31 Aug 2012

Order your CD with OpenSUSE 12.2

The latest version of OpenSuSE 12.2 has been released just recently. Many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system.

But many of you are not so lucky, and will need to wait longer, because you can not or do not want to create their own CDs with operating system images.

Here we are to help!

You can order your own copy OpenSuSE 12.2 (GNOME or KDE) right now. It means that CD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

How you can get the CD? Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the OpenSuSE CD from there. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop which you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout, similar to Buy Linux CDs site.

UK (2.00 GBP):
OpenSuSE 12.2 pre-order (UK)
USA (6.50 USD):
OpenSuSE 12.2 pre-order (USA)
Other countries (4.50 GBP):
OpenSuSE 12.2 pre-order (Other countries)

30 Aug 2012

Accounting on Linux: why GNUCash might make sense for your home or business

Linux has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Many companies are now thinking about making the move to Linux, but the lack of compatible software is still proving a barrier. But is it really all that difficult? For example, what kinds of solutions exist for accounting on Linux?

28 Aug 2012

Edubuntu 12.04: Let’s Learn It!

The 1st of September is just around the corner.

Where do you live? I don't know the rules of your residence country, but Russia, where I was born and spent most of my life, has a rule: the 1st of September is the start of the school year. Even if this day falls on a weekend, like we have it in 2012, schoolchildren must have their great event, especially those who go to school for the first time in their lives.

Nowadays, one of the most popular purchases for the pupils and students are computers. Being it Linux Desktop or Laptop, you still have an option to install your own operating system on it, specifically to help your child, or maybe yourself, to prepare the homework.

This occasion gave me an idea to write some posts about applying open source operating systems in the educational process.

There are several Linux-based OSes, which fall into this category, and the most well-known of them is Edubuntu. Let's start with it.

Edubuntu, as you can understand from its name, is an Ubuntu-based operating system for the educational process. It targets two main groups of people: those who study and those who teach.

The ISO image of Edubuntu 12.04 "weighs" more than its close relative Ubuntu. It is 2.6 GB. The download options include directly loading from a mirror or using the torrent. I downloaded the image using the torrent, and Unetbootin'ed it onto the USB stick.

So, the Fujitsu-Siements Amilo Pi 1505 laptop is ready, USB stick is plugged in. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

26 Aug 2012

Emmabuntus 2: an All-Inclusive French Resort

I will be honest: I had never heard of this distribution until I received an e-mail 2 weeks ago. That was a request to review the Emmabuntus 2 Linux distribution from its developers' team.

What is Emmabuntus? This is a French project oriented on “distribution for everyone”. The latest version, Emmabuntus 2, is based on Ubuntu 12.04 and was released very recently, in August 2012.

As long as I was invited, I decided to try the distribution.

The ISO image of Emmabuntus 2 is very large. It is about 3 Gb. The project hosts on SourceForge. It means you have a selection of mirrors to choose from, and downloading speed is very decent.

I used Unetbootin to "burn" the image to the USB stick. When the Emmabuntus 2 LiveUSB was ready, I plugged it into my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

23 Aug 2012

6 Linux Distros Worth Checking Out

One of the best things about Linux is that its distributions come in all shapes and sizes. There’s a distro for every taste and skill level.

Below is a list of some of the most popular Linux distributions. Be sure to check them out and let us know what you think. If you’re familiar with these distros, feel free to tell us about your experiences and share your recommendations.

21 Aug 2012

22 questions to the chairperson of Mageia.org association

Mageia is my favourite operating system. I have never hidden this fact. It became #1 in my personal rating soon after the release of their version 1 in June 2011, and was the sole holder of that place until about November 2011. Although it shares the first place now with Xubuntu, I currently run version 2 and still like it a lot.
That’s why I was over the moon when I got a chance to invite this person into my "interview room".
Please meet: Anne Nicolas!

19 Aug 2012

Linux Mint 13 MATE: The Different Twin

I wrote last week about one of the twin sisters born by the Linux Mint team: Linux Mint 13 Maya Cinnamon. That is a distribution which features Cinnamon, the Mint team's in-house development of a desktop environment with GNOME3 roots, but without the controversial GNOME Shell.

The second sister in the litter is Linux Mint 13 Maya MATE. This is a distribution with a MATE desktop environment, which is actually the fork of GNOME2, supported by Mint team's. While GNOME2's natural parents currently have abandoned their offspring, the Mint’s team plays the role of step-parents for the project.

I downloaded the ISO file of Linux Mint 13 Maya MATE via torrent at the same time as Cinnamon. The ISO image file size is 898 Mb.

I used Unetbootin to create a Live USB from the ISO file. At the same time, I activated the persistence option to check whether it actually works for Linux Mint distributions.

When the USB stick was ready, I plugged it into the USB port of my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Prepare yourself some mate. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let’s go!

16 Aug 2012

Pinta: Painting Made Simple

What’s it like for Black and white photography?

Simple approaches to complex problems: time and time again this earmarked cliché returns to shake up the software industry. Now, another newcomer looks to break the simple mould - this time, on Linux. Pinta - Painting Made Simple is an open-source application built for Linux, Windows and Mac. It offers image manipulation and drawing - but its real beauty is in its simplicity.

Pinta is layer-based and offers Photoshop-esque levels of power. Well, maybe that's overstating it a bit, but it is a pleasant feature to have - masking, merging and comping are all within reach. Again, this layer-based process boasts a simple interface and functionality.

Image manipulation is not new to Linux - GIMP has been fulfilling most needs shy of Adobe's premium offering for Windows and OS X. So, to put it to the test, I thought I'd see how their image manipulation played off against one another.

