Archive for December, 2007

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

I would like to say sorry because I have not been able to post over these holidays as I am trying to write a review for the Nintendo DS Lite.

Review: Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon takes on Mac OS X Leopard for the OS of the Year Part 2

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Yah. The second and final part of this series on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon takes on Mac OS X Leopard for the OS of the Year.

 System configuration.

Everyone has to configure the OS at some time. Ubuntu wants you to scroll through a bunch of icons on the System dropdown menu, which is so old-school that it’s almost laughable. Good luck finding the right applet. Kubuntu has gotten away from the overly-complex but complete KDE Control Center in favor of the simplified and very Mac-like System Settings. Both solutions unify the control panels into one interface, with System Settings providing a user-friendly search function that definitely takes its inspiration from Leopard’s System Preferences. The main problem with System Settings is that not every control panel applet is designed to fit inside the container’s window, leading to scrolling and confusion when the user needs to authenticate into Administrator mode.

Wel I believe that when you need to become admin to install something that it is better to have a pop up dialog box to go and be able to be an admin. it works out great for me at least.

Apple’s System Preferences contains the control panel applets in a unified window, with a super-smart search box that highlights the preferences that best match the function you want to perform. The main window expands and contracts as needed to fit the functions, and those applets that were problematic in earlier versions of OS X (Network, for instance, was needlessly complex) have been fixed. With a little more work, though, KDE’s System Settings could match or even exceed Apple’s System Preferences.

Well since I have never actually owned a Macintosh I would believe that it works fine if they were to put those in the final release.

Web browser.

Ubuntu ships with Firefox as the default browser, Kubuntu uses Konqueror, and Leopard has Safari. Of course, you can download and install Firefox on both Kubuntu and Leopard, which is a good thing. Konqueror and Safari are both decent browsers (and they share the same code base), and the most recent releases are very good indeed, but Firefox still offers more in the way of customizability and extensions. And its cross-platform nature means that users only need to learn one Web browser to use on Linux, Mac OS, and even Windows. My informal testing shows, though, that Safari truly is faster at rendering pages than Firefox and Konqueror, so I tend to use it quite a bit on my Mac.

Well Safari isn’t a web browser that I use very often but I do use Firefox on every OS that I can get my hands on. 😀

I cannot review the Email and PIM because i just use a web browser email.


Kubuntu provides the full-featured and powerful Konsole, while Ubuntu has the anemic Terminal. Apple’s contender is also named Terminal, and it sucked in Tiger. In Leopard, it’s finally gotten good, with movable tabs, transparency, and window grouping. Since I always have a terminal open, I can now say that as long as it’s Konsole or Leopard’s Terminal, I’m quite satisfied.

Its good that the terminal in Leopard works better….

 Text editor. KDE goes overboard with the text editors (yes, I know they each serve a different audience, but still) and gives users three to choose from, while GNOME proudly provides Gedit. If you want limited options and stripped down features, then Gedit will probably fit your bill; if you want features and power, then try out KDE’s Kate. Leopard’s TextEdit is a bit of an odd beast to a Linux user. It’s basically an RTF editor that will also work with ASCII, and in a complete shocker from Apple, it will also read and write Word 2007’s so-called OpenXML format as well as OpenDocument text files. Whoa! So while Gedit and Kate are true text editors, TextEdit is a stripped down word processor that can be used for ASCII editing. However, real* nix users open Vim when they want to edit text, and since Vim runs on Ubuntu and Leopard, we’re covered.

Ok so the guy is ranting on how bad gedit is though I got to say that its not as good as openoffice.

Instant Messaging.

This one’s easy– if your main goal is connecting to as many different IM networks as possible, then Pidgin for GNOME or Kopete for KDE, is your ticket. If you want extremely cool effects and excellent sound and video as well as text, and you don’t mind being limited to AOL, Google, and Jabber for your IM networks, then Leopard’s iChat will do the trick. Besides, you can always install Pidgin on Leopard, or better yet, Skype runs on Leopard and Ubuntu if you need secure IM and VoIP.

yes that does work ….

