Sep 27, 2009

A Slick Microsoft Product

Everyone knows Microsoft does spend a huge amount of money advertising. Someone claimed that if Canonical, Novel and Red Hat combined their marketing budgets, they wouldn't even be spending a third of what Microsoft is spending on Windows advertising. As you can see below, a large marketing budget does make beautiful advertising.

Of course, no sane person would actually buy a Zune. Personally, I'm waiting for the astonishing Nokia N900 to be available for sale - in case you've missed it, it is AWESOME!.

Back on topic, Microsoft also spends huge amounts of money on research. We've already heard about projects like the Surface ( or even their prototype for a next-generation office wall. But just recently I came across Courier.
Courier is a Microsoft's tablet with a UI like you've never seen it before. You might think: "How is anything in this post related to Linux?". A valid point, which makes me end this post with the words... If only it ran Linux.


Sep 21, 2009

Mark Shuttleworth Announces via video Ubuntu 10.04: Lucid Lynx

Speaking via video to UbuCon at the Atlanta Linuxfest, Mark Shuttleworth announced that the code name for the 10.04 Ubuntu release would be "Lucid Lynx". It will be an LTS version featuring 3 years support for the desktop version and 5 years for the server version. This will be the 3rd LTS version, proving that Ubuntu can not only deliver a new version every 6 months, but also an LTS version every 2nd year, something Mark is very proud of. Speaking briefly of what we can expect to see in the Lucid Lynx, Mark talks of cloud computing and Gnome. Mentioning our relationship with Debian, Mark hopes to continue expanding that relationship in the hope of bettering both distributions. In closing Mark asks our community to search out those who put in so much work delivering a quality Ubuntu product to us, and to give them all a big thanks. We think a big thanks is also deserved by Mark for his oversight and tireless work on our behalf.


Sep 15, 2009

Lifesaver - A Screensaver

Chris Jones has been working on a small little project that you might enjoy and it’s called Lifesaver. The idea is really simple – it’s a screensaver for GNOME that displays recent posts about Ubuntu from Twitter and That’s it!

The code and bugs and downloads live on Launchpad, and packages for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) are in Chris's PPA.

Sep 14, 2009

Karmic Status and Artwork Update

Although nothing is set in stone just yet, it looks like the Ubuntu Karmic boot demo and proposed GDM theme iteration 3 (created by Otto Greenslade, Mat Tomaszewski, Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Forrest, Kenneth Wimer), is the direction the final look and feel will take. At the moment (Alpha 5), the boot experience is still pretty much a mess and the new GDM is yet to receive it's new look. There's a PPA for x-splash with the Iteration 3 artwork (YouTube demo), but because of a version numbering error the update fails for a lot of people.

Recently Phoronix was checking in on Ubuntu Karmic's boot time, which was just a waste of time, since the work Scott James Remnant (the Ubuntu Developer Manager) is doing on boot performance won't land until the BETA release. In case you've missed it, Scott James Remnant recently wrote a blogpost that thoroughly explains why the new splash screen in Ubuntu 9.10 will use X-splash and not Usplash or Plymouth

As you might have noticed in Alpha 5, the new design I created for the ubiquity slideshow has now landed! Hooray! Although I only created the background and added some SVG icons (mostly from Breathe), this is my first contribution that will land inside Ubuntu - and not just in a PPA or on a website somewhere.
The Canonical DX team are working hard to meet the Karmic deadline. Sadly, the graphical OS selector and the option to install updates on shutdown has been deferred. The DX team does not have the time nor resources to implement this in time for Karmic. I was also sad to see that the pre-unpacking of packages during download was deferred. The good thing is that all these projects will have a good chance of making it into Karmic+1.
Many people complain about the lack of a completely new theme to replace the brown Human theme. To me it makes perfect sense for Canonical to wait for the Gnome 3 transition before committing resources to the project.

At the end of my quest to contribute to the new boot splash look, there's now (thanks to knn (Nikola Kovacs
), Darkshade and others from the a .PNG throbber that can replace the default one in x-splash. The preview below would properly look better with a black/dark background, like my mockup suggestion had.

Grab the .PNG image here...

My fifth suggestion (the fiery letters) also worked out pretty well, but this one requires a black background.

Grab the .PNG image here...

If you need help modify x-splash's appearance visit either:

You can find more information about new features in Karmic here...

Sep 8, 2009

Microsoft teaches Best Buy employees how to troll Linux users

Recently, Microsoft named the Linux distributors Red Hat and Canonical as competitors to its Windows client business in its annual filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The move is an acknowledgment of the first viable competition from Linux to Microsoft's Windows client business, due mainly to the use of Linux on netbooks, which are rising in prominence as alternatives to full-sized notebooks.

I'm sure everyone agrees that this acknowledgment is a good thing. Microsoft seeing Linux as a serious competitor, means that Linux is moving forward, becoming more mainstream and that we're stealing market share from the big boy. But the latest PR material from Microsoft does not fall under this category. The goal is to teach Best Buy employees that Windows 7 beats Linux in every category imaginable. Microsoft can do this because they are a huge influential company with a massive market share.

The fact that Microsoft finds this type of "training material" necessary is again kind of an acknowledgment, but the majority of the statements are, to say the least, inaccurate. Reading the text on the slides for this presentation really made me feel like they are hitting us below the waist. Enjoy...


Sep 2, 2009

Xsplash, Usplash or Plymouth?

Scott James Remnant (the Ubuntu Developer Manager) has written a blogpost that thoroughly explains why the new splash screen in Ubuntu 9.10 will use Xsplash and not Usplash or Plymouth. A very informative read.

Read his post here...