May 30, 2009

Give Gnome A More Modern Look

click image to view in full size

When compared to KDE 4, OSX or Windows 7 the default Gnome desktop looks… let’s face it… old. Here are a few steps I took to make my desktop look more modern:

- Change the theme:

I’m using the Dust theme which is included in Ubuntu 9.04 (also available for earlier releases).
- Change the icon set:
I find the Oxygen icon set to be one of the best set’s out there, I really do love the upcoming Breathe icon set. Although Breathe is still work in progress you can already take it for a test drive.
- Change the wallpaper:
Of course I use the photo wallpapers from my Ubuntu Wallpaper Photo Pack, which recently was updated and now holds eighteen photographs (43 MB).
- Adjust panel properties:
Transparent panels look very modern and makes the panels more integrated with the desktop background. Under panel properties I also set the size to 34 pixels.
- Add custom system sounds:
The sounds I’m currently using are the Rhodes system sounds I created myself.

If you like to rock out with your dock, I would recommend that you try Gnome Do.

May 29, 2009

Eclipse survey results show growth in Linux, open source

Arstechnica writes about the findings of the Eclipse Foundation latest user survey. According to the results, the number of developers using Eclipse on Linux workstations and deploying their applications on Linux servers has increased. The results also show an increase in the number of respondents who say that their companies are contributing to open source software.

Read the whole article at

UDS Karmic remote participants: we want your feedback

Matt Zimmerman posted this message on his blog today:

We are a large community, but only a small number of people can travel to attend UDS in person. So, over the years, we’ve experimented with different approaches to enable remote participation in UDS. If you participated in UDS remotely (for example, using the audio feed, IRC, Gobby, etc.), please tell us about your experience by filling out this survey:

If you registered to attend in person in Barcelona, you’ll be receiving an email with a (different) link to the (same) survey. Please use that one instead, so that we can easily sort feedback from local and remote participants.

Please that a few minutes to help make UDS even better!


Google Wave

Click on the image to view in full size

Google Wave is a new open source HTML5 tool for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. Google is giving developers -- ahead of any public launch -- an early preview of Google Wave. A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
Interesting stuff. Here's a demo:


Ubuntu 9.10 Goals And Disappointments

There is plenty of stuff to get excited about in the comming release of Ubuntu, Karmic Koala. What has been confirmed is:

- About 10s boot!
- Gnome-shell in universe soon so people can bang on it
- Android apps running on ubuntu netbook remix
- Firefox 3.5 will be the default browser
- Gwibber by default if it's ready (woo!)
- EXT4 by default for new installs; dist-upgrade handling ext3 (whether to migrate to ext4- unlikely)
- Kernel 2.6.31
- Banshee might replace Rhythmbox if related bugs are fixed in time (if not, then surely in Karmic+1)
- Encrypted home directory offered to all users
- Ubuntu One will have install options in ubiquity
- Better Wine integration
- Further enhancements for the new notification system

Sadly, there's also a few disappointments:

- No Plymouth (because of the 10s boot goal)
- No Facebrowser (listed under Additional Development in the Gobby document)
- No completely new theme (theming improvements though)

I have to stress that, though decisions have been made, nothing is definitive yet. There is still a lot of topics which haven't published any goals, like the video editor session which is considering PiTiVi as a candidate.
Next week there will of course be more facts and less guessing when UDS is over.

Android News...

Android seems to be a very hot topic these days...

What is Android?
Android is a software platform for mobile devices, powered by the Linux kernel, initially developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries.

Google says 18 Android phones are coming this year, possibly more!
18 Android phones, possibly 20 on the market this year or even more (if you count all the rogue, Google App-free Android deployments that Google's not aware of) says Andy Rubin. Seeing as how we're already nearly half-way through the year with just a pair of Android handsets on the market (the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic) and just another -- the Samsung i7500 Galaxy -- officially in the chute, we're going to see a flood of product before year's end.
Android goes up against a coming-soon new version of Microsoft’s mobile version of Windows, Apple’s proprietary iPhone system, the Blackberry platform, a new Palm OS for its Pre called WebOS, Symbian (mostly proferred by Nokia) and a host of Linux-based systems.

