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Reviews

ROSA Desktop Fresh R7 KDE: nothing to complain... almost

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Reviews

ROSA Desktop Fresh R7 KDE left a good impression on me.

Even though the initial boot took about 500 Mb of memory, my laptop with 4Gb of RAM was capable of dealing with all the tasks I ran on it in the Live mode of this distribution in a quick and responsive manner. I felt no lags or glitches.

The only minor things that were worth mentioning in this review were strange design of the panel and the ROSA Menu which isn't to my taste.

Well done, ROSA team, I hope to see your system even more improved in the future.

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Sabayon 16.05

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Gentoo
Reviews

Sabayon Sabayon is a Linux distribution that is based on Gentoo. Sabayon takes on some of the characteristics of its parent, providing users with a rolling release distribution that can make use of both binary and source software packages. Recent snapshots of Sabayon offer support for computers running on 64-bit x86 processors along with Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 computers. Perhaps the biggest new feature of Sabayon though is the launch of Sabayon Community Repositories (SCR). These new repositories provide a way for community members to build and distribute software for Sabayon without the necessity of getting their software into Sabayon's official repositories.

There are seven editions of Sabayon, including the builds for Raspberry Pi computers. There are several desktop editions, a Server edition and a small Minimal edition. I decided to begin my trial with Sabayon's KDE edition which is a 2.7GB download. Booting from the distribution's media brings up a menu asking if we would like to run Sabayon's live desktop, perform an installation, boot to a text console, check the installation media for defects or perform a memory check. Taking the live desktop option loads the KDE desktop. The wallpaper shows a gravel road passing through farmland while a moon rises with the Sabayon logo on it. Icons on the desktop invite us to donate to the distribution, get on-line help and launch the system installer. At the bottom of the display we find the application menu, a task switcher and the system tray.

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ReactOS Is a Promising Open Source Windows Replacement

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OS
OSS
Reviews

ReactOS is the closest working clone of the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS that currently is available. Its developers are meeting their stated goal of creating a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems: NT4, 2000, XP, Windows 2003, Vista and Windows 7.

What they have not fully explained is how ReactOS avoids the vulnerabilities that render the outdated OSes unsafe to use online today. The Windows OS security flaws may not be a pressing issue, though, since the developers have created a clone rather than duplicating Windows code.

Open source fans might be drawn to future developments of ReactOS for the same reasons of choice and freedom that draw them to the Linux OS families.

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BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Tablet Review: In-Depth

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Back in February, BQ and Ubuntu announced that they'd joined forces to create the Aquaris M10 Tablet, the first 10.1-inch device to run Ubuntu OS. With the ability to quickly transform from a handheld touch tablet to a full-on desktop computer, the M10 has something different to offer users; and let's be clear on this, the M10 is a tablet for developers and fellow geeks, not the average consumer. If you want something to watch movies, play games and browse the web on, you'll be much better serviced elsewhere.

So, how is the first Ubuntu tablet experience? Here's our Aquaris M10 review.

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Tiny Core Linux 7.1: Big Where It Counts

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Reviews

Tiny Core is quite an achievement in developing a small Linux distribution that offers a lot of functionality with very low resource requirements. Just the fact that Tiny Core runs and provides a desktop environment with 20MB of memory is impressive. If a person has need for a small yet powerful operating system, Tiny Core is an obvious choice.

At the same time, this distribution, being so minimal, leaves us to fend for ourselves a bit. If we want additional software, password protected accounts, extra services or even to have our data survive a reboot, then we need to roll up our sleeves and configure the operating system. There is a strong do-it-yourself element to Tiny Core. In a way, its small size and hands-on approach reminds me of building with Lego blocks. It’s fun and educational if you are into crafting your own operating system, but it does mean a lot more work up front to get what you want.

For people who like efficient systems and who are interested in exploring Tiny Core, I recommend exploring the project’s wiki, and for the more adventurous, reading Into The Core which talks about the inner workings of Tiny Core and how to build one’s own extensions to the operating system.

