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Comment APT and Ubuntu (Score 1) 80

I never used GNOME. In a way, I can't forgive them for fragmenting the desktop Linux back in the 1990s (yes, it was because of the license, but that was fixed soon after in KDE, and became a non-issue, yet, GNOME marched on). If we had one good desktop, it would have been more conducive to adoption. And no, this is not an area where 'users can pick from alternatives'. So called choice in the desktop environment was bad fragmentation that Linux desktop never recovered from. That was compounded by GNOME 3, and Unity came in to try to fill the void. Others resisted the over bloated desktops, and therefore we see the minimalists like XFCE, LXDE, ..etc.

I have been using KDE Ubuntu (kubuntu) for over 15 years as my only desktop. With the 14.04 to 16.04 upgrade, KDE started down the path of 'protecting the user from themselves' by dumbing down things. Some things were missing (a weather widget), and other thing could not be customized (e.g. notifications stay in a place where you can check them later).

So, I did something I was contemplating for a long time, for minimalism and other reasons: switch to XFCE (Xubuntu 16.04). I am happy with it.

I disagree that Ubuntu has bad package management. All these years, I rarely had any repository conflict. One or two times in the over 15 years I have been using Ubuntu. If you add a lot of PPA's then yes, you may get conflicts. I don't have many PPAs. I only use the odd one for a specific software that is not up to date (e.g. GIMP 2.9.x, which has 16-bit image support), and that is it.

Comment Re:Wonderful? (Score 4, Informative) 386

I was on KDE for around 15 years. Never used GNOME.

But when I recently upgraded from Kubuntu 14.04 to Kubuntu 16.04, there were many annoyances here and there. For example, no weather widget. Also, the notification history was gone. Dumbing down the user interface is rampant and have reached KDE.

So, I bit the bullet and switched to XFCE (Xubuntu 16.04), and it is fast, nimble and just works.

It was as simple as:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get purge plasma-desktop

Then learning the ropes of XFCE, and adjusting the settings.

Comment Firefox is really fast ... (Score 1) 160

Firefox is really fast, depending on many factors ...

I upgraded from Kubuntu 14.04 to 16.04, and Firefox is the fastest I have seen in years. Maybe it is because Canonical have switched to the 64bit version, or something else. This is on an 8 year old laptop.

Regardless, you have to install the following:

- uBlock Origin (block ads)
- NoScript (Disable Javascript and Flash except from white listed sites)
- Cookie Monster (Don't accept cookies except from white listed sites)
- Classic Theme Restorer (Makes it look familiar)
- Auto Unload Tab (reduces memory footprint)

Optionally, you may also want to install:
- Session Manager (Never lose track of your open tabs)
- Add This (for easy content sharing)

I have Chromium, Opera, Konqueror and Rekonq on the same machine, and it used to be that Chromium and Opera are faster, but the former has a high memory footprint. But with 16.04, Firefox is the fastest.

Sticking with Firefox for the foreseeable future ...

Comment Re:Go visit Mar-a-Lago and complain (Score 1) 507

Look at how casually Trump deals with state business. He is still in both the tycoon mode, and campaign mode at the same time.

See how he discusses critical world issues in the open, without any care for the documents or the matters at hand ...

Unbelievable ...

BBC: What do we learn from photos of US patio diplomacy?.

Comment Cultural Blindspots ... (Score 1) 124

Every culture has its blindspots.

Arabs for example have a blindspot where all world events are a product of conspiracies by various entities. From real ones (USA, Israel), to quasi-entities ('The West'), to imaginary ones (Free Masonry, World Government, ...etc.) Everything that happens is planned and executed by these entities, from wars, revolutions, downing an airplane (e.g. Egypt Air 990, MetroJet). No amount of reasoning will sway the average Arab that there are other explanations that hold more to logic than the usual suspects conspiring on us.

Today I learned that Chileans have a blindspot for believing in UFOs.

Comment Re: Two NICs yet? (Score 1) 92

Realistically, the J1900 is powerful enough to handle any routing duties a small network will throw at it. VLANs, VPN encryption, packet inspection etc are all fine. The pfSense boards are filled with people using these units with multiple VPN tunnels and getting close to gigabit.

For a home router, unencrypted, running snort and a few other things but with the majority of traffic not VPN? It'll handle gigabit speeds without breaking a sweat.

Comment Egyptians discovered it .. (Score 1) 112

Not scientists, nor Leonadro DaVinci, it was the Egyptians.

Hold on, I am not joking. Egyptians have known that the mesentery is a single connected membrane. Why? Because they use that fat laden membrane from sheep to create minced meat kabob like grilled meatballs. It is called mandil ("handkerchief" or "hand towel").

Here is a video showing it as a full contiguous membrane, and the rest of the recipe if someone is interested.

Comment Kubuntu and (almost) any laptop on sale (Score 1) 288

For the past 10 + years, I have been using Linux exclusively as my desktop environment, and all on laptops. I use Kubuntu 14.04 at present, and have been on the LTS versions for many years.

I only buy laptops that are on sale, whatever is in the flyers the week I need to replace a laptop.

From a 'what works' point of view, most of the laptops I have used have fully worked with Linux. That includes Wifi and sound, the most pesky components. Years ago, one Dell laptop had an issue with Wifi and I had to download something or other to make it work. The last few releases did not need anything special for it to work.

I am writing this from a 2009 Toshiba that works well with Kubuntu 14.04. An older Toshiba (maybe 2006 or 2007) still works fine with the same Kubuntu version.

From a reliability point of view, avoid HP laptops. I had one where the screen hinge decided not to work, and broke, so it is now a special purpose server. Another HP was overheating and we got it exchanged under extended warranty and 3 strikes (sent for repair 3 times for the same issue).

Comment Re:WhatsApp vs the others (Score 1) 56

What you stated is incorrect. There are plenty of other cross platform video calls.

One one them is Facebook Messenger. It works from a browser (even on Linux), and on Android phones. Not sure about iOS though.

The other is Google Hangouts. It also works from a browser (yes, on Linux too), on Android and on iOS.

Skype used to work on Linux (native application, not from a browser), Android, and iOS as well, but has not used it for a while on my Linux desktop.

WhatsApp is not cross platform. It does not work from a browser, and does not have a desktop native application, be that from Windows or Linux. And WhatsApp requires a mobile phone number, and reads your contacts and gathers all info from it, among other things. Facebook and Hangouts do not require a mobile phone number.

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