• April 23, 2007 /  Operating Systems, Ubuntu, Windows

    Dell has announce that they are again offering their consumers computers with XP, instead of Vista. Recent results of polls from their IdeaStorm project revealed that their consumers voted for XP to be bundled with Dell’s computers, although not as high as the votes gathered by Linux and OpenOffice to be added to their PCs.

    Microsoft announced earlier that except for system builders (smaller computer sellers who will be able to sell XP for another year) , XP sales will be stopped. Which is just another way of saying, “buy our new, overpriced OS because that’s the only choice we’re giving you.” By mid-February, XP computers were all but gone from store shelves.

    But Dell is clearly not a small computer seller, and you can be sure that other big computer sellers will be moving to appease their consumers as well.

    “That there is remaining demand from some segment of (the) consumer market points to the inability of Vista to resonate with consumers,” IDC analyst Richard Shim said.

    Current Analysis research director Samir Bhavnani blamed low Vista sales on lack of marketing, noting that he sees more Apple ads than Vista ads. I have two opinions on this matter. First, can you really blame lack of ads? The hype and anticipation for Vista has been around for a long time, causing me to believe that marketing reach of Vista is not as insignificant as Bhavnani states. Secondly, the lack of marketing on the part of Vista seems to be a sign of arrogance for me. Does Microsoft really think of themselves so high that they didn’t need to market their product?

    On my side of the globe, Microsoft recently launched their $3 Windows-Office bundles in China. In a country where the average income is $100/month, nobody’s going to buy a $200 operating system, especially since at $200 Vista starter has just the very basic features to get you by. And they’re definitely not going to pay $250 or more just to get Aero. In first world countries, people are crying foul and are demanding that the $3 Windows-Office bundles also be offered to students. And some view this move as first-world countries subsidizing third-world users.

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    Further reading: Microsoft Admits Vista Failure

  • April 21, 2007 /  Operating Systems, Ubuntu

    With Vista sales not doing as well as expected, Microsoft is bringing out some of its guns, and it’s pointing them at open source.

    In Florida, MS in a bid to maintain its monopoly dispatched men in black to block legislation of the promotion of open source for upgrading their Department of Health’s software and computer equipment. This gives Microsoft a clear advantage, as well as displaying their clear motive. By using open source technologies, Florida would have saved taxpayers’ money. Instead, their taxes will be funding “substandard expensive hardware”, according to Suncoast Linux Users Group (SLUG) member Matt Florell.

    And in Microsoft defense news, Microsoft will be launching $3 Windows-office bundles to emerging markets to counter open-source domination of these markets, as well as a preemptive strike on the One Laptop Per Child initiative. However, these will only be sold to governments who are willing to pay half the price of the PC. This news shouldn’t come as a surprise to many, as Microsoft has often showed hostilities on anything that could pose a threat to them.

    On the other side, however, as opposed to Microsoft’s cerebral, often-times underhanded attacks, an open source protester crashes Bill Gates’ speech at a Chinese university, when he walked on stage and unveiled a banner with “free software, open source” written on it.

    Dell CEO Michael Dell is also sporting a brand new laptop, with the latest version of Ubuntu, Feisty Fawn, installed. This should come as no surprise as Dell has also recently started selling Linux desktops to consumers.

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  • April 20, 2007 /  Operating Systems, Ubuntu

    If you still haven’t given Linux, particularly Ubuntu, a try, now is the time to do so. Feisty Fawn has just been officially released and it offers better stability, compatibility, and a much better experience than the previous versions, which were already a better experience than Windows of any version.

    In line with Ubuntu’s tagline, “Linux for Human Beings”, here is my own list of why you should try out Feisty (and soon after, ditch Windows):

    1. Blogging while Installing FeistyI’m writing my blog WHILE I’m installing Ubuntu. Try doing that with Windows!

    2. Boots way faster. Yeah, you’re Windows boots fast after a fresh install. But a few weeks later, Windows will start to show symptoms of the Windows Half-life.
    3. Non-naggy installer. All questions you’ll need to answer is asked before installation. So you don’t have to wait for it to copy files before it asks you for your timezone, then installs more stuff before asking you about user accounts.
    4. Installs faster. The installation finished and I’m still blogging.
    5. I just booted into Feisty. No need to install device drivers. Just install the OS, and start working or playing.
    6. Surf instantly! No need to set up your network the first time you connect to the Internet. With Windows, you’re prompted several connections when first connecting. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing your using a secure browser, Firefox.
    7. No need to install anti-virus software.
    8. No need to install Office, OpenOffice is already installed by default.
    9. Tens of thousands of software available free from the official repositories. But you can add more repositories if that’s not enough for you. You could also try the Windows method: 1. Search the internet 2. Choose a brand/developer 3. Risk installing potentially dangerous software, sometimes with spyware, adware, and/or viruses.
    10. Unlike Windows Update, updates for Ubuntu comes for ALL SOFTWARE on your computer, not just system updates. That means it updates Open Office, Gimp, Blender, Frozen Bubble, and any other software you may have installed.

