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  • John Cartwright 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , windows 8   

    Creating a new distribution with SUSE Studio and thoughts on customising Linux with themes. 

    I am creating a Linux distribution at the moment using SUSE Studio, this one has the Gnome 3.8 desktop. Apparently that is the desktop that OpenSUSE uses with the 12.3 release. I am currently downloading the first build and I will have a look and see how it has turned out with a live USB/DVD ISO image. This will be interesting; I have a 16 GiB USB stick to put it on; I will use the Linux Mint 14 disk writer to put the image on the stick and then I will have a portable USB copy of OpenSUSE to use on the move. I have tried using the Ubuntu Gnome edition from a CD, but that is slow; a USB is faster when you run a Linux distribution from it. The cool thing about SUSE Studio is that you can put custom bootsplash and Grub images in it as well as custom wallpapers. It would be good if Canonical created the same thing, then you could create a custom Ubuntu distribution with the desktop environment you wish and custom wallpapers and boot graphics. That would make Ubuntu more popular. I would love to see an online tool to create a Linux distribution that allowed someone to have only the applications and tools that they actually require for their work. But that is why SUSE Studio is so good.

    Microsoft do not have anything like this, that is why Linux is more customisable than Windows. I do use Windows 8 sometimes to use applications that will not run with Wine. And it is not very customisable compared to the Linux Mint 14 MATE desktop. But many people are using this due to the fact that it is the next version of Windows and everyone sees the television advertisements showing the touch interface and the Metro tiles. But in practice you only use the Metro tiles to click an application`s icon that you searched for and you use the Windows 7 styled desktop the rest of the time, they could have left the Windows Vista styled start menu in it and updated the rest of the operating system but this was not their vision for the new Windows. This is why Linux is taking over, the many desktops that are available make everyone happy. If you do not like one desktop; you can just use another one. I like using MATE on Linux Mint, it is very themeable. I have installed a Metro UI Metacity theme that is very attractive indeed. This is one cool desktop theme for Linux Mint. Some people like desktop themes that make Linux look like Windows and there is nothing wrong with this at all. That is part of the freedom of choice that is inherent in the philosophy of Linux.

    The Linux kernel is open-source and this means that the source code is available for anyone to read. Strangely but truthfully, this also means that the Linux kernel and the distributions built on top of it are more secure than the Windows and Macintosh operating systems claim to be. I only hope that Doom 4 is available for Linux if it is ever released. It seems that it will be the Duke Nukem Forever of ID Software games. The best setting of this game would be on Earth, if it was a new re-imagining of Doom 2 Hell on Earth. That would be a very interesting game indeed. As in Unreal Tournament 2004, it could have very large maps indeed, the Unigine Valley Demo had a 64 square kilometer map that you could walk around in, this sort of map would be very slow with enemies in it though. So a Doom 4 map would not be able to have thousands of enemies in it; although UT 2004 has some very large Onslaught maps that can have a few players and vehicles roaming around. I guess it could be possible to have a Doom 4 game that could have wide open outdoor maps as well as interiors. Gaming on Linux does work; I have the quakespasm source port installed on Linux Mint 14.

    Just type sudo apt-get install quakespasm and then add the Quake files to the ~/.quakespasm/id1 folder and you will be able to play Quake on Linux. Darkplaces is also a good source port for Linux that has higher system requirements, but is capable of awesome graphics. Get it here: http://icculus.org/twilight/darkplaces/.

  • John Cartwright 10:10 PM on March 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , nautlilus, , , windows 8   

    Windows 8 file manager versus Unity`s Nautilus. 

    Windows 8 file manager. Quite cluttered indeed.

    Windows 8 file manager. Quite cluttered indeed.

    The Windows 8 explorer file manager has the ribbon interface and is very cluttered compared to the Nautilus file manager that Unity uses. I have been using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview build 8250 and it is fairly stable, I have only had one crash and I got to see the whole new BSOD screen with a frowning emoticon and the lovely anti-aliased text. The Metro interface is hardly used when you are using Windows 8, it only if you are using the weather app or viewing photos, but the image viewer is slow to load and inferior to the previous Windows photo and fax viewer that Windows 7 used. I prefer to view photos with the paint application instead, so that needs work. The replacement of the Windows 7 start menu with an annoying touch interface is a downside of using Windows 8, but you may pin frequently used applications to the taskbar anyway.

