Ubuntu – Most Popular Linux Desktop

No surprise there! But Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says that others may be catching up. He also notes that the most popular Linux distros seem to be those that have large communities behind them.

Results from the 2006 Desktop Linux Survey

Steven, like me, thinks that other time, Freespire may catch up, but for now, Ubuntu with the regular Gnome GUI is tops on the list!

“What’s happening here? Well, if you take a look at which distributions did well, you’ll see they have one thing in common: they’re all community-based distributions. I think what we’re seeing with our survey is that the people who’ve invested something of themselves in their Linux desktop are the ones voting. The people who simply use the Linux that’s set in front of them, or just buy it, have less invested in it and so are less likely to vote. I have no doubt, based on all the Linux desktops I’ve seen in use at tradeshows, homes, and offices, that while Ubuntu is number one, SLED and openSUSE are clearly the real number two in the number of users, with Linspire in third place. I’d be willing to lay down a small bet that as Linspire’s recent community Freespire release gathers more supporters, and based on what I’ve seen of the distro, it will be near the top in our next survey.”

AOL is Dissed Again!

AOL can’t seem to catch a break. (Ain’t it great?!?!) They were labelled as official “badware” by an independent group – the StopBadware.org coalition.

AOL 9.0 Slapped with ‘Badware’ Label

“The high-powered StopBadware.org coalition has slapped a ‘badware’ label on the free version of the AOL 9.0 software program. The group, which is funded by Google, Lenovo Group and Sun Microsystems, accused AOL of installing additional software without telling the user; adding components to the browser and taskbar without disclosure; automatically updating software without user consent; and making the AOL 9.0 software difficult to fully uninstall. ‘We currently recommend that users do not install the version of AOL software that we tested,’ according to a report released Aug. 28 by StopBadware.org. The recommendation is a serious blow to AOL, which is already struggling with user privacy problems related to the recent disclosure of search data of more than 650,000 users. The report said the AOL 9.0 software comes bundled with a number of additional applications, including RealNetworks’ RealPlayer, Apple Computer’s QuickTime, AOL You’ve Got Pictures Screensaver, Pure Networks’ Port Magic, and Viewpoint Media Player.”

Go get ’em, guys!

Intel’s HOT New “Merom” Chip for Laptops!

And, I mean “HOT” in both senses… it seems to run hotter, and very fast in the “hot” sense as well! But, the new CPU chip is out!

Mobile Core2 Duo: Performance at a Cost

“The mobile version of the Core2 Duo, code-named Merom, completes the circle: The company now has the same architecture across desktop, mobile, and most server platforms. The mobile version is identical architecturally to the desktop Core2 Duo, but adds more aggressive power management. That’s a good thing, as we’ll see shortly, because the new CPU can run hotter when pushed hard than Intel’s previous Core Duo mobile line.

So, there you go! “HOT!”

The “File Sharing Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast #51!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 51 – (08/26/06)
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The “File Sharing Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast! We share a promo for Lance Heath’s Digital Experience Podcast… The RIAA and file sharing and the issues around that… if you are gonna do the crime, ya gotta do the time! And, for our Geek Culture… “I’ve Been Sharing Files and Files” – The Song! Our Geek Software of the Week – PSpad! A truly rocking text and programmer’s editor! Totally free – and totally cool! Check out the Flash animation on the link in the Blog to see the “Kickoff” KDE Taskbar and Menu interface… very neat! Linux isn’t just for Geeks anymore… the 98% of the market that is clueless may finally “get” Linux! We have to be willing to “dumb down” the Linux interface for “the masses!” Spyware and virus infection costs to PC users are $7.8 Billion per year! Microsoft puts up the first IE7 release candidate – we are close to the final release… if you know folks that just MUST have M$, then get them to use IE7! (Otherwise use Firefox instead!)

