Ubuntu on Nook Color? Say it ain’t so!

It is so! And its so easy! Not really, but you can feel free to give it a try. Being an alpha build there’s not much working aside from WiFi, but development is pretty decent and it should come along nicely. This is a worthy cause, especially with the new Unity interface being the default this could become a viable alternative to running Honeycomb on your Nook. Give the source link a hit and vote for my banner image to be the new logo!

You stay classy, World Wide Web.

Source: XDA.com

Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Launches!

It’s that time of the year again boys and girls! Yes, April. This month and October are two of my favorite months. Why you ask? While yes I do look forward to the changes of the seasons, the primary reason remains my obsession with Canonical’s open source Linux operating system, Ubuntu. If you don’t know what Ubuntu is, you’re missing out on one of the most feature packed and heavily supported Linux distros available. Unity (the previously netbook only desktop environment) is now the default and that may turn off a few users. Rest assured, it’s easy enough to switch back to good old Gnome. Firefox 4 becomes the new default browser and Banshee has replaces Rhythmbox for your music player. There’s also tons of work done on the backend, as usual, and if you want to give it a try to find out more, it’s easier than ever with Live CD’s and USB images available. And it’s free! What are you waiting for? Give it a whirl! It just might change your mind about that little penguin!

Download Ubuntu 11.04 here!

You stay classy, World Wide Web.

Image courtesy of Weebls-stuff.com, thanks!

Chrome Beta 11 – New Icon, Speech-to-text (Update: How to revert to old icon!)

Google has updated its popular lightweight web browser to version 11 today. Although still tagged “beta” this software has been my daily driver for quite some time and has yet to crash on me. In comparison, the first 3 times I tried to do any WebGL related task in Firefox 4 (final) it crashed every time. This new version of Chrome also brings about GPU-accelerated 3D CSS support making for some pretty impressive (and speedy) renderings on select websites that make use of it. I noticed decently improved performance in HTML5 as well. Speaking of HTML5, handicapped users will be pleased to note that Google’s Chrome is now taking advantage of the speech-to-text API in HTML5 allowing people to literally talk to websites.

The other new thing it brings is a 2D icon. Ironic considering the 3D CSS rendering it brings, Chrome 11 has a newer, flatter icon. I do not approve of this icon; maybe its just the neophobe in me; and endeavored to switch it back to the old one. Making the icon switch in Ubuntu on my dock was easy enough swapping out the png for the original (or in my case a red icon to go with my theme). Windows 7 was different because the new dock/taskbar is kind of a pain when it comes to making custom icons not look like crap. Instead of trying to use a new (or older, depending on your point of view) png or other icon file I found a very simple, easy to do switch:

  1. Right click the dock icon and then right click Google Chrome (third option from the bottom)
  2. Left click “Properties”
  3. Select “Open File Location”
  4. In there you should see two programs (.exe). One is “chrome.exe” the other is “old_chrome.exe”. We’re going to use the “old_chrome” icon for a shortcut to the “new” Chrome.
  5. Right click the new “chrome.exe” and select “Create Shortcut”.
  6. Right click that shortcut and select “Properties”
  7. Click “Change Icon”
  8. Click “Browse”
  9. It should come up with the same folder we were just in. Select the “old_chrome.exe” to pull up the original Chrome icon. If it doesn’t, navigate to: C:\Users\YOURUSERNAMEHERE\AppDate\Local\Google\Chrome\Application
  10. Hit “Apply”, “OK” and exit. Tada! Original glossy Chrome icon!

There ya have it! Change isn’t always a good thing, and I like having a way to change things how I like. Enjoy!

Press release: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2011/03/talking-to-your-computer-with-html5.html
Get it while its hot! http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/chrome/beta/

The Beauty of Choice – Ch. 1 -Desktop OS

I’m currently having something of a identity crisis with my computer. And I blame VMWare! Switching between OS’s isn’t something most people do on daily or weekly basis, let alone a couple times a day. Most stick with the one OS they have installed and if they switch to a friend’s computer then the possibilities change. But running 3 operating systems on one physical desktop? I can’t think of too many people I know that do that…

