Archive for the ‘LXer’ Category

The *NIXED REPORT Being Revamped.

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

This will likely be cross-posted.  I have updated the website to where it is now a portal.  For now, there will be four sections on said portal:

  • News Area: This is where the Content Management System (CMS) is at.  News from multiple avenues will be posted there.  I will warn you that signing up is intentionally disabled to prevent spam bots from infesting the site.
  • *NIXEDBLOG: The site’s blog, which uses WordPress, will still remain on the website.
  • Forums: Trust me when I say this…. the forums will become more active in the future.
  • WE ARE *NIXED: That’s right.  A link to this blog is on the portal as well.  How is that for keeping things simple?

I have not figured out what software I am going to use yet.  I am torn between OpenOffice.org and Scribus.  The purpose of the WE ARE *NIXED blog is to chronicle success stories concerning migrations to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) platforms and applications.  It is a very specific focus, and I am currently looking for more authors.  So please let me know if you are interested.  Thank you for your time.

Ultumix 0.0.1.4 Is Out!

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Justin Breithaupt | *NIXEDBLOG

Ultumix0.0.1.4 is out!

The long awaited Ultumix 0014 is out. It comes in 3 flavors but all are based on KDE. Screenshots here. Ultumix Standard Edition: Requires: 128 MB of System RAM, 7 GBs of Hard Drive Space, and a 800 Mhz CPU or greater. Recommended: 512 MBs to 1 GB of System RAM, 25 GBs of Hard Drive Space, and a 2.0 Ghz CPU or greater. What’s Included? In Ultumix Standard Edition you will find that all of the office programs you need for home use and business use are there. There are financial programs like KmyMoney and GNUCASH which can import your quick books files as well and help you do your taxes. You can convert your Microsoft Office documents that you had on your Windows computer into .PDF files if you like or open and edit them in OpenOffice.org first. You can view and make Power Point presentations. There are a few games to help you ease your grueling work day. You can also convert Microsoft Works documents into readable, editable OpenOffice.org documents. You can hook up any digital camera or digital video recorder and save your pictures and video to your PC. With Cinelerra you can edit your video just like the big boys in Hollywood do it. Ultumix SE also has a Windows user friendly start up menu that has the programs categorized under All Programs, Accessories, ect. just like what you were use to in Windows 98. You can also run Windows 98, 2000, 95, and NT programs pretty well and some XP programs as well. You can install Printmaster. If you look for instructions on the Internet you can even install Microsoft Office 2003. Do you or your friends need an office program to open your documents you send them? Well all they need to do is go to www.openoffice.org and they can collaborate with you. This distribution comes with free 24 hour support and a chat room where we can all exchange information. The forums work well too. Ultumix SE has all new sound effects that make your computer sound like something from Star Trek. Ultumix Gamer Edition:

Requires: 512 MB of System RAM minimum, 10 GBs of HD space, and a 1.5 Ghz CPU or greater,

an Nvidia video card with 128 MB of memory.

Recommended: 1-2 GB of System RAM,

50 GBs of Hard Drive Space, and a 2.2 Ghz CPU or greater.

an Nvidia video card with 256 MB of memory.

What’s Included? Everything that is in Ultumix Standard Edition is included however there are two missing packages that you will need to install from the Add / Remove Programs icon on the desktop using owner as the password. The packages are: build-essential and g++. This is a simple process that needs to be done before installing any 3D video drivers as instructed in the Read Me First file located on the Desktop.

 

There are over 128 Games in Ultumix GE. (yes I tested them and they do work) Same Gnome, Sudoku, Tetravex, Armage tron Advanced, Bug Squish, b zflag, Circus Linux!, Cuyo, Eins tein, FlightGear, Gterinet Tet ri net client, Heroes, Keepalive, KQ, lbreakout 2, Lincity, Madbo mber, Metal Blob Solid (blob wars), Super tuxkart, Torcs, Track balls, TuxKart, TuxMath, TuxTyping, Vectoroids, Dos box Emulator, Fiveor More, Four – in – a – Row, Gnometris, Klots ki, Mines, Nibbles, Airstrike, Ksirtet, Ks mileTris, Ktro n, Tux p uck, Alien Arena, Barrage, Ene mylines 3, Epiphany, Frets on Fire, Frozen – Bubble, glTron, Holotz Castle, koules, Monsterz, Never ball, Never putt, Overgod, Pengupop, pydance, rroot age, Scorched 3D, Slune, SolarWolf, Tower Toppler, Tremulous, Warsow, Zatacka, DefendGuin, Kgoldrunner, SuperTux, Planet Penguin Racer, Kbounce, Emilia Pinball, KfoulEggs, Kolf, Robots,

