Tag Archive | Ubuntu

Easily Amused

I was greeted the other morning by a coworker grinning from ear to ear. “I love Vista!” he proclaimed and proceeded to tell me of a great discovery.

As it happened, he had been working on a personal project the night before and had inserted a blank CD in the drive. What did he see? A dialogue box asking him if he would like to burn an audio CD or a music CD. How convenient is that?! The best part is, he didn’t have to buy any third-party software!

He seemed so happy, so full of glee. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’ve enjoyed the same luxury with Ubuntu (Nautilus, to be more pecise) for almost three years now…well, I almost didn’t have the heart to tell him.

Cheers!
-Brandon

Linux for Mom

Mother’s Day is upon us! You did get a gift, didn’t you? What’s that you say? Mother’s Day isn’t until May? While that is true for citizens of most of the world’s countries, in Asia, Eastern Europe & the Middle East Mother’s Day falls in the month of March and many of the countries in these regions will celebrate it tomorrow, March 8th. The origin of this holiday stems from various religious rites, including the celebration of the Vernal Equinox, pagan worship evidenced in Roman and Greek mythology, and even to ties to the Christian season of Lent. Regardless of your reasons for celebrating Mother’s Day, it’s time to start thinking about a gift!

I happened across this article on the VirtualHosting blog this morning. It links fifty-two websites to various Linux distros, tools, and guides to assist in setting up a Linux box for your mom. The premise is, of course, providing a fast, safe and highly-functional system with a clean, uncluttered interface. I agree with the commentary, the intended audience of the article is not mom herself, but a son or daughter with a Linux bias who might want to set up a system for mom to use.

My mom uses Linux too, of course! Indeed, I’ve watched her transition from complete technophobe to avid blogger over the course of about a decade. She was tired of period system reinstallations necessitated by spyware, malware and viruses. She instantly noticed the simplicity and ease-of-use of the Gnome interface. She also doesn’t know the administrative password, so new software has to be installed by my dad or myself, a sort of agreed upon system of checks and balances. The only complaint has been in regard to the availability of plugins for things like Flash, but then again, she’s still running Ubuntu 5.10 (as am I). By Mother’s Day (May 11th in the U.S. this year), release 8.04 should be available and the upgrade effort is already being planned.

No PC? Those low-cost Linux PCs and laptops currently being offered by Asus and others may be just what she needs! Unless your mother is already a programmer or gamer, they should be plenty powerful enough for daily tasks, such as typing letters and surfing the ‘Net.

Show mom you really care – give the gift of Linux!

Happy عيد الأمّ / Dita e Nënës / Մայրության օր / Дан мајки / Ден на майката / Eejiin bayar / День Матери / Свято Матері / Materinski dan / Mother’s Day!

-Brandon

IBM to Fully Support Ubuntu with Lotus: Death of Ubuntu?

by Kevin Guertin

Lotus Notes

IBM believes Linux is finally ready for the corporate desktop.

In an announcement this week at the Lotusphere 2008 conference in Orlando, IBM said that it will provide full support for Ubuntu Linux with Lotus Notes 8.5 and Lotus Symphony using its Open Collaboration Client software, which is based on open standards.

Antony Satyadas, chief competitive marketing officer for IBM Lotus, said the Ubuntu support for Notes and Symphony were a direct response to demand from customers. Lotus Notes 8.0.1 has limited support for Ubuntu Linux, but customers have asked for broader capabilities, he said.

Based on Slashdot comments from users, this isn’t such a great announcement. Some go as far as saying that it will be the death of Ubuntu. Canonical, on the other hand, has said that the availability of Notes and Symphony for use with Ubuntu will be a win for customers everywhere.

Although I’ve never used Lotus (and don’t plan to), apparently over 100,000 business users are interested in moving to Ubuntu Linux on the desktop. That number is a good chunk. If it helps to squash FUD, I’m all for it. Especially for Linux on the business desktop.

What do you think? Will this really be the Death of Ubuntu or will it definitely help solidify Linux/Ubuntu in the corporate world?

