Showing posts from October, 2011

Quickfix: Resolve Software Management Errors in Mandriva 2011.x

When Mandriva Software Management displays a message saying that x number of updates or packages cannot be installed, it generally means the repositories are not set properly.  Launch the Mandriva Linux Control Conter and click Configure media sources for install and update.  Click Add.  A window will pop up offering to add all the available repositories.  Unlike previous releases, Mandriva 2011.x will allow users to add the whole set of repository sources including non-free repositories via this option.  

****I recently encountered an issue wherein Mandriva Software Management kept prompting me to install a kernel update.  No matter how many times I selected a specific kernel from the abstruse list, I kept coming back to the window.  Adding the complete set of repositories resolved the issue though.

If Mandriva displays a pop-up indicating "urpmi database is locked, process 4649 is already using it", it means that Mandriva Update is checking for updates and is interruptin…

Fedora 15 Hardware Compatibility for Acer, Lenovo, and Dell Systems (HCL)

I haven't had much luck running previous releases of Fedora as far back as 9 or 8.  However, Fedora 15 caught me off guard, working on all 5 portables I owned and performing very well even when running on LiveCD or LiveUSB.  Shutdown was stellar and despite running on LiveCD, applications and Gnome 3 ran much faster than LiveCD Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity.

Even the Latitude E6400's mechanical buttons worked with Fedora 15.  The Dell Inspiron 1470's FN buttons worked as well despite Dell's odd decision to have the function keys switched on by default (ie. users did not have to press FN to trigger the special laptop function).  I've historically had issues with wireless cards with Fedora, but the developers outdid themselves with wireless card compatibility, failing only with the Dell Inspiron 1470.

The only other hitch I encountered was with the touchpad of the aforementioned Inspiron 1470 and the Asus EEEPC 1000H.   Asus EEEPC 1000H's touchpad buttons didn't wo…

Ubuntu 11.10 Review - It's not just about Unity

Most of the reviews out there including reviews from Distrowatch have already discussed the merits and failures of Unity. However, Ubuntu 11.10 isn't just about Unity. Take note that the review is based only on 11.10 as I skipped the last release and this is my first experience with Unity and a revamped Ubuntu (I'm currently running Ubuntu 10.10 and openSUSE 11.4).

Hardware Compatibility 

Wireless, ethernet, and bluetooth checked out. Desktop effects flew even while running on LiveCD. I've taken for granted hardware compatibility ever since the stellar openSUSE 11.4 was released and the capable Mandriva 2011.x came out. However, a recent experience with Debian reminded me just how awesome it is for hardware to work directly after installation. Ubuntu was based off of Debian but it's hard to compare the two considering the amount of work needed to configure Debian on a laptop.

Ubuntu is often criticized for cutting corners and focusing too much on the user experien…

Quickfix: Add tables to blogs using Kompozer or Dreamweaver

Before CSS, web sites made a lot of use of tables to organize and display information.  Today, tables are no longer used as often though it's still useful for displaying tabulated data (the original use of tables before web sites) such as compatibility charts or speed numbers. and don't have controls to add tables on the fly.  Microsoft Excel or Openoffice/Libreoffice Calc tables can't be imported directly either.  Both Blogger and Wordpress, however, have the option to access the HTML markup in order to add various HTML5 embellishments.  Although it's fairly easy to create an HTML5 compliant table through coding, not everyone is inclined or has the time to type up the code while writing a quick blog.

By using a WYSWIG web editor such as open source Kompozer or any version of the expensive Dreamweaver CS, users can just create a table, copy the HTML code, and paste it unto Blogger or's HTML window.

1. Create a  table in Kompos…

Review: Fedora 15 - Comments from an openSUSE/Ubuntu/Mandriva user Part 2

Applications, Easylife, and Autoten

One huge plus I found running Fedora 15 is the limited number of preinstalled applications.  I really liked this frugal approach with deja dup, Nautilus, Firefox, Brasero, Rhythmbox, Gedit, Transmission, and Evolution the only included applications.  It's also refreshing not to find LibreOffice nor OpenOffice.  This gives users free rein to install essentials such as Chrome, Lyx, Grsync, and KeepNote.  Fedora 15's light desktop gives the impression it would fly on a lightweight netbook or low-powered thin-and-light.

