Monday, April 05, 2010

more linux monday

Linux Monday: Looking at the Lynx

Long time Linux Monday fans may recall the sister in law experiment: she needed a new machine so I fixed up an old box in as Windowsy a way as possible, then the day before delivery she picked up a netbook. Well, the netbook won that war and I got the machine back. I'm going to try to inflict it on my wife next (the machine she's using is dying; after each Windows update it takes 10 to 20 reboots before it will stay powered up). Koni's reluctant but I'm persistent.

But first I'm going to test with it: I installed the beta version of the next Ubuntu, 10.04 or Lucid Lynx, which is due out in full release version on April 29. (if you want to jump the gun and try the beta here's how). Releases are numbered in a year.month convention and names in Alliterative Animal format. 10.10 will be "Maverick Meerkat" disappointing an online community that really wanted Masturbating Monkey.

This is a Long Term Support release, the first since 8.04 (Hardy Heron; "I knew Ubuntu would never pick a good name after they missed their opportunity to use Hungry Hippo.") LTS releases are supported for three years on the desktop and five for server. So the stakes are a bit higher than usual, and just personally if the spoulsal plan works out I may just stick with it for a couple years. "One of the most innovative versions of Ubuntu for several years," writes Bruce Byfield.

The upgrade from 9.10 on the sister in law box (which I also used to test the 9.04 to 9.10 move) was reasonably smooth I had to fix a Firefox icon and reset some screensaver settings, but audio, which is usually my curse at upgrade time, seems to have survived.

Oh, and one other thing.

The big controversy in Ubuntu World is a seemingly small decision that raised big tempers: moving the maximize, minimize and close buttons from the upper right corner of apps to the upper left, Mac users are used to upper left but people who migrated from Windows instinctively move that mouse up and right.

At first testers reported it as a bug until Ubuntu's "Benevolent Dictator For Life" Mark Shuttleworth, chimed in:
Moving everything to the left opens up the space on the right nicely, and I would like to experiment in 10.10 with some innovative options there. It's much easier to do that if we make this change now
Then he added, creating even more brouhaha:
This is not a democracy. Good feedback, good data, are welcome. But we are not voting on design decisions.
Not a democracy? The libertarian Linux world is still chewing on that one, but in the mean time it ain't so hard to just move the buttons yourself. So I did that. Anarchy! Aaaaaaanaaaaaaaaarchyyyyyyyyy!

A very enthusiasic Ron Paul supporter screaming "FREEDOM! FREEDOM!" Olive Court tailgater, University Heights, 11/17/07

In the real world: 50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect.

With the past weekend's iPad rollout complete, here's an argument that Bill Gates is not Enemy Number One of free software:
The real danger is the new software model that is promoted, to the greatest degree, by Apple, and to smaller degree by companies like Amazon with its Kindle product. The software model that is more proprietary than Microsoft and others ever imagined. It controls not only the source of their own system, the protocols and (proprietary) communication standards, but also the whole software platform it delivers together with the hardware that is tightly connected with it.
And one harsh verdict on the iPad itself:
Today's iPad, the one that I just bought, is just a demo of something that could be very nice and useful at some point in the future. Today it's something to play with, not something to use. That's the kind way to say it. The direct way: It's a toy.

Another distributions for beginners article mentions the big names, recommends Linux Mint: "What sets Mint apart, though, is that it’s designed to give you everything the everyday user wants right out of the box." Or: Ubuntu without the extra step of installing DVD and .mp3 codecs. Personally, I prefer doing that spep; because Mint does it for you it lags a bit behind Ubuntu. But then I'm beta-testing Lucid and I tweak my own kernel, so ignore me if you want.

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