KsnakeRace, KspaceDuel, Kasteroids, Fyrdman, KCC, Keepalive, KtickTacTux, Childs play (includes a bunch of games), Educational suite Gcompris, Potato Guy, Freeciv, Fyrdman, Kato mic, Kbattles hip, Kju mpingCube, Klickety, Kmines, knetwalk, Kolor Lines, Konquest, Ksokoban, NetPanzer, OpenCity, SameGame, Stratagus, Warzone 2100, AMOR, Kodo, KteaTime, KworldClock,

 

Extra Games: (these games must be installed by the user following a second Read Me)

Mania Drive, Urban Terror, Legends 3D, America’s Army, Spring, Enemy Territory,

 

There are also added programs in GE. It is recommended that you also install the Ultimate Edition or UE upgrade package.

I think the extra download time is worth it. Ultumix Ultimate Edition: Well what Ultimate Edition is, is a tiny download of an .iso file that you will use with aptoncd to install the top rated extra apps for Debian. If you want to know what programs come in the package go to www.ultumix.com . Also you will find that this package will fix bugs automatically in Ultumix Gamer Edition. ( a few packages were removed before compiling Gamer Edition by mistake that caused a few bugs )

Microsoft has set a trap. DON’T BITE!

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Justin Breithaupt | *NIXEDBLOG

According to Microsoft and other sources it’s now safe to use Microsoft software in Linux without being sued and Microsoft is going to release their source code! WHAT!

Microsoft can say whatever they want to say but that does not mean I will believe it. I want to see it in writing first! If Microsoft will colaborate with people like me I will put their software into my Linux distribution and freely distribute their software. Wait that would put them out of Business right? Well yes it would unless they still keep the rights to their .net framework and other core systems that are needed to run their new software. Of course open source alternitives could be quickly made using their source code but what other choice does Microsoft have left?

Microsoft has to give in to Open Source sooner or later.

If Microsoft wants my trust they MUST sign the GPLv3. If they will do that then they have my support. If they can get Richard Stallman’s approval of their openness then I will use Microsoft code in my Linux OS.

Of course there is the matter of Microsoft and privacy. Will Microsoft code keep my data private? I don’t think so.

EU Skeptical of Microsoft’s Open Grizzly Bear Embrace

So DON’T BITE!!!

Maybe all Microsoft really wants is the ability to run Linux software in Windows?

Also apparently Microsoft is now using a Linux based wireless network!

GNU Consumer Reviews

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Justin Breithaupt | *NIXEDBLOG

Right now you can go to http://gnuconsumerreports.blogspot.com/ and read the first GNU Consumer Review blog entries.

This site rates products and services based on real world facts and not on who pays us the most money to review their item. You as the reader also get to comment and rate these companies as well as suggest new companies to review.

We haven’t dugg this page yet or put it on lxer because we are waiting for our registered domains to be linked to this site and for our advertisers to approve our site. Once they do we will open up for everyone. We also want to post several product reviews before announcing the site to the world so if you have any ideas please don’t hesitate to suggest them to us. If you want to write for us you can also let me know at admin @ mindblowingidea.com. Thanks.

You will find GNU Consumer Review by using one of these links. (will be available after Edwin gets them working with his Linux web server.)
http://gnuconsumerreports.blogspot.com/

businessfactfinders.com

americanconsumerpal.com

usaconsumerpal.com

gnuconsumer.com

linuxconsumer.com

opensourceconsumer.com

freesoftwareconsumer.com

The Distro Journey Has Begun: OpenSuSE 10.3

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

I have started a journey of sorts as I have stated not too long ago. I decided to try multiple distributions in order to see what features were good, what ones were not, and if an all star distribution were to be made, which features would, in my view, make the cut. The first part of what is going to sound disturbing to a few at first, because of the issue of “selling out.” However, allow me to explain.

OpenSuSE

Whether we like it or not, it is on the top 10 of DistroWatch. The fact that enough people are willing to visit the OpenSuSE website should indicate that they are at least interested in this distribution. Now before being accused of walking towards the dark side due to Novell’s deal with Microsoft, allow me to point a few things out.

