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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Introduction

Welcome to post number 99 on Everyday Linux User. I would like to thank everybody who has read and contributed to the blog since its inception in 2012.

Now the headline is a real "Bazinga" of a headline. Everybody wants something for free so I know you are all waiting for the catch.

The Catch

All the magazines are Kindle versions of the magazine. In addition to this to be able to download the magazines you need to download the Appstore application onto an Android device.

The good news is that the Appstore application is free and the magazines are free.

If you have the Kindle Fire then you already have the Appstore installed. There are instructions how to install using other Android devices.

The Magazines


Linux Format


Linux Format is the voice of the Linux and open source community. Its unique style brings you entertaining and essential news and reviews of the latest from Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Red Hat and the leading distros.


You’ll learn great programming tips in our Coding Academy, including Python and Android, and we show you how to get the best from technologies such as Gnome 3, KDE 4 and Unity. Whether you’re an IT professional, sysadmin or you just want to make computing fun again, Linux Format is for you.



Linux User and Developer

(Click here for more information about getting Linux User for free)

I was lucky enough win a subscription to the digital version of this magazine and I really like it. The magazine was running a really good Python tutorial and there are regular features about the Raspberry PI.

Linux User and Developer mixes good articles with good tutorials, reviews and product analysis.



Linux Journal

(Click here for more information about getting Linux Journal for free)

Published since 1994, Linux Journal is the original magazine of the global Linux community, delivering readers the advice and inspiration they need to get the most out of their Linux systems. 


In-depth information provides a full 360-degree look at featured topics relating to Linux, giving a comprehensive source of everything readers need for creating and completing their own projects--not just tools they will use today, but relevant and encompassing information they will turn to in future months and years. 

Every issue also includes: opinions; new product information; profiles of leaders making major contributions in Open Source; product reviews; business, social and technical news and developments in order to fulfil its mission as the central forum and advocate for the greater Linux community throughout the world.


Really Free Magazines

What if you don't have a Kindle? Does that mean you shouldn't get free magazines. No it doesn't. The two I'm going to list now are my favourite Linux magazines anyway. They may not have the glossy publishing of the previously listed magazines but they are more personable and are made by people who do it for the love of it rather than for a salary.

PCLinuxOS Magazine

Click here to get PCLinuxOS Magazine

PCLinuxOS magazine is dedicated to the PCLinuxOS distribution but even if you don't use this distro you will find some very handy reviews and tutorials about open source software packages in general.

I don't use PCLinuxOS but I have been reading this magazine for years.

I also reviewed PCLinuxOS this year and I was very impressed.

Full Circle Magazine


Full Circle magazine is to Ubuntu what PCLinuxOS magazine is to PCLinuxOS.

For me it hasn't quite got the same appeal as the PCLinuxOS magazine but I still read every issue.





A couple more links

I hope you get something out of one of these links. If nothing else PCLinuxOS magazine and Full Circle magazine are worth reading and some of the free articles on the Zinio site are worth reading as well.

Zinio - Be Well Read I like Linux User and Developer magazine and recommend it personally.


(Click the Zinio icon to see all the Linux magazines they produce).

Thankyou for reading

Free Linux Magazines

Introduction

Welcome to post number 99 on Everyday Linux User. I would like to thank everybody who has read and contributed to the blog since its inception in 2012.

Now the headline is a real "Bazinga" of a headline. Everybody wants something for free so I know you are all waiting for the catch.

The Catch

All the magazines are Kindle versions of the magazine. In addition to this to be able to download the magazines you need to download the Appstore application onto an Android device.

The good news is that the Appstore application is free and the magazines are free.

If you have the Kindle Fire then you already have the Appstore installed. There are instructions how to install using other Android devices.

The Magazines


Linux Format


Linux Format is the voice of the Linux and open source community. Its unique style brings you entertaining and essential news and reviews of the latest from Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Red Hat and the leading distros.


You’ll learn great programming tips in our Coding Academy, including Python and Android, and we show you how to get the best from technologies such as Gnome 3, KDE 4 and Unity. Whether you’re an IT professional, sysadmin or you just want to make computing fun again, Linux Format is for you.



Linux User and Developer

(Click here for more information about getting Linux User for free)

I was lucky enough win a subscription to the digital version of this magazine and I really like it. The magazine was running a really good Python tutorial and there are regular features about the Raspberry PI.

Linux User and Developer mixes good articles with good tutorials, reviews and product analysis.



Linux Journal

(Click here for more information about getting Linux Journal for free)

Published since 1994, Linux Journal is the original magazine of the global Linux community, delivering readers the advice and inspiration they need to get the most out of their Linux systems. 


In-depth information provides a full 360-degree look at featured topics relating to Linux, giving a comprehensive source of everything readers need for creating and completing their own projects--not just tools they will use today, but relevant and encompassing information they will turn to in future months and years. 

Every issue also includes: opinions; new product information; profiles of leaders making major contributions in Open Source; product reviews; business, social and technical news and developments in order to fulfil its mission as the central forum and advocate for the greater Linux community throughout the world.


Really Free Magazines

What if you don't have a Kindle? Does that mean you shouldn't get free magazines. No it doesn't. The two I'm going to list now are my favourite Linux magazines anyway. They may not have the glossy publishing of the previously listed magazines but they are more personable and are made by people who do it for the love of it rather than for a salary.

PCLinuxOS Magazine

Click here to get PCLinuxOS Magazine

PCLinuxOS magazine is dedicated to the PCLinuxOS distribution but even if you don't use this distro you will find some very handy reviews and tutorials about open source software packages in general.

I don't use PCLinuxOS but I have been reading this magazine for years.

I also reviewed PCLinuxOS this year and I was very impressed.

Full Circle Magazine


Full Circle magazine is to Ubuntu what PCLinuxOS magazine is to PCLinuxOS.

For me it hasn't quite got the same appeal as the PCLinuxOS magazine but I still read every issue.





A couple more links

I hope you get something out of one of these links. If nothing else PCLinuxOS magazine and Full Circle magazine are worth reading and some of the free articles on the Zinio site are worth reading as well.

Zinio - Be Well Read I like Linux User and Developer magazine and recommend it personally.


(Click the Zinio icon to see all the Linux magazines they produce).

Thankyou for reading

Posted at 22:24 |  by Gary Newell

0 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Friday, 26 July 2013

Introduction


Linux Mint is now at version 17. Continue reading this review if you want to find out about the features of the XFCE edition but if you want to read about the latest LTS release here is a review of Linux Mint 17 with the Cinnamon desktop

Linux Mint 15 has been out for a while and so there are already a number of good reviews written about it.

Linux Mint is a very popular distribution and the developers have set out on a different path to Ubuntu in that the emphasis is definitely about evolving the desktop environment as opposed to redefining it completely.

The Cinnamon desktop looks very Windows-esque but with a lot of bells and whistles added to make it a top notch environment. Windows users instantly feel familiar with the Linux Mint operating system.

Those reviews that haven't focused on the Cinnamon desktop have reviewed instead the Mate desktop environment which is basically a lighter desktop environment for users who have older hardware or hardware that misbehaves when running Cinnamon.

For KDE enthusiasts there is a KDE spin of Linux Mint and even this is covered quite well.

It isn't actually well known however that there is a dedicated XFCE version of Linux Mint.

I have been looking again at XFCE recently having written an article comparing Ubuntu and Xubuntu.

I simply stumbled across the XFCE version of Linux Mint whilst looking to download Linux Mint Debian Edition for a separate review.

So here it is my review of Linux Mint 15 XFCE.

Installation

To get Linux Mint XFCE edition I visited the Linux Mint website and clicked the XFCE download link.

I then used Unetbootin to burn the ISO to a USB drive and rebooted into a live image of Linux Mint.

I performed my usual checks to make sure there were no glaring errors. The general things I test are internet connectivity and tasks that challenge the graphics and audio.

Satisfied that everything was working correctly I clicked the install icon and ran through the Linux Mint installer.

The install is a simple affair. Choose the language, keyboard, user name and whether to download updates as you go.

For me the trickiest part is the partitioning because whilst most users will choose to install alongside their current operating system or to use the whole disk I have my disk segregated into a number of partitions to allow for the fact that I do a lot of reviews and so I have to pick a distro to write over the top of. To be honest I've done this so many times now that it is second nature and the system installed without a hitch.

First Impressions





















One thing that you will notice across all the versions of Linux Mint is a sense of consistency. Whether you are using the XFCE desktop, the KDE desktop, the Cinnamon or Mate desktops the overall style is the same.

The desktop wallpaper is obviously the same across all the versions but the panel at the bottom is also fairly consistent. It would have been easy for the developers to have added extra panels to XFCE and Mate as XFCE and Mate for me work better when there are multiple panels.



The whole Linux Mint look and feel is very Windows like. There is the main desktop with icons and a panel at the bottom which shows a menu icon, quick launch icons, open application windows and a system tray.



