I wanted to give Kubuntu a try in my laptop after I gave it a try and was dissatisfied and removed it when Kubuntu 9.04 was released. There were lots of bugs and for a laptop, using the widget for wireless connection was a pain. I have written about it in my blog post here. KDE underwent a lot of bug fixes and new features since then, so I thought I would download and give it a try. I downloaded Kubuntu 9.10 yesterday and installed it my laptop.
The installation was fine though I got some errors when the Live CD booted and shutdown. The new installer looked promising, but it needs some fine tuning. My laptop’s default resolution is 1680*1050 and the installer was using a lower resolution. This resulted in installer text/options etc. overlapping in some cases. One example is, when you create a username and password, you’ll see 3 or 4 options at the bottom on how you want to login. The 3rd option which encrypts your home directory wasn’t clear.
Once installed, the boot process was very fast. It’s faster than Ubuntu/Kubuntu 9.04. The old network manager is back and auto starts, so that’s good. Though I could click the network manager icon and select create a network and select the wireless network I want, I think it’s not as user friendly as Ubuntu. It would be nice if it could give you the available networks directly rather than going through a set of clicks.
Plasma got lots of widgets including some for social networking like Twitter, Facebook etc. It has more widgets now than the screen allows. It’s getting much better. The other thing I like in KDE is the ease of installing and changing themes and wallpapers. You can just right click the desktop, select desktop settings and you will see an option there to get new themes and wallpapers.
Konqueror is getting better, but I don’t feel comfortable with it as much as Firefox. Kubuntu prompted me to install additional plugins for Konqueror to play video and other stuff, which is good. I thought I would give Arora a try since it was the default browser in the alpha stages of Kubuntu 9.10 before they went back to Konqueror. Arora starts pretty fast, but I’m not sure if it loads pages faster than Firefox or not. It also lacks the amount of extensions that Firefox offers including security related ones. For Firefox fans, there is an option in the internet menu that will install Firefox if you need.
I used it only for 10 minutes and it impressed me. I would like to use it little more and see if I’m comfortable continuing it. I believe KDE team and Kubuntu team are making a good progress compared to the amount of support they get.
All 130,000 desktop PCs at the Directorate General of Public Finance (DGPF) in Paris are to be switched to using the open source Mozilla Thunderbird email client, its Lightning calendar and the open source groupware application OBM.
The French tax authority DGPF is the result of a merger begun in 2007 of the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI) and the Directorate General of Public Accountancy (DGCP). Each uses their own email system, IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook and the integration of the two departments prompted a move to new email and groupware software.
The tax authority selected Thunderbird for reasons of cost and management of licenses.
Ubuntu team has released their next iteration of Ubuntu OS, Ubuntu 9.10, code named Karmic Koala. I have already covered extensively the new features in Ubuntu 9.10 during the alpha, beta and RC cycles. Here is a short list of new features in Ubuntu 9.10.
Underlying technology for power management, laptop Hotkeys, and handling storage devices and cameras maps was moved from “hal” (which is going to be deprecated soon) to “DeviceKit-power”, “DeviceKit-disks” and “udev”.
Karmic uses GCC-4.4 as the default compiler.
Ubuntu One gives 2 GB of online storage to sync and backup your files.
Evince, the GNOME document viewer, now ships with an enforcing AppArmor profile. This greatly increases security by protecting you against flaws in the historically problematic PDF and image libraries.
Ubuntu 9.10 includes the 2.6.31-14.48 kernel based on 126.96.36.199.
The Intel video driver has switched from the “EXA” acceleration method to the new “UXA”, solving major performance problems of Ubuntu 9.04.
For known issues with Ubuntu 9.10, click here. You can download Ubuntu from here.
The KPackageKit package manager used in Kubuntu 9.10 does not notify users if the packages they are installing come from repositories that are not secured with PGP. Users that wish to be informed of any packages installed from unsigned sources should use the apt-get command line tool as a workaround. (Launchpad bug)
KNetworkManager cannot connect to a wireless network with a hidden SSID. Install network-manager-gnome via a wired connection as a workaround. (Launchpad bug)
The “Hardware Drivers” package in Kubuntu (jockey-kde) requires a local package cache to function properly. Immediately after a new installation, this might not exist. If running jockey-kde after installing Kubuntu, first ensure there is a local package cache by running KPackageKit (K-Menu -> System Settings -> Add and Remove Software) and clicking on software updates or in a Konsole shell doing “sudo apt-get update” before running jockey-kde. (Launchpad bug)
For Kubuntu Netbook Edition, users who wish to run Wubi from a USB disk that has persistent storage enabled will need to run it with the –force-wubi option from the Windows command line. (Launchpad bug)
When using the OEM installation option on Kubuntu Netbook Edition, no “prepare for shipping” icon is placed on the desktop. Users who are doing OEM installations with Kubuntu Netbook Edition can access this feature under by choosing System->Prepare for shipping … from the main bar. (Launchpad Bug)
This is how it works. You do a Google search for an artists or album or a song, Google will display the song with a preview play button and clicking the link will show you the preview of the song from one of the partner with an option to buy that song. Take a look at the video below for a tour.
The Windows 7 launch party concept was a complete and utter failure. The YouTube video Microsoft created to market the launch party concept certainly got attention, but for all the wrong reasons. It was almost universally mocked and parodied. Just look at the endless list of ‘Related Videos’ making fun of the launch party promotion.
One reader commented in the PC World forums to lament his attempts at hosting a launch party. After receiving only one response, which wasn’t even the official RSVP, the reader examined the RSVP in more detail and found “it looked like the whole TON of apparently life-sucking legalese I had to agree to in order to HOST a party. With even GUESTS having to agree to everything short of giving up their BIRTHRIGHTS to Microsoft and its subsidiaries, heirs, etc., how is ANYBODY supposed to actually get people to do the “official RSVP?!?”
Even PC World’s Rick Broida got so little response to his own Windows 7 launch party invites that he simply canceled the event.
Obama administration has made public the code behind Whitehouse.gov website. Having the public look at the code and modify it will make the code more secure, according to the government. Because programmers collaborate to find errors or opportunities to exploit Web code, the final product is therefore more secure.
The technology that the Bush administration purchased to host the website was not good enough, so Obama administration is moving to Drupal, an open source Content Management System. It comes more cheaply than computer coding designed for a single client, such as the Executive Office of the President. It gives programmers around the world a chance to offer upgrades, additions or tweaks to existing programs that the White House could — or could not — include in daily updates.
It’s also a nod to Obama’s pledge to make government more open and transparent. Aides joked that it doesn’t get more transparent than showing the world a code that their Web site is based on.
It’s a good step forward. I hope other government agencies will follow this model.