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Links 22/5/2011: Zenwalk 7.0, Mozilla Firefox 5 Beta



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • The flexibility of Linux
    I'll admit, I'm somewhat interested in Google's Chromebook concept. The Chromebook is Google's spin on the "netbook". Announced in May last year, Chromebook goes on sale in mid-June.

    The Chromebook runs Google's Chrome OS, which is based on Gentoo Linux. While Linux has appeared on netbooks in the past (and were the only option on the very first netbooks) this is another example of the flexibility of Linux. You can use Linux as a base for almost any computing platform - it's small, fast, and supports a variety of hardware.


  • I shall build it and I shall call it gregBook
    Both my desktop and my laptop started working more slowly a few weeks ago. This indicated that something about the operating system (some version of Ubuntu Linux) changed in a bad way. Or, perhaps, since the slowness was mostly noticed in the web browser, the newer version of Firefox was somehow borked. It turns out that the latter is true to some extent because the developers of Firefox left Linux out in the cold with hardware acceleration (and despite the excuses for that I'm still annoyed ... had the same issues applied to, say Windows, they would not have left Windows out in the cold). But that is a digression. It turns out that the cause was related to something I had installed that was related to the system. This little problem has been solved, but it brings up another issue, which has also been addressed on the blog Linux in Exile. This is what I wanted to talk about.


  • Linux vs Other Operating Systems : 7 common myths busted
    Myth 1: Linux is just for geeks

    Linux is for everyone. While Linux based distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Fedora are developed with the non-technical user in mind, Slackware and others appeal to the more geeky ones. Believe it or not, installing Ubuntu is actually easier than a Windows installation , and using it requires no special skills.

    Myth 2 : Linux can’t handle Excel, Word, Powerpoint

    Linux can handle all the major file formats when it comes to documents as it comes with a powerful opensource Office suite called Openoffice.org (soon to be replaced by Libreoffice). So, apart from doing all the spreadsheets, presentations, and word processing out of the box, Linux can do tasks like publishing, image editing using only free and open source applications.


  • Google’s Chromium OS on the Desktop
    That didn’t take long. A manufacturer plans to release a small desktop PC with Chromium OS in July. It’s Xi3 and their modular PC. One of the modules will be a Chromium OS…




  • Kernel Space

    • Help me come up with good questions for Linus at LinuxCon Japan 2011
      My previous plea for help worked out very well. The resulting video of the talk can be seen here, with one of the highlights being the phrase, "It is cheaper to work upstream in the kernel" from Dirk Hohndel who works at Intel. There's a summary of the talk on lwn.net over here if you don't want to sit through the whole video.




  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments



    • GNOME Desktop

      • The Ubuntu GNOME Remix -- an ISO is imminent
        I hoped Ubuntu would do the right thing and start an official derivative featuring the GNOME 3 environment. That has not happened.

        But there is a new project, the Ubuntu GNOME Remix, offering a PPA today and an ISO install image at some point in the near future.

        The project aims for a Canonical endorsement, as seen on its "about" page:






  • Distributions

    • Review: Zenwalk 7.0
      So what's the verdict? It certainly is relatively user-friendly, and much more so than Slackware. It's stable, and it definitely minimizes package redundancy. That said, it isn't as fast as advertised, and the French and Japanese issues were annoying, considering that I thought I was downloading an English live medium (and I thought there would be different live media for different languages). Those are minor issues, though, and while I wouldn't recommend it for a newbie, I would recommend it for anyone who wants the stability of Slackware without the hassle. Zenwalk isn't the only kid in town, though; other Slackware-based user-friendly distributions with Xfce include Wolvix, Salix OS, and Vector Linux, so please do check those out too. You can the download Zenwalk install CD from here or the live CD from here.


    • Debian Family





  • Devices/Embedded



    • Phones



      • Android

        • Modders Make Android Work the Way You Want
          CyanogenMod is one of the biggest hacks to ever hit the Android mobile platform.

          It’s got an estimated 500,000 users. Many Android programmers use it as a starting point for their own coding projects. And according to the project’s founder, a number of Google employees have it installed on their Android devices.

          Essentially, CyanogenMod is a tricked-out version of the software you’re already running on your Android phone.

          Every Android-powered device comes running a version of the operating system, from 1.5 (Cupcake) all the way up to 3.1 (Honeycomb).


        • The Android Tablet Ecosystem Is In Need of Major Changes
          Huang made very clear that he thinks Android tablets have to come in at lower price points, emphasizing Wi-Fi over 3G for connections. Meanwhile, there are also strong concerns being voiced over the marketing of Android tablets, or rather, the lack of any unified marketing for them.

          That hasn't stopped powerful new players from entering the Android tablet space, though. Dell has announced plans for an Android tablet, among several other hardware makers.


        • Google Deodorizes Sniffable Android Security Flaw


        • The Android Empire Rules the Smartphone World
          The Android platform tops the list in sales of smartphone operating systems for the first quarter of 2011, according to a report by market researcher Gartner (NYSE: IT).

          Total smartphone sales accounted for 23.6 percent of global handset units overall, and various phones sporting Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android OS took 36 percent of that market. They sold more than 36.3 million units in the quarter. Next in line was Symbian, taking 27.4 percent of the market share. Following were Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iOS platform with 16.8 percent and Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM) BlackBerry platform at 12.9 percent.










Free Software/Open Source



Leftovers





Clip of the Day



GNU Parallel 20110522 ('Pakistan')



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Credit: TinyOgg

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