IE7 Close to Release

Internet Explorer Version 7 is getting close, but is it too little, too late? Microsoft announced the release of Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of IE7. However, even though it is BETTER than the old IE, Firefox users are not likely to move back.

Microsoft puts up first IE7 release candidate

“Speaking of Firefox, which is now estimated to have more than 15% market share, Mozilla is due to release FireFox 2.0 Beta 2 on August 30, slipping seven days behind its original August 23 schedule. Firefox 2.0 release candidates are due in September with final release due on October 24. With the current slippage of Beta 2, it is not clear whether Mozilla will hold to the October 24 deadline. While it is unlikely that Firefox will suffer significant defections to IE7 as a result of being a few weeks late to market with its new release, winning customers from the much improved IE7 will be a much tougher proposition than from IE6. The world is waiting to see Firefox 2.0 can maintain the edge Mozilla has established in the browser war.”

Think Virus and Spyware Infections Are Just A Nuisance?

Try a cost to PC users of $7.8 Billion!!! Wow! How much have YOU spent on getting your computer repaired or re-installed you software? If you are a geek, how time did you spend? (Time is money!)

Viruses and Spyware Cost Users $7.8 Billion

“Consumers paid as much $7.8 billion over two years to repair or replace computers that got infected with viruses and spyware, a Consumer Reports survey found. That figure was down from a similar survey a year ago. Still, it suggests that people are paying large sums to cope with the flood of malicious viruses and other programs that can slow computers or render them inoperable. ‘There is a very high national cost to this,’ said Jeff Fox, technology editor of the consumer magazine. ‘People think they’re invincible, even when this kind of money is involved.’ In a nationwide survey, the magazine found that unwanted commercial e-mail, known as spam, is the biggest computer-security problem. But viruses are the most expensive, with people paying $5.2 billion in 2004 and 2005 to repair or replace afflicted machines, the survey found. Infections of spyware, a type of software that can track computer users’ habits or collect sensitive information about them, declined slightly in the past six months, the survey found. But such infections caused almost 1 million U.S. households to replace their computers, the survey found.”

Conclusion: Linux on the Desktop Isn’t Just for Geeks Anymore!

I have run Linux on desktops, servers, and laptops… but I am a geek (and a proud one, as well!) But, would I “turn a noob loose” on a Linux system? Well, I must admit, I have hesitated to do that. One, because I didn’t want to be “Mr. Support” having to talk them through EVERY SINGLE THING that they wanted to do, and two, because I wasn’t sure they could handle the differences between Linux and Windows. But, recently, I actually installed Linux on a customer desktop… at the customer’s request! Why? Because he was tired of getting viruses, spyware, and having his machine crash! I gave him the usual warnings that Windows apps wouldn’t run, that he couldn’t go into a CompUSA and buy a program, but that he COULD download any Open Source program with one simple click from “Click-N-Run”… yes, it was Freespire Linux!

You know what he said? “As long as I can surf the web (with Firefox), read my e-mail (with Thunderbird), and listen to my MP3 files (with Mplayer, or Lsongs), then I will be happy… I have another system that my kids can play their Windows games on! I want to have a safe, clean web surfing machine!” Dewd. Who would have thought? Folks are beginning to “get it!”

The state of the 2006 Linux desktop

“What I found more interesting, though, was a sea-change in how people saw the Linux desktop. It wasn’t just that there were far more people that were using Linux desktops, it was that they didn’t see it as a statement of their loyalty to Linux over Windows. They were using it simply because it worked. You could especially see this with people giving Freespire a try. Linspire made it almost impossible to be at LinuxWorld without getting a copy of its Linux. Many people decided to give it a try in its live CD mode. They were, in a word, impressed. What impressed them was the same thing that has made Freespire controversial in open-source purist circles: its incorporation of proprietary drivers and codices. With Freespire, they could just use their laptops’ WiFi capabilities without worrying about it. With Freespire, they could view QuickTime or Windows media files or streams without additional software. Yes, of course, any Linux expert can add in those capacities, but with Freespire, you don’t even need to know Linux, much less be a Linux guru, to get your laptop to just work the way a Windows user would expect it to work.”

