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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Linux terminal - Outliving its relevancy?

A friend of mine recently published a post in which he opined that the Linux terminal not be shown to the uninitiated newbie. His post generated a lot of debate. I for one, agreed with his post and will now go further to say that the Linux terminal or command line interface has outlived its relevancy and needs to be relegated to the backseat.

I strongly believe - and so do most non-geek Linux users- that there was a time when the terminal was a very vital component of Linux: a time when Linux was mainly a hobbyist OS that was used by only geeks, most of whom disliked anything remotely akin to graphics. However, in today's OS world, Linux is being placed and marketed as an alternative to market leader Windows. This then calls into question certain things that worked in the past but may be a hindrance today, and one of such things is the relevancy of the terminal.

The terminal is a great and easy way to get things done fast in Linux no doubt. But if Linux is competing against giants like MS Windows and Mac OS, both of whom have succeeded in relegating the terminal to the backseat, what then are the chances of Linux if it in some way depends largely on the terminal to get things done?

The people that find the terminal very challenging to use are the majority of computer users that Linux needs to make any headway in the market. I believe you know a lot of people like that. Their needs must seriously be considered if they are ever to think of making the switch over to Linux (that is if it can meet their needs).

I am not saying that the terminal be done away with completely. No, and I know you don't think so either (it's not even possible). But rather it should be made such that it is used by those who want to use it and not because it is a necessary part of the OS. In other words, it should be there for the terminal dieharders who want to keep doing things the terminal way, but at the same time very irrelevant to those who love icons and clicking ( myself included).

It is very funny and at the same time frustrating when -and I know you have experienced it before- we tout Ubuntu as being very easy to use,  yet when a newbie sometimes needs to get some things done, the first help instruction given is open the terminal. What?! But I thought they said Ubuntu is easy to use! Well yes just type 'sudo' bla bla bla. Come on.

The terminal has simply outlived its relevancy and has to be relegated as soon as possible. It is a big obstacle in the wider adoption of Linux among everyday computer users that just need their machines to do simple things. Why suffer these people with the language of the geeks?

Do you think the terminal is that relevant today or that it should be relegated to the back seat? I wonder what your views are.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 18 comments

iFuse - Mount your Iphone/Ipod Touch on Ubuntu in 3 easy steps

iFuse is a simple app that lets you mount your Iphone or Ipod in Ubuntu and other Linux distros using the USB cable. iFuse does not require "jailbreaking" or voiding your warranty and works without needing extra software installed on the phone (such as `ssh`).

Most Ubuntu and other Linux distro users have had a hard time mounting their Apple toys on their OSs. iFuse now makes it really easy and simple. Follow the  steps below and be on your way to using your Iphone/Ipod on Ubuntu and other Linux distros.

Step 1

Open up a terminal (don't panic, just copy and paste) and type
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list to open Your sources list

Step 2

Add the following code to your sources list
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/jonabeck/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/jonabeck/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

Change Jaunty to the release you are using if that's not it. Save and exit your sources list.

Step 3

Type the following commands into the terminal again
sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com F0876AC9
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install
ifuse and hit enter

That's it! Now connect your Iphone or Ipod using the USB cable to your system. Open your file manager(Nautilus) and look on the left panel, you should see your device mounted there. Access your files.

You cannot manage your music database yet due to the kind of cryptic algorithm Apple uses on their toys. You can access your music folder but cannot transfer music to or from it. You can however, do all other things you are used to with your Iphone on your system. 

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By Seraaj Muneer with 34 comments

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Video- Mark Shuttleworth keynote address at Linuxcon 2009

The keynote address delivered by Mark Shuttleworth  which has generated so much controversy has now been released on video on the Linux Pro mag site. Watch it and then let's talk about the phrase "...hard to explain to girls" which has been at the center of the storm. Let's discuss more on the letter I wrote to Mark Shuttlworth a while ago. Enjoy.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

An open letter to Mark Shuttleworth - Be a man and say SORRY!

Hi Mark. I won't bother asking how you are doing. In case you have not been told or heard of it, there is a needless flame war going on in your community. This was started by you when you said something is  “hard to explain to girls.” I wonder what that is.

You know, I have not seen the transcript of your keynote address at LinuxCon fest 2009, neither has anyone explained the context in which you made that statement. However, that is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. The long and short of it all is that your comment did not go down well with people, and some are really fuming about that particular statement. I for one, did not have any problem with your comment, but now that it seems it had not settled down well with people, I had thought you would just issue a simple statement of sincere apology.

However, I was very much disappointed this afternoon when I read here that you had flatly refused to do such a thing. You see Mark, apologizing does not mean accepting or acknowledging defeat. Neither does it mean you were wrong and the other party was right. Far from that. On the contrary, it means you are a man who is capable of being sensitive to the feelings of others around you and you are willing to do all you can not to hurt those feelings. If I am right, you are the founder of a whole community that prides itself on being humane to others, and have won for yourself millions of admirers from all over the world. You have succeeded where most others failed.

Your massive community of Ubuntu users look so much up to you. You are charismatic and I like that about you. You are steadily building an empire around that magnificent OS called Ubuntu. That is not a bad thing. However, I fear that your apparent persona of standing your grounds no matter what will trickle down to your followers in the community, who will in turn begin to be just like you- unyielding. That I fear is going to be the beginning of the end of your empire.

If I read right, one of the the cardinal codes of the Ubuntu community that you are involved with reads
"Be respectful. The Ubuntu community and its members treat one another with respect. Everyone can make a valuable contribution to Ubuntu. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. We expect members of the Ubuntu community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors as well as with people outside the Ubuntu project, and with users of Ubuntu."
How then can you of all people in this community allow yourself to be the center of so much controversy when a simple, sincere statement of apology could have prevented everything. Mark, I won't take much of your time because I know how busy you are. All I humbly ask you to do is to be the nice, warm, charismatic and charming leader you are by saying a simple sorry to those who felt offended by your finding it "hard to explain things to girls." Remember, chief among the reasons why you have reached where you are today is because you succeeded in winning the hearts of people. Now do not let this erode your gains over the past several years.

It's not too late Mark, and forget whether you were misquoted or not, taken out of context or not, you need to be the man I know you to be and just make a sincere apology to all those wonderful people out there who felt offended. Go Mark, be a man and say SORRY!
Your friend and unofficial Ubuntu analyst

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Livestation- Watch hundreds of TV channels for Free on Ubuntu.