Music Players.

GNOME’s Rhythmbox is just an Amarok wannabe at this point in time, so in that match-up, it’s no contest. Amarok vs. iTunes? Hmmmm. iTunes has some nice features, and it’s undoubtedly the better choice for working with iPods and iPhones (sorry, but it is), but it still makes OGG a second-class citizen for no good reason, and its inherent desire to rename and move your MP3s into new folders really annoys me. I have to give this one to Amarok. It’s the program I trust to manage my 55,000 song music collection, and that should tell you something right there.

Well I like rhythymbox better then amorok and Itunes.


F-Spot is OK in its early stages, but it’s still pretty rough and lacks features. And requiring users to click inside a dropdown menu to choose each tag repeatedly is just sheer torture. On the KDE side, digiKam is slightly better than F-Spot, but it repeats the same tagging trick, and while it offers up far more features than F-Spot, it’s still not as smooth as iPhoto. iPhoto is easy to use, with very good integrated editing tools, but it makes one huge blunder: in Tiger, your pix were stored in the file system, but in Leopard, they’re stored in a pseudo-file that is somewhat inaccessible to other programs and the file system itself, forcing you to rely on iPhoto to view any photos that you’ve imported in iPhoto. A pox on all their houses!

Well I believe that Iphoto is ok along with F-spot.


When it comes to viewing movies, I’ve found Totem Movie Player for GNOME to be buggy and problematic. Kaffeine for KDE is much better in terms of stability and capabilities, but both will play far more formats than the stock version of QuickTime Movie Player in Leopard. If you install a couple of codec packs, like Perian and Flip4Mac, you’ll suddenly find that you can play just about anything in QuickTime Media Player, which is a polished, smooth player. If you spring for QuickTime Pro, you can also grab QuickTime movies that are embedded in Web sites and even perform some simple edits on the movies you’re viewing. When it comes to DVDs, QuickTime will play’ em, but it prevents you from taking screenshots and fully supports the DRM the movie studios want to cram down our throats. In cases like that, go with Linux and support your freedoms.

As for editing movies… well, Leopard’s iMovie is excellent for the kinds of simple jobs most people want to perform. There’s really no equivalent in Ubuntu in terms of ease of use and quality.

Is this a destroy gnome article?

What’s missing in Ubuntu?

Leopard has a few features and programs that simply do not exist as built-in options in Ubuntu. Quick Look is a new feature, introduced in Leopard, that allows users to select a file and then press the spacebar for a yes, quick look, at a larger view of the file. It’s a great way to tell quickly if a file contains the text or pictures you need.

Front Row allows Mac users to view movies and photos, and listen to music, from across the room utilizing the included remote control that now comes with virtually every Mac. Think of Front Row as an easy to use media center that works smoothly (Yes, I know there’s MythTV, but it’s still a bear to set up, and it’s not included by default with Ubuntu). Finally, due to Apple’s control of both the hardware and software, things like the built-in wireless support and videocamera just work flawlessly. Generally, this is something beyond the control of Ubuntu, since Canonical doesn’t make hardware, but now that deals are starting to appear with the Dells of the world to include Ubuntu as a pre-installed option, we hope to see improvements in these areas.

Well I believe that Ubuntu is still a work in progress and it gets better every release.s

What’s missing in Leopard?

Every Linux distro today comes with built-in support for BitTorrent, but not Leopard. This is a major drag for those of us who rely on BitTorrent for a variety of needs. And why, oh why, doesn’t Leopard support SSH and SFTP support in Apple’s default GUI apps? I can use the Finder to access machines via AFP (Apple File Protocol) and FTP, but who the heck uses FTP any longer? SSH is available via the terminal in Leopard, so why in the name of all that is nerdy isn’t it available to me in the Finder and elsewhere? C’mon, Apple!

