Showing posts from 2014

Netflix arrives to openSUSE without dirty tricks, yes natively.

Naturally, if it were so simple one would not need an article. There has been a lot of news floating around about +Netflix finally being available natively for +Linux. In case you are not aware, getting Netflix on Linux was a labored and complicated process requiring all sorts of WINE hacking or virtualization. +Microsoft had announced that its strategy would be changing away from Silverlight which Netflix has depended on for their DRM content delivery. Netflix then announced they would be dropping Silverlight in favor of +HTML5 once some DRM framework was developed so they could secure their licensed content. Naturally this announcement was greeted with excitement from Linux desktop users all over, excepting of course those whom are absolutely opposed to DRM.

In the last couple of days, there has been a flurry of articles and tutorials on how to get Netflix to work natively. Most of these of course are claiming that it is +Ubuntu only, though this is absolutely false. The new HTML5 …

Sneak peek at openSUSE 13.2; hands on with beta 1

I've been running the beta 1 of 13.2 for a few days now, and there are lots of interesting and welcome changes. Overall it is surprisingly bug free, and I anticipate it will be a very smooth release (at least on +GNOME since I don't use KDE). Now, if you want to know what versions of packages are included you may take a look at this post. I on the other hand want to introduce you to the things that you may NOT know, and that are particularly interesting.

So we have long heard that btrfs would be replacing EXT4 as the default file-system in +openSUSE and many other distributions eventually. Generally it is ready and eventually will outstrip EXT4 and other file-systems for speed as well as it's many other compelling features. However as of yet it still suffers from being a bit too slow. Thus, if you use a separate /home partition you'll notice XFS is being proposed as the default. For some of you this makes sense, but if you are like me it came as quite a surprise. Last…

Is Canonical planning to take out Microsoft Office with OEM Kingsoft Office?

Here is a link to download the RPM for Kingsoft Office so you can try it, and not wonder if this is vaporware... it isn't.

Lately I've been seeing more and more buzz surrounding Kingsoft Office for Linux. KSO has been gaining a rather devoted following despite it's Linux port still being in alpha and not near to release. My first familiarity with Kingsoft Office was reading about their Android offering which has had rave reviews and a devoted following. Across all platforms, people praise it for its interface and its exceptional compatibility with Microsoft Office formatted documents. So with all the buzz, rumors, and conflicting information I wanted some clear answers for myself and to share with you. On May 5th I had the opportunity to interview Jin who serves as the Chief Software Architect for +Kingsoft Office .

Before I dive right into the things we addressed in the course of our interview, I wanted to give you a brief background for Kingsoft and their office softwar…

GNOME 3.12 arrives to openSUSE Tumbleweed, and it is fabulous

In late March 2012 I gave +openSUSE 12.1 a second chance with +GNOME 3 after having a horrible experience with the version of KDE that shipped in that version. By April 4th I was a true believer in the GNOME Shell and the new user experience paradigm that was evolving in GNOME 3. Indeed, each version of GNOME since has been more exciting than the last, bringing massive improvements in performance, stability, reliability, workflow, and aesthetics. Indeed, a true tribute to the GNOME developers is that I hadn't been so sold on an environment since I left Apple's Mac OS X behind in 2010. Each version of GNOME has shown refinements as dramatic as anything I'd seen in Mac OS X, but at a breakneck pace. The latest GNOME 3.12 is not merely an incremental improvement like previous versions, but rather a shocking advancement. In this article I will allude to some changes that happened in recent previous versions since they deserve comment.

Elegance I love an elegant desktop. In my…

Windows XP end of life, is openSUSE Linux the right choice?

Since Microsoft announced Windows XP end of service, +Linux  and Free Software enthusiasts have been dancing a celebratory jig and promoting Linux as the preferred upgrade path. Though a user can continue to use XP, Microsoft will no longer be releasing any updates to it and it will thus gradually become more insecure than it already was. Microsoft's recommendation is to migrate to Windows 8.1 or buy a new PC. Frankly, most people running XP have computers that are running up to being a decade old seeing as Vista became available late 2006. Linux is a common solution for people wanting to squeeze more life out of an old computer, but is it the right one?