Livestation is a simple application that you can install on your Ubuntu system and virtually all the other distros out there to enjoy hundreds of free TV channels from all the world's best TV stations. It is very resource efficient. All you will need after a simple 4 step install process is a free account where you can select the channels to watch on your Livestation client. That's it. So here we go

The first thing is to download the Livestation client here ( click the Linux or penguin link).
Then copy the downloaded file to your /home folder if it's not your default download location.
Next open a terminal (don't panic, just copy and paste the following commands)

chmod +x ./Livestation-[version].run and press enter 

./Livestation-[version].run again press enter

Next press q to skip the readme and y to accept the terms following the prompts on the screen to complete the install.

Once installed, just type Livestaion at the terminal to run the app. 
That's it. Enjoy all the channels you can. Cheers.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 2 comments

Monday, September 28, 2009

5 of some of the most popular Linux powered mobile devices of 2009

Linux, the Open Source OS platform, is making inroads into the mainstream desktop OS market and fast becoming a popular alternative to the big brother Windows. With popular distros like Ubuntu and Fedora leading the charge, the desktop OS market is set to witness some serious change of terrain in the coming years. The popularity of Linux is also in part due to more and more hardware manufacturers shipping their wares with one flavor or the other of it installed. Below are 5 of some of the most popular Linux powered devices of 2009.

The Eee PC is one of the most popular brands in the netbook market. This model, very popular with students is powered by an Intel 900 MHz mobile CPU, a 20GB solid- state flash memory and 1GB memory. It has 54g Wi-Fi(802.11b/g). It comes with lots of Open Source apps including the popular Openoffice productivity suite. It has 3 USB 2.0, VGA output and SD card reader. In short, all the functions  you are used to in a full fledged laptop can be found on this device. In short this Linux powered mobile device is a full fledged laptop in a small body

This model of Archos is quite new but is making waves among multimedia lovers, with some touting it as the Android powered  rival to the Ipod Touch. It spots a cool 250GB of storage capacity, enough to store over 120,000 songs I believe. It has 4.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen, an 800 x 480 pixel resolution with 16 million colors. For video support, it easily handles MPEG-4, WMV, and M-JPEG; Audio support: MP3, WMA, Protected WMA, WMA pro 5.1, WAV; plug-ins available for further video and audio format support. There is also Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) connectivity. For browsing the internet, you have Opera preinstalled with Adobe Flash 9 video support. Archos is simply superb and has rightly earned its popularity among media lovers like myself.

The N810 is an upgrade to the other popular N800 internet tablet. It features the popular Mozilla browser for a full Web 2.0 browsing experience compatible with Gizmo, Gtalk and Skype. It spots a 2GB built in memory expandable via miniSD and microSD cards and 128MB DRam. There is also an integrated GPS navigator, a  front facing camera, and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. I used to have the N800 and it really was a wonder gadget. No wonder Nokia leads the way in the mobile market. I hope to get myself this device sometime in the future.

The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC  offersyou all the functionality of a notebook PC in a netbook. It features it  an 8.9-inch scratch-resistant display with a WXGA resolution, a VIA C7-M ULV processor with a speed of  1.0 GHz speed, 800 MHz front-side bus (FSB) and a 128 KB L2 cache. It comes with a 4GB SS flash storage, 512MB of Ram to a maximum of 2GB and 667 MHz speed. For connectivity, you have a 54g wireless LAN that's fully compatible with 802.11b/g wireless networks and Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000). One of the reasons why I believe this device has been very popular is because of the Suse Linux it comes preinstalled with. Go Linux go!

This model of the popular Acer Aspire One, released today at Amazon, is set to continue with the popularity of the Aspire One. You can choose to have it installed with Android and comes with Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950, 1024 MB DDR2 SDRAM Single Channel Memory, 160 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM), Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader, Acer InviLink 802.11b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), Integrated Acer Crystal Eye Webcam, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, 3 - USB 2.0 Ports, 6-cell Li-ion Battery (5800 mAh), 2.79 lbs. | 1.27 kg (system unit only). Though this model is to be released today (28/9/2009), I included it because of the popularity of the Aspire One among netbook users.

These are just five of some of the most popular Linux preinstalled mobile devices available today. Linux is set to make some impact and the abundance of its preinstallation on netbooks is an attestation to this fact. Some people may disagree with me, but all in all, Linux is set to gain more popularity in the coming years.

What other Linux powered devices can you add to the list?

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Freevo - A splendid home theatre platform for Linux beginners.

Freevo is an Open Source Home Theater PC software that integrates DVR/PVR functionality along with gaming, music, video, home automation among others. It is written in Python and uses master softwares like VLC.  With Freevo, you have access to the weather and news updates, store music, videos and photos, play games and stay up to date with your podcast. You can also pause and record TV based on on-line TV guide

Freevo is the perfect alternative to the other Open Source MythTV and is a must have app for media neophytes. You can download the latest version here. You can see a gist of Freevo in action in the video below.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Sunday, September 27, 2009

5 alternative image manipualtion apps for Linux newbies.

One  of the drawbacks to most people who want to migrate to Linux is that it lacks some really good image manipulation applications. However, thanks to the tireless efforts of a lot of programmers, there are some pretty cool image manipulation applications out there that most newbies are bound to find useful. Below are five of such applications

This app started as a fork of the popular Gimp project, aimed at creating a more professional image manipulation program aimed at the movie industry. The major difference between CinePaint and Gimp is that it supports 32bit colors with support for other image formats such as OpenEXR, DPX and Cineon. The download file together with installation instructions can be found here.

This is an Open Source 2D vector animation app aimed at those in the cartoon industry. It has layers, keyframes and timeline among others. The sole aim of this app is to help you build professional cartoon animations. The animations can either be saved as PNG files or exported as SWF files. There is a LiveCD of this app available for you to try your hands on before you decide whether to install or not.

This is the Linux alternative to MS Visio. It can be used to draw network diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams among others. It can be used to save diagrams to XML format and export diagrams to EPS or SVG format. The download file together with installation instructions are available here.

This is an Open Source platform for developing web apps and an alternative to Macromedia Flash Professional. It can be used to generate SWF files DHTML or AJAX for webpages. It has a simple user interface which makes building apps easy. You can read more about this app and download it on the OpenLaszlo site. If you are the type that builds internet apps, then you definitely got to try this app.

