A few months ago in PC Advisor, we ran a feature on buying the cheapest desktop PC possible. We considered the idea of specifying no operating system at all, believing that the truly cash-strapped consumer might be interested in saving a few pennies by sticking on an open source Linux operating system - such as is the case with the Dell Inspiron 530n Ubuntu.
One question I get all the time is “What package is that file in?” There’s a really easy way to find out yourself. It’s called apt-file and it can search for a file in any package (installed or not). It’s really easy to use:
Yesterday an article on Ubuntu Linux appeared on the front page of the New York Times‘ website. The article, “The Next Leap for Linux“, talks about the basics of Linux, Dell’s preinstalling, Ubuntu, and multimedia codecs.
Unlike Windows from Microsoft and OS X from Apple, Linux is not owned, updated or controlled by a single company. Thousands of developers around the world work on Linux, making improvements and issuing new versions several times a year. Because the core Linux software is open source, these developers have the right — some would say responsibility — to borrow from one another’s work, constantly looking for enhancements.
Skype 1.4 for Linux is officially out of Beta, and is available for download.
The two big WNITVs (What’s New In This Version) are call forwarding, and a “Birthday Alert” service that notifies you when anyone in your Contact list has a birthday.
There is a long and somewhat heated argument taking place in the Ubuntu forums over a post by Ian Jackson in the Ubuntu Developers mail list, which is a wrapup of a discussion held on the irc #ubuntu-devel channel. The post advocates a change in the Ubuntu security policy by making it more difficult for new users to install untrusted 3rd party software.
The Mythbuntu team is pleased to announce the Beta of Mythbuntu-7.10. Together with this release, we're opening the gates of our very own Mythbuntu forums at http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=301. Please feel free to discuss and seek help with Mythbuntu.
If you’re the only person who uses your Ubuntu-based PC and don’t want to sign in each time you turn on your computer, you can enable automatic login via the steps found in this brief tutorial.
Last month, just one week after IBM announced it would help with OpenOffice.org's development, the company released Lotus Symphony, an office suite based on OpenOffice.org code. I found a lot of slick features in Lotus Symphony, but I worry that Symphony could affect the OpenOffice.org community adversely.
Kino is a video editor that allows you to produce your own video masterpieces using only free and open source software. With it, you can capture and edit clips from your video camera, add titles, insert still images, create transitions between scenes, and output the result in a number of formats. Best of all, it's easy to learn to use. But don't rely on the version in your distro -- grab the 1.1.1 release from SourceForge.net and build it yourself.
By default Compiz in Ubuntu uses the GTK window decorator. You can adjust the transparency level of the GTK Window Decorator window titles by changing a value in the GNOME configuration editor. Note that this only works if you are using a compositing window manager such as Compiz.
According to the NY Times today, "to watch a movie, the Linux user must install necessary codecs, or decoders. One way to do that is to first download a program called Automatix from www.getautomatix.com.” Apparently, he was not running the Gutsy beta.
If you are trying to run many linux machines at a time it can become difficult to keep them in sync. One solution that many use is to mirror the repository(s) to a local network to save on internet bandwidth. While this is a solution it does require a lot of setting up, uses a lot of valuable space, takes a lot of time for the initial download and requires you to store programs that your machines will probably never use.
Today I checked in a few fun changes to Beagle today focused on the idea of emphasizing relationships between entities. It doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but its kinda nifty.
The beta of Ubuntu's next release (7.10 Gutsy Gibbon) is out - time to review the well discussed decision to incorporate desktop effects by default in this version.
Since this topic has caused a lot of confusion lately (especially since Feisty introduced it's Desktop Effects), I feel it's time to shed some light.
My wife needed a new laptop and, as her birthday was a couple of months away, I began to research what I would get for her. I generally make the technology purchases for our household so I started looking at how she used her current laptop and what would be useful to her. Well, it arrived yesterday and, before I tell you what it is, I’ll tell you how I came to that conclusion.
Someone asked in the last post how to change features on the desktop. I'd like to show folks, both old and new, how easy it is on this latest version.
Dell as a pioneer in the industry has recently released first line of consumer desktop computers and notebooks with pre-installed Linux, Ubuntu 7.04. Dell Ubuntu has lots offer, Ubuntu is extremely powerful, practical, absolutely free, and ready-to-run desktop Linux distribution, which is highly compatible for mainstream use.
As a few of my personal friends – and the crews in various IRC channels I haunt with my entirely off-topic discussions – know, I’ve just recently become the proud owner of not only my very first iPod – but a beautiful 5th generation one at that!
Those of you that are long time readers may remember my previous article on Saving Bandwidth With Multiple Machines Using Apt-Cacher. With the next Ubuntu release coming down the pike in just a few weeks I wanted to revisit this article for those of you that will be upgrading via aptitude. If you have multiple machines you’ll really want to look into setting this up!
How does the current version of OpenOffice.org (OOo) compare with Microsoft Office in its ability to produce slide presentations? The last time I tried to answer that question, two years ago, both OOo Impress and Microsoft PowerPoint had features that the other lacked. To see how the two programs compare now, I installed Microsoft Office 2007 and OpenOffice.org 2.3, and went through the process of designing a slide show from start to finish. To my surprise, the results were more decisive than in my last comparison. They're not enough to award a knockout victory, but, even based on points, the winner is clear.
I’ve been playing more and more with virtualization lately. Partly in testing Ubuntu alpha and beta releases but also testing the folding project installer and compatibility with multiple distributions. You may have seen my previous tutorials on installing VMware Server on Ubuntu 7.04 or installing VMware Server on Ubuntu 7.10. This tutorial should maintain compatibility with either host (servers running 7.04 or 7.10) in installing vmware tools within the Ubuntu guests.
Gimmie is a unique desktop organizer and panel replacement for the GNOME desktop environment. The easiest way is to use Gimmie is as a panel applet in the GNOME panel, but there is also a stand-alone version as well. Gimmie is even being considered for the next version of GNOME.
In Ubuntu 7.10, the Gimmie panel applet is very simple to install.
Intel VT-x is a set of processor enhancements to improve virtualization performance. In theory, VT-x should allow for near-native speed in a virtual machine. VirtualBox, a popular open source virtualization program, recently added a check box to turn on VT-x or AMD’s AMD-V equivalent. But VirtualBox’s site warns that enabling it may reduce the performance of a virtual machine: