Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How-to: Get More Traffic to your Website

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When it comes to building an audience for a website or blog, there is no magic wand to wave, it all comes down to hard work and patience.

While you might get lucky occasionally and time a pertinent article now and then, relying on the odd Stumble or Digg or trending Tweet is not going to provide an audience that keeps coming back.

Let's assume you've followed the advice in Promoting Your Blog post, as applied to Blogger and delve a little deeper into building an audience.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Full Circle Magazine Issue 55 is Out Now

Full Circle Magazine Issue 55 is out now!

This month:
  • Command and Conquer.
  • How-To : Program in Python – Part 29, LibreOffice – Part 9, Backup Strategy – Part 3, Audacity Basics, and Quick Home Server.
  • Linux Lab – VOIP at Home.
  • Review – BackTrack vs BackBox.
  • I Think – Did you update your current install or do a fresh install?
  • Closing Windows – Control Panel and Device Manager
plus: Ubuntu Women, Ubuntu Games, My Desktop, My Story, and much much more!

Coooooome and get it!

How-to: Add Floating Social Media Buttons to Blogger

This may be leaping on a bandwagon, but I've been updating the blog and have added an extra layer of social media sharing. It seems everyone is using floating social buttons in the left side or right side of the page of every site or blog. I blame Mashable.

I've used a bit of common code to add a bar of social media buttons to Blogger. The bar is actually the bit that's fixed in place on screen while the rest of the page scrolls, but what's in a description?

The Social Media bar here includes Facebook Share, Twitter,   Digg This and Google +1 (plus one) buttons with a live counters. It's all javascript, of course, with some cunning CSS that's fairly robust and cross-browser (I think!)

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Review: Free eBook - Five Rules for Ubuntu Migration

Canonical Migration GuideThe latest free e-book from Canonical, distributor of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, hopes to persuade you that "times are changing on the enterprise desktop."

In the latest pith for the corporate market, Canonical hopes to pass on the rules for a successful Ubuntu migration. I give it a qualified three stars as a primer and agent provocateur for small as well as big business.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

What Makes A Linux Desktop?

Unity 11.04 Linus DesktopI have been reminded that many readers coming here for the first time won't have a clue what Linux is, much less the difference between the many Linux 'distros' (releases), or the many Linux desktop environments.

Much as you think Windows looks different from the Apple OS-X desktop, wait til you see the variety of Linux desktops...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

News Wire 22 Nov 2011

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Friday, 18 November 2011

Review: Squeeze Archive Manager for Xfce

Squeeze Archive manager for XfceTo quote Squeeze developer Stephan Arts, "Squeeze is a modern and advanced archive manager for the Xfce Desktop Environment. Its' design adheres to the Xfce philosophy, which basically means Squeeze is designed to be both fast and easy to use."

Currently version 0.2.3 is the latest release of Squeeze. That's not a very advanced version number, reflecting the fact that Squeeze is indeed lightweight, and fast, at the cost of being functionally thin and undocumented.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

How-to: Adjust Density in New Look Gmail

Gmail Density control settings"You are my density..."
(George McFly, Back to the Future)

A common complaint about the new look Gmail is that we can't find the Denssity control to adjust the screen 'density', that is the effective resolution - font size and the amount of white space - in folder views.

Just to confuse us all, you get TWO gear icons in the new look Gmail for controls; the main Settings for Gmail overall is the one in the top bar, top-most right corner.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Making a Usable Unity Hybrid

I am a well-known Unity sceptic. The Unity launcher gets too full too quickly, full of icons I can't always remember; then there's that weird concertina-slide effect to scroll down the launcher stack.

Removing any option for a conventional gnome panel and menu system remains a step backward; principally because the Unity Dash doesn't work for me. Try to run an application and you're either clicking on 'More' and scrolling through pages of icons, or you're trying to type the exact name of some executable hoping for a quick hit so that you can get on with some work. I still fail to see how this is a usability increase unless all you use are the same four things in the launcher?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Review: Steve Jobs - iChanged the World Channel 4 Documentary

Steve Jobs - iChanged the World Channel 4 DocumentaryThis documentary on Steve Jobs aired on the UK TV's Channel 4 last week (still available on the 4od streaming channel). An efficient whistle-stop tour of the man's career, it suffered from two principal shortcomings.

The first was the lack of Jobs himself. Clearly the makers were unable to secure the rights to much video material featuring jobs (or couldn't afford it from the rights holders given the topicality of former Time Magazine cover-boy Jobs death). Secondly there was little of a personal nature in it other than the broadest, most well-known comments already in the public domain. One suspects the programme-makers are still shy of the eager Apple legal team jumping on any perceived defamation.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Full Circle Magazine Issue 54 Out Now

We nearly forgot this month's issue of the Ubuntu and Open Source Magazine featuring regular contributors Catling and Smithie; Issue 54 of Full circle Magazine is available now from the main site.

