Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/6RKrvzWVT5E
Kernel News: Mat
Distro Talk: Tony
Mary Distro Review
Is it Alive? – Mary
Tony Bemus, Mat Enders, and Mary Tomich
Intro Sound bite by Mike Tanner
Kernel News: Mat
Kernel Developer Quote:
Linus Torvalds on idiots who follow him
“Guys, I just disabled comments (and deleted the ones that got through before that) on the previous posting, because quite frankly, I’m fed up with people who follow me and then decide that I must be a moron, and don’t even bother reading the post.
So here’s a hint: if you think I’m a moron who doesn’t find “settings”, please unfollow me now.”
Distro Talk: Tony
- 7-10 – CentOS 6.3 – Enterprise-class Linux distribution derived from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3
- 7-11 – OS4 12.5 – Linux distribution previously known as PC/OS that is based upon Ubuntu and is built for fun, compatibility, security, and mobility
- 7-13 – Finnix 105 – live CD distribution for system administrators based on Debian’s testing branch
- 7-14 – Parted Magic 2012_07_13 – Live CD with utilities for disk management and data rescue
Distro of the Week: Tony
- Ubuntu – 1575
- CentOS – 1755
- OS4 – 1937
- Mageia – 2666
- Mint – 2936
Mary Distro Review – What’s On sda6
Is that an ancient alien there or are you just happy to see me…
Net-runner caught my eye when it appeared on Distrowatch a couple of weeks ago. After all, how many distros do you know that are based on Kubuntu. That’s right, not many. So I decided to give Net-runner a spin. First…
- Name: Netrunner (http://www.netrunner-os.com/)
- Maintainer: Blue Systems (also the organization that maintains Kubuntu)
- Distro Latest Birthday:Net-runner 4.2 ( Dryland – Second Edition) announcement on 6/20/12
- Derivative: Kubuntu ( but the road leads back to Debian)
- Kernel: 3.2.0-26 (via uname -a)
- Review Desktop: KDE 4.8.4
The download is 1.5GB of pure KDE. Would my experience with this distro be disappointing or would I continue to enjoy KDE, the Kool Desktop Environment as I like to call it.
Booting to the live environment was uneventful. Five icons adorn the desktop:
My Computer – I almost did not open this icon, thinking it’s just a file manager view of the contents but it was more than that. Think of the KDE info center with battery, display, OS, disk, CPU information, etc., all handily located in one spot.
Runners-ID (a cloud storage solution) with 1GB of free storage. Uh, someone better tell them the going rate is 5GB of free storage. But I signed up and immediately placed a test document in my cloud storage place. No fuss; no muss.
Web Accounts icon – allows you to configure your accounts: Google, Facebook, Owncloud, Runners-ID. I tried ownCloud and got the following message: “WebAccounts requires to have access to” along with a retry button. But there was no place to enter my ownCloud credentials if I had them. I clicked retry and figured would lead to nowhere. It did. Stupid is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. So I quit clicking retry. One last thing about Web Accounts and the retry to nowhere message that would appear—it would bounce around from one account to another. First was ownCloud, then it was Google. The concept is great—but the execution on Net-runner is buggy.
Add Network drive – you can add a Samba share if you have one available..
Finally, a Welcome Page explains all of the desktop icons.
Aside from the crazy Web Accounts situation and the ancient alien desktop wallpaper which is a little weird for me, so-far, so good. Time to install it.
The Net-runner install was quite normal. I rebooted to the KDE environment, with a programs menu sporting the old KDE 3 look. I changed to the launcher style which I prefer for the ability to search. And of course I knew just where to swap my mouse button functions.
What typically interests me about a distribution are not what you expect to see but the packages that you might not normally see out of the box from an install and Net-runner had some good stuff, in my opinion. Installed out of the box included:
Virtual Box – a virtualization program to run a wide range of operating systems on your PC.
Yakuake – a drop-down terminal. My favorite!
Muon Discover – which is very similar to Muon Software Center, which is also installed. There is what appears to be a search box but there was no way to type anything into it and no
Kdenlive – my favorite video editing software.
AcetoneISO – makes it easier to use CD and DVD images on your computer, as if they were burned as real CDs. (it’s in the Kubuntu repositories but not installed by default)
Record my Desktop
WinFF – a GUI for Ffmpeg (a Command-line program for handling multimedia files)
Skype – Yes, version 4.0!
Additional Drivers utility (I can think of at least two other distros that would benefit from this!)
Software Sources included the Net-runner and Ubuntu repositories. The Net-runner project also added the Medibuntu sources (yes, the libdvdcss2 and w32codecs comes already installed.), plus several PPAs, including the ppa for Gimp 2.8 because Kubuntu, on which Net-runner is based, does not have it in its main repository yet. (Bad Kubuntu, Bad!)
Browsers installed: Firefox and—“Konqbrowser,” which was actually Konqueror! I clicked the Konqbrowser icon from the Favorites menu on the launcher. Konqbrowser had a big problem. I clicked bookmarks, one of the links you see on the intro page (the others being home folder, trash, network folders). I expected to see Net-runner bookmarked, along with Runners-ID, and other similar sites. They were not. In fact, I transitioned to a plain grey window with nothing but a box saying there are no bookmarks to display yet. Well, that’s OK—but give me a back button so I can return to the previous page! It was not until I right-clicked and selected to display the main menu that I was able to navigate away from this page. All toolbars are turned off by default! That is inexcuseable for a distro that No address bar, no navigation bar. Nothing. Not a good introduction to Konqbrowser at all! Someone needs a Konq on the head!