Well Things can be changed…. if you have the influence.

A Clear Winner?

So does Leopard eat up Ubuntu? Or does Ubuntu trounce Leopard? It depends on your needs. If you’re a student with no money, go for a decent cheap PC and put Ubuntu on it. If you value freedom above all else, then it’s obvious– Linux is the only way to go. If you’re heading into a future in multimedia, you’re gonna want a Mac. If your life revolves around your iPod and your iPhone, you need a Mac.

Ideally, though, you’ll have both, since each offers features the other lacks. I use both every day. If you have the money, I would recommend buying a Mac with at least 2 GB of RAM and then immediately installing a virtualization solution that will let you run Ubuntu (and Windows, for when you just have to run Windows), as well as any other Linux you desire. That way, you can run two of the world’s best operating systems at the same time, on the same machine, and bathe yourself in yummy UNIX-y goodness. And that, my friends, is just amazingly cool.

Of course there is not clear winner it depends on what you want to use.


Review: Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon takes on Mac OS X Leopard for the OS of the Year Part 1

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

A 2 Part cage match between the Gutsy Gibbon and the Macintosh Leopard: Who will win? This is an in depth article about how the two Operating systems compare. I personally have not used Leopard but I have tried it out on a demo computer at the store. It is very cool. I have used Ubuntu since June of 2006 and have liked it a lot. source from



Ubuntu will run on pretty much any computer with an Intel-compatible or PowerPC CPU. The distro claims that you need a bare minimum of 256MB of RAM, but expect glacial performance. In reality, you’ll want at least 512MB of RAM, with 1GB even better. You’re told to expect that the OS will take up about 4GB of space on your hard drive, which is nothing in terms of today’s ginormous hard drives.

All Spelling mistakes from the indented text are from the original article

Yes Ubuntu will run on the minimum but will be very slow. I have it running on a Laptop with an AMD Turion TL-50 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 80 GB hard drive, and a Nvidia geforce go 6150 graphics card.

You install Leopard on Apple’s boxes, or you buy a new Mac, and it comes with Leopard pre-installed. That’s it. According to Apple, you can install Leopard on any Intel-based Mac, as well as any PowerPC G5 or G4 box, as long as it has a 867 MHz or faster CPU. You’ll need at least 512MB of RAM, a DVD drive for the installation disc, and 9GB for the OS.

Well there is a hack that you can do to have your PC that has an Intel CPUs’ run Leopard.

Ease of Use:

From the usability standpoint Linux’s greatest strength, choice, is also its weakness. Ubuntu is no exception. With two major desktop environments, KDE and GNOME, that look and act much differently, along with different window managers, and with the whole shebang sitting atop X11, and Compiz if your video card supports it there’s a lot of room for variation. When it comes to apps, Ubuntu tries hard to simplify matters, but users still face an astounding array of choices.

On the one hand, this is great– you can pick the exact app and appearance that suits your needs and desires best. On the other hand, this can really confuse the heck out of users new to Linux. Not to mention, simple things like different Open and Save dialog boxes, depending upon whether you’re using a KDE or GNOME app, can prove to be annoying and deadening in terms of usability.

Well to me choice is the best part of the whole Linux OS.

The Mac, on the other hand, is just the opposite. Apple has invested millions of dollars and man hours to ensure that its usability is, overall, the best in the business with a few major missteps, which I’ll cover shortly. Its look and feel is unified throughout Leopard, including even the programs that come bundled with the OS. This uniformity means that everything acts the same way– open one app’s Open or Save dialog box, for instance, and you now know how virtually every single Open or Save dialog box will work. Grok the unified menubar, and you just absorbed how every Mac app works.

