Updates from January, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • John Cartwright 10:58 PM on January 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , smartphone, ,   

    Ubuntu 14.04 to run on tablets and cars. And become a smartphone OS? 

    The Ubuntu 14.04 release will run on a wider variety of appliances than ever before, with tablet computers and in car computers to be targeted. This would be more reliable and usable than the Windows mobile operating system that is powering the Windows mobile telephone and of course many computers around the world. Tablet computers are one target for this new release of the popular Linux operating system that offers a free and usable operating operating system, although the default Unity tablet interface is annoying, you can install Gnome Shell or Lxde instead and that is the core strength of Linux after all. Mark Shuttleworth has also stated that the Ubuntu distribution will also target smartphones. Is he planning to take on the Windows phone and make his own Linux powered mobile telephone? The old Nokia N900 running a Linux based operating system was a popular choice for a Linux mobile device, but if Ubuntu wants to run on a tablet with limited power versus a power connected desktop machine they will need to improve the power management code to save battery life.

    All in all, this looks like an interesting move by Canonical, we will have to wait until the release of the Ubuntu 14.04 release to get a better picture of the compatibility with the various target devices. Here is to hoping that they get this right!

    • Super Jamie 12:35 AM on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      It’ll be interesting to see if Canonical actually develop some valuable new power-management kernel code themselves or just rely on Red Hat to do it again.

      Ubuntu should drop Unity and focus on a good Desktop Environment. Gnome 3 is bad but Unity is completely useless. It is the sole reason Mint is now at the #1 spot on Distrowatch.

      Someone on XDA-Developers has got Ubuntu booting natively on a Galaxy Tab 10.1 already. It needs a USB keyboard and mouse but it’s definitely do-able. Debian’s ARM port helps out there, Fedora only has F13 with a stable ARM release so it’s lagging behind.

      Tablets and embedded systems are an interesting space for Linux to move into. It’s definitely the right OS for the job, considering how stripped and customised it can be. Small machines like the BeagleBoard and Raspberry Pi will help drive developer interest, tablets and smartphones can only add to that.

      • Admin 12:42 AM on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Unity is the reason I am using Gnome-fallback ATM on Ubuntu 12.04, it is very fast and sleek indeed, the Gnome Shell desktop does not play well with SDL games for some reason. Linux Mint has the MATE fork() of the Gnome 2 source code, I downloaded the Gnome 3 Linux Mint 12 ISO, I have to get around to burning a DVD and checking that out sometime. If Canonical keep the Gnome-fallback desktop in Ubuntu I will be very happy. Tablets are the reason for the Windows 8 Metro interface as well, that will be some strong competition for Ubuntu, Canonical really have to pull out all of the stops to impress with their operating system tweaks to make it a good alternative on the mobile hardware.

        • Super Jamie 9:59 PM on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

          People are developing all these new UI/UX paradigms but are they really all that useful and popular? Unity and Gnome 3 obviously aren’t. I can’t see Metro winning anyone over for desktop usability either.

          Fallback mode is rubbish as well. It’s too restrictive compared to Gnome 2. The MATE fork is such a good idea.

          I ended up developing my own Arch-style minimalist desktop environment around Openbox and tint2. It’s doing well on both my work and home PCs.

          • Admin 11:40 PM on January 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

            The Openbox and Tint2 combination is god tier, but I have even tried Afterstep, that is another alternative to the Unity desktop. I only use the Gnome-fallback desktop as it is pretty fast and does what I need it to. The Unity desktop makes it hard to switch windows and it is not configurable at all. I should try and install MATE on Ubuntu and see how I go.

  • John Cartwright 11:46 AM on January 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kinect, , MSDN, ,   

    Xbox Kinect technology to control computers? 

    The Xbox Kinect technology is being released for use on Windows. I do not see how this technology will be useful on a PC, waving your arms in front of a computer screen to control your computer would get tiring very quickly. This technology is not exclusive to the Xbox, other companies before Microsoft have used technology like this and now Microsoft want people to use this to control their Windows computer, maybe they want this to control the Windows 8 Metro interface, like the LG Smart TV  and those other Smart televisions that are controllable by waving your arm in front of the screen to select icons. How are you going to type up a 1300 word document by waving your arm in front of the screen and selecting letters and numbers from a on-screen keyboard? Are they going to relegate Windows to a mere appliance and not a general purpose computing operating system that can handle development of applications, gaming, web browsing with the Firefox web browser and word processing. But this technology could be very useful for some applications, but general computing tasks are not one of them. The keyboard and mouse is a good combination for controlling your computer ever since the old 386 days with the old serial mouse ports and the keyboard connection that used the large round plug.