In the bottom right corner is the system tray with icons for adjusting audio settings, bluetooth settings, notifications, wireless settings, battery and power settings and a clock.


In the bottom left corner is a little spinner icon which is actually the icon that brings up the menu. Next to this are quick launch icons for restore minimised windows and places.

The menu used is called "Whisker" which is different to the standard XFCE menu and shows a more Windows like menu.

The menu is also very different from the Cinnamon menu. Where the Cinnamon menu is obviously very stylish, the menu used in the XFCE version is very functional.

I actually found it easier to use the menu system in the XFCE version than the Cinnamon version. The search bar is very responsive and the categories down the right make it very easy to find what you are looking for.

Changing the desktop wallpaper

I'm not going to go into the customisation of XFCE too much. You can read my article on customising Xubuntu and this will help for most things you need when customising the XFCE version of Mint.

However changing the wallpaper is as simple as right clicking on the desktop and choosing desktop settings.






There are a number of different desktops to choose from or alternatively choose your own by clicking the plus symbol and navigating to the image you wish to use.

To add a new panel, right click on the bottom panel and select "panel preferences".


Now click the plus symbol to add a new panel. You can then organise the panel as you see fit.



You can add new items to the panel by right clicking on a panel and choosing "add new items".

There are a number of items to choose from. The workspace switcher is an essential for me.

The launcher item enables you to point an icon to any executable file.

If you don't like the whisker menu then you can use the more standard XFCE applications menu.

Connecting to the internet

As expected connecting to the internet was a breeze. Simply clicking on the networking icon on the system tray brings up a list of potential wireless networks.

The only thing you need to do is enter the security key for the network you are connecting to.

Applications

I think the use of XFCE is let down a little bit by Linux Mint because by default they have one panel and for me XFCE works better with the top panel and the quick launch panel at the bottom. (um... Xubuntu then).

Where Linux Mint comes good is the choice of applications. Don't get me wrong. I understand the ethos of Xubuntu and why the applications are all lighter in nature but I also like the idea that you can have a lightweight desktop with heavyweight applications.

Linux Mint comes with LibreOffice (version 4.0.2.2) which to be honest leaves most other office suites in its wake. (Especially anything that has ribbon bars).


The audio application that comes with Linux Mint is Banshee. Whilst I generally prefer Rhythmbox it has to be said that Banshee is one of the best audio applications available.


For video playback Linux Mint provides the excellent VLC player. 

Other packages include GIMP for image editing, Thunderbird for email, Pidgin instant messenger, XChat IRC Chat, Transmission for bittorrents and XFburn for disc burning.

The web browser that comes with Linux Mint is Firefox.

Without adding any other applications you are pretty much ready to go for the most common tasks.

Installing Applications




To install applications you use the software manager. The interface is fairly simple to use.

In the top right corner is a search box and the rest of the screen is a series of categories.

Clicking on a category shows various sub categories and a list of potential applications.

By drilling down you can find applications that meet your needs.

If you know the application you wish to install then you can enter the name or a description in the search box and a list of applications will appear with ratings next to them.

Double clicking on the application in the list shows a description of the software and you are now able to install it.

Flash and MP3

Linux Mint ships with both Flash and MP3 installed by default.

Banshee was able to play any song in my collection instantly. I hate it when I install a distribution and get the GStreamer errors. I'm so glad that most distributions have this resolved by default now.



As you can see there were no issues playing Youtube videos or playing online games.


Summary

The Cinnamon desktop is great and if you have the power in your machine I would definitely recommend it for use with Linux Mint 15.

The XFCE desktop is a great alternative however and the Whisker menu system works well for finding applications.

The XFCE desktop is great if you want to customise your Linux Mint experience and it is so easy to do.

With regards to XFCE distributions I would say Xubuntu uses the panels better by default but Linux Mint comes with more cutting edge applications.

As an alternative you could try Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop environment.

You may have noticed that I haven't listed any issues that were found whilst using this distribution. I can honestly say I haven't found any. Day to day use of Linux Mint 15 XFCE gave me no problems whatsoever. 

This distribution would be great on an older or budget laptop or on a netbook.

Thankyou for reading.

To get Linux Mint 15 XFCE



And finally ...

If you like this blog don't forget to subscribe by entering your email address into the box provided on the right hand side. 

Also hang around and check out some of the other articles. There is a reviews page, Puppy Linux page, Raspberry PI Page, top articles page and loads of other articles.

And even more finally but much more relevant ...

Start your own blog

If you have something to say about Linux why not start your own blog. Visit GoDaddy.com to find out how. 




To make it easier for everyone who wants to read my Ubuntu based articles and tutorials I have formatted them, rewritten them and added extra content which has resulted in the eBook "From Windows To Ubuntu".

The book isn't massive like a SAMS guide so it isn't going to take you forever to read it but there is certainly a lot of content.

Click here to buy the eBook "From Windows To Ubuntu"




Linux Mint 15 - An alternative review

Introduction


Linux Mint is now at version 17. Continue reading this review if you want to find out about the features of the XFCE edition but if you want to read about the latest LTS release here is a review of Linux Mint 17 with the Cinnamon desktop

Linux Mint 15 has been out for a while and so there are already a number of good reviews written about it.

Linux Mint is a very popular distribution and the developers have set out on a different path to Ubuntu in that the emphasis is definitely about evolving the desktop environment as opposed to redefining it completely.

The Cinnamon desktop looks very Windows-esque but with a lot of bells and whistles added to make it a top notch environment. Windows users instantly feel familiar with the Linux Mint operating system.

Those reviews that haven't focused on the Cinnamon desktop have reviewed instead the Mate desktop environment which is basically a lighter desktop environment for users who have older hardware or hardware that misbehaves when running Cinnamon.

For KDE enthusiasts there is a KDE spin of Linux Mint and even this is covered quite well.

It isn't actually well known however that there is a dedicated XFCE version of Linux Mint.

I have been looking again at XFCE recently having written an article comparing Ubuntu and Xubuntu.

I simply stumbled across the XFCE version of Linux Mint whilst looking to download Linux Mint Debian Edition for a separate review.

So here it is my review of Linux Mint 15 XFCE.

Installation

To get Linux Mint XFCE edition I visited the Linux Mint website and clicked the XFCE download link.

I then used Unetbootin to burn the ISO to a USB drive and rebooted into a live image of Linux Mint.

I performed my usual checks to make sure there were no glaring errors. The general things I test are internet connectivity and tasks that challenge the graphics and audio.

Satisfied that everything was working correctly I clicked the install icon and ran through the Linux Mint installer.

The install is a simple affair. Choose the language, keyboard, user name and whether to download updates as you go.

For me the trickiest part is the partitioning because whilst most users will choose to install alongside their current operating system or to use the whole disk I have my disk segregated into a number of partitions to allow for the fact that I do a lot of reviews and so I have to pick a distro to write over the top of. To be honest I've done this so many times now that it is second nature and the system installed without a hitch.

First Impressions





















One thing that you will notice across all the versions of Linux Mint is a sense of consistency. Whether you are using the XFCE desktop, the KDE desktop, the Cinnamon or Mate desktops the overall style is the same.

The desktop wallpaper is obviously the same across all the versions but the panel at the bottom is also fairly consistent. It would have been easy for the developers to have added extra panels to XFCE and Mate as XFCE and Mate for me work better when there are multiple panels.



The whole Linux Mint look and feel is very Windows like. There is the main desktop with icons and a panel at the bottom which shows a menu icon, quick launch icons, open application windows and a system tray.



In the bottom right corner is the system tray with icons for adjusting audio settings, bluetooth settings, notifications, wireless settings, battery and power settings and a clock.


In the bottom left corner is a little spinner icon which is actually the icon that brings up the menu. Next to this are quick launch icons for restore minimised windows and places.

The menu used is called "Whisker" which is different to the standard XFCE menu and shows a more Windows like menu.

The menu is also very different from the Cinnamon menu. Where the Cinnamon menu is obviously very stylish, the menu used in the XFCE version is very functional.

I actually found it easier to use the menu system in the XFCE version than the Cinnamon version. The search bar is very responsive and the categories down the right make it very easy to find what you are looking for.

Changing the desktop wallpaper

I'm not going to go into the customisation of XFCE too much. You can read my article on customising Xubuntu and this will help for most things you need when customising the XFCE version of Mint.

However changing the wallpaper is as simple as right clicking on the desktop and choosing desktop settings.






There are a number of different desktops to choose from or alternatively choose your own by clicking the plus symbol and navigating to the image you wish to use.

To add a new panel, right click on the bottom panel and select "panel preferences".


Now click the plus symbol to add a new panel. You can then organise the panel as you see fit.



You can add new items to the panel by right clicking on a panel and choosing "add new items".

There are a number of items to choose from. The workspace switcher is an essential for me.

The launcher item enables you to point an icon to any executable file.

