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Comment Re:I want alternatives (Score 3, Interesting) 97

Yes. This is exactly what we are stuck with. What's worse is that we're really stuck with Apple and Samsung, as they account for over 100% of profits from handhelds (meaning everyone else is losing money.)

As we've lost choice in platforms, we will soon lose choose in who is offering the platforms. At the moment, LG, HTC, Samsung, Sony, BlackBerry, Asus, and a boatload of Chinese companies offer Android phones. If the second-tier manufacturers like LG, HTC, Sony can't be profitable, they'll have to exit. This will leave us with Apple with iOS, Samsung selling premium and mid-range, and everyone else squabbling for enough table scraps to stay afloat with Android.

I applaud the effort on Ubuntu Mobile, but I'd put it's chances of succeeding as far less than BlackBerry's or even Firefox OS, which at least had good buzz and shipped devices for a couple of years.

We've lost Symbian, webOS, BlackBerry OS already. Firefox OS is toast, and I can't imagine that Jolla has much gas left. If Microsoft wasn't Microsoft, Windows Phone OS would have died completely ages ago, and still likely will. iOS is a walled garden, Android is a sieve that sends everything back to Google for monetization. And it's still a usability disaster. It's a pretty bad state of affairs.

Comment Re:Soldered RAM (Score 2) 87

I think the ThinkPad X220 was the pinnacle of ThinkPad design: Perfect keyboard, light, IPS display, easily serviced and upgraded, no need for dongles. It's been downhill ever since. For the life of me, I can't understand why Lenovo felt the need to mess with their keyboards after the X220/T420/W520. They were absolutely perfect.

It's telling that the biggest feature of the newest X1 Carbon is the return of the same keyboard as the first X1 Carbon. It was good machine. No doubt this one is too, but I'll be holding on to my X220 at work for the foreseeable future and don't know why anyone would buy this rather than Dell's XPS 13. It's smaller, lighter, is better made, and has the best keyboard I've used on a new laptop. (Too bad it doesn't have a trackpoint.)

Comment Re:draws a lot of comparisons to Mac OS X (Score 1) 209

"... all contemporary smartphones look like Palm OS."

Fixed this for you :-)

That made me laugh! In many ways, I still find PamOS to be a more effecient OS than what's available today. Just think of how fast it was considering it was running on a CPU chunking away at 8-33MHz! That said, you really can't go back.


Nah, I'd rather have xfce with some tuning to clean stuff up.

I also love XFCE and still use it on any servers with X11 installed. (Though I miss the days of it looking like CDE.) The last time I tried it in earnest, it didn't handle multi-monitor support very well. Has that improved recently?

Comment Re:draws a lot of comparisons to Mac OS X (Score 1) 209

Drawing a comparison would suggest its different but comparable, and not inspired by. Straight up copying as it is I wouldn't even suggest saying it's drawing cues.

I'm not really sure why people think that Elementary OS is a copy of OS X. Sure, it's similar in the same way that all contemporary smartphones look like an iPhone, but beneath the theme (with a dock, like WindowMaker, XFCE, and countless other WMs have) it behaves very differently - distinctly. Workspaces, for instance, are quite different. There's no integrated top menu like there is in Mac OS or Unity, all apps behave very differently than they would on Mac OS X, etc.

Even the theme isn't really a Mac clone. It's "just" a grey theme (albeit a well designed one) with slight gradients and very little, very well created window chrome. Mac OS, Chrome OS, Elementary OS, Cinnamon/Linux Mint, and to a lesser extent Gnome, are all heading in a similar direction design-wise; they aren't really copying each other to get there, though.

Any similarities are skin deep. The Elementary OS team is making changes and design decisions from the default language to applications that result in a fast, coherent system that bears little resemblance to Mac OS (or Windows or Unity, for that matter.)

Comment Try it before passing judgement (Score 4, Interesting) 209

I've been using Elementary OS Luna for about a year now. It's just lovely.

It has no grand plans of world-domination or a perfectly converged all-in-one interface to rule them all. It does give me the stability and packages of Ubuntu with excellent desktop usability and elegance.

It offers a consistent, well-thought out interface. It easily supports colour calibration, multiple workspaces and monitors, great keybindings, etc. After using it for a bit, it has become an effortless part of my workflow in a way that Unity failed to.

And that's the old version.

This is news. As someone using Desktop Linux daily, a new release of Elementary OS based on the latest LTS of Ubuntu is what will finally have me upgrading my machines. I have great respect and appreciation for what Cannonical has done for the Linux desktop. I use Ubuntu everywhere I can, but for day-to-day Linux desktop use, I use and recommend Elementary OS.

Try it. If you like simple and elegant interfaces, I think you'll like it.

Comment Best of luck. (Score 1) 62

Eight years is a long time in tech. Jono has done much for the Ubuntu community. As an open source supporter and Ubuntu user, I will miss his contributions and thank him for his excellent work. He's a great motivator and an interesting author with much to contribute. No doubt he will do well for XPRIZE.

