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Mac

Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

This is a team that values the same things I do. The interface is clean and refined. The pre-installed application selection is minimal and each one feels like a perfect piece of the system.

The main drawback of Elementary to me is that it’s built on top of Ubuntu LTS. As time goes on all the packages get further from the current versions published upstream. I’d much rather a regular release like Fedora (6 months) or a rolling release like Arch.

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Assimilation That Confuses/Openwashing

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

Linux World Domination, Microsoft Antitrust, Apple Against Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Linux User Warns: “2016 MacBook Pro Is Incompatible With Linux”

Filed under
Mac

Earlier this year, the reports of Lenovo hybrid laptops not supporting Linux created a stir. Recently, the company fixed the issued by issuing a BIOS update to allow Linux installation on Yoga 900, 900S and IdeaPad 710. The update added an AHCI SATA controller mode to make the process easier.

In another event of similar nature, a Reddit user hot2 has warned the potential Apple MacBook Pro buyers. He has shared a post titled “Warning: 2016 MacBook Pro is not compatible with Linux”.

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Elementary, My Dear Siri!

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

I’m not one prone to knee-jerk reactions, but I’m also not one to sit about idly without considering alternatives. So the first thing I did after the Apple keynote was to download a copy of Elementary and burn it to an SD card.

An hour or so later, after checking that my Chromebook would work OK with it1, I installed from the live image to the SSD and began the process of figuring out whether, three years after I first tried it, Elementary is finally good enough for me as a development environment.

Like last time, this isn’t a review per se, but rather a smattering of my impressions while trying to assess whether it suits me.

I’m being realistic here – I know it’s not macOS, I don’t expect it to be macOS, it will not be a magical replacement for macOS for most people who share my current disenchantment with Apple, but I am very familiar with Linux, and most definitely need to consider moving to it in the long term given the way Apple has been neglecting Mac hardware and software over the past few years.

So given this week’s keynote completely ignored desktops and that I sorely need to upgrade my six-year-old Mac mini, this is as good a time as any to evaluate what’s out there.

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Some Disappointed Apple Fans Are Moving To Ubuntu Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac
Ubuntu

At its October event, Apple tried hard to convince the users that its latest MacBook Pro is machine built for professional users. The company showed off the brand new Touch Bar that changed its appearance depending on the applications running on the screen. The new MacBooks are thinner and more powerful than ever. But, there’s something missing that’s driving away some diehard Apple fans.

Firstly, Apple decided to ditch a large array of connectivity ports–HDMI ports, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and standard USB port. These ports have been replaced by 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. So, the same power user segment that’s being aimed by Apple, is expressing lots of concerns.

Apart from the disappeared ports, these MacBooks have maximum 16GB of RAM. On the contrary, minimum 32GB RAM is becoming a standard for power users. While Microsoft is presenting itself as the new innovative tech company, some Apple loyalists are turning to another alternative, i.e., Linux.

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MacBook Pro (2016) disappointment pushes some Apple loyalists to Ubuntu Linux

Filed under
Mac
Ubuntu

The new Apple MacBook Pro looks to be a wonderful laptop, but understandably, not everyone is impressed. The "Pro" moniker literally means "professional", and there are some concerns from that segment. Some photographers, for instance, will be very hurt and disgusted by the lack of an SD card slot. More importantly, the computer maxes out at 16GB of RAM -- many pro users want 32GB or more, which is not possible on the new machine, sadly.

While you might expect some of these disappointed Apple loyalists to turn to a Windows machine -- and I'm sure some will -- some are turning to an unexpected alternative -- Linux. You see, immediately after the Apple Keynote, famed Ubuntu laptop and desktop seller, System76, saw a huge jump in traffic from people looking to buy its machines. The traffic was so intense, that it needed to upgrade servers to keep up!

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macOS 10.12 Sierra vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Linux Benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Mac
Ubuntu

Apple released macOS 10.12 "Sierra" last week as the successor to OS X El Capitan. Given this annual update to macOS / OS X, here are benchmarks of macOS Sierra compared to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on a MacBook Air and Mac Mini computers.

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Microsoft and Apple

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
  • These Microsoft veterans are on their way out

    This year, a handful of Microsoft veteran employees are retiring and/or moving on. Over the past couple of weeks, here's who has left or is in the midst of leaving the company:

  • Microsoft fiddles results to show Edge is 'better' than Opera and Chrome

    THE DANCE-OFF over which browser has the best battery life goes on in a war that has turned some parts of the internet into an uninhabitable zone in the hours of darkness.

