Adventures In Computing

October 9, 2010

Web Browsers: Which One To Use?

Filed under: Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Kubuntu, Linux, LinuxMint, Opera Browser, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 64bit, Windows — Normand Bissonnette @ 11:01 am

Tomorrow the new iteration of Ubuntu will be released. I can’t wait to try it. I have written about my failure at upgrading and then installing. The last few weeks I have been running Linux Mint Debian Edition and I sort of like it, but I have modified it so it is pretty much the same as my Ubuntu was before I tanked it.

One thing that I must decide when I am done installing it is should I use Firefox or Chromium? I have been toying with both the last month and a half. I had switched to Chromium back in March because of the speed but when Firefox started releasing The betas for version 4.0 I started using it again. I have been a supporter of Firefox since firefox 0.8 and when Chrome/Chromium came out I tried them out for a few days everytime a new version came out but I kept returning to Firefox. The last time I tried Chromium I used it for 5 months and as I said the last six weeks I have been using both but Firefox is been used 60% of the time and Chromium 40%.

On Sunday 10.10.10 I will be installing both on my Ubuntu box and none on my Kubuntu box because I want to try Rekonq. If I install Either Chromium or Firefox I will tend to use one of them instead of Rekonq, force of habit.

I have to mention that when I tried out Windows 7 I did try the beta of Internet Explorer 9 Beta for about three minutes, it was fast but I couldn’t get myself to give it a chance to impress me. I knew that I would be back using a linux distro in the near future and there was no chance in hell that I would be using IE9 in the long run.

I might give Epiphany another look also, a few years ago I was switching from it and Firefox. I might as well try Opera again I’ll tell you what I think.

If you have a few minutes please leave in the comments section what you are using and why. You’ll might mention a feature that I and other user don’t know about. You might influence us to switch from one to another.

September 23, 2010

Extremists Will Ruin It for All of Us

Filed under: Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 64bit, Windows — Normand Bissonnette @ 12:05 pm

My last post, My Failures with Ubuntu 10.10 and Experimenting with Windows 7, made me realize why Linux, and even Apple to a certain extent, has trouble gaining more than a foothold as the Operating System of choice: Fanboys and the hubristic view that certain users have concerning Linux.

All OS’s have their fanboys that will not listen to reason. Just the fact that I mentioned that I liked using Windows 7 provoked a comment that annoyed me and got me thinking. If we are Ubuntu users and/or free software enthusiasts are we not allowed to say/write that we like Windows 7? The answer is obviously “NO” for the elitist/fanboys

I have tried to convert the masses to Ubuntu for 4 years and I get flak from over zealous fanboys. I am sure that if Ubuntu reaches a user base of over 5 percent of all computers, most current fanboys will abandon Ubuntu saying that it is too popular, too simplistic, too easy to use … etc, etc, etc. True computing enthusiasts will not denigrate or insult people simply because they don’t use the same OS as they do, but fanboys will. True Ubuntu enthusiasts will not drop Ubuntu because it is used by “everybody else”, but fanboys will.

The Ubuntu community must keep growing and must keep evolving for it to be a factor in the future. The voice of dissent must be heard and understood before it is just dismissed as being wrong, silly and absurd. To be part of the Ubuntu community one must follow a Code of Conduct. I urge every Ubuntu user to read it and follow it, not only when dealing with Ubuntu users, but also in life. There would be a lot less conflicts in the world if everybody did. I know that right now I am sounding a bit preachy, too bad, that is how I feel.

In a community we are all allowed to have our own opinion but in this blog I will always have the final say.

September 16, 2010

My Failures with Ubuntu 10.10 and Experimenting with Windows 7

Filed under: 64bit, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 64bit, Windows — Normand Bissonnette @ 3:05 pm

On Friday September 3rd I decided to install the first beta of Ubuntu 10.10, code name “Maverick Meerkat” on my laptop, which happens to be my main computer. I knew that since it was a beta there might be some bugs and minor inconveniences because it was not the final product. I usually try the live cd first to make sure everything works but this time I decided to just do a distro update, wrong move.

It took about an hour to complete but when I turned on my latop I was getting a psychedelic screen. It was cool looking but I could not use my computer what so ever. It was late so I fired up my desktop , which I have been using as a media server, and downloaded a live cd to install the next day.

Saturday September 4th after work I install using the live cd. When the installation is done and the computer starts up I get the same funky screen. I was starting to get annoyed. I try to fix it using the rescue mode, same screen, Crtl-Alt-f2 same thing. Try seaching the forums, nothing there to help me. I decide to download the Alternate Install disc and give that a try.

To make a long story short, this ended with the same results. At this point I was very pissed off, at my computer, at Ubuntu and most of all at myself for not trying it live first or on VirtualBox!

I then decide to do the unthinkable: I install Windows 7. I have been using linux for 4 years and 6 months and Ubuntu for 4 years, I have sworn never to use Windows as my main OS, yet I decided to see if I liked the Windows 7 experience for a month and install Ubuntu in October when the final product comes out.