Canonical developers aim to make Android apps run on Ubuntu
At the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Barcelona, Canonical has unveiled a prototype Android execution environment that could make it possible for Android applications to run on Ubuntu desktops in Xorg alongside regular Linux applications. The execution environment would function like a simulator, providing the infrastructure that is needed to make the applications run.

Read more about Canonical's Android project at

Sources: Arstechnica and NYtimes

May 28, 2009

Gloobus Comming To Nautilus

It's been a while since I wrote about Gloobus, and since then Gloobus has come a long way. Recently John Stowers has been working on Gloobus integration into nautilus.

There's still some bugs to work out, but the future looks very slick and clutter(ish).

If you don't already know, Gloobus is an extension of Gnome designed to enable a full screen preview of any kind of file. Currently, Gloobus supports TXT , PDF, JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, PSD, MP3, OGG, MPG, WMV, XCF. It has a sleek black interface which will put your files in focus.

The Gloobus project needs documentation writers, translators, programmers, hackers, evangelists. If you don't have time to help, you can also...


GiftWrap 0.1 is here!

Vadim Peretokin has announced the release of GiftWrap 0.1, a user-friendly package maker.

What is GiftWrap?
GiftWrap is a hassle-free way to create Ubuntu packages. It is designed for anyone who deals with distributing software - be it theme artists, software developers, or anyone else. In the future, it will support updating of existing packages, uploading to PPA's split packages and more.

It stems from the (now dead) Deb Creator project, with a complete rewrite planned in the near future.

What is planned?
A lot of things, including a redesign of the interface and a host of improved functionality. See the roadmap a more detailed view, or just subscribe to the news feed to stay updated.

How can I help?
See the contribute page. Any help is welcome, thanks!

PiTiVi Video Editor

One of the most wanted applications missing from the free software stack, is a video editor for Linux - PiTiVi is just that! PiTiVi is a free and open source video editor based on the GStreamer multimedia framework and the project has just announced the first release in the unstable 0.13 series. PiTiVi has 3 developers working mostly full time: Alessandro Decina, Brandon Lewis and Edward Hervey.

PiTiVi does one thing very well where earlier video editing application have failed - usability! Usability has very high priority for the project. Personally I love the drag-and-drop demonstrated in a screencast (by Jean-Francois) that shows off the latest features of PiTiVi… and of course edited it with PiTiVi. You can find it in ogg or on youtube.

Work has already started for the next 0.13.2 release which should be available just before the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in July with exciting improvements like: transitions, mixing, effects, more speed/memory improvements…

There's also hope for a video editor land in Ubuntu in the near future (possibly Karmic+1). A blueprint titled desktop-karmic-video-editing will be discuss at UDS.

If Ubuntu included a true video editing software with DVD creation capabilities would be fantastic. Ubuntu has specific application to please most of the desktop user out there. The multimedia creation department is one of the few lacking areas.

Dailymotion And Open Video

Watch Video without Flash or any other proprietary technology! Does this sound good?

Today Dailymotion, one of the world’s largest video sites, announced support for open video. They’ve put out a press release, a blog post on the new openvideo site as well as a demo site where you can see some of the things that you can do with open video and Firefox 3.5. They are automatically transcoding all of the content that their Motion Makers and Official Users create and expect to have around 300,000 videos transcoded into the open Ogg Theora and Vorbis formats. You can view the site they have up at

Standing on the twin pillars of the HTML5 video API and royalty-free codecs, the movement to bring open video to the web is well underway. Dailymotion, along with Wikipedia and the Internet Archive, have all committed to start serving up open video. The free encoders are getting better and better over time and we’re starting to see more interest in the technologies.

“Video is a vital part of the online experience. At Mozilla, we view the support of open, non-proprietary video standards as key to the overall health of the Web.
Dailymotion’s strong support for open video helps move the web forward.”

said Paul Kim, VP of Marketing, Mozilla.

Dailymotion, Mozilla and a large number of other partners will be at the Open Video Conference on June 19th and 20th. If you’re interested in talking with us you might want to come down to the conference and learn what’s happening with video on the web.

