martes, 13 de enero de 2015

Firefox says Hello! on PCLinuxOS and OpenMandriva

The new update to Firefox 35 is available on PCLinuxOS and OpenMandriva.

I have been expecting this update because it includes Hello, the new video-call feature from Mozilla.

For those of us who don't use Facebook, SpyMe, er, Skype, or are not satisfied with Google Hangouts, Firefox Hello stands as an interesting option to communicate using video.

Oh, and it says that you do not even need to use Firefox... Only sharing the link is enough. I have to try that.

The new MS Spartan browser, with its so-much-acclaimed-as-modern technologies (that basically bind you to MS cloud), should learn something.

On Relationships... with Computers!

It is interesting to hear my colleagues, non technical users of computers like me, comment on their average experience with their machines and the other computers that they have to interact with on a daily basis.

The reality is that, for many of us, our main work partner is a computer.  Yes, we interact with people when we teach and attend meetings.  However, when we are alone and must plan classes, prepare exams, write reports, or grade, the machine is there with us.

Most of my colleagues, obviously Windows users, seem to have engaged into a vicious usage pattern with their computers, one that, if it were a relationship, would be perceived as an abusive one: the user is "victimized" by the insensitive, demanding, and anger-prone machine.

For example, last November, since his Windows 7 computer had "walked out on him" (refused to work thanks to malware), a colleague "started a new relationship" with a machine with Windows 8.

Two days ago he wrote me complaining about the sourness of his "new relationship".

This is the same person that had told me that he hated Windows 8, but needed the computer so badly, that he could not wait. 

Ah, the nagging and the pain started soon for him.

Let us not blame the computer.  He had some problems with a Windows 7 machine before, so they "parted ways".  I took the machine to therapy (wiped out Windows and installed Linux) and now, with all her issues solved and having achieved internal peace, the machine is a great friend of mine and helps me happily. I enjoy working with it.

I do not even remember the last time I complained about the behavior of one of my computers... must have been when I was so fed up that I decided to go to counselling with Dr. Tux! :)

Well, while I have to admit that all my computers have now "dissociative identity disorder" because they all have multiple Linux personalities, each one of those identities is sweet, caring, tactful, and smart.

I started my ZaReason Strata with OpenMandriva today.  Instead of the dread that I experienced in my old days when dealing with Windows computers and I feared to see a virus warning or a blue screen, the machine literally started wishing me a happy 2015.
Cairo Dock new year greeting.  Wow, I was pleasantly surprised!

Ah, those little things... They do make a difference! ;)

sábado, 10 de enero de 2015

Crowdfunding campaign for OpenMandriva

Recently, OpenMandriva Association has launched a campaign to fund the development of the beautiful OpenMandriva Lx.

Right now, it's 59 days until the IndieGOGO-hosted effort finishes.

If you like this OS and would like to help contributing, please go here.

jueves, 1 de enero de 2015

A Theory to Explain Why December was a Disaster for Windows 8*

I woke up today, on the first day of January, and read Mechatotoro's post about the jaw-dropping December 2014 market share statistics for Windows 8*.

While the optimistic Winbeta site claims the market share loss is due to the traction gained by Windows 10, I doubt it.  I mean, Windows 10, in my opinion, looks good, but it's still in beta and not many people run it for production.  Besides, the numbers do not match...

Now, the Web is ablaze spreading the word.

Well, this article attempts to explain the phenomenon with a fact that has been silenced:  Chromebooks!

If that is true, then this prediction might not be so off after all...  In fact, I had read it before.

Maybe the prayer of the kitty was answered finally? ;)
Original image credit: Andri Oid (@andrioid), Tweet. 18 December, 2014.
Kitten prayers are powerful... :P

miércoles, 31 de diciembre de 2014

Happy 2015!!!

I read it again:  2015 will be the year of the Linux desktop.

The way I see it, 2010 was the Year of the Linux Desktop.  At least it was for me.  That's when I discovered that I did not need Windows at all and I fully migrated to Linux.  I haven't needed Windows at all since then.

2015 will be, surely, an interesting year.

For all of you, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And for Linux communities... thanks for one more year of happy computing with Linux!

lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2014

On for Some Serious Fun during Vacations

2014 is almost gone.  After a rather complicated year, I am getting ready for some relaxation.

I don't plan to travel.  I want to stay home to read and play, if not with my daughter, then on the computer.

No, I don't like consoles.  I only play games on my computer.

I remember I used to enjoy games and dedicated a lot of time to them, but I stopped playing when I fully migrated to Linux in 2010, partly because some of my favorite titles would not run and I needed to learn how to use the OS for productivity.

However, for a non-technical user of Linux, I adapted successfully.  Well, truth to be told, it helped that my workload increased exponentially, so I had no time for even missing playing games.

But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...

I learned about WINE, DOSBox, and Desura. And there were some Linux games that I could play occasionally.   All that kept me going.

Comes Steam.  The reputation of Linux as a gameless platform starts changing... and I start buying games although I lacked the time to actually play them. 

Now I just noticed a curious change: my preferences moved away from games based purely on action, racing, and shooting to the ones where I could learn something about life.

Gradually, I had switched from liking titles that promised an adrenaline-rush to choosing those that offered me a space for self-reflection, regardless of technical considerations like awesome 3D graphics.

This transformation was triggered by my exposition to Jason Rohrer's Passage and Gravitation.

Maybe that's why I never missed Tomb Raider so much.

I am hooked now on the narrator's existential remarks in Nihilumbra, the approach to time and mistakes in Braid, and the human emotions triggered by To the Moon. I am also considering to buy This War of Mine...

"Are you going to kill us?"  The question of all the innocents trapped in the middle of a war

Of course, for less serious playing, I enjoy the irreverence of The Bard's Tale. :P

domingo, 28 de diciembre de 2014

Another Successful Scholarly Lecture-- Thanks to PCLinuxOS!

My brother Megatotoro and I have this je ne sais quoi for trying out software in the most stressful situations.  (Well, he wins hands down; he did it during his thesis dissertation).   At the University where we work, every two years, there is the International Congress of Modern Languages, an event that provides us with the opportunity to successfully test software on Linux or risk ourselves to international ridicule if something goes wrong.

So far, Linux has not failed.

Well, exactly two weeks ago, we were in front of a crowded auditorium and very important people, including international keynote speakers, came to see our humble presentation on censorship and children's literature.

This time, we decided to use TheBrain software running on PCLinuxOS.  Of course, we had never used that software on that OS, so we were a bit anxious.

Would PCLinuxOS handle the four displays (laptop screen, multimedia projector, and two HDMI TV screens) correctly?  Would the experimental presentation work as expected?

Well, the answer was YES!

As a matter of fact, several people congratulated us for the quality of the presentation.

We cannot take all the credit.  We were standing on the shoulders of a giant: the amazing community that makes PCLinuxOS possible.

To each one of them, thanks for your awesome work!