This is an Open Source movie editing app that lets you edit with flexibility and speed, create effects in real time, animate with unlimited features, paint and design on moving video, create music with all the tools the pros use , work in any format at any resolution and more all while sharing files, projects and clips with users on your network or around the world, and all using a single, open source application where the code is yours, that runs on practically any workstation. If you are in the movie editing industry, then Jahshaka is definitely a must have app, the Open Source rival to Adobe After Effects. The installation file can be downloaded here.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What did Mark Shuttleworth say at Atlanta Linux Fest 2009?

I am just wondering what Mark Shuttleworth said at the Atlanta Linux Fest 2009 when he delivered his keynote address which has sparked a furore in some corners of the blogosphere.

He is alleged to have made some sexist remark about the  women which from the letter in the above link, did not go down with lots of people. I have searched for the transcript of his address but have not found it. I am just curious to know in which context he made that statement.

I am  one of those who have wondered out loud about the participation of women  in FOSS.  There is no doubt that more men are involved in FOSS than women. However, the contribution that women can make to FOSS can simply not be overemphasized.

It is in this regard that I humbly call on all the wonderful ladies out there who felt offended by Mark Shuttleworths comment to keep their cool and not take his personal remarks to mean that of men in general, for that is the impression I got from this blog post by Srlinux on Tuxmachines. 

Also, I would humbly implore that Mark's comments are not taken as an excuse to initiate any form of boycott Ubuntu campaign for Ubuntu is way bigger than one individual and thus should not be made to suffer for his errors.

The future of FOSS depends a lot on the active participation of more women and comments that have the tendency to inflame  passions especially among women should be avoided especially by people of Mark's caliber. To all the women out there, I say we really appreciate your involvement in the FOSS movement and are deeply sorry for any offense you might have taken in his remarks.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Lubuntu - Another flavor of Ubuntu

One of my esteemed readers drew my attention to this nascent distro called Lubuntu. The goal of this distro, according to the Wiki page is "to to create a variant of Ubuntu that uses LXDE, The Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, as its default GUI. The ultimate goal of the Lubuntu project is to earn official endorsement from Canonical."

It further continues as thus "[m]embers of the Lubuntu team take care of LXDE and other packages that are part of the planned Lubuntu install. Please join us and contribute to creating a lighter, less resource-hungry and more energy-efficient flavour of Ubuntu. We look forward to working together with you on a truly international and inspiring Free and Open Source Software project!"

Not a bad idea. This will simply mean more old computers will get to be given a second life and also more choices. I look forward to test driving this flavor in the near future.

I scoured Youtube and found the Lubuntu videos below. I hope you enjoy them.

This second one is the Lubuntu being run in a Virtual machine

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By Seraaj Muneer with 6 comments

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ubuntu business model- a misunderstood concept

Canonical, the business arm of Ubuntu, has one of the  most promising business models in the Linux world, and also the most misunderstood. First of all, Ubuntu is in a market termed by economists as a perfectly competitive market. This means that it cannot charge any price beyond that which is determined by the market. The only way to make profit, as has rightly been identified by Canonical is to create an ecosystem of products and services around Ubuntu, which would complement the functions of the OS.

This is model of making profit is not new. There are other companies that make money from this method. Give the primary product for free but then create other value added products and services that complements this primary product. To make profit from this kind of business model takes time and a lot of investment. Mark Shuttleworth, the financial backbone of the Ubuntu project  rightly knows so and is doing exactly that. Most critics of the Ubuntu distro, are convinced that it's only a matter of time before Ubuntu also capitulates like its predecessors for lack of funds. They couldn't be further from reality.

The fact that Canonical after six years of existence is not making any profit does not spell any doom, neither does it mean there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Most of the distros that are always used as yardsticks to tell how Ubuntu is bound to wither away did not have any other strategic business model in place. They only offered a Linux distro and expected to make money from it. Some also did not have a thorough understanding of the market in which they operated. Ubuntu so far has not fallen in any of those traps.

The recent partnerships between Canonical and big shot OEMs like Dell and IBM only goes to underscore the fact that the Ubuntu business model has a lot of potential. Companies like Dell and IBM will not partner a distro that they do not believe to have a future. Their partnering with Canonical to offer Ubuntu only underscores one fact- there is light at the end of the tunnel for Ubuntus profitability.

Also, there are those that claim Ubuntu is an ugly, over-hyped distro by mostly fanboys like myself. Well they have the right to their opinions, but a thorough analysis of Ubuntu tells you that it is in the news virtually every other day. Not a day or two passes without Ubuntu being in the news. Count how many times this week that you've heard of the name Ubuntu in the news and you will understand why it is popular. As for the ugliness, I believe it takes time to get used to. I also initially disliked the brown, but when I got used to it, I could hardly like any other color or theme.

The fact remains, that Ubuntu despite all the short comings of its commercial backer like not contributing enough upstream or not giving enough back to the community, is an OS that has the potential to be a market leader in the desktop Linux OS market and whether critics agree or not, Ubuntu will for the foreseeable remain a popular, first choice OS for a lot of people.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Thursday, September 24, 2009

5 things that make Ubuntu Linux the most promising Linux distro in the world.

Ubuntu Linux is, without doubt, poised to be the Windows of the Linux world in the future. Giving the aggressive moves being undertaken by Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company, I have no doubt that Ubuntu is sure to become the flagship OS of the Linux world. The following 5 points should help clarify my view.

The philosophies that underlie Ubuntu are very noble tenets that virtually everybody would love to align themselves to. This makes it's usage more appealing to lots of people from divergent cultures and belief systems.

Ease of use.
There are those that will disagree with this point. However, relatively speaking, it is the most easy to use Linux distro out there. It's appeal to lots of new users attests to this fact. This makes it more and more appealing to prospective users and thus further future popularity.

Rate of growth.
Ubuntu is, without doubt, the fastest growing Linux distro out there. The future of any OS depends largely on its current growth rate, Ubuntu passes this litmus test with flying colors.

User base
Ubuntu has one of the largest, if not the largest user base of any Linux distro out there. And by user base, I mean users that are deeply attached to the OS. Users that deeply love and staunchly publicize their OS with more coming on board everyday. Such users can only move the distro to higher heights.

Market Expansion
Given the recent spate of expansion of the ecosystem surrounding Ubuntu- from Ubuntu One, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu -Dell partnership among others- there is no gainsaying  that Ubuntu is sure to be the Linux distro of choice in the future for both individuals and corporate customers.