Source: Christopher Blizzard

Meet The UbuntuOne Development Team

There is now a category for discussions about Ubuntu One services on the Ubuntu forum.

Here the developers introduce themselves, you can ask questions and provide feedback from your experiences using Ubuntu One.

There's a lot of talk about this new project. It has been discussed if Ubuntu One should be integrated in the Ubuntu installer and a new contact store with Ubuntu-one has also been discussed at UDS.

If you want to know what is being discussed and planed at UDS for the future of Ubuntu One (like having a syncronized addressbook), you should check out the Gobby document desktop-karmic-integrating-with-ubuntu-one.

Or if you want to eavesdrop on the Ubuntu Developers Summit there's lot's of links here.

May 27, 2009

All over the internet

My heart always skips a beat when I see my own work on other sites. When I see that, I’ll know I did something good or something really bad. A lot of sites posted my Ubuntu 8.04 DVD cover and my release party posters.

Today I came across a mockup I created some time ago on Stefano Forenza’s blog for the AppCenter. What surprised me even more was to discover the same mockup was posted on Softpedia. Below the image they wrote: “Ubuntu AppCenter mockup made by MadsRH - Image courtesy of Canonical

Yesterday I listen to the UbuntuPodcast (Episode #29) and they were taking about my post on podcasts. I wrote:
The Ubuntu Podcast (not to be mistaken for the Ubuntu UK podcast) seems a bit too casual for me (some might even say unprofessional), sitting in their couch drinking beer.

They seemed to take it more personally than it was intended. Some people might like the casual style rather than the kind of news/talkshow-like podcasts – personally I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to the show.

While we’re on the topic of getting your stuff all over the internet, I should mention I’ve submitted yet another wallpaper on the Karmic Koala backgrounds wiki. It posted under abstract and you can find it here.


May 25, 2009

Eavesdrop On The Karmic Koala UDS

If you didn't make it to the Ubuntu Developers Summit, there's still many ways to follow what happens at UDS. As we've seen before we can expect videos about the Ubuntu development and various interviews on the Ubuntu Developer Channel on YouTube.
You can already follow what is happening at the summit and contribute comments and ideas to people at the summit.

Here is Mark Shuttleworth's opening talk from Monday morning in the Plenary Room, where he talks about Ubuntu 9.10 and Ubuntu One Controversy (blurry cam):

Here is a list of links you want to visit:

1. The Scoop: The Ubuntu Wiki is the main source for the happen happens at the summit ( Any news and changes will be posted there.

2. Schedule: The schedule for the summit can be found at On the schedule you will be able to find links to the live audio/video streams from the conference.

3. Audio Live Stream : Listen to the live audio stream of the tracks at

4. LifeStream: You can follow the feeds of the different tracks and people at UDS in realtime with the new lifestream (no need to hit reload!) or you can follow us directly on

5. IRC: Join the channel #ubuntu-devel-summit or #uds on the Freenode IRC network (

6. The Planet: Planet Ubuntu ( aggregates feeds of Ubuntu Member. The Planet will have a ton of information on UDS and plans for 9.10.

7. Forums: People from the summit will be following thread in the Karmic Koala Testing and Discussion forum. Use the tag of UDS in the forums if you make a thread about the summit.

May 23, 2009

No More Elisa

Today I wanted to visit the and I was very suprised to discover that I was being redirected to

The big news is that Moovida 1.0 has been released. Moovida is what used to be called Elisa, with more coolness in it. There's a new interface which is suppose to be super slick (haven't tried it yet).

Did you know? I didn't!

Check it out here:

May 22, 2009

EarCandy 0.4 is out!

You might remember me blogging about EarCandy. Jason Taylor, the creator of EarCandy, has announced that a new release of EarCandy is out and it looks fantastic! Stefano Forenza has written an in depth blogpost, which I've posted below:

EarCandy is a PulseAudio volume manager, but a smart one ! It will automatically mute your music when a Movie or a YouTube video starts. And will mute the video when a Skype call comes in. You’ll love that ! (I already do)

This is not really a program where you have millions of options to play with. It’s more a zen one: you launch it and forget it. You’ll just remember about it when it automatically kicks in and do what you were about to do out of habit, before you.