    Opera pwned everyone in its own tests, taking particular beef with Microsoft's Edge half-browser, but Google then came forward to show that version 53 of its Chrome browser pwned all the things.

    Microsoft has now re-run the tests and, not entirely surprisingly, claimed that Edge beats everything else.

    Microsoft conducted tests against its three biggest rivals, and said that Edge, when used with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, uses 24 per cent less power than Chrome, 32 per cent less than Opera and 43 per cent less than Firefox.

    Edge managed 527 minutes of video playback against 429 for Opera, 365 for Chrome and 312 for Firefox, according to Microsoft.

    However, closer inspection reveals that Microsoft used Chrome 51 (not 53), Opera 38 (not 39) and Firefox 36 (not 38).

    In other words, Microsoft's methodology has been tainted by pitting the latest version of Edge against earlier versions of other browsers.

  • Microsoft Corporation Is Giving Up on Fitness Bands [Ed: The number of dead products at Microsoft keeps increasing]

    According to ZDNet, all signs indicate that the Microsoft Band 2 will be the final product of the software giant's foray into smart fitness trackers. The original Microsoft Band from 2014 was poorly received by the market, as was the follow-up successor, even though it was redesigned and improved in many ways. Band 2 even got a price bump and launched at $250, which didn't help its chances. The company has since reduced the price to $175, presumably in an effort to clear out inventory.

  • Microsoft Corporation: Microsoft and Tuxera strengthen partnership through Tuxera SMB Server[Ed: helping Microsoft's patent fight against Linux and the GPL]
  • Microsoft Azure borkage in central US leads to global woes

    At its height, the fault affected API management, web apps, Service Bus and SQL database services in the central US region, and Azure DNS globally.

    Microsoft's Azure status page has just now reported that SQL database is still affected in the central US region.

    As is often the case, however, customers noticed confusion with Microsoft's messages, as Azure Twitter feeds and status pages seemed to disagree on the speed of recovery.

  • [Reposted] FSF, RMS Issue Statements Over Libreboot's Accusations [Ed: There are a lot of examples of sexism, homophobia and other abuse inside Microsoft and Apple but unlike FOSS communities they hide it. Here are examples of Microsoft sexism [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and Microsoft homophobia [1, 2, 3]
  • Leaked Apple emails reveal employees' complaints about sexist, toxic work environment [Ed: apropos the above and new report, too]

    Danielle* didn't expect her workday to begin with her male coworkers publicly joking about rape.

    Danielle is an engineer at Apple — and like many of the women in the company, she works on a male-dominated team. On a Tuesday morning in July, when men on her team began to joke that an office intruder was coming to rape everybody, Danielle decided to speak out about what she described as the "very toxic atmosphere" created by jokes about violent sexual assault.

    The coworker who first made the joke apologized, repeatedly assuring her that something like this wouldn't happen again. But his assurances did little to instill confidence. This wasn't the first time Danielle had allegedly seen something like this happen on her team, nor was it the first time she complained that the office culture at Apple was, in her words, toxic. Despite repeated formal complaints to her manager, Danielle said, nothing ever changed.

    But this rape joke was the final straw. The next day, Danielle escalated her complaint about the offense to the very top: Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • After 23 years, the Apple II gets another OS update

    You can test-drive ProDOS 2.4 in a Web-based emulator set up by computer historian Jason Scott on the Internet Archive. The release includes Bitsy Bye, a menu-driven program launcher that allows for navigation through files on multiple floppy (or hacked USB) drives. Bitsy Bye is an example of highly efficient code: it runs in less than 1 kilobyte of RAM. There's also a boot utility that is under 400 bytes—taking up a single block of storage on a disk.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE: Qt, Plasma, QML, Usability & Productivity

  • Qt 5.11.1 and Plasma 5.13.1 in ktown ‘testing’ repository
    A couple of days ago I recompiled ‘poppler’ and the packages in ‘ktown’ that depend on it, and uploaded them into the repository as promised in my previous post. I did that because Slackware-current updated its own poppler package and mine needs to be kept in sync to prevent breakage in other parts of your Slackware computer. I hear you wonder, what is the difference between the Slackware poppler package and this ‘ktown’ package? Simple: my ‘poppler’ package contains support for Qt5 (in addition to the QT4 support in the original package) and that is required by other packages in the ‘ktown’ repository.
  • Sixth week of coding phase, GSoC'18
    The Menus API enables the QML Plugin to add an action, separator or menu to the WebView context menu. This API is not similar to the WebExtensions Menus API but is rather Falkonish!
  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 24
    See all the names of people who worked hard to make the computing world a better place? That could be you next week! Getting involved isn’t all that tough, and there’s lots of support available.

