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Archive for the ‘linux’ Category

Linux to the rescue

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I suffered a bit of a disaster over the weekend when the fan in my Synology DS106e network attached server stopped working. For 18 months it had worked well (I had bought it used from eBay), then at some point last week the fan died. This wasn’t immediately apparent, and only became an issue when the server started a scheduled backup to an external USB drive. Lots of drive activity and reduced cooling quickly resulted in an overheated hard drive and email warnings of read errors. Not the sort of message you want to receive when you are 20 miles away at work. Read more…

Don’t believe the ‘Experts’

December 31, 2008 2 comments

I’ve enjoyed some of the in depth guides on Techradar.com recently, so it was a surprise to read a couple of articles there today that are, while clearly opinions, rather short sighted. The first, Why Mac clones defeat the whole point of a Mac, misses the whole point of building a hackintosh. Here’s the section that gets it all wrong:

There are three major desktop operating systems available at the moment:

  • Linux – an open OS running on open hardware
  • Windows – a closed OS running on open hardware
  • OS X – a closed OS running on closed hardware

Minor feature quibbles aside, all three operating systems do much the same thing. The decision of which one to run is an idealogical one that balances your love of freedom against your love of stability.

I could almost believe this is designed to start a flame war and boost site hits. Since Linux offers the most freedom it’s the least stable? And OS X is the most stable because it offers the least freedom? Idealogical decisions play very little part in the choosing of an operating system. A lot of people use Windows because they don’t know there’s an alternative, or they are happy with it. Many of us use Mac’s because we prefer the way Mac OS works, not because of some idealogical statement. Read more…

iPhone Linux

November 29, 2008 3 comments

News broke yesterday that iPhone Dev Team member planetbeing has succeeded in booting a Linux 2.6 kernel on the iPhone. A lot of the required drivers are still not available so this is not a replacement for the iPhone OS, but it is the first step on the path to a working Linux on iPhone or iPod Touch hardware.

Categories: iPhone, iPod, linux Tags: , , ,

Ubuntu 8.10 on USB flash

November 10, 2008 Leave a comment

One of the features offered as part of the latest Ubuntu release is installation to a USB flash drive. This is a menu option from the Live CD in 8.10, under System>Administration. The ability to use a flash drive has been around in various forms for a while now, but as an occasional Linux user I haven’t seen it offered in this easy a package.

ubuntu_810_usb_install_03 Read more…

Categories: linux Tags: , , , ,

Codeweavers offer free software for one day only

October 28, 2008 1 comment

Codeweavers, the company behind the crossover range of software, is offering it’s titles free for one day only. The main web site is down under the massively increased traffic, but the temporary site at down.codeweavers.com is offering one free serial number and fully unlocked builds of their current products. So if you want to run some windows software/games on Mac OSX or Linux this is your lucky day.

OpenOffice.org release 3 available now

October 11, 2008 Leave a comment

The big push doesn’t start until Monday, but the third release of the OpenOffice.org office suite is now available from mirror servers. I grabbed the Mac version (with native Aqua interface) from the UK mirror server a short time ago but there is a long list of worldwide mirror servers at the distribution.openoffice.org site.

I had a quick play with the suite this morning and so far I’m impressed. The Writer component managed to import my CV (resume) with no problems. It’s a Word document with lots of fancy tables so the software coped well to keep all the elements where they should be. The interface looks a little dated with white toolbars, but for a free office suite the Mac version of OOo 3.0 looks like a highly usable bargain. Also available for Linux, Solaris and Windows, read on for a screenshot gallery. Read more…

Asus Eee PC S101 reviewed

October 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Looking like the gorgeous offspring of an Apple and Sony Tryst, the latest in Asus’ Eee PC range is the S101. Aimed at the top end of the growing netbook market this should be considered a netbook for those who find the current mini-laptop offerings a bit on the cheap looking side.

Hardware wise there isn’t anything unusual inside. A 1024×600 resolution 10.2 inch screen sits atop a 1.6Ghz Intel atom with 1Gb of Ram and a 16 or 32Gb SSD. As has become the norm, Linux or Windows XP are the choice of OS. Tempted? Have a read of the review at Mobilecomputermag before parting with your estimated £450.

Alternative operating systems

September 28, 2008 Leave a comment

While Windows is the dominant operating system in use today and Mac OS X is constantly gaining market share, there are many other options when it comes to picking an OS. Linux is the obvious choice with very good hardware support and masses of easily installed software packages. The initial obstacle for me is always which distribution to choose. Techradar have a good basic guide to what they consider the best 14 distributions for a range of user levels.

My biggest problem with linux is that while there have been massive improvements in ease of installation and setup there are some basic things that don’t just work. I have searched for a long time for an easy way of setting up a Microsoft multi-button mouse. It can be done by editing an xorg.conf file, but this is 2008 so why do we have to resort to this to get a popular piece of hardware working? I have yet to find a package that configures the mouse for you.

Another problem I had was getting games to work under Linux, specifically the audio part. The OS was Fedora which had switched to the newer Pulse Audio system and the games didn’t want to work with this. I know there are workarounds to fix these problems, but again it’s editing config files. Getting audio working on my hackintosh was easier than this, I just dropped a couple of modified kernel extensions onto KextHelper and rebooted. Here’s an article detailing the various sound API’s available.

Moving away from LInux there are lots of smaller operating systems that while not quite ready for widespread use are looking very interesting. Royal Pingdom has the details on ten of the most promising. Amiga OS 4.1 is one of the options I wish had more widespread use, but unfortunately the hardware to run it is neither cheap nor widely available. React OS is aimed at providing a Windows compatible operating system for free, and the others all have a unique focus. Well worth a read.

Mac VM software updates

September 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Two updates to report today in the Macintosh VM market. First, VMware Fusion 2.0 sees the release of RC1. Lots of bug fixes in the update, as well as the addition of McAfee VirusScan Plus for Windows. I tried this yesterday and found it easy to install from a menubar option. This is a sensible addition given the risks attached to accessing the internet on an unprotected Windows machine. Other improvements include Spanish and Italian language support, Unity 2 and multiple snapshots. Full details at the Vmware web site.

The other update is Virtualbox, which has today seen the release of version 2. Again, a lot of updates which are listed at the Virtualbox web site. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, so it’s next on the install list. It’s nice to see the free option progressing well along with the comercial offerings, and I’m wondering how long it will be before Parallels has a big announcent.

firefox 3 now available

June 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Firefox 3 was due to hit the download sites at 6pm UK time but it’s just appeared at mozilla.com. Download the version for your OS here or choose an OS and language here. Spreadfirefox.com appears to be down at the moment, so hopefully this won’t interfere with the world record attempt.