In late 2011 I began working as an independent repair technician and IT consultant. Due to my unusually low prices and geography I typically get people running older hardware. Though I will work on solving issues with various Windows versions, I do attempt to upsell +openSUSE Linux to these clients where possible. I assess the cli…

Firefox 29 coming soon with a fresh new design paradigm.

"It’s not an interface adjustment or tweak. It’s not a bug fix. It’s a complete re-envisioning of Firefox’s user experience, and it’s been brewing for the past five years," +Jennifer Morrow  says in her blog. Jennifer serves +Mozilla Firefox as the senior designer at Mozilla. This will be the biggest redesign since version 4 which brought us a much cleaner and faster Firefox experience and retired the 3.x design. The new aesthetic is being called Australis, and has already been released to all platforms though as of this writing it is not yet packaged by +openSUSE, though it can be found in the Mozilla community repository.

Australis has been designed to address some idiosyncrasies and deliver a consistent user experience. Users familiar with +Google Chrome  will see some strong similarities in the redesign such as the tabs and menu placement. I feel however, that's about where the similarities end. Jennifer Morrow says, "This is when user experience design is mo…

Microsoft may bring Office to Linux in 2014

+Michael Larabel from +Phoronix brings odd tidings to the Linux world from last years +FOSDEM . In 2013 +Microsoft delivered on their announced plan to bring their Office suite to the +Linux based +Android platform. Mr. Larabel has said that his source indicates that Microsoft is taking a serious look at bringing Office to Linux, and has a full native port (not delivered via a WINE wrapper or some such means) in an unknown degree of completion that they have already in development internally. Now that 2014 is in swing, will we actually see this rumor come true? Frankly, if it were a less reputable source I wouldn't bother with this article.

How likely is it? I think considering that they have already made a version for Android, that means at the least that much of the development effort is already spent since Android runs on the Linux kernel. Also, as I understand it Android and its apps are mostly Java simply running via a mobile optimized runtime. Java in case you are not aware …

Dual booting with Windows 8, not as painful as expected.

Over the last several months I've gone through a few different computers. Some of them had severe hardware flaws, such as the wretched track pad on the HP Envy, or the critically flawed WiFi on an Asus that wouldn't allow me to connect to certain secure networks. The HP Envy came with dual one terabyte hard drives, and my intention was to use one drive for +openSUSE and the other for Windows. I ultimately managed to trash the machine, and sent it back since I was unhappy with the way some of its hardware was anyway (yes, the trackpad was that awful). For many years I've been running openSUSE exclusively, and finally decided on dual boot since I wanted to play some of the amazing games I've seen. At last I settled on an excellent balance of hardware in my +Sony Vaio Fit 15.

After having trashed the HP before, and reading various horror stories I was reluctant to dive right into attempting a dual boot again. This reluctance seems to have been unjustified. Fact of the ma…

A new idea for the openSUSE 'app store' that simplifies and builds on the basis of our existing technologies.

For a long time now there has been a great deal of buzz about potentially having a fully featured app store on +openSUSE . Whether it was Bretzn or porting the +Ubuntu Software Center, we certainly would like to have a more informative GUI for discovering and installing software. At present we do in fact have a halfway solution in our interface with it's direct install (formerly 'one-click') which is awesome, and certainly is one thing that makes my job easier when I bring new users from Windows.

However, there are a number of areas where this interface falls short. The most glaring can be that often the applications lack a description or have one so short as to be nearly useless. Another significant point is the lack of user reviews. Reviews help flesh out things that may be missed in a description, as well as provide tips at a glance on what the new user should expect. I believe reviews would be reasonably easy to implement in the current domain, a…