Last year I installed Windows 7 beta on VirtualBox to try it out and I played with it for a few hours and decided that it was not for me. This time around I would give it a fighting chance to either impress me or disappoint me. I was going to give it a full try with no Ubuntu to fall back on.

I’ll be honest with you, all the propriety programs I installed to get my Windows to work (Office, Ant- virus, Defragmentor…) are either trial versions of the programs or pirated, I did not want to spend a fortune just to try Windows 7.

After using Windows 7 for the past 2 weeks, I am amazed that I like Windows 7, there are some thing that I don’t like but there is a lot to like. I know some of you will call me a traitor to Open Source software, that I have turned to the dark side. My answer would be:  not really, I like to try new things to keep myself up to date with PCs and we have to face fact that Windows has a 88.92% share of all computers and linux has only 1.10%. Linux has lots of space for growth.

Even tough I was pleasantly surprised by Windows 7 and my short experience was for the most part enjoyable,  I will be installing Ubuntu 10.10 on my laptop in October but I will not be dismissing Windows 7 like I did Vista and XP. I will keep on pushing the use of Open Source software.

The linux community must roll up its sleeves and continue the great work it has been doing. They must push the envelope and be leaders not followers in software development and we must educate the mass of the advantages of Open Source over the oligarchy we now have.

I am in sales and the worst thing a sales person can do is put down the competition instead of pushing the product he/she is  selling. It is always easier to put down the competition than to elevate your product, but you will feel better taking the high road, and in the long run you will gain more supporters. So if some Windows or Apple enthusiast is putting down Linux don’t stoop to his/her level just state something that you really enjoy when you use Ubuntu. Mention some option they may enjoy out of Linux, don’t just say that Windows sucks and Ubuntu rocks. You’ll just antagonize  them and chances are they won’t try Linux. (And Windows 7 doesn’t really suck).

June 24, 2009

David Versus Two Goliaths

Filed under: Gnome, GNU/Linux, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows, Windows XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 1:21 pm

Apple will release its OS X 10.6 “Snow Loepard” in September and not long after, on October 22nd, Microsoft’s  Windows 7 will be released. A week later Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” is scheduled to be unleashed. We all know that Windows 7 will be used by more people than Ubuntu and OS X but will it be a better operating system?

I have tried the beta & the release candidate of Windows 7 and from what I have seen it is a far better OS than the doomed Vista. I do not own an Apple computer so I have not tried OS X. For those users that are still using Windows XP and do not want to leave their comfort zone, October will be a great month for updating to Windows 7, so save up your money kiddies because a full fledged copy of Windows 7 will cost you between $49.99 and $199.99 US, if you believe the rumours flying on the web. OS X is reported to cost $29.99.

I have chosen Ubuntu almost 3 years ago and I will keep on using it. I use Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu netbook remix. I use Ubuntu more often but I seem to prefer the feel and look of Kubuntu. I prefer the professional look of KDE 4.2.4 over gnome 2.26, that is my opinion and we are all allowed to have opinions. One of the advantages of Ubuntu is that it is free.

I will not run out and purchase a copy of Windows 7 when it does come out in October and chances are that I will not purchase a Mac just to try out OS X, but I will update my Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10. I hope more people try Ubuntu and stick with it because it is a great operating system with a lot of advantages over the other two I have mentioned.

As a member of the Ubuntu community I must, as we all should, help new users with any problems they may have switching from Windows and OS X. We must be patient if we want Ubuntu or any other version of GNU/Linux to make it in the mainstream. It can be done, strike that, it will be done. All we need is educating the general public and perseverance.

September 22, 2008

Converting One Person At The Time

Filed under: 64bit, BIOS, Dell, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 64bit, Vostro 1500, Windows, Windows XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 6:21 pm

On Sunday I installed Ubuntu 8.04.1 AMD on my friends laptop, an Acer.  I won’t go into detail how easy the installation and tweaking was.  I was done within an hour.  I have been trying to convince Jacques since he got his laptop in 2007 to try Ubuntu.  He finally asked me to do it last week, I think he was tired of me bugging him.

Before I did his upgrade to an operating system that works out of the box and is very secure and looks great, I had been wanting to update my Dell Vostro laptop’s BIOS and I had to this from a bootable DOS disk since the BIOS is only available as an .exe file.  I decided that I would create a DOS bootable USB stick.  I found a few how to’s on how to do this from a linux based computer.  Nothing I tried worked.  I took the decision that in October when I would upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10, I would either install XP and have a dual boot or install XP just for updating the BIOS then format the hard drive and install Ibex.

With Jacques laptop at home I had another option to update the BIOS.  I removed both hard drives from the two laptops, placed Jacques’ HD in my Vostro 1500 and installed the BIOS updates from XP.  It worked.  It took less time than trying to create a bootable DOS USB stick.  I think that I’ll create a USB with XP that is bootable with my eeePC just in case there are more updates to the BIOS.  Problem solving is my forte.

