Glimpse of WIndows 10

December 14, 2014

Windows 8 was not successful as anticipated by Microsoft. It was mainly aimed towards touch screen devices. Upon release, Microsoft claimed sales of 200 million however we do not know how true this figures are. Compare that with sales of windows 7 which passed 240 million within 12 months.

 

 

Windows 10

 

The company now decides to release windows 10 in January 21st next year. This are some of the things to look out for:

Pros

Start menu – Windows 8 proved to be less user-friendly users were not familiar with the metro interface and  start button was removed which they were used to like in the previous distributions. However in windows 10 this issue has been resolved. It’s like a hybrid menu now.

Multiple screens – Though this was there in windows 8 however there have been slight improvements made to it.  Switching between multiple screens is now easier.

Cons:

  • There is nothing new as such as the metro interface is still similar to windows 8 and a few additions from windows 7.

 

  • For users with tablets, they will have to wait some time before they get they get the ‘tab’ version

 

  • Although Microsoft is targeting companies with its latest release, It may not be reliable for corporate users as it will have ensure that problems like in windows 8 do not appear in windows 10.

 

In conclusion, windows 10  It’s still under development so it’s not possible to give a detailed view as there may be many changes between the developer version and the final release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Linux Mint 15 – Olivia

March 15, 2013

Its been quite a while since I have not updated my blog. My last article was on the features of Ubuntu 12.10 release.
In this article I will give some brief information about Linux Mint 15 which will be released in May.

1) Cinamon 1.8: Cinamon is a user interface developed for Mint just like Ubuntu has its Unity interface. New features in this include:
Desktop widgets or desklets such as system monitor, terminal, pictures video and slideshow frames, ability to install and uninstall cinamon themes, Bump mapping (is a technique in computer graphics for simulating bumps and wrinkles) and improved applets such as mail notifier and RSS reader applets.

2) Nemo 1.8: This is a default file manger forMint just like Nautilus is for Ubuntu. Some improvement for this include; Improved User interface, File preview ability and disk management.

3) Mint Display Manager(MDM): This is the defualt display manager for Mint based on Gnome display manager. Previously it was on version 1.06 but with Mint 15 it will be upgraded to 1.2. Some of its features include: an interactive detachable tabs, Support bookmarks in the side bar, collapse sidebar categories, enhanced image properties & you can send files via thunderbird and xdg email (A tool used for send mails using one’s preferred email composer). You can find out more about xdg-email here.
Last but not least it will provide HTML 5 powered login screens which means a superb login screen looking much better than its previous versions.


Ubuntu 12.10 at a glance

November 4, 2012

“Avoid the pain of Windows 8 & get Ubuntu 12.10 today.” These words welcoming Ubuntu 12.10 as seen on the Ubuntu website on the 18th October 2012 just days before Windows 8 will be released. Microsoft has put a tremendous effort on it and it will include many applications with it. The good news is Windows 7 users will be able to upgrade to it at a subsidized rate.
When some people hear the word “Linux” they get a picture a very complicated System to use. They say, “Linux is too complicated”, “it’s free so why should I use it”, “it doesn’t have a market so I cannot use it.” and many more endless comments. I would say they are suffering from stereo type thinking. They are programmed to think in one direction only.
I would like to go over a few new features in Ubuntu 12.10 – Quantal Quetzal.

1) A new Kernel version 3.5.4

2) Python 3

3) Updated versions of GIMP, Firefox 16.01, Libreoffice 3.6.2 etc.

4) Web Integration

5) Quick App installation

The web integration can be used through the new Online accounts feature, with which you can to add in your Facebook, Google and other accounts from one window.

Unity 2D is no longer there. Unity 3D is the way forward. However there are people out there who criticize it and as an alternative use Linux Mint – MATE or Cinnamon. I will not go into details regarding Unity.
However one of the best things that I like about Ubuntu 12.10 is the option of Disk encryption which is now given as part of the install process. It seems that Canonical has focused on accessibility and this is evident while performing a search in Ubuntu 12.10. Not only do you get local search results, but web results are presented!
Ubuntu has been regarded as the distro for new comers because it offers an excellent GUI, Package management and stabliltiy.


Linux Mint 13 vs Ubuntu 12.04

August 12, 2012

What a fantastic finisher at the Olympic games by Usain Bolt in 200m. It is hard to believe that China this time is at the top.
With the increasing release of various Linux Distro’s like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Mandriva and Redhat it can be tricky or hard to choose which is the right distro for you. In this article I will compare Linux Mint 13 Vs Ubuntu 12.04.

Linux Mint is a distribution based on Ubuntu which was first released in 2006. Some say Mint is an enhanced version of Ubuntu because it rides on Ubuntu resp. In my opinion I agree to that however Mint is not completely based on based Ubuntu because it has it own unique enhancements such as Unique themes specially made for Mint only.

