Episode 070 – Growler

Posted by Tony on February 10, 2013 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:09:37

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/t58o3qqpVtc

Contact Us:

show (at) smlr.us or the Contact us page


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 6:05
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 8:40
Mary Distro Review
Time: 15:15
Tech News:
Time: 28:40
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 44:40
Listener Feedback
Time: 53:55
Outtro Music
Time: 1:1:15


Tony Bemus, Mat Enders, and Mary Tomich
Sound bites by Mike Tanner

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 6:05

Release Candidate:
On Sat, 9 Feb 2013 08:51:15 EDT
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.8-rc7
This is what he had to say about it:
“Another rc from Australia, just before heading back home. It still hasn’t been as quiet as I’d have preferred (and with the absolutely horrendous internet access the last week, any pull at all was pretty painful – git is good about network bandwidth use, but it still wants a network that stays up and doesn’t lose packets left and right).

Anyway, here it is. Mostly driver updates (usb, networking, radeon, regulator, sound) with a random smattering of other stuff (btrfs, networking, so on. And most everything is pretty small.”
–Linus Torvalds


Stable Updates:
On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 20:34:17 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.62
With 16 files changed, 70 lines inserted, and 28 lines deleted

On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 20:35:00 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.29
With 38 files changed, 208 lines inserted, and 109 lines deleted

On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 20:35:43 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.7.6
With 101 files changed, 756 lines inserted, and 475 lines deleted

On Wed, 06 Feb 2013 14:27:43 GMT
Ben Hutchings released kernel 3.2.38
With 137 files changed, 1195 lines inserted, and 480 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
“Do not build this code for Windows and then run it as administrator on a Samsung laptop. It really will kill the laptop.”
–Mathew Garrett

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 8:40


  • 2-5 – Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0r2 – desktop distribution and live DVD based on Debian’s “testing” branch
  • 2-6 – Frugalware Linux 1.8 – General-purpose distribution for intermediate and advanced Linux users
  • 2-7 – Webconverger 17.0 – a specialist distribution designed for web kiosks – now based on Debian’s “testing” branch
  • 2-8 – Linpus Linux 1.9 “Lite” – GNOME 3 desktop with HTML 5 widgets and support for touch screens

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Lite – 1628
  2. Ubuntu – 1867
  3. Mageia – 2021
  4. PCLinuxOS – 2035
  5. Mint – 3525

Mary Distro Review – Parsix Linux

Time: 15:15

My distro reviews cover some interesting and cutting-edge distros. And some not so. A fair number are newly created works while others have been around for a while. This week’s review falls into the second category and takes us to the land of Persia… Parsix Linux has been around for approximately 8 years, since 2005

Parsix GNU/Linux is a live and installation DVD the goal of which is to provide a ready-to-use and easy-to-install operating system. It’s based on Debian’s testing branch and the latest stable release of the GNOME desktop environment. Extra software packages are available for installation from the distribution’s own software repositories.

Will Parsix Linux prove to be a prince of a distro or would my magic carpet crash land…let’s find out.

The Vitals:
Name:  Parsix Linux
Maintainer: Alan Baghumian
Distro Latest Birthday: 4.02r2 code name “Gloria” was released on 2/5/2013
Derivative:  Debian Testing
Kernel: 3.2.37
Review Desktop: Gnome 3.4

Live Environment:

Parsix boots without a problem to a very serviceable and what looks to be a stock Gnome 3 desktop.  Parsix’s wallpaper is true to its roots—a desert scene right out of the Prince of Persia with sandy footprints walking aimlessly across the desert.  A humorous thought of Gnome users wandering around, looking for their desktop flashed in my mind.

Graphics: ( i915)
Wireless:  (iwl3945)

I must mention one thing about Gnome’s network manager—I have always been a fan of it.  Its clean interface provides exactly what I am looking for in an easy-to-use way. I was reminded of that fact when I first connected to my wireless network. The Gnome network maanger drops down to show first five in alphabetical order. Clicking the more link reveals another dozen in contrasting color.  It also seems to pick up more wireless access points than KDE’s network manager, although I have not done a head-to-head comparison. A big fan of Gnome network manager.

The Defaults
Browser: IceWeasel (I laughed when it thanked me for choosing Firefox)
Office Suite: LibreOffice
Mail Client: Evolution (you don’t see that too often)
File Manager: Nautilus

The Install Process:

This release of Parsix includes an improved installer. Since I have never used the previous version, I’m left to share my observation regarding the current version. I will say that the entire process was very clean—just a series of straight-forward questions that I answered. The process starts with a list of options. You can even select save an install configuration and reuse it. Just select your preference and the one you want and away you go.