After years of failing to run, EasyLife finally worked for me.  I ended up regretting the use of Easylife with Fedora 15.  It loaded the system with necessary multimedia codecs but added several redundant applications such as Amarok, K9Player, ISO Master, Avidemux, Devede, XMMS, and many more.  It would have taken a lot of work to uninstall all those applications I never need.  I wondered if Autoten, another utility that installs…

Review: Fedora 15 - Comments from an openSUSE/Ubuntu/Mandriva user Part 1

As much as I love the idea of Fedora (hey, it's the purest of the pure), stability issues with Fedora 12 and earlier releases have driven me away from the beloved Red Hat-based distribution.  openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Mandriva have all had false starts on my machines, but never on the level of consistency that I've experienced with Fedora.  Among the distributions I use regularly only Mint has never disappointed.

So why Fedora 15 and why Gnome 3 now (especially with a fully-working openSUSE 11.4 and Ubuntu 10.10 on my production machines)?  Fedora 15 and Gnome 3 have been out for awhile so there's a certain amount of certainty and stability with the system by now.  I'm comfortable enough with Ubuntu to say that whatever Unity can dish out, it's still the same banana.  I can't say the same for Fedora.

Gnome 3, like Unity, has received some scathing reviews.  Hardcore Fedora fans have received it with open arms despite interface changes that seem more drastic than U…

Microsoft's Secure Boot and Linux

Microsoft is being targeted after they released news regarding plans to have Secure Boot installed in the system firmware of a system.  According to a Wired article the feature will involve hardware manufacturers in an effort to make desktop systems safer from security breaches.  This may prevent the installation of Linux on computers - a great concern for the millions of Linux users out there.

Microsoft has made an attempt to allay fears but history says otherwise, thus the launch of an online petition

I signed up on the petition, but I do reserve my judgement regarding Microsoft's intentions.  Secure Boot, in theory, could be the natural evolution of hardware security.

Review: Gnome 3 - Putting the Workspace into Perspective

I get excited about any desktop interface that isn't Mac OSX or Windows-based. Besides KDE and Gnome 2.3, Linux's two foremost desktop choices, there's LXDE, xFCE, and Enlightenment. KDE is great even though it comes with a lot of software you don't really need. I've had more luck with LXDE than I did with xFCE, which struggles due to its dependency on a few Gnome packages. Unfortunately, LXDE just doesn't seem quite ready yet so I always end up using KDE (openSUSE and Mandriva) and Gnome 2.3 (Ubuntu 10.10).

Then, I tried Fedora 15 with Gnome 3. Gnome 3 and the Gnome Shell have been around for a bit now and I've read a few reviews regarding the new Gnome shell. Some, such as the review over at Dedoimedo, are unnecessarily harsh, but true. What confuses me is that the Ubuntu devs switched to Unity due to disagreements over the direction of Gnome. Perhaps I'm a bit off but ironically my experience with Gnome 3 and Unity are similar.

The truth is, it'… advertising

I recently passed by and was greeted by this ravishing young lady . . .

Ok.  I know Linux needs a lot of advertising but isn't using a hot, sexy lady's pic to advertise Knoppix a bit too much?  In all seriousness though, the image was provided by Google's Adsense.  Now, if only we can get Lara Croft or some other celebrity to endorse Linux . . .

Applause for all Linux Developers this 20th Anniversary of Linux

As a user and not a developer, I'd like to give credit to all those who have worked hard on the many desktops and distributions out there during the 20th anniversary of Linux.  With all sincerity, I'd like to express my great respect and admiration for the developers and designers who have worked on Mandriva, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Clonezilla, Knoppix, Fedora, Mint and all the other awesome Linux distributions that make the world a better place!

It's an honour to be writing about and using your creations on a daily basis.  Linux rules!