This release is packed with new features, and finally seems very stable. Let’s go over the new features one by one:

* USB Headsets support: if you plug an usb headset, the audio streams will be automatically transferred to the headsets.
* Updates special volume keys to point to the usb headset when it’s plugged in: no more need to mess with the volume applet, the special multimedia keys of your keyboard will work on your audio boxes or usb headset depending if the latter is plugged in or not.
* Volume slider: the tray icon now behaves much more like the standard Gnome volume applet, and displays a volume slider when clicked.
* Deactivable tray icon: …but if you don’t like to have yet another tray icon, you can hide it easily.
* Lock volumes: earcandy automatically determines which audio stream you want to listen. But if you happen to be willing to freeze the current situation, you can do so with the pause button that appears above the slider when you click the tray icon.
* Refactored interface: nicer and more sober.
* Adjustable volume fade speed: I like it fast btw. With fries.

Two more new features:
Smart volume detection
This is pretty cool. The last releases had some problem with YouTube. When Youtube video is paused or finishes, the audio stream is not released by Firefox. That means that viewing a youtube video meant stopping the music forever.

Earcandy now features a nice volume detection. That means that, if you stop a video, the music resumes playing automatically. This is nifty, you really have to try how seamless it makes it to understand what I mean.

Automatic configuration
One issue with EarCandy was the fact you had to configure your application to tell EarCandy which application was a Video player, which one was an Audio player, and so on. EarCandy now sniffs the .desktop files of the open applications, and understands on its own who does what (and you can even override the rules you don’t like)

In case you don’t like the predefined rules, you can change them in the Preferences.

Advanced preferences.

UPDATE! Ear Candy .deb and PPA Available !

Since it seems pretty stable right now, I encourage everybody to try it. Open a terminal and type the following:

bzr branch lp:~killerkiwi2005/eyecandy/0.4 earcandycd earcandy./ear_candy

ps: if you already played with some earlier version of earcandy, remove altogether its settings folder (~/.config/Ear Candy)before running it

Help needeeeeed!
If you’re good at packaging, why don’t you give it a shot and make a nice .deb (an .rpm would be also appreciated). If so, comment here.

Also, if someone may contribute a better, high resolution icon… no offense to Jason but icons are not really his specialty. If so, please open a new bug

Like always, please let me know what you think about it.

I really love how it lifts the burden of stopping an resuming audios, videos, etc from my shoulders. All considered, EarCandy adds a really little touch inside the landscape of the desktop experience, but a very nice one, and I’d go even further saying that would be so cool to have this included in Karmic Koala by default. Now, that surely won’t happen, but if it would, I’m sure it would be noticed and appreciated by the people.


May 21, 2009

Karmic Koala Artwork

There's a lot of high expectations regarding the artwork for Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10). Both the Login experience (aka face browser) and Plymouth is planed to land in this release.
Mark Shuttleworth has been talking about moving away from the brown color (which everyone currently associates with Ubuntu). UDS should revival more information on the subject and hopefully also news regarding a new theme (or at least the initial work for it).

Recently Kenneth Wimer posted a message to the Ubuntu-art mailinglist about an extra wallpaper package for Ubuntu 9.10. Although November is still far away, the incoming artwork wiki is already starting to take shape. I submitted some photos from my "Ubuntu Wallpaper Photo Pack" to the Extra-Wallpaper-Package. I hope at least one of them will make it in.

Today I also stumbled across the great artwork by Adrien Pilleboue titled meditating koala.

May 20, 2009

Some Interesting Bits...

While we already have covered the very impressive Moblin V2 user interface, there's still a lot more to be blogged about over time. Today Michael Meeks blogged about some fun bits at Novell.
Anjal (Read the in depth blogpost by Srinivasa Ragavan) of course, but also Aaron has been working away at 'Cubano' - a new Banshee front-end using Clutter (I love everything that rimes with Clutter), and Tambet has been creating a simple, easy-to-use new UI for NetworkManager called Carrick - along with some great 3G information parsing stuff. Hopefully these guys'll blog about this shortly. Of course - a lot of the design and flair in the UIs has come from Intel's excellent UI team.