Screenshot from 2013-02-06 03:07:11


I chose new install of course and opted to put my home directory on a separate partition.  A series of simple windows open allowing you to make your decision.  My laptop has three paritions so I didn’t need to deal with the partition manager.   If you select an option that requires changing them, Gparted opens and you can make your changes then.

Before the install is committed to disk, you’re presented with your decisions…abandon hope all ye who enter.


Screenshot from 2013-02-06 03:20:50

Installed Environment:

As for the installed environment, it’s not any different than the live environment except it’s faster and the install Parsix icon is no longer on the desktop.

Parsix draws from four repositories for package installs and updates.

Official: Packages officially maintained and built by the project
Continent: A snapshot of Debian testing branch except packages covered by official repository
Wonderland: Snapshot of Debian Multimedia repository
Security: Security updates are being uploaded to this repository

I tested the Parsix install process by choosing a couple of things to install. The first was Gimp documentation (GIMP was already installed but not the documentation) and the second tool was Foobnix, a light-weight music player, that . Parsix uses the Gnome package manager, the spartan nature of which both pleased and annoyed me.  It took forever to install the GIMP documentation—I am sure it wasn’t my connection.  The progress bar is not very noticeable. On the Add/Remove Programs interface, the Cancel button didn’t seem to work. When I see a Cancel button I expect for the attached window to close when I click Cancel.

The Universal Access Settings are conveniently located on the top panel and provide access to a host of options for users who are disabled.

Other interesting Programs:
Parsix’s menus didn’t overflow with new and interesting programs. As a matter of fact, two menu categories were empty:  Programming and Other. I guess it makes up for the other general purpose distros that that had several IDEs  (Integrated Development Environment) when it didn’t seem necessary.

However, there were a couple of programs that I thought were interesting to find in this distro.

Grisbi – A cross-platform personal finance system. In case you did not know it, Grisbi is French slang for “stash”, per wikipedia.

Virtual Box – I was surprised to see this PC virtualization package installed by default.

Htop – I know most people are familiar with Htop, but I was surprised to see it installed by default. It’s located in the system tools menu, naturally.

Foobnix – a music player that is not installed by default but is available in the unstable repositories. This player includes the standard music player controls and also adds quite a few radio stations, including the ubiquitous Sky.FM with its broad selection of music genres. Also available is DI.fm (or digitally imported.fm) which focuses on electronic music. I was unaware of this site until I prepared this review.


Parsix is a dependable distro for everyday use. You’re not overwhelmed with options, just a solid reliable distro.

2.7 cups of a tasty Persian coffee.

Tech News:

Time: 28:40

Chromebooks Grow Up

CDW, the giant in tech sales and support, is offering Chromebooks and management plans to their corporate customers. CDW’s senior director and general manager for mobility solutions, Andrea Bradshaw, had this to say:

“Two tech powerhouses—Google and CDW—have teamed up to offer complete Google Chromebook solutions to CDW’s more than 250,000 customers. The partnership not only offers a cost-effective device, but also ease of use for the end user and peace of mind for management,”

She also went on to say what CDW can offer these corporate customers:

Scalability: Large quantities of Chromebooks all operating under the same cloud-based network to keep organizations connected.
Deployment: Seamless implementation of Chromebook fleets, including network assessments and wireless configuration to ensure bandwidth.
Security: A management console that ensures Chromebooks are protected by Web filters and firewalls.

Google’s Chromebook Management Console allows you to centrally manage a company’s Chromebook deployment. With some clicks on the management console, IT administrators can apply policies, applications and settings to different sets of users. Via the management console, IT can manage user access and control network access, making it easy for users to get up and running, while ensuring they are protected by Web filters and firewalls.

Here’s what Microsoft should be worried about. Corprate customers who are fed up with Microsoft’s extortion practices. Do you really think CDW would be jumping jumping in this heavy without significant interest from some clients.

Linux To Get Microsoft Office In 2014

With Android now the leading consumer OS it just makes sense. This information was leaked at FOSDEM in Brussels this week. Right now you can use some versions of Microsoft Office via CodeWeavers CrossOver, but this would be a native port.

