Smoothwall Firewall project

Monday 29 December 2008

Eeebuntu - latest version has been released

I work with a team of like minded people to deliver a really good looking and useful version of Ubuntu specifically designed for the Asus Eeepc netbook computer.

Well we have just released a new version for your Eeepc, which comes in three flavours:

1) Standard - which comes with a good base of pre-installed applications.
2) Base - which comes with the bare minimum, so you can add the applications you want
3) NBR - which uses the new Ubuntu mini computer interface

Jump over to our web site Eeebuntu web site and download the iso and have a look.

The easiest way to try it first is to install the iso file onto a USB stick. The easiest way to do that is to use another machine with Ubuntu installed as it now comes with a built in USB key creator application. If you don't have that, then use the unetbootin application.

Have fun , and post your comments etc on our forums.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Why do I use Ubuntu?

I just read this meme from Jono Bacon, and he asks all users of this operating system to say why they use it. I thought that was a decent challenge and one worth taking up.

I have been using Linux for over a decade now, thanks to someone called Paul Branston, who I worked with at Freeserve in Leeds. Paul had been using Unix/Linux since birth I think, and a person whose gravitas when he spoke about Operating Systems was definitely important to take notice of. I was working at Freeserve mainly on Firewalls and networking but also did work on the Microsoft clusters they used, really buggy and unreliable things, but thats another tale.

I used Windows as a desktop system, simple because like most other techies it came on the PC I was given. I experienced many problems with it, and it kept crashing , but I hadn't been inclined to look for anything to replace it. Paul recommend I give Linux a go on my laptop and see how it got on. Well it was a Toshiba laptop with Red Hat 5.0, and getting it installed was like wrestling with a snake. Laptop hardware then was not the same as todays.

I have used Sun OS for years, and had learned the command line in University, so I roled up my sleeves and kept at it. I eventually got it all working, even the built in modem, and just stuck with Red Hat , and after Redhat changed, just moved onto Fedora Linux. They offer a great Linux distro, but Fedora does have some drawbacks for new users, mostly media support. So when I had an issue upgrading from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9 I thought I would give Ubuntu a try.

Well I have to say I'm glad I did, as moving to Ubuntu is worth the effort just for the package manager. It is a well rounded Linux distro that currently does everything you need to get up and running quickly and efficiently. I have installed it onto every machine I own, and every friends and family machine that I look after and it has been extremely reliable. I do use an Ubuntu derivative ,Linux Mint , where I feel the user doesn't want to do any work after installing.I have bought several machines from Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed and they have been extremely reliable and useful.

Today I work on an Ubuntu distro, Eeebuntu, release for the Asus Eeepc netbooks, so I've now installed it there as well. It works extremely well on these small footprint machines.

As I sit and type this post today, I think that for an all round desktop Operating System , this sets the bench mark. I still keep an eye on what the others are doing, and Fedora 10 has received good reviews, but I don't feel the need to move back at the moment. I have installed it in a virtual image, and that is were it will stay for now.

So yes I'm glad I moved and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to give Linux a try.


Thursday 4 December 2008

Mozilla Music player hits version 1.0

I have been a user of Rhythmbox and Amarok for a while, but saw this announcement and thought I would give it a run out , and I'm glad I did. This is a very promising project.

I don't think it is currently the finished article, but I very much like where the project is going, and I think if this follows the Firefox browsers progress, then it definitely is a project to keep an eye on, as it could well have the same affect on music playing/browsing/purchasing.

Also today the announcement of Amazon uk offering albums for just £3.00 , without any DRM nonsense was a great opportunity to test the application some more.


The Cat has turned off my wireless!

Well, I'm sure if you are one of the many husbands/fathers/friends who help out with others computer mishaps, you will have come across many daft or plan stupid actions people can get up to with a computer. On this occasion though the culprit was the family moggy.

I had the usual phone call from my wife telling me that she was now unable to connect to the wireless access point. I did all the usual checks, and even got here to check that the wireless access point had power. All seemed well.

She uses a Dell 6400N laptop, so I got her to check if the little wireless light was flashing green, so we could at least check if the adapter was up to something. It wasn't, but she then said, the cat has been lying on the computer all day, might that have something to do with it.

Voila, on these Dell laptops , if you press the function key and the wireless button, it acts as a switch and turns the wireless adapter on and off.

So you have been warned, keep those feline devils away from your keyboards or you could end up with the same fate.

It could be down to fact he didn't like the photo from my previous post about Ubuntu Kung Fu, and thought he is more photogenic ;-)