If you don't like the whisker menu then you can use the more standard XFCE applications menu.

Connecting to the internet

As expected connecting to the internet was a breeze. Simply clicking on the networking icon on the system tray brings up a list of potential wireless networks.

The only thing you need to do is enter the security key for the network you are connecting to.

Applications

I think the use of XFCE is let down a little bit by Linux Mint because by default they have one panel and for me XFCE works better with the top panel and the quick launch panel at the bottom. (um... Xubuntu then).

Where Linux Mint comes good is the choice of applications. Don't get me wrong. I understand the ethos of Xubuntu and why the applications are all lighter in nature but I also like the idea that you can have a lightweight desktop with heavyweight applications.

Linux Mint comes with LibreOffice (version 4.0.2.2) which to be honest leaves most other office suites in its wake. (Especially anything that has ribbon bars).


The audio application that comes with Linux Mint is Banshee. Whilst I generally prefer Rhythmbox it has to be said that Banshee is one of the best audio applications available.


For video playback Linux Mint provides the excellent VLC player. 

Other packages include GIMP for image editing, Thunderbird for email, Pidgin instant messenger, XChat IRC Chat, Transmission for bittorrents and XFburn for disc burning.

The web browser that comes with Linux Mint is Firefox.

Without adding any other applications you are pretty much ready to go for the most common tasks.

Installing Applications




To install applications you use the software manager. The interface is fairly simple to use.

In the top right corner is a search box and the rest of the screen is a series of categories.

Clicking on a category shows various sub categories and a list of potential applications.

By drilling down you can find applications that meet your needs.

If you know the application you wish to install then you can enter the name or a description in the search box and a list of applications will appear with ratings next to them.

Double clicking on the application in the list shows a description of the software and you are now able to install it.

Flash and MP3

Linux Mint ships with both Flash and MP3 installed by default.

Banshee was able to play any song in my collection instantly. I hate it when I install a distribution and get the GStreamer errors. I'm so glad that most distributions have this resolved by default now.



As you can see there were no issues playing Youtube videos or playing online games.


Summary

The Cinnamon desktop is great and if you have the power in your machine I would definitely recommend it for use with Linux Mint 15.

The XFCE desktop is a great alternative however and the Whisker menu system works well for finding applications.

The XFCE desktop is great if you want to customise your Linux Mint experience and it is so easy to do.

With regards to XFCE distributions I would say Xubuntu uses the panels better by default but Linux Mint comes with more cutting edge applications.

As an alternative you could try Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop environment.

You may have noticed that I haven't listed any issues that were found whilst using this distribution. I can honestly say I haven't found any. Day to day use of Linux Mint 15 XFCE gave me no problems whatsoever. 

This distribution would be great on an older or budget laptop or on a netbook.

Thankyou for reading.

To get Linux Mint 15 XFCE



And finally ...

If you like this blog don't forget to subscribe by entering your email address into the box provided on the right hand side. 

Also hang around and check out some of the other articles. There is a reviews page, Puppy Linux page, Raspberry PI Page, top articles page and loads of other articles.

And even more finally but much more relevant ...

Start your own blog

If you have something to say about Linux why not start your own blog. Visit GoDaddy.com to find out how. 




To make it easier for everyone who wants to read my Ubuntu based articles and tutorials I have formatted them, rewritten them and added extra content which has resulted in the eBook "From Windows To Ubuntu".

The book isn't massive like a SAMS guide so it isn't going to take you forever to read it but there is certainly a lot of content.

Click here to buy the eBook "From Windows To Ubuntu"




Posted at 00:20 |  by Gary Newell

14 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Introduction

This is a guest article written by Perry Helion. 

The article deals with the Linux Community and indeed the human race and our constant need to disparage each other based on our chosen operating system, choice of music or favourite movie.

Linux: We're All In This Together, Right?

When I first started to explore the many lovely Linux Islands of the OS Seas, I was surprised to see the extent of the squabblings and snippy words that were exchanged between folks using what I regarded as variations of the same Operating System.

Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised at this for the very simple reason that these communications were taking place between PEOPLE. If you gather enough people in one place, they will find something to fight about.

It's disappointing that supposedly highly evolved apes use their time and energy to pick at each other over fairly subjective matters of opinion and taste, but it does tend to help keep us from stressing about more important things like the huge inequalities in this world, the lack of obvious meaning to our existence and the fact that each of us and everyone we know is going to die sooner or later.


There is also the fact that a lot of these exchanges take place over the internet, that magical communications tool that is so popular these days. And given the opportunity to speak with people from all over the world, what do we decide to use it for? Discussing how we can make things better? Helping each other and sharing knowledge? Encouraging others to find the many joys that can be experienced during our transitory visit here? Or telling people they're a fricking idiot for liking the things that they do and suggesting that not sharing the same opinion makes them a substandard human being?

Subjective Facts

It's very similar to when people are arguing about music. It can be lively and entertaining but there is a tendency for those involved to express their subjective opinion as if it is fact.

I used to buy music magazines regularly, but reading them became increasingly tedious because they seemed to just become a forum for writers to blow off steam about their tastes and deride anyone for not thinking the same. At least with the internet you're not usually handing money over directly for what you're reading, but I have seen people arguing about how their favoured musician is playing more technically accomplished music and so it proves that they are better than whoever the other person happens to like. The fact that those songs might still sound shit to someone else appears to be lost on them.

I saw a magazine cover, just in passing one day, and it said something along the lines of 'The Blahblahblah's: The New Saviours of Rock 'n Roll?'. It occurred to me that it was necessary to express it in that way to make it more exciting. An alternative that would have lacked the same dramatic punch would be 'The Blahblahblah's: They're quite a good band. We enjoyed their music.'

I wonder if people feel compelled to write in a more 'exciting' manner because to express a more reasonable or balanced opinion would make them feel like they are boring and lacking in a zest for life.

I would like to think that people reading comments or news stories full of 'exciting' language can 're-translate' it into the basic meaning without getting too distracted by a deliberate emotive choice of words.

Linux: No Squabbling Required

This article was originally titled 'Linux: We're All In This Together (so shut the f**k up)'. The purpose was to hit a few 'emotive' buttons and get people to read on. I also thought it was an amusing and contradictory title for an article that wanted folks to get along, but I have plumped for a more reasonable version after the first editor I sent it to had reservations about the use of profanity.

When I started to write this, I had a purpose in mind. I wanted to try to encourage a less free use of subjective and opinionated diatribes. Perhaps they could be saved up just for the more important things?

The concern was that if every small niggle about what a Linux Distribution is up to is getting chased freely with high-horse rantings and vigorous venting and frothing, then we won't have any way left of expressing ourselves when we need to show that something important has REALLY ticked us off.

This seems to be particularly obvious with regard to Ubuntu. Perhaps it's mainly from reading people's comments whenever there's an Ubuntu article or news item, but it's hard not to get the impression that there is a good deal of ill will towards Ubuntu and whatever they are trying to do.

Ubuntu has a user-base of somewhere around 20 million people. Even if those figures can be picked at, I would consider 10 million users nothing to be sneezed at. It might be a drop in the ocean compared to the user-base of Windows or Mac, but if 10 million people like it enough to use it then that's 10 million people using a version of Linux instead of supporting a closed-off proprietary system. Whatever problems or reservations anyone has about Ubuntu, it's still doing a good job in encouraging people away from proprietary, closed-source software. It is encouraging people to use Linux. It is encouraging people to become part of the Linux Community.

I would imagine that those using Ubuntu find that it provides all the things they require from an operating system. If it didn't, then why would they use it? There are so many other choices and nobody is forcing them into choosing one distribution of Linux over another. So why does it seem so necessary for other Linux users to make derogatory comments towards it?

The best I can guess is that it is down to a lack of trust over why someone prefers one distro to another: If they have chosen Ubuntu then it must be because they're an idiot, so it'd be best if I point out why their choice sucks and then they will see the error of their ways and become smart like me. In fact, they're probably too moronic to see why I'm right so I might as well just call them names.

But that's not the point of the Linux Community is it? Linux users should be able to unite under a banner: We have chosen at least the Open-Source option (with the option to delve further into Free Software if we so wish). We can wave the flag for what can be achieved without the need for a massive software corporation to make it happen. There is another way of creating, maintaining and improving a fully functional and reliable Operating System and the results are at least as good as the other closed-source alternatives.

So why do I get the impression that the Linux Community spends a good deal of time bickering amongst themselves? I'm hoping that it's as simple as a disproportionate representation of ill-will. I read negative and blunt comments (which often basically amount to someone throwing their faeces at something they have taken a disliking to) and think it represents the Linux Community when in fact a large proportion of Linux users probably just don't find it necessary to type up that they're quite happy for other folks to find what works for them.