Check Out The “Kickoff” Start Menu coming to KDE!

This flash movie shows how the new KDE “Kickoff” menu and taskbar will work in future versions of KDE.

KDE “Kickoff” Preview

“As previously blogged, openSUSE 10.2 will have a redesigned KDE start menu created by the KDE and usability team at SUSE, after doing usability testing with other start menus. We now have a working prototype, code-named ‘Kickoff’ (started during world soccer championship, obviously), which is currently being tested with real users in the SUSE usability lab.”

This looks really cool!

Geek Software of the Week: PSpad!

I seem to be on a “quest” to find the best text editor. Do you ever check your posts to see who links to them? Well, I do occasionally, and I found that someone had linked to my recent post about the list of software that I recommend for all Windows users. He agreed with all of them pretty much EXCEPT the text editor. He recommended his favorite, which was Jedit. I downloaded and played with Jedit, and it was OK… it had some things I really liked. But, being a Java application, it was a mite slow. Also, I had to download and install four plugins to get the features that I really wanted. However, in a forum discussing Jedit, I found a reference to this week’s Geek Software of the Week, and my new text editor… ta da! PSPad!

PSpad – Text and Programmer’s Editor

PSpad has all the features I was looking for and more! Check them out (…not the full list!)

— work with projects
— work on several documents at the same time (MDI)
— Save desktop session to later reopen all open files
— FTP client – you can edit files directly from the web
— macro recorder to record, save and load macros
— search and replace in files
— text difference with color-coded differences highlighted
— templates (HTML tags, scripts, code templates…)
— installation contains templates for HTML, PHP, Pascal, JScript, VBScript, MySQL, MS-Dos, Perl,…
— syntax highlighting auto set by file type
— user-defined highlighters for exotic environments
— auto correction
— intelligent internal HTML preview using IE and Mozilla
— full HEX editor
— call external programs, different for each environment
— external compiler with catch command output, log window, log parser for each environment for “IDE” effect
— color syntax highlight printing and print preview
— integrated HTML TiDy library for formatting and checking HTML code, conversion to CSS, XML, XHTML
— integrated free version of top CSS editor TopStyle Lite
— export with highlight to RTF, HTML, TeX format into file or clipboard
— column block select, bookmarks, line numbers, …
— reformat and compress HTML code, tags char case change
— line sorting with ability to sort on defined column, with option to drop duplicates
— ASCII chart with HTML entities
— Code explorer for Pascal, INI, HTML, XML, PHP, and more in future
— spell checker
— internal web browser with APACHE support (this is VERY cool!)
— matching bracket highlighting

The “Macs Break Too” Podcast of Dr. Bill!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 50 – (08/19/06)
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A podcast promo for the Mac Attack Podcast from the Techpodcasts Network, and a follow-up Mac advertisement parody that shows that even Mac users have problems with their systems! Show your Linux pride: FREE “Powered By Ubuntu” stickers for your computer case, Gamers, rejoice! Now YOU can build your own Xbox games, Microsoft has a plan to get “Open Source”-like collaboration working to build Xbox 360 games, Warning: DLink router security hole! Make sure that your Dlink Router is WPA secured! Test your bandwidth speed with a cool, graphical “speedometer” interface on the web! The fallout of the explosive Dell laptop batteries… Old comic books… available for download in RAR compressed archives! The real meanings of (old) computer acronyms! Star Trek: BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) A frustrated Data deals with an Enterprise running off of Windows! Spyware on the rise due to Social Networking sites according to new study by Webroot. A NEW Geek Software of the Week: K9 Web Protection Software! Help your kids and family “surf safe!” And finally… Microsoft Office for Linux?!?!? Are you kidding!?!?!

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