Tag Archives: Linux in Action

Knoppix Update-Clear Front Runner

Knoppix stands tall and scores 2410 which is well above Ubuntu and Unity on the threshold of becoming a Gold Standard on its own.
Good old days when it was difficult to find a distribution and DEMO CDs were hard to come by Knoppix started the revolution of Live Cds.
I have used it from its 3.1 versions and up and it was available even in Sri-Lanka.

Its significant features apart from Live CD running on RAM are
1. Good hardware detection
2. Sound configuration and unique start up with sound script.
3. Ability to compress lot of programs into a CD.
4. Enormous number of packages
5. Partition tool and many more
6. ORCAs that is fun for visually handicapped user and is as good as Vinux.
It was way ahead until Puppy Linux came into the scene and took another twist by making Live CD under 100 MiB soon which I became a convert.
its weakness was it could not be installed into the hard disk and I found a way to mount it on FAT partition. I always had a copy mounted on my hard disk when the LXDE came into the available.
The came the 10th anniversary release which was big hit by itself both CD and DVD versions. Now it can be installed and administrative right can be restored after installing.
There is Knoppix for Kids and Games DVD which was something lacking in 95% of the Linux Distributions.
If you do not use any other Linux distributions this is the one one should always have.
I cannot find anything wrong with this distribution when I format my hard disk it is the first one goes in as the flag bearer of Linux and other are installed afterward.

Debian the clear winner-The Gold for Light and Heavy Weight Championship

Now that the industrial action is over, we brought the Hero to Gyro (not giro and we could not be bought by money circulating on illegal hands or corruption) except perhaps few individual who had vested interests and wanted to be heroes at the expense of the general body politics of our action perpetuated by sheer needs and not aspirations (fell far short of aspirations of accountability, transparency, fairness).
These instant Heroes had unassailable lead and they had to be pulled down to base level and gyrate them on the correct path lest all of us would be heading for disaster.
We never had the political will to bring Heroes to Zeros but the vision to come to the base level we reached way back in 2008 and gyrate in correct orbit instead of asking for miracles which we will never achieve the way we sink into dirty tricks and manipulations by undesirables.

I hope senses will come to body politics of the country, unless of course the voters will bring the Heroes to Zeroes in double quick time at the correct gyroscopic orbit and time and they are not stupid or donkeys who carry burden.

We are of course in the minority in that context and what we can provide is wisdom if not vision.
We came to equilibrium position neither zero nor hero but a position of comfort from where we can gyrate to greater heights if correct recognition is extended.
Otherwise history will take us backward (like in cricket) instead of forward.

Debian

Coming to IT industry where there are commercial heroes but the clear winner which gyrate at the correct orbit is Debian.
It was no surprise.
Score of above 3000 and well above the Gold Standard of 2500 for the standard CD.
For the heavy weight category it is within the Gold Mark where no other distribution has all the components at hand with over 30,000 package well tested.
It has gParted which is around 100 MiB with partition and security features.
It has Blender, Scribus and Inkscape.
Only missing component was O.E.M. component.
It did not have a printed book but thanks to French and the English translation is due soon and available on line as open source.
It has all the versions from Mini to KDE to Server.
It has multi-language support including Sinhala.
It does not pretend to be a (commercial) hero but the wise counsel to all the other distributions which include Ubuntu and extending a hand to Linux Mint currently.
Additionally it is forging with FreeBSD too.
It is the clear winner.
If I said without my marking scheme everybody will say I am biased. Now it is vindicated and flame wars are not the necessity but a feature of Linux and its multi-faceted distributions..
Now I can say with or without bias it is the one that guides us and the Gyroscope for years to come.
If you need a solid, stable and secure enhanced Linux, there is only one and only one.
It is called Debian.
It is not for the lazy souls and it is the one who wants to dig a lot, sweat a bit and enjoy a lot of the hard labour.
Nothing is easy in the IT World.
One has to go into simple command line and give commanding orders till midnight commander sleeps like a sleeping beauty!

Finnix, the LiveCD for system administrators

Finnix is Genome / Linux Kernel 3 and only 102 MiB and fits a mini CD.
Below is a reproduction from Finnix Organization.
If I write about Linux Live CD that boots with windows X desktop only, I am doing an injustice to the Linux Developers, who make wonderful Little Utilities for system administrators.
Below is one of them, a CD that boots without a desktop window on a terminal (window) with 300 MiB of utilities.
Download and enjoy!
Thank you Guys and Girls of Finnix organization.

Finnix, the LiveCD for system administrators
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Finnix is a self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution (“LiveCD”) for system administrators, based on Debian. You can mount and manipulate hard drives and partitions, monitor networks, rebuild boot records, install other operating systems, and much more. Finnix includes the latest technology for system administrators, with Linux kernel 2.6, LVM2, encrypted partitions, etc. And above all, Finnix is small; currently the entire distribution is over 300MiB, but is dynamically compressed into a small bootable image. Finnix is not intended for the average desktop user, and does not include any desktops, productivity tools, or sound support, in order to keep distribution size low.