Some Of My Best Friends Use Windows So I've Told Them That They Are Arseholes

Plenty of my friends use Windows. The fact of the matter is that most of them use whatever Operating System came with their machine. They use that operating system to do the things they want to with their computer and then they go off and do something else. It's not that important to them.

I see no reason to dislike them for it. I'm probably not going to write them a letter saying 'You're a tool. You should be using something better. You suck.'

I think it's that extra layer of distance from using the internet that seems to support the sentiment that if someone is far away then it's fine to be an arsehole to them. This is a general internet communication problem.

Before the rise in popularity and ubiquity of the internet (and our increased ease of access to it) it was not so straightforward to share opinions so freely and easily. There were layers in place that would filter out some of the less 'well formed' opinions.

The free exchange of ideas and opinions is a better model, but the trust is placed on the individual expressing them or reading them to add their own filter in.

Filtering through ideas and opinions is necessary for us to engage with the world. If we accepted every opinion and idea to be equally valid and relevant then we would end up in a mess. Filtering through news articles and comments and noting that the writer is deliberately being provocative without trying to help articulate their point is a useful exercise for these filtering 'muscles'.

In the midst of writing this article my original purpose diverged. It occurred to me that a better 'call to arms' would be to encourage anyone, whilst trawling through their favourite Communication Expressing/Exchanging websites, to keep forefront in their minds that most of the things typed will just be opinions that may or may not have any relevance to their own.
If they are not subjective, then it's just a plain exchange of facts.

S.C.A.B.S

That being said, I'm not above having kneejerk reactions to things I read. I attempt not to type up my most visceral reactions to share in reply, but I'm tempted to believe that considering and evaluating your gut-reactions is often looked at as somehow being less honest.

There's something, that I have created a handy acronym for, that I like to call the Simon Cowell Affectation Belief System. Plenty people before him have taken on a similar persona, but I think he does it quite well and is easily recognisable. I also find him smug and arrogant, so if I find a blustering and blunt opinion I don't particularly like, I can imagine it's someone like him saying it and it makes it less relevant.

What bothers me about the Simon Cowell Style of expressing your opinion is that, usually, he steps up and pisses over whatever it is he's been asked to judge and then people say 'Ah well, at least he's being honest'.

But it's not an honest representation of his opinion. It might be preferred to be heard than someone being too nice about things and stepping around what their gut-reaction is saying, but it's not more truthful. It is very deliberately blunt for effect. It is a 'stylised' version of the truth.


And so similarly I see this affectation in exchanges between Linux enthusiasts. I suppose it would be less interesting to read all well-measured responses, but it still surprises me that folks are so keen to trash talk each other and try to piss all over another Linux Distribution if it's not to their tastes.

Perhaps I had mistakenly thought that there was an ethos running through Linux in general that would make folks look out for other members of their extended community. I didn't imagine that it would be some sort of utopia, but I felt fairly sure that their appreciation for Linux and how it has been put together would temper their desire to suggest that liking the 'wrong' Linux distro proves that your head is up your arse.

I wonder if it's been the case where someone, considering making that step over to the Linux way of doing things, has been put off by getting the impression that it seems to be a bunch of folk squabbling and making snippy comments at each other. I think it'd be interesting to see if a more united front might offer a better and more encouraging impression of Linux and the Linux Community to someone wondering what it is all about.

And what impression would I hope that they get if they sail past on their sightseeing tour of the Linux Islands? Well, it's lacking in dramatic punch and 'exciting' language but it'd be something like:

Use Linux. Enjoy it. There's a lot of variations but they are all based on very worthy foundations.

You can mention to people that you've got a specific system tailored to your tastes. You can suggest they try out something similar to see if they can see the benefits also. It doesn't have to be the dramatic screamings of 'NOOOoooo! Your choice proves that you're a dickhead! You're a fool!' any time a Linux flavour that you personally have taken a disliking to gets mentioned.

Linux has been made with the intent of being put to good use. It is there for everyone who so chooses to make use of it and anyone who doesn't is perfectly entitled not to. I managed fine without it but I manage better with it. I've tried a few different flavours and found what suits my tastes but I don't think less of anyone else for finding something that suits them better. I may well prefer a new taste when I try a different recipe in the future.

And to all those who can't seem to help themselves with making their combatative comments: the next time you catch yourself on the cusp of putting fingers to keyboard, bear in mind that you are choosing how you want to be heard. Are you trying to say 'I think this is important and wish to share my thoughts' or are you pulling your trousers up high and trying to say 'Nyahnyahnyah! Your head is full of poopies and you smell bad'?

I for one intend to get a good bit more done by not giving much time or attention to anyone who can't make that little bit of effort to arrange their thoughts as if they are speaking to another human being. If you've got an opinion to express then fire away but don't pretend your point is more valid just because you're choosing to be as mean and insulting about it as possible.

About the author: Perry Helion has found himself a nice beach shack in the Linux Islands. He still visits the mainland from time to time, but more just to remind himself why he doesn't really want to live there.

Linux: We're All In This Together Right?

Introduction

This is a guest article written by Perry Helion. 

The article deals with the Linux Community and indeed the human race and our constant need to disparage each other based on our chosen operating system, choice of music or favourite movie.

Linux: We're All In This Together, Right?

When I first started to explore the many lovely Linux Islands of the OS Seas, I was surprised to see the extent of the squabblings and snippy words that were exchanged between folks using what I regarded as variations of the same Operating System.

Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised at this for the very simple reason that these communications were taking place between PEOPLE. If you gather enough people in one place, they will find something to fight about.

It's disappointing that supposedly highly evolved apes use their time and energy to pick at each other over fairly subjective matters of opinion and taste, but it does tend to help keep us from stressing about more important things like the huge inequalities in this world, the lack of obvious meaning to our existence and the fact that each of us and everyone we know is going to die sooner or later.


There is also the fact that a lot of these exchanges take place over the internet, that magical communications tool that is so popular these days. And given the opportunity to speak with people from all over the world, what do we decide to use it for? Discussing how we can make things better? Helping each other and sharing knowledge? Encouraging others to find the many joys that can be experienced during our transitory visit here? Or telling people they're a fricking idiot for liking the things that they do and suggesting that not sharing the same opinion makes them a substandard human being?

Subjective Facts

It's very similar to when people are arguing about music. It can be lively and entertaining but there is a tendency for those involved to express their subjective opinion as if it is fact.

I used to buy music magazines regularly, but reading them became increasingly tedious because they seemed to just become a forum for writers to blow off steam about their tastes and deride anyone for not thinking the same. At least with the internet you're not usually handing money over directly for what you're reading, but I have seen people arguing about how their favoured musician is playing more technically accomplished music and so it proves that they are better than whoever the other person happens to like. The fact that those songs might still sound shit to someone else appears to be lost on them.

I saw a magazine cover, just in passing one day, and it said something along the lines of 'The Blahblahblah's: The New Saviours of Rock 'n Roll?'. It occurred to me that it was necessary to express it in that way to make it more exciting. An alternative that would have lacked the same dramatic punch would be 'The Blahblahblah's: They're quite a good band. We enjoyed their music.'

I wonder if people feel compelled to write in a more 'exciting' manner because to express a more reasonable or balanced opinion would make them feel like they are boring and lacking in a zest for life.

I would like to think that people reading comments or news stories full of 'exciting' language can 're-translate' it into the basic meaning without getting too distracted by a deliberate emotive choice of words.

Linux: No Squabbling Required

This article was originally titled 'Linux: We're All In This Together (so shut the f**k up)'. The purpose was to hit a few 'emotive' buttons and get people to read on. I also thought it was an amusing and contradictory title for an article that wanted folks to get along, but I have plumped for a more reasonable version after the first editor I sent it to had reservations about the use of profanity.

When I started to write this, I had a purpose in mind. I wanted to try to encourage a less free use of subjective and opinionated diatribes. Perhaps they could be saved up just for the more important things?

The concern was that if every small niggle about what a Linux Distribution is up to is getting chased freely with high-horse rantings and vigorous venting and frothing, then we won't have any way left of expressing ourselves when we need to show that something important has REALLY ticked us off.

This seems to be particularly obvious with regard to Ubuntu. Perhaps it's mainly from reading people's comments whenever there's an Ubuntu article or news item, but it's hard not to get the impression that there is a good deal of ill will towards Ubuntu and whatever they are trying to do.

Ubuntu has a user-base of somewhere around 20 million people. Even if those figures can be picked at, I would consider 10 million users nothing to be sneezed at. It might be a drop in the ocean compared to the user-base of Windows or Mac, but if 10 million people like it enough to use it then that's 10 million people using a version of Linux instead of supporting a closed-off proprietary system. Whatever problems or reservations anyone has about Ubuntu, it's still doing a good job in encouraging people away from proprietary, closed-source software. It is encouraging people to use Linux. It is encouraging people to become part of the Linux Community.