14 Aug 2012

Taming of (open)mamba - part 2

Last week Darrel Johnston wrote about his adventures in openmamba KDE. He had too many issues when running it in the virtual machine, that he finally gave up.

The story did not end there...

12 Aug 2012

Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon: Not Quite There Yet

Linux Mint has never been my favourite. Except, maybe, for the short-term flirt with Mint Xfce, which I ran on my laptop for several weeks. The end of that story was not as happy as the beginning. Mint Xfce was based on the testing branch of Debian, so another update of the codebase broke the system to an unrecognisable state. Finally, I got rid of Mint Xfce. It is no longer part of my laptop's landscape.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to avoid news about this operating system, because it is widely discussed. There are several reasons for this. They are somehow interlinked, but let me list them separately.

Linux Mint is currently #1 in the Distrowatch's popularity rating.Linux Mint's team decided to avoid the way of their major codebase owner, Ubuntu, and forked 2 (two!) desktop environments for use with their distribution, on top of standard KDE and Xfce. These desktop environments are Cinnamon and MATE.

This is the second reason I have an impulse to look at Linux Mint today. I downloaded both Linux Mint 13 Maya Cinnamon and Linux Mint 13 Maya MATE. It was a dilemma for me which one to start from. The draw favoured Cinnamon.

If you are unaware, Cinnamon is the Mint team's rework of the GNOME3 interface. It is built on GNOME3, but the user interface is different from the default GNOME Shell. This may sound familiar to some readers of my blog, because I've written some articles about distros that take the same approach: for example, Zorin OS. However, Zorin and Mint are different. Where Zorin aims to be as close as possible to the Windows interface, Linux Mint does not have this goal.

Linux Mint 13 Maya in general is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

I used Unetbootin to "burn" the ISO image to the USB stick. The size of this distribution, Linux Mint 13 Maya Cinnamon, is 817 Mb. When the USB stick was ready, I plugged it into the USB port of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

9 Aug 2012

A Few Thoughts on Why Businesses Resist Migration to Linux

With the upcoming release of Windows 8 in October, the computer world appears to be divided in its opinion of Microsoft’s new operating system. Following the release preview of Windows 8 a few months ago, some are excited about the new interface, while others feel it was built only to be more convenient for tablet or touchscreen users. If Windows 8 turns out to be another Vista, Linux is expected to eat another inch more of Microsoft’s market share.

Despite being an open source system, Linux received less support from users as it is known to be harder to navigate than Windows. It gained popularity only with developers and computer geeks because they had the freedom to tweak the code to suit their preference. But Linux has made great strides over the years. Where Linux was previously limited only to servers and supercomputers, now more users are daring to use the system in their laptops and desktops. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said in the business environment. Why are businesses resisting the change?

8 Aug 2012

1 000 000

I can officially announce now: I have joined the club of millionaires!

Unfortunately, that 1 000 000 does not mean $1 000 000. This only means a million of pageviews on this blog.

I announced a contest for the readers of my blog, and the only task was to send me a screenshot showing the value 1 000 000, or the nearest, on the pageviews counter.

I am happy to tell to all of you, that the prize, a book, will be sent to my winner who lives in Germany. Here is the screenshot he sent me.
1 000 000
1 000 000

Thanks to all my readers! Hope you like what I do for you!

7 Aug 2012

Taming of (open)mamba - part 1

DarkDuck (Dmitry) has his reasons for testing a Linux distro from a live CD session. However, I prefer to test the installed version of a distribution, even if it's only for a short period of time. When he informed me he was testing openmamba, I looked for some information about it. The Distrowatch page says that it "uses APT for RPM and Synaptic as its package management tools." I felt this was right up my alley, as PCLinuxOS, my chosen distro, also uses APT for RPM and Synaptic. I downloaded the same KDE4 version on DVD that DarkDuck did and installed it to a VirtualBox VM.

6 Aug 2012

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Back in May 2011 I ran a very simple contest: you had to fix the moment when the visitors' counter on this blog showed the 100,000.
It's time when the counter is close to another, more interesting value, and it is time to announce yet another contest.
The rules are the same as they were last time, except for the value you need to show on the screenshot: 1,000,000

5 Aug 2012

Number 300

You may believe, may not, but this is the post number 300 on this blog!

Yes, there are 300 different articles now published here. Most of them are Linux and FOSS-related, the majority being the reviews of the different Linux distributions. Very few are not directly about Linux, but more about the life of the blog.

So, another threshold has been passed. Where do we go next? Let's see! Life is an unpredictable thing, you know!

But, I can tell you for sure, something big is coming at this blog! Stay tuned!

3 Aug 2012

Three LXDE-based distributions: race them face-to-face

I am in a very interesting situation. Some time ago, I promised myself to stay away from LXDE-based distributions. At the same time, I wrote about three of them in the last 6 weeks.

Can I compare them somehow? Probably yes. Let’s do it.

1 Aug 2012

WattOS R5: Not Ideal, But Still Nice

I heard about this OS from couple of my readers, who left the comment on the blog posts. They mentioned this OS as the extreme light one.

It looked interesting for me, and that is why I decided to try myself.

WattOS is an operating system based on Ubuntu. Yes, I really hear right now from many of you: Oh no, yet another Ubuntu spin! Please, stop groaning, read on.

The project has as its purpose to create an OS which can be used on very old computers. That's why they want it to be really low in resource requirements.

I downloaded the distribution's ISO file from their site. The latest version WattOS R5 was released in February 2012. R5 simply stands for Release 5. The ISO file size is about 693 Mb.

When the ISO file was on my laptop, I used Unetbootin to create a Live USB.

So, the USB stick is ready and plugged into the port of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!