Criteria for Defining Suitability of Linux Distributions

With Gnome 3 and Kernel 3 in the horizon and tablet in the market and Ubuntu making a radical changes to desktop with Unity already arrived, I have decided to award a point scheme for all the distributions active now and write an update for all the Linux distributions I have downloaded so far.
That means moment I post an update on a distribution, my old writing here probably become obsolete and would be taken out without any notice.
I would be grateful if you post any errors of omission or commission on those post already here.
That means future posting will be slow to come and try my best avoid any errors.

I will keep the point scheme close to my heart and won’t publish them here but on a future date if necessary may do that for completeness sake.
Points are given on quantitative as well as qualitative reasons.
Lowest mark is 10 and the highest mark is 300.
For an example I give 10 marks if it is only in French and 100 marks for multi-language cababililty.
I will give 300 marks if it includes Sinhala and multi-language capability.

Similarly Ubuntu Unity gets 300 for its innovative approach and as a teaser for loyal fans who hate the new approach. I would include the total points for the old version as well as new version.
This analysis is with desktop users in mind and server editions won’t get any additional mark but I would state that server is avable.
I will start with Linux Mint, since it has O.E.M version, codecs version with minimal multimedia support and almost pure without any software infringements and full version with additional software.
It is a complete desktop and laptop friendly and currently is the top most downloaded at distrowatch.
It has both 32 and 64 bit versions.
I am going to stop stating that PCLinux is the Gold Standard of live CD to eliminate my personnel bias on that distribution but have a Hypothetical Gold Standard defined by criteria below and with a point award of 2500.
So anything that approaches 2200 for CD version and above is potential Gold Standard and you are free to try it.
Nobody will get 100% assuming that no distribution has reached its peak and would be trying to achieve that gold wit constant improvement an bug fixes.

For DVD the point award is 3500 points and anything that tops 3000 is a good value with 90% to 95% of all software.
I am a believer that “small is beautiful” and would figure out a way to award points and my guess is Puppy will come on top but there are equally good small utilities like SliTaz, 4MLinux, gParted and pMagic.
You are welcome to critically analyze my future writing with feedback but there is no attempt to compare with Microsoft and Apple Mac and in the next 5 to 10 years Linux will be way ahead of both of these distributions and I am not the one who need any pep commercial talks. In this period of course Linux guys and girls have to make 1000 and 1000 of tiny games and blockbuster games to invade the market in style.
They are already there on mobile phones and they have to mature with the hardware specially tablets in mind.

Criteria
A. Use
1. Live CD installable
2. Light Weight
3. Mini to LXDE to Standard

B. Internet
4. Easy Access to Internet
5. Automatically Configure Internet
6. Browser (ideally FireFox) Capability
7. Other browsers- 5 for each additional browser
8. Email Capability-Thunderbird
9. Google gadgets but not essential
10. Torrent Down Loader
11. Skype or alternative
12. Cloud-Dropbox
13. Cloud Other

C. Productivity
14.Office Package -Abiword
15.Office Package -Other Open office
16.Office Package -PDF Reader
17. Scribus
18. CD burner (ideally K3B-50)
19. CD burner (10 others)
20. LightScribe/LaCie (100)

D.Graphic
21. GIMP
22. Blender
23. Inkscape
24. Digicam
25. Tuxpaint
26. Special Graphics
27. Others

E. Audio
28. Mixer
29.Alsa
30. Others

F. Video
31. Imagination
32. VLC Player
33. Miro Internet TV
34. Cheese
35. TV Card
36. Others
37. Media Players including ability play itunes and divx

G. Essential Utilities
38. Stable Grub Configuration
39. Partitioning tool is essential(ideally Gparted)
40.Ability to clean up the temporary file at boot up
41. Updates and Package management

H. Archiving
42. Ark
43. File Roller

I. For Children
44. Light Weight Games
45. Children Version (150)
46. Gcompris

J. Subjective
47. Reliability (most of them are)
48. Speed at start up (most of them are slow except YOPER)
49. Quick installation
50. Portability
51. Type of Desktops (Genome/KDE)
52. Down loader that start from where one has left / stopped earlier
53. On line updates
54. Infrequent Cycles of Change
55. Downloads available for Libre Office,Open office, Skype (25 for each)
56.Speed at Start Up

K. Linux Fundamentals
57. Separate administrator in addition to normal user
58. Reliable Package Manager
59. Multi-Language in addition to English (5 for each Language-Total-100)
60. Sinhala Language Capability (200)
61. Terminal