The problem comes if you don’t like the way Apple decided to do something. Too bad, bud. It’s Apple’s way or the highway. Case in point: the new translucent menu bar. It’s awful. Someone inside Apple thinks it’s a great idea, though, so that’s what we get. But here’s the kicker: there’s no exposed way to turn off the translucency and go back to an opaque menu bar. Three weeks after Leopard’s release someone figured out how to change the opacity of the menu bar by using an arcane command in the terminal. So while there are usually ways to” fix” things the way you’d like them, don’t always expect Apple to make it easy to do so. It’s a good thing that the majority of Apple’s UI decisions are excellent, thoughtful choices that make the Mac a productive joy to use.

But not always. For instance, Leopard introduced a new, reflective Dock that many people find ugly. Again, after some searching, users figured out a command that gets rid of the ugly and goes back to an easier-to-view 2D look. Or take Stacks. In previous versions of Mac OS X, you could drag a folder to the Dock and then right-click on it to access a hierarchical menu of the folder’s contents. In Leopard, that isn’t even an option. Apple instead calls folders on your Dock Stacks. Right-clicking on a Stack produces a contextual menu instead of the contents of the folder; to view the folder’s contents, left-click on the folder.

However, left-clicking shows you the contents either as a fan that leans to the right or a grid of about 30 or so items. More than that, and you have to open the Finder, thus negating the whole point of clicking on the Stack in the first place. Once again, users have solved the problem with third-party apps that restore pre-Leopard functionality. It’s just too bad that Apple doesn’t give users more options in cases like these.

But, keep in mind, the fact that I’m reduced to complaining about the opacity of a menubar and related items should tell you how good the Mac UI really is.

Wow I thought Windows could be the one Operating System that has the least customization.

However, I’m not going to let Ubuntu get off scott free. It still needs to fix many ease of use issues. The difference is, however, that since Ubuntu is open source, it’s usually a bit easier to fix the problems. Usually, but not always. Let’s talk specifics.

One problem that affects both KDE and GNOME has to do with how programs are launched. Ubuntu uses the default GNOME and KDE menus to start programs, access control panel applets, and manage other system functions. These don’t seem too bad until you check out what openSUSE has done to the K menu and the GNOME panels. The openSUSE K menu offers five tabs– Favorites, Applications, Computer, History, and Leave– that logically divide the functions one would want from a computer’s” Start” menu. In the case of GNOME, openSUSE does away with the confusing mish-mash of a top and bottom panel (Really, does any new user see the logic in that? Does any advanced user?) for a unified bottom panel, with a single Computer menu that provides access to Applications, Documents, and Places. This is far more logical, usable, and daring than the alternatives, and Ubuntu should be willing to adopt such measures when it makes sense, and lead by coming up with its own innovative ideas when necessary.

Kubuntu has its own share of UI disasters, most of them due to rushing things into the distro while they’re only half-baked. Not nearly powerful enough for experienced users (where are the tabs?), and too buggy for newbies, the Dolphin File Manager is simply not ready for prime time, and is currently a mess that needs some serious attention before its proper unveiling in KDE 4. Desktop Search is a necessity in today’s operating systems, and no incarnation in any Linux distro has yet to match the power, speed, and accuracy of Spotlight as it is now seen in Leopard. Seen in that light, the Strigi Desktop Search found in Kubuntu is just an ineffective toy. One day it might be ready, but it’s not now, and it should never have been added to Gutsy Gibbon.

Tracker, found in Ubuntu, is much better, and is good enough to use on a day-to-day basis. Additional functionality is needed- sort results by date, for instance- but overall it’s usable and accurate.

Linux has come a long way when it comes to ease of use, and it’s definitely getting better all the time, but overall Leopard is still ahead of Ubuntu (and both are way ahead of Vista). Apple makes mistakes, but overall its system is more logical, simple, consistent, and unified than Ubuntu, which still has too many elements that are overly complex, inconsistent, and fractured.

Really Ubuntu has some work to do but really it is the best Linux Operating System in the Linux World.


