28 Jun 2012

Why Can’t Linux Crack The Desktop?

Linux vs Mac vs Windows
Image by KobraSoft
Many computer geeks have always held Linux in high regard. They endlessly talk about its stability and security features. For many years people talked about how Linux may eventually take over in the future, but the OS is yet to take off as the leading operating systems. There has been a lot of debate as to why this OS has never really taken off. There are many things that programmers, computer experts, users and geeks in general have failed to agree on. However, there are a number of things that have affected its success.

26 Jun 2012

Discovering Zorin OS

It was due to having Agoraphobia that I spent most my time gathering as many tips and tweaks that I could find to make my system run as lightweight as possible while having only 1gb of RAM. I wasted a lot of time and went through a lot of heartache trying to make a window out of what's really a box.

Linux vs Mac vs Windows
Image by KobraSoft
I'm talking about Windows that is. In my opinion Windows is just that. A window you can look through but it is locked onto a house that you cannot truly make your own and be the master of your own domain. You can only see as far and wide as 'they' want you to see which after looking a bit harder you see it is actually an illusion on the wall, tricking the eyes of the masses into thinking they're using the best of the best, the top-of-the-line OS when you're really boxed in.

I was in the dumps with my situation as there was no freedom for me, the limits were quickly found. I had hit a wall. I was to sit with a laptop that I knew had power and strengths; that deserved to shine but couldn't be unlocked to its potential. Only in my dreams, I thought.

24 Jun 2012

Mageia 2: smooth upgrade

A few days ago I wrote about my first impression of Mageia 2 KDE from a Live run. I can’t say that it was without issues, but they were not the major ones.

That’s why I decided to upgrade my existing installation of Mageia KDE from version 1 to version 2.

To be honest, I was slightly scared by the previous not-so-good experience of a Mageia upgrade described by Gene on his ERACC blog. The second option for me would be to make a fresh install, which I could always revert to. I had so little to lose that the decision was easily made.

20 Jun 2012

Mageia 2 KDE: first glance

This operating system captured my heart from the very first day I saw it. Unlike its predecessor Mandriva, I felt very comfortable with Mageia.

Mageia 1 was, to a very large extent, a rebranded spin of Mandriva, let’s admit that. The team fixed many things I disliked in Mandriva, and changed the branding. But they did not have enough time to make serious changes from Mandriva. The comparative test of Mageia 1 made by one of my guest authors confirmed this.

After almost a year after the first release, Mageia 2 saw the world at the end of May 2012.

I could not get my hands dirty with the new release for a few weeks because of various reasons, but finally I got the time to try it.

As you may know, Mageia 1 KDE is one of the systems I have installed on my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Therefore, I could simply run an upgrade for my existing system.

But this would not be that interesting. Or, otherwise, this could be too risky.

That’s why I decided to try a Live run of the Mageia 2 KDE operating system first.

You can either download the ISO image file of Mageia 2 KDE from one of many mirrors, or use a torrent. I chose the second option. The ISO image itself is 696 Mb for the Live CD version. The entire downloaded size, though, is 715 Mb, because it includes additional files like MD5 sum.

The official guide says that you can create a Live USB from the ISO using command dd or application mandriva-seed. Unfortunately, neither of them worked for me. The USB stick, created using these methods, was not bootable. The very likely reason, though, is in the BIOS of my laptop.

Unetbootin was slightly better. I was able to see the boot menu and even the splash screen. But after approximately 15 minutes of waiting at the splash screen, I decided to give up. Live USB boot did not happen.

Finally, I burnt the ISO image of Mageia 2 KDE onto the DVD-RW disk.

So, the disk was ready and loaded into the optical drive of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let’s go!

19 Jun 2012

Zorin OS 6 quick screenshot tour

This is an unusual post for me.
I rarely put many images on my articles. Most of my blog items are prose.

Today I let myself to be different. This is a quick screenshot tour to the freshly released Zorin OS 6 Core.

18 Jun 2012

Yet another guest post on the high-profile site

Coincidentally or not, but the very same day as I published Linux on the test drive post, yet another my article on similar theme was published. But this time, this was not a small blog like Linux notes from DarkDuck.

Please welcome to read The M-word that's Linux's curse on ZDnet.co.uk resource. I think, you don't need an explanation what ZDnet is.

17 Jun 2012

Linux on the test drive

You have just passed your driving test and got your full driving license.
You are fed up with Windows and want to try a new operating system.
You go to the car dealer to buy a new car, and the manager offers you a test drive.
You go to the Linux distribution web site and see the Live CD option there.

You agree to try!

14 Jun 2012

Zorin OS 6 Lite: Windows replacement for low-end computers

Zorin OS is an operating system targeted to new converts from Windows to Linux. It eases up the transition, because gives the user a familiar interface.
As I wrote before, Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu and, until version 6, on GNOME 2 functionality. It means system resource requirements are quite high.

