06.12.21

With KDE Plasma 5.22 Having Just Been Released It’s Time to Give KDE a Try (or Move to GNU/Linux, Leveraging the Best Features of Any Operating System Out There)

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Review at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: A quick recommendation of KDE based on a reasonably recent (but not latest) build; there’s this myth about KDE being difficult and flaky, but for a number of decades it has been the most advanced desktop (on any operating system) and its developers managed to hide the complexity while offering users all the power they may want/need

THERE is a new version of KDE Plasma out in the wild. Over the past few days , as the media caught on (some examples of coverage, including videos of this release), more and more distributions of GNU/Linux built and integrated it into repositories and/or ISOs. KDE remains by far the most powerful desktop environment (I’ve used plenty over the years, even for very long periods of time) and this video shows some of the extensive sets of features that KDE comes with by default, even without further add-ons or applications.

“It’s not daunting and complicated, at least not by default.”If you’re not a GNU/Linux user, KDE isn’t a bad way to start. It’s not daunting and complicated, at least not by default. It should not be scary anymore. It’s also very stable (it’s rock-solid in Debian ‘Buster’/10). If you left KDE or rejected KDE in the past (around a decade ago), maybe it’s time to revisit and reassess.

05.02.21

Audacity for Audio Editing With Free Software Only (GPL)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Review at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Audacity is still our software of choice for audio editing; it had a new stable release just 10 days ago (GPL-licensed)

THE TechBytes audiocast uses Mumble (instance we self-host with Murmur at the back end) for recording and Audacity for editing. A decade or more ago we had used all sorts of applications, including several SIP-based ones, but for multi-user chats Mumble is fantastic and we warmly recommend it. It doesn’t do video, but it copes with audio very well and it’s very easy to use. Some time in the future we’ll try to introduce more people to it.

“The licence is GPLv2 and the project will turn 21 later this month.”The above video focuses on Audacity and how it can generally be used (by virtually anybody). It’s Free/libre software with many developers involved (they welcome more), it still has new releases (very active project; last release 10 days ago, according to Wikipedia), and it runs across platforms with standardised formats. There’s no vendor lock-in and anyone can use it. The learning curve is not steep (especially for people who edited sounds before) and it’s not as monstrous as proprietary counterparts, weighing at 65.6 MB for Windows, 86.0 MB for macOS, and for GNU/Linux it varies depending on the distribution. The licence is GPLv2 and the project will turn 21 later this month.

Audacity logoI’m not new to audio editing, so Audacity was very easy for me to learn. It’s the only application I’ve ever used to edit TechBytes and it keeps getting better all the time. It’s also very stable in my experience. It case of crashes it can (and does) recover data.

Here’s where to download the software.

04.04.21

Lagrange as a Gemini Client: One Week Later

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Review at 1:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: When it comes to the Gemini (gemini://) protocol, Lagrange is probably the most advanced application made so far; does it manage to keep things simple and reliable (or stable) enough? Let’s examine a week’s experience

LAST WEEK I started experimenting with Lagrange, which is a more feature-rich (albeit complicated and heavy) Gemini client than Moonlander, which is still an alpha, exceedingly simple, but also very light (less than a megabyte of RAM for the main application).

“Remember that one of the goals of Gemini is to keep things slim and simple; making everything light (from clients/browsers to capsules) is an objective.”It has now been over a week of Lagrange use, so I thought it’s time to do another video, pointing out the upsides and downsides of Lagrange. Remember that one of the goals of Gemini is to keep things slim and simple; making everything light (from clients/browsers to capsules) is an objective. Does Lagrange stay true to that goal?

03.21.21

A First Look at the Alpha of Moonlander, a Graphical Gemini Client/Browser

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Review at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: There’s now yet another option for browsing Gemini space (with Gemini protocol, gemini://) and it’s called Moonlander, a GTK3-based application

BROWSING Gemini capsules isn’t easy because getting software for Gemini is not yet easy; in most GNU/Linux distributions there’s nothing in software repositories for this purpose, so people must download binaries or compile from source, at least for now.

“Amfora has a lot more features, but the downside is that it doesn’t work with a mouse and textual elements are always of the same size, even headings.”Last night in the Gemini mailing list the first alpha of Moonlander was announced and then received some feedback regarding accessibility. The software is now available for download (AppImage) and I’ve taken it for a spin to demonstrate its simplicity. So far I’ve seen no crashes and bugs. Maybe it’s considered alpha because of the lack of features. Amfora has a lot more features, but the downside is that it doesn’t work with a mouse and textual elements are always of the same size, even headings. Both are developed in Rust.

03.13.11

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).

01.30.10

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 »

11.28.09

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 »

10.23.09

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!!!

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