Of course, what people really like to look at– and play with– are the applications that come with an operating system. Let me say again, both Leopard and Ubuntu blow Vista away when it comes to the default programs they each provide. Let’s split things up into the kinds of programs the LM audience looks for in an OS, and see what Leopard and Ubuntu each provides. This is a general list, so don’t look for the obscure program that you and ten other people use. We’re talking general nerd usage here.

Of course Ubuntu and Leopard blow the whole windows OS out of the water because people are not forced to make application for it though they can do it if they want to. That way Developers if they do want to make 3 different sets of apps could use all 3 OS’s but that would cost a lot of money.

File management.

GNOME uses Nautilus, KDE uses Dolphin (although Konqueror still works), and Leopard uses the Finder. Nautilus has gotten better over the years, and Ubuntu stripped out the ridiculous spatial defaults, so it’s actually quite usable for managing files. I’ve already complained about Dolphin, but at least Konqueror is still available. Konqueror provides a maximum set of features, and does the job beautifully. Its KIO support for an immense variety of protocols is nothing short of astounding, so you can browse all kinds of remote filesystems with Konq.

Linux is great for Files as just like both Leopard and Vista you can search for them from all over the desktop.

Leopard’s Finder works well, and while the NeXT-based column views are extremely useful, the new Cover Flow views that let you slide through previews of your pictures, text files, and movies is something that will make you wonder how you lived without it. But the lack of tabs means that I’m often left wishing that Konqueror was available for Leopard.

Leopards Coverflow looks to me just like Vistas’ page view at the bottom of the screen when you hover it over the taskbar menu.

That is the end of Part 1 please come back tomorrow for the next part in this series.

Faster Chips Are Leaving Programmers in Their Dust

Monday, December 17th, 2007

yah an 8 core CPU… That would be great to have inside a server. I am saving up for a new server right now. I would love to have a nice fast server unlike the one I have now. This article talks about how faster chips are leaving programmers in their dust because of the non-existent standards of CPUs’.

Developers: Faster Chips Are Leaving Programmers in Their Dust

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday December 17, @12:42PM
from the or-maybe-they’ve-already-wrapped-around-to-zero dept.


mlimber writes “The New York Times is running a story about multicore computing and the efforts of Microsoft et al. to try to switch to the new paradigm: “The challenges [of parallel programming] have not dented the enthusiasm for the potential of the new parallel chips at Microsoft, where executives are betting that the arrival of manycore chips — processors with more than eight cores, possible as soon as 2010 — will transform the world of personal computing…. Engineers and computer scientists acknowledge that despite advances in recent decades, the computer industry is still lagging in its ability to write parallel programs.” It mirrors what C++ guru and now Microsoft architect Herb Sutter has been saying in articles such as his “The Free Lunch Is Over: A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software.” Sutter is part of the C++ standards committee that is working hard to make multithreading standard in C++.”

Google’s “Knol” Reinvents Wikipedia

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Wow a new kind of Wikipedia…. only from Google.

Google’s “Knol” Reinvents Wikipedia

Posted by CmdrTaco on Friday December 14, @08:31AM
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.


teslatug writes “Google appears to be reinventing Wikipedia with their new product that they call knol (not yet publicly available). In an attempt to gather human knowledge, Google will accept articles from users who will be credited with the article by name. If they want, they can allow ads to appear alongside the content and they will be getting a share of the profits if that’s the case. Other users will be allowed to rate, edit or comment on the articles. The content does not have to be exclusive to Google but no mention is made on any license for it. Is this a better model for free information gathering?”


source from

Dutch Government Adopts Open Source Software Initiative

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Dutch Government Adopts Open Source Software Initiative

Posted by Zonk on Friday December 14, @09:42AM
from the who-doesn’t-love-a-good-open-government dept.


christian.einfeldt writes “The Dutch government has set a target date of April 2008 for its agencies to start preferentially using open standards-based software. Organizations in the government will still be able to use proprietary software and formats … but will have to justify it. A Microsoft Netherlands spokesman claims that Microsoft’s Office productivity suite will still be used widely in the Dutch government until April, and that Microsoft Office will comply with the new Dutch rules once Microsoft’s so-called “Open Office XML” standard is approved as an international ISO standard in February.”