I would imagine that those using Ubuntu find that it provides all the things they require from an operating system. If it didn't, then why would they use it? There are so many other choices and nobody is forcing them into choosing one distribution of Linux over another. So why does it seem so necessary for other Linux users to make derogatory comments towards it?

The best I can guess is that it is down to a lack of trust over why someone prefers one distro to another: If they have chosen Ubuntu then it must be because they're an idiot, so it'd be best if I point out why their choice sucks and then they will see the error of their ways and become smart like me. In fact, they're probably too moronic to see why I'm right so I might as well just call them names.

But that's not the point of the Linux Community is it? Linux users should be able to unite under a banner: We have chosen at least the Open-Source option (with the option to delve further into Free Software if we so wish). We can wave the flag for what can be achieved without the need for a massive software corporation to make it happen. There is another way of creating, maintaining and improving a fully functional and reliable Operating System and the results are at least as good as the other closed-source alternatives.

So why do I get the impression that the Linux Community spends a good deal of time bickering amongst themselves? I'm hoping that it's as simple as a disproportionate representation of ill-will. I read negative and blunt comments (which often basically amount to someone throwing their faeces at something they have taken a disliking to) and think it represents the Linux Community when in fact a large proportion of Linux users probably just don't find it necessary to type up that they're quite happy for other folks to find what works for them.

Some Of My Best Friends Use Windows So I've Told Them That They Are Arseholes

Plenty of my friends use Windows. The fact of the matter is that most of them use whatever Operating System came with their machine. They use that operating system to do the things they want to with their computer and then they go off and do something else. It's not that important to them.

I see no reason to dislike them for it. I'm probably not going to write them a letter saying 'You're a tool. You should be using something better. You suck.'

I think it's that extra layer of distance from using the internet that seems to support the sentiment that if someone is far away then it's fine to be an arsehole to them. This is a general internet communication problem.

Before the rise in popularity and ubiquity of the internet (and our increased ease of access to it) it was not so straightforward to share opinions so freely and easily. There were layers in place that would filter out some of the less 'well formed' opinions.

The free exchange of ideas and opinions is a better model, but the trust is placed on the individual expressing them or reading them to add their own filter in.

Filtering through ideas and opinions is necessary for us to engage with the world. If we accepted every opinion and idea to be equally valid and relevant then we would end up in a mess. Filtering through news articles and comments and noting that the writer is deliberately being provocative without trying to help articulate their point is a useful exercise for these filtering 'muscles'.

In the midst of writing this article my original purpose diverged. It occurred to me that a better 'call to arms' would be to encourage anyone, whilst trawling through their favourite Communication Expressing/Exchanging websites, to keep forefront in their minds that most of the things typed will just be opinions that may or may not have any relevance to their own.
If they are not subjective, then it's just a plain exchange of facts.

S.C.A.B.S

That being said, I'm not above having kneejerk reactions to things I read. I attempt not to type up my most visceral reactions to share in reply, but I'm tempted to believe that considering and evaluating your gut-reactions is often looked at as somehow being less honest.

There's something, that I have created a handy acronym for, that I like to call the Simon Cowell Affectation Belief System. Plenty people before him have taken on a similar persona, but I think he does it quite well and is easily recognisable. I also find him smug and arrogant, so if I find a blustering and blunt opinion I don't particularly like, I can imagine it's someone like him saying it and it makes it less relevant.

What bothers me about the Simon Cowell Style of expressing your opinion is that, usually, he steps up and pisses over whatever it is he's been asked to judge and then people say 'Ah well, at least he's being honest'.

But it's not an honest representation of his opinion. It might be preferred to be heard than someone being too nice about things and stepping around what their gut-reaction is saying, but it's not more truthful. It is very deliberately blunt for effect. It is a 'stylised' version of the truth.


And so similarly I see this affectation in exchanges between Linux enthusiasts. I suppose it would be less interesting to read all well-measured responses, but it still surprises me that folks are so keen to trash talk each other and try to piss all over another Linux Distribution if it's not to their tastes.

Perhaps I had mistakenly thought that there was an ethos running through Linux in general that would make folks look out for other members of their extended community. I didn't imagine that it would be some sort of utopia, but I felt fairly sure that their appreciation for Linux and how it has been put together would temper their desire to suggest that liking the 'wrong' Linux distro proves that your head is up your arse.

I wonder if it's been the case where someone, considering making that step over to the Linux way of doing things, has been put off by getting the impression that it seems to be a bunch of folk squabbling and making snippy comments at each other. I think it'd be interesting to see if a more united front might offer a better and more encouraging impression of Linux and the Linux Community to someone wondering what it is all about.

And what impression would I hope that they get if they sail past on their sightseeing tour of the Linux Islands? Well, it's lacking in dramatic punch and 'exciting' language but it'd be something like:

Use Linux. Enjoy it. There's a lot of variations but they are all based on very worthy foundations.

You can mention to people that you've got a specific system tailored to your tastes. You can suggest they try out something similar to see if they can see the benefits also. It doesn't have to be the dramatic screamings of 'NOOOoooo! Your choice proves that you're a dickhead! You're a fool!' any time a Linux flavour that you personally have taken a disliking to gets mentioned.

Linux has been made with the intent of being put to good use. It is there for everyone who so chooses to make use of it and anyone who doesn't is perfectly entitled not to. I managed fine without it but I manage better with it. I've tried a few different flavours and found what suits my tastes but I don't think less of anyone else for finding something that suits them better. I may well prefer a new taste when I try a different recipe in the future.

And to all those who can't seem to help themselves with making their combatative comments: the next time you catch yourself on the cusp of putting fingers to keyboard, bear in mind that you are choosing how you want to be heard. Are you trying to say 'I think this is important and wish to share my thoughts' or are you pulling your trousers up high and trying to say 'Nyahnyahnyah! Your head is full of poopies and you smell bad'?

I for one intend to get a good bit more done by not giving much time or attention to anyone who can't make that little bit of effort to arrange their thoughts as if they are speaking to another human being. If you've got an opinion to express then fire away but don't pretend your point is more valid just because you're choosing to be as mean and insulting about it as possible.

About the author: Perry Helion has found himself a nice beach shack in the Linux Islands. He still visits the mainland from time to time, but more just to remind himself why he doesn't really want to live there.

Posted at 09:48 |  by Gary Newell

15 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Thursday, 18 July 2013

This is just a short link to an article on my other blog  ("My Ubuntu Blog").

I have added a new article which shows how to install Google's Chrome browser within Ubuntu 13.04. The reason for the post is that Chrome doesn't appear in the Ubuntu Software Centre and for new users this might be a small annoyance and may cause confusion.

Other articles at My Ubuntu Blog include

How to install Chrome in Ubuntu 13.04

This is just a short link to an article on my other blog  ("My Ubuntu Blog").

I have added a new article which shows how to install Google's Chrome browser within Ubuntu 13.04. The reason for the post is that Chrome doesn't appear in the Ubuntu Software Centre and for new users this might be a small annoyance and may cause confusion.

Other articles at My Ubuntu Blog include

Posted at 23:22 |  by Gary Newell

1 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Introduction

As some of you may know I have recently started a new blog called "My Ubuntu Blog" (www.myubuntublog.com).

Some of you may therefore be alarmed by the title of this post as leaving Ubuntu would be a strange decision to make having committed to a whole blog on the subject.

This article is actually a guest post from Paul Smith who left a well thought out and well written comment at the bottom of the article "Is Unity Bashing a hobby?".

Having read the comment I made the decision that it was too good to languish at the bottom of the post and so I asked for Paul's permission to publish his comment as a full article on this site, which is about Linux in general.

So without further ado here is Paul Smith's article "Why I Left Ubuntu".

Why I left Ubuntu

I was a great fan of Ubuntu and Canonical. I loved the pre-Unity versions of Ubuntu. I found the last Gnome 2 version to be especially functional and polished.

When Canonical switched to Unity on 11.04, I tried it and mostly liked it. Admittedly, there were some issues but I really liked the fact that Unity did a better job of maximizing the screen real-estate available to applications than any other desktop environment I have used previously. I was hopeful that the wrinkles in Unity would be worked out in the next version and was just about ready to pay for support from Canonical for all the systems in my home, mostly as a thank you, when Ubuntu 11.10 came out.

Ubuntu 11.10 seemed to be a lot buggier overall. Unity would do weird things to my applications and sometimes make the desktop unusable, forcing me to drop down to the shell to restart X. Pulse audio on this version was a dog and would simply not work with a sound card I’d been using successfully on Linux for about 5 years. I also discovered a number of newly introduced library compatibility issues that broke some of the commercial software I needed for my job.

The final straws for me was Canonical's decision not to include snd-pcm-oss as a kernel model (which I discovered with Ubuntu 12.04), breaking ALSA's OSS emulation, as well as the inclusion of Amazon search.

I now use Scientific Linux with the Trinity desktop since I really liked KDE 3. I find that I can easily get everything to work with that distribution and it is extremely stable. At this point the only thing I miss is the old Synaptic package manager and some features of the Debian package file format.

