Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 - Migrating Early

Good riddance to bad rubbish - 12.04 Precise Pangolin has been nothing short of a disaster on my Dell laptop. Buggy, unstable; you would think an LTS (Long Term Support Release) would be more stable not less. But no. Over the lifecycle, it has gained new and different bugs, odd behaviours and the frustration factor has grown worse, not abated.

12.04 works okay -ish on the old hardware of the Compaq laptop (although some of the bugs have begun to appear on that lately). 12.04 works mostly fine on the Mini-10 Netbook (occassionally Nautilus falls over). It just doesn't work on the Dell.

Last evening Firefox and Truecrypt, previously unshakeable in the same version I am running now, randomly stopped. Mid-write. I am sure Nautilus isn't helping - that's randomly but frequently crashed since Day One (along with GIMP, colord, Compiz and a string of other programs since, including Samba's smbd).

Friday, 28 September 2012

How-to: Rotate Windows Screen Display

Windows display settings - orientationI don't go looking for trouble to shoot; it seems to find me. I certainly don't go looking for Microsoft Windows trouble to shoot. In this case, it's my neighbour across the street ambushed me with this little problem - a randomly rotated display, unbidden. We worked it out between us.

Question is, why the heck did his Windows 7 display suddenly kick into rotated view after exiting the screen saver?!?!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Book Review: Solaris Rising

Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction [Paperback]Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction [Paperback]

I have fond memories of sci-fi shorts. Not the ones sported by Zapp Brannigan in Futurama. I mean short stories. I used to read a lot of sci-fi as a kid, it was one thing our local library was good for. So visiting my current haven of dead trees, I came away with... an anthology of sci-fi.

The classic format of the sci-fi anthology washes around in peaks and troughs, according to fashion and the availability of writing talent. Solaris is in again, with three editions (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0).

1.0, I'm tempted to say, is familiar territory from many an anthology since the sixties onward; a huge dollop of Apocalypse Past, Present and Future, frequently wrapped in the memes of Tales of the (Totally) Expected. Anthologies can be a bit hit-or-miss, but the joy of them is that another author will be along in a few pages with something different. And there is plenty of variety in this Solaris volume.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Review: Know How 9 - How to Build a Virtual Machine

Know How episode 9 Virtualisation on Twit.tvGet the know how to make technology work for you. Iyaz Akhtar and Leo Laporte show you tech projects that you can do yourself and explain everything from tech basics to advanced techniques.

Records live every Thursday at 3:00pm PT/6:00pm ET.

Taking a different topic every week, Leo and Iyaz produce this weekly tech-tutorial show on Leo's Internet-only Twit Network, streaming live and with on-demand audio and video available shortly after.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Review: Why Linux Is Better

http://whylinuxisbetter.net/

I may be preaching to the converted here, but care of Full Circle Magazine Issue-62 (June 2012), I alighted upon the site Why Linux is Better (whylinuxisbetter.net), created by Manu Cornet (profile on Google+).

Now you can just point people to the website instead of having to explain, for the hundredth time, why Linux is better (for most things).

A very simple flat HTML site, this is one of the best ways I know to spread the word on free software, and could be a masterpiece in Open Source literature.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Opinion: Going on Too Long

McCartney at the OlympicsIn conversation with a fellow fan this week, we touched on the fact that rock-stars these days are more like the crooners of the previous generation. They no longer retire, they just keep on rocking when they ought to be in rocking chairs. They don't seem to know when to stop; which would be acceptable in any other profession but pop music, where we demand the fresh and the new, with at least some reinvention or evolution.

Cranking out the same old same-old consigns our one-time heroes to a corner of self-parody kitsch.

If you think about it, all the true rock'n'roll heroes are dead; Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jim Morrison, Hendrix, Lennon. Who's left? Status Quo, Floyd, and the man who triggered this debate, Paul McCartney, who played the Olympic opening ceremony and by a majority vote was judged 'past it.'

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

News: Full Circle Magazine no64 has escaped from the Lab

The latest issue of Full Circle Magazine, #64 is available from the Full Circle site

This month:

* Linux News – Security Alert!
* Command and Conquer.
* How-To : Beginning Python – Part 36, LibreOffice Part 17, and DavMail.
* Graphics : Kdenlive Part 1, and Inkscape Part 4. * Web Dev : LAMP
* Linux Lab – Tweet Screen The Finale.
* Review – Flirc.
* Closing Windows – Wallpaper and Themes.

plus: Ask The New Guy, Ubuntu Games, My Desktop, My Opinion, My Story, and much much more!  

Get it while it’s hot!

http://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-64/

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Opinion: Welcome to Mozilla Firefox-OS (Guest Post)

"Welcome to a new, open and powerful mobile world!

We launched the Boot to Gecko project to enable the Open Web as a platform for mobile devices. We’re making innovation possible by driving the development of new Web standards."


In Full Circle Podcast 30, [the team] briefly mention the new Firefox OS and questioned why we needed another mobile operating system. Market "fragmentation" appeared to be an issue for you?

Personally, I think it is great that Mozilla have taken this project as far as they have and I think it is absolutely a necessary project. I think the floss community should be well and truly behind it - here's why...

Saturday, 1 September 2012

How-to: Fallback to Gnome Panels on Ubuntu 12.04 UPDATED

Fallback to Gnome Panels on Ubuntu 12.04 UPDATEDThe controversy remains around Ubuntu's Unity, with it's Launcher, Dashboard and Hub. As Gnome Shell appears to be fading as the successor to the classic Gnome 2 desktop, other Linux distributions are going glossy with KDE (Red Hat) or Gnome 2 retro-style with Cinnamon and MATE (Linux Mint)

Meanwhile I still prefer the look and feel of Gnome 2 panels and menus; fast and lightweight and do just what I need to do. They are also easy to achieve thanks to a couple of small package installs, which gives me the desktop shown.

Firstly, install the package gnome-fallback-session from the Ubuntu Software Centre. This one package does the heavy lifting.