Story from

Ryan Orser’s Windows Vista Review

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

I have been using Windows Vista for over a week now. Why I chose to review Windows Vista I am unsure, but for reasons unknown I installed it. In the future I will review Windows Vista SP1 even though it’s likely the changes will be small.

The specifications of my laptop are as follows:

  • AMD Turion 1.6 GHz tl-50 Dual Core,
  • NVidia Geforce Go 6150
  • Broadcom wireless
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 80 GB Hard Drive

I’ll be covering these topics:

  • The Hardware
  • How does it run?
  • What I like and dislike

I was not surprised to discover that Vista is a resource hog. It takes about 2 minutes to boot the OS, log in, then load wireless, sidebar, and a whole lot more stuff. The Windows side bar takes the longest to load its five widgets. I use a clock widget, weather reporter, CPU usage monitor, calendar, and currency converter. The CPU usage stays over 10% all the time, even when I’m not doing anything. That makes me sad.

Vista: a turtle could probably crawl up and down the stairs a couple of times before it loads. There is nothing that is clearly slowing it down, except maybe all the sidebar widgets. The overall visual theme is a lot better in my opinion than XP’s and previous versions. Applications seem to load quickly, though they should be with all the RAM and CPU power this computer has.

Here are my likes and dislikes about Vista:

First the good:

  • The default wallpapers are very nice
  • The visual theme is pleasant to the eyes.
  • It runs smoothly, without any stability problems.
  • No BSODs!

And now the bad:

  • Takes almost 2 minutes to load.
  • The lack of visual customization makes the interface get boring after a while.
  • Microsoft need to find a way to get it to run faster.
  • The Microsoft help line always asks you to restart your computer.
  • The wireless can get screwed up after waking from hibernation.

Overall, Vista is better then XP but does not beat Linux. I may be biased individual, but I think that Linux loads and runs faster as well as being more customizable. I do like Vista and I may come back to it, but I can’t help liking Linux a lot better after all the problems that I have been through with Vista and other Windows versions.

The ratings:
3/5 for usability
4/5 for GUI
1/5 for customizability
3/5 for performance

Overall rating:
11/20. An okay OS, but it can’t beat the competition.

If you would like to give feedback, please use the “leave reply box” to leave me a comment.

For todays Post

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

I am just going to say that for todays post is that I have the Vista Review coming out tomorrow.

The 305 RAMAC — First Commercial Hard Drive

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Wow! The First Commercial HD was 4.4 MB and it weighed almost a ton?

The 305 RAMAC — First Commercial Hard Drive

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Monday December 10, @03:15PM
from the looking-back-for-perspective dept.

Data Storage

Captain DaFt writes “ has an article that gives an interesting look back at the first commercial hard drive, the IBM 350. Twice as big as a refrigerator and weighing in at a ton, it packed a whopping 4.4MB! Compare that to the 1-4GB sticks that most of us have on our keychains today.”

Copy That Floppy, Lose Your Computer

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Article from Slashdot:

Copy That Floppy, Lose Your Computer

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday December 10, @11:09AM
from the god-bless-america-land-of-the-super-corporation dept.

Over the weekend we posted a story about a new copyright bill that creates a new govt. agency in charge of copyright enforcement. Kevin Way writes “In particular, the bill grants this new agency the right to seize any computer or network hardware used to “facilitate” a copyright crime and auction it off. You would not need to be found guilty at trial to face this penalty. You may want to read a justification of it, and criticism presented by Declan McCullagh and Public Knowledge.” Lots of good followup there on a really crazy development.