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GNOME 3 and Unity, two players on the field… Two players who are almost matched. I won’t say GNOME 3 is as bad as Unity. Now, I’m all for simplicity but none for dumbing down. Seriously, the search for administrative utilities in Ubuntu 11.04 felt like a treasure hunt. Fedora 15 went just as well. I suppose major distros are attempting to aim more for the Linux newcomer. However, I can’t tell whether it is how used to GNOME 2 that I am or whether the “simpler” interfaces are harder to use. Where did my easy to access applications and system menus go? A good tip for all the distro producers out there from us power users and casual but seasoned linux fans, either scrap Unity and GNOME 3 or at least give us an easy option to go without.

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Hey guys, just wanted to say I’ve been off working on a new Linux distro. Not knowing who to target.. what users? I need a lot of help. Is there something missing or maybe even something you’d like removed from a mainstream distro? I’m open to any suggestions. Also, if someone would like to help me build the distro.. my computer isn’t that fast, that would be great! Looking for any help on this one. Please email any suggestions to karmastrikesback@gmail.com

Several things I need:

a)Suggestions for features

b)A linux programmer

c)Someone with a fast pc to build the distro

d) beta testers and end users

Just throw me a message and tell me what you’d like to help on.

Thanks a million guys! 🙂

 

 

Hello everyone! Remember me? Yes, I’m planning on making a comeback for the site. I’m sorry for any readers I may have disappointed.. 😦

However, before I make this “comeback” I should explain why I was gone for such a time. Wellllll….. I had this crappy ISP they call Hughesnet(Satellite internet provider). Hughesnet charges some very high rates, 90+ dollars, for some rather crappy service. Yes, I live out in the rural area where I do not have access to DSL and broadband. The line stops just before my street! How sick. Then, one fateful day, lightning struck my Hughesnet router. My contract was up, so I decided to cancel. Oh well… Now I’m “abusing” the priviledge of my school’s T3 internet connection. So yes, I’m back in business. Or at least I plan to be.

Now, I want to thank all of my readers who are reading this. That tells me you have enough faith in me to not just forget about this little project of mine. So thank you for supporting me. Even during the time I was gone a few people viewed the site. Like less than 100. I’m fine with that though.

Also, I plan telling everyone about the server I was fixing up for the school using OpenSUSE. It was actually quite interesting. That article will be published soon, don’t give up! 🙂

Once again, Thanks!!

I am terribly sorry about how long its been since I’ve written a review. I had written up a draft for my Fedora 11 review when….. somehow my notes went missing. I’ve been scatterbrained lately so I didn’t want to write the review completely out of memory because I fear that it may look bad. Rest assured though that I will try my best to rewrite the notes and post my review for Fedora 11. However, do be warned that it may be a long time. Thanks for understanding.

Okay everyone, it’s finally here. My review for Linux Mint 7. I know I’ve been slacking off here for a while but I’ve just had a lot of trouble here lately. Rest assured though that I will do everything in my power to keep the blog updated. Okay, enough of my problems. On to the review.

First thing I want to say. The Live CD is a bit sluggish but is capable of doing things like browsing the web and of course installing. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing both at the same time as you may run into a bit of a problem. Soon after loading the desktop I did what I always do. Install and try an application on the Live CD. The Installer was a mirror of Ubuntu’s famous 7 step installer. You start off selecting your language of course. Your second step is selecting your time zone(based on a city within a time zone).

If you know your time zone well you can just pick any city within your time zone. Next up is your keyboard setup, the default is USA but there is also a number of other keyboard setups to pick. Immediately after picking the keyboard layout you set up your partitions for the install. This is the only part I don’t like about the install because in some cases the partitioner has to set things up prior to stepping ahead which can mess up your other installation should you want to turn back. So on to the next step which is setting up your account.(username, password, name of computer). The last step is simply agreeing to continue with the install. You’re presented with a general overview of what will be configured/installed. Then, like most users at this point, I continue to install without even reading the general overview.

The install takes roughly ten minutes to finish. This is not bad in my opinion. So instead of growing a beard with installs like, say, Fedora 10 with all packages selected, or Sabayon 4.0 I just grew a little stubble.

