I finally see the Ubuntu vision, and I quite like it to be honest. Could they do what Android has so far failed to do, that is provide a full, seamless desktop/mobile platform?

Even elements of this vision beat Apple, I still don’t understand why there is no iOS for desktops that stays in sync across all your devices via iCloud. I know it would eat into software sales somewhere, but just thing that everything that you’d want across every desktop without using iTunes or other services.

I can dream.  

The Best Advert For Ubuntu You Probably Never Saw

Why have we never seen this?

[vimeo 10518151]

Isn’t this exactly what Ubuntu, and Linux, needs?

It will be the best Ubuntu advert we have never seen unless they actually show it!


The Itch

I knew it would not last….


or realisticaly ‘could’ not last. Release day for Ubuntu 9.04 and I’m talking about reliable sleep in my previous post, well only one thing could happen when I looked at the Aspire One and it’s hackintosh state, especially as no one seems able to get it to work, even after 9 months and the fact that it is one of the most popular netbooks around.

A couple of other good reasons to make the move are also the fan, it’s a noisy little bugger without some work, on any platform, but again Apple didn’t build for this little beast, and a really anoying hard drive click, resolvable in Linux, and never present in Windows, but again no where near resolved in any hackintosh attempt I’ve tried.

Simple thing is that I’ve a real softspot for Ubuntu, despite my disasters with it in the past, and God knows I don’t do that much on this little machine, and what I do use it for is increasingly tied up in the cloud anyway so, hey give it a go.

Install was very quick and easy, everything detected, including the troublesome Dell wireless card, a quick visit to apt and I’ve got all the basics installed again, including LastFM’s Linux client, and Spotify running sweetly under Wine.

I could get to like this as my secondary machine…

New cup of Ubuntu


7.10 released. Downloading now.
I’m not replacing my Myth box yet, but I want to take a look at the latest and greatest.

Original post via ShoZu. Edited photo added 21/10/07

Desirable Desktop

Ubuntu logo

This has got to be the ‘year of desktop Linux’, really it has.


Or it’s got to be the nearest to it as it’ll ever be.


You want to know why?


, and it’s variants.


Vista is losing features, and has a slippery ship date. No-one out side a few tech industry insiders and Microsoft enthusiasts is really interested anymore. It is essentially now just a late Service Pack 4 for XP, loaded with eye candy and requires an upgrade in hardware to really make the most of it.



It will make its mark, it will be the dominant OS in a few years time, but really we shouldn’t care. The goal posts are moving, and you need to run to catch up with them.


Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06LTS, released this week with the KDE and XFCE versions,




, education version,


, and server version. I’ve got to say wow, this is the most polished and feature rich version of Linux I’ve ever seen, and I can’t run it with the best part of its eye candy turned on either.

Continue reading

Why dont you turn off that TV set and go and do something else instead?

Hmm. Another itch. Another day.

I was so hoping that Ubuntu would prove a stable platform. Bugged out on me again when moving some newly archived files around. Granted they are Gigs big, but surely not lock up?

I like Ubuntu, but its the little niggles that annoy me.

So the other itch. BSD? on the server?

Read some good things about PCBSD, so downloaded a copy, thanks broadband, consistent speed over 1mb, so its going to get a go.

Ubuntu woes.



Flakey as hell.

Love the concept, backing and whole ‘community’. Hate the product. I’ve always felt Debian setups, in my limited experience, to be less stable than others. Xandros has its sulky moments, Mepis less so, and these on KDE.
What it is I don’t know, but I just cannot ‘trust’ the thing. Printing dropped out for several hours 2 days ago, SMB connections the same. One minute they work, next, gone. Minutes, or hours later, they work again, sometimes they don’t. Rebooting cures it of coure, but if I wanted to reboot daily, I’d use Windows.
Its hard. I really really want to give Ubuntu a chance. I love everything about it on paper, but if it don’t deliver productivity, security or stability, it’s going to have to go.

It is similar to the experience I had with SuSE a while ago. When a straight forward update installed a new Kernel, and dropped the whole system out, my confidence went in the platform. Its my data for Gods sakes people. Still, SuSE was my first love, still is, so its SuSE on the torrent, 2 days to go.

Server thoughts


Everything I ever wanted in Linux?

Not Quite, but I am keen to try this out as my new webserver/groupware server.