    So what do you get with Feisty?

    1. Partitioning in the installer is even much easier than last time.
    2. Data Migration from Windows
    3. Easier installation of multimedia codecs.
    4. Better networking
    5. Improved hardware support
    6. Complete customizability
    7. Freedom
    8. It’s still free

    Go on, try it out! Go to http://www.ubuntu.com, download a CD image, burn it on a CD, have fun, and finally be free.

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  • April 13, 2007 /  Lifestyle, Nintendo DS

    Sony may have taken the crown from Nintendo with their PlayStation consoles, when Megaman and the Final Fantasy series jumped platforms. But Nintendo, seeing that outflanking is better than outgunning, is once again trying to prove that they’re king with the Wii and DS in terms of unique gameplay. Nunchucks, touchscreens, and and a wide variety of applications seem to have done just that.

    But Nintendo did more than just that with the DS. This time, pervasiveness is another thing they brought to the table.

    People are bringing their DS along with them everywhere–on the bus, FX, taxis, trains, the bathroom, the office, you name it! A quick look in the “Where do you play your GBA/DS/Micro” thread in www.pinoy-n.com will tell you other places people have taken their DS to. And I’m sure you would too.

    This is all thanks to the wide variety of games and applications available for the DS. While you can definitely play your favorite games anywhere (you should definitely try shouting “Objection” with Phoenix Wright, blowing DS with Mario Kart’s Balloon Battle Mode, or training your Nintendogs inside the train, although ambient noise can give the DS some difficulty with voice recognition), the DS deserves recognition for everything else not gaming as well.

    Like when you’re out at Starbucks, sipping your favorite cup of coffee, reading that new book you’ve got. But wait, it’s a Japanese book, and you’re not Japanese. No need to buy those expensive Casio dictionaries, just run Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten and you’re set. Expecting another boring commute? Don’t bother bringing out your mp4-capable phone with its teensie-weensie screen, just load up your memory card with your favorite movie and sit back. Jogging in the park? Plug in your earphones, rev up the mp3 player, and play music with Moonshell. There’s even an iPod-looking mp3 player called Licks Media Player, complete of course with the ClickWheel dial. If you’re going out for a picnic, maybe you can stop near a WiFi hotspot and browse the ‘net for travel info with the Opera for DS. Oh, and best check live weather forecasts with DSLiveWeather as well.

    Playing Ouendan On The Road On a recent 9-hour bus trip from Baguio, I couldn’t have been more thankful that I had my well-stocked and well-charged DS with me, though I just alternated between playing Ouendan, Animal Crossing, listening to music, and feeding my dogs. On another occasion, I have played balloon battle in the waiting area of Let’s Face It facial center while waiting for my SO. I tell you, the look of people’s faces as I’m blowing at my DS is priceless.

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  • April 4, 2007 /  Operating Systems, Ubuntu

    Hot news these days (at least for me) is a new, major security leak in Vista, the .ANI vulnerability. Even the latest, fully-patched Windows is vulnerable from the .ANI vulnerability. With the release of Vista, Microsoft promised a lot of things, including great advancements in security. But as always, Microsoft fails to deliver. Apparently, this vulnerability was present since the ’90s, “in all versions of Windows up to and including Windows Vista”. So for anyone whose eyes are still wool-covered by Microsoft, I think this would be a good time to reevaluate your choices. And for those of you who can’t live without your Windows, switching to a non-IE browser should help protect you. But long time Windows users know, you won’t be protected for long.

    Meanwhile, Dell has started offering their customers a choice over the pre-installed OS that comes with their purchase, by offering to its customers Linux desktops. Is this an indicator of things yet to come? Indeed, Dell’s decision to offer Linux was prompted by their customers themselves (read: those consumers want Linux rather than Windows). I believe so, but as with all things OS, we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, what this offers us is choice–something Microsoft is still struggling to give. And unless Microsoft decides to shape up, they’ll soon be struggling to maintain their monopoly.

    A quick review of what you get with Vista:

    1. A $200-$400 OS (included features depends on price)
    2. Twice-install limitation
    3. Slow adoption and Limiting Premium Content
    4. The need to buy a new PC

    Yup, I know there’s more, and I’d love to hear of it, by posting your comment down below.

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