    Getting back to the file manager, there is a bug I have found, I was copying the doom.wad file from my F: drive to my C: drive, the file is 12.8 MiB, but when I pasted the file it was only 2 MiB. When I right-click on a 12MiB file and view the properties it shows it as a 2 MiB file instead. But this is only a beta release anyway and there are bound to be some bugs in this operating system. The Windows 8 explorer file manager has many more features tucked away in the ribbon toolbar tabs, compared to the simplistic Nautilus file manager, but the Unity Nautilus example has less information overload.

    That is the key to usability, keeping the interface simple without introducing a whole new design that will take away the usability that people are used to with the previous versions of the software. The Unity desktop is too much of a change from the original Gnome 2 desktop which has been resurrected with the MATE desktop for Linux Mint 12. The Linux Mint distribution has the right idea when it comes to pleasing the users of the distribution, but I guess the Redmond WA team can pull something out of the hat and create a Windows operating system that can please the users. Having a familiar user interface is one way of doing that, and I am surprised that they are following the lead of Canonical and adopting the Windows Mobile 7 interface for the Windows 8 release.

    That is a trend these days, I am surprised the Apple developers have not created a touch styled interface for the Apple Macintosh operating system. That could happen in the future, or they could keep the same tried and true Apple Macintosh interface that the users are used to and not change it one them out of the blue like Canonical have with Unity. The Apple Macintosh interface has not changed that much in all of the time it has been in use, Windows has not changed that much either, but with the Windows 8 release they have created a whole separate screen for the start menu instead of keeping the Windows 7 interface and just tweaking the underlying kernel code and improving the security of the operating system instead.

    The latest Nautilus file manager.

    The latest Nautilus file manager.

    That should be the goal of Microsoft, instead they are just pumping out Windows releases every so often to satisfy demand. That is like what I saw in a James Bond movie, where the television magnate had created an operating system and the technician told him “As requested, it is full of bugs, they will be buying upgrades for years”. Makes you think huh? That could describe the Microsoft company. At least you can not complain that there are no features in the file manager anyway, the ribbon toolbar is stocked with them. There is a single click to access the file sharing tab and then you may highlight files in the file manager and burn them straight to a DVD. And a single click icon to stop file sharing as well as a list of networks and users to share the files with.

    Using the mouse wheel over the ribbon will cycle through the tabs allowing you to find different options extremely quickly. Under the view tab, there are quick access options to select the viewing mode, either list mode, large icons for your photos and small icons. The retarded touch photo viewer app is the default for viewing photos, but just right-click on a photo, then go open with->choose default program and select the Windows photo viewer. Then it will be the default image viewer. The touch photo viewer is horribly slow to load. Using Windows 8 makes me realize how dumbed down the Unity interface is. They have hidden too many of the features of the formerly awesome Nautilus file manager away from the users.

    The Windows operating system gets some flak for the security issues, but instead of bashing Windows, I am running it for a while and testing out Windows 8. The aforementioned BSOD screen is quite cool, the Amiga guru meditation one was cool as well, the former Windows BSOD screen was simple and to the point but you had to Google search the error codes to find out what went wrong. The one I saw just said that Windows had experienced an error and had to restart. That was pretty simple and to the point, I did get to send the crash dump to Microsoft when I restarted the computer though. I will keep testing the Windows operating system and see how I go. As for Ubuntu, I am seriously considering moving to Debian Sid. The Ubuntu 12.04 beta is getting on my nerves.

    • Super Jamie 7:21 AM on March 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Meh, just change to Linux Mint.

      • Admin 6:43 PM on March 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I am thinking of moving to Debian Wheezy/Sid, that should be a more enjoyable operating system. Ubuntu is getting past its best days.

  • John Cartwright 11:23 AM on February 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , windows 8   

    The future of the Linux desktop and a look back. 

    GNU Workspace Manager.

    GNU Workspace Manager.