But what if your computer is not the newest one? Does it mean Zorin OS is not available for you? Not at all! The Zorin team releases a special edition for people like you: this is the Lite version. This operating system uses the LXDE desktop environment, not the GNOME one.

Zorin OS 6 Lite was released earlier than other members of the Zorin OS 6 family, in March 2012. Because of that, Zorin OS 6 Lite is based on Ubuntu 11.10, not 12.04.

I repeat explicitly: this article is about Zorin OS 6 Lite, and not Zorin OS 6 Core/Ultimate.

The ISO image size of Zorin OS 6 Lite is less than the “core” version and fits one CD. It is only 685 Mb.

This time round I decided to run my Live run of OS from the CD. The reason is that Zorin OS 6 Lite was the choice of the Zorin OS 6 contest winner. Before dispatching the disk to the winner, I decided to try this OS myself.

So, the CD is ready and is in the CD-ROM drive of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot the laptop. Select to boot from the optical drive. Let’s go!

12 Jun 2012

I started using LINUX because I didn't want to wait 20 minutes to find out the weather forecast

At the beginning of the century I moved away from my home in Southern England to the North East of Scotland. My job however remained in Southern England. Fortunately I wasn't required to commute a 1400 mile a day round trip. Instead I was able to work from home.
Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, Scotland
image by longfellowelizabeth

As a software developer I was able to work on projects remotely with just the odd visit to England once every two months. However sometimes you need to get the latest source code from the company's servers to update it. Now in the year 2000 we did not have Broadband. To be honest we barely had 56k modems. The upshot of this was that to update all the files on a branch it could take an hour or so to run.

10 Jun 2012

Weekend Project: Home-baked Hand-made File Server

Before I begin, I should give you a short warning.

This post does not pretend to be a comprehensive guide about file server creation. It is more than likely that I have missed some steps. Some steps are described only on a high level, which sometimes is not enough for proper set up.

This is rather an attempt for myself to systemitize knowledge I obtained during my own project, with a purpose to enhance and probably reuse it later.

This was not a truly one-weekend project for me. It lasted a few weeks, one evening at a time. But I think you can do everything in one weekend, if not in one evening.

8 Jun 2012

Winners of the Zorin OS contest

There was a contest...

If you are unaware of it, you have probably missed a good chance to win a prize.
If you are aware, but have not taken part, then you have probably missed a good chance to win a prize too.
And if you have taken part in contest, then we all, Zorin OS team, Linuxaria and DarkDuck, say "thank you"!

The joint contest had a great success. We have received many more submissions than we ever expected. Honestly!
It was a hard work for us to choose the winners, but finally we found the best-of-the-best.

Here is the list of winners:

  1. DVD with Zorin OS 6 Premium goes to Connie who wrote a wonderful poem In Praise of Zorin Linux.
  2. 15 USD bonus at Desura (or alternative) from Linuxaria goes to Ken Cominsky who wrote The Story of Zorin: A Modern Day (computing) Fairy Tale.
  3. 10 GBP voucher for Amazon.co.uk from BuyLinuxCDs site goes to Gary Newell who wrote I started using LINUX because I didn't want to wait 20 minutes to find out the weather forecast.
  4. CD with any Linux distribution of his choice from Linux Notes from DarkDuck goes to Steven Abeyta and his Discovering Zorin OS.
  5. 1 Gb USB stick  from Linux Notes from DarkDuck goes to Joe Chang who wrote I always come back to Zorin OS.

The winning articles will be published on respective resources, along with some other submissions, which did not get the prize, but deserve publishing nonetheless. So, keep tuned to us!

6 Jun 2012

Dedoimedo: I don't believe in being idle or wasting time

This interview has already been published on my blog. Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, all the links in that post got corrupt. That's why I decided to remove the old version and re-publish the text. Please enjoy reading now, and welcome to the linked sites too.

Linux part of Blogosphere is big. There are different people, different blogs. Some of them die, like it was with K.Mandla’s, some continue to grow. Today’s guest in my interview room is one of the most mysterious bloggers in the Linux world. Nobody saw his face. Nobody read his replies to the comments below the articles, simply because there are no comments. But still, he owns one of the most respectable and popular resources. Let’s talk with Dedoimedo about Linux, books and life in general.

DarkDuck: Hello Dedoimedo. You’re one of the popular bloggers in the Linux world. How would you introduce yourself in few words?

Dedoimedo: I would say I'm a lovable misanthrope who likes to help people, go figure. It's not a paradox. I also suffer from a classic case of unwarranted self-importance.

DD: Dedoimedo is a nickname. It sounds quite unusual. What is the story behind it?

3 Jun 2012

Open Source Languages - Pros and Cons

Many developers love to use open source software for the variety of benefits that come along with it. Some of the most popular open source languages used include C, PHP, Javascript, and C++. Although many people code using these languages, are there any major reasons not to use them? Let’s take a look and find out.