Now that it’s install let’s get down to business. The time it takes from pressing the power button to loading the desktop is relatively a minute. That number may be higher for those with slower PCs. First off, Linux Mint 7 does use GNOME which, as it has been said before, is my top choice in the way of desktop environments. Linux Mint 7 does include a fair amount of pre-installed apps. For the web browser it includes Firefox whereas another league of distros include Opera. For the email client Mint 7 uses Mozilla Thunderbird instead of Ubuntu’s default evolution. This is a better choice in my opinion as Thunderbird is easier to configure. For those users needing and office type setup OpenOffice is included by default. For general use that’s all I would need as my server has everything else. The Mint devs also customized the GNOME menu to combine all of the normal GNOME apps, places, and admin sections. They also went with a one panel setup. Which has more of a Window$ look which is useful for Window$ migrators. Multimedia apps are also included such as GNOME media player and Rhythmbox.

My next order of business was to install some apps on my own. This is easily accomplished by mintInstall. mintInstall is similar to Ubuntu’s Add/Remove app. It shows all of the software organized by category tabs. Another thing I like about mintInstall is that user reviews of each software package is also shown as you browse through the available packages. I chose to install the Vuze bit torrent client. mintInstall soon rounded up all dependancies and presented me with a confirmation of the install. Vuze installed and worked like a charm.

Now, on to the update manager. The update manager shows available updates for your installed apps and chooses the ones to install based on results from a safe list. Optionally you could choose to just install the packages that are deemed dangerous at your own risk as they may tank your system.

Next up I want to talk about the aesthetics of Linux Mint 7. The artwork is simple but has this great professional look to it. The default background presents what looks like rain on a window but remixed to have a bright/mint green hue. The GNOME panel has been customized with a charcoal grey color which goes well with the bright green default theme.

The developers have tried their best to make the landing from Windows into Linux as soft and as comfortable as possible. However, they do not include support for Windows apps with WINE. However, one can almost completely replace Windows apps anyway so I don’t believe it matters.  The devs, sadly, seem to have made the distro unfavorable for Linux gurus. I don’t think their goal was to please Linux gurus though. So those who do consider themselves Linux gurus need not touch this distro as you probably will not like it.

Linux Mint may be the future transition for Windows users however with no guru support the Distro may fade out. What Mint devs have done though is base the distro off of a commercially backed distro which will give them more security.

So this is the conclusion of my review for Linux Mint 7(Gloria). I hope you liked it. My ratings follow:

stability: 4/5 – Given that this modified version of Ubuntu does add some features there is more room for bugs. However, Mint devs try their best to make certain users won’t run into them.

simplicity: 5/5 – This is about as simple as it gets guys. New users definitely need to get their hands on a copy of Linux Mint

speed: 4/5 – Linux Mint offers a lot of features at a decent speed

You can check Linux Mint 7 out yourself here: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

You can also learn how to (almost) completely replace your Windows desktop here: http://www.howtoforge.com/the-perfect-desktop-linux-mint-7-gloria

First off, I want to say that I’m not a fan of the whole going green thing but Linux Mint makes me want to(as far as linux distros go). When I do a google search on switching to Linux Mint I see forums and such with other faithful fans of Ubuntu and an assorted group of others bashing Linux Mint. I saw one post saying that Linux Mint was for lazy noobs. Okay, so what if a group of individuals fixed up an already great Linux distro(Ubuntu) that just makes it a softer landing for those switching over from Windows? Is that not what we want, more Linux users?

That’s why Windows users are afraid to switch because they’re afraid they might have to actually DO something. I’ll admit I don’t WANT to see a lot of Linux users. Then companies looking for profit will try to ruin the Linux name and we’ll all have to switch to something else and start all over again with nothing but a kernel. However, the only way we will start getting more support is if there are more users. Its very sad, but true.

Modifying a Linux Distro so that it is very friendly to new users(I don’t call them noobs because I was a NOOB one time) is not going to stop the Microsoft Corporation or Apple from holding the cards, but it will win over a few more users to the Linux world. I think that’s all we need. A few more users. Linux is not for the common person and I personally don’t think that the whole world is ready for Linux. Okay, I’ll stop ranting and raving. The Linux Mint review is planned to go up within the next two days. Possibly even tonight. Thanks for reading and please stop by again!

Okay, I do have another Linux Distro in mind for review after I finish the Linux Mint review. For a while now I’ve been wanting to try out OpenSUSE I hear it is pretty good but I want to see for myself and let others who don’t know about it see how things went. Just giving you a heads up. Thanks for reading!