    The year of the Linux desktop seems to be getting further and further away, the Linux/UNIX operating system being a super secure alternative to the leaking and insecure Windows operating system. The powers that be want to make all computers an appliance instead of remaining a fully fledged desktop workplace. Sure, the tablet computers are very popular, that is why Canonical have pushed the the Ubuntu Netbook interface as the main interface for the Ubuntu Linux distribution, which resulted in the fall of the Ubuntu distribution on the Distrowatch charts. That is their fault, instead of developing a proper interface for the Ubuntu distribution, or staying with Gnome 2.32.2, they instead decided to use the Ubuntu Netbook interface and create a horrid desktop with the Unity interface that is not uniting Linux users after all, it is driving them away. At least the Linux Mint developers are actually interested in gaining more and more users by outshining the competition with a superior interface. Enlightenment E16 is a far superior interface than the Unity desktop, it has been around for countless years and it always has provided a quality user interface experience that other desktops can not match.

    Just create your own desktop if the standard desktop provided with Gnome does not appeal to you. The .xsession file is the place to define your custom desktop, the GDM and LightDM login managers both detect this file and they will offer an option named User defined session, just select this option and the custom desktop will be loaded. The Kubuntu KDE 4.8.0 desktop is the best alternative for a Windows user that is wanting a familiar desktop to use on their computer. I made an error in an older posting of mine, concerning KDE 4.8.0 on Debian Testing, this is not the case, you will have to wait until the release. The Ubuntu distribution is based on Debian, so it really is just a glorified version of Debian experimental with slightly newer packages, but the package management system is the same. I first used Linux with the Red Hat 6.2 distribution, that came on one CDROM, today the Linux distributions like Fedora come on a DVD image. There is a live CDROM available, but I prefer to download the full DVD ISO and install from that. Here is a web page I found with instructions on how to install Red Hat Linux 6.2. http://www.webmo.net/support/linux62.html these show how old this distribution is.

    I found that when I was using the Mandrake Linux 9.2 distribution on my Dell Optiplex G1 that when I was using the integrated ATI graphics chipset, that the Linux drivers got slightly higher refresh rates and resolutions than the drivers shipped with Windows ’98. That is a good result indeed. Mandrake Linux 9.2 was a perfectly good distribution for the time, the Red Hat Linux 9 Gnome desktop seemed to be bloated to me, running it with 192 megabytes of RAM was not fun. Now that I have 2 gigabytes of RAM running a Linux desktop is much easier and faster. I have built a custom kernel on my machine, with the PREEMPT option enabled, a 3.2.5 kernel and it is a little faster to work with on the desktop. I used the make-kpkg command to build a custom kernel image and create two *.deb packages with the kernel source headers and the kernel image ready for installation. That way you can upload the kernel images to the Internet for others to use. I have heard that the Windows 8 operating system will use a different kernel than the Windows 7 operating system. I think that the Windows OS will still suffer from the same security issues that it always has, even though it is more secure than the early versions were.

    The need to run software such as Norton security suite and anti-spyware and and anti-virus software is the downside of running such an insecure and virus prone operating system. Redmond have done the computing world a great disservice by continuing to release this software, they never learn. Bill Gates used to be a hobbyist hacker, now he is like Emperor Palpatine. Or the Borg. The Borg Gates icon on Slashdot that represents Bill Gates is right on the money. I have gone Linux only and I am loving it. This website explains the differences between Linux and Windows very well indeed. http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm Well worth a read for any user wanting to use Linux. Linux is not Windows, but it can replace Windows in many cases, serving websites is best done with the Apache HTTP server and not the Windows Server 2008, and IIS combination, that is what I believe, this website is running on Linux and is proud of it too. The Apache web server software is powering countless websites and is quite secure and reliable. With the WordPress software installed, you can have a quick to set up and SEO friendly blog ready to go. That is the strength of the Linux operating system and the open source software that comes with it.

