As a Guy Who Reviews Android Devices™, I've been faced with a strange sort of conundrum lately: When someone asks me to recommend a 10-in. Android tablet, I haven't had a good answer.
Sure, there are plenty of options out there. But it's been quite a while since there's been one that's stood out for being really great. Most of the contenders come with at least one serious caveat, be it chintzy construction, less-than-perfect performance, or software that makes you want to strike yourself with the nearest blunt object. And suffice it to say, those kinds of things take significant tolls on what a device is like to use.
My point is that people who are likely to enjoy Chromebooks and use their computers almost solely for accessing the web will probably find Chromixium quite useful. However, while it is technically possible to access more features and off-line software through Chromixium's application menu, the process is slow and awkward when compared with other desktop Linux distributions. Granted, Chromixium is still in its early stages, it just hit version 1.0, so the standalone features will probably improve in time. For now, I think Chromixium offers an interesting web-focused environment with the fallback option of using locally installed applications. The implementation has some rough edges at the moment, but I suspect it will get better in future releases.
Linux Mint is a special kind of Linux distribution—one that has gone a very long way to hold true to the form, function, and spirit that has guided Linux for a very long time. While other distributions march into the shiny, touch-friendly world that is the future, Mint remains grounded in what has worked for decades. With just the slightest of tweaks, Mint has gone boldly into that good night while keeping a foot deeply planted in the familiar.
With it’s latest release, 17.1 “Rebecca”, Linux Mint retains all of that which is familiar and beloved by its long time followers and adds enough polish to help attract new users.
This evening I decided to install Calculate Linux, so I threw in the LiveDVD and rebooted. The installer was interesting, easy to use, but I wonder why it asked which I/O scheduler I wished to use. Okay, I get asking the filesystem choice, but the last I even thought about I/O schedulers I was building a kernel - and I don't recall when exactly that was but I think it started with a 2.4. I tried to select default (one of the choices that sounded safe) but it kept going back to BFQ. The remaining steps proceeded fine until time to install GRUB. That failed with the error couldn't find update-grub.new. Hmm. So, next reboot I get dropped to a grub terminal. Yippie.
Fedora 22 was released last month and, as expected, it brought many new features and introduced many new technologies to Fedora users. I am a Plasma user. Fedora uses Gnome as the default desktop environment (DE). So the question was which version to download.
The good news is that Fedora is one of the Linux distributions (distros) which makes it easy to use your desktop environment of choice. There is no prodigal son, with exceptional privileges, which makes the lives of other DEs hard. Everyone is treated equally. Almost.
It’s very easy to install multiple DEs on a Fedora system, but for the sake of purity, and this review, I downloaded both: the default Workstation and the KDE spin.
The Fedora Project recently launched Fedora 22, the latest release of the popular, Red Hat sponsored distribution. The new version of Fedora brings with it a number of new and interesting features. The Workstation edition of the project offers users improved desktop notifications and the latest version of GNOME. The Server edition ships with XFS as the default file system and offers administrators the Cockpit management software. The Cloud edition of Fedora offers a rollback feature that allows administrators to undo changes to the base system as well as services.
The project's three branches (Workstation, Server and Cloud) are each available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. There are also some ARM images available. Since I tried Fedora 21 Workstation fairly recently I decided to explore another aspect of Fedora and looked at the Fedora spins. There are spins for most of the popular desktop environments, one for gaming and another for security. In fact there are lots of spins, but I chose to focus on just one, the KDE spin. The Fedora KDE spin ships with the Plasma 5 desktop and is provided as a 1.1GB ISO file.
Overall, I think the battle for the living room is just starting. Other devices may have already gotten a head-start, but Nvidia’s big leap puts the Shield into the fight in a strong way. Short of being a computer or HTPC, the Nvidia Shield covers several basic, but important, entertainment needs — it’s a gaming system, streams video, plays music, uses apps and may provide a way to finally cut the cable company chord that’s been taking all your money.
Realistically, it’s still a new product, but the options aren’t that few and there’s definitely more room for Shield and similar products to grow. It will be interesting to see what Nvidia and its competitors will come up with next.