Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04 + Sony PCG-F580

Tried this Distribution on my Sony Laptop. Boy was it wonderful. It found the hardware I needed it to find.

My Specs
PIII 650 Mhz Cpu
256mb Ram
12 gb hard drive
15.1 display

Booted from the standard i386 Ubuntu Live/Install disk. Booted just fine and I installed it to my Hard drive shortly after. Followed a few of the following steps on this link. On the Live CD it discovered and started up my Atheros based D-Link wifi card. So far its faster and runs smoother than OpenSuse 10.1 I had installed before. I installed the automatix program from the link I posted to get DVD support flash 9 installed and others I decided to try. As of writing this I haven't tried the DVD support but will soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Microsoft Silverlight

Competition is always a good thing. So far the Flash video player that Adobe made for playing streaming video is the only player in the game. So its understandable that Microsoft would want to create software to compete with that. And oh boy its cross platform as well. Wait but there is a catch cross platform to Microsoft means only Windows and Mac OS X. Thats right they want to be the leader of streaming video and ignore the growing segment of Linux users. Adobe at first wouldn't update Flash and learned that segment is very demanding and not willing to be on anything else. Adobe conceded and wrote the flash 9 player to accommodate us. Hopefully Microsoft learns that lesson.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Linux on the Desktop

I read a comment today that Linux was not ready for the desktop for excluding two users. I take issue with that statement because of the reasons I plan to talk about. whether you agree or not about Linux being ready for the desktop here are two points where it has been ready or it wasn't Linux that missed the mark.

The first was gamers that according to the poster were excluded. Its not that gamers have been excluded its that Linux has been excluded from the gamers arena. The majority of games released today are written to take advantage of Direct X. Direct X is basically a set of libraries of common procedures and functions to make graphical programming easier. Linux has its own equivalent called openGL that is used in more places than what games are ported to Linux. However there are some companies that release games for Linux. ID software has for years released its games in Windows Mac and Linux. The makers of the Unreal Tournament series have also done this. But large companies like the one that produced the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series just don't care to port and use DirectX so heavily they probably can't easily. I play only games I can get that are open source or have been ported to Linux exclusively. There is another option, though I feel its a waste of time, is that you can play using Cadega. Cadega came on the scene a few years ago and mostly works. Its a Wine implementation with Direct X extensions. I feel that this gives these companies an opt out to not port when the Linux user base has grown exponentially. It needs to be said there is a community of Open Source gamers developing their own games and I will say very good games to match what is available in Windows only genres. I found this site to be very intuitive in finding games and testing them out for others to discover. Just like now there are gaming communities solely around consoles or soley around PC gaming there is this developing community that shouldn't be taken for granted. Gaming is on the move in Linux due to that community. I feel even though Gaming has taken a back seat in Linux due to corporate greed doesn't mean you cant be a gamer in Linux.

Second argument I witnessed was that graphic designers were being left out. Again this is a false hood. I see several Indy sort of folks doing graphic design in Linux. I will state that Gimp may not be all that Photoshop is but it is possible to use Gimp in the same capacity. This has also been another example of a company not wishing to take the chance to port their product to Linux. Adobe barely developed a Flash browser plug in for Firefox for its newest version of Flash. None of their products they make money off of have been ported. Which is a shame for them because there is a growing segment of graphic designers that started in a windows environment to do their work that have recently discovered Linux. Photoshop has because this standard but hasn't been ported to Linux. Sounds like Adobe is in danger of losing its market share one day for its shortsightedness.

I cant state that I believe that Linux is ready for the desktop but don't state its Linux that leaves out certain people because I know better. Its certain companies that have left out Linux that people are left out in the process. Linux has been the red-headed step child for so long that companies are finally getting the picture that there are users that want software for Linux. They are also realizing that those people don't want windows. Unless the governments of the world make Linux illegal companies better get used to it being around. Dell is finally giving lip service to pre-loading Linux on their PC's and some others might as well. The problem with those naysayers who state that Linux is not ready for the desktop or that the Linux Desktop is a myth are purely wrong. I have used Linux as my primary desktop for a couple of years now. We will see where all of this goes but for now I like Linux and use it everywhere I can.

Linux Mint

All I say up front is wow. This distro is awesome. Based on Ubuntu you can see why its so easy to use. I decided even to make this distro of choice for my wife because of its ease of use. Has alot of stuff ready to go out of the gates. first off it automatically recognizes ntfs drives and has flash player installed. Definitely a good distro for a new user.