    The world would be very different without open source software to power websites and supercomputers around the world. Just the same old proprietary software instead. But what sort of world would it be without the UNIX operating system developed by Bell Labs, would we be running some kind of BeOS styled operating system instead, there is an interesting thread here about this very question. http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=163047 There would have been some kind of Windows operating system. But it would have not included a command line function like the Windows XP, 2000 and Vista operating systems included. The concept of piped output and redirection came from the UNIX command-line interface, without the UNIX systems in existence, and no MINIX that Linus Torvalds would make a free copy of to create Linux. That would be a great shame, the Linux and UNIX operating systems are extremely, powerful and the world would be a horrid place to live as far as information technology evolution is concerned. Would there be no command-line interface, would the Graphical User Interface rule the world, I mean the modern Windows operating system has a command-line Interface hidden underneath the GUI gloss, and it is very useful for using FTP and pinging websites.

    Using this command to copy files to one folder to another is faster than using the GUI. Ccp *.jpg ../folder2 that is faster to copy thousands of jpg files to the parent folder than dragging to select the files and then right-click on the files and select copy, then click to the destination folder and select paste.

  • John Cartwright 4:57 PM on January 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , windows 8, winshite   

    Redmond still pursuing UEFI secure boot. 

    Redmond are at it again. They are still planning to use UEFI secure boot to lock down ARM powered devices and prevent them from booting, or even allowing the installation of Linux or UNIX based operating systems. This is part of a plan by Microsoft to block the installation of open source operating systems and only allow the use of the proprietary OS from Redmond instead. This is typical of a company that is shipping an operating system that is riddled with god knows how many security issues and holes that Malware can exploit to lodge into the operating system. Windows 7 is a pretty secure Windows release. But Windows XP is still widely used, which is pretty shocking after all these years. There is a free open source Windows alternative, ReactOS, that is attempting to create a free Windows like operating system, I am not sure how well hardware compatibility is working right now, but this looks to be a very promising alternative to the Windows OS. http://www.reactos.org/en/download.html This is an important project for those who want to have a Windows installation instead of using Wine on Linux to run their Windows software.

    The PDF download area at http://www.securitronlinux.com/lc has been revamped with a whole new look. I coded an index.php file that reads the folder and outputs a directory listing that looks better than the default Apache directory listing output. I hope you like this change, and I have added a couple of new text files about hacking and UNIX, they are very interesting files and very educational as well. I will add some more as I find them, even the older text files have some educational value. The old Cult of the Dead Cow text files are an awesome read if you happen to find them around. The old days of hobbyist hackers working on computer systems in their garage like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak seem to be in the past, now computers are so ubiquitous that people can easily buy a prebuilt machine from Dell, in the old days there were computers thatyou had to program yourself by flicking a row of switches on the front of the machine up and down. That was the Altair machine, a dinosaur by the standards of today. Nowadays computers have more power than they could have dreamed of that long ago. But the main operating system used by millions of people around the world is an insecure load of crap.

    Thank god for FreeBSD, OpenBSD and Linux, they offer far more security and reliability than Windows, the Windows 8 release is impending and I can not wait for the official release to see how that operating system turns out. After the enormous hype that the release will attract in the Information Technology media, how secure and reliable will this operating system really be? Will it fail miserably or will it be a success? The Metro interface is intended for the mobile market with the Windows phone being quite popular, but not as much as the Iphone 4. Linux and the *BSD  operating systems have the advantage of stability and security on their side, they do not rely on a flashy new interface and expensive advertising campaigns to gain users, they do it by the quality of their programming and the fact that you do not get Malware infestations on UNIX or Linux machines like you do with a Windows box. Although Firefox, Noscript and common sense can help as well. Noscript can intercept click-jacking attempts, which can happen with the Firefox browser on any OS, so everyone should use Firefox and Noscript, it will keep you much safer.

    The operating systems my visitors are using.

    The operating systems my visitors are using.

    Internet Explorer 9.0 has an adblocking and script blocking extension that you can install to keep you safer from annoying scripts and annoying advertising. I know that you should not run Internet Explorer, but it has a nice fast interface and when you are browsing with images turned off, you can right click on the image download placeholder and click the show picture option and it will show the picture in place instead of in a new tab. Firefox needs this option badly. And it scales webpages very well. Still, the Firefox 10.0 browser on the Gnome-fallback desktop with the Windows Segoe UI font is just about perfect with Ubuntu 12.04 and it is very fast, but it has a bug where I get a kernel panic when I plug in a Micro SD or a SD card into my computer. But copying the files off the Micro SD, card formatting it with my phone and then restoring the data seems to have fixed it, must have been a corrupted file-system on the card itself. Anyway, check out my Linux PDF files, I have some cool stuff there for new and experienced Linux users alike. This image I have uploaded, shows what operating systems my visitors are using. As you can see Linux is the clear winner followed by Windows 7 and then Windows XP, which is still clinging to life after more than ten years. When will people stop using that operating system?