FUD Alert! Vista Security Report Card

I saw this article summarized on Slashdot this morning. Headline: Microsoft Claims ‘Vista Has Fewer Flaws Than Other First-Year OSes.’ According to the article, Vista released 17 security bulletins and fixed 36 vulnerabilities in the first year, which is a big improvement over XP’s hit counts of 30 and 65 respectively. The article continues by comparing these figures to the first-year vulnerability numbers for Red Hat (360), Ubuntu (224) and Mac OS X (116). One security specialist is quoted, stating that these numbers “prove that [Vista] is quantitatively more secure.” He then chastises other OS vendors for their negligence in QA and security testing.

When you read this article, does it make you doubt the security of Linux and OS X? That’s the intended message, no?

I find this article misleading for a few reasons:

  • Vista numbers are based on actions Microsoft decided to take: release bulletins and fix vulnerabilities. There is an element of subjectivity here.
  • The article discloses that 30 Vista vulnerabilities remain, which brings the number of known vulnerabilities to 66. Sometimes, ‘known’ translates into ‘disclosed’.
  • An assumption is made that the writing of Vista and the compilation of a Linux distro are comparable activities. They are not, and the vulnerabilities associated with these activities likely have different statistical distributions.
  • The scope and risk of the vulnerabilities fixed are not discussed. Microsoft may have fixed 17 big problems, where as Ubuntu fixed 224 small ones. For all we know, the cumulative effect could be equal.
  • The security specialist states that Vista underwent more testing than the other OSes. He makes no reference to the relative quality of that testing. “More” doesn’t mean “better.” And what does “more” mean anyway? Was the testing measured in dollars spent? Number of testers? Number of test cases?

An analysis of the actual report would probably provide more clarity. Moreover, independent verification of the numbers would boost the integrity of the conclusions drawn. The validity of the actual results, however, does not change the intent of those who report on them. FUD, I say!

Cheers!
-Brandon

Ubuntu 6.06.2 “Dapper Drake” LTS Released

The second maintenance release of “Dapper Drake” was released today with over 600 integrated post-release updates. This Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu will be supported until June 2009 on desktops and June 2011 on servers.

Who Says Linux Doesn’t Have an Extraordinary MMORPG Game?

Who Says Linux Doesn’t Have an Extraordinary MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that’s extremely easy to install (yes, like in Microsoft Windows)?? I love this game!

I started playing this game about a year ago in Windows, but I’m not a big gamer and I’m mostly in Ubuntu and it was not available for Linux at the time, so I didn’t continue playing after my trial.

But now it’s available for Linux — actually, it has been for a while, including a Mac client.

Eve Online Gameplay Screenshot

The name of the game is Eve. Or more accurately (at this posting) Eve Online: Trinity.

EVE Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) that takes your real-world intellect and tactical knowhow, and places you in the throes of intergalactic battle for racial supremacy. As a pilot within the EVE universe, you’ll commandeer a variety of ships through distant solar systems in a quest for EVE dominance.

Unlike most MMOs, EVE Online takes place within one persistent universe, where all players exist. And like the real world, the clock’s always ticking. Lead or follow; fight or flee; destroy or become cannon fodder. Whichever path you take, your fate awaits you.

Watch a wicked sweet trailer of it:

Eve gamers will already know that it’s available for Linux, but for those who have never played Eve Online and who crave a good game in Linux, give this one a try.

What’s great about it is using Linux/Ubuntu/Gnome’s Workspace Switching between the game and the Eve online forums or anything else you want to do in your other workspaces/desktops.

See it in all its Ubuntu glory below:

I’ve installed it in Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 and played it without any problems. It was so satisfying to be playing an incredible game in Linux! Can you say, “Microsoft, go format yourself!“?

Download a 14-day trial at eve-online.com and join the world’s largest game universe.

www.eve-online.com

Again, it’s available for Ubuntu (or any Linux distribution), it’s free to try, and you’ll experience something quite unique and awesome.

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