Hoary Hedgehog is really impressing me right now, it has come a long, long way in the 3-4 months since I last tried it out.

Bad week for distros…

Pulled the DVD version of SuSE 9.2 pro down, intention of putting it on as my workstation OS instead of ProMepis, but after a marathon download session, and a struggle to move a 3.5gig ISO around, burnt it to DVD, and … nothing.

Hangs on install, and throws up HD errors.

Pulled the Ubuntu CD out, installed, upgraded to Hoary Hedgehog, and .. froze.

Crap. Bad week for distros… Looked at options… Back on a nice install of Xandros 3.

That’ll do for now I think. Its a good basic desktop, and I paid for it.

SuSE =2, Xandros3 = 2, Mac = 1, Palm = 1.

Horses for courses. Suse good as a server. Xandros as a simple everyday desktop, and it talks nice to everything else, Mac for work, Palm for PIM/Phone.

Ubuntu project dead

Ubuntu project dead. Long live Xandros.

Installed Xandros 3 on ‘server’ as a backup to a failed install on ‘desktop’, and I was surprised at its new server capabilities, and ease. So I think it stays, and server project is reinstated.

By the way, I didn’t need the belt and braces approach to upgrade the ‘desktop’, all went fine, almost, although I did not use the ‘upgrade’ option, merely reinstalled and chose to not format my home partition. Went well. 75 days uptime was wiped.

Only problem was some hitch with the Nvida driver, garbled the start up screen. Choosing VESA cured it. Odd thing is that both boxes have the same card, ‘server’ had no problem.

Tried an install on the laptop, that hung on detecting hardware, weird, so it is still running Mepis. I hope to make a little time to set this up for use soon. Still pretty much a stock install.

Ship it!

So, another week passes. Again no drama’s, disasters or life changing things have happened.

My Ubuntu CD arrived in the post yesterday, tried it in the laptop again, same as last time on stock install, everything peachy except the touchpad which refuses to double tap. Ok, upgraded to Hoary, xorg may perform differently? Maybe?

Well, no it doesn’t actually. Same problem, although everything else went smoothly. Now I can’t find any instructions for changes in xorg, and those for xfree86 make no sense either.

Why does Ubuntu do so well in everything else, but fail where no other distro has ever done, on the detection of touchpad? Right now its cool on the testing server, although it is massively slow in filemanager, but I’ve now reached the point of the reinstall anyway. Always said I would when the CD arrived, now going to install the second drive as I feel the one installed now is almost dead, and go for a full scratch install, then start to setup the server functions.

The biggest dilemma is whether to go for Warty or run the stability risk of Hoary… Its going to be a production machine, and I don’t want to spend hours setting up things, only to find an upgrade or update eats the install or data. That said, there are a couple of neat features in Hoary that I like.

Till next time, and I’m sure it wont be long as Fedora Core 3 is downloading as I type…


Updated (upgraded?) Ubuntu to next release, due in 5 months, Hoary Hedgehog.

I just love the names, they are worth using the distro alone, in fact Debian is worth using alone for the Toy Story connections on the different versions. I’m a sucker for cute and cuddly!

I have to admit to absolutely loving Ubuntu, even though I’m running it restricted. I said I would wait for physical arrival of the CD before turning it into a production server, but the webserver is running fine at the moment, even surpassing its longest uptime ever, 44 days now, so trying out Hoary felt like a good time to experiment. I will switch a slightly dodgy HD out of the machine when the CD arrives, then go for a clean install, and may go for Hoary again.

A gradual shift to server use will then follow this, but I aim to keep everything running on the present webserver until I am totally happy with the Ubuntu install.

Been tidying up the 6880 site, and introducing new features, with more planned/in planning. I’m now an Amazon affiliate, but I doubt it will earn much. I am getting a little hungry to start work on the .info site, but again I need to fit this in with other work.

Beta test

I ‘may’ have found a use for the laptop. Xandros are asking for beta testers for V3. I’ve applied. I also want to give Fedora Core 3 a try, xorg sounds interesting, I realise that the touchpad under Ubuntu is a xFree86 config problem, though I’ve not found the details yet on how to manually

configure for double tap. Never had a problem with it before in any other distro!


So, now I get my sense of community, I feel I belong, so I sit back and look at what I need, and yet again, I’m surprised at what I see.

