Are you a Linux geek ? Do you troll the IRC channels of #ubuntu and #fedora with the hopes of showing off your knowledge ? Are you proud of the fact that all your gadgets, like your Tablet, your Mobile Phone , your Laptop, etc. have Linux installed on them ?
Well if any of the answers to above questions is a big “Hell Yeah !!” , you should test your knowledge of the OS you so love.
InfoWorld has just released it’s Round 2 of the Linux IQ test. Here’s a link to Round 1 of the test as well, just in case you missed that boat.
The Linux IQ tests are a set of 20 questions each ranging from command-line outputs to quotes from famous Linux developers to general industry knowledge about Linux. You will find a couple of funny questions paired with even funnier answer options.
I personally found the Round 2 much easier than Round 1, notwithstanding the fact that I scored 15 in both the rounds.
All in all, it’s a fun test which actually gives you a rain-check of your grip on the subject.
Linux Mint 8, codenamed “Helena” , had two more additions to the family : Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition and Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition.
Linux Mint is an Ubuntu based Linux distribution with integrated media codecs and a sleek user-friendly look. Over the years it has evolved to be a complete Distribution within itself, complete with a custom desktop menu, unique configuration tools, a web-based package installation interface and a number of different editions.
Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition
Linux Mint 8 KDE Edition has been available for over a week now and is based on Kubuntu 9.10.
Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition has all the features of the KDE Edition like KDE 4.3 with improved performance and stability, Software and Update Manager improvements and default applications like Songbird, Tucan and Minitube.
This KDE64 version is identical to KDE Edition but compiled for 64 bit processors (Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad, AMD Athlon X2 64 and all x86-64 compliant processors).
Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition
This release has been built with the emphasis on a lightweight and yet fully functional desktop centered on the Fluxbox window manager.
Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition is easily configurable to run on lower-spec hardware with the tools needed for doing so readily available. It is based on Fluxbox 1.1.1 and other than improvements in the Software and Update Manager, it also has changes in the Menu whereby the “System Tools” submenu has been broken down into smaller, less intrusive submenus.
With the addition of KDE, Fluxbox as well as 64-bit editions, it turns out that Linux Mint is turning out to be a more than “just another Ubuntu fork”. Let’s hope other Linux Distributions try to provide the user experience that the Linux Mint guys have managed to accomplish.
Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition can be downloaded from here and Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition can be downloaded from here.
For Linux users in India, you can save your bandwidth and directly buy the Linux Mint 8 Live CDs from here.
At the start of it’s tenth anniversary OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 was officially relased today, a week after the 5th Release Candidate (RC 5) had been released.
For those who don’t know, OpenOffice.org is the leading open source, cross-platform software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It can be used as an alternative to Microsoft’s Office tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.
Since the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0, just about a year ago, there have been more than 100 million downloads and it remains one of the largest open source application projects out there.
Apart from fixing a number of bugs and numerous potential security vulnerabilities, the following are some of the features of the new OpenOffice.org 3.2 :
Upto 40% faster startup time
Support for open standards like ODF
Support for Propreitary formats and better compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007
Support for Postscript based commercial and free OpenType fonts for formatting, printing and display.
A few weeks before the Release of OpenOffice.org 3.2, the OpenOffice.org Community had formally announced the “End-Of-Life” (EOL) status for the legacy OpenOffice.org version 2.x series of it’s productivity suite. This meant that support with patches, bugfixes and security updates is no longer available from the Community for these or before releases. It thus becomes imperative for the user to upgrade to OpenOffice.org version 3.x
You can download OpenOffice.org 3.2 from here and read about it’s new features in detail here .
At the dawn of 2010, OpenOffice.org 3.2 seems to be the first and only complete Office application suite out of the kilns which has made an official release. It would be interesting to see how other Office suites compare to this release.
Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week is a week of sessions aimed at enabling and inspiring opportunistic developers to write applications that scratch their itches.
The Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer is Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon‘s pet project. The idea behind the project is to enable developers to write quick, scratch-an-itch application and making development on Ubuntu fun and more accessible.
Jono declared Project Awesome Opportunityfirst on his blog where he explains how to get started using “Ground Control”, an integration of Bazaar with Nautilus file manager by Martin Owens and “Quickly”, a fast way to start developing applications on Ubuntu by Rick Spencer and Didier Roche.
Jono announced Call for Paricipation for Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week yesterday, which will be happening online between 1st and 6th March.
The #ubuntu-classroom will be the channel where the talks be held, with questions being asked on #ubuntu-classroom-chat .
Rick Spencer will be giving two tutorial sessions for absolute Python beginners and Python programmers on the 25th Feb.
The Ubuntu Opportunisitic Developer Week itself will cover topics like :
Creating an application from scratch from Quickly
Integrated developement workflow with Ground Control
Creating stunning interfaces with Cairo
Micro-blogging with Gwibber
Create games with Pygames
Lernid, the online tool that Jono Bacon created for connecting to online learning events like Ubuntu Developer Week and Ubuntu Open week can be used for attending Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week as well.
See the full schedule details and jkeep up with more upcoming news on Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week here.
The KDE Desktop Environment is in news this week for a number of reasons.
To begin with, the folks at KDE have released the KDE SC (Software Compilation) 4.4 application suite , codenamed “Caikaku”. The KDE SC 4.4.0 is a Workspace, Application and Development Platform compilation bringing an innovative collection of applications to Free Software users.
The KDE SC 4.4 release introduces major new technologies such as:
Social networking and online collaboration features
A netbook oriented interface of the KDE Plasma Desktop, called the Plasma Netbook.
Underlying infrastructural innovations such as the KAuth authentication framework, a more stable implementation of the Nepomuk Semantic desktop project and better Desktop search.
The overall look and feel of this Linux desktop experience has become much more sleek and refined and the community seems to have shown excitement on this release.
To follow what is happening around the KDE SC 4.4 release on the social web , you can visit the new KDE community livefeed , buzz.kde.org .
buzz.kde.org aggregates what people say about KDE all around the web. It currently monitors identi.ca, twitter, youtube, Picasa Web Albums and flickr to show you news, opinions and other interesting stuff concerning KDE. The content claims not to have been filtered and in “almost” real time.
With bouncing windows et al, the buzz.kde.org website has been launched alongwith a complete redesign of the KDE.org frontpage. This step seems to be a deliberate attempt by the KDE Marketing team to re-vitalise the website which contained orphaned and out-of-date pages.
With such an attractive horde of releases, even GNOME users are getting tempted to give another go to KDE.
How many Gnome-to-KDE conversions do you reckon will take place with these new releases ?
Mike Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch had been working for over an year on a super cool Tablet PC called Crunchpad. However, two days before the product debut, Mike got into a disagreement with the partnet company Fusion Garage and the whole project imploded and the Crunchpad never saw the light of the day.
Fusion Garage, however, have gone ahead to rename and re-market the Crunchpad as JooJoo.
The JooJoo tablet PC is 12.1 inch widescreen , multi-touch tablet with a 1Ghz Atom processor and 1 GB RAM. It runs a custom Linux OS targeted towards Internet browsing and has Wifi 802.11b/g capability as well as an in-built accelerometer for all the iPhone-like cool features. Other standard tablet PC features include Bluetooth, USB ports, Speakers and a micro-phone. It has a 4GB SSD as opposed to Flash RAM present in most mobile devices.
Originally priced at $200, JooJoo is now available for pre-order from it’s site at $500. Although this is one of the more cooler looking devices out there, a 250% increase in price for a gadget running Open Source software and no special features like support for 3G or TV/HDMI output maybe slightly over the top.
Innovative Converged Devices (ICD), a seattle-based electronic device company, has unveiled it’s first high-definition mobile internet device on the 11th November. ICD has previously made a digital photo-frame and a Mobile player running Windows.