For these five and possibly more other reasons, i strongly believe that Ubuntu stands among the lot as the most promising OS in the Linux world.

What do you think? Do you agree about Ubuntu's future position as the market leader in the Linux distro world? Share your thoughts.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 13 comments

Some video excerpts from Atlanta Linux Fest 2009

This video shows Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announcing the name of the next LTS release of Ubuntu due in April 2010.

A promo video of  ALF 2009

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free and Open Source Software, dogmatism and the real world.

One of the best things that ever happened to the world of computing was the advent of Free and Open Source software, whose fundamental objective was and is to give people the freedom that proprietary software never offers. This a very noble cause that has to be given all the necessary support it deserves.

However, there does not seem, at least from where I stand, to be any proper definition of who FOSS defines as its target audience. I arrived at this observation after reading lots of articles about how some big shots in the FOSS movement are fuming with rage about the supposed "pollution" of Open Source by some elements of proprietary inputs.  If I understand correctly - and please correct me if I am wrong- those who are being accused of this " treason" do so for a reason that I totally agree with.

Chief among the culprits in this "crime" is Canonical's Ubuntu for containing the controversial Mono. It is my understanding that the proprietary inputs are used to help make interoperability across the various platforms easy. There are people who, for one reason or the other cannot totally migrate to Linux or Open Source, and must live in both worlds. Making things easy for such people to be able to use FOSS in some part of their lives is a worthwhile effort.

Besides, these so called proprietary pollutants, have gone a long way to move Free and Open Source software to the masses and brought it to the lime light. In as much as I believe in the preservation of the pristine values of FOSS, I also think more must be taken into consideration rather than sticking too much with ideological dogma that in the long run will only be inimical to the growth of FOSS.

If the target user group of FOSS is those who are currently using proprietary software, who mostly just don't care about any ideological or dogmatic beliefs and just want systems that work and help them accomplish their goals, then if including some elements of proprietary software in the various source codes of Open Source will help in accommodating the needs of such people, so be it.

Frankly, I think this dogmatic belief system is being taken too far, neglecting the reality on the ground, that people have different needs and those needs cannot not be satisfied by blind insistence on some dogma. Yes Open Source must preserve its fundamental principles, but not at the expense of the alienation of the very people it claims to have been founded to liberate.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ubuntu Linux - To love and to hate.

Ubuntu Linux is, arguably, the most popular Linux distro around today, with millions of people who deeply love it. There are  some people however, who, for some reasons, do not just want to hear the mention of Ubuntu especially if it has to do with converting someone to Linux.

I seriously have a problem with such people and their line of argument. I for one, use Ubuntu as my reference distro anytime I try to explain what Linux is to people. I use Ubuntu because it is what I think newbies will find comfortable using. I in no way ever represent Ubuntu as synonymous with Linux. I always tell prospective Linux converts that there are hundreds of distros they can choose from, but to make things easy for them, I encourage them to start with Ubuntu and if they get to make headway in the world of Linux, then they can go on to try others.

These anti-Ubuntu elements, spend time bashing people like me and those who do as I do, saying we tend to make people think Ubuntu is all that Linux has to offer. Such people are just time wasters. First of all, the question that they are supposed to answer is that why is Ubuntu, a distro that is less than six years old so popular with people from all walks of life and has become the preferred choice for 9 out of 10 Linux noobs?

The fact that Canonical does not contribute to the upstream development of the Linux kernel, or that Ubuntu contains some element of proprietary software, does not negate the fact that a lot of work has gone into Ubuntu and that has started paying off. The popularity of Ubuntu was not achieved on a silver, it was worked for by the guys and gals at Canonical.

To simply dislike Ubuntu because of some reason is understandable, but to say because you dislike Ubuntu so others should not recommend it would be going to far. In any case, the argument that it's not right to recommend a particular distro to someone you are converting to Linux just doesn't wash. There are hundreds of distros out there and trust me, 95% of all newbies will just get overwhelmed when left on their own to choose. Most will end up choosing none and just return to Windows or MacOS. That in the grand scheme of things, will not be in the interest of Linux.

So to the critics of Ubuntu, I say we love Ubuntu, and we do so for a reason. There is no sense in criticizing ourselves when we are supposed to work together against a much larger and formidable opponent. To love or to hate Ubuntu? I choose to love Ubuntu. What about you?

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By Seraaj Muneer with 20 comments

Fedora Mini - More spices for your Netbook and MID.

If you've ever wanted a Linux distro for your mobile device like netbook but never fancied the UNR, then you are in luck. Fedora, one of the big shots in the Linux distro world, now has a Special Interest Group working on a flavor for Netbooks and MIDs.

The new mobile version of Fedora is called Fedora Mini, and according to the Fedora site, is being developed by a group it called the Fedora Mini Specialist Interest Group whose aim is to get Fedora on mobile devices. The statement further continues thus "[i]nitially aimed at ensuring that the hardware used in devices such as Netbooks and Mobile Inter Devices (MIDs) work out of the box with Fedora, [e]ventually, we may also include and build a spin which is targeted at these devices through the use of another user interface experience. It could also be used to produce various spins for Gnome Mobile development, Intel's Moblin project, Hildon etc."

According to the site, the new Fedora Mini will initially  run on the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Eee PC, Fit PC, OLPC and Oswald. It is not yet available for public download but if you are using Fedora 12 alpha, you could test drive it by typing yum groupinstall “Moblin Desktop Environment” and re-login.

I have so far not seen any deifinite time as to when Fedora Mini will be publicly available, but I believe it will not be too long since Fedora may want to counter UNR market dominance in the world of Netbooks and MID

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Monday, September 21, 2009

4 sites all new Linux users must bookmark.