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Reviewing Nokia's Android Smartphone: Lessons From Finland's Successful Failure

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Android
Reviews

Last month saw the announcement that the Nokia name would be returning to the world of smartphones. The historic company will be licensing the brand name to a new Finnish company (HMD Global Oy) which will partner with Nokia Technologies and a new Foxconn subsidiary (FIH Mobile Ltd) to “collaborate on a global business partnership to sell Nokia-branded mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets.”

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Korora 23 Gnome - Fedora on steroids

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Red Hat
Reviews

Here we go. A Fedora spin that is a bit confused from so much spinning. Overall, this distro works well. In a way. Korora is a decent, admirable attempt to transform a rather nerdy system into something anyone can use, with good looks, media codecs availability out of the box, lots of programs, and some additional friendly and gentle tweaks. Not bad.

On the other hand, the execution is not flawless. The installer killed my GRUB, the package manager is plain stupid, the updates are done the wrong way, there are half a dozen semi-annoying bugs in day-to-day activities, and the networking needs significant and immediate improvements. All in all, not enough to sway me over. Korora 23 Coral gets about 7.5/10 on a sunny day, and I'm probably being generous. Then again, it's the best effort this spring yet, all distros included, and it does shine a ray of hope into my grizzled heart. Plus, it's better than the previous version I tested, so it might actually be majestic one day. Or like Xubuntu, steadily improve for four years until it becomes da bomb and then bomb. Korora, worth testing. And I'll check the KDE spin, too.

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Also: DNF / YUM History

An Everyday Linux User Review Of 4MLinux 17.0 - The Stable One?

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Linux
Reviews

The GUI looks stylish and 4MLinux performs well. There are a few too many whys to be answered before I could use this over something like Q4OS and AntiX.

For instance:

Why can I not get a wireless network connection?
Why after installing 4M Linux does it boot to a command prompt and not a GUI?
Why have applications installed that are dependent on other applications which aren't installed?

There is in general a good selection of lightweight applications installed and the extensions menu gives you access to a few key applications such as a decent browser and office suite.

The games section is very nice and the inclusion of DOOM and Quake is a good touch.

The trouble is that I can see some nice things but I can't think of a reason why I would use 4M Linux over something else.

The key fix for the next release is to nail wireless network connections. Borrow the code from another distribution or include a network manager that just works. Puppy Linux has a tool called Frisbee which is lightweight and not so pretty but it definitely works. If in doubt use that.

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Alpine Linux Desktop

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Reviews

I recently resurrected an older, but relatively small laptop to use in cattle class on an airplane, where a full-size laptop is eternally in danger of being crushed by the seat in front. Unfortunately, the laptop was running Windows Vista, a curse inflicted on many laptops of its era, when Microsoft went through one of its phases of pretending that people seek deeper meaning from an operating system as opposed to just hoping it will keep running and not break their applications. (What's that, you say? They're doing it right now by pretending that the next generation of children will be transformed by the tiny, incremental improvements they made to Windows? So surprising.)

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Genuino 101 review

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Reviews

Intel has been trying to break into the maker market for a few years now, having seen the success of the Arduino project and the Raspberry Pi. The Intel Galileo (reviewed in LU&D Issue 138, 4/5) proved unpopular thanks to poor IO performance from the Quark processor. Its successor, the Edison (reviewed in LU&D Issue 151, 4/5), added an Atom processor to address performance issues but its odd form factor and high-density connectors were off-putting.