Besides all that, Ubuntu Developer Summit is approaching and as usual I will be providing you with news, links, videos and all the juicy details from UDS.

May 19, 2009

The Moblin V2 User Interface Is Very Impressive

It was back in January when we first got excited for Moblin 2.0, seeing how fast this Linux distribution had booted on Atom-powered netbooks. And in April the Linux Foundation took control of Moblin project.

While Moblin 2.0 final is not yet released, there is now more to get excited over than just amazing boot times. Moblin 2.0 will introduce a Clutter-based user interface and from our initial encounters with this release, it is very impressive! (click the video below to see what it looks like).

The interface is well designed, OpenGL-based, easy to use, and should pique the interest of those users that have never even touched Linux. While this is described as a beta release, for the most part the interface is polished and we encountered very few application bugs.

Phoronix has an indepth article with more information on this new UI along with screenshots and videos.


Revampeing Logo For Déjà Dup

On the Gnome ArtRequest page (Fantastic page! Why doesn't Ubuntu's artteam have such a thing?) I read Déjà Dup could use a revamped logo. Thanks to Andreas Nilsson and his Gnome Planet blogpost for pointing out "10 ways for an artist to contribute to the GNOME Project". You can see the current Déjà Dup logo above. This the GNOME 'refresh' image superimposed on the GNOME hard drive image. I have no idea if the ideas (see below) I suggested works any better as metaphor for 'backup program'.

This is not me being brilliant - I just stumbled across Cucusoft's Restore iTunes from backup which I used as model. Simply adding Tango icons, isn't exactly brilliant work for the creative mind, but I think the metaphor works very well.

I also did a few other attempts, though most of them was not worth wasting your time with. If you don't like the "lifesaver" metaphor, perhaps you will like the "safe" better.

May 18, 2009

Why Desktop Linux Sucks

Perhaps it isn't even possible, but if you by any chance managed to miss Bryan's (from the Linux Action Show) presentation on “Why Desktop Linux Sucks, and What We Can Do About It”, you should check it out.

He makes a lot of good points and you will be guaranteed to laugh at least three times during the 45 minutes presentation.

Find Bryan’s Slides Here

And speaking of desktop Linux; An unknown author from Russia has decided to draw up a list of technical reasons and limitations hampering Linux domination on the desktop

May 16, 2009

A Urgency-Display Bar For Notification

As mentioned earlier the new notifications, that were introduced in Jaunty, will continue to improve in the Karmic Koala cycle. There many good ideas and suggestion being posted at the Ayatana mailinglist.
Today Mirco Müller has added a urgency-display bar to the notify-osd trunk.

Here's a preview:

This is just one of the many ideas on how to improve notifications being discussed for Ubuntu 9.10. Another areas that has been discussed is better positioning. Below is a qoute from the mailinglist which gives us a peek into Mark Shuttleworths vision for how this might change.

For example, we specified that appends to a higher async bubble should be paused while a syncronous bubble was being displayed below it. So, say Joe starts talking to you, and his comments are being appended in a bubble in the top right. If you then hit the volume down key, you get a syncronous bubble underneath that. If Joe talks to you while you have that, we decided to defer the append until the volume bubble had died and gone away so that the append wouldn't cause the volume bubble to slide down.

In our 9.10 experiment, we will eliminate that completely, because syncronous bubbles will ALWAYS be the same size and ALWAYS be "just above the half-way line", while async bubbles will be "just below the half-way line". The async bubbles might grow or shrink (with content appending and replacement) but they won't slide around. We'll have scrolling in the bubble, for long content and long content with appends.
- Mark

Join the discussion on the Ayatana mailinglist.

May 13, 2009

Death By a Hundred Paper Cuts

"Death By a Hundred Paper Cuts" is a project to dramatically improve the user experience of Ubuntu by:

* The design team identifies 100 bugs that appear relatively easy to fix but that negatively impact the Ux
* Channeling resources to fixing those bugs
* Measuring and celebrating progress towards fixing those bugs
* Tracking impact of the fixes in upstreams over successive versions

Personally I think this is a great idea. Usually the bugs has the most duplicates (or annoys most users), get the most attention.