  • John Cartwright 10:27 AM on December 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , windows 8   

    Windows 8 vs Gnome 3/Shell. 

    The Windows 8 interface will be the much talked about Metro design, and like it or not it will be the default when you start up your Windows 8 box. Applications started in Windows 8 will keep on running after you have “closed” them until they are needed again. This is quite different from Linux where the close button on the menu bar actually does what you expect it to do, but the Windows formula is quite different in the future apparently, they are aiming to make Windows an operating system with a toy interface even worse than the abominably horrid Unity example that the Canonical team shat out in Ubuntu 11.04. I can not believe for the moment that this is a reality that has befallen us, but the eldritch horror from the beyond has risen and smote the computer interface world with a curse that no mortal being can face. Rather like that weiderlich movie Jack & Jill with Adam Sandler. The score on Rotten Tomatoes does not lie, that movie is shit. And the Metro interface will be judged the same. I wonder how much GPU power will be sucked out by it, but it is Internet Explorer running full-screen and drawing HTML5 widgets so maybe not much. But will the Windows Classic interface make a showing in this new OS or will it just be the new Metro interface every time you log-in? Microsoft want developers to code applications for the Windows 8 platform in HTML/CSS/Javascript to enable better portability for their applications. A Metro application is full-screen, it does not use the standard title bar and window borders that conventional Windows applications use at the moment.

    Internet Explorer 10 runs full-screen by default, it is the core of the Metro interface and runs the show. The Gnome 3 desktop on the other hand is actually nice to use and is not rendered with a web browser, this makes it more attractive and usable. And the plugin infrastructure is in place to enable adding plugins and applets to Gnome 3 just by visiting a website and clicking the one you wish to add. This is about time, I wish my version of Gnome 3 was the required version so that I could use this myself. Time to upgrade I guess. https://extensions.gnome.org/. The website for the Gnome Shell extensions. Rather like the Mozilla addons website. https://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell. More information about the Gnome Shell interface may be found at this website. The only thing I can say about Windows 8 is the fast boot time reported in the December 2011 issue of PC Authority of 8 seconds which is pretty good for a Windows operating system, but if you use suspend to disk with Fedora Core 15, the system can start back up faster than that. And that is nice when you are wanting to get something done and the boot time is annoying you. I switched from Debian Stable to Fedora to be able to use suspend to disk, as well as HDMI sound. the HDMI sound output is crystal clear and well worth setting up if you have the hardware. I hope with the release of Windows 8 they can do something to tackle all the spyware and viruses that Windows is famous for. In conclusion, I prefer the Gnome 3 interface over the Windows 8 Metro design anyday, and Linux is more secure than Windows ever will be.

  • John Cartwright 12:18 AM on October 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , windows 8   

    UEFI secure boot locking out Linux users. 

    Microsoft are backing a Secure Boot system that will lock computers into running Windows 7 or 8 and this will prevent the installation of Linux/UNIX or any other free open source operating system. Microsoft can not secure their own operating system properly so they want to lock out other operating system vendors and force everyone to run Windows 8 on new machines. This is not a good thing for everyone as a lot of businesses are still running Windows XP after 10 years and they would not switch to Windows 8 for a long while after the release. This is only a brute force tactic to prevent installation of any open source operating systems and force everyone to run Windows. The average user would not mind this, they would applaud any measure like this to keep their computers more secure, the type of user who installs Norton 360 instead of using the free Microsoft security essentials and having a bit of common sense when it comes to safe and unsafe websites. Linux and UNIX are far more secure than Windows, only stupid Windows sheeple think that Windows is as safe as Microsoft claim it to be. Websites like mine are hosted on Linux due to the fact that it is much more reliable and has far less security issues than Windows and Google Android platforms.

