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Reviews

The Dell Precision 5520 lets you get to work in Ubuntu 16.04

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Dell's Precision 5520 is one of the very few laptops to offer a Linux distribution as a pre-installed operating system. Another is Dell's XPS 13 Developer Edition, which offers great performance in a compact size. For people wanting something a little more powerful, the Precision 5520 (which starts at $1,399 but is $2,765.50 as configured) packs workstation levels of power while remaining just shy of four pounds (3.93, to be exact).

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Also: Linux Mint 18.2 Ubuntu-based operating system is named 'Sonya'

TrueOS 2017-02-22

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Reviews
BSD

TrueOS, which was formerly named PC-BSD, is a FreeBSD-based operating system. TrueOS is a rolling release platform which is based on FreeBSD's "CURRENT" branch, providing TrueOS with the latest drivers and features from FreeBSD. Apart from the name change, TrueOS has deviated from the old PC-BSD project in a number of ways. The system installer is now more streamlined (and I will touch on that later) and TrueOS is a rolling release platform while PC-BSD defaulted to point releases. Another change is PC-BSD used to allow the user to customize which software was installed at boot time, including the desktop environment. The TrueOS project now selects a minimal amount of software for the user and defaults to using the Lumina desktop environment.

Not everything has changed. TrueOS still features many of the same utilities PC-BSD offered, including encrypted removable media, like USB thumb drives, as well as ZFS boot environments. The project, under the new name, still supplies two editions we can download: a Desktop edition and a Server edition. Both editions run on 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. I will be focusing on TrueOS's Desktop offering in this review. The Desktop edition is available through a 2.3GB download. Unlike most Linux distributions, TrueOS offers different downloads depending on whether we intend to copy the installation image to USB or DVD media.

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Hands on with the Pinebook

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

The Pine A64 was a 64-bit Quad-Core Single Board Computer which was kickstarted at the tail end of 2015 for delivery in the middle of 2016. Costing just $15, and hailed as a “Raspberry Pi killer,” the board raised $1.7 million from 36,000 backers. It shipped to its backers to almost universally poor reviews.

Now they’re back, this time with a laptop—a 11.6-inch model for $89, or a 14-inch model for $99. Both are powered by the same 64-bit Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 as the original Pine A64 board, but at least Pine are doing a much better job this time around of managing user expectations.

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Kubuntu 17.04 - the next generation

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KDE
Reviews

As usual, Kubuntu 17.04 does not give you any surprises. It is stable and reliable. It is reasonably resource-hungry. There are no wonders in this new release. Just a well-rounded distribution for everyday use.

Yes, there are small bugs or inconveniences here and there, but they are not huge and can be easily fixed, replaced or lived with. The biggest of them for me, of course, is the lack of multimedia codecs. You can heal that easily.

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Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zaphod - Kawabuntu!

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KDE
Reviews
Ubuntu

Let us continue with the spring season distro testing. Next on the menu: Kubuntu. After many years of offering bland, emotionless releases, we had a cautiously reasonable Yakkety Yak edition, so me hopes are high for today.

And for today, we will examine the latest Kubuntu, which officially bears the name of Zesty Zapus, but once again, like my recent Ubuntu review, my version of the distro's name is totally better. So allow me to ask thee, what is the answer to Linux, multiverse and constant forking?

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A Visual Review to deepin 15.4 GNU/Linux Beauty

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Reviews

deepin 15.4 is really beautiful in every single detail. The beauty of deepin lies on its simplicity, drop shadow and translucency style, with completeness of feature. All the beauty cost only around 730MB of RAM at idle time. It's so user-friendly until I believe kids can use GNU/Linux easier with this. It has its native applications that are fulfilling daily needs, complete in feature, and always with pretty look. The desktop menu understands the users, with greatly accessible features. The Control Center is great as well, making the users have complete control with less learning curve. I believe anyone formerly using Windows, MacOS, Android, even any GNU/Linux distro will be easy to switch to deepin 15.4.

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Ubuntu 17.04: Unity's swan song?

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Reviews
Ubuntu

For the most part, not much has changed on Ubuntu's Desktop edition in the past year. Unity 7 has more or less remained the same while work was progressing on the next version of the desktop, Unity 8. However, now that both desktops are being retired in favour of the GNOME desktop, running Ubuntu 17.04 feels a bit strange. This week I was running software that has probably reached the end of its life and this version of Ubuntu will only be supported for nine months. I could probably get the same desktop experience and most of the same hardware support running Ubuntu 16.04 and get security updates through to 2021 in the bargain. In short, I don't think Ubuntu 17.04 offers users anything significant over last year's 16.04 LTS release and it will be retired sooner.

That being said, I could not help but be a little wistful about using Unity 7 again. Even though it has been about a year since I last used Unity, I quickly fell back into the routine and I was once more reminded how pleasant it can be to use Unity. The desktop is geared almost perfectly to my workflow and the controls are set up in a way that reduces my mouse usage to almost nothing. I find Unity a very comfortable desktop to use, especially when application menus have been moved from the top panel to inside their own windows. While there are some projects trying to carry on development of Unity, this release of Ubuntu feels like Unity's swan song and I have greatly enjoyed using the desktop this week.

While there is not much new in Ubuntu 17.04, the release is pretty solid. Apart from the confusion that may arise from having three different package managers, I found Ubuntu to be capable, fairly newcomer friendly and stable. Everything worked well for me, at least on physical hardware. Unity is a bit slow to use in a virtual machine, but the distribution worked smoothly on my desktop computer.

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Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapata - Viva la revolucion!

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus, or let's face it, Zapata, is a decent release. It has nothing to do with the recent announcement. No hidden symbolism or nostalgia. Simply put, some of the old issues seem to have been ironed out, with the focus on hardware support, speed and some rough edges and papercuts here and there. Pretty nice. Good fonts, too!