However, the Tablet PC Vega, is a full streaming media, touch screen device that runs the Android. The interesting thing is that it run’s the same latest version of Android, Android 2.0 “Eclair”, as the Motorola Droid.
However, the Vega runs the NVIDIA Tegra, Nvidia’s graphics-cum-applications processor for Mobile devices which supports 1080p Full HD, found in other high-definition devices like Microsoft’s ZuneHD.
The Vega will be available in three screen sizes : 7 inches, 11 inches and the 15th inch. Currently, ICD has released the 15 inch version. It contains an accelerometer and the 3G wireless as well as 802.11b/g WLAN modules. It has USB 2.0 ports and support for MicroSD and Bluetooth. With four hours of battery life, a 3.1 MP Camera and 512 MB RAM, this is full fledged Tabled PC.
With a device like the Vega, application like On-demand TV, Gaming, Voice and SMS as well as Social Media applications, Video chatting, Music, etc. will be an enhanced experience.
Frameworks like Android, Moblin and Maemo are lowering the barrier-to-entry for company’s like ICD. The only factor that may or may not determine the success of these devices is the price-point, which, for the Vega is still unknown.
The Menqgroup, a China-based company, is a maker of electronic equipment like GPS systems, mini-Laptops and mini-PCs among other things.
MenQ EasyPC 790 or the E790, is the latest offering from MenqGroup and is being touted as being the world’s cheapest laptop. At $89, their claim can hardly be challenged.
Running Samsung’s 400Mhz ARM9 processor and 128MB RAM, it is definitely capable of running Android. Currently it has Windows CE 5.0 installed, which does not seem like such a good move from MenQ especially since Windows CE 6.0 has had better reviews.
With 7 inches of screen size , 3 USB ports, a LAN interface and 802.11b/g supported Wireless LAN interface, this is a full fledged Netbook device.
If MenQ can manage to sell this device running a licensed version on Windows CE 5.0 for approximately $90 , can you imaging the cost if it were to run Android or Ubuntu or Moblin or any other open source distribution natively ?
A lot of 3D, high-definition graphic games are now available on Linux. Urban Terror, Sauerbraten, Alien Arena, America’s Army, Tremulous, TORCS, etc. are just some of them.
Most of these games are either action or racing games.Broadly put, all the better 3D games available in Linux have been in the “Adventure/Action” category.
Gamerizon has released the first of it’s kind Puzzle Game for Linux called Quantz. Quantz is an addictive Puzzle Game with a slight difference. It runs on the venerated OpenGL engine. As a result, it has stupendous graphics and 3D action , provided of course, that you are running it on a machine with a good graphics cards and enough RAM.
For all Linux users, Gamerizon has made the Beta version of the game available for free. They have posted an announcement about the same on the Reddit website, from where you will be able to download either the .DEB package for Debian-based Distros like Ubuntu, Kubuntu , etc., or the .RPM package for Distributions like Fedora, CentOS, Mandriva, etc., or the tarball (.TAR.GZ image) containing a Distribution-agnostic binary version.
Quantz has amazing 3D graphics and the complete feel of the game is very smooth, thanks to the OpenGL backend.
The game itself reminds you of “Same GNOME“, a free Game which is usually present by default in most Linux Distributions. However, Quantz is much more challenging, fun and addictive to play.
It can be played in three modes. In the “Action” mode, there is a lot of bubbles “popping” and catching fire. However, the word “action” is a misnomer as there is no blood-bath and for any respectable gamer, that’s no action! The second mode is “Strategy” in which the user has to spend time thinking as well as depend on his dexterity for “popping” the bubbles. Finally the “Puzzle” mode has stages in which bubbles are “popped” in increasing levels of difficulty.
People who might not be into games big time but enjoy challenging puzzle games, should definitely give this one a go. Added to this, the whole look and feel of an OpenGL based 3D games, makes Quantz a pleasurable experience altogether.
Just one warning : This game can get addictive, especially if you have been a fan of “Same GNOME” !