Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mageia, a fork of Mandriva

Mandriva is one of my favorite Linux based operating systems.

But Mandriva has had some serious problems in the past year or two that has shaken users and developers confidence in it.

That is why I want to bring out a new fork to Mandriva who's sole purpose is to work around those failings, and develop a system for which the users, designers, developers, packagers, translators, testers, and advocates can have a say as to how it is developed.

It is also not orientated around business. It's not owned by an entity trying to make financial gain on the project, it's owned by a not for profit organization.

It's called Mageia.

I personally find this idea very freeing.

If your a fan of Mandriva, but have had concerns about it's direction or lack of development, then I encourage you to give it a try.

Here is a screenshot of the operating system:

If you are interested in downloading it or reading more about it, their website is

I also suggest you read the article they wrote about the foundation behind the group making Mageia. I think you will find it's well thought over and will give the project strength.

It's available here:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Minitube, Youtube in style!

If you are like me, and not a huge fan of installing the flashplayer plugin to watch Youtube videos, then I suggest you try Minitube!

It does not use flash to view the Youtube videos, and in my opinion works much better than Youtube on Firefox or Chrome with Flashplayer plugin installed.

"Minitube is a YouTube desktop application.

With it you can watch YouTube videos in a new way: you type a keyword, Minitube gives you an endless video stream.

Minitube is not about cloning the original YouTube web interface, it aims to create a new TV-like experience. " -Minitube's Website

I suggest that whether you are a Windows, Mac OS, Linux or Other operating system user, that you download it directly from the Minitube Website, especially if your a Ubuntu user, because the version in the repos is too old, and doesn't work properly.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ubuntu help, in live chat form!

One of the nicest things i like about Ubuntu, is the dedicated people surrounding it.

For some of you, that might mean the hard working people at Canonical, or the people working on projects or software.

All these people do help a lot, and i am personally very greatful for their work.

Who i am referring to though are the people who help others out with technical issues on the Ubuntu irc chat channel.

If you know about IRC, you probably have already been there, but in case you havent, it's at, and the channel is #ubuntu.

If you are not familiar with IRC (Internet Relay Chat), then to get assistance, you can go here:

Once you are there, type in a nickname, and where it says channel, type #ubuntu (you do need the pound sign... #)

Then just type in the "reCaptcha" code, if you can't see what it says, you can hear an audio word by clicking the audio captcha box, or you can click the reload button for a different word.

Then click on the connect button, and ask your question once you are connected.

If this all seems a bit too technical, i have a link that will give you a nickname and automatically connect you to the ubuntu channel, it is here:

*Please don't ask to ask a question, just ask your question.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tux Paint, kids being creative

"Tux Paint is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (for example, preschool and K-6). It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program.

Kids are presented with a blank canvas and a variety of drawing tools to help them be creative." -Tux Paint's website

My nephews love this program!

There are tons of "stamps" which are images of everything from animals to fruit to band equipment, cars, old world buildings, planets, and on and on..

And a "Magic" button that has filters and drawing tools enough to almost make a GIMP or Photoshop enthusiast green with envy, without the difficulty associated with those 2 programs.

And my 6 year old nephew giggles at the goofy sound effects, everything from a dialog box sound "Na na na!" to the stamp for duck, that says "Duck". (And many more...)

It's a great way to get them into computers while actually doing something creative instead of them just being plunked down in front of a video game, becoming mindless zombies. :)

If you want to download/install this program, you can get it from apt, synaptic, (or other package manager) or from their website

Friday, August 12, 2011

XFCE Desktop Environment

"Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly." -XFCE Website

I love this desktop environment!

With a hint of gnome-ish design, but a much smaller footprint, XFCE is an awesome alternative to the big brutes like KDE 4, Gnome 3 and Unity. (Especially KDE)

The one small drawback I personally have with XFCE is no gui menu editor.

It's pretty easy to change the XFCE menu though, so this is a small setback at best.

With the change to Unity in Ubuntu, I think more people will find Xubuntu a faster, more adjustable solution to their needs.

You can get XFCE via apt or synaptic, or by going here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gnome 2, still the best

I have been trying to find a suitable replacement for Gnome 2, slated to be off the repos in Ubuntu in 2013.

I came up with nothing.

I do see a glimmer of hope from a post made at

I have tried every desktop environment in the repositories, and some not in the repos, like AWN.

I must admit, if there were only Unity or Gnome 3 to choose from, I would choose Gnome 3.

XFCE is nice, and very "Gnome 2"-ish. But it has some quarks and ties to Gnome 2 that make it iffy for me. I hope XFCE survives long past Gnome 2, because it is better than Unity and Gnome 3 combined.

Having had no luck finding a KDE 4 minus all the glitz and extra junk, KDE 4 is out for me as well. (I miss simpler older KDE 3. KISS!)

To those of you who are going to comment that I could remove the junk, keep in mind that I am writing for the person who just turns it on and is new to linux, and it's desktop environments.

I hope that Gnome 3 will grow, because the direction that Unity is going is wrong.

A person on the Ubuntu forum pages said "How long will you stand still?"

I tell you that if i stand still while you walk backwards with Unity, I am at a better position.

In closing, this is of coarse my opinion, but I believe it also accurately portrays the strongly negative feelings for the currently offered Unity and Gnome 3, by a large percentage of the Ubuntu user base.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Unity, slightly less annoying.

I absolutely hated Unity to the point of writing some slightly heated stuff on the Ubuntu message boards on the net.

I have to admit that although I am, and was right about Unity not being very user friendly, I do see the Ubuntu team(s) working to make it better though, and hopefully they have heard our voices.

The main pet peave for me is that the min max and close buttons belong on the right, and in that order, and should be an option (without going into gconf-editor) for the end user immediately, if not the default setting.

The world is used to and likes those buttons where I mentioned they should be, and shouldn't have to change because someone on one of the Ubuntu team(s) or someone at Canonical thinks that's the way it should be.

Just my rant on an otherwise beautiful operating system. I still love Ubuntu,

I just want Unity developers to keep in mind that Unity should fit the user, not the user fitting Unity, which is ridiculous.