Now, while I ordered a PPC copy of Ubuntu, I’m not going to abandon Mac OSX anytime soon. I need it to run some important apps that Linux couldn’t at the moment handle properly, or offer an equivalent replacement, and I’m certainly not going to pay for premium hardware, then cripple it by using another OS. Their may be some critisim of OSX, and I have found a few niggles, but it does everything it says on the box, and then some. So, simply, Mac is here to stay, and though a laptop is going to be my primary desktop/workstation.

I can’t abandon a fixed desktop yet, Michelle needs something to surf/check email/produce her famous clipart laden lists, notes and letters, and while she moans its not Windows, Firefox, Thunderbird and OO fit the bill. I currently need the Xandros installation to stay as it carries Crossover running Office 2000, primarily for Access, and that for a single un-replaceable application. Xandros also sees the scanner, easily intregrates into the Samba network, is stable, and runs Think just peachy. So it stays for the medium term, and may get upgraded to Xandros 3 when it is released.

Ubuntu is almost certainly going to be the OS behind the webserver/mailserver/groupware server/file server, running on the old, and previously unreliable, SuSE machine. I’m going to give the current install another week of testing, then re-install, clean, and start to configure the server apps, then transfer the groupware data etc. The fun will then start to configure the mailserver element for the rest of the users.

Two boxes down, two to go. What do I do with the old laptop, and the soon to be redundant old webserver. Take the webserver first. I don’t really want to retire it again, its going to have to die of old age or over work. Do I turn it into an expensive hardware firewall, or do I drop the fileserver element of the new machine, and use this as a file server instead. It could run Ubuntu easily, and would just need a big HD. As for firewall, sure Smoothwall could do it, but I could reconfigure my network to use the ADSL router, currently working fine as a firewall, and or my wireless router, currently running without any of its server abilities enabled, and it is one of the lovely hackable Linksys WRT things. My current thinking is to leave the jobs to the specialists and go with reconfiguring the network to let one, or both, the routers do the job of looking after the network security and routing, maybe even look into some of the available hacks. And the little old Time machine may be retired fully.

This just leaves the laptop, and the possibility that I may see the return of Windows to it. Shudder. My only excuse is that I think I may be called upon to do some remote desktop sessions, and WinXP offers the easiest out of the box solution. However, I may just install VNC on the likely candidates, and carry on with Linux. My first step has been to wipe the perfectly stable SuSE 9.1 install, and Ubuntu is sitting in it now. Its not a perfect marriage though, the touchpad is not working to the best of its ability, it is not offering drag and drop, or click by double tap, much like the default Mac. Mepis is looking increasingly attractive for the machine.

I can see the next few rainy nights being ones that involve a serious network reconfigure to future proof some of these changes. Damn.


Ubuntu is causing me to re-think my network plans, yet again.

This is the distro I wish I had found a year ago, the fact it didn’t exist a year ago is irrelevant. I just wish it had existed. Looking back I was anxiously waiting for SuSE 9.0 to arrive from Amazon, admittedly the first time I really looked forward to trying a new distro, and also the Linux version that I decided I could use day to day, and eventually became the basis for making the switch away from Windows.

No, what it is about this one, and why it is ‘just what I was looking for’, is the Debian base, Xandros introduced those delights, and the community spirit behind it, and the distro itself. None, with the exception of Mepis, another top choice, and Xandros, offered that. This works 2 ways, one, problems find answers easier and quicker on the forums, and 2, I find a sense of belonging, of being ‘a part of it’. The belonging part has a flip side, you can also put something back. Mainly theoretical from my point of view, I’m not skilled enough, knowlegable enough, or understanding enough of not just Debian, but Linux. I can’t offer translation skills, or writing documentation, all I can do is file bug reports if I choose. That said, it again come to the sense of belonging, and the fact I ‘could’ put something back, and I ‘could’ be listened too, and that even with the commercial backing Ubuntu has, it doesn’t appear ‘commercial/corporate’. Xandros has a good community, and is ideal as a non-technical Linux, that is why it sits on the on one desktop and is shared with a reluctant Windows convert, but is most defiantly commercial. Linspire shares the same attributes, but is so heavily commercialised that I don’t think I am alone in saying that its branding, and concept that runs alongside it, is the reason I won’t install it. Out of the three popular ‘windows replacements’, Xandros, Linspire, Lycoris, only Xandros has the Linux community feel to it, and it walks a fine line on overdoing the current status. Oddly Fedora Core, a community distro in theory, has the least community feel to it, and I find it hard to separate from the Red Hat underpinnings any such feeling, and answers to questions I did, in my limited experience of it, find difficult to get a satisfactory reply. SuSE always had the feel of a very professionally put togethe piece of software (YaST?), no real community, but no real difficulty in finding answers or software. Its only failing was a poorly implemented kernel upgrade, and its utter failure to run properly on the machine I wanted it on. Not wholly their fault, but a good excuse to make a switch.

