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.

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.

KDE 4.3

KDE just released version 4.3 which includes over 2000 new enhancements to the K Desktop Environment. The latest version showcases the latest theme called “Air.” Improvements in performance, memory usage and a stack of new widgets are just few available in the latest release. If you haven’t tried KDE in a while, give it a spin. You can install it via Synaptic Package Manager or just type:

#sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

4000 PCs Switch To Linux

Verona University is migrating 4000 PCs over to Ubuntu Linux. Linux Magazine reports the migration as a 3 year project which began in January 2009. Users are switching to Ubuntu Desktop and using Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice. The university also offer educational courses in Ubuntu. And another technical school in Iceland makes a similar move. It goes to show you that migrating over to Linux and open-source is not that difficult. All it takes is courage and commitment. It’s a great move for both schools.

Microsoft Sees Linux Threat

Finally, Microsoft is acknowledging that Red Hat and Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, are a threat to its client business. Microsoft mentioned both Redhat and Canonical in its annual filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Canonical threat is due to the popularity of netbooks powered by Linux.

To those of us who have been using Linux, it’s a well known fact that Microsoft has been attacking Linux for years as attested by the now infamous Halloween documents. The Halloween documents are a series of leaked Microsoft confidential memos pertaining to free software, open-source software and Linux.

Interesting enough, Microsoft does not mention Google Chrome OS which is still a year away from fruition. I imagine, the next time around, Microsoft will shift its focus away from Redhat and Canonical, and towards Google, a much bigger threat with lots of cash and brand to boot.

RecordMyDesktop

RecordMyDesktop is one of my favorite applications in my Ubuntu desktop. It allows me to record a video of my desktop or just a portion of my desktop. I can use RecordMyDesktop for instructional videos, tutorials or just about any video project I want to capture on my screen. Installing the application is a breeze. You can use the Synaptic Package Manager and search for “RecordMyDesktop.” If you prefer the Terminal, you can install RecordMyDesktop by typing the following:

apt-get install recordmydesktop

RecordMyDesktop contains many options and switches. You can specify height, width, video quality, bitrate, audio quality, and delay. Delay is a nice feature to position the capture screen before recording can begin. You can view all the options of RecordMyDesktop by typing –help from the terminal:

recordmydesktop –help

Here is a screen capture at 450x300px, 10 second delay in ogv format.

recordmydesktop -width 450 -height 300 -delay 10 -o sample.ogv