This month:
  • Command and Conquer.
  • How-To : Program in Python – Part 28, FreeMind, Backup Strategy – Part 2, Apt-Cache NG, Ubuntu For Business & Education – Part 3.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Opinion: Ubuntu on phones tablets TV’s and smart screens everywhere

Immediately preceding the Ubuntu Developer Summit last month, Mark Spaceshuttle set forth Canonical's stall on the software platforms of the future.

"By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office (to the) kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud."

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Full Circle Podcast Episode 26 Blame it on the Ferrets

Full Circle Podcast LogoFull Circle Podcast Episode 26 Blame it on the Ferrets is available from the main site.

In this episode, UDs, Public Speaking and Barcamp Blackpool.

Full Circle Podcast is also a proud member of the Tech Podcasts Network.  

File Sizes:
* OGG 27.8Mb
* MP3 20.4Mb 
Runtime: 1hr 00mins 03seconds

How-to: Change Xfce Window Controls

If you do choose Xfce as your Linux desktop environment, you may find the window controls not quite as you'd like them. Fortunately the lightweight desktops Xfce and LXDE both feature the ability to arrange buttons and controls as you wish.

Going to Application -> Settings -> Settings Manager -> Windows Manager, there's an area in the middle of the panel where you can drag and drop or hide window controls to create your ideal button layout.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Review: Ubuntu Developer Summit - Designing and Creating Ubuntu Experiences

Presenting the notes from the Community track at UDS-P, this was the first of a series of 3 sessions:
- "Designing and creating Ubuntu Experiences"
- "Meet with the Ubuntu Desktop Designers"
- "Community Participation in User Experience"

The difficulty of not being in the is that the notes come across as a bit trite, with some marvelous examples of "statin' the bleedin' obvious" (Monty Python). I'm thinking particularly of "... define roles for design, implementation, testing, integration and documentation."

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

11.10 USB Printer Fail in Kernel

This is the kind of nonsense I thought we'd left behind around version 7.10. Did nobody regression test final 11.10 with some USB printers? There's whole printer families this kernel doesn't work with, now we're all back grubbing around (no pun intended) at command lines trying to get printers to work!!

We spend years evangelising about Linux only to get another Canonical ball-drop on hardware, setting back the cause yet again, just as we think we can get out of the ghetto of minority operating systems.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

How-to: replace Banshee with Rhythmbox on Ubuntu 11.10

Removing Banshee in Ubuntu 11.10I tried. I did try. Truth is Banshee media player and I never did get on. Banshee's searching and sorting never got into my head, simple though it is. I liked Banshee's left pane listing of all media sources, really I did. It's just everything on the right got piled up and was never customisable the way I wanted. I guess I never got over my 'ex': Rhythmbox.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Opinion: User Testing of Unity Yields Surprising Results?

Fresh from the Unbuntu Developer Summit UDS-P, just closed:

"Every 3 months Canonical conduct ‘benchmark testing’ of Unity, to ensure that the design decisions being made are improving user experience and not hampering.

In a UDS session presenting the results of recent testing, some surprising results emerged – and most of it countering the negative perception many assume Unity has in the eyes of the target mind."

Friday, 4 November 2011

Review: New Look Gmail

New Look Gmail: Welcome screenIf you have seen the visual makeover already launched in Google Docs and Google Reader then Googlemail's (Gmail) announcement of the new look won't come as a big surprise.

A revised, less cluttered layout, new colour schemes, new themes, labelling and threading, it all adds up to the biggest change to Gmail in some time.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

News: Banshee Out, Rhythmbox Back In - UDS-P

Install Rythmbox in Ubuntu 11.10If you're following the Ubuntu Developer Summit, UDS-P, you may have heard that Banshee is to be dropped for Rhythmbox in 12.04. Yay! Good news. And after all that fuss over which media player to include as default in 11.10!

Glad to see that RB won through in the end, hopefully this ends the uncertainty over ongoing development.

I’m going to remove Banshee and the mono stack right away.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

How-to: Additional Drivers in Ubuntu 11.10

So, the wireless failed to work after the clean-install of Ubuntu 11.10 on the net-book. Consulting the forums, I struggled to get the firmware installed; that is, failed. Then I stepped back with the brainwave: run the Additional Drivers search first!

This pulled up the appropriate Broadcom drivers without having to my having to manually tease out firmware. All working again inside 2 minutes.