Thursday, 30 August 2012

How-to: Persistence in Ubuntu Live Sessions

No, that doesn't mean keep trying to get Ubiquity to load; it's actually quite good these days, even if the 12.10 testing images are a bit, ahem, broken...

Rather, if you boot from a USB drive into Ubuntu as a Live Session (that is, not installed to the hard disk of a machine), you can opt to create a local storage area on that USB drive on which to store session information, additional applications, your profile and some data files.

Persistence is just a feature that the live session gives you when enabled during the creation of a bootable USB key using Startup Disk Creator or another tool such as Unetbootin. It creates a file which stores all the settings throughout the live session; files created, system log files and everything that will be normally remembered by a PC from session to session. Otherwise, at the next reboot, your live session everything will be lost.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Opinion: GNOME is not Doomed

I found a story on my regular news roundup: GNOME’s Future: Open Source Desktop Interface In Doubt? by  which stated "the project responsible for what has been one of the open-source world’s most popular desktop interfaces for well over a decade, is teetering on the edge of crisis mode."

Which would be worrying, until you read on: " least, that’s what one developer suggests in a recent personal blog post ominously titled “starting into the abyss.”

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Review: UbuntuOne Cloud Storage Referrals

UbuntuOne Cloud storage banner pageUbuntu One: Enjoy your content, your way, wherever you are. Free.

You may not have heard of UbuntuOne, Canonical's entry into the Cloud Storage market. As a Linux distributor and software services company it is a bit of a niche player, but a good one; offering a solid storage service with a free entry level:
  • Multi-platform, Windows, IOS and Linux
  • File-sync across platforms
  • 5GB of free sStorage as standard
  • Share folders and files
  • Access on your mobile

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Review: I am Not Lefthanded – The Fire and The Sigh

The Fire & The Sigh by I Am Not Lefthanded album coverFiercely independent, female-fronted Irish indie trio I Am Not Lefthanded are known for their lyrical, evocative songs and quirky home made videos. Playing sparse but uplifting post-grunge music, they've been described as sounding like ‘Natalie Merchant fronting Death Cab for Cutie’.

Well, that's their version. A discovery I made via Dan Lynch's eclectic music podcast Rathole Radio (, the band consists of Kathryn Williams from the far west of Ireland, Belfast-born Daniel Frazer and Benji Savigear, a Cornish drummer.

The Celtic connection gives them a sound close to Amy MacDonald, with a nod to The Cranberries, without taking anything away from Williams characterful vocals and emotive songs. If they sound familiar it may be you heard the band’s music in a number of TV shows and indie films - including a global ad campaign for P&G. With this, their first full album, I Am Not Lefthanded have a fully formed commercial pop-rock sound and I have no problem with any of it.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Full Circle Podcast Episode 30 Better Late Than Never

Full Circle Podcast Episode 30 Better Late Than Never
Your new hosts, Les, Tony, Olly and Jon take over the helm, and hope to provide the same level of quality that you expect:
  • What we’ve been doing: Stats, Skype, RaspberryPi, Raspberry Jam and - gasp! - Fedora
  • News: Google IO - Nexus 7 tablet launch info
  • Interview with Freaky Clown - Surrey Hackspace
  • Raspberry Jam Preston - UCLAN/@teknoteacher
  • Cambridge Raspberry Jam - recorded mini podcast in car
  • Upcoming Events

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Review: Triangulation 63 - Jeffrey Zeldman

Jeffrey Zeldman on Triangulation #63, TWiT networkOne of the first web designers and pioneer of web standard design, structure and behaviour, Jeffrey Zeldman guested on Triangulation, onLeo Laporte's TWiT network a couple of weeks ago.

I don't usually listen to the Triangulation show, but Zeldman is such a legend in the design field, I couldn't miss this one. The show is an odd episode Triangulation in that it's usually Leo, Tom Merritt and guest, but Tom's missing from this one.

Zeldman stepped through his career lows; former journalist fired from the Washington Post, touring musician with an inept communist manager, advertising exec in copyrighting and art direction; winding up in 1995 in advertising at an entertainment agency, where he began his web career with a website for the Batman movie.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Review: Ubuntu Manual Project: Getting Started with Ubuntu 12.04

Getting Started with Ubuntu 12.04 is a comprehensive beginners guide for the Ubuntu operating system. It is written under an open source license and is free for you to download, read, modify and share.

