Wednesday, 9 December 2009
I have belatedly installed the upgrade to the first release of Ubuntu NBR on my Dell Mini 10V and it is a major hit. It is more attractive, a bit like the way a Mac is more attractive than a PC. It installed the new Google Chrome beta with a single click of the .deb file just like Windows does with an .msi file (I am writing this in Chrome on my 10V). It is faster to connect the wifi. I can browse my NAS through the file explorer. It has a super high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor). I cannot find fault with it. It is as competent as Windows in every department with all the advantages of Linux, reliability, speed, compactness, cost.
Friday, 7 August 2009
"Road rage" occurs in part because you are surrounded by a metal cage and separated from the drivers around you by glass. The feeling of invulnerability I get from a car sometimes makes me behave in a way which I would never normally do. I wondered if the same psychology applied when using social software?
Monday, 3 August 2009
The open source community are sometimes their own worse enemy.
Which distro should I use and what is the difference between them? Well the answer is complicated. One size doesn't always fit all even if Microsoft Windows is very popular. In the corporate world supported distros are king which is why Red Hat is such a bit hit (really?) And what about Fedora? It is Red Hat without the cost of support. And where does Ubuntu figure in all of this?
Well the problem is that all Linux distros are good. They are based on the rock sold Linus Torvalds kernel. However the perception is that Linux is a fragmented and therefore unreliable OS which does have the reliability and predictability which big business demands. This is also true. This article about the threat to CentOS being forked (aka destroyed) just because their founder went on holiday and was off grid for a few days (I exaggerate) is a great example of what open source communities are worse at: P.R.
"Let's stick with Windows because we know what we are getting".
Two days after a core group of developers posted an open letter to primary admin Lance Davis, threatening to fork the open source OS if he didn't discuss his apparent disappearance from the project, Davis has answered their call - and he seems to have quelled their complaints.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
- Corporate droids sometimes break their programming
- Chrome is gaining traction at a higher rate than at first thought
- Microsoft cannot build a browser for toffee nuts
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.
Monday, 8 June 2009
Ubuntu NBR seems like a very serviceable netbook OS which you can have right now. No need to wait for Android. No need to wait for Windows 7. Go ahead and jump in, the water's lovely.
Being a netbook addict I thought it was high time I tried Linux (again) on my latest arrival. I have seven netbooks scattered around the house and office which I use for my business and for my tech education. I have had Asus Eee PC's, a Samsung NC10, an MSI Wind, and two Dell Mini 9's. The Dell's shipped with Ubuntu 8.04 and the Asus' came with Xandros. I had a tough time accepting either OS so I ended up changing to Windows XP.
The latest addition to my stack of netbooks is the Dell Mini 10v. This arrived with Ubuntu 8.04 which I upgraded with the Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix (NBR) so I could play with it for a bit. I intended to install Windows XP just like all the others but I have had my mind changed. Here are my experiences.
First the Dell Mini 10v:
- It has a wonderful keyboard, bigger and more usable than all the others.
- The half-height SD Card slot means that you cannot easily extend the meagre 8gb SSD without an a card sticking out the side (I am sure the marketing team at Dell triumphed over the engineers on this one).
- The ultra bright screen is the best I have seen, but the reflecting glass can be annoying. I prefer a mat finish eventhough I know this makes me a bit uncool.
- I effortlessly installed it from a 1GB thumb drive.
- All devices were detected, sound, video, microphone, wifi without the need for additional downloaded drivers.
- The default sound volume was a little bit quiet but I rectified this by upping one of the sound channels.
- When I used the wifi for the first time it wanted to join the default keyring with a password which I had to enter every time I came out of standby, I soon got rid of that. This might be a bit beyond your average user.
- WAF: excellent, she opens it, the wifi connects, she uses Firefox to find what she wants, she closes it and puts it down again.
- I haven't tried printing yet but that problem is bound to come up at some point.
- NBR does not come with Skype and the Synaptic package manager does not show it.