    The key issue here is that in order for a machine to be certified to be able to run Windows 8 it must ship with UEFI secure boot switched on to have a certified Windows 8 installation, and to earn the logo sticker that denotes that computer as being a certified Windows 8 computer. If the user tries to install BSD,Linux or any other free operating system other than the certified Windows 8 operating system the installation will not be able to continue as it will not be signed with the boot key that matches one of the keys burned into the ROM on the UEFI chipset. If an open source operating system had these keys, then anyone could get access to the keys, so it will only be available to the closed source Windows 8 operating system and no other operating system can be installed on a computer using UEFI. Windows 8 would have to be one hell of an operating system if it was the only one you could install on your computer, but I have a feeling the Metro interface will not fit in too well in a corporate setting. A lot of companies are still running Windows machines with Internet Explorer 6.0 and obviously would not be in a hurry to upgrade to Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10 needed to run the Metro HTML5 widgets.

    I do not know why you would only want to run Windows 8 on your machine, I am perfectly happy with Fedora 15 and the Gnome fallback desktop, as close to Gnome 2 as Gnome 3 can get these days. And instead of shutting down the machine every night I just use Suspend and put the machine to sleep and when I want to start it up I just press the power button and it comes back up in a couple of seconds. I wonder if Windows 8 will be able to do that. My uptime is 2 days, 3:52 even though I have suspended my machine every night. This is better than running the machine 24/7. There would be a backlash against this from lot of people if they were vendor locked into running a Windows operating system that is not as secure as Ubuntu or Linux Mint. But I installed Fedora because I had the DVD edition and I decided to give that a try. I installed it from the ISO using the Anaconda installer and that went very smoothly.

      • Admin 8:13 PM on November 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I love to support the Linux community and I am giving out free information to support all Linux users. Thanks for your comment.

  • John Cartwright 2:17 PM on September 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Microsoft.MSDN, windows 8   

    windows 8 alpha leak september 2011. 

    Windows 8 Metro User Interface.

    Windows 8 Metro User Interface.

    The alpha build of Windows 8 has been leaked onto the world wide web. The previews are available here: http://dev.windows.com/, later today. They are incomplete developer builds, so do not expect to be able to install these and run your business or other critical applications, but they are perfect for testing out the new features of Windows 8 and giving valuable feedback to Microsoft. There is no activation or product key required to install this version of Windows, but I am not sure if you can keep these installed and essentially get a free installation of Windows 8 out of this. But Windows was going to be leaked anyway and Microsoft are taking a leaf out of the Linux book and putting up alpha builds on the web for people to try before they commit to downloading the full release. Hopefully, with all the feedback they will receive from those testing Windows they will not make another Windows Vista or Windows Millennium Edition. The new Metro interface is not very popular, I would hope that they would keep the Windows Classic interface that is a good alternative to the Aero styled UI seen in Vista and Windows 7.

    Download the ISO images now: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516

    Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64).

    DOWNLOAD (4.8 GB)

    Sha 1 hash – 6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF

    All of the following come on a disk image file (.iso). See below for installation instructions.

    • 64-bit Windows Developer Preview
    • Windows SDK for Metro style apps
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview
    • Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
    • 28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app


    Windows Developer Preview English, 64-bit (x64).

    DOWNLOAD (3.6 GB)

    Sha 1 hash – 79DBF235FD49F5C1C8F8C04E24BDE6E1D04DA1E9

    Includes a disk image file (.iso) to install the Windows Developer Preview and Metro style apps on a 64-bit PC.


    Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86).

    DOWNLOAD (2.8 GB)

    Sha 1 hash – 4E0698BBABE01ED27582C9FC16AD21C4422913CC

    Includes a disk image file (.iso) to install the Windows Developer Preview and Metro style apps on a 32-bit PC.


    Live Connect.

    Sign up for the Live Connect technical preview.

    Live Connect provides developers a set of controls and APIs that enable applications to integrate Single Sign On (SSO) with Windows Live ID and enable users to access information from SkyDrive, Hotmail, and Messenger.


    System Requirements.