When I attempted to open what happened to be a second instance of Firefox, or click on a link, I got “Firefox is already running but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system.” Whew…that is tough love! Seriously, this is something that can be done in Kubuntu but not Net-runner. However, if you click on a hyperlink from a document a second instance of Firefox opens without a problem. (Firefox 12 is installed for anyone who’s interested)
Upgrading after the install also provided an odd experience for me. A message appeared for some of the software to be upgraded: The following pieces of software cannot be authenticated. Warning: Installing unverified software represents a security risk as the presence of unverifiable software can be a sign of tampering. Do you wish to continue?
It wouldn’t be difficult to say no if the software were unrecognizable programs. But Calligra-data, Krita, Karbon, Calligraflow, etc. all are KDE applications and, in my opinion, should not appear on a list like this, unless the repository hosting these apps is different.
I clicked to install it. Fifteen minutes later the upgrades are still spinning. A total of 30 MB of updates and 15 minutes later it’s still not done? I thought perhaps the password screen was hidden, waiting for the admin password. Nope. I closed the window. The second time around, selecting the Yes (wishing to continue…) delivers the password box. I supply the necessities and we have a successful upgrade. During the review period, there were three system upgrades and it happened two of the three times.
Muon Software Center is not really for upgrading. It’s typically used for installing selected software. I have not spent much time looking at the software in this area but I have to admit there are quite a few programs, although the Ubuntu software center has a more polished look
I decided to install XBMC, my favorite media center. After the install completed, a bar at the top of the MSC notified me that Applications successfully installed… Oops, the font was too large and the rest of the sentence was hidden by the Start button on the right. I clicked it. A second window opened sat there with an empty frame. Its cheery message to me: The following applications were just installed. Click on them to launch. Where’s my XBMC? Not here, but in a menu category called Multimedia.
I decided to install a second application and this time the window listed it and I could click it to start.
Other menu listings included:
Web Apps: Dropbox, several Google apps (docs, mail, maps, etc) and the aforementioned Runners-ID
Web Games: Cut the rope and Duck Hunt
Web Sites: Facebook, Twitter, JackNJoe, We are hunted, and Youtube.
Two JDK policy tools. Yes, stuff for every new Linux user!
On the panel, there is a cogged wheel that will open an instance of krunner when clicked. Krunner for those not in the know, is the KDE equivalent of Gnome-do, opening a box into which you can type a program with auto-completion the rule of the day. The only problem is that the window is translucent and any lengthy list will be difficult to read. Better to have this be nearly opaque and let users make a change
There are too many little buggy things that I encountered while reviewing Net-runner, that I can’t see my using it for everyday use. But I also felt it has some good ideas and a lot of promise. Integrating Runners-ID cloud service right on the desktop is one such idea. If only the Web-Accounts screen would allow you to log in.
Net-runner gets 2 cups of coffee.
Turn A Trashcan Into A Super Computer
Thats just what happened at MIT. Leave it to those guys to come up with this one. They took 48 Panda boards with 96 cores, and a 48 port switch put it into an institutional trashcan.
They powered them via USB as it runs better i.e. consumes less power.
GitHub gets $100 million dollars invested
GitHub, the online git platform which is used by millions of developers has got a shitload of money. CEO Tom Preston-Warner: We’ve done all this without any outside investment. Our company has been profitable for years, is growing fast, and doesn’t need money. So why bother? Because we want to be better. We want to build the best products. We want to solve harder problems. We want to make life easier for more people. The experience and resources of Andreessen Horowitz can help us do that. RedHat made a Billion dollars last month, now GitHub, who will be next?
Is the End Of the Windows Era At Hand?
There was a big difference between the pre-release days then and the current situation as we wait for Windows 8′s big official debut. Back then, all the Windows fans were actually looking forward to Vista. XP had been a big hit, and the Redmond fan boys thought Vista would be even a couple of notches better. After all, they’d been working on it for ages; all that work was bound to turn into the most super duper operating system ever.
The rest, of course, is history. Vista turned out to be an even bigger embarrassment to Microsoft than ME had been six years earlier. It wouldn’t run properly on anything but the latest NASCAR rated processors. It needed gazillabytes of RAM. Worse, a massive number of peripherals, from printers to scanners, were turned into toast because they couldn’t be installed due to a lack of drivers. Very quickly the Windows fanboys came to see that the new best-of-breed was basically a lame horse.
Enlightenment 17 Is Soon To Be Released!
The founder and leader of Enlightenment window manager and set of libraries, announced a few days ago that the next release will be the last one before they will finally release the long awaited version 17!
“Rasterman”, begun the development of version 0.17, or E17 almost 12 years ago (December 2000), but his (legendary) insistence to perfection led the project into a never ending road of development.
Enlightenment Distributions That Are Still Alive!
Following up yesterday’s article about how Enlightenment is soon to be released, we will check out what Linux distributions you should choose to enjoy this magnificent window manager + set of libraries.
KDE’s Rekonq Web-Browser Nears 1.0 With Beta
Rekonq, the KDE WebKit-powered browser, has reached beta stage and and is nearly ready for its version 1.0 release
KDE Announces 4.9 RC2
July 11, 2012. Today KDE released the second release candidate for its renewed Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing new and old functionality.
Calling on the KDE Community to Celebrate: 4.9 Release Parties
Android Jelly Bean Source Code Released to Open Source
Is it Alive?
Listener Feedback show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Victor Elorza – enjoyed Mat’s soap box
Brandon Beaudette – Yeah!!! F-em!!!
Pagal – great work on the new design of the website and korean mp3 players called Cowon (http://www.cowonglobal.com/)