When the deal went down, the volunteers had no say in the matter. In other words, the OpenSuSE team was caught in the crossfire that ensued.  While Ken Starks (a.k.a. helios) himself criticized Novell heavily for the deal they made with Microsoft, he never once fired upon the OpenSuSE team.  Not once.  Again, they had no say in the matter.  With that in mind, let us begin with the evaluation of OpenSuSE 10.3.  Keep in mind that this will be quite brief as I plan on making a more in depth version later on (in the form of a book perhaps).

Installation

I used the network installation method so that I would have the up-to-date packages installed.  It uses the RedHat Package Management tool for installation/removal of software.  I ran into an issue on AMD Athlon-64 desktop system when trying to do a straight installation.  I had to set up the repository information before beginning the install sequence.  In my opinion, I should not have had to do that, but oh well.  It was a minor inconvenience.   I have only tested this on the desktop system for an entire week, so…..

What Worked

Hardware detection was decent for the most part.  I had to change the monitor type, but after installing the nVIDIA driver for 3D graphics and improved desktop performance, the resolution problem was easier to fix.  Software updates worked for the most part, and I was able to connect to the web through the cable modem.  I was able to use K-mail to send and receive e-mail and Konqueror and Firefox for web browsing.  Installation of packages through YaST (Yet Another System Tool) worked like a charm.  Hardware detection worked quite well.  My printer worked just fine.

What Was Wrong

For the life of me, I kept being told that there was an update to Amarok.  I installed the same thing several times, only for it to show up again later.  It was the same update over and over again.  I would think, “Not again!  I already installed it!”  It was quite annoying.  Also, I have not used Thunderbird, because when I tried hitting reply to an e-mail, the application locked up and was stone cold dead.  Not a good thing.  It would also be nice if the installation routine allowed people to do 1440×900 resolution, but that would have to be set aside: it is not always good to sit around and complain.

What Makes It Unique

Before getting into that, I would like to point out that a choice was given between GNOME and KDE.  It even included the usual staples, such as Firefox and OpenOffice.org.  However, there is some uniqueness to OpenSuSE that I would never have th ought possible.  Like an RSS feed, it is possible to subscribe to a repository of RPM packages for OpenSuSE.  By clicking a link to the file, the appropriate YaST component for software opens and runs a wizard to install the pertinent software without enabling the repository on a permanent basis (though it can be arranged latter).  I subscribed to the nVIDIA driver repository so I could get 3D up and running on the 64-bit desktop.  It worked well enough.  YaST is also an interesting approach to controlling the system itself.  Think of it as a Windows Control Panel on steroids and then some.  This edition of YaST is much more streamlined and better looking than past versions of SuSE that I purchased (before Novell/Microsoft).

While there are plenty of control panels, I believe that SuSE may have been among the first distributions to allow for installing software via the Internet.  Another first is of course the ability to add a repository with a single mouse click.  Imagine if something like that were in Ubuntu, Mint, or PCLinuxOS!  Would that be cool or what?  Mint already has a one-click install feature, but it temporarily edits the repository information.  What if such a thing could be made permanent?

All Star Feature

Adding a one-click feature to the software installation management utilities out there would be an excellent idea in my opinion.  So how did OpenSuSE do on my main desktop system?

*** out of *****

It was decent enough, but too many annoying glitches kept popping up, such as the Amarok update that refuses to either install or be removed from the update list.  The setup confused me initially as well.  Note that a 3 out of 5 score indicates a very decent system.  Yes, I am setting the standards pretty high.  😉

Ultumix 0.0.1.3 is comming soon to a Desktop near you!

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

ScreenshotScreenshot2

LOOK OUT! Ultumix is running faster than ever thanks to the new XFCE interface. It’s running so fast with such a small RAM requirement that It does not even slow my PC down when I start it up in a Virtual Machine.

But thats not what makes Ultumix 0.0.1.3 so cool. I found a Start Button on the internet that looked very similar to the XP start button. It looked so similar that I decided it needed some tweaking first. Basically it’s like an ICE version of the XP start menu button if there is such a thing. It’s a cool blue button with START in Big Red Letters across it. No more excuses to not use this OS.

Now there is one thing or make that two things that are driving me crazy. First of all I can’t edit the start menu the way I’d like too because it’s not KDE. The editor only lets me have some abilities. The second thing is that I can’t just right click on the icons in the menu and add them to the desktop.

However in XFCE there are no monitor resolution problems. This is a very good Plus.

In order to add the applications to the desktop I will need to write down the commands used to open each one. It also appears the link to writer is broken in the menu. It opens office but it does not open a document.