The main problem began when I was about 12 years old. My trusty custom built desktop with a 700mhz AMD Duron (blegh even the name screams cheap), 512MB SDRAM, Nvidia GeForce AGP graphics chip and a whopping 80GB hard drive had finally stopped booting Windows. Nothing was wrong with the hardware. I just thought it was getting cluttered so I reinstalled XP with the CD from my uncle. Yeah, turns out it only had that one license and he’d used it on another computer. Piracy out of the question, I began innocently poking my head around the Intertoobs for a free alternative. One kept coming up: Ubuntu Linux. Thus beginning my obsessive following of one of my favorite OS’s of all time. It was incredible all I could do to that OS. It was ridiculously faster than Windows XP on my system. I felt like I had a usable computer again! It was beautiful! I kept installing this on any computer I used throughout the years and always had a LiveCD of the latest version on me. Ubuntu 10.10 is the latest I have installed (Natty Narwhal is coming!!!) and it’s been running smooth since the day I got it. Improved included drivers have really made my life simple, but the “upgrade” to GRUB2 and Plymouth for the boot manager really put a stifle on some of my favorite customization options. I’m sure eventually something will come along, but for now I’m stuck with a semi-plain startup and login experience. Good thing the rest of the OS remains as flexible as ever with improved Compiz integration and the migration to Gnome 2. It’s kept me going for close to 9 years now.

Then came Windows 7. It actually drew me back to the Windows fold again my senior year in high school. Sure I’d been saddled with WinXP again at school for all the domain usage of course. And I was at home unfortunately forced into the Purgatory between Windows 7 and XP: Vista. I hated that OS with a burning passion. Although fairly excited when it first came out I was disappointed by its loathsome driver support and sluggish performance. Why did my first 700MHz Duron seem faster than my parent’s 1.6GHz Pentium D (Dual core) with 2GB DDR2-RAM? That OS is still an ugly scab Microsoft is trying to pick and is regrettably still chugging along on my parents computer. Thank God for Windows 7. It truly seemed like redemption for me. I’m sure that my parents computer would probably run Win7 just fine (plus the benefits of reinstalling Windows for the first time in 6 years). My personal desktop is currently in a dual boot with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.10. I believe it s 60/40 split with Windows the larger cause it needs it for all my games. The redesigned taskbar and the fixed UAC annoyances were soothing salve on the burn left by Windows Vista. Improved performance was a plus as well as increased and much better supported drivers. All my games ran perfectly in Win7 and my only real complaints so far have been with file transfers (Still dismally slow and inconsistent) and visual appeal. I guess I’ve just been spoiled with the other OS options out there.

Like my new favorite OS X 10.6.4. Yes, I know 10.6.6 is out and is apparently a big deal but this is the latest version I’ve got to be at least 90% usable on my AMD hardware. I can’t tell you how much of a pain in the ass getting this thing to boot even in a virtual machine was. The good news is after a couple weeks of fevered forum hunting and various patch downloads I have a beautiful 1080×1920 Mac OS X 10.6.4 desktop running swiftly on my AMD X4 setup. With AMD’s hardware virtualization enabled my “Mac” has 2 cores at 3.4GHz and 1GB of 800MHz RAM. The RAM specs are inaccurate to what I have for the VM, but it’s not that big a deal (Supposed to be 2GB @ 1333MHz). I can’t express enough how much of a difference the smooth, visually integrated system integrated into OS X makes to your over all experience with the OS. Yes, there are some really powerful creative apps out there for Mac only (Garage Band being my most used) but the most impressive part to me is how unified the whole OS looks. All the menus, toggles, installers, icons, and especially the animations make me forget for a little bit that I’m using a computer. Sure, you can’t change a lot of it like in Ubuntu, but it provides a incredibly superior feel to the OS than Windows 7 does. I still feel like I’m trying to convince the computer of what I want to do in Windows. In OS X I just feel like I’m using a computer; it’s a natural extension of me into the computing realm. I’m really feeling OS X will get a lot more attention from me in the coming weeks, especially once I figure out how to transfer my VM setup to a bootable hard drive.

For now, however, it’s dual booting between Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7. Inside Win7 I’ve got my VMWare running OS X 10.6.4 fullscreen and it is commonly being used. Will my computer ever have true identity as only one of these fine OS’s? Odds are it probably won’t. That’s because I appreciate the beauty of choice we have. I don’t have to only run one! And I love it! But I’m sure it’s got my poor computer’s mind spinning…

Until next time, peace out!


P.S. Whichever OS is most popular will get its own in depth review first!