12 Aug 2014

Another article got published off-line

You, readers of my blog, know that my articles are often translated into other languages and published in off-line press. My usual partner for this is magazine "User and Linux".

Today I am happy to announce that my article "How to enable spell-checking in different languages in Pidgin in Linux" has been published in Russian in the issue 14.08 (#30) of that magazine.

Welcome to read the original and translation, which you can find of page 24.

7 Aug 2014

How I stopped distro hopping


I, a Microsoft user since DOS 5.x was introduced to Linux in the late 90's when a friend gave me a copy of Novell Linux. I was in awe that you could get a "free" operating system without having to pay for it. The system didn't hold my attention long because there were not a lot of applications for it that were similar to the Windows programs I was accustomed to.

Along comes Fedora and in 2004 I picked up a book called Linux for Non Geeks by No Starch Press which included a copy of Fedora. I learned of Open Source and the Free Software Foundation through this book and thought it was great that a community of folks could come together and make a product they then would give to the world. I loved the idea that software should be shared freely. I used fedora for about a year while dual booting with Windows. During that time I learned there were many Linux distributions gaining popularity like never before. I tried as many as I could but were never satisfied. I had my Windows XP operating system so why bother getting serious about Linux when Windows provided all I needed.

I began to notice Microsoft in the news more and more for unscrupulous business practices. This contrasted with the meaning of Open Source I had learned from my Linux experience. Microsoft started losing it's appeal. I began to see how with each new Windows release the systems became more draconian and restrictive. I am a hard core first person single player shooter fan and Windows played all my games when nothing else would. I could not just leave Windows no matter how I wanted to.

I decided I would try to use Linux for everything else except gaming. I used several distros for a while, PC Linux OS, Mint, Ubuntu (until Unity) and learned to love a slackware distro called Vector Linux. I even tried and liked PC-BSD 9 and 9.1. My goal was to try to find the system that most resembled the look and feel of the Windows systems I was used to because of familiarity and ease of use. I didn't like the terminal much and only used it when I had to. Though I liked each distro they somehow fell short of my expectations.

I first found Zorin with Zorin 5. I liked it but Zorin 6 had just come out and so I switched but felt Zorin was still too new so I didn't stick with it. Zorin 7 came out and it was Linux love at first install. I used Zorin 7 till Zorin 8 came out and now I'm onto Zorin 9 my first LTS Zorin distro (still dual booting). I have seen how the Linux community has grown up over the years with stable distros that have all the features I could desire but Zorin has a style that matches my expectations of how a distro should work.

Steam now has games that work in Linux and thanks to the stability of Ubuntu I know Zorin will play those games. GOG will be coming out with game versions for Linux at the end of this year. Between the two, I hope to leave Windows forever in a heap of dust. I can finally have my cake and eat it too. Linux for me means a chance at computer freedom. I know I can have that with Zorin.

Thank You Zorin!

This is a guest post by Electric Rider, which took part in the joint Zorin OS contest.

2 Aug 2014

Zorin OS Contest Results

And today is the day...

First of all, Zorin team, Linux notes from DarkDuck and Linuxaria would like to say THANK YOU to all the participants of the contest that we ran for last few weeks. It was a real pleasure to see such a response, and to read all your article.

Unfortunately, not all of them could get the prizes. It was a difficult task to select the winners. It is time to announce their names!

Drums, please!

29 Jul 2014

An unusual comparison of Desktop Environments

I created and published a series of videos few months ago, that show how to set up multiple keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments.
Just to refresh your memory, here they are:

Statistics of the views is quite interesting. Here are just naked amounts:

22 Jul 2014

Zorin OS 9 - a step forward for Windows migrants

Linux notes from DarkDuck has closely followed the development of Zorin OS for a long time now. The first review was for Zorin OS 4, and since then it seems like I haven't missed any new release. I also interviewed Artyom Zorin, the leader of the distribution.

Even though I don't do reviews en masse now, I felt I had to write a review of Zorin OS 9, which was released in July 2014, just few days ago.

I downloaded the version Zorin OS 9 32-bit Core. It is about 1.3 GB in size, which means you either need a DVD or a USB stick with >1GB capacity to get this ISO working.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get Live USB with this distribution. I tried different methods: dd command, Unetbootin, and even USB image writer from Linux Mint 17 toolkit. None of them created a workable Live USB stick.

Then I reverted to a Live DVD option.

So, DVD with Zorin OS 9 Core is in the DVD-ROM of my laptop Dell Vostro 1500. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

19 Jul 2014

Contest for Zorin OS lovers

Contest is closed. Results are here.

You probably remember a contest that ran about two years ago. It was dedicated to Zorin OS 6. A new release of Zorin OS 9 has been released only few days ago, that is why it is time for yet another contest, isn't it?

Let's Do It!

Just to refresh your memories, here are the rules.

This contest is organised together by Zorin OS team, Linux notes from DarkDuck and Buy Linux CDs.

Who can participate?

Everyone with a passion for Linux, and with some writing skills. If you're good enough to compose a short e-mail to your friend, then you're ready for the contest.

What you need to do?

Please write a short story about Zorin OS, or maybe just Linux in general.

Why do you use Linux? How did you come to the Linux world? What do you like here? What are you doing to promote Linux? Any of these, or maybe your own themes are good.

It would be better, if your post is about Zorin OS, but this is just "nice to have".

The text you're going to write should not be one-liner. Please be little bit more productive. At least 50 words, if you don't mind.

Where to send your works?

Please e-mail them to zorinos.contest@darkduck.com.

When to send?

Any time until the 31st of July 2014.

What will you get?

Organizers of the contest will select winners, and they will receive:

  1. Disk with Zorin OS 9 Premium with all the attached support. Prize is given by Zorin OS team.
  2. 10 GBP e-voucher for Amazon.co.uk site. Prize from Buy Linux CDs.
  3. CD with any Linux distribution of your choice. Prize from Linux notes from DarkDuck.
Update: there is another prize from Linuxaria: 25 USD voucher for amazon.com. It will be awarded to the 10th article submitted to the contest, disregarding the content of it (unless it is a really dummy submission)! Please hurry!

Will my work be published?

By submitting your work, you allow organizers to use your work on their web sites, unless you specifically withdraw your permission in writing.

When will results be announced?

The results will be announced on the 2nd of August 2014.
The winners will be contacted by e-mail.

Small print:

  1. One prize per contestant.
  2. Decisions of contest organizers are binding, and cannot be changed.
  3. Non-monetary prizes cannot be exchanged for money.
  4. No cash equivalents.
  5. Monetary prizes will be given in currency stated: 10 GBP and 25 USD.
  6. In order to get non-monetary prizes, you must provide your postal address. This will be kept confidential and never disclosed to 3rd parties.
  7. Winners must respond the requests within 14 calendar days. If there is no response, the prize will be withheld.

26 Jun 2014

Linux Mint 17 Xfce quick screenshot tour

Linux Mint team produces a number of distributions. Of course, the most famous of them are based on Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments.
However, KDE- and Xfce-based versions of Linux Mint also find their fans.

Linux Mint 17 Xfce was released today. Let's look at what it offer to the user. This is not going to be a full-blown review, rather a quick screenshot tour in the Live session.

Let's go!