If you regularly visit my blog to read my reviews please send me an email: austinmasters30@gmail.com

Thanks!

Well, next up for review is Linux Mint 7 check back for its posting. Thanks for reading!

Yes I am finally writing the review for my most favorite Debian-based distro out there(unbiased review of course) . I know some people have a dislike for Ubuntu, for me I see a great user-friendly operating system. Now, Ubuntu and I lost touch for quite a while because of the 8.10 release and its incompatibility with my Intel graphics card. I loved most of the other features, I just ended up having the same problem as I did with Sabayon 4(Frying my eyes out). So, hearing that Ubuntu 9.04 included better support for Intel graphics I downloaded it and decided to give Ubuntu another shot. This time I was much more pleased at the features it included. Some of the new features include better video support, a new “computer janitor”, and several other small features. The current version of Ubuntu also sports a new look too.

So now I’ve given my semi-short briefing I’ll go on with the actual review. I did notice that Ubuntu 9.04 had a wee bit of a shorter startup time than 8.10 on my machine. There were several choices on the live CD but, like I always do I immediately went on to check out the live desktop(what most users would do). The desktop loading time was a bit longer than the last Ubuntu distro in my opinion. However, I don’t typically base my whole review off of the performance of the live CD.

The desktop loaded after about two minutes with the familiar tribal sounding intro but a slightly new look and feel. The default desktop background had changed to a more silky and smooth picture with waves. I have to say I prefer this background over the last which featured rather tribal looking picture with something which I could not quite guess what it was.

Okay, now on to the technical stuff. Programs running off of the Ubuntu live disk did have some lag due to the fact that it is a live disk and not installed to the hard drive. Now, Ubuntu aims to make the install as smooth as possible with only basic input from the user. So I don’t feel that I need to explain how the install went step-by-step but instead with one statement “simple and smooth”.

Just as I had expected after the install the startup time was much shorter. Instead of taking a minute and a half to two minutes it took about thirty seconds. I like when things go smooth. I’ve had desktop/display managers crash on me right at startup, but Ubuntu ran like a champ. Now, to my first order of business. Those who read my past reviews know my first order of business is mainly spending quality time with the package manager.

Ubuntu’s main package manager the “Synaptic Package Manager” includes a categorized list of all of the packages in the APT repositories. Synaptic Package Manager has to be one of the smoothest running and simplest package managers I’ve ever used. You simply browse the repository or search for your desired package and click the check box which gives you a full array of options such as installing, reinstalling, or even a complete removal(a complete removal also removes packages related to the one you are removing). Ubuntu’s package manager also makes it easy to add and remove repos. This is aside from almost completely replacing what (typical) Window$ user would need by including a number of pre-installed applications. This gives Ubuntu a bad name as people like to say it is “bloated” but if that’s the case so are many other distro’s

Updating/Upgrading is important in keeping a secure and stable computing environment. That is why Ubuntu 9.04 also includes a “smart” upgrade feature which means when you upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10 everything should seamlessly upgrade with it. Also, there is an included update manager which I don’t recall being present before in Ubuntu(my brain is scattered, I could be wrong). Many times this update manager has been the only thing keeping my computer up-to-date as I tend to slack off a lot on that point. I mentioned before that the current version of Ubuntu comes with a “Computer Janitor” which removes Debian(.deb) packages that you may not need or use to clean/speed up your computing environment.

Performance has not been a problem since I installed Ubuntu 9.04 and space for storage has not been a problem as Ubuntu doesn’t take up much space. Ubuntu IS linux for human beings. I know my article may have sounded biased but I did work to keep only facts based on what my experiences were. You could also choose to brush this off as my opinion. However, if you have not tried Ubuntu 9.04 because Ubuntu didn’t work out well before I urge you to try this version. This concludes my review for Ubuntu 9.04, hope you liked it. My ratings follow:

Stability: 5/5 – No Linux distro could have a PERFECT stability rating. So I’m scaling the score because Ubuntu rocks the socks off of stability.

Simplicity:4/5 – Ubuntu aims at Linux for human beings and that is what they deliver. Setup is a synch and using it is amazingly simple also. However, due to the lack of a centralized configuration feature I did have to drop the point off but a four out of five ain’t bad.

Speed:4/5 – Speed is one of the fundamental features of Linux and that is what Ubuntu does, they deliver speed. Now maybe not lightning here but certainly a good offering on speed.

Check it out for yourself here.