However, the live session is uber-boring, the multimedia stack is a bit weak, and some of the default applications are just useless, thank you Gnome. There are also several visual bugs lingering about, and they shouldn't be there. Other than that, I don't have anything else negative to say about Zesty. Oh, you still cannot right-click to create new files. Someone needs to have their laptop confiscated for life. Well, if you like Ubuntu or feel like testing, Zesty offers an improvement experience compared to the last several releases. This is a welcome change, and could signal a fresh breath of hope that is so desperately needed. Grade wise, 7/10. Now, your turn to play.

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Ubuntu 17.04 Review: Except for the Horrible DNS Issue (now ‘fixed’), a Good Release. Oh and, Farewell Unity!

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Apparently, the recently released Ubuntu operating system (17.04) will be the last time Ubuntu will feature its own desktop shell ‘Unity’ which was first introduced back in 2010. So, it survived 7 years, almost. It actually did not ‘survive’, in my opinion, even though I myself was too quick to criticize it (well, back then I was young, somewhat), it thrived! Sure the desktop may have had its flaws, but compared to the GNOME3, the foundation of which Unity was heavily relying upon, Unity was a much sensible desktop shell to use. That is at least my judgement after using it for all these years.

Ubuntu had to let go Unity because, well first they lost the ideological battle (they were never fully trusted by the coding elite of Free Software Movement & they may have had their reasons, granted, but they never trusted what Ubuntu represented ideologically. As a subtle example, observe that despite using the GNOME’s foundation, Ubuntu was always inclined towards using Qt), and secondly, there wasn’t enough man-power to push forward their technological implementations with brute force (Mir & Unity8 are just two examples) because unless the ‘external circumstances’ are already in place, ideas alone cannot change anything.

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Also: Canonical Reboots Convergence; Introduces the No Desktop Environment [Satire]

Ubuntu 17.10 Release Date Announced — What New Features To Expect?

GNU/Linux Review: Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus

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KDE
Reviews

Kubuntu 17.04 has been released on April 13th 2017. This review introduces some aspects of Kubuntu from it's appearance, memory usage, to default software and customization. It's surprisingly more lightweight in memory use than Ubuntu Unity, with gorgeous and Windows-like look, with complete default applications. This Zesty Zapus release is a good start for any new user to choose Kubuntu as daily OS for personal and collective purposes. Enjoy Kubuntu!

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BSD: OpenBSD, Benchmarking LLVM/Clang, and AMD Zen Scheduler Model Lands In LLVM

  • Blog about my blog
     

    I want to try it again, and this time I decided to create a self-hosted blog. Something that runs on my own server and with httpd, the web server that I wrote for OpenBSD.  

    [...]

    i That's why I decided to write my articles, including this one, in Markdown and use another tool such as lowdown to generate the XML pages for sblg.

     
  • Benchmarking LLVM/Clang's New AMD Zen Scheduler Model
    Just prior to LLVM 5.0 being branched yesterday, the AMD Zen scheduler model finally landed in LLVM and has the potential of boosting the performance of generated binaries targeting AMD's Zen "znver1" architecture. Here are some benchmarks of LLVM Clang 4.0 compared to the latest LLVM Clang compiler code when testing with both generic x86-64 optimizations and then optimized builds for the first-generation Zen CPUs, tested on a Ryzen 7 processor.
  • AMD Zen Scheduler Model Lands In LLVM, Makes It For LLVM 5.0
    It was coming down to the wire for the new AMD Zen scheduler model in LLVM 5.0 but now it's managed to land just hours before the LLVM 5.0 branching. The new Zen "znver1" scheduler model for LLVM was published by AMD in patch form last week and now this morning it's been merged to mainline LLVM. Funny enough, thanks to an Intel developer with commit rights to LLVM due to the AMD contributor not having access.

OSS: VirtualBox, AMD EPYC Platform Letdown, Choosing FOSS, Open Source Blockchain Project, and RcppAPT 0.0.4

  • VirtualBox 5.1.24 Brings a Better Support for AMD Ryzen CPUs
    VirtualBox is a free and an open-source application for virtualization on x86 platforms. VirtualBox development team has announced a new maintenance release VirtualBox 5.1.24. The recent release of VirtualBox brought more support for AMD Ryzen processors to run certain guests such as Microsoft Windows XP. Emulating more SSE2 instructions. Fixing multiple issues with the graphical user interface for KDE Plasma, and black screen on reboot for multi-screen setup under certain conditions.
  • AMD EPYC Platform Security Processor Code Will Not Be Open Source
    AMD EPYC has been getting some bad word of mouth due to what Intel has been trying to portray but much has been cleared out in the official presentation. Many users that are worried about security have asked AMD to open source the AMD EPYC Platform security processor code. That will not be the case according to AMD. AMD EPYC Platform security processor is designed to keep the user safe from attacks because the OS can’t see what the PSP or IME is doing. Similarly, the user will also not know what the chips are doing. That is all great if the chip is keeping the user safe but it also means that if the defenses are breached then the user will not realize that as well.
  • Open Source: To Use Or Not To Use (And How To Choose)
    You'd like to use open source software, but you're not sure what criteria you should use when deciding whether to rely on it for a specific project or not. I have a long, complicated history with open source software.
  • Japanese Online Giant GMO Launches Open Source Blockchain Project
    Internet giant GMO Internet Inc. of Japan today announced the launch of the GMO Blockchain Open Source Software Project (GMO Blockchain OSS). The system will allow users to develop programs using blockchain as open source. In a first attempt by the company using this platform, the company has developed an open source medical record sharing system and launched it on July 6th, 2017.
  • RcppAPT 0.0.4