Sunday, May 31, 2015

Prankster Takes on Scammer

Scammers work hard to trick you into give them your money and person details. Sometimes they get a person on the phone, who wants to make them work even harder. Enjoy this pranksters work.

P.S. I have a variation of this call. I bought a highly awarded fix-it software named System Mechanic. Afterwards I got a couple of call from India from "System Mechanic support" saying that they had gotten notifications that my system had viruses. The problem: when they called I had uninstalled the program because the subscription had expired. The next time they called, I told them that it was impossible because I only ran Linux (I do have a couple of Windows machines.)

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

elementaryOS Sucks

I bought a used HP DC7900 small form factor tower the other day. While I was waiting to get a new 2TB drive, I tossed in an older 80GB drive to play around with. I knew that the drive had a dual boot setup, but when I booted I found out it had a triple boot setup: Windows XP, CrunchBang Linux, and elementaryOS.

I have fond, distant memories of elementaryOS, so I booted that up first. When the login screen popped up, I thought "Wow, this looks great." It had an amazing wallpaper and a Mac OS X feel to it. But once I opened Slingshot, eOS' application launcher, I remembered why I switched to a different distro: app poverty. After you install elementaryOS, there are very few applications. You get a file manager (Files), a browser (Midori), a simple text editor (Scratch), an audio player (Noise), email client (Geary), and a few other odds and ends. No office suite. No torrent program. No image editor. How's a guy gonna get any work done if he has to spend a bunch of time downloading the apps he needs?

Design Over Function
One of the guiding goals of eOS is create a distro that is beautiful and has a unified UI (User Interface) across applications. According to the eOS site: "elementary is crafted by designers and developers who believe that computers can be easy, fun, and gorgeous. By putting design first, we ensure we're not compromising on quality or usability." In order to create a united UI, they created some basic programs from scratch: Files, Scratch, Noise, and Calculator to name a few. Unfortunately, these beautiful apps are empty and lack features that are incorporated with popular alternatives. For example, VLC media player may not fit eOS' UI design scheme, but it has more features that Noise. The same is true for Midori, which is the default browser. It might be lighter than Firefox, but it is also light on features. (One thing that worries me about Midori is when I opened it, instead of showing me the eOS homepage, it should me an obvious scam page telling me that my computer had a virus.) You're better off installing other apps to replace the default ones. They won't be as pretty, but they will be functional.

Ancient technology
Old Tech
Another promise that the eOS developers make is that if you use eOS you will be on the cutting edge. RIGHT. The latest version of eOS is Luna, which was released roughly 17 months ago is based on Ubuntu 12.04. SO this version is a year old and is running on 2 year old tech? Not so cutting edge. At least, they used a Long-Term Support release, which get supported for 7-9 years instead of 18 months. On top of that the applications in the eOS repositories are old. The latest version of Libreoffice available is 3.5 and Libreoffice just released 4.4. I know you can use a PPA to get the latest version of the software you want, but I think if a distro is going to claim that they are cutting edge, they had better keep their packages up-to-date.

Whenever It's Done
This more of an observation than anything else. If you asked any of the eOS developers when the next version will be done, they all have the same answer "When It's Done." You know, I've heard that phrase before. That was 3DRealms' standard answer for years while they worked on Duke Nukem Forever before they went bankrupt. I've heard of rolling release and timed release, but this is ridiculous. There is such a thing as too much tinkering and too much perfecting.

Nobody Home
After I explored eOS for awhile, I went to the IRC to talk to the users. You know that I found? Nothing. No one was on the distro's IRC chat on a Saturday. To me that is a bad sign. I've logged onto other IRC chats and found at least a few devs ready to help if not a bunch of users arguing. Nope. the eOS IRC chat was a ghost town.

elementaryOS is a very beautiful Linux distro, but it seems to be missing quick a few pieces. It is more of a facade than anything else. The eOS devs released beta 2 for the next version yesterday and I've seen quite a few complaints about lack of features on Google+. I know it's still a beta, but its the third release already. I would not recommend eOS for production use, just for fun and on a backup computer.

Do you agree with me? Do you hate me for attacking your favorite distro? Comment below and share. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to hit the Flattr button. For more tach news, sign up for my weekly tech newletter.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I'm Back and New Weekly Tech Newsletter

I've been neglecting this blog (and most of my other blogs) for a while. Well, that's going to change. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be writing a number of articles on Linux and all things computing. Stay tuned.

Also, I'm starting a weekly tech newsletter. If you are interested, you can sign up here. Thanks.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Give these cloud storage platforms

This last week Canonical announced that they were closing down their cloud storage Ubuntu 1. (More on that later.) Even if you aren't affected by this decision, it might be a good idea to give cloud storage a try. Currently, there is a price war going on which benefits the consumer. Here are a couple of options.

 Everyone now days knows about Dropbox. Started in 2008, this service has become the defacto standard in cloud storage. There are hundreds of websites that allow you to use Dropbox as a storage site. Dropbox also makes it very easy to share files for projects and such  However, the free account is limited to 2GB. Click here to give it a try.

Copy is a newer storage service rum by the well-respected IT firm Barracuda. When you sign up for a free account, you get 15GB of storage space. If you install the desktop apps, you get another 5GB. That's a total of 20GB for free. On top of that, they offer top-secret grade AES 256 encryption. Interestingly, if you share a folder among other users, the space used is shared amount accounts. For example, if you have a shared project folder that takes up 5GB and there are 5 people sharing the folder, it will only take 1GB from each persons' total. Click here to give Copy a try.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Come get your Linux LiveCD/LiveDVD for $5 or LiveUSB for $15

I've been a member of for almost two years. This website offers a wide variety of services and goods starting at $5. I recently a new gig that should interest the teckies out there. For those out there who want to try out or install Linux, but don't have decent internet; I can help. If you order this gig, I can create and mail you LiveCD/LiveDVD or LiveUSB. If you don't need this service, please pass it on to someone who might be able to use it. Thanks.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Linux on a iMac G4

Last year, I bought a iMac G4 at a rummage sale. Because it ran Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” and very few programs are available for it, I decided to install Linux. Since the G4 is powered by a PowerPC chip, I had to find a Linux distro with PPC support. Unfortunately, I had a lot of problems getting the display to work. The distros would install, but after reboot the screen would only showed black and yellow lines. Finally, I tried Debian 6 PPC. The thing worked right away. It booted into a usable, albeit slow, desktop. Now, all I need to do is fix the color, which looks like 256 color. Below is a video of a boot. I may upload a better video later.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust

It's amazing how fast companies can come and go. They seem to be going even faster. It seems just like yesterday I was telling you that Pears OS,  a Mac OS X clone based on Linux, was bought by an unknown and closed down. The same has just happened to what was intended to be a spiritual successor to Pear OS. Brenden Gonzalez recently started work on Clementine OS, which had the same goal as Pear OS. Unfortunately, before he could begin work, Brenden was contacted by the still known company that bought Pear OS and threatened with legal action if he did not desist. Whoever is planning to use the Pear OS name is already doing all they can to squash all copiers. Sounds a lot like Apple.