    Those were the days, I remember how slowly Doom ran on a 386sx with 4MiB of RAM, that was a really slow computer for running that game, but a 486 sx33 would run it just fine with 4MiB of RAM. But nowadays any computer can run something like that, and we have the free to download FreeDoom IWAD  enabling anyone to play and make Pwads for Doom free of charge. I have had to deal with an annoying bug with Ubuntu 12.04, there was supposed to be a folder under /, /run, that /var/run was a symlink to and that was missing, but I used my Knoppix 6.4 live DVD  with the Lxde desktop and managed to easily repair that using Midnight Commander. Too easy. I am enjoying the Gnome Shell desktop on Ubuntu 12.04 and I have installed most of the Gnome Shell Frippery extensions from the Gnome Shell Extensions website, this process is more successful than it was with the Gnome Shell desktop on Fedora Core 16. But the Ubuntu desktop operating system is very nice to use and the Debian APT package management system is the best, one nice feature is the ability to download a source package and then compile the source code and then build and install a binary *.deb package from that tarball.

    I hardly ever use that feature. But it is nice when you need it. Sure the Gentoo Linux distribution downloads and installs all of its packages from source code, but this takes far too long. Using a package manager that downloads package deltas saves on network bandwidth as you only download the changes between the new packages and the old ones and you are not wasting bandwidth downloading the whole new packages over again. That is how the Fedora YUM package manager works, but considering the bugs inherent in that distribution, I prefer to run Ubuntu since it has the vanilla Gnome Shell desktop available in the repositories how can you not use this distribution and enjoy a nice fast Linux desktop. The Unity desktop does not seem to offer any fast window switching like the Gnome Shell interface where you sweep the mouse into the top left corner and you can switch windows that way, but if you install the Gnome Shell Frippery Extensions then you will have a nice Gnome 2 styled desktop with a nice bottom panel with the taskbar that works exactly the same as the Gnome 2 panel. Not to forget replacing the Activities menu with a Gnome 2 styled Applications menu.

    Gnome Shell is the future, and it is good that there are many people out there that are creating nice extensions for this desktop to extend the capabilities of this interface and bring back many cool features we enjoyed in Gnome 2.32. You may download an appropriate ISO image from the link below, the CD ISO images will not fit on a 700MiB CDR so you will need either a DVD or a 1GiB USB  drive to install the Ubuntu distribution to your hard drive. http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/. If you want a Linux distribution for use as a system maintenance, I must recommend the Knoppix DVD distribution, this comes with Gparted, Midnight Commander and many other software packages that are useful for system maintenance and data recovery especially fixing a Linux installation that has suffered the indignity of the Grub boot code in the hard drive boot sector being overwritten by the Windows boot code. The Knoppix DVD distribution includes MP3 codecs and the VLC media player for watching television with your television capture card. Not that I watch that much television, most of it is mindless and degrading content that will dumb down anyone who has the misfortune of watching it.

    The advertisements on television always show bumbling men that can not function without the help of a woman, and those incessant funeral advertisements that feature older people that are worried about what will happen to one of them if the other were to pass away. Those advertisements are f*#king annoying, they make you want to blow up the actors with a satchel charge of C4. They are the Real Insurance advertisements, they should be banned. And the annoying mobile phone ring tone ads that are selling overpriced mobile phone tones, you can just download free ring tones off the Internet, why would you sign up for a ring tone like that. And those partner tracker ads are annoying too. The Coles advertisements are annoying too with the celebrity chef spruiking the hormone free beef. Just go and die already. And the television shows themselves are dumbed down reality shows where a selection of contestants are eliminated one by one until they find a winner. I wish the shows themselves would be eliminated. They have brought back American Idol, that is just great, the country is dying and it is slipping into debt, with TSA operatives searching people in the airports.

    You would think that the people would actually care that their freedoms are being slowly stripped away, but they just want to watch the American Idol singing and the Superbowl, and ignore the suffering of others around the world that are being oppressed by the American government that is attacking other countries to get the oil so the fat and greedy Americans that consume and consume whilst poisoning the planet with the massive amount of waste they create. This planet will look quite different in the future once the human race has destroyed it. We need to find alternatives to oil and coal to power our planet in the future.

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