Sunday, 1 September 2013

A look at the blogs in the Foss Force poll

Posted by Gary Newell  |  at  18:00 2 comments

Introduction

Over the past few weeks a poll has been running at Foss Force to find out which is the best FOSS or Linux based blog.

Thanks to the people who read this blog "Everyday Linux User" came in 6th with 17 votes. 

This article is dedicated to all the blogs that were in the poll.

As you can see Alien Pastures and Dedoimedo ran away with the majority of the votes taking 79% between them.

So what makes these blogs so popular. Read on to find out.





Alien Pastures

Alien Pastures is a blog written by Eric Hameleers or AlienBOB as Slackware users know him.

The blog is dedicated to Slackware and there is a shed load of information that must be incredibly useful to Slackware users.

Eric creates scripts and maintains a wiki page and the Alien Pastures blog is there for Eric to express his views and opinions.

If you are a Slackware user then it really is a must have to add to your blogroll or to the favourites in your browser.

I haven't tried Slackware yet. Maybe one for the future.

Dedoimedo

This is definitely one of my favourite blogs and one I read regularly. 

The blog itself isn't purely dedicated to Linux and there are sections for other things such as Model Planes and even Hillbilly Physics.

Before I go on to the Linux side here is an excerpt from one of the articles on HillBilly Physics. The title of the post is "Hybrid cars are massive bollocks". 

Just from that title alone you can see where the article is heading and it is a brutally written piece about why the author thinks hybrid cars are indeed dangly bits. 

The Linux articles can quite often go the same way. Dedoimedo is painfully and refreshingly honest in his assessment of the distributions he reviews.

I am going to refer you to Dedoimedo's review of Fedora 19 - The cat is dead. The reviews on this site are never short of wit and the Fedora 19 review starts with this opening gambit 

I will begin this review with a song by the Thompson Twins. Doctor, doctor, can't you see I'm burning, burning.
Basically Dedoimedo couldn't get Fedora 19 to work and failed at the login stage. Did the review end there? Not quite.... instead we were treated to pictures of Dedoimedo driving his Seat Leon.

It is worth noting that Fedora 19 was in the beta stage when the review was written. I will be writing my own review of Fedora 19 shortly.

Martin's Blog

Martin's blog is written by Martin Gräßlin who is according to the about page maintains the KDE plasma compositor and window manager (KWin).

There is of course a lot of information on this blog to do with the KDE desktop and in particular KWin. 

I read through a number of the articles and in particular Martin's philosophy on internet freedoms in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations on privacy.

In the third article "Floss after Prism: Anonymity by default" Martin talks about the sort of information that we reveal, for instance during a system update:
Let’s just look at system updates and what they tell us:
  • Unique identification of the user through IPv6
  • Location of the user through the IP address
  • Identification of the used operating system (e.g. asking debian for updates implies you use Debian)
  • Interval in which the system is used (e.g. daily updates)

Martin states that using TOR would help to protect user's anonymity but whilst this is currently an option for techies it isn't obvious to the outside world that TOR in the first instance exists and in the second instance people don't know how to install or use it.

The suggestion therefore is to introduce some way of protecting our anonymity by default by building in such innovations in the first place.

So if you want to read about KWin or Martin's clearly very intelligent view points visit Martin's Blog.

Web UPD8



Web UPD8 is a blog which shares common traits with this blog. The tag line at the top of the website is "Daily Ubuntu / Linux News and Application Reviews".

Everyday Linux User isn't as much of a news site as a distro review and tutorial site.

So what does Web UPD8 have to offer? 

Well one of the most useful things that Web UPD8 has is a collection of PPAs for Ubuntu which will enable you to install packages such as Youtube-dl for downloading youtube videos, the MDM display manager and GRIVE (Google Drive Linux Client). 

Basically if you are a Ubuntu user or you use a Ubuntu derivative bookmark this site.

Where Everyday Linux User usually focuses on reviewing distributions the Web UPD8 site focuses on reviewing applications.

In the past day there are reviews for Light Locker, Touchpad Indicator, Metro Last Light (game) and App Grid (lightweight Ubuntu Software Centre alternative). 

Larry the free software guy


Larry Cafiero is a 55 year old guy from California. Larry runs two blogs which are "Larry the free software guy" and "Larry the Crunchbang guy".

