lunes, 30 de enero de 2012

The satisfaction of an online course on Linux

My mother, who successfully migrated from Windows to Pardus GNU/Linux, is always alert trying to find news about FLOSS in our little country. Two weeks ago, she called me with information that seemed like a dream: a reputable University that promotes online learning was offering a course named "Linux OS".

To be honest, although I really wanted to register, I hesitated. After all, online learning is not fully developed here and the platforms are Windows based. Paying only to discover that you are barred out because the software that the institution uses is not Linux inclusive is, obviously, no fun at all. So, before registering, I decided to find as much as possible about the course program and the platform. My inquiries gave positive results; everything seemed suspiciously fine.

Could that be possible? This was the same institution in which, a short year ago, Megatotoro had a hard time with the online platform because of its poor support for Linux. How about if they assume that all the students interested in Linux work from a Windows computer? Was it safe to expect them to fully support Linux just now?

However, I did not want to miss the opportunity: this could very well be my first formal course on Linux. I migrated two years ago without even knowing what Linux was and I have been learning about this family of beautiful OSs in a rather empirical way ever since. Actually, this blog was my attempt to have a record of everything I learned... Yes, the student inside of me was begging me to register.

I did. The course on Linux will be both my first online course and my first Linux formal training.

Today, I submitted homework # 1 and got a bit scared with the proposed evaluating activities. What about the platform? It does support Linux! I accessed it using Firefox 9.01 and it worked like a charm. Megatotoro is my virtual classmate, by the way.

Kind readers of this humble blog, please wish us luck ;-)

The Mandriva waiting continues

According to this laconic post by Jean-Manuel Croset-0, there was not a solution for the Mandriva dilemma. He claims that the financial situation is "better than expected", which allows the company to try to find a new solution and the new deadline is "mid February".

Although some folk traditions assert otherwise, this is an unfortunate leap year for Mandriva, it seems.

The future looks like the Tulgey wood for the company... especially when one reads between lines: the use of "far better than we expected" and "refused by a minority of shareholders" and the fact that the announcement was delayed until today suggests that there is a Jabberwock hidden somewhere.

viernes, 27 de enero de 2012

Fix for dummy audio output

Although it's the 27th already, we have no news about Mandriva S.A. yet.
Since some users might be using Mandriva 2010.2 for a while longer, I want to post a fix for a problem that returns periodically: the lack of audio in Mandriva 2010.2 due to the system's failure to identify the sound output. When that happens, the computer goes silent and the speaker icon in the lower panel reads "dummy output".

To fix it, open MCC and, after typing your root password, look for "system". Once there, click on "manage users" and select your name from the list. Click on "edit" and, on the new window, find the tab "groups". Check "audio" and "accept". That should take care of the problem :-)

lunes, 23 de enero de 2012

Now it's the 27th

Mandriva users must now wait until the 27th to find out what the decision on the future of the company is. That came from a brief announcement on the Mandriva blog. It's been a prolonged suspense: first the resolution was expected on the 16th, then on the 23rd, and now it is scheduled to the 27th.

This is not offering much optimism or hope, but...

Pardus is also shaking, it seems.

martes, 17 de enero de 2012

Some techno-silliness

For people who claim that "they are not good with computers", the computer world is way too serious. I have to disagree. Some of the funniest people I've ever met, be it in person or virtually, are definitely above average computer users. I mean, they have certain skills, such as installing an OS and retrieving information about their own systems. Even so, they really know how to make someone laugh.

Since this week has been a little stressful in Mandrivaland and Parduskistan, without mentioning SOPAnxiety and UEFIbroma around the corner, I decided to post here two samples of techno-silliness while we wait for the denoument of these happenings.

1. iPad flexibility
Did you read about iPad 2 customers who got scammed and bought a box with a clay model instead of the Apple tablets they wanted? While I think that the undeniable flexibility of such devices debunks all arguments of open-source advocates on the closed nature of Apple products, the best comment on this I read was "I'm sure it runs Adobe!"

2. Social media risks
Some people seem to forget that having your boss as your Facebook friend can be a bit inconvenient. Yes, not only can it be embarrassing, but it can also be dangerous!

So, what do you think? The world of technology is not as stiff as people might think.

domingo, 15 de enero de 2012

Mandriva: The ides of January are come

So, today is January 15. Tomorrow, we will know if Mandriva Linux, a distro that has been around since 1998, is gone. One can but find a resemblance between this date and the prophecy that the soothsayer gave to Julius Caesar in Shakespeare's tragedy.

Mandriva was originally named Mandrake and its motto was "a star is born". Well, unfortunately, heavenly bodies also die. Will Mandriva become a shooting star?

I have the feeling that great expectations are being created around a certain Cauldron, by the way.

lunes, 9 de enero de 2012

On disaster reports

2012 started as a rather interesting year. Perhaps influenced by the so-called "Mayan Doomsday" prophecies, people today reported hearing strange rumbling noises coming from the Earth.

Interestingly, the Linux world also has its own disaster predictions--you always listen that Linux is finished on the desktop, that the desktop computer itself is finished, and a myriad more.

One of the predictions that I read is that 2012 will be the definite year of Mandriva's disappearance. Since Mandriva was the distro that made me migrate to Linux, I must admit that I received the news with a grave heart.

However, one must consider that Mandriva (the distro) is not the same as Mandriva S.A. (the company). It is the latter the one that might finally close its doors. The question at stake would be if Mandriva Linux can survive without the company. Will Mandriva Linux sail into oblivion? Will it transform into something else, ROSA Linux, for instance? And if Mandriva actually vanishes, will that imply the demise of the forums, MIB, and so many other Mandriva-related pages, such as the humble, prompting me to go back to the always forgiving arms of Redmond? I know, I know, that's exaggerating too much. :-P

Let us see what happens. When facing doomsday prophecies, one must never make hasty decisions. As for me, I have learned to love the responsiveness of PCLinuxOS, the simplicity of Mepis, and the stability of Pardus, so I do not think I will go back to Windows any time soon. Besides, if Mandriva truly disappears, its legacy is already preserved by the magical cauldron of Mageia.