Comment Re:What's the closest JEOS equivalent? (Score 1) 179

The Server Edition is pretty minimal. If you're looking for X anyway, I'd just start with Server and add what you need. Yes, it's bigger than JEOS, but it also has all of your bases covered. Removing packages is trivial anyway.

I typically start with Server, if it's a physical machine, and lubuntu-desktop. Sure, I waste a few hundred MB, but it saves me time and gives any other admin, even on ewith limited Linux experience, a pretty recognizable and usable environment without the bulk of things like an office suite.

Comment Congratulations to Ubuntu and Canonical! (Score 5, Insightful) 179

I'll be upgrading all of our Ubuntu 12.04 machines (and many 10.04 servers) over the coming months, and I'm looking forward to the changes.

Canonical and Ubuntu have done more for desktop Linux than any other company I can think of. I look forward to their regular releases, strong committment to patches, and easy, reliable upgrades. As a sysadmin, they've made my life much easier on both server and desktop. Predictable releases and solid relationships with Dell, IBM, and HP mean that I can buy almost server or laptop and know that it will "just work."

Thank you to the developers, backers, hackers, and community.


I'm ready to switch to a platform that isn't any better so long as it doesn't have the google hooks.

You should try a new BlackBerry. I've been using my Z10 for a year now and am very pleased with it. On top of being fast, efficient, and very productive for day-to-day tasks, the browser is the best on the market, the company has a proven track record of top-of-class security, and the hardware is very well made. It also has the best virtual keyboard I've ever used, and the latest version allows for direct installation of Android APKs, if you're in to a boatload of apps. (I've installed a couple, they work perfectly, but on balance, the core apps are simply top-notch and tend to be what I use day-to-day.)

Of course, it can work with Google Calendar, Contacts, etc, but you are in no what stuck with Google's hooks. It also works well with Microsoft/ActiveSync/whatever else you'd want.

All of that said, as an operating system junky, I'm very interested in try Sailfish. I have a Nokia 770 and N810 in a drawer. This is the continuation of that line and I'd love to see what the great engineers have come up with now that they're free of Nokia.

Comment Hogwash. (Score 0) 631

Respectfully, this article is hogwash. Canonical has done more for Linux usability and the Linux desktop than any other company. I'm typing this on a Dell XPS 13 that shipped, in Canada, with Ubuntu 12.04. This is alone is a major accomplishment. Step outside of North America and you can find Ubuntu shipping on desktops and laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and many other manufacturers. This is because of the strength of the Ubuntu desktop, and Canonical as a backer.

I use Unity on devices with small screens, and with multi-monitor setups. It isn't perfect, but I haven't found anything more productive, and it's improving quickly. Canonical's other efforts, such as the Ubuntu font, and integrated colour management and optimized fonts, also make Ubuntu the first out-of-the-box Linux setup that I can use for print and design work. Yes, I often do this using VMs to run proprietary software, but I know I can count on decent colour calibration. Unity is still in development, but I can see how it could scale from phone to desktop better than any other environment.

At work, we use Ubuntu on server and desktop. Their predictable LTS release, as well as continuing improvements such as their HWE updates make this a relative dream when compared to any other distribution. When I deploy using Ubuntu, I barely have to stop to wonder if the software will work, whether I'm considering the latest laptops, or older, obscure servers. More than any other OS, Ubuntu just works. My small business also makes extensive use of Ubuntu for server deployment, turnkey systems, and virtualization. Of course, Ubuntu is also my main software platform on all of my computing devices.

Ubuntu is the most used cloud computing platform, and Canonical's efforts on creating devops tools are again leading the pack.

From what I see, Mr. Shuttleworth and Canonical are working harder than ever on trying to do something amazing with open source software that scales from phone to cloud. Some efforts like the Ubuntu TV project are not bearing fruit immediately, but this, Ubuntu Touch, their cloud efforts, and more, are building an open platform and ecosystem that is unparalleled in the open source world, and goes toe-to-toe with the ecosystems being developed by Apple, Google, and Amazon. And they're doing all of this on a relatively shoestring budget.

You could argue that they should work more closely with some upstream projects, but at the end of the day, they are showing strong leadership and need to be able to move in the direction that they think is best. They are doing all of this openly, and the code speaks for itself, for better or worse. Personally, I very much believe that it is for better.

I appreciate and will support their continuing efforts.

Comment Re:Gatekeeper (Score 1) 442

"Also, you NEVER see the Apple App store unless you invoke it purposefully.."

Well, except when you run updates. New Macs won't let you pull down updates for apps like iPhoto that ship with the hardware unless you sign in with your Apple ID. You pretty much can't avoid having an Apple ID these days while running current versions of MacOS. (Well, you can, but the constant update messages are pretty annoying.)

Gatekeeper and the App Store, coupled with dropping built-in support for X11 and Java were enough to send me packing. I can see the writing on the wall. I'm not saying that these changes were bad for customers or wrong for Apple, just that they aren't for me. Thankfully, Ubuntu has easily caught up to where I want it to be for daily desktop use, and other hardware vendors are keeping up with Apple's beautiful hardware designs.

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