Why Mir concerns me

I do a significant amount of technical computing. I could care less if the same OS runs on both my desktop and my phone or tablet. I need a desktop that provides a good environment for code development, modeling, as well as a limited amount of CAD. I do this work on machines at work and, to a lesser extent, on my home systems. Until my phone or tablet can support a large amount of DRAM, many cores, and can plug into a keyboard and several large monitors, I don’t see myself migrating away from a desktop. Canonical’s direction appears to be to water down the desktop experience in order to make it more like the phone, the same bad mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8. Developing Mir is a result of this direction. I expect to use my desktop and phone for very different tasks and could care less if they use the same OS. As an user, Mir does not appear to offer me anything of real value.

Given the direction Canonical is taking, I am very concerned that NVIDIA and/or AMD will make X and Wayland second class citizens in favor of Mir. I would love to use Nouveau and similar open source drivers; however, they’re not functional enough yet, either for the software I use for my job or for recreational use with the games.  Some of these games purchased from Loki Games dating back to the late 1990′s.

I am thrilled that Steam and other game developers are beginning to fully embrace Linux and would like to spend some money on these games. Assuming these games are coded to work exclusively with Mir, then buying these Linux games is not an option unless other distributions such as Scientific Linux, Fedora, or Debian also migrate to Mir. For legacy games such as the ones produced by Loki Games, I am concerned that Mir may not emulate X well enough.  Full support for legacy applications that depend on X will be more of an issue if the Linux community's effort to develop X emulation is split between Wayland and Mir.

Given the direction of the rest of the Linux ecosystem to standardize on Wayland as well as the concern over OpenGL support from NVIDIA and AMD, I really wish Canonical would have worked with the Wayland team to reach their goals rather than going their own direction. In my opinion, trying to make the same OS and applications work on both big iron and small phones or tablets is just silly at this point.  Given this, fragmenting the Linux ecosystem right now to save a little power on low end devices is just plain stupid.  I understand Canonical's argument for the other issues, such as, the desire for a more extensible input system; however, Canonical should have been able to work through these issues with the Wayland team.

About the author

Paul Smith is an electrical engineer with 23 years of post college experience.  He wrote his first program on an MOS Technology KIM 1 in 1979.  Paul has been using Linux since 1998.

Summary

I would like to thank Paul for allowing me to post this article and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 

If you think that you have an article worth posting on this site please feel free to get in touch at everydaylinuxuser@gmail.com.

Why I left Ubuntu

Introduction

As some of you may know I have recently started a new blog called "My Ubuntu Blog" (www.myubuntublog.com).

Some of you may therefore be alarmed by the title of this post as leaving Ubuntu would be a strange decision to make having committed to a whole blog on the subject.

This article is actually a guest post from Paul Smith who left a well thought out and well written comment at the bottom of the article "Is Unity Bashing a hobby?".

Having read the comment I made the decision that it was too good to languish at the bottom of the post and so I asked for Paul's permission to publish his comment as a full article on this site, which is about Linux in general.

So without further ado here is Paul Smith's article "Why I Left Ubuntu".

Why I left Ubuntu

I was a great fan of Ubuntu and Canonical. I loved the pre-Unity versions of Ubuntu. I found the last Gnome 2 version to be especially functional and polished.

When Canonical switched to Unity on 11.04, I tried it and mostly liked it. Admittedly, there were some issues but I really liked the fact that Unity did a better job of maximizing the screen real-estate available to applications than any other desktop environment I have used previously. I was hopeful that the wrinkles in Unity would be worked out in the next version and was just about ready to pay for support from Canonical for all the systems in my home, mostly as a thank you, when Ubuntu 11.10 came out.

Ubuntu 11.10 seemed to be a lot buggier overall. Unity would do weird things to my applications and sometimes make the desktop unusable, forcing me to drop down to the shell to restart X. Pulse audio on this version was a dog and would simply not work with a sound card I’d been using successfully on Linux for about 5 years. I also discovered a number of newly introduced library compatibility issues that broke some of the commercial software I needed for my job.

The final straws for me was Canonical's decision not to include snd-pcm-oss as a kernel model (which I discovered with Ubuntu 12.04), breaking ALSA's OSS emulation, as well as the inclusion of Amazon search.

I now use Scientific Linux with the Trinity desktop since I really liked KDE 3. I find that I can easily get everything to work with that distribution and it is extremely stable. At this point the only thing I miss is the old Synaptic package manager and some features of the Debian package file format.

Why Mir concerns me

I do a significant amount of technical computing. I could care less if the same OS runs on both my desktop and my phone or tablet. I need a desktop that provides a good environment for code development, modeling, as well as a limited amount of CAD. I do this work on machines at work and, to a lesser extent, on my home systems. Until my phone or tablet can support a large amount of DRAM, many cores, and can plug into a keyboard and several large monitors, I don’t see myself migrating away from a desktop. Canonical’s direction appears to be to water down the desktop experience in order to make it more like the phone, the same bad mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8. Developing Mir is a result of this direction. I expect to use my desktop and phone for very different tasks and could care less if they use the same OS. As an user, Mir does not appear to offer me anything of real value.

Given the direction Canonical is taking, I am very concerned that NVIDIA and/or AMD will make X and Wayland second class citizens in favor of Mir. I would love to use Nouveau and similar open source drivers; however, they’re not functional enough yet, either for the software I use for my job or for recreational use with the games.  Some of these games purchased from Loki Games dating back to the late 1990′s.

I am thrilled that Steam and other game developers are beginning to fully embrace Linux and would like to spend some money on these games. Assuming these games are coded to work exclusively with Mir, then buying these Linux games is not an option unless other distributions such as Scientific Linux, Fedora, or Debian also migrate to Mir. For legacy games such as the ones produced by Loki Games, I am concerned that Mir may not emulate X well enough.  Full support for legacy applications that depend on X will be more of an issue if the Linux community's effort to develop X emulation is split between Wayland and Mir.

Given the direction of the rest of the Linux ecosystem to standardize on Wayland as well as the concern over OpenGL support from NVIDIA and AMD, I really wish Canonical would have worked with the Wayland team to reach their goals rather than going their own direction. In my opinion, trying to make the same OS and applications work on both big iron and small phones or tablets is just silly at this point.  Given this, fragmenting the Linux ecosystem right now to save a little power on low end devices is just plain stupid.  I understand Canonical's argument for the other issues, such as, the desire for a more extensible input system; however, Canonical should have been able to work through these issues with the Wayland team.

About the author

Paul Smith is an electrical engineer with 23 years of post college experience.  He wrote his first program on an MOS Technology KIM 1 in 1979.  Paul has been using Linux since 1998.

Summary

I would like to thank Paul for allowing me to post this article and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 

If you think that you have an article worth posting on this site please feel free to get in touch at everydaylinuxuser@gmail.com.

Posted at 13:47 |  by Gary Newell

41 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Introduction

Since the introduction of Windows 8 there have been more and more questions appearing on the /r/linux, r/linuxquestions and /r/linux4noobs sub-reddits at Reddit asking how to install Linux on laptops that come with UEFI secure boot enabled.

For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past year, Microsoft have come up with a clever scam where they have said to computer manufacturers that to be certified for Windows 8 they must enable secure boot on their devices. 

To install Linux you have to enter the UEFI settings and disable secure boot before being able to install your distribution of choice. This whole process has made it even harder for the average Joe who wants to use Linux. 

Some people may have not tried Linux because they are operating system agnostic. Some people use Windows just because it happens to be installed when they buy the computer. The thought of installing any other operating system would not occur to them.

What happens though if you want to try Linux but you aren't confident enough to install it for yourself?

The first thing you can do is to download a distribution and burn it to DVD yourself. If you aren't sure which version of Linux to try visit Distrowatch and look at the list of popular distributions on the right hand side. Each link in the list will give you access to a page with a description of the distribution, links to reviews and links to the project homepage. Many versions of Linux have a live version that can run straight from the USB drive or DVD.

New users to Linux are better off choosing one of the major distributions such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint and for Windows users there is always Zorin. 

The idea of downloading a distribution and burning it to a disk or USB may be a step too far for some people. This is not a reason to dismiss Linux out of hand though. There are companies out there that make it possible to buy Linux distributions on DVD and USB drives

The main point of this article is to show that you can actually buy laptops computers with Linux pre-installed.

The Manufacturers

My first port of call was to see which manufacturers actually provide Linux as an option when buying their laptops.

I am ashamed to say that whilst many manufacturers say that they support Ubuntu there are actually very few that actually sell computers with any form of Linux installed.

Dell were the only real manufacturer in the UK to come up trumps. They ship the XPS 13 Ultrabook with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-bit edition. 

Other big manufactuers including Acer, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, ASUS, Samsung all claim to have good support for Linux (especially Ubuntu) but none of them make any version of Linux available for their top of the range laptops on their websites.