Programming: Python Maths Tools and Java SE

  • Essential Free Python Maths Tools
    Python is a very popular general purpose programming language — with good reason. It’s object oriented, semantically structured, extremely versatile, and well supported. Scientists favour Python because it’s easy to use and learn, offers a good set of built-in features, and is highly extensible. Python’s readability makes it an excellent first programming language. The Python Standard Library (PSL) is the the standard library that’s distributed with Python. The library comes with, among other things, modules that carry out many mathematical operations. The math module is one of the core modules in PSL which performs mathematical operations. The module gives access to the underlying C library functions for floating point math.
  • Oracle's new Java SE subs: Code and support for $25/processor/month
    Oracle’s put a price on Java SE and support: $25 per processor per month, and $2.50 per user per month on the desktop, or less if you buy lots for a long time. Big Red’s called this a Java SE Subscription and pitched it as “a commonly used model, popular with Linux distributions”. The company also reckons the new deal is better than a perpetual licence, because they involve “an up-front cost plus additional annual support and maintenance fees.”

Linux 4.18 RC2 Released From China

  • Linux 4.18-rc2
    Another week, another -rc. I'm still traveling - now in China - but at least I'm doing this rc Sunday _evening_ local time rather than _morning_. And next rc I'll be back home and over rmy jetlag (knock wood) so everything should be back to the traditional schedule. Anyway, it's early in the rc series yet, but things look fairly normal. About a third of the patch is drivers (drm and s390 stand out, but here's networking and block updates too, and misc noise all over). We also had some of the core dma files move from drivers/base/dma-* (and lib/dma-*) to kernel/dma/*. We sometimes do code movement (and other "renaming" things) after the merge window simply because it tends to be less disruptive that way. Another 20% is under "tools" - mainly due to some selftest updates for rseq, but there's some turbostat and perf tooling work too. We also had some noticeable filesystem updates, particularly to cifs. I'm going to point those out, because some of them probably shouldn't have been in rc2. They were "fixes" not in the "regressions" sense, but in the "missing features" sense. So please, people, the "fixes" during the rc series really should be things that are _regressions_. If it used to work, and it no longer does, then fixing that is a good and proper fix. Or if something oopses or has a security implication, then the fix for that is a real fix. But if it's something that has never worked, even if it "fixes" some behavior, then it's new development, and that should come in during the merge window. Just because you think it's a "fix" doesn't mean that it really is one, at least in the "during the rc series" sense. Anyway, with that small rant out of the way, the rest is mostly arch updates (x86, powerpc, arm64, mips), and core networking. Go forth and test. Things look fairly sane, it's not really all that scary. Shortlog appended for people who want to scan through what changed. Linus
  • Linux 4.18-rc2 Released With A Normal Week's Worth Of Changes
    Due to traveling in China, Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 4.18-rc2 kernel a half-day ahead of schedule, but overall things are looking good for Linux 4.18.

A GTK+ 3 update

  • A GTK+ 3 update
    When we started development towards GTK+ 4, we laid out a plan that said GTK+ 3.22 would be the final, stable branch of GTK+ 3. And we’ve stuck to this for a while. I has served us reasonably well — GTK+ 3 stopped changing in drastic ways, which was well-received, and we are finally seeing applications moving from GTK+ 2.
  • GTK+ 3.24 To Deliver Some New Features While Waiting For GTK4
    While the GNOME tool-kit developers have been hard at work on GTK4 roughly the past two years and have kept GTK3 frozen at GTK+ 3.22, a GTK+ 3.24 release is now being worked on to deliver some new features until GTK+ 4.0 is ready to be released. While GTK+ 4.0 is shaping up well and GTK+ 3.22 was planned to be the last GTK3 stable release, the developers have had second thoughts due to GTK+ 4 taking time to mature. Some limited new features are being offered up in the GTK+ 3.24 release to debut this September.