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today's leftovers

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  • Top 10 Reasons Why Desktop Linux Failed

    1) Linux isn't pre-installed - No matter how much we may debate it, having Windows pre-installed on PCs means that's what people are likely to end up using. In order for someone to move over to Linux on the desktop, there must be a clear reason to do so. There is the problem. The only time I've personally seen users make the switch over to Linux from Windows comes down to frustration with Windows or a desire to advance their skills into an IT field.

    My own Linux story, for example, was a mixture of the two examples above. First off, I was just done with Windows. I had already been dabbling with Linux at the time I completely switched, but I become disenfranchised with the Microsoft way of doing things. So for me, the switch to Linux was based out of frustration.

    Had I not experienced any frustrations with Windows, I might not have ever thought to jump ship over to an alternative. Even when I built my own PCs myself, the OS offered at computer stores was Windows only. This is a huge hurdle for Linux adoption on the desktop.

    2) Linux freedom vs convenience - It's been my experience that people expect a user experience that's consistent and convenience. How one defines this depends on the individual user. For some, it's a matter of familiarity or perceived dependability. For more advanced PC users, a consistent convenience may mean a preferred workflow or specific applications.

    The greater takeaway is that when people are aware of other operating systems, they will usually stick with that they've used the longest. This presents a problem when getting people to try Linux. When using a desktop platform for a long time, you develop habits and expectations that don't lend themselves well to change.

  • How to be efficient and cost effective (or not)

    It's the mid-1990s, and this big corporation is working on a major development project to replace most of its critical systems, says a Unix admin pilot fish working there.

  • [Podcast] PodCTL #41 – Dissecting Kubernetes Surveys

    In a world of open source projects, privately funded companies, one-off cloud services and a mix of public companies, it can often be difficult to determine hype from trends from real usage.

  • PodCTL Podcast #38 – A Beginner’s Guide to Kubernetes
  • Optimizing a Python application with C++ code

    I’ve been working lately in a command line application called Bard which is a music manager for your local music collection. Bard does an acoustic fingerprinting of your songs (using acoustid) and stores all song metadata in a sqlite database. With this, you can do queries and find song duplicates easily even if the songs are not correctly tagged. I’ll talk in another post more about Bard and its features, but here I wanted to talk about the algorithm to find song duplicates and how I optimized it to run around 8000 times faster.

    [...]

    An obvious improvement I didn’t do yet was replacing the map with a vector so I don’t have to convert it before each for_each call. Also, vectors allow to reserve space in advance, and since I know the final size the vector will have at the end of the whole algorithm, I changed to code to use reserve wisely.

    This commit gave the last increase of speed, to 7998x, 36680 songs/second and would fully process a music collection of 1000 songs in just 13 seconds..

  • How A KDE Developer Used C++17 & Boost.Python For About A 8,000x Speed-Up

    Open-source developer Antonio Larrosa who contributes to KDE and openSUSE has been developing a command-line music manager called Bard. He's written an interesting post about how he sped up some of his operations by around eight-thousand times faster.

    In particular, Antonio was focused on speeding up the process of finding song/music duplicates in the user's local music collection. What started out as Python code was morphed into optimized C++ code. Little surprise, the C++ code once tuned was immensely faster than Python -- but the blog post is interesting for those curious about the impact of the various steps he took for tuning this implementation.

  • GLib 2.58 Is Looking Good With Portability Improvements, Efficient Process Launching

    The GLib low-level GNOME library while being quite mature is seeing a significant update with its version 2.58 release due out this September for GNOME 3.30.

    Two of the biggest GLib 2.58 changes we have covered up to now on Phoronix has been the new generic reference counting API and more efficient app launching. The reference counting API has been in the works for 6+ years to help GLib's bindings/integration with languages utilizing automatic memory management / garbage collection. The more efficient process launching via the use of posix_nspawn() is also exciting for better performance, particularly on systems suffering from memory pressure.

  • Taiwan Travel Blog - Day 2 & 3

    My Taiwan Travel blog continues! I was expecting the weather to go bad on July 10th, but the typhoon arrived late and the rain only started around 20:00. I'm pretty happy because that means I got to enjoy another beautiful day of hiking in Taroko National Park.