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today's howtos

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu Phone, Sep 2016 - Vorsprung durch Touch
    The Ubuntu Phone is getting better, and with every new iteration of the OTA, my little BQ Aquaris E4.5 is gaining more speed and functionality. Like in the air force, with an avionics upgrade, which transforms ancient wings into a powerful and modern bird of prey. Only the pace of advancement is lagging behind the market. See what Android and iOS can do, even Windows Phone, and you realize how late and insufficiently meaningful the Ubuntu Phone really is. This has to change, massively. This latest round does bring some fine goods to the table - more speed and stability, better icons, more overall visual polish, incremental improvements in the applications and the scopes. But that's not enough to win the heart of the average user. A more radical, app-centric effort is required. More focus on delivering the mobile experience, be it as it may. Ubuntu cannot revolutionalize that which is already considered the past. It can only join the club and enjoy the benefits of a well-established reality. And that is a kickass app stack that makes the touch device worth using in the first place. Still, it's not all gloomy. E4.5 is a better product now than it was a year ago, fact. Ubuntu Phone is a better operating system than it was even this spring, fact. So maybe one day we will see Ubuntu become an important if not dominant player in the phone and tablet space. It sure is heading in the right direction, my only fear is the availability of resources to pull off this massive rehaul that is needed to make it stand up to the old and proven giants. And that's it really. If you're keen on Linux (not Android) making it in the mobile world, do not forget to check my Ubuntu tablet review! Especially the convergence piece. On that merry note, you do remember that I'm running a wicked contest this year, too? He/she who reads my books might get a chance to win an M10 tablet. Indeed. Off you go, dear readers. Whereas I will now run the same set of tests we did here on the Aquaris tablet, and see how it likes the OTA-12 upgrade. The end.
  • Ubuntu 16.10 Unity 8 - new window snapping feature
  • Ubuntu Online Summit for Ubuntu 17.04 is Taking Place In Mid-November
  • Ubuntu Online Summit: 15-16 November 2016

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • 10 Top Open Source Artificial Intelligence Tools for Linux
    In this post, we shall cover a few of the top, open-source artificial intelligence (AI) tools for the Linux ecosystem. Currently, AI is one of the ever advancing fields in science and technology, with a major focus geared towards building software and hardware to solve every day life challenges in areas such as health care, education, security, manufacturing, banking and so much more.
  • List of FLOSS International Conferences September 2016 Materials
  • This Week In Servo 78
    Our overall roadmap is available online and now includes the initial Q3 plans. From now on, we plan to include the quarterly plan with a high-level breakdown in the roadmap page.
  • Firefox 49 Release: Find out what is new
    Firefox 49.0 is the next major stable release of the web browser. Firefox 48.0.2 and earlier versions of Firefox can be updated to the new release.
  • Open-Source Climate Change Data From NASA, NOAA, & Others Available For 1st Time
    Climate change has many components — rising sea levels, alterations in rainfall patterns, and an increase in severe storm activity, among others. Communities around the world are faced with the need to plan for climate change but don’t have the information available to do so effectively.
  • Another Setback for 3D Printed Gun Advocate Cody Wilson as Court of Appeals Rules That National Security Concerns Outweigh Free Speech
    It’s been a long, drawn-out battle, beginning in 2013 when Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, published the open source files for his 3D printed handgun, the Liberator, online. The State Department ordered that he take the files down, and Wilson complied, but not before thousands had downloaded them and spread them elsewhere on the Internet. In 2015, with the help of gun rights organization The Second Amendment Foundation, Wilson filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the State Department had violated not only his Second Amendment but his First Amendment rights. By suppressing his right to share information online, Wilson argued, the State Department was violating his right to free speech.
  • In 3D-Printed Gun Case, Federal Court Permits Speech Censorship in the Name of Alleged National Security
  • Oracle tries playing nice with Java EE rebels
    With Oracle now trying to get back on track with advancing enterprise Java, the company is seeking rapprochement with factions that had sought to advance the platform on their own. The two groups involved are mostly amenable to patching up the relationship. Oracle's Anil Gaur, group vice president of engineering, said this week he had already been in touch with some of the concerned parties. The two factions include Java EE Guardians, led by former Oracle Java EE evangelist Reza Rahman, and Microprofile.io, which has included participation from Red Hat and IBM.

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