The State Of Open Source Video Drivers On The BSDs

Even though there is lots of code coming into Linux making open-source video drivers better from desktop graphics cards to ARM SoCs. The BSDs however are struggling with their video driver support. Changes in the way Linux video drivers (and X.Org itself) are being developed have made their use on non-Linux systems problematic. Historically since the X11/X.Org Server has been multi-platform with the DDX drivers controlling the hardware while running in user-space. Maintaining video card support in Linux, The BSDs, and Solaris has been rather straightforward. However, with the increaseing use of kernel mode-setting and DRM being the standard expectation, non-Linux platforms are the big loser. The KMS/DRM drivers now residing inside the Linux kernel are designed around Linux interfaces, and that is causing problems for non-Linux systems. Porting the TTM memory manager to non-Linux kernels has proven to be difficult for BSD developers.

Here is the state of things in various other distributions:

FreeBSD 9.1 release now supports Intel KMS, but there is still no mainline Nouveau and Radeon drivers for FreeBSD because of the large amount of work involved. The other BSDs are in similar standing or even worse off without a port of any Linux KMS driver.

Oracle Solaris does have Intel kernel mode-setting support in Solaris 11 and Solaris 12 may have a Radeon KMS driver, but no support in the Solaris open source world. Illumos/OpenIndiana as the independent/community Solaris versions have no KMS support.

OpenBSD developers have ported the Ironlake and Sandy Bridge chipsets to an old xfree86 intel DDX driver with user-space mode-setting (Intel stopped supporting UMS years ago while OpenBSD is maintaining an old X.Org driver they have been meticulously back-porting new Intel hardware to). The OpenBSD 5.3 release is going to have Intel Ivy Bridge support, one year after the hardware came out. Supporting Intel KMS on OpenBSD is on going.

NetBSD does have a GEM implementation, but it’s currently living in GitHub and not in mainline. The operating system is making slow progress on KMS.

DragonFlyBSD did get some work done as part of Google Summer of Code for GEM/DRM/KMS, but nothing that’s in real good standing.

 KDE Korner

4.10 Release of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform

On February 6, the KDE project released 4.10.


Of course it was not without a few glitches


Calligra 2.6 is released

Supported Document Formats – Calligra 2.6 can now export documents to EPUB2 format. In 2.6.1 it will also be able to export to MOBI format. And of course support for all MS Office formats has been improved even more, especially for the MS Open XML formats of MS Office 2007 and above.
Productivity Applications – For the productivity part of the suite (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program) the target user of version 2.6 is still the student or academic user. This version has a number of new features that will make it more suitable for these users.
Calligra Author – the will support a writer in the process of creating an eBook from concept to publication. We have two user categories in particular in mind. Novelists who produce long texts with complicated plots involving many characters and scenes but with limited formatting. Textbook authors who want to take advantage of the added possibilities in eBooks compared to paper-based textbooks.



Krita 2.6 Released

On February 5, the Krita team together with the Calligra team announces the release of Krita 2.6. Krita 2.6 is a new step in Krita’s development! Not only are there hundreds of bug fixes and performance improvements all over the place, Krita 2.6 now incorporates support for the OpenColorIO colormanagement system which is a standard in the movie and VFX studio. This makes Krita a natural choice for 2D painting work in the movie and vfx pipeline.


digiKam Software Collection 3.0.0 is out…

Released on February 8.


Is it Alive? – Is it a linux distro or a US City

Time: 44:40

Springdale Linux
Springdale Linux (formerly PUIAS Linux) is a complete operating system for desktops and servers, built by compiling the source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
MAT: City
Mary: City
VERDICT: Both, AZ, Alive

Canaima GNU/Linux
Canaima GNU/Linux is a Venezuelan desktop distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. It is primarily designed as a solution for the computers of National Public Administration in accordance with the presidential decree number 3.390 about the use of free technologies in National Public Administration in the country.
MAT: Linux – Dead
Mary: Linux – Live
VERDICT: Linux – Alive

Gaastra is a city in Iron County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 347, making it Michigan’s third-smallest incorporated city.

Kalmath – City – CA
The 2010 United States Census[4] reported that Klamath had a population of 779.

Exe GNU/Linux is a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution. Its primary goal is to provide a Debian variant that ships with a slightly re-themed Trinity desktop environment (a fork of KDE 3),

Plamo – Linux – Alive
Last release 5.0 12/29/2012
Plamo Linux is a Japanese Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. The installer, and many text-based and graphical tools have been updated to include Japanese language support.

Kademar – Linux – Live
Last beta 12/21/2012
The kademar Linux distribution is a complete desktop Linux operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux. Compared to its parent, it includes more intuitive system management and better hardware support

Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 53:55

Outtro Music

Time: 1:1:15


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