27 May 2014

How Handy HandyLinux Is?

I haven't written reviews for Linux distributions for a while. I think the last review I've done was about OpenSuSE 12.3 about a year ago, but it was a rather short article. The last full-blown review from DarkDuck was SLAX 7.0 in January 2013.

However, I have received a request to make a review, and I simply could not say "no".

We will discuss HandyLinux today. This is an operating system released by a French community, but targeted to worldwide use. You can download the English release from here - please be sure to select the file *-l10n-*, otherwise you get a French edition.

So, I downloaded the ISO image of HandyLinux 1.5 for "modern" computers, i.e. 686 architecture. The ISO size is about 1.2 GB. Then I "burnt" it onto a USB drive with a dd command. USB stick is plugged into the Dell Vostro 1500 laptop.

Fasten your seatbelts. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

20 May 2014

Great Linux articles are now in Russian

The readers and fans of Linux notes from DarkDuck have noticed already that the blog has not been updated for a while. There are 2 major reasons for that:

  • I have changed my job. Settling on new grounds took a serious part of my time, leaving almost no space for additional activities.
  • My laptop Sony Vaio VGN-NR21Z decided to end its life after less than a year with me, and I had to acquire a new hardware. My new device is Dell Vostro 1500 with dual core 2.2 GHz Intel Centrino processor, 3Gb RAM, Intel 3945ABG wireless network card.

I think you would expect a "Tux moving house" article again, but I must disappoint you this time. The reason is that I have nothing to write about. All the Linux operating systems installed on the hard drive (Debian Wheezy, Mageia 4 and Linux Mint 15) made absolutely no problem for me when the disk had been moved across. The only problem I had was linked to new drivers for Windows Vista, but that was easy to solve using the Dell web site.

However, I still have something to tell you about. My hardcore fans should remember a series of articles I wrote about keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments:

I also produced a series of videos showing the process of keyboard layout configuration.

The original articles were written in English. Now they are available in Russian, published in User and Linux magazine as my guest articles:

Welcome to read both original and translated articles!

17 May 2014

Get disks with Linux distribution for free!

As you may know, Linux Notes from DarkDuck has a sister site: BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk. That is the place where you can purchase disks with your favourite Linux distribution, and they will be delivered to anywhere in the world.

You may remember the time when you could get disks with Ubuntu for free. I personally have one copy for my memories! Unfortunately, Canonical withdrawn that offer long ago.

Nicely, seems like the good times are back! There are some Linux fans that are ready to send you disks with Linux for free! Yes, you read that right - free disks with any Linux distribution you like, to anywhere in the world.

All you need to do is to e-mail Sean Rickerd seanrickerd@gmail.com with your postal address and name the distribution you want. He will burn the disk specially for you! (I would ask an authograph too!) Sean lives in Canada, so you can calculate the estimated delivery time for your place.

Please note: this initiative is Sean's personal, and Linux notes from DarkDuck is not responsible for any outcome you may get when contacting Sean. Of course, the offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice.

Anyway, I wish Sean and his initiative all the best in his way to promote Linux!

15 May 2014

Pre-order your personal copy of Linux Mint 17 Qiana

You have been waiting for long 2 years!

With the coming raelease of next long-term support version of Linux Mint 17 just a couple of weeks away, many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Qiana.

I was waiting for this too! That is because I run Linux Mint 15 as one of the systems on my laptop. I waited for version 17 to upgrade the system, because Qiana will be based on Long-term-support version of Ubuntu, and will be a LTS version itself.

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 DVDs with operating system images.
We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Linux Mint 17 (Cinnamon or MATE) right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the release date at the end of May 2014, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

You may ask why I cannot tell you the exact date of dispatch? This is because Linux Mint team, as usual, does not announce the release date, but only states that it is approximately "end of May".

How you can get the DVD? There are 2 options!

1. Free - email seanrickerd@gmail.com with your postal address and distribution you want. Presumably Linux Mint 17.

2. Read below and purchase from there.

Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Linux Mint DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 17. 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. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card!

UK (2.00 GBP):
Linux Mint 17 pre-order (UK)

USA (6.00 USD):
Linux Mint 17 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (4.00 GBP):
Linux Mint 17 pre-order (Other countries)

And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.

1 May 2014

Emmabuntüs is a finalist of the cyber-activism competition

Emmabuntüs Collective, the one that stands behind the Emmabuntüs Linux distribution, was recently named a finalist in a contest rewarding the cyber-activism. The competition in question is THE BOBS contest. It was organized ten years ago by a German radio and television to reward cyber-activism.

But what is cyber activism?

According to Wikipedia:
The terms of online activism - or hacktivism - refer to various forms of activism practised using the Internet.
Originally the term activist was related to those who fought, arms in hand, to defend (or impose) their own ideas and beliefs, or those of their school of thought. Today activism is the active support of a cause, an ideal, an ideology, a political party. Activisms does not accept violence.

The Emmabuntüs Collective is a collective of people who promote Distribution Emmabuntüs to assist in repacking hardware donated to humanitarian organizations, including associations Emmaus. The second well-known fact about Emmabuntüs is that is it used by JerryClans in Jerry - a canister / container with PC components, intended to serve as a central processing unit, without needing other things. They also call it Jerrycan.

The Collective Emmabuntüs campaigns to promote free software, extend equipment life through reuse and recycling of materials to reduce waste caused by the consumption of raw materials, to help all humanitarian organizations in their reconditioning work to reduce the digital divide. Collective Emmabuntüs is a group of people working at their level to make it a little more possible.

Here is the presentation of the contest site thebobs.com:

The Bobs awards honor websites and projects in 14 languages that champion the open exchange of ideas and freedom of expression. When the annual awards launched in 2004, blogs were just beginning to establish themselves as a new type of media and The Bobs aimed to show that this new form of communication was worthy of being taken seriously and to point to the excellent example of work being done online to foster dialogue across language barriers.
The Bobs represent one of Deutsche Welle’s ongoing efforts to contribute to promoting freedom of expression and the upholding of human rights on the Internet and around the world.

Collective Emmabuntüs is proud to be selected among the finalists of the competition and encourage you to vote for our project.

You can vote on The Bobs site once per day in each category, you can vote with your facebook account, with your twitter account, and you can also create an account on the contest website to vote with, it is fast and easy. We did a tutorial on our blog to show how to vote. Do not hesitate to vote today and probably on other days if you find that our project brings something to the world of Free, and our world in general. You can also support us a second way, in addition to voting for us, you can spread this news to your network, ask around you. ;)

The article was originally published in French on linuxfr.org. Translation by DarkDuck.