There is a lot of work to be done yet to make it more Windows user friendly but I’m getting there. The hardest thing yet may be to edit the GRUB and boot splash.

Working on LiGNU…

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Yup.  You heard it man.  I am working on LiGNU, which is PCLinuxOS with a face lift.  It is an experiment of sorts, and I hope I do a good job on it.  This may even be a good way to spring into tutorials on how to customize certain aspects of any distribution.  The system itself will have menus that are reorganized to where a user migrating from Windows-based technology can better navigate it.  In addition, important desktop shortcuts may be added.  So here is where you come in.  😀

I am also changing the default HTML documentation for all web browsers.  You know, the local page introducing you to PCLinuxOS.  The layout is fine as it is (and well done I might add… bravo).  What I need to change is the text, some links, and the big banner graphic right at the beginning.  The first two are pretty much a done deal.  I can get those myself.  What I am asking is for a banner that has the word LiGNU plastered right in the center of it.  It must be 760×141.  I am asking about this because I am not the best in the world at graphics manipulation.  If there are not any takers, I will give it a shot anyway.  However, I would like to see if anyone else is interested in showing off their creativity.  Any submissions will be copyrighted by the creator of said submissions, so fear not.  Your work remains your own, but you by submitting your work, you allow me to use it in LiGNU itself.  😉

NimbleX Needs You!

Friday, January 11th, 2008

For those of you who haven’t checked it out yet, go to the NimbleX site and check out this *nix distro. It’s quite interesting, but not as interesting as the Custom NimbleX creation utility on the web. It allows you to create your own custom LiveCD. In other words, you have a choice of applications and in some cases, drivers. You can also set your wallpaper and sounds (startup and shutdown). It’s a pretty cool idea if you ask me.

I will warn you however, that the Custom NimbleX page that Bogdan created consumes quite a bit of bandwidth and storage space. Therefore, he is going to need all the help he can get. The widget below will allow you to donate whatever you can to him. If you’re strapped for cash at the moment, there is another way to help out: click the “copy” tab, then the “copy” button. Then paste the code into your blog, site, MySpace, etc…. In other words, spread the word.

FOSS Blogging Has its Perils

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Oh yeah.  This post is going to be biggie.  Not as in a big deal, but as in the size of said post.  I will not be talking of blogging alone, but blogging FOSS.  FOSS blogging can be quite fun.  Sharing the excitement of having tested another distribution of *nix (or sharing disappointment of wasting said time… depends on the experience) or sharing an opinion on the happenings of FOSS today can be an interesting experience to say the least.  However, blogging is not always without peril.

In the past, I stated how I would not promote my own writings on LXer due to being ripped to pieces over an entry that I eventually wound up deleting.  So why did I come out of my exile of sorts with a blog post that made the front page of that news site?  It was inspiration of sorts, which I will go into first.  The second part of this post will take into account Bruce Byfield’s follow up entry to his prior writing on his blog.  Shall we begin?

Flushing Fear Down the Toilet

I will be the first to admit that I do not like being told when I am wrong in any way shape or form.  Who does?  When I spewed a few choice words out of my keyboard concerning James Burgett and the trouble he was having with a state organization, even he criticized me in his own blog over my entry, and rightly so.  Not only that, but I was slammed pretty hard by another reader on LXer.  Then I read the comments concerning Justin Briethaupt’s follow-up on the situation with Newegg…

Before I go on any further, you may want to read this first.  It explains how this blog has multiple authors.  Each author will of course have a different style.  As of right now, there are two active authors: Justin and myself.

I read the comments concerning his newegg.com consumer report, and my mind began to race.  Then I read this entry from Bruce Byefield that I wholeheartedly disagreed with, which resulted in my previous entry.  I began to think to myself, “You know…. it takes courage to endure all those comments against what was posted.”  It was those two moments combined that caused me to realize what an intellectual coward I have been.  Scott Ruecker of LXer said it best concerning Justin’s newegg.com follow-up…

“In order to think critically about something and stand a chance of coming to a accurate decision or stance on an issue or issues you have to be presented with and have access to information that you agree and disagree with.”

I could not have said it better myself.  After all, Justin was trying to do something that I myself was only willing to dream up and talk about for eternity and getting reamed over and over again by the same people, and yet I was too scared to expose myself to criticism from a few readers who can have a different mood at different times?  Intellectual cowardice indeed….