The manual will help you become familiar with everyday tasks such as surfing the web, listening to music and scanning documents. With an emphasis on easy to follow instructions, it is suitable for all levels of experience.

The project homepage actually does a good job of describing and reviewing the manaul for me:

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Review: Makeuseof presents: Ubuntu An Absolute Beginners Guide

Ubuntu An Absolute Beginners Guide by Courtney Loo, edited by Justin Pot

Ubuntu is a free/libre, open-source computer operating system with 20 million users worldwide. But it’s also so much more than that: it is an ethos, a collaborative project and, first and foremost, Ubuntu is a community of people.
If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably interested in moving away from proprietary operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X; perhaps you’ve already installed Ubuntu on your computer but are not sure where to start.

Honestly, these manuals are starting to drive me crazy. How can so many people get this so wrong? Take a tip from marketing. Grab the viewer from the get go; show, tell, sell. Pictures. Colour. Give them the highlights.

They don't want a history lesson. They don't need Sociology-101. They need answers. What is it, why do I need it, why is it so much better than what I'm using now?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Review: Muktware's Ubuntu Manual

A comprehensive guide to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS - First Edition -Free

This manual is intended for users new to Ubuntu coming from from other operating systems and also user who are upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. It is a manual produced by the community for the community. Due to this it available free of charge and is distributed under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.  

It covers all elements of the Ubuntu world starting from preparing your computer for installation, using Ubuntu to advanced topics. It guides a new user into the world of Ubuntu. An entire chapter devoted to working with Ubuntu effectively covers some of the key features of Ubuntu 12.04 like Virtual Workspaces, Unity Desktop, Spread View and Switching between applications.

You can get it directly from the Ubuntu Software Centre!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

News: Full Circle Magazine Issue 63 is available in Aisle Four

Full Circle Magazine Issue 63 is available in aisle fourFull Circle – the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community are proud to announce the release of our sixty-third issue.

This month:
* Command and Conquer.
* How-To : Beginning Python – Part 35, LibreOffice Part 16, and Linux Astronomy Part 2.
* Graphics : GIMP Retro Photo, and Inkscape Part 3.
* NEW! Web Dev series
* Linux Lab – Making *buntu 12.04 Boot Faster.
* Review – gPodder.
* Closing Windows – Share Files/Folders.
* Audio Flux – some CC music tracks.
* NEW! Ask The New Guy.

plus: Ubuntu Games, Ubuntu Women, My Desktop, My Opinion, My Story, and much much more!  

Get it while it’s hot!  

Google Currents Edition:

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 New Software updater

It sounds wrong, looks grammatically dubious, but is a change of name that makes sense.

Ubuntu’s Software Updater application features a  streamlined interface, a de-cluttering along the lines of Nautilus Elementary; less visual clutter and a focus on just the core message.

It is included in various builds of Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 can be downloaded from the Ubuntu development site.

Friday, 3 August 2012

New Session Menu in Ubuntu 12.10

Amongst the changes for 12.10 showing in the Alpha-3 release, the Ubuntu "Me" and "System" menus have been combined to create a new Session Menu.

Your name display is gone as a space-saving improvement (Ubuntu assumes you know who you are and as whom you have signed in. This is all part of the de-cluttering of the user experience and for most people (the 200 million targeted new users) this should be fine.

For the rest of us, you just have to drop into the System Settings pane to see just how many settings are no longer available.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

New Look Nautilus Divides Opinion

new-nautilus in Ubuntu 12.10The latest version of the Nautilus file manager has been released by the GNOME developers for the Gnome-3 desktop.

If you thought Elementary was sparse, this one has even less window clutter – and less features, leading GNOME co-founder Federico Mena-Quintero to describe it ‘vandalism.’

Further theme integration for Ubuntu has yet to arrive, so it looks a bit bland and out of place under mbiance and Radiance. I'm not a fan of it under Adwaita either (Adwaita is an overhyped bastard child of Max-OS circa 2001 anyway).