Customising Linux and Computing history.

Posted: February 21, 2012. At: 10:48 AM. This was 5 years ago. Post ID: 2777

The Linux distributions that are in common use all over the world have many advantages over the closed source operating systems such as Windows and Macintosh operating systems, the freedom to customize the distribution and create your own version of the distribution is the key strength of Linux. The Ubuntu distribution includes a tool named uck or Ubuntu Customization Kit. This allows you to create an ISO image of Ubuntu that may be installed on to a machine with customized software included, this is a very useful tool for creating a personal live distribution with a lighter desktop environment and custom software to suit a specific role. You merely need to download the ISO image of your current Ubuntu distribution and tell the uck tool where it is and the ISO image and the SquashFS image therein will be unpacked into your home folder, then you use the software management tool Synaptic to customize the software that will be included in the Live image. Then you could create a distribution of Ubuntu that runs Enlightenment E17 as the default window manager, but E17 is very unstable when you are using the Ubuntu 12.04 packages, hopefully this will change soon.

The Enlightened Window Manager is truly a nice desktop interface. It is better than all of those strange window managers that are used in the movies. But Gnome 3 is just a IOS wannabe, they wanted to copy the operating system interface that the Macintosh computers use just to cash in on the popularity of the tablet form factor. That has not won the Gnome 3 interface too many fans at all. That Gnome 3 interface is such a radical departure from the simpler interface that the Ubuntu 10.04 distribution was sporting back when Gnome was good. The Ubuntu 10.10 distribution was also very good, even the 8.04 release was awesome, but the Ubuntu 11.04 distribution release was when the Ubuntu desktop went downhill fast. Protip to the Canonical developers, do not hire Macintosh obsessed designers next time you wish to redesign the Linux desktop, let someone else do it for you, someone who actually knows something about usability and how the desktop interface should actually work The KDE desktop is designed as a desktop interface that can be customized to look like the KDE 3.4 desktop. That is why I like it so much.

The Ubuntu desktop ever since the aforementioned 8.04 release has always been the same, with a slightly different look and new wallpaper but the core desktop look and feel of the Gnome 2 desktop has always been the same. Nowadays the Ubuntu netbook interface, that was formerly a netbook only interface has been recruited to be the default look for the Ubuntu desktop distribution. This is why the formerly popular Ubuntu distribution is going downhill, this is a desktop distribution that I was formerly very fond of. It has its detractors who mock it for being a distribution for new users, but this does not matter if it brings new users to take up the Linux operating system over the virus prone Windows operating system from Microsoft. Even the Google Android operating system, although it is based on Linux, is not very secure either. Windows 7 is the most secure and reliable version of Windows yet, but even that is not as secure as Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora. Fedora Core Linux has the NSA Selinux framework that provides the most security possible, preventing a large majority of possible malware that could attack the Linux operating system. It prevents a program that is trying to execute if it is accessing areas of memory that are out of the ordinary.

For Windows, the Microsoft Security Essentials provides good protection from a variety of dangerous malware and spyware and is free of charge, but I would rather run Windows in a virtual machine and not dual-boot Windows & Linux. I do not even have a boot menu; when my machine boots up it goes straight to the latest kernel without delay. No way will I go back to running Windows 7. And the upcoming Windows 8 touch interface is just as bad as the Unity interface that Ubuntu has been cursed with since 11.04. The Ubuntu 14.04 distribution will be a universal operating system, powering Smart Televisions, Smartphones and tablet computers, even car computer systems. Does this mean they will leave the desktop behind in the mad rush to support the mobile market? http://royal.pingdom.com/2011/11/23/ubuntu-linux-losing-popularity-fast-new-unity-interface-to-blame/. The Distrowatch rankings do not lie. The computer interface has come a long way since the Xerox Star computer system in 1981 that used a keyboard and mouse interface with desktop icons. This was before the Microsoft Windows operating system first used this technology.

This is how far back the technology of the computer mouse goes. The Xerox Star computer system was ahead of its time and the screen was able to display a page as it appeared on the printed paper. http://www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/xerox-8010/index.html. Truly revolutionary technology for 1981 indeed. The Collossus machine was the first real computer that was built to crack the enemy codes in World War 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8WXNPn1QKo&feature=related. There is an interesting document here detailing the cipher breaking process. http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/documents/newman/page276.htm. The homepage of the website is here: http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/lorenz/index.htm. Sadly some of the images on the website will not display, but this is an interesting read. Many of the developments we take for granted have their roots in wartime. The touch screen was invented around 1966 by E.A Johnson in the UK. http://inventors.about.com/od/tstartinventions/a/Touch-Screen.htm. But the first true touch screen was invented in 1974. It is amazing that the technology we use today was invented so long ago. That is how the computing world works, everything we are using was invented to serve as tools of warfare, the computer was invented to crack wartime codes and aid in intelligence gathering.

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