- I had difficulty coming to grips with Synaptic package manager but the convenient Ubuntu 'Add/Remove' was a bit more friendly.
- I accidentally installed the swfdec Gnome Flash player instead of the Adobe one which caused problems on Youtube. I had to rectify that.
Monday, 4 May 2009
Android will supplant Windows. It will become the preeminent OS for phones, netbooks, laptops and desktops.
Google is full of very smart people. They have created a browser and bought an OS company in Android. If they had wanted to take over the desktop then they would have bought Microsoft wouldn't they? So why didn't they? Perhaps they didn't have enough cash. Or perhaps they decided that the future of Operating Systems is not like the current model of Windows, OSX and Linux.
Let me explain why.
Windows 7 will be as small and compact and efficient as Windows Xp so it can run on Atom chip netbooks, the fastest growing segment of the PC industry. Microsoft took a step 'back' because the market has spoken. During the development of Vista the market was going in the opposite direction. Faster chips and Moore's law. Until somebody woke up one morning and said, "I just don't need all this power to run Firefox".
A Dell Mini 9 is completely silent. It has more in common with a mobile phone than a desktop computer.
- The Atom chip does not consumes a lot of power (no more than 2.5Watts)
- it will compete with the ARM chip when Intel start fabricating 32nm.
Android is community lead, with the backing of one of the world's most cash rich companies. This combination will ensure that Android is reliable and easy to use. Google ensures that it will get continual financial support. Who do you think paid for Firefox after all?
If you don't believe me then all you have to do is this. Close your eyes. Remember for a second that Linux powers most of the world's routers. Linux powers most of the world's web sites. KDE and Gnome try and almost succeed to compete with Windows, arguably the world's most ubiquitous piece of software. The battle for the desktop is only a battle in the eyes of Microsoft and Apple. Most people don't care. If Android comes along and does the job for 100 USD less then people will go for it. Firefox will soon become the world's most popular browser if you split IE6 and IE7 apart. Google funded Mozilla for the most part. Google have a track record of staying the distance and they are backing Android. Now open your eyes. See what I mean?
Monday, 9 February 2009
Well I am into my fifth year of blogging kinda. I do all sorts of other things too in the social software space but blogging has been with me since the beginning.
Yes, this is my fifth year of blogging. Wil Wheaton has been blogging for over 9 years. Leo Laporte is in his 8th year. My first blog posting was back in 2005 which puts me into my 5th year (if you include 2005 itself). It is nothing to be proud of particularly but I thought I would mention it anyway :-)
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Dubai is emblematic of the risk taking speculation which characterises the philosophy at the heart of the global financial collapse. They may have had very little directly to do with the problems, yet they embody everything on which the crisis was created. Hedonists. Inefficient living. Profligate consumption. Property speculation with no day job.
The higher they climb, the farther they fall. The problem is that they are falling back into the British benefit system, schools, hospitals, police protection, all the things we pay for and all the things they didn't.
I have just read in The London Times that up to twenty cars per day are being abandoned at Dubai's airport by fleeing ex-pats. It is illegal to bounce a cheque punishable by prison under Sharia law and these ex-pats are understandably nervous. Nervous enough to abandon their vehicles at the airport in some sort of guilt trip payback to the Government.
Dubai has no oil. Abu Dhabi does. It has bailed out Dubai's failing banks into a 'state-owned entity'. This act was designed to restore confidence in a failing system. Dubai is in trouble and its wealthy immigrants are leaving it like rats deserting a sinking ship.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Is this Black Monday? Does the collapse of the British banking sector start here? What else is going to happen today?
I grabbed this screen image from Google Finance this afternoon of the top 5 losing stocks today. I was appalled to to see four British banks in this list. Even by the standards of the crazy credit crunch these figures show that today is a dark, dark day.
I am not too worried by this though perhaps I should be. I don't have a lot of cash or stocks so my theory is that I will not suffer too much. However I was planning on having some money at some point in the future so I am taking an interest.