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Kororaa Linux 15 released

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Several weeks ago, I put Kororaa 14 “Nemo” through its paces and liked it a lot. Chris Smart and his colleages at Kororaa do a great job in producing a distro based on Fedora, and Smart announced last week the release of Kororaa Linux 15 “Squirt.”

Based on the Fedora 15 release, Squirt features both KDE SC 4.6 and GNOME 3 desktop environments (as well as including a desktop switcher for GNOME 3, so that users can switch between the new Shell interface and the 2.x style Fallback mode), and it is available for download for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

Squirt highlights include:

  • Customized GNOME 3 desktop environment
  • Customized KDE SC 4.6 desktop environment
  • Default browser: Mozilla Firefox 6
  • Out-of-the-box multimedia support
  • VLC as default video player
  • Extra repositories for installing Adobe Flash Player, Google Chrome, RPMFusion and VirtualBox
  • Gwibber and Choqok microblogging clients
  • Adobe Flash Player installer
  • Jockey Device Driver Manager to easily install Nvidia and ATI video drivers
  • Shell and Fallback desktops switcher for GNOME 3
  • OpenShot and Kdenlive video editors
  • SELinux enabled
  • Linphone VoIP client (for the KDE edition)
  • Want to take a look? Download it here.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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    Sometimes the best response is a shrug

    September 22, 2011 3 comments

    This week there was a sort of back-and-forth starting with Brian Proffitt in one blog item about Richard Stallman’s somewhat verbose Guardian article and a response by Bruce Byfield in a blog item about how he notices that lately people are picking on the Free Software Foundation. This kind of tete-a-tete is normally custom made for my participation, and last night I had thought about jumping in with both feet and an arm.

    But you know what? Never mind. Just never mind. I had a whole blog item written last night. I went to bed. I woke up this morning and read my item. Then I deleted it. It’s just another “fuel, meet fire” situation that, despite my standard-issue remarkable and compelling prose (ahem), would have just removed focus from more important issues and would have created ill feelings.

    So I’m just going to shrug, say “Ho-kay,” and write about something else.

    Before I do, however, I will say that I do think Brian is right when he says that the Guardian article is another FSF broadside against open source, and that I don’t agree with Bruce’s arguments that the FSF is being picked on. Let’s look more importantly at the latter: The FSF does a lot of great things on behalf of software freedom, and does so with remarkably few resources. For this we are truly thankful. On the other hand, the FSF tragically has made an exact science of cultivating a “my way or highway” attitude (bring up dissenting viewpoints, as I have, and see how far you go), which makes its prevalent dogmatic stance a formula for organizational rigor mortis. For this reason alone (though there are others I won’t go into here), the FSF hand-delivers invitations for criticism — some of it deserved, some not — rather than than being victims of attacks for whatever reason externally. For all the great things he has done, Richard Stallman is largely responsible for this culture of dogma and rigidity, and when some — not me, but others — equate the FSF to being the FOSS equivalent of the Taliban, I’d like to argue against that comparison but, honestly, I really can’t.

    But never mind.

    Let’s go from one train wreck to another, shall we?

    One of the items that is high on the tech radar today is the fact that Hewlett-Packard is about to push Leo Apotheker off the top of the building (the sentiments of some board members, it’s safe to say) and replace him with — I kid you not — Meg Whitman.

    Meg Whitman. I would have prefered Slim Whitman — link to Wikipedia provided so the kids here don’t have to Google him. So while you read who he is, get off of my lawn.

    This Whitman-for-Apotheker swap has been described as a “hangover solution” in one ZDNet blog item, a sort of “hair of the dog” after an all-night bender where the first question is, “I did . . . WHAT?!” And the best decisions are usually not made when you’re hung over. Hence we have Meg Whitman waiting in the wings when, according to people at HP, they have a very capable CEO choice in house with Ann Livermore.

    While it would probably be best for HP to keep someone in house at the helm — that’s one vote for you, Ann, over Meg — whomever takes over hopefully will say, with one of their first utterances in charge, “Remember what we said about dumping our hardware and WebOS? We take that back.”

    That would be nice, but on the whole that, too, probably deserves another shrug.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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    Linux desktop: Not pining for the fjords

    September 20, 2011 16 comments

    When radio became a popular form of entertainment, the prevailing wisdom of the time provided that live theater was dead. Of course, this so-called “wisdom” was just a little off, since live theater “survived” the onslaught of radio entertainment and still lives to this day.

    When television became ubiquitous in households across the land, the death knell for movie theaters and radio was sounded by the day’s pundits. There would be no reason to go to the movie theater any longer. Of course, they were wrong again, since movie theaters and radio still exist and are an integral part of the social landscape.

    Even the death sentence for newspapers at the hands of the Internet — not the fault so much of the Internet as it is of bean-counting pinheads in publishers’ offices around the world — is still widely premature, though admittedly it doesn’t look good for the printed word.

    Now there’s the future — or lack thereof — of Linux desktop, where tech writers are tripping over each other recently to announce its untimely demise.

    I’ll just let time prove them wrong.

    The problem is, to paraphrase the oft-quoted (and misquoted) Mark Twain on this particular topic, the report of its death is an exaggeration (the popular misquote, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” admittedly sounds better than what Twain wrote to the New York Journal is 1897: ” . . . the report of my death was an exaggeration.”).

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols points out in a recent article that the resounding butt-kicking that Android and Chrome are laying on the digital world these days doesn’t bode well for the Linux desktop. Vaughan-Nichols links to a blog post by Jason Perlow that says that, essentially, we are entering the post-PC era in which, while the x86 may be dead, personal computing across different-sized hardware will continue.

    I can see this and generally have no qualms with that, however I think this sales pitch for a brave new world of tablets and smartphones goes overboard. Arguably, what Perlow describes doesn’t sound like post-PC, but rather PC-plus-(fill in your additional hardware here).

    Linux’s success in the non-desktop realm is hardly an accident and I am neither belittling it nor taking this for granted. On the contrary: Linux’s superiority in servers, supercomputers and mobile provide resounding proof that it is a successful operating system, to the point where “the year of the desktop” has now become laughable since it is no longer the standard by which Linux’s success should be gauged (if that was ever the case in the first place).

    Yet, to those risking injury jumping on the Linux-desktop-is-dead bandwagon, my question is this: Does Linux’s skyrocketing use and popularity in the mobile and tablet realms necessarily mean the “death” of something else in Linux, like — oh, I don’t know — the desktop, as some sort of technological quid pro quo?

    I’d say “no,” and I’m willing to bet history has my back.

    This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

    [FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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    Eliminate DRM!

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