More and more people are migrating to the world of Linux day by day. However, most of these new users are people who have absolutely no prior knowledge or experience with Linux and how it works. Thus, most of them end up getting frustrated at the kind of learning curve they encounter. It is in this regard that I have compiled this short list of sites that can be helpful to new users in scaling the sometimes steep learning curve they meet.
This is a site where you 
you will find collections of useful courses to help you better use the applications found on the Linux distributions. There are also forums, chatrooms, courses, and help materials at your disposal. You can enroll in courses by registering for a new account. If you are a new user, clicking on login on the top right will take you to the create a new account section. Most courses can be copied in their entirety and restored in local Moodle instances. All the courses are public and are accessible via the guest account or username and password you were assigned by the teacher or system administrator, including, possibly an enrollment key. It really is a site worth bookmarking especially for beginners.
You probably might have been used to some applications on the Windows platform and are wondering if there is an Open Source alternative available to you. This is the site you need to visit. It has a massive collection of applications that are very useful as alternatives to most of the applications on the Windows platform. It is a must visit site if you want better alternatives to commercial softwares even for Windows users. Definitely a must bookmark.
If you ever need help as a Linux user of any distro, then Linux Questions is the place to go. It has subforums for virtually all the distros out there, with a a massive community of active users that are always eager to help you in whatever way they can. Definitely a must visit site.
This site is directory of various Linux related blogs on the web. It is updated continuously and thus you can keep up to date with the various development, news, analysis, gossip and much more happening in the world of Linux and Open Source in general.
This list is by no means a complete one and people may know of better sites than the ones I have compiled here. If you are among such people, please share your list with us in the comments so we can all benefit from them . Share.  

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Sunday, September 20, 2009

RE : Please Reinstate the OS Wars

This post is in reply to an article wrtitten by Ken Hess on Daniweb.
In that post, he talked about how he would love to see another cold war between Linux and Windows. To put it bluntly, I simply disagree with the post. If anything at all, the so called war is part of the reason Linux, after close to twenty years of existence is still struggling to surpass the 5% market share.

Microsoft, like the millions of other businesses out there, needs to make a profit. Microsoft is a competitor to Linux, that I think is what most people, including the author of that post, seem to forget. Microsoft always acts with one motive- profit maximization. It seems to me that most Linux vendors, on the other hand, are simply confused about what they are up to. They just are not certain whether they are in for profit or for the heck of it.

What Linux operates in is called a market, and markets have rules by which you must play if you are to make any  meaningful headway. I simply disagree with the philosophy where people hate Microsoft because they think Microsoft is not helping Linux to grow. There is no way under this sun that Microsoft would ever help Linux to grow because Microsoft has rightly identified Linux as a competitor and as such takes Linux seriously. Linux vendors and users on the other hand, see Microsoft as a company that is the devil's incarnate. In as much as it has used some questionable market tactics in the  past, Microsoft has largely succeeded in maintaining its dominant market share because it knows it it is out to do business and make profit, thus every single move it ever makes is in pursuance of that goal including the recent launch of the so called Codeplex which I  think people should be wary of.

In the world of business, there is no room for sentiments as most Linux proponents are used to, you either are in for a reason (profit), or you are trampled upon by those with a reason.Unfortunaley, Linux falls in the latter group.Take a look at the Linux world, there does not seem to be a single bit of cohesion or coordination whatsoever, it is simply one big, chaotic world made up of mostly hobbyists who are in for the fun of it. I have no problem with people writing their own OS for the fun of it. But I have a problem when such people blame and needlessly hate Microsoft for being  a hindrance to their growth when they have themselves  no clear objective to which they aim with their handiwork.

I strongly think the days of the so called cold war alluded to by Ken in his post should never come back, because all it does is to needlessly distract people from focusing on the business at hand: the business of working to make Linux a viable, profitable OS liked by the market. Instead of the various Linux vendors coming together to seek a common ground and work together towards a common goal, they are rather comfortable with blaming everything wrong with Linux on Microsoft.

Before you say there can be no cohesion in the world of Linux, I urge you to first take a look at the European Union, though that bloc is not perfect, at least they have a united front with which they seek their common interests. I do not believe hating Microsoft has ever done any good to Linux, on the contrary, it has rather stifled growth. It it is time to define clearly what Linux is. Whether it is an OS that aims at being a formidable, profitable competitor to Windows, or just a hobbyists thing that is happy to subsist on donations from its users. That is a question to be answered by the entire Linux world before the so called OS war is reinstated as wished by Ken.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 3 comments

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Goodbye Twitter - You are no more human.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. The buzz word of the social media. This nice platform was created basically to enable people share their status updates, talk about the latest hot topic in town and just about keep in touch with friends in 140 characters or less. This was all human and made it very fun and interesting to use Twitter. You knew that the other person was either behind his computer or on his phone and that a human was replying to and reading your Tweets as you are doing theirs.

Then you had other ecosystems that developed around this platform. Services that people use to schedule Tweets for a range of time periods. And suddenly virtually everybody now schedules their Tweets. What  baffles me is that if people are scheduling their Tweets, then who will read the Tweets.

Frankly, I may be confused about this whole Twitter fever, but my experience lately with it has not been that enjoyable. You are just bombarded by senseless advertising Tweets every millisecond you login into your account. All you see is how to do such and such, or how such and such product is a must have with some links in them. The whole platform is now a massive advertising show ground where the cacophony of spam is deafening. Twitter has simply lost the human touch.

The public timeline of Twitter just tells you the kind of mostly nonsensical rubbish you would encounter on this SM. There simply is no human touch in the way the thing is anymore. Its just is one platform where aggressive advertisers have taken advantage of its popularity to bombard us with their mostly crapware. I know there are those of you that enjoy yourselves so much on this platform. But for me, I think I am quiting and sticking with my friendfeed. Twitter is just too nonsensical and spamy for my liking.

Maybe if things get better and the creators of Twitter start to seriously tackle the issue of spam and nonsensical tweets, then maybe the human touch will be restored and I may have a change of perception about Twitter. Whats been your experience so far with Twitter? Do you think my observation is unique and that I am the exception to the rule? Please share your thoughts with me.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 2 comments

Friday, September 18, 2009

Download and install in one step in OpenBSD

One of the things I love about the package manager in OpenBSD is its ability to make coffee. All you need to do is select the brew you want, the cup size and voila! You do need to set one environment variable to tell pkg_add where to fetch from however:
set PKG_PATH=ftp://ftp.ca.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/4.1/packages/i386/
  Again, make sure you change the version number, use listports to find what you need, then use the following to install the package:
pkg_add [package]
 A mentally challenged, blind kid with no hands could ask somebody totally normal to type this, and it'd work! That's because the slow kid would read the manual. Normal people don't read manuals.
This is a blog post by my good friend over at Dexter's Laboratory. He is a seasoned BSD admin with over 15 years in that field.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

IBM to employees- Throw MS office out the window!