Naked Ladies!

Ubuntu is continuing to run without any problems, although I’m unsure that the distro is going to have a future if the amount of fuss and discussion over the theme they chose is anything to go by.

Take a look, as this is the primary cause of concern;


I love the theme, and what it stands for, however there is a huge argument raging over its ‘commercial’ acceptance in corporate America. My own view is that ‘corporate’ can go suck in this case, at this moment. In the long term yes, Ubuntu will need to look at/for a commercial market, and fine, build a theme/version suitable. In the short term they may want a educational market, but to me again, an educational version of the OS may be appropriate, not just because of the ‘splash’ screen, but with a content on the CD that is suitable. If I remember correctly, Linux is about choice, and contains the wherewithal to change any of itself to a suitable installation, tailored to requirements. For now this distro is going to find itself sitting in the machines of interested people, and mostly, not on the desktops of ‘general’ users.

The theme is pretty cool, changes monthly, and as the arguments go, would not offend the vast majority of Western European users, and, though outside my personal experience, its Southern African roots. I did love one guy’s quote that SuSE would offend a minority Zulu user base because of their superstition that the Chameleon is a bad omen. Maybe I should have taken note of that with the machine Ubuntu currently resides on, and its absolute failure to run SuSE with any degree of reliability!


So, Ubuntu is now in testing.

I HAD some issues with stability, and guessed it was an install problem, however, before I got to a reinstall stage things appear to have tidied themselves up.

Think is running again, a sure fire way of making the system unstable if their is one, and the marvels of Synaptic package manager mean I have most of the server stuff I need installed, but unlike SuSE, and my good friend YaST, configuration will be a bitch.

I need several weeks of stability testing, mail will move first by backing up to local folders on the Xandros or Mac machines, and a reconfigure of where they look for the server. Samba will also be an early adopter, and a backup regime introduced asap.

The biggest headache will be backing up the Group-Office data, and importing it into a new SQL database, but I’m still not entirely convinced about this software option, so may trawl through the options again. The nicest outcome would be to be able to use calendar apps to connect to it, however, the file sharing part of Group-Office, and the simple fact that it does run fully stand alone, does give the idea an advantage. Moregroupware was a close second favorite, and could see another install. Time to pull the browser out and get busy with Google again.

I cant promise Ubuntu will stay, but things are looking good, if we get past week 2, we could be in business.

I saw an advert for SuSE 9.2 pro today, and I didn’t get itchy with the credit card, I hope to feel like that in a couple of weeks if I can. Between Xandros, then SuSE 9.0, on the laptop I realised I could live without Windows. What I did not realise is how much I depended on some heavy weight apps that don’t run on Linux. Mac is certainly the happy medium for me, but for the rest Linux is the way to go.

Poormans OSX

Ubuntu is impressive. Its slick, quick and very likeable. There is a winner here, and I can see why there is so much buzz about it on the forums.

Gnome suddenly makes sense after starting to become accustomed to Mac OSX, and in fact Ububtu is very Mac’alike in its operation, PPC version an option for me? Noooo I don’t think so, but it could be an option if I got hold of a cheap old Mac for some kind of use.

But to analyse the system, Mac’alike could be the way to go. My current stand back and consider is something along the lines of;

Mac is how an OS should be.

KDE is how Windows should be.

Gnome is trying to be Mac on PC.

KDE appears, on the surface, and in such distros as SuSE, to offer the most user power, and is Windows on steroids, the way it should be done, Gnome, on the other hand, appears to be a poormans version of Mac OSX. Before today I would have automaticaly have dissmissed Gnome, but now I don’t know. Ubuntu certainly appears at first glance to offer a good distro, and a short period of testing will tell me if it will be staying on this desktop.

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