Become A Linux Guru And Win A Notebook Signed By Linus has been relaunched under the direction of the Linux Foundation. The site was acquired by the Linux Foundation earlier this year from SourceForge for an an undisclosed sum.

The goal of the site is supposed to be a community hub that lets the Linux community participate and contribute their knowledge. If you participate in the site's community by providing content, you will gain guru points that will showcase your skills. In the coming weeks, points can be earned for adding other content to the site, such as articles and tutorials, items in the Directory, and questions and answers.

The top five Linux gurus and ultimate Linux guru will be determined by guru points total on Feb 15 every year.

The Linux Foundation will award the top Linux Guru a fully loaded Linux notebook signed by none other than the father of Linux himself, Linus Torvalds.


Canonical gets a new Design Lead

Julian Hubbard (the creative lead of the design and user experience team) started working for Canonical in November 2008, and just this week Julian has decided to move on to new pastures.

Ivanka Majic
has taken on the lead of the Design and User Experience team. Ivanka has a first degree is in Electronic Engineering and a Masters in Human Centred Computer Systems. She is half Croatian and half English, and have lived most of her life in the UK but lived in Yugoslavia from when she was 8 until 16.


May 12, 2009

Ubuntu One

What is it?
Ubuntu One helps you sync your files, share your work with others or work remotely, all with your Ubuntu computer.


Ars Technica has an indept review here:

Stefano Forenza has gathered some information on his blog:

Extra Wallpaper Package for Karmic

Today Kenneth Wimer posted a message to the Ubuntu-art mailinglist about an extra wallpaper package for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).

Other operating systems offer an extra selection of desktop backgrounds to their users. Often they are based on different "themes" typically applied to photography (nature, for instance).

For Karmic we would like to include a set of high quality desktop backgrounds which are organized according to a predefined set of adjectives which describe emotional atmospheres, slogans (so to speak) for the way an image makes you feel.

In order to accomplish this we call on anyone and everyone to submit images which are freely licensed and follow the guidelines for inclusion.

Let me know if you have any ideas for improving this idea, or if you'd like to help coordinate things, etc.

As you might remember I posted a small collection of photos titled the "Ubuntu Wallpaper Photo Pack” earlier. I really do hope this will land in 9.10 with success.

Microsoft included a very large package of wallpapers in the Widndows 7 release candidate, which was recently released. Although it includes some very beautiful photos, I find a lot of the wallpapers too distracting to be used as desktop background - great artwork, but bad desktop backgrounds. I'm sure Ubuntu won't make such a mistake.
You can find the Windows 7 RC wallpapers here:


May 8, 2009

Dell shipping revamped Ubuntu 8.04 with the Mini 10

Dells been tweaking the Dell-designed user interface on the Linux version of the Mini 10. For those of you who have never seen the UI, the best way to explain it is that it is activity-based. The goal all along with the Ubuntu interface is to take the application out of the equation. Instead they are paving the way for people to interact with the Mini based on what they want to do – e.g. I want to browse the Internet, I want to look at pictures, I want to chat with my family, I want to play a game of Solitaire, etc.

With this new version Dell has gone through some real efforts to make Ubuntu 8.04 look all 2009ish and the all round experience more visually appealing.

For a more visual explanation, here's a short video from Doug Anson:


Microblogging tool for UDS

The next Ubuntu Developer Summit is taking place at Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona in Spain from Mon 25th May - Fri 29th May.
Apparently microblogging will be even bigger at UDS this time. A team has created a view to show the microblogging activity.

You can see what they have done here:

The various sessions happening at UDS will each be microblogging and people there and abroad will be using this to follow what's happening during the sessions. The plan is for it to be shown as a full page, not embedded in another site.