According to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, IBM has now officially prohibited its employees from using MS Office after a grace period of ten days (newspaper article dated 11 September 09). They are now to use the in house Lotus Symphony which is itself a derivative of the legendary Open Office. Any future use of MS Office will be subject to management's approval. This I believe is in line with a world wide switch from MS Office to Open Office and its derivatives.

This move comes in the wake of more than 330000 IBM employees who already use Symphony. I believe this move by IBM is a strategic is meant to entrench Open Source use among its employees and help the growth of its own office suite.

If you are still stuck using MS Office, read this post on five things MS Office users do not know about Open Office and   make up your mind now, follow in the footsteps of global giants like IBM; start using Open Office today. If  an open source office productivity app is  good for IBM and over 300000  of its employees, then it surely will be better for you. Head here and download a fully fledged office productivity suite for free!

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By Seraaj Muneer with 1 comment

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Linux! You cannot just wish Microsoft away.

I have observed in several Linux related forums, a certain denial of reality by most Linux enthusiasts. They tend to have the notion that the demise of Microsoft is just around the corner and that Linux is about to have its time. Well all I can say is that such a world can only be in the imagination of people. 

If anything at all, Microsoft, come this October, will only consolidate its hold on the OS market unless pragmatic steps are taken by major Linux vendors like Canonical to stave off the massive tide that Windows 7 is set to have in its wake, if their distros are to stand a chance of sustaining the growth and success attained on the back of the spectacular failure of Vista. Microsoft is a company that cannot just be easily overtaken by a competitor, not by the currently fragmented and seemingly disorganised Linux world. 

The influence and control Microsoft has on the market goes beyond its core business of OS and extends to what I believe to be the computing culture of the world. A whole generation of people have grown up knowing no other OS other than Windows. You have millions of people that use the terms Windows and computer synonymously. An entire world of IT ecosystem is built around Microsoft and its products. Such people are not going to just dump Windows and migrate to Linux en mass just because Windows is not good relative to Linux. 

We keep hearing, for twenty years now, how every other year will be the year of Linux, and still this Linux has less than five percent of the entire desktop OS market. Why?! It seems to me that most Linux enthusiasts and vendors alike tend to think that the popular Open Source mantra of FREE is in itself going to do the magic of making Linux and for that matter other Open Source apps the prefered choice of users. No it won't. And I mean, again, won't, unless Linux vendors and enthusiasts alike wake from their current slumber and make up their minds as to whether they want Linux to remain just a hobbyist OS or they want to transform this wonderful piece of software into a formidable competitor to Microsoft's Windows.

I believe Linux can actually take on Windows, but no in this current status quo where most people concerned just sit and wish for things to happen. Linux enthusiasts and vendors have a lot of work to do and the earlier they set to work, the better. I use Ubuntu Linux, in fact it's the only OS I have on any computer I own, and have gotten some friends hooked to it. But I am not blind to the realities on the ground, that Microsoft, and for that matter Windows, are too powerful forces to be just wished away by living in an utopia of our own minds.

Microsoft is not going anywhere any time soon and as such Linux must work hard to get noticed by the over one billion computer users out there. Enthusiasts and vendors alike must wake up to reality and stop the wishful thinking.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 9 comments

Finally, Archos 5, a Linux device that rivals Apple's Ipod Touch

If you are a Linux enthusiast, and have hoped for a Linux powered device similar to Apple's Ipod Touch, then you are in luck. The new Archos 5 is your answer. This Internet Media Tablet is packed with features set to make Apple's Ipod Touch a child's play.

This Android powered device comes with a storage drive ranging from 60GB to 250GB, in slim and sleek enclosures. It also comes with a MicroSD card slot in case you want more storage. Surfing the net is a breeze and enjoyable experience with the built in ARM Cortex processor and the Adobe Flash 9 video support. The high resolution screen simply blurs the difference between your surfing on the computer and this hand held device. It also supports WI-FI and comes with  full email application that lets you read, write, download and send attachments, and manage your contacts.

It also comes with various office apps to make working on the go easy. You can also purchase apps from the Android market It also comes with E-Buddy IM client and a Twitter for app for Twitter fans.

In terms of multimedia, it can handle virtually every video file format you throw at it including Flash, HD, H.264 HD, WMV, MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, Flac,OGG Vorbis, MPEG-4. You can watch your favorite TV programs and movies in HD. You can connect with all the various video sharing sites like Youtube, Hulu and Google Videos. There is also a built in Media Club where you can download a vast number of songs and videos from the unique selection of renowned movie and music partners.

The list of features that comes with this device is really amazing and I can go on and on. It is due out today and can be purchased for  $269.95 and ships free with super saver shipping. You can get one here Archos 5 250 GB Internet Media Tablet. It is a device that all mobile device enthusiasts must not do without. It's the future of mobile entertainment and the fact that it runs Linux even makes it a more appealing. Get yours now.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ubuntu Linux - 5 things to stem the tide of Windows 7.

Come this October, Windows 7 will go on sale, and this release, I strongly believe will be one of the greatest challenges Linux will ever face. Ubuntu Linux will also make a release within that same time and given the generally positive reviews that Windows 7 has received, it is going to be a very difficult time for Canonical to market Ubuntu. This is because every review of the new  Ubuntu release is going to be relative to Windows 7 which has so far received  positive reviews from a large section of the public . It is in this regard that I believe the following five points, when strategically marketed by Canonical, can help it to stem the tide of the gigantic Windows 7..

Ubuntu Server / Virtualization
First on the list is that Canonical must focus more on promoting the server aspect of the Ubuntu OS. Yes Ubuntu is widely known an excellent desktop OS, but very few know that Ubuntu also has a server OS that has been certified to run on several server configurations including HP's Proliant range of servers and others from Dell, IBM, Lenovo among others. ISVs like Alfresco and Openbravo also have enterprise  products built on Ubuntu server edition. There is also the Canonical-IBM  Virtual Bridges  partnerships that aims at virtualizing Ubuntu desktops on Linux servers. These are very important components of the Ubuntu OS that Canonical must publicize to help it stand up to the new Windows 7.

More and more OEMs are now shipping their systems with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled, notable amongst them being Dell (who now ship their systems with Ubuntu 9.04) and more niche manufacturers like Zareason and System76. Canonical must make this kind of partnerships more known to the masses since people tend to have confidence in an OS when OEMs choose to preinstall it and also gives the OS a more professional appeal.