    Windows Developer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7:

    • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
    • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
    • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch
    • To run Metro style Apps, you need a screen resolution of 1024 X 768 or greater


    Notes about installing the Windows Developer Preview.

    • You can’t uninstall the Windows Developer Preview. To reinstall your previous operating system, you must have restore or installation media.
    Install on: Windows Developer Preview with developer tools Windows Developer Preview (32-bit or 64-bit)
    Windows 7 and Windows Vista Clean install only You can keep accounts, files, and settings
    Windows XP Clean install only You can only keep accounts and files
    A clean install is supported on all builds. You will only receive the full set of installation options when setup is launched in Windows.

    How to install the Windows Developer Preview from an ISO image.

    The Windows Developer Preview is delivered as an .iso image that must be converted into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive. On Windows 7, the easiest way to convert this file is to use Windows Disc Image Burner. On Windows XP and Windows Vista, a third-party program is required to convert an .iso file into installable media—and DVD burning software often includes this ability.

    Note: The .iso file that has the developer tools requires a large capacity DVD called a DVD-9, as well as a DVD burner that can handle dual-layer (DL) DVDs. Most modern burners should be able to handle this format.

    Are you an MSDN Subscriber?
    Go to the MSDN subscriber page to see more developer preview downloads available.

  • John Cartwright 11:29 AM on June 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , touchscreen, windows 8   

    A look at the new Windows 8 interface. 

    This is the future of the Windows user interface, a Iphone styled touch screen design that makes the most of the recent developments in touch screens that are famously used on the Apple Iphone and Ipad. This moves away from the classic Windows design with the task-bar at the bottom and icons on the desktop. This could be uncomfortable to use on a large high-resolution screen that is sitting on your desk at a comfortable distance, my 17″ screen is just out of arms reach and it is at a perfect distance to make the screen text readable, but if I wanted to have it act as a touch-screen it would need to be much closer to my computer chair and I would get tired quickly if I had to touch the screen to get things done for many hours sitting at the computer desk. Maybe this would be better if it was a flat desk like the surface computing demoed a while ago. I would hope that there would be a more comfortable way of using the touch-screen without too much user fatigue. I can see how this would be very good on a tablet PC, but not on a main desktop machine, I mean how would you type up a long document without a keyboard? I guess you could have the keyboard appear on the screen taking up half of the screen real-estate but that would not be ideal. The first computer I used had a a keyboard and later on I was introduced to the mouse and I would hate using this new touch system with no alternative.

    A lot of computers these days still use Windows XP, so it would be a while before this new Windows 8 system was widely used anyway, if a 10-year-old Windows operating system is still in wide usage then most places where you use someone else`s computer like a town library will hardly be updating to this for a long time. tablet PC`s are not the only machines out there. And how would you play FPS games on this? Pro gamers use keyboard and mouse, this will not change for a very long time as aiming rockets at your enemies is just perfect with that aforementioned control method and judging from my experiences trying to play racing games on a touch screen mobile `phone the touch screen will not work for gaming at all. If this is the future of computer interfaces, then I am sticking with my current Fedora Core 15 Xfce desktop and I will use Windows 7 for tasks requiring using that OS like gaming. But this new interface means that you will need to purchase all new hardware to use this new Windows release. Talk about making a profit from Windows. The Gnome 3 interface is annoying, but not as bad as this looks. Bye Bye Windows 8 you look too much like an Iphone now. A lot of computers are used for a lot more than just browsing Facebook and listening to Lady Gaga, why would you want a Iphone styled interface with giant icons and rectangles on your desktop representing various tasks instead of the tried and true Windows 2000 styled task-bar and start menu system? There was Windows `95, `98 Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, that had this simple and usable interface and it was just fine, now why do they want to change just to follow Apple? Did they see the sales figures of the Ipad and Iphone and decide to go down that road themselves with their own crappy touch-screen interface that will probably fail miserably. Microsoft should improve the user education and security of their operating systems instead of implementing a stupid new design that is ugly and clunky.

    • Admin 5:55 AM on June 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I guess they will have to improve on the already excellent Microsoft Security Essentials and create a very good security suite that will give enough security.

      Thanks for your post!

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