The schedule is filling up quickly, with lots of executing stuff to discuss:
Source: Ubuntu-website mailinglist

May 6, 2009


I enjoy podcasts. In fact, I listen to podcasts every week, because I have a one hour drive to work. My favorite show is (of course) the Linux Action Show with Chris and Bryan. The second place is held by the Ubuntu UK podcast, which I find very informative and funny. The Ubuntu Podcast (not to be mistaken for the Ubuntu UK podcast) seems a bit too casual for me (some might even say unprofessional), sitting in their couch drinking beer. Anyway, I really do like the interviews they’ve been conducting lately. To keep up with the world of proprietary Microsoft software, I enjoy listening to Paul Thurrott’s show.

Today, I came across a new podcast titled the Kernel Podcast by Jon Masters.
Jon Masters writes:
"I've started recording a daily summary podcast of Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) traffic. It's in MP3 format (for the benefit of car stereos, including my empeg, and iPhone/iPod users) with an Ogg Vorbis format version to follow next week, and text versions of the script I read from will be available too for those who want to help with translation — or just prefer not listening to audio. It's an experiment at this stage and may not continue to be daily in the longer term unless I can build a team of willing volunteers to help find items worth including from the day's traffic, write the daily script, record it, and so forth. But it's proving to be a useful exercise in forcing myself to be up to date with LKML. I've had around 5,000 downloads in a first several days, and a lot of positive feedback, so I think this is filling a void and may prove to be useful. If you'd like to help get involved drop me a line at, or tweet @kernelpodcast."

This is a great idea for a show, though it’s kind of geeky – but I guess all Linux users love that. What do you listen to?


May 3, 2009

60 Beautiful Ubuntu Desktop Wallpapers

If you didn't discover the "60 Beautiful Ubuntu Desktop Wallpapers" link in my "Imagine Ubuntu 9.10" post, here the link again. This is truly a great collection - lot's of good stuff!

If you're looking for a new wallpaper, you might also want to check out my post "Ubuntu Wallpaper Photo Pack"

Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 9.10

It looks like Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) will be released roughly about the same time.

Ubuntu 9.10 is currently planed for October the 29 and Acer has recently confirmed that Windows 7 will be available pre-loaded on their new all-in-one Z5600 PC from the 23 October 2009, not by the end of January 2010 as Microsoft has been previously suggesting.

Although some rumors have put the OS' release closer to the end of 2009, Microsoft has yet to officially confirm that the software will be launched sooner than the 3-years-after-Vista timescale.

Acer also confirmed to us that any Vista-based models purchased in the 30 days prior to this date will be eligible for Microsoft's free upgrade programme.

"23rd October is the date the Windows 7 will be available. There is a 30 day upgrade time so that customers don't wait to buy a new computer, so if you buy during that 30 day period, you'll get a free upgrade to Windows 7", Bobby Watkins, Acer's UK MD told Pocket-lint.

Talking about their new all-in-one model, the Z5600 PC, specifically designed for Windows 7, the company revealed that the Asus Eee Top rival, will actually be shipping at the end of September to be in stores for people to "touch and feel".

So, will Ubuntu 9.10 be able to compete with Microsofts new flagship? I'm sure it will!

Paul Thurrotts WinSuperSite has some great articles, review and screenshot galleries from Windows 7:

May 2, 2009

Notification Enhancements For 9.10

The new notifications, that were introduced in Jaunty, will continue to improve in the Karmic Koala cycle. Below is showed a blueprint for Notify OSD enhancements:

For the next six months, we are looking at improving Notify OSD in several areas:
* experimenting with better positioning for the notification bubbles
* improving the appearance and behavior (making composited bubbles more obviously unclickable, and non-composited bubbles classier)
* implementing the duration rules, so that notifications with longer text are shown for longer
* better handling of long backlogs of notifications
* investigating whether we can use non-critical priorities for anything useful
* helping to get the notifications specification to 1.0
* a Qt implementation
* investigating a "do-not-disturb" mode
* accessibility, e.g. sound theme compliance and maybe alt text for icons
* media key confirmation bubbles (Play, Pause, Previous, Next)
* suppressing bubbles when any window is full-screen
* a test suite for the rendering layer.

The notifications is also taking up a lot of space on the Ayatana mailinglist. Join the discussion on the Ayatana mailinglist