Archive

Archive for September, 2011

A very quick look at Windows 8

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

OK, so with most of the rest of the curious digirati, I tried Windows 8 beta developer yadda yadda whatever version that was available yesterday from our, ahem, friends in Redmond.

I never thought I’d see a desktop that would make me appreciate Unity.

Windows 8 is the desktop equivalent of the old guy wearing a striped shirt with his plaid Bermuda shorts and white socks with his sandals.

To quote Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

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.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge Xubuntu

Eliminate DRM!

Events I’d like to see

September 14, 2011 4 comments

When Ken Starks and I put together Lindependence back in 2008, one of the things that I had hoped would come of it would be bigger and better Linux events. Of course, this is not to say the current crop of Linux/FOSS events are lacking — on the contrary — but permit me to dream big.

A couple of events I’d like to see in the future include:

Tuxstock (or Fossapalooza): Three Days of Peace & Music . . . and FOSS. I have the farm picked out in Bonny Doon, California, on a sunny hillside where we can set up a stage for music — with his band Severed Fifth backing him, Jono Bacon can play the “Star Spangled Banner” a la Hendrix — as well as areas downhill for hackfests, demonstrations, presentations and the like. Connectivity? Satellite, obviously. Solar power for electricity? Check. Details, of course, would have to be worked out — like transportation from Santa Cruz up to Bonny Doon (buses: lots, running all day), and camping would probably be an option. If it rains, there’s always a mud-sliding competition that can go with the Steve Ballmer chair toss event.

Then there’s . . . .

Expanding Linux Venues In the South (or ELVIS): A FOSS event fit for The King, this one would be held in Memphis, as close to Graceland as possible. Everyone would be required to wear blue suede shoes. We could have Elvis impersonators demonstrating various Linux distros and FOSS programs. Shoot, we could have Linus impersonators doing the same thing. And Stallman impersonators doing the same thing. And Jon ‘maddog’ Hall impersonators . . . you get the idea. This is definitely something worth planning, and I’m so far from Memphis. Is someone closer that could take the reins?

Meanwhile, here’s something that I can say with some certainty will happen, and remember you heard it here first . . . .

The Larry the Free Software Guy North American Tour 2012: While it is yet to be named (got one?), you’ll have a chance to hold aloft your lighters and get your T-shirts, backstage passes, etc., for the event of the year (at Linux events, anyway). Scheduled events include FUDCon at Virginia Tech, the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE), Linux Fest Northwest, COSSFest in Calgary, Utah Open Source Conference (in the spring next year, guys?), Texas Linux Fest, OSCON and Ohio Linux Fest. Got an event? We can add it to the tour.

Of course, I have to fit all this in when I’m not opening the musical portion of Tuxstock playing the acoustic Theremin, but I digress.

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.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge Xubuntu

Eliminate DRM!

Categories: Uncategorized

Taking a look a Salix

September 13, 2011 6 comments

There seems to be a mad dash lately of bloggers tripping over themselves to write reviews of Bodhi Linux. Jeff Hoogland and his merry band of developers have come out recently with version 1.2.0 and I’ve put it through some paces. Overall, I like it, but rather than yet another Bodhi review getting lost in the shuffle, I thought I’d put that one off for another time.

I have a MicroPC TransPort T2200 laptop on which I change distros as often as I change socks. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but it is pretty much a test bed for distros I try out.

Several days ago, I was thinking about how I had not really done a lot with Slackware-based distros other than OpenSUSE. I looked for the latest version of Wolvix, which I had written about a few years ago, but found it was discontinued. This is unfortunate, because while writing that blog item a few years ago, I got the sense when talking to lead developer and new-dad-at-the-time Kenneth Granerud that he was on to something.

So after doing a few laps on Distrowatch.com, I settled on Salix, a Slackware-based distro from Europe. According to its Web site, Salix is a linux distribution based on Slackware “that is simple, fast and easy to use.”

No truer words were spoken. After a relatively quick download and installation, Salix flies on the MicroPC laptop.

I opted for the Fluxbox version of the distro — it also comes in Xfce, LXDE and KDE flavors — and the lightweight window manager version does not disappoint. While it might be objectionable to free software purists (and I’m a little flexible on this issue, though I’d prefer the decision of installing it be given to the user), the presence of Flash on the distro out of the box is a plus for those who want to get online and straight over to YouTube. With the Gslapt Package Manager, you can dig around for programs you’d like to add.

It’s refreshing when you don’t have to pop the hood right away. Right out of the box, so to speak, the distro ran flawlessly. Connectivity is a snap, and there have been no glitches with the wireless since using Salix. I added Conky because I enjoy having a rundown of what’s going on beneath the keyboard that sits on my desktop, and I also added Irssi, because that’s what the “cool kids” use to talk on IRC. Why these two programs aren’t already included on distros — I’ve only encountered Irssi being native on Debian — is a mystery.

As a matter of personal preference, I changed the cursor. I have seen this before on Fluxbox-based distros: It comes with the cursor that has a large black arrow and I prefer the smaller white one. With this exception, there was nothing I needed to tweak right away.

Again, I can’t get over the speed of this distro. Salix flies on this laptop, even with multiple programs running simultaneously. I cannot say that for every distro that has graced this laptop. Salix is clearly one of the better distros I’ve come across.

I am not completely up to speed on Fluxbox and its nuances, but I’m getting there. In the hubbub that is known as the current desktop environment soap opera, I’m starting to like window managers more, and you may find that more distro test drives will include them.

The symbol for Salix is the bonsai. Like a bonsai, Salix is small, light and the product of infinite care.

If you have the time and the inclination, give it a try.

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.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge Xubuntu

Eliminate DRM!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 76 other followers