So yes, I am coming out of exile of sorts concerning LXer.  I am limiting myself if I choose not to do so at this point.  The time to hide from everybody’s criticism is over.  Even if I only posted on this blog, it is one thing I will not be able to escape, because unlike other bloggers out there, I don’t axe legitimate comments (ones that are spam however are treated appropriately).   So next up is my response to Byfield’s follow-up post in response to the feedback that others have provided to his writing concerning conspiracy theorists in FOSS.  Prepare to be surprised.

Open Hand to Bruce Byfield

 “With all the people baying for my blood – some of whom, frankly, sound disingenuous in their demands for proof – the entry could easily take over my life, so in the last couple of days, I’ve withdrawn from active discussion of it.”

Bruce,  I certainly hope that you did not perceive me as wanting your hide or anything of that nature.  I was confused when you were making the broad statements in your previous blog entry.  To me, it was like lighting a barn on fire and walking away from it, thus forcing everyone else to deal with said fire.  Perhaps my humor was misplaced or of the wrong variety when I asked those two very sarcastic questions of mine earlier.  Perhaps it was nothing more than an insult.  Either way, my apologies.

Now let us take a look at another tidbit of what Byfield wrote.

“To start with, I notice that Brian Profitt’s suggestion that I was lashing out at some negative criticism I received has been seized on by some commenters as a reason to dismiss what I said.”

Hopefully, I was not one of those individuals who was perceived as having said that.  Also, in my opinion, to suggest that Profitt of linuxtoday.com was suggesting that you were lashing out goes a bit far.  Here is a sample from what Profitt wrote:

“Byfield, who I think is an excellent writer, by the way, may be projecting a little bit of his own defensiveness in this entry. I know he’s been on the receiving end of some harsh criticisms in the past, and I know from personal experience it’s pretty disheartening.”

I know the feeling to a degree myself.  I believe there is a difference between lashing out and being defensive, since lashing out implies (to me) that one is on the offensive.

That’s not to say that I don’t find people’s reactions fascinating – and more than a little intellectually distressing, since I’m an ex-university instructor who once spend his days trying to help people develop their abilities to argue coherently.

Here is another tidbit of opinion from me on the subject of debate and arguing.  There are traditional academic methods and methods that are considered unorthodox and unacceptable.  It reminds me of the beginnings of the Revolutionary War in America, in which the standard rules of war was not followed by the Minutemen who would pick off soldiers from the British army one by one while hiding behind rocks and trees.  During that time, it was considered inappropriate and uncivilized to fight in such a manner.  Suffice it to say that declaring that a position of prestige was once held is not going to sway me very much.  Read on further to understand why.

“But I think my favorite response was from a commenter who assumed the responsibility of giving me elementary advice about how to write. I’m always willing to learn, but, considering that last year I sold roughly a quarter million words about free software, now I know the spirit in which Lauren Bacall responded a few years ago on hearing that she had been voted one of the sexiest elderly women in film. ‘That will certainly pep up my career,’ she said (or something to that effect). ‘I can’t wait to tell my agent.'”

Look man, I could care less if you were on the New York Times best seller list.  When it comes to blogging about anything, including FOSS and discussion of technology in general, all the titles of prestige, all the accomplishments of the past, no matter how great, are stripped away.  At that point, the only thing left is people talking to one another (and in some cases, at another).

“No more working out of ideas publicly for me – from now on, I need to make sure that I state my assumptions clearly, and address opposing views in more detail, and not publish on certain subjects until my ideas are fully developed.”

On the other half, it would help.  However, not working out an idea publicly is something I disagree with to a degree.  While Justin Breithaupt’s consistent stream of criticism was the ignition switch for my mind, it was your situation that cranked my mind over, thus causing me to realize that I should not be so afraid of criticism from others.  Listen.  There is a way to work out ideas publicly.  In the title or at the beginning of a blog entry, indicate that it is a rough draft of sorts (or a brainstorming session).  I believe that WordPress also allows the creation of categories, so things can be tagged under something such as “brain storms” or “sand box.”  Whatever tag labels you want are up to you.   Of course what I am saying are merely suggestions as well.

I disagree with closing things down in a sense.  Why not open up a bit more instead?  To me, that is an excellent way of learning from each other, and if there is that constant nagging person who constantly annoys the dickens out of you, then you always have the option to ignore them at that point.

Overall, I would like to thank you for acknowledging a lesson that I am still learning today.  When it comes to blogging, you are never going to be without feedback, even if it comes in the form of a spam-bot or an individual who vehemently  disagrees with you.  I know that I do not know enough about you, but I still want to share my views with you.  So please, keep sharing yours with me and everyone else.