Cloud is the future of computing and Canonical must tell the world Ubuntu's readiness for the cloud. The Enterprise cloud service from Canonical must be highly publicized to inform people of its existence.

Given the fact that more and more people are now carrying out their tasks on the go, Ubuntu must be placed in such a strategic position as to be an option for people when it comes to mobile computing. The UNR must be more aggressively marketed to this end.

Training / Support
The traditional norm used to be that users of Ubuntu had to turn to the Ubuntu Forums for support. This really did not do a lot of good to the OS in the enterprise market. However, Canonical now offers a variety of support services that have been tailored to meet the needs of its users. This must be made know to all users and prospective ones as well. There is also now formal training from Canonical for both corporate and individual Ubuntu users. This is a very good move which when properly developed over time, can grow to rival Microsoft's MSCE. This is a strong advantage that must be marketed as well.

The list can go on, but these are what I strongly feel should be very well publicized by Canonical if Ubuntu stands a chance of sustaining the success it has chalked over the years especially at the expense of the unprecedented disappointment of Windows Vista.

What do you think can be done to sustain the growth of Ubuntu in the face of the relatively positive reviews Windows 7 has received? Please share your thoughts.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 4 comments

Friday, September 11, 2009

Codeplex.org- Can Microsoft ever be trusted after the blatant lies agianst Linux?

Yesterday,  Codeplex was launched by Microsoft. The reason for the formation of the foundation is, according to the site, " [a] foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities, launched today, September 10, 2009.

" The CodePlex Foundation was created as a forum in which open source communities and the software development community can come together with the shared goal of increasing participation in open source community projects. The CodePlex Foundation will complement existing open source foundations and organizations, providing a forum in which best practices and shared understanding can be established by a broad group of participants, both software companies and open source communities. Initial funding for the Foundation comes from Microsoft Corporation."

This sounds very innocent in itself, except that it is a Microsoft brain child and as such, must be looked at with  jaundiced eyes. The launch of this foundation comes days after some slides were leaked that talked about very blatant lies about Linux, which  Microsoft was indoctrinating employees of Best Buy with. I have over the years come to develop a deep level of mistrust for the Redmond giant when it comes to Open Source due to how it has treated this movement.

I strongly believe Microsoft is up to something and has thus formed and is funding this foundation to further its own interests. I do not think players in the Open Source movement should just receive this foundation with open arms and smiles. Time must be taken to really ascertain the motive of this foundation other than what the site tells us. In any case, can there ever be anything like the exchange of code between closed source and open source companies? I am no expert, but I know it is going to be a nigh impossible feat, for the two are on directly opposite sides of a divide.

Microsoft is not a company that should be easily trusted when it comes to Open Source and Linux. It has over the years demonstrated that Linux and Open Source have no place in its world. A company that has done all it can to thwart the growth of Open Source cannot just suddenly develop interest in the exchange of code and ideas with the Open Source movement. The Codeplex foundation should be dealt with caution in order ascertain the real motive behind its setup.

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Why can't they leave Google alone?!

I love Google, very much, and I really want Google to make a lot of money. And I mean a lot. Because for every cent Google makes, I benefit in some way. There is no doubt that Google has done a lot to make computing easier for millions of people, especially in developing countries with its massive array of splendid, free products. And if for nothing at all, Google is nice to Open Source.

The recent brouhaha over its book deal really irks me a lot. The deal has the potential of making valuable knowledge available to virtually every being on this earth on a scale never known to man. And yet what do we see? Various competitors, led by arch rival Microsoft, are doing all they can to thwart the deal. The way I understand the deal, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that Google will have the right to display and sell books from authors who it can’t find, and then save any profit from those for five years in case the rights holder shows up.

At least this sounds sane to me. Making knowledge easily accessible is nothing bad. But I understand the apprehensions Google's competitors, especially Microsoft are experincing. If there is one company out there that can match Microsoft boot for boot, then it is Google, and thus Microsoft's vehement opposition to the deal. But what about the benefits that the deal has the potential of bringing? From the primary level right up to university through to top level management, all stand to benefit from the deal.

I really wish all the mostly empty opposition to the deal will just end. So far Google's Book Search has indexed over10 million books from among the top universities in the US and around the world. This is no doubt a great array of knowledge available to all. Also, what I understand from the deal is that books in copyright but out-of-print become available for viewing and purchase by the public, and researchers and students at universities will get access to the full technology.

This is not something to be glossed over in the name of competition. The Google book deal simply has the potential of changing how knowledge is disseminated, and that is not something harmful to mankind. Microsoft has more monopoly power than Google has, and yet every single move by Google is scrutinized with the eyes of a hawk. 

I humbly urge all authorities involved in the book deal settlement to give a deep thought to the unprecedented benefits the deal will bring to the hundreds of millions of students, researchers, authors, publishers, and readers alike.To all those who are opposing the deal, I say to them, please leave Google alone. For it is the only global company on the internet that really has its users at heart. Please just leave our Google alone for us. We love Google and Google loves us back.

What is your take on the Google Book Deal? Do you think it is worthwhile? Have you used the Google Book Search before? What are your experiences? Please share your thoughts.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Women- the missing factor in the Open Source equation.

Women, a very important constituent in every facet of life, are surprisingly missing in the Linux equation, or at least they seem so to me. Virtually all those that I am aware of in the Open Source world are men. Everybody I know on all the FOSS forums out there is a man. I am left wondering why it is so. Is it that Open Source is a male reserve or what? 

I strongly believe that women can make a very big, and I mean big impact in the quest to spread Open Source to all parts of the world. Seeing the strides women have made in all other facets of life, it is  little wonder that their apparent absence in the Open Source movement can really be felt.

It is my view that a conscientious effort be made to get more women involved in the Free Software movement. This, no doubt will help further the cause of the Movement. I am very  much eager to hear from any of the wonderful ladies out there who are involved in Open Source.

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Pardus Linux- worthy of atttention

Pardus Linux is a Linux distro developed by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology. It is a fairly new distro but one that has shown great promise. It comes with KDE 4 as the default desktop client. The latest release, Pardus 2009, comes with

Linux kernel version
OpenOffice.org office applications suite 3.1
Firefox  3.5.1
Gimp 2.6.6
Xorg 1.6.2
Python 2.6.2
Texlive 2008
GCC 4.3.3

You can read more about this budding distro and download an ISO file  here. Check out the video below. Give it a try and share your experiences. 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

5 things Best Buy employees must know about Linux.

