Lin-X 1.1

If you want a Linux desktop that looks and feels like a Mac, you should take a look at Lin-X 1.1, a Linux distro based on rock-solid Ubuntu, but made to look like a Mac. When you login to Lin-X, you’ll be greeted with a Mac look-alike wallpaper. Navigation is done using a Doc like-panel at the bottom of the screen. The distro comes with most standard Ubuntu applications , but with a couple of non-standard applications thrown in the mix. The only gripe I have with this distro; there seems to be little activity with development. I can’t imagine trying to get support. If you are still curious about this distro, you can download it from Softpedia.

Linutop 3

If you’re looking for a tiny Linux-powered desktop, look no further. Introducing the Linutop 3. The nettop is powered by a Via C7 processor clocked at 1.0 Ghz. The unit is only 9.25×9.29×2.16 inches and weighs only 3.9 lbs. The nettop comes standard with 1GB RAM which can be upgraded to 2GB. Also included is a 2GB RAM Internal Flash Memory, a gigabit LAN interface, 6x USB 2.0 ports and 1 COM Port RS232. The video output is VGA + DVI. There are two microphone inputs and two outputs for audio. The unit uses very little power at only 19V DC only. Finally, the nettop uses Thin Client PXE Boot. The nettop sells for $485. Read more.

Lubuntu

To Ubuntu fans: If you want to try a distribution that is very light and simple, try Lubuntu. It’s based on Ubuntu, something you are already familiar with. It’s only 342MB for the ISO. It uses the LXDE desktop environment and is geared towards systems that are normally not supported by Xubuntu. The project is officially recognized by Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical.

LXDE is a very lightweight and minimal desktop environment using the openbox window manager, the PcManFM file manager, and a very select list of default applications. It is compatible with basic freedesktop standards and all needed parts are already packaged in Ubuntu today.

It might be worth trying to install on older system running Ubuntu Server. You get a very light graphical environment.


Grub 2

Grub 2 is under development and will most likely find its way to the latest Linux distributions. Well, if you’re looking for something fancy out of Grub 2, don’t hold your breath. Grub was never fancy to begin with. It just does its job. That’s is to get you to where you need to be, whether you select the default kernel or boot to another operating system. Grub 2 promises to better with more functions and capabilities. GRUB 2 targets at the following goals.

  • Scripting support, such as conditionals, loops, variables and functions.
  • Graphical interface.
  • Dynamic loading of modules in order to extend itself at the run time rather than at the build time.
  • Portability for various architectures.
  • Internationalization. This includes support for non-ASCII character code, message catalogs like gettext, fonts, graphics console, and so on.
  • Real memory management, to make GNU GRUB more extensible.
  • Modular, hierarchical, object-oriented framework for file systems, files, devices, drives, terminals, commands, partition tables and OS loaders.
  • Cross-platform installation which allows for installing GRUB from a different architecture.
  • Rescue mode saves unbootable cases. Stage 1.5 was eliminated.
  • Fix design mistakes in GRUB Legacy, which could not be solved for backward-compatibility, such as the way of numbering partitions.

If you need to install it on your latest Ubuntu distro, here are the instructions.

Fedora To Use Moblin

It looks like Fedora will use Moblin for netbooks and portable computers. Moblin is an open source platform optimized for for netbooks, mobile devices, and in-vehicle infotainment devices. It’s similar to Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix. Moblin running in Fedora will most likely be called “Fedora Mini,” which will be part of the upcoming Fedora 12 release.

End Microsoft Piracy

I’m actually giving Microsoft some love it deserves. I bash Microsoft OS sometimes. There is no denying it. But in this post, I am actually defending Microsoft. Gasp! Sort of. After all, piracy is scourge for all software and media companies. Even with a well-guarded release of a movie or a software, it takes just a matter of hours before an illegal copy turns up somewhere in some forum, IRC or file sharing site. Que Pasa said, it’s not worth the risk installing pirated software. And I agree. He argues in his article the following points:

  • It’s Illegal – who is going to find out you may ask? Well I for one wouldn’t want to find out.
  • It’s a security risk – In this day and age, the security risks are many. Specially if you manage your finances on your computer.
  • Pirated software is not safe – many of their sources can’t be trusted and often lead to infections with worms and viruses that look to compromise more than your HW.
  • Lack of support – the internet is a good source of info, but while searching for solutions, you risk getting or soliciting help from scam artists.

Installing a pirated Microsoft OS, to me, is not an option. First, you’ll have problems getting security updates from Microsoft. It will only compromise your computer even further because the lack the security updates. If you really can’t afford to buy a Microsoft OS, then perhaps, it’s time to turn to something different, something free, something better than you have ever anticipated.

There are many reasons why people switched over to Linux. The main draws are obviously the price. Another is security. For me, part of the reason I switched over to Linux is, I couldn’t get myself to buy an operating system that I already owned. I own a valid Microsoft XP Home Edition license. My problem was, I couldn’t find a CD set to install the operating system. My laptop didn’t come with a Rescue CD.

I tried installing Windows XP Professional Edition with a Home Edition product key. It doesn’t work. I asked ask friends if they have a Home Edition CD set. No one has it. And I’m not about to go out and  buy something that I already owned. So, I turned to Linux because it was free.

If cost was the reason you’re installing a pirated Windows OS, then you should really consider installing Linux. It’s not only free, but superior in many respects. And you never have to worry about viruses and security. In addition, you also have many distribution choices, something you will not have with Microsoft. There at least 20 or so major Linux distributions.

Download several and find one that suits you.

Maintenance Page Using .htaccess

If you own a website, there are times you need to bring your site down for maintenance or repair. Instead of the ugly 404 page not found, a nicely crafted maintenance page is ideal for your users to see. Enter .htaccess, a powerful Apache configuration file capable of many powerful functions. It can perform authorization or authentication, redirects, custom error messages, and cache control. This article explains how to create a custom error message. The  .htaccess file contains code to redirect your users to your maintenance page. In short, it uses .htaccess rewrite rule and even restricts viewing to a certain IP addresses. In this case it allows the admin to see the website as he would normally, while the rest will get a visually appealing maintenance page.

Linux Saves The Day

Here’s an interesting article about a user having problems booting into Windows. The laptop was getting the dreaded blue screen of death. The technician tried booting from ‘safe mode ‘and from ‘last known good’, but still, it will not repair.  The technician tried booting from a Windows installation DVD, Vista and even Windows 7. Still can’t boot. Then, Ubuntu 8.04 came in to the rescue. The system booted just fine in Linux. The technician was able to access the files. All the technician did was restore the backup registry files. Presto. Windows rebooted like nothing happened. Why can’t Vista, Windows 7 boot CDs make this repair is beyond me.