September 19, 2008

Microsoft Fires Seinfeld?

Filed under: Entertainment, GNU/Linux, Linux, Seinfeld, Technology, Television, Ubuntu, Windows — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:15 am

The new Microsoft ad was aired yesterday.  They have gotten rid of Jerry Seinfeld and they are going after Apple.  You can judge for yourself.

I wear glasses, I wear jeans, I have a ring, I blog, I shave, I have one ring, I am connected to a billion people world wide, I’m a PC and I am a human being, I use linux for human being, I use Ubuntu.  I am not a stereotype.

What is the point they are trying to push across?  All the attributes they mention in this latest commercial can be said of Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD users.  Even none computers users.  It seems to me that they are afraid of losing their consumer base and they are trying to convince them not to leave for a better system.

I wonder if they will go after Linux?  I guess we will have to wait.

September 12, 2008

Second Seinfeld Microsoft Ad

Filed under: Funny, Gates, Humor, Humour, Linux, Seinfeld, Television, Ubuntu, Vista, Windows — Normand Bissonnette @ 3:03 pm

Here is the second Microsoft commercial featuring Seinfeld and Gates:

So is it trying to sell me Vista or teach me how to live off of strangers?  I am not sure.  I laughed, I cried, I installed Ubuntu on another computer.  I guess the commercial is not working.  Well maybe it is, because I promote Linux (especially Ubuntu) to everybody that dares to talk with me about computers and right now I am writing about Microsoft.  The commercial must have something subliminal in it.

p.s. I actually laughed watching this commercial because of the absurdity of the situation.

p.p.s I wonder if what they are using on the sons computer, that Bill says will never come out, is a Linux Operating System that he does not want to compete against or us to use?

September 5, 2008

Mark Shuttleworth Having Cold Feet?

Filed under: Gates, Linux, Seinfeld, Shuttleworth, Ubuntu, Windows — Normand Bissonnette @ 6:08 pm

While surfing the net I read this article from The Register which states that Mark Shuttleworth is “nervous of encouraging people to substitute Windows for Linux”.  My first impression was What?  Why?  Must be a typo or he must have been misquoted.  I hope so, because if the main financial contributor behind Ubuntu does not believe in it, how should we the end users feel?  If Bill Gates did not believe in Windows he would not have made that silly commercial with Jerry Seinfeld.

Maybe it is just a ploy to get the developers to work harder at getting the Ubuntu Desktop as good as possible.  I just don’t know.

Have You Seen The New Microsoft Ad?

Filed under: Funny, Humor, Humour, Seinfeld, Ubuntu, Windows — Normand Bissonnette @ 4:31 pm

What do you think of Seinfeld & Gates commercial for shoes, or is it for Microsoft?  I’m not sure after seeing it.  I find it hilarious but will it convince people to switch to Vista?  I don’t think so.

Maybe Canonical should hire Micheal Richards to plug Ubuntu…  Maybe not.

May 20, 2008

My Linux Anniversary

Filed under: GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Kubuntu, Kubuntu 8.04, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04, Vista, Windows, Windows XP, XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:56 am

As of today it has been two years since I changed from Windows XP to GNU/Linux. I started my Linux experience with OpenSuSE. I remember after formating my computer I could not get my Internet connection working. I work a few hours to get it. If you have been reading this blog you know that I am now using Ubuntu/Kubuntu and I remember that right after installing Ubuntu I did not have to do anything the internet worked right out of the box.

linuxIt has been a very interesting two years, I have a lot about computer since the switch. I could do almost anything when I used Windows XP and it took maybe one year for me to be able to say that I could do anything with Linux. I got a lot of help from Google, forums, various Wikis, How-Tos and several blogs. When I am unsure I just search the internet with Google and most of the time someone else has had the same problems before and a solution has already been found.

Two weeks ago I installed Ubuntu on a friends computer and he is having problems with the computer freezing. I think his problem is faulty RAM because the computer had these same problems using Windows XP. He is now shopping for RAM. There are several reasons for switching over to a GNU/Linux systems, the main reason that I upgraded to Linux was no more software piracy for me. Two years ago almost all the software on my computer was downloaded using P2P software and being a cheap SOB I did not pay when I could get it free. I felt somewhat guilty and to get rid of the guilt I either had to spend thousands of dollars or go with free open source software. I chose the cheapest path and I did the right choice.

Most people will use their computers only to surf the Internet and do a a bit of word processing. GNU/Linux is perfect for these users. If you don’t mind using “non-free” codecs, most users fall in this category, you can watch DVD’s and listen to music. I have stated before that where GNU/linux is lacking, is in the gaming area. With the money you have saved (Vista $239, Nero $99, Microsoft Office $179…) you can buy either an Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or a Wii. Maybe you can purchase two of the three gaming console if you use Gimp instead of Adobe Photoshop ($699).

If you are willing to do things differently and you are ready to learn something new you should start thinking of switching to something better, why settle for mediocrity when the alternative is so much better?

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