We will focus on the free software guy blog here but keep reading as Larry made it into the top 10 twice.

I think the blog is mainly targeted towards free and open source software but it quite often has articles about other Linux based subjects including the recent Ubuntu Edge project.

I liked Larry's writing style which is conversational, intelligent and often humourous. 

An article that caught my eye was called "The ease of choosing a distro" where Larry highlights a new tool that makes it easier for you to choose which distro is best for you. (A tool that should be highlighted at the top of the Linux Reddit page because that question is asked about 10 times a day).

One of the complaints that sometimes flies against this position is that there are too many distros. This argument is made by those who can’t easily enter a Baskin-Robbins without breaking into cold sweat — 31 different flavors? Too many! — or have a hard time with choosing what color socks to wear. In many cases, the “too many distros” argument stems from this premise: “There are too many distros, so you and everyone else should use my distro,” and my distro, wait for it, always seems to be the vowel-laden one which goes light-years out of its way to say it’s not a Linux-based distro.

Everyday Linux User

Well I'm not going to review my own site but I am going to use this opportunity to point out some of the pages that you might like to visit.



Benjamin Kerensa

Benjamin Kerensa is an internationally recognized open source evangelist, community manager, author and speaker with experience in systems administration, project management and open source development that spans a decade.
Benjamin's about page lists a truly impressive list of achievements including organising events such as Ubuntu Global Jam, Ubuntu Bug Jam, Ubuntu 12.04 release party and the Ubuntu 13.04 release party.

So what is in the blog?

This blog is centred around Ubuntu due to Benjamin's obvious involvement with Ubuntu. Over the past month Benjamin has written articles about Ubuntu's decision to continue with FireFox as the default browser, thoughts on Google Glass and a small post showing what the Ubuntu Edge phone might have looked like.

The articles aren't usually that long but they are very easy to read. Great for lunch hour reading.

Larry the Crunchbang Guy

Yes this is the other blog by Larry Cafiero. 

Where the first blog is a more generic blog about Linux and FOSS this blog is centred around Crunchbang Linux.

I wrote a review of Crunchbang a few months ago and really liked it. If you haven't tried it maybe it is time to give it a go and then you will have even more of an excuse to read this blog.

Linux Notes From Dark Duck

When I first started reading Linux Notes From Dark Duck most of the articles were reviews of Linux distributions in a live environment.

The format of the reviews were always very easy to read and they covered a lot of areas of a Linux distribution including Samba file sharing, multiple language keyboard layouts, performance, issues, sound and desktop environments.

The author Dmitry has taken more of a back seat when it comes to writing articles for the blog and now runs competitions every few months whereby he gets readers to write articles describing things like their favourite Linux distribution or desktop environment and how the user got into Linux in the first place.

The beauty of doing this is that the Linux Notes From Dark Duck blog now gets a very personal view of what people are using, why they are using it and how they came into Linux in the first place. 

People like to write about their experiences, even more so if there is a prize at the end of it. What is more is that people also like reading about other people's experiences.

A worthy read indeed.

The blog of Helios

This is the blog of Ken Stark. 

There is a lot of information on this site about the reglue project which has the tagline "a child's exposure to technology should not be predicated on the ability to afford it".

The point of the reglue project is to get Free Linux computers into the hands of under privileged children.

As well as posting about the reglue project there are sporadic posts about technology stories. 

One article featured on the site a week or two ago was "Hostgator... I found your problem in employee turnover" which discusses the issues faced by women in male oriented call centres. A thought provoking article to say the least.

The one I really want you to read though is "Your computer junk is gold to Reglue".

Summary

Some of the blogs here I hadn't read before Foss Force started their poll. I think it was definitely a good idea to run the poll as it has given me an insight into blogs that I didn't know existed.

Thankyou for reading.





 




About the Author

Gary Newell started the Everyday Linux User blog in 2010 and has written reviews on dozens of different Linux based operating systems. He has also written a number of tutorials.

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for your kind words about my blogs. You are right: Larry the Free Software Guy takes on a more broad range of issues in Linux/FOSS, while Larry the CrunchBang Guy focuses on that particular distro. Also, congratulations on making the finals in the FOSS Force poll.

    If you like, you're welcome to use this meme I made up in honor of the finals:

    http://larrythefreesoftwareguy.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/37vjk.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll second Larry! :) Thanks for mentioning!

    ReplyDelete

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