    I couldn't find time on the 10th to sit down and blog about my trip, so this blog will also include what I did on the 11th.

  • Canonical Releases Minimal Ubuntu, Optimised for Multicloud

    Canonical, the company behind popular Linux system Ubuntu, has released Minimal Ubuntu, a pared-back, significantly faster iteration of its server operating system (OS).

  • Nokia signs billion-euro network tech deal with China Mobile

     

    Nokia said over the one-year framework agreement it will deliver mobile radio access, fixed access, IP routing and optical transport systems as well as other services to the Chinese mobile operator.  

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More in Tux Machines

Vista 10: Embrace, Now Extend

  • WLinux: Windows 10 Gets Its Own Exclusive Linux Distro
    Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali are some of the popular Linux distros available out there for Windows Subsystem for Linux. But, most of these distros contain packages that are irrelevant to WSL and lack development tools. How about a distro that is optimized specially for Windows 10?
  • New Linux Distro Created Specifically for Windows 10
    The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows users to run Linux distributions on top of Windows 10, and at this point, there are already several choices for users who want to try out this feature. In addition to Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali, beginning today, Windows 10 adopters are provided with a new Linux distro that’s specifically optimized for the WSL. Called WLinux, this new Linux distro is focused on the packages that are relevant to WSL, as well as the customizations to take full advantage of this Windows 10 feature.

Review: Bodhi Linux 5.0.0

Sometimes when reviewing an operating system it is difficult to separate the question "Is this a good distribution?" from "Is this a good distribution for me?" Bodhi is one of those projects where the answers to these questions are quite different, mostly over matters of style rather than functionality. On a personal level, I don't think I would ever be inclined to use Bodhi myself because I don't like the Moksha/Enlightenment style of desktop. It does a lot of little things differently (not badly, just differently) from other open source desktops and its style is not one I ever seem to find comfortable. This, combined with the streamlined, web-based AppCenter and unusual settings panel, makes Bodhi a distribution which always feels a bit alien to me. Let's put aside my personal style preferences though and try to look at the distribution objectively. Bodhi is trying to provide a lightweight, visually attractive distribution with a wide range of hardware support. It manages to do all of these things and do them well. The distribution is paying special attention to lower-end hardware, including 32-bit systems, and maintains a remarkably small memory footprint given the amount of functionality and eye candy included. Most lightweight distributions sacrifice quite a bit visually in order to provide the lightest interface possible, but Bodhi does a nice job of balancing low resource requirements with an attractive desktop environment. Bodhi is pleasantly easy to install, thanks to the Ubiquity installer, has a minimal collection of software (in the main edition) that allows us to craft our own experience and, for people who need more applications out of the box, there is the AppPack edition. All of this is to say that, for me personally, I spent more time that I would have liked this week searching through settings, trying to get used to how Moksha's panel works, tracking down less popular applications and re-learning when to use right-click versus left-click on the desktop. But, objectively, I would be hard pressed to name another distribution that more elegantly offers a lightweight desktop with visual effects, or that offers such easy access to both legacy and modern hardware support. In short, I think Bodhi Linux is a good distribution for those who want to get the most performance out of their operating system without sacrificing hardware support or the appearance of the interface. There are a few little glitches here and there, but sothing show-stopping and, overall, Bodhi is a well put together distribution. Read more

Android Leftovers

5 ways to play old-school games on a Raspberry Pi

They don't make 'em like they used to, do they? Video games, I mean. Sure, there's a bit more grunt in the gear now. Princess Zelda used to be 16 pixels in each direction; there's now enough graphics power for every hair on her head. Today's processors could beat up 1988's processors in a cage-fight deathmatch without breaking a sweat. But you know what's missing? The fun. You've got a squillion and one buttons to learn just to get past the tutorial mission. There's probably a storyline, too. You shouldn't need a backstory to kill bad guys. All you need is jump and shoot. So, it's little wonder that one of the most enduring popular uses for a Raspberry Pi is to relive the 8- and 16-bit golden age of gaming in the '80s and early '90s. But where to start? Read more