The main difference between them is just the user interface. Mint is developed by mixing Gnome 2 and 3 features. Fans of 2 appreciated the developers for this. Fedora, OpenSUSE use Gnome 3 to its full capacity and likewise Ubuntu has it own interface i.e. They moved from Gnome 3 to using their own interface called Unity which offers quick access to apps. Its just that Mint took over Unity’s interface and replaced it with MATE and Cinamon

Mint has inbuilt codecs, browser plugins, JAVA configurations and supports DVD playback.

Here is a quick glance at other basic features of Linux Mint

1) Good collection of tools which are developed in house and are very user friendly.

2) Software package manager – APT using DEB packages (This is also compatible with Ubuntu)

3) Versions: Mint has 3 main versions i.e. Gnome(Original Linux Mint is based on this) and KDE

Mint 13 – MAYA has:

1) MATE 1.2
2) Cinamon 1.4
3) MDM
4) Search engines

On the other hand Ubuntu 12.04 has:

1)Unity 3D interface 5.10
2)Unity 2D interface 5.10
3)GNOME 3.4.1
4)Linux kernel 3.2.12
5)Python 2.7.3 and Python 3.2.3

Ubuntu is one of the greatest distros and one of the greatest advantages of Unity interface is that it can run on old machines which run on low hardware specs while Gnome tends to “fallback” on machines with old hardware.
Ubuntu has one of the easiest in built search engines i.e. HUD which is one of the reasons which I really love Ubuntu 12.04
Other reasons are it has a wide support community, has hundreds of technical articles written by experts and some by users. A solution to every kind of software or hardware problem can be found on the Ubuntu community.

In conclusion both Mint and Ubuntu are almost identical and are written on the same kind of code. Given a choice between various distros out there I would go for Ubuntu 12.04


Advantages and Disadvantages of Ubuntu Linux

June 21, 2012

A cold chilly morning here in Kenya during the months of June and July. As the world continues to embrace newer technology in the Information Age people are still in the era of Industrial Age. SOme of this people are reluctant to move ahead. According to them they feel better off living in the ‘Industrial age’ than the information age. I am talkig about people using Windows and Linux. In this case I will be referring to Ubuntu Linux (11.10) and Windows XP, Vista and 7. Lets consider why one would use Ubuntu.

The advantages

1) What I like about Ubuntu is its relatively secure compared to Windows and OS X. There are hundreds of thousands of viruses, worms and trojans targeting windows users. Other users who have ill knowledge of viruses become their victims and some have their information compromised as not all kinds of viruses can be detected by anti viruses.

2) Creativity: Ubuntu is open source. Before Precise Pangolin was relased (12.04LTS) every 6 months a new version of Ubuntu used to be released. The new versions come with better or improved apps, additional system features/softwares, fonts, backgrounds, themes and more. Consider Windows XP, its been in the market for more than a decade now. Till todays date there are millions of computers out there which run on windows XP. With Mircosoft it takes them nearly a decade to relase a new version of their product. Clearly it can be implied Ubuntu is evolving at a much faster rate than Windows.
Despite Microsoft having released Windows Vista, or 7, I do not see any big difference between them when comparing it with windows XP. The idea behind Windows Vista and 7 is still the same. Same types of files .dll,.sys,.NetFramework, NTFS,start buttons are common in all windows distros (execpt windows 8) since evolution of Windows 95. The only change between them is the visual appearance. However there are small improvements made to Windows 7 that makes comparison next impossible with XP

3) Compatilbility- For users who are used to Windows, they can run their windows apps on Ubuntu as well with sotwares such as WINE, Crossover and more. Therefore they wil get a similar experience as running the application on a Windows computer.

4) Popularity: Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro till today. The reason of its popularity is due to the creativity and the excellent support in the Ubuntu forums which I personally like. And its still being improved day by day.

5) Ubuntu comes with all the software pre-installed that one would ever need and use. This is one major advantage with all Linux distros. Unlike Windows which just comes with the recycle bin and other basics like calulator, wordpad and Windows Player.

Disadvantages of Ubuntu.

1) Compatibility: When manufactures make a computer, they have an assumption that the computer will run on windows. They therefore have to first provide support for the hardware in terms of availability of drivers and other issues. With Ubuntu there is less hardware support. Case in point: Dell does not support Ubuntu operating systems which I am currently using. I wanted to upgrade my graphics card but since my OS is not supported it makes it difficult for me to obtain support even if upgrade. Therefore windows has far better support than Linux.
Another case in point: With the newly released Ubuntu 12.04 it was difficult for me to configure my modem to work on it. On Ubuntu forums and other related sites have many questions on Internet problems on Ubuntu 12.04 however some of them are solved.

