing. Microsoft is now trying to get Symbian (Nokia) to help out. One reader, Patrick McFarland, argues that both Windows and Windows Mobile will be replaced by Microsoft, but we cannot confirm such a claim.


Novell News Summary – Part II: SLED at H-P, SLES at IBM, and Xandros/Scalix

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Review, Scalix, Servers, Xandros at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chameleon tail

Summary: Another glance at H-P’s embrace of SLED 11; other notable news about SUSE and Xandros


SOME days ago we commented on H-P's support of SLED. Further to that, all the following items mention Novell and SLED in the same context:

Read the rest of this entry »


Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Release: An Overview

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Review, Servers, SLES/SLED at 11:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

HAVING WATCHED very closely the announcements of this product, I finally present what I was able to gather.

We wrote about the release of SLE* 11 on Tuesday and on Thursday, where we separately remarked on Novell’s announcement. Here is the official announcement/press release (also in Linux Electrons). We start with Novell’s own coverage.

The Spinners

Novell’s PR Director, Ian Bruce, wrote about this release and there was a chunk of videos from Grant Ho who works for him.

Except for E-mails that Novell’s PR department must have sent to many reporters, here is its direct output from the past week:

  1. It’s here!
  2. Grant Ho Episode 5 – It’s here!
  3. We couldn’t do this alone

We covered some more of it before and we usually find that they throw some of that IDC 'study' into it, despite the fact that Novell paid for it too.

In an article that quotes us, SJVN calls SLED/SLES 11 “Novell’s marriage of Linux and Windows.” “I believe you pronounce SLES as ‘sleeze’,” says one person in Digg in response to this article.

.NET-savvy or Microsoft-savvy? Microsoft Linux?

Coverage from Jupitermedia was particularly interesting because it treats Novell’s submission to Microsoft as though it’s all fine and dandy. Here is what Sean wrote:

Novell generates a large portion of its Linux revenues from Microsoft as a result of a November 2006 deal between the two companies. SLES 11 benefits from the Microsoft partnership and will offer at least one feature that no other enterprise Linux distribution has ever had, support for Microsoft’s .NET framework.

The .NET support comes by way of the Novell led Mono effort which to date has only been available on community Linux distributions like Novell’s openSUSE and Red Hat’s Fedora. Red Hat has told InternetNews.com in the past that it was not interested in including Mono with its Red Hat Enterprise Linux release.

Technically, Novell is calling the .NET support, SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension. It’s intended to enable users to run fully supported Microsoft .NET-based applications on Linux.

Some corresponding comments can be found here.

Eric Lai, who typically covers Microsoft and its intersections with OSS, wrote an article stating that “With SUSE Linux 11, Novell draws even closer to Microsoft”

The latest version of SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell’s commercial distribution of the open-source operating system, bears more fruit from Novell’s controversial two-and-a-half-year-old interoperability alliance with Microsoft.

Here is the comments section where it says:

[A]s much as I like SuSE as a distribution: I’m inclined to avoid it in order to prevent dragging myself into the fray and to watch the situation very carefully to examine what evidence might come forth as to Microsoft’s true end goal.

Other Announcement Coverage

Being a major announcement, it has received a lot of coverage. Here is what we netted.

The Inquirer: Novell SUSE Linux 11 out

AFTER TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING, Novell is releasing latest flagship SUSE Linux platform.

Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 11 are the first major updates since SLES and SLED 10 in 2006.

Pam Derringer at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com: SUSE 11 could boost Linux adoption with cloud

Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 11 debuts today with numerous enhancements that should boost performance in the data center. Novell and IBM also teamed up on a cloud computing initiative that could potentially bolster SUSE Linux adoption in the long term.

Alastair Otter at Tectonic: Novell releases Suse Linux Enterprise 11

Novell yesterday released Suse Linux Enterprise 11 which includes a number of features intended to make the operating system interoperate better with Microsoft’s Windows OS. Major changes in the interests of interoperability include improvements in systems management, virtualisation and document formats.

Desktop Linux: SLE 11 adds enterprise features

Meanwhile, Novell has added a number of enterprise-oriented features and extensions to the new SLE distros, led by the new Mono support for .NET compatibility. Novell points to its somewhat controversial five-year partnership with Microsoft as a key to helping make SLE 11 work seamlessly with Microsoft Windows “in cross-platform virtualization, systems management, identity/directory federation, and document compatibility,” says the company.

David Meyer at CNET and ZDNet: Novell releases Suse Linux Enterprise 11 (also in mirrors)

Paula Rooney at ZDNET: Novell delivers SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Richard Adhikari at ECT: Novell Aims for the Clouds With Suse Enterprise 11

David Berlind at InformationWeek: Podcast: New Rev Of SUSE Linux First To Officially Support .NET, Silverlight

Charles Babcock at InformationWeek: Novell Launches Suse 11 With Eye On Virtual Appliances

Daniel Robinson at VNUNET: Novell ships Suse Linux Enterprise 11 (also in here)

J.A. Watson at ZDNet UK: SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 Released

Kevin McLaughlin at CRN: Novell Takes Wraps Off SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Liam Lahey at eChannel Line (strongly pro-Novell): Novell ships SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

LinuxQuestions: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Released

OSDir: Novell SUSE Linux 11 Release

Heise Online: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Heise: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 released

TechRadar: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is here

ITNews( in Italian): IT: Novell presenta SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

OSNews Novell Releases Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11

Zmanda piggybacked this announcement to issue one of its own

Zmanda Delivers Data Protection for SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 from Novell

Zmanda™, the leader in open source backup and recovery software, today announced that its flagship products, Amanda Enterprise 3.0, and Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL 3.0 have been certified on SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 from Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL – News), the Linux platform that drives mission-critical computing from the desktop to the data center, for physical and virtual environments.

Beyond the Announcement

The Novell channel peddled a SLE 11 wallpaper and a review came from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, who had received a copy of SLED 11 in advance. Being a pragmatist who has been a SUSE user for years, he concluded with:

SLED, with all of its Microsoft integration, isn’t a Linux for free software purists. But it is a desktop Linux distro that makes a fine drop-in replacement for Windows at most offices.

Why would you want to do that? Because while there are some things that Windows users take for granted, such as being locked into Microsoft’s document formats, there are security threats, such as Conflicker, that could destroy a business. If you want Windows compatibility, but you’d prefer a cheaper and more stable and secure alternative, then SLED 11 is the desktop operating system for you.

Here are SJVN’s screenshots and here is long analysis from The Var Guy, who has not tried SLED 11 yet (so he mostly echoes what he hears from Novell or the press).

The Indian press combined news about the economy with this release of SLE.

Strengthening its strategy for open source and Linux, Novell recently announced its latest offering in SUSE Linux – the Enterprise Version 11. The new version comes to the market almost a year and a half after Novell released version 10.

Amy Newman, who writes about virtualisation, asks about the effects on this release from Novell on her area of interest/focus.

On Tuesday, Novell released version 11 of Suse Linux Enterprise Server. Key feature improvements are enterprise Mono support (.NET on Linux), high availability enhancements and a streamlined operating system build geared toward appliance vendors.

Even more significantly, is SLES 11′s shift in focus. As virtualization has gained ground, vendors and analysts alike have been eulogizing the operating system. It appears Novell is among the first to take the message seriously.

So that’s about all for the time being. Moe reviews will surely come soon.

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