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Comment Slackware. Yes, I'm serious. (Score 1) 510

I know there are comments here that mention Slackware as a joke but I'm actually serious. OK; maybe the install procedure could be intimidating, but then one could use a live variant such as Eric Hameelers' Slackware Live in its Plasma 5 or MATE variants. These could run flawlessly from an USB stick without the need for a complex installation procedure.

Slackware, contrary to what many people assert, is fundamentally simple and easy to maintain. Most problems could be solved with simple commands or by editing text configuration files; and problems are rare. The distribution is rock-solid, stable and fast. And in many cases is a "non-distro", in the sense that what you usually get is unmodified upstream software, without any "optimizations" (?) applied by many distros. It's the Linux distribution which is closest to a classical Unix and thus it provides a great learning environment, but its simplicity and stability means peace of mind and freedom to learn.

And Slackware shines as a learning environment: a full set of dev tools, a vast array of desktop environments (most of them provided by third parties but very up to date) and a simple architecture that just works. And whatever you'll learn, it will be applicable in just about any Linux, not just Slackware. Try it, and you will not be disappointed.

Submission + - MS Signature PC Requirements Now Blocks Linux Installation

sombragris writes: According to a well-documented /r/linux thread on Reddit, the Signature PC program by Microsoft now requires to lock down PCs. This user found out that his Lenovo Yoga 900 ISK2 UltraBook has the SSD in a proprietary RAID mode which Linux does not understand and the BIOS is also locked down so it could not be turned off. When he complained that he was unable to install Linux, the answer he got was: "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft."

Even worse, as the original poster said, "[t]he Yoga 900 ISK2 at Best Buy is not labeled as a Signature Edition PC, but apparently it is one, and Lenovo's agreement with Microsoft includes making sure Linux can't be installed."

As some commenter said: "If you buy a computer with this level of lockdown you should be told."

There is also a report on ZDNet which looks very understanding towards Lenovo, but the fact remains: the SSD is locked down in a proprietary RAID mode that cannot be turned off.

Comment Paraguay has been doing this for 40 years (Score 4, Informative) 226

My country (Paraguay) went 100% renewable after 1973, when the Acaray dam went operational and covered 100% of the energy needs of the country. In 1983 the world's largest operational dam (Itaipú) began to serve energy and we own 50% of it (with Brazil). We also own 50% of another large dam (Yacyreta). Now, and save for biomass-burning usines used in the Mennonite colonies at the far north, isolated Chaco area, we still are 100% covered by hydropower. There are plans to convert these biomass plants either to solar power or to lay down wires so they could use power from Itaipu. So, I would say that covering large energy needs with renewable power is totally possible, and we are proof of it since 1973.

Comment It's not dying at all, but it could use more devs. (Score 1) 515

KDE is not dead at all, not even by a long shot. I'm using the latest Plasma 5 desktop in Slackware (current) and I find it lean, fast, and quite stable.

I think the problem lies in the fact that the codebase is quite big and the developer base is shrinking. There are not many hobbyists working on it right now, and there are simply no distros sponsorinng any paid developers to work on KDE. The result is that there are a lot of emblematic KDE apps/frameworks which still need to be ported to Plasma 5, such as Kile or Krusader, KHTML, or Reqonk (some may say that some of those apps/frameworks are already ported but there are no releases of them). One by one, the applications and frameworks get abandoned.

Among the latest to suffer this behavior was KDE-Telepathy, which is right now losing its maintainer.

So, there was a time where several distros sponsored some developers, and there were also other high-profile developers working on KDE as a hobby. These got new jobs, so their involvement in KDE had to be cut, and there was no replacement in sight.

I think KDE is trying to correct the problem. They are a good community, but to be honest, it is a difficult process.

Comment He will be missed (Score 4, Interesting) 68

This was a real computer giant. I remember that my dad got wind of his ideas, and he made sure I had a computer available to tinker with in my late childhood and teen years, something that here (Paraguay, South America) was by no means taken for granted back in the time (late 1970s/1980s). Even to this day Dr. Papert made a significant contribution to Paraguayan education in the form of the XO/OLPC laptops, which are instrumental in educating many Paraguayan children. RIP and thanks for everything Dr. Papert.

Comment Re:Great news (Score 1) 179

I enter "init 5", I expect the graphical system (usually X11 with a chooser) to start.
Different UNIX/Linux init subsystems handle this differently, but the 1/2/3/5 runlevels can generally be counted on to be the same.

Breaking this is introducing incompatibilities for the sake of being different.

Why? If you have to edit inittab, it shows you the meaning of each runlevel just above the "Default runlevel" line as the (grand)parent post shows. Not exactly "breaking things to introduce incompatibilities".

Submission + - Slackware 14.2 Released, Still systemd-Free

sombragris writes: Slackware, the oldest GNU/Linux distribution still in active maintenance, was released just minutes ago. Slackware is noted for being the most Unix-like of all Linux distributions. While sporting kernel 4.4.14 and gcc 5.3, other goodies include Perl 5.22.2, Python 2.7.11, Ruby 2.2.5, Subversion 1.9.4, git-2.9.0, mercurial-3.8.2, KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with kdelibs-4.14.21) Xfce 4.12.1... and no systemd!

According to the ChangeLog:

The long development cycle (the Linux community has lately been living in "interesting times", as they say) is finally behind us, and we're proud to announce the release of Slackware 14.2. The new release brings many updates and modern tools, has switched from udev to eudev (no systemd), and adds well over a hundred new packages to the system. Thanks to the team, the upstream developers, the dedicated Slackware community, and everyone else who pitched in to help make this release a reality.

Grab the ISOs at a mirror near you. Enjoy!

Comment Re:This post brought to you... (Score 1) 85

Not in my Kindle Voyage. All I have is Baskerville, Bookerly, Helvetica, Palatino, Futura, Caecilia and Caecilia Condensed. No Verdana here. Seriously, the only worthwile choices IMHO are Baskerville, Bookerly and Palatino. Caecilia is awful in its bold weight (almost indistinguishable from the normal one).

Seriously, Amazon needs to improve the font situation on its e-ink Kindles.

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