If only the UK had System 76. If you listen to the Linux Action Show then you would have heard of System 76 as they are one of the segment sponsors. System 76 specialise in computers that run Ubuntu.

The High Street

In the UK we are very limited when it comes to high street computing. Basically there are three main computing chains Apple, Sony and PC World/Currys. Other shops such as department stores sell computers but the chances of getting anything other than Windows is little to none.

Obviously Apple do not sell anything with Linux and neither do Sony. PC World is the biggest computer retailer on the high street in Britain with stores all over the country. Do not expect to get anything with Linux on it though (excluding Android).

Buying Online

So where can you buy computers with Linux pre-installed? My first port of call was to Google Shopping.

I searched for "Linux Laptops" and the choice is fairly sparse. 

The Dell XPS 13 may be a little pricey at £899. If you want something a little bit more on the bargain basement side then there is the Meenee 3rd Generation Laptop.

Meenee is obviously a brand most of us haven't heard about. 

The Meenee comes with a dual core Intel Atom processor running at 1.66 ghz.

The screen is 13 inches, there is a 320 gigabyte hard drive and 2 gigabytes of RAM. 


Google Play was exhausted very quickly but Amazon was a little more helpful.

I started off searching for Linux Laptops but it was clear that the only Linux that seems to ship with laptops is Ubuntu. I therefore changed the search to "Ubuntu Laptops".

The ASUS EEE PC comes in at £279. ASUS is a more well known name than Meenee but the spec for this netbook is fairly similar with a dual core processor, 500 gigabyte hard drive, 2 gigabytes of RAM and comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 12.04.

The ACER Ubuntu E-104 comes somewhere in the middle between the DELL XPS 13 and the ASUS and costs £579.

The processor is an Intel I5 dual core with 4 gigabytes RAM and a 500 gigabyte hard drive. Again the operating system is Ubuntu.

What if you don't want Ubuntu?

All the laptops thus far come with Ubuntu but I am well aware that Ubuntu isn't everybody's cup of tea.  Buying a laptop pre-installed with Ubuntu with a view to replacing it with Linux Mint is not really a much better solution than buying a laptop with Windows on it.

The main difference however is that because the laptops above come with Ubuntu you can probably rest easy knowing that secure boot is taken care of.

Trying to find laptops with any other version of Linux is a fairly difficult task. I did however find a laptop that shipped with no operating system at all.

This means you can load the operating system of your choice including Debian, Fedora, Mint, Zorin, PCLinuxOS and Arch.


Zoostorm (no I hadn't heard of them either) sell laptops and desktop computers with no operating system at all.

The laptop above comes with an Intel I3 dual core processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM and a 320 gigabyte hard drive and costs £359.99.

The obvious question of course is does this laptop provide good support for Linux. Well somebody already asked this question on the Ubuntu forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1998458) and by all accounts yes it does. Support for Ubuntu doesn't of course mean it is guaranteed to work with every version of Linux but it is a good starting point.

What if I buy a computer with Linux installed and I don't like it?

I can't speak for the rest of the world but in the United Kingdom we have something called distant selling regulations.

If you order any item online in the UK then you are entitled to try the item out and if you do not like the item return it. You must return the item within 7 days and it must be in the same condition as when you purchased the item. As long as you follow these instructions you should incur no costs at all. For more information read the Which? guide to distance selling regulations.

If you buy a computer such as the Zoostorm laptop above with no operating system then you can always install Windows or try another version of Linux.

Summary

Getting a computer pre-installed with Linux is still a fairly challenging process (excluding Android). The major manufacturers all have the "We recommend Windows 8" stickers everywhere and although their hardware is very well supported by Linux there isn't the push to sell laptops with Linux pre-installed.

Where Linux is pre-installed on laptops it is generally Ubuntu and trying to get a laptop pre-installed with other versions of Linux is even more challenging.

Thankyou for reading.


How to buy a laptop pre-installed with Linux

Introduction

Since the introduction of Windows 8 there have been more and more questions appearing on the /r/linux, r/linuxquestions and /r/linux4noobs sub-reddits at Reddit asking how to install Linux on laptops that come with UEFI secure boot enabled.

For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past year, Microsoft have come up with a clever scam where they have said to computer manufacturers that to be certified for Windows 8 they must enable secure boot on their devices. 

To install Linux you have to enter the UEFI settings and disable secure boot before being able to install your distribution of choice. This whole process has made it even harder for the average Joe who wants to use Linux. 

Some people may have not tried Linux because they are operating system agnostic. Some people use Windows just because it happens to be installed when they buy the computer. The thought of installing any other operating system would not occur to them.

What happens though if you want to try Linux but you aren't confident enough to install it for yourself?

The first thing you can do is to download a distribution and burn it to DVD yourself. If you aren't sure which version of Linux to try visit Distrowatch and look at the list of popular distributions on the right hand side. Each link in the list will give you access to a page with a description of the distribution, links to reviews and links to the project homepage. Many versions of Linux have a live version that can run straight from the USB drive or DVD.

New users to Linux are better off choosing one of the major distributions such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint and for Windows users there is always Zorin. 

The idea of downloading a distribution and burning it to a disk or USB may be a step too far for some people. This is not a reason to dismiss Linux out of hand though. There are companies out there that make it possible to buy Linux distributions on DVD and USB drives

The main point of this article is to show that you can actually buy laptops computers with Linux pre-installed.

The Manufacturers

My first port of call was to see which manufacturers actually provide Linux as an option when buying their laptops.

I am ashamed to say that whilst many manufacturers say that they support Ubuntu there are actually very few that actually sell computers with any form of Linux installed.

Dell were the only real manufacturer in the UK to come up trumps. They ship the XPS 13 Ultrabook with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-bit edition. 

Other big manufactuers including Acer, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, ASUS, Samsung all claim to have good support for Linux (especially Ubuntu) but none of them make any version of Linux available for their top of the range laptops on their websites.

If only the UK had System 76. If you listen to the Linux Action Show then you would have heard of System 76 as they are one of the segment sponsors. System 76 specialise in computers that run Ubuntu.

The High Street

In the UK we are very limited when it comes to high street computing. Basically there are three main computing chains Apple, Sony and PC World/Currys. Other shops such as department stores sell computers but the chances of getting anything other than Windows is little to none.

Obviously Apple do not sell anything with Linux and neither do Sony. PC World is the biggest computer retailer on the high street in Britain with stores all over the country. Do not expect to get anything with Linux on it though (excluding Android).

Buying Online

So where can you buy computers with Linux pre-installed? My first port of call was to Google Shopping.

I searched for "Linux Laptops" and the choice is fairly sparse. 

The Dell XPS 13 may be a little pricey at £899. If you want something a little bit more on the bargain basement side then there is the Meenee 3rd Generation Laptop.

Meenee is obviously a brand most of us haven't heard about. 

The Meenee comes with a dual core Intel Atom processor running at 1.66 ghz.

The screen is 13 inches, there is a 320 gigabyte hard drive and 2 gigabytes of RAM. 


Google Play was exhausted very quickly but Amazon was a little more helpful.

I started off searching for Linux Laptops but it was clear that the only Linux that seems to ship with laptops is Ubuntu. I therefore changed the search to "Ubuntu Laptops".

The ASUS EEE PC comes in at £279. ASUS is a more well known name than Meenee but the spec for this netbook is fairly similar with a dual core processor, 500 gigabyte hard drive, 2 gigabytes of RAM and comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 12.04.

The ACER Ubuntu E-104 comes somewhere in the middle between the DELL XPS 13 and the ASUS and costs £579.

The processor is an Intel I5 dual core with 4 gigabytes RAM and a 500 gigabyte hard drive. Again the operating system is Ubuntu.

What if you don't want Ubuntu?

All the laptops thus far come with Ubuntu but I am well aware that Ubuntu isn't everybody's cup of tea.  Buying a laptop pre-installed with Ubuntu with a view to replacing it with Linux Mint is not really a much better solution than buying a laptop with Windows on it.

The main difference however is that because the laptops above come with Ubuntu you can probably rest easy knowing that secure boot is taken care of.

Trying to find laptops with any other version of Linux is a fairly difficult task. I did however find a laptop that shipped with no operating system at all.

This means you can load the operating system of your choice including Debian, Fedora, Mint, Zorin, PCLinuxOS and Arch.


Zoostorm (no I hadn't heard of them either) sell laptops and desktop computers with no operating system at all.

The laptop above comes with an Intel I3 dual core processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM and a 320 gigabyte hard drive and costs £359.99.

The obvious question of course is does this laptop provide good support for Linux. Well somebody already asked this question on the Ubuntu forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1998458) and by all accounts yes it does. Support for Ubuntu doesn't of course mean it is guaranteed to work with every version of Linux but it is a good starting point.

What if I buy a computer with Linux installed and I don't like it?

