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First complicated, then simple

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Reviews

This column often focuses on devices or software that can be popped out of the box and put to work in no time. Be forewarned, the bulk of this week’s installment will be dedicated to something that is nowhere near that simple, but offers great rewards for the adventurous.

The subject is putting Linux, the open-source operating system, on your PC. Results should be more or less the same, regardless of the hardware you use. But some Linux variations are more suited to the unique demands of notebooks than others. Your friendly reviewer – with considerable assistance from his computer-scientist brother – used kubunto (pronounced kay-ubuntu) from Ubuntu on a ThinkPad from Lenovo.

In this reviewer’s testing, it was more stable than Windows. Over a couple weeks, it froze only once. And for many applications such as word-processing and e-mail, it was faster than Windows mainstays Word and Outlook. The biggest surprise to this reviewer was the beauty of the interface. It was nicer than any Windows variation. Moreover, there are all sorts of ways to adjust the look. If you can’t find one you like, there are dozens of others to try.

Linux-users will find no shortage of applications – including a free suite that mirrors the offerings of Microsoft Office and is compatible with most Office documents.

Full Article.

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today's leftovers

  • DRM display resource leasing (kernel side)
    So, you've got a fine head-mounted display and want to explore the delights of virtual reality. Right now, on Linux, that means getting the window system to cooperate because the window system is the DRM master and holds sole access to all display resources. So, you plug in your device, play with RandR to get it displaying bits from the window system and then carefully configure your VR application to use the whole monitor area and hope that the desktop will actually grant you the boon of page flipping so that you will get reasonable performance and maybe not even experience tearing. Results so far have been mixed, and depend on a lot of pieces working in ways that aren't exactly how they were designed to work.
  • GUADEC accommodation
    At this year’s GUADEC in Manchester we have rooms available for you right at the venue in lovely modern student townhouses. As I write this there are still some available to book along with your registration. In a couple of days we have to a final numbers to the University for how many rooms we want, so it would help us out if all the folk who want a room there could register and book one now if you haven’t already done so! We’ll have some available for later booking but we have to pay up front for them now so we can’t reserve too many.
  • Kickstarter for Niryo One, open source 6-axis 3D printed robotic arm, doubles campaign goal
    A Kickstarter campaign for the Niryo One, an open source 3D printed 6-axis robotic arm, has more than doubled its €20,000 target after just a couple of days. The 3D printed robot is powered by Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Robot Operating System.
  • Linux Action Show to End Eleven Year Run at LFNW
    Jupiter Broadcasting’s long-running podcast, Linux Action Show, will soon be signing off the air…er, fiber cable, for the last time. The show first streamed on June 10, 2006 and was hosted by “Linux Tycoon” Bryan Lunduke and Jupiter Broadcasting founder Chris Fisher. Lunduke left the show in 2012, replaced by Matt Hartley, who served as co-host for about three years. The show is currently hosted by Fisher and Noah Chelliah, president of Altispeed, an open source technology company located in Grand Forks, North Dakota.