2)Gaming: This is the biggest advantage to Windows. It is not possible to play mordern games on Ubuntu. One thing for sure is the thousands of games released by various companies cannot run on Ubuntu unless you use an emulator. And WINE being popular is not an emulator. Even the game that runs on Ubuntu the graphics will not be similar to that of Windows computer. Windows users will agree with what I am saying.
Another thing is graphic support on Ubuntu is relatively poor when compared with Windows. Look at how many add-on’s are available to enhance graphic experience on Windows and because of this personally like Windows for purposes of gaming till today’s date

3)Availability of softwares- I will agree that Linux has thousands of free applications and sotwares available. However if I do not find an application then a substitute will be available. The substitute software may or may not be able to do specific functions that I want. Case in point: In Ubuntu I use WinFF as a video converter. WinFF is damn slow when converting large videos, it can only convert limited type of video files it will take forever for it to complete. Comparing that with AVC(Any Video Converter), the MAXIMUM time it will take is 1 hour. A large number of video formats are supported. People who have used this will understand what I am talking about Yes the substitute is available but its not very useful. It discourages me to use it. And beacuse of this Microsoft has a significant market share than Apple or Linux. Read more about this here

4) With Ubuntu (by default) cannot be able to play Mp3 files. Ubuntu will definitely have a bad impression to one who is new to Linux. In windows you do not need to install additional codecs or even if you need its not restricted unlike Ubuntu where by Mp3 formats are restricted. Ubuntu is therefore not as mature as Windows is.

5) Availability of support – I know I said this is one of my favorite advantages but what if I experience a new kind of a problem with Ubuntu that other users haven’t? If I post my problem on Ubuntu forums it will take nearly 2 months or more to get a solution. But with Microsoft they respond within weeks if not days. Also other Windows users will have experienced similar problems and posted a solution to it or if not, then an alternative to it.

In conclusion Windows beats Linux in market share because of its excellent hardware support, availability of software’s and its a good gaming platform. However I equally like Ubuntu.


Ubuntu for Android

April 27, 2012

Android is software ‘set’ for mobile devices. It is mainly an operating system based on Linux.

Recently Canonical announced plans on Ubuntu for Android.
Ubuntu on Android is not necessarily Ubuntu running on Android.
It is just Ubuntu running on the side with Android. They both have one thing in common, the Kernel. The phone will just run like a normal Android phone, but when it is connect to a PC, you will get a similar experience as using Ubuntu.

The advantage of this is will be to people who used to carry both a smart phone and a laptop. They no longer need to do that. One device is enough for them.
Another benefit is if you connect your Android device to a TV via HDMI you don’t get the Ubuntu desktop: you get the Ubuntu TV interface. You can access online content just as you would with any Ubuntu TV.
Another benefit is that no need to duplicate contacts in your phone, or even when composing emails, no need to add email addresses separately. This is because both the programs are interrogating the same single address book.
Canonical is not exactly creating a mobile phone OS, the thing is it is easy to switch to desktop mode once you connect the phone to the PC. Android interface, from the base to the apps and all through, is designed to be used on touchscreen devices. This could explain though Windows had been on tablets before the iPad came around, it never garnered any traction in the market. Why? Because it was just a desktop OS being “forced” onto a new hardware. Canonical is not forcing a new OS on a hardware.
When using the mobile device, it will be using Android just like before, but when you connect the device to a PC is when you get the Ubuntu experience with the Unity interface. In this way, people will get unique experiences in each situation without needing to learn a new platform.
However the biggest problem that Canonical faces with Ubuntu for Android is the same same one that every Linux distro faces; ‘user adoption’. More than any other distros Ubuntu has a bigger and well established user base but that still doesn’t come to to a big number. Only about 20 million people using it world wide. Similarly Apple has had a tough time pulling users to Mac products, and has made a relatively small gain interms of market share because it is different from what users know and are familiar with. An Apple user could agree to this. I myself would like to push Ubuntu forward in the market and make it a real competitor to Windows and MAC.
Comments are highly welcome.
As for Canonical, they will take time to realease an ‘all Ubuntu phone.’

sources: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/02/ubuntu-for-android-announced/


Linux Mint 12.0

April 2, 2012

This is for those who want to know what Linux Mint is about.

As the name itself suggests, this is another version of Linux. Mint has three different types of desktop environments.

1) LXDE
2) Gnome
3) KDE

Lets look at this different types of environment in brief:

1) LXDE: – Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. This is just a desktop environment just like Gnome or KDE. But it a lighter and faster type. It comes with the minimum packages that you need to get started. Things like a good interface, language support and additional features like tabbed file browsing. It consumes less CPU usage and RAM and can be installed on many Linux distributions including Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora and Debian.

2) Gnome – GNU Network Object Model Environment. It is another type of desktop environment that runs on a computer OS. It is the most popular desktop environment used by millions of people around the world. It runs on top of the X windows system and is available on most Linux distributions.

3) KDE – K Desktop Environment. It is a graphical desktop environment. Use this if you are so used to Windows. It comes with Kword, kpresenter, Kcalc and Kontact.