Microsoft, the Redmond giant and vendor of the world's most troublesome OS, has now taken a different route to publicize its upcoming Windows 7 in October. It is now using deliberate disinformation about Linux to hoodwink unsuspecting employees of Best Buy to sell its new OS. In order to be fair to those being fed with the disinformation in these slides, I am assuming they do not know anything about Linux. The following five points should help clarify issues for them.

Lie no 1- Linux updates require time
This is a lie, and a very weak one at that given the fact that it's coming from a giant like MS. In the slide, Ubuntu is used as an example to show how updating and upgrading Linux is hard and takes time. If anything at all, updating and upgrading are the easiest things you can do in Linux. One update, and everything on your system is automatically updated. No need to individually select apps to update or upgrade, no need to scour the internet downloading apps from various vendors. Linux updates can take as low as one minute to update depending on the size of update. Updates in Linux are also consistent and very timely. There is not a single bit of consistency in Windows updates whatsoever. Windows updates, because they are very infrequent, make your system very vulnerable to security threats. When you update in Windows, you only update the OS and nothing else. So what is MS talking about? Oh I forgot, it's just lies! I could go on and on and on.

Lie no 2- Windows offers choice and compatibility
Microsoft claims because you can attach your Ipod and camera to your Windows box, that means they offer you choice and compatibility. Pure hogwash! The last time I checked, I could attach my Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones to my Ubuntu box without any so called PC suite, I can use my Ipod with Banshee music player or Rhythm box , attaching my digicam is a snap, I do not need any driver to get my SD card to be read by my Ubuntu system. Not a single one of these can be done on a Windows box without the help of third party drivers and bridges. Yet MS claims Linux is not compatible and does not offer you choice. Oh I forgot, I can video conference with my blog partners half a world away with Skype. I do not need Windows Live because I am running Linux. Games? I will reserve my words.

Lie no 3- Windows  works with a lot of softwares
Of course Windows works with a lot of softwares since MS has the clout to get more ISVs to develop for the Windows platform. But, Linux has thousands of software available for free download and easy to install. It's just a matter of knowing what you want to do and searching for the app. Windows? Well, pray to get lucky enough  not to get infected with a virus scouring the net for an app. Yes an app can bear the Windwos logo, but it will cost you good money.

Lie no 4 Linux is difficult to learn
Well, maybe it's only in the world of windows without gates that a distro like Ubuntu of Fedora is difficult to learn. What MS is not telling you is that even Windows has a learning curve, so if Linux has it, does that make Linux difficult to learn? If an alien should land from Jupiter today, would he automatically know how to use Windows? Every OS out there has a learning curve and neither Windows nor Linux is an exemption. MS talks about support or a step-by-step tutorial. Well, I guess this site answers that assertion.

Lie no 5- Security
This is the biggest, blatant lie of all the propaganda MS has ever come up with. It sometimes takes just hours for a patch to be pushed out to users when a vulnerability is discovered in Linux.You are never alone in terms of security when it comes to Linux. There is a constant look out for security threats in Linux and patches are never far away. Windows updates are pushed out when MS wants and not when it must. Windows is in itself an insecure OS without third party guards like antivirus and antispyware. MS talks about parental control, in what context is it referring to?

I will end my submission here. You can take a look at the slides here and draw your own conclusion. Let me know what you think when you draw those conclusions.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mozilla's Fennec- the mobile browser of the future

If you use Firefox browser on your computer, then you probably will be happy to know that Mozilla is now taking the rich FF experience to the smart phone market by developing the Fennec mobile browser. The 3rd alpha release is out and has a rich list of  features
  • Much improved panning/scrolling performance
  • Improved start-up time
  • Revised theme
  • Support for running in full screen
  • Numerous bug fixes
  • Improved painting performance
  • Improved UI polish
  • Support for touch sensitive directional pad on HTC devices
  • Improved kinetic panning with directional locking
  • Ability to scroll frames
  • Improved zooming support
  • Support for multiple screen sizes
You can run this alpha release on your  Windows Mobile device running Windows Mobile Professional 6.0 of greater. The release notes can be found here together with how to download it. Try it and take your rich Firefox experience with you on the go. Check out this video for more

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Face book security threat

There is a security threat on Facebook that you should be ware of. A virus which has been disguised as an app called Facebook Check is being used to lure people to get their accounts infected. You can read the rest on here on Mashable.

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5 things you must know about Windows 7.

In just over one month, Microsoft will release its long awaited and highly publicized OS dubbed Windows 7. This version of Windows has no doubt received  positive vibes from a lot of people. However, if you are thinking of upgrading to this OS when it finally goes on sale, then wait and read these five things you probably have forgotten before you pay out your hard earned income for it.

Windows 7 is still Windows.
Windows 7, no matter how polished and nice it looks, is still Windows and as such still has all the past history of Windows in its heritage. So never think Windows 7 is anything different for it is still Windows from almighty Microsoft.

Windows 7 has no killer features
Windows 7 has no killer features that is so radically different from Vista or even XP. Yes it is very eye candy and supports touch tech, but I don't think that's what gets the work done for you. You should not pay for an OS just to get some nice looking icons or a nice looking desktop.

Windows 7 will cost you good money.
The upgrade price of  Windows 7,  ranges between  $100 and  $300. That's quite some money you are paying for an OS that is more of an update to Vista than a real new release.

Windows 7 is still a resource hog
Though Windows 7 hardware requirement are a shade lower than that of Vista, it still is a resource hog. You will need
1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)
1GB of main memory
16GB of available disk space
Support for DX9 graphics with 128MB of memory (for the Aero interface)
That's a lot of horse power especially if you live in developing places like Africa.

Windows 7 is no more secure than Vista or XP
Windows is said to have the security of a drunken teenager behind a steering wheel in the night. Windows 7 security is not any much different from its predecessors. Security flaws were discovered as long as January when the RC was fresh. These news items here, here and here will help remind you about Windows 7's bad start.

These are five basic things you should have at the back of your mind if you intend upgrading to Windows 7. What I generally recommend is that you rather get the other "Windows 7" which will also debut around that time but is christened Karmic Koala by another up and coming company called Canonical. The alpha release of what I am talking about can be found here. Try that one and you will be glad you did.
Will you be upgrading to Windows 7? If so why or why not? Share your thoughts. Talkback!

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By Seraaj Muneer with 7 comments
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