L. USB Boot Up
62. UnetBootIn
63. USB Creator
64. Live CD creator

M. Emulators
65. DOS
66. Wine
67. Oracle VM
68. Apple Emulation

N. Games
69. Light Weight
70. Advanced Games (25 for Each)

O. Educational
71. Google Map
72. Tux Guitar
73. Tux Maths

P. Special and Development Utilities
74. Gambase
75. Web editor
76. PHP Admin
77. Scientific packages like statistics

Q. Access to Information
78. Home Web Site
79. Essential information including installation password etc
80. The facility for registration and writing reviews

R. Special Attributes
81. Less than 50 MiB
82. Less than 200 MiB
83. Less then 500 MiB
84. Innovative approach GOBO and YOPER

S. Finances and Printing
85. Gnumeric
86. GnuCash
87. Printing

S. Very Special
88. Religion
89. Language
90. Kernel Version
91. Version Number
92. New Desktop Type
93. Innovative Changes
94. 32 bits only
95. Both 32 and 64 bits
96.O.E.M.Version
97. ORCAS-Visually Handicapped
98
99
100

BrowesrLinux401

Browser Linux should be better known as Browser Pup and is a Puppy lupu 510 derivative solely for the purpose of web browsing an is much better than Webconverger8.

It boots up quickly connects to the internet with a warning to use proper Puppy if one needs word processing and other features.
It is less than 100 (92 ) MiB and cleverly disguises lot of utilities including gParted and mount all the partition at boot up. it can be installed in a USB stick.
It can be used only for downloads and web browsing but if know how Puppy works lot of other things sometimes dangerous in wrong hands.
One good feature is it has a firewall that can be configured to ones advantage.
If you are web frantic this is for you and I have saved it in my Dropbox for sharing with Linux guys and girls especially Puppy fans.

Tabloid, News Reader, E-reader and the new Education Tool

Tabloid is going to make print media obsolete in the not so distant future. 
1. Ink print might disappear giving way to digital news.
2. Unlike the print paper, it can read you the news while you drive your car.
3. Local Paper edition might come in smart cards.
4. Advertisement supplements in the digital format make one to order with the touch of your finger tips
5. sports can be live like in the TV but unlike TV you can replay the match or game you like.
6. It has audio and video capabilities
7. Even amazon is going to phase out E-Reader and go for Tabloid.
8. All these are due to Linux and Android entering the market. It is a reality and not futuristic.
9. Tabloid is your News Reader, E-Reader, the smart phone, the web browser and the travel companion.
10. This is why I support Unity and very soon Google’s Android with Linux operating system will overtake the Apple’s iPod, since they are going to market it at affordable prices.
11. Not only that, smart news papers magnets will dish out OEM version of Tabloid at cut price with their subscription attached to the deal.

In the next 10 years we going to see amazing changes in the West. 

I do not see these changes will come true in this part of the world where professors in IT industry has to go behind politicians in begging for his or her salary increase. 

The promise of giving computers to university on loan will be a wasteful exercise and students drawn into debt no sooner they enter higher education.

If you are a smart student one should not go into debt buying a laptop before Tabloids hit the market.
If you do so, you might have to be in debt for two items instead of one.

Linux Mint Debian Included -An Update

Linux mint is trying to forge away from Ubuntu, Kubuntu derivatives and that is a very encouraging change since they are going back to basics.
Go back to Debian base and forge ahead.
Reason being the change of canonicals to Unity.
I am one who is in favour of mark Shuttleworth’s smart move.
Yes it is a smart move by him.
He is doing a Bill Gate to Linux Community.

I wish him success.

Linux missed the opportunity for netbooks and I do not want to see it misses on tabloid too.
Like iPads, tabloid is the future.
We must not let only Apple to dominate the market.
Google’s Android has shown the way and Ubunbtu should not miss this opportunity come what it may.
I am highlighting Linux Mint here since it overtook Ubuntu head and a nose recently in downloads at DistroWatch and Ubuntu in the last week or so putting its nose ahead again.
Linux Mint did not miss time in promoting both Ubuntu 10 and Ubuntu 11 base.
Not only that it did not forget the Debian and out came Debian Mint in Last December.
Linux Mint was thinking ahead and getting ready for all the consequences resulting from Unity experience and not forgetting the community they were with.
Like PCLinux Linux Mint gave variety of options and Long Term (LTS) support and rolling editions and also brand new version based on Debian for the newcomers and the newbies.
This is what was lacking with Ubuntu.
They did not have two versions but with too much enthusiasm promoted Unity only.
They can reverse this by supporting their community who were with them when Microsoft was dominating the field.
It is not too late, let the user decides the trends of the future what canonicals and Mint and Debian should do is to be ready for all the eventualities including brickbats were call in our country.
God Luck to everybody in Linux and especially the developers and without you we do not have a customer base,too.

In any case innovation is the future for IT both hardware and software.