I can't speak for the rest of the world but in the United Kingdom we have something called distant selling regulations.

If you order any item online in the UK then you are entitled to try the item out and if you do not like the item return it. You must return the item within 7 days and it must be in the same condition as when you purchased the item. As long as you follow these instructions you should incur no costs at all. For more information read the Which? guide to distance selling regulations.

If you buy a computer such as the Zoostorm laptop above with no operating system then you can always install Windows or try another version of Linux.

Summary

Getting a computer pre-installed with Linux is still a fairly challenging process (excluding Android). The major manufacturers all have the "We recommend Windows 8" stickers everywhere and although their hardware is very well supported by Linux there isn't the push to sell laptops with Linux pre-installed.

Where Linux is pre-installed on laptops it is generally Ubuntu and trying to get a laptop pre-installed with other versions of Linux is even more challenging.

Thankyou for reading.


Posted at 23:41 |  by Gary Newell

47 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

I have just written a quick reference guide which highlights the shortcuts that are available in Ubuntu 13.04 and in particular the Unity desktop.

The Ubuntu keyboards and shortcuts article can be found on my Ubuntu blog dedicated to Ubuntu and Unity.

The next article on Everyday Linux User is going to be a comparison between Cinnamon and Unity and will be released later this week.

Ubuntu 13.04 Keyboard Tricks and Shortcuts

I have just written a quick reference guide which highlights the shortcuts that are available in Ubuntu 13.04 and in particular the Unity desktop.

The Ubuntu keyboards and shortcuts article can be found on my Ubuntu blog dedicated to Ubuntu and Unity.

The next article on Everyday Linux User is going to be a comparison between Cinnamon and Unity and will be released later this week.

Posted at 00:07 |  by Gary Newell

0 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

I am currently in the middle of compiling an article to do with Windows 8, UEFI and the fact that it might be hard to install Linux without accepting the Windows license agreement. That article will be released later this week.

The subject however got me thinking about Windows and it's users and whether breaking away from Windows is so hard for some people because they have an addiction.

I have copied the following text from the Alcoholics Anonymous website and I have been artistic with the use of the word Windows. The article in question is "Is AA for you?" and asks a series of question to determine whether you are an alcoholic or at risk of becoming one but I have spun this somewhat to determine whether you are overly dependent on Windows.

Is Linux For You 

Only you can decide whether you want to give Linux a try or if you think it can help you.

We who are in the Linux community came because we finally gave up trying to control our Windows use. We still hated to admit that we could never use Windows. Then we heard from other Linux members that we were sick. We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt, loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we were sick with Windows.
We decided to try to face up to what Windows had done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.
Answer YES or NO to the following questions
Have you ever decided to stop using Windows for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days? 
Most of us in the Linux Community made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to Linux and the Linux Community said: "Just try not to use Windows today." (If you do not use Windows today, you cannot get viruses today.)
Do you wish people would mind their own business about your Windows use -- stop telling you what to do? 

In the land of Linux we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own Windows use, the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want us to.

Have you ever switched from one kind of Windows to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting viruses? 


We tried all kinds of ways. We made ourselves use Windows 8. Or just used Windows 7. Or we did not use Internet Explorer. Or only used Windows on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we tried any Windows software , we usually got viruses eventually.


Have you had to use Windows in the morning during the past year? 

Do you need Windows to get started? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not computing socially.

Do you envy people who can use computers without getting into trouble? 


At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can just use a real operating system like Linux.

Have you had problems connected with Windows during the past year? 


Be honest! IT Experts say that if you have a problem with Windows and keep on using it, it will get worse - never better. Eventually, you will get viruses, or end up updating Windows for the rest of your life. The only hope is to use Linux.

Has Windows caused trouble at home? 


Before we came into Linux, most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us Windows. We could not see that updates just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere.

Do you ever try to get 'extra' memory because you do not have enough? 

Most of us used to have 'extra' before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of application. If applications were not served fast enough, we would go some place else to get more.


Do you tell yourself you can stop using Windows any time you want to, even though you keep getting viruses when you don't mean to? 

Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we used Windows because we wanted to. After we came to Linux, we found out that once we started to use Windows, we couldn't stop.


Have you missed days off work because of Windows? 

Many of us admit now that we called in sick lots of times when the truth was that we were reinstalling Windows for the umpteenth time.


Do you have blackouts? 

A blackout is when there are hours or days we cannot remember. When we came into Linux, we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of Windows problems.


Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not use Windows?
 
Many of us started to use Windows because Windows made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into Linux, we felt trapped. We were using Windows to live and living to use Windows. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.



What's your score?
Did you answer YES four times or more? If so, you are probably in trouble with Windows. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people using Linux have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves - the hard way.
Again, only you can decide whether you think Linux is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped using Windows ourselves. Just call us.
Linux does not promise to solve your problems. But we can show you how we are learning to live without Windows one day at a time. We stay away from that first boot. If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. When we got rid of Windows, we found that life became much more manageable.
I just want to say that this is supposed to be a light hearted article and in no way do I take the serious issue of alcoholism lightly.
If you liked the article then please feel free to pass it on using any of the link buttons provided and why not consider subscribing to this blog. 
If you are a Ubuntu user or think you might like to become one then why not visit my other blog "My Ubuntu Blog" (www.myubuntublog.com).


Is Windows use an addiction?

I am currently in the middle of compiling an article to do with Windows 8, UEFI and the fact that it might be hard to install Linux without accepting the Windows license agreement. That article will be released later this week.

The subject however got me thinking about Windows and it's users and whether breaking away from Windows is so hard for some people because they have an addiction.

I have copied the following text from the Alcoholics Anonymous website and I have been artistic with the use of the word Windows. The article in question is "Is AA for you?" and asks a series of question to determine whether you are an alcoholic or at risk of becoming one but I have spun this somewhat to determine whether you are overly dependent on Windows.

Is Linux For You 

Only you can decide whether you want to give Linux a try or if you think it can help you.

We who are in the Linux community came because we finally gave up trying to control our Windows use. We still hated to admit that we could never use Windows. Then we heard from other Linux members that we were sick. We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt, loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we were sick with Windows.
We decided to try to face up to what Windows had done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.
Answer YES or NO to the following questions
Have you ever decided to stop using Windows for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days? 
Most of us in the Linux Community made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to Linux and the Linux Community said: "Just try not to use Windows today." (If you do not use Windows today, you cannot get viruses today.)
Do you wish people would mind their own business about your Windows use -- stop telling you what to do? 

In the land of Linux we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own Windows use, the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want us to.

Have you ever switched from one kind of Windows to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting viruses? 


We tried all kinds of ways. We made ourselves use Windows 8. Or just used Windows 7. Or we did not use Internet Explorer. Or only used Windows on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we tried any Windows software , we usually got viruses eventually.


Have you had to use Windows in the morning during the past year? 

Do you need Windows to get started? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not computing socially.

Do you envy people who can use computers without getting into trouble? 


At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can just use a real operating system like Linux.

Have you had problems connected with Windows during the past year? 


Be honest! IT Experts say that if you have a problem with Windows and keep on using it, it will get worse - never better. Eventually, you will get viruses, or end up updating Windows for the rest of your life. The only hope is to use Linux.

Has Windows caused trouble at home? 


Before we came into Linux, most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us Windows. We could not see that updates just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere.

Do you ever try to get 'extra' memory because you do not have enough? 

Most of us used to have 'extra' before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of application. If applications were not served fast enough, we would go some place else to get more.


Do you tell yourself you can stop using Windows any time you want to, even though you keep getting viruses when you don't mean to? 

Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we used Windows because we wanted to. After we came to Linux, we found out that once we started to use Windows, we couldn't stop.


Have you missed days off work because of Windows? 

Many of us admit now that we called in sick lots of times when the truth was that we were reinstalling Windows for the umpteenth time.


Do you have blackouts? 

A blackout is when there are hours or days we cannot remember. When we came into Linux, we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of Windows problems.


Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not use Windows?
 
Many of us started to use Windows because Windows made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into Linux, we felt trapped. We were using Windows to live and living to use Windows. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.



What's your score?
Did you answer YES four times or more? If so, you are probably in trouble with Windows. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people using Linux have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves - the hard way.
Again, only you can decide whether you think Linux is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped using Windows ourselves. Just call us.
Linux does not promise to solve your problems. But we can show you how we are learning to live without Windows one day at a time. We stay away from that first boot. If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. When we got rid of Windows, we found that life became much more manageable.
I just want to say that this is supposed to be a light hearted article and in no way do I take the serious issue of alcoholism lightly.
If you liked the article then please feel free to pass it on using any of the link buttons provided and why not consider subscribing to this blog. 
If you are a Ubuntu user or think you might like to become one then why not visit my other blog "My Ubuntu Blog" (www.myubuntublog.com).


Posted at 23:29 |  by Gary Newell

1 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

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