• August 18, 2011 /  Ubuntu, Windows

    I always thought hell would freeze over before this happened. Apparently, either it’s already freezing down there, or MS finally realized that if you can’t beat them, join them.

    Anyway, this is too nice not to share.

    An animation that Microsoft made to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Linux kernel was shown this morning during Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin’s opening keynote at LinuxCon. The video comically depicts the rivalry between Linux and Windows, but concludes with the suggestion that peaceful coexistence is possible.

    In the animation, a cartoon penguin throws rocks at the Windows logo after being frightened by Bill Gates wearing a pumpkin on his head, a reference to the now-infamous Halloween Documents in which Microsoft laid out an aggressive plan for destroying Linux. Later in the animation, a cartoon representation of Bill Gates brings a birthday cake to the penguin’s igloo.

    Microsoft’s relationship with Linux was one of several topics that Zemlin discussed during his keynote. He showed a classic quote from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who infamously described Linux as a “cancer” in 2001. Joking that Ballmer’s hostile characterization of Linux was only partly accurate, Zemlin pointed out that Microsoft is one of the largest contributors to version 3.0 of the Linux kernel by code volume.

    Microsoft’s code contributions largely revolve round enabling improved support for running Linux instances in the company’s Hyper-V virtualization software. This reflects the growing importance of mixed-platform deployments among Microsoft’s own customers. It’s increasingly clear that Microsoft needs to support Linux and open source software in order to remain competitive in the server space.

    Over the past few years, Microsoft has built ties with the Apache Software Foundation and other key communities that play a role in the open source server stack. It’s not surprising that the company is looking to improve its relationship with Linux. Will the old caustic rivalry turn into friendly competition? As Zemlin discussed during his keynote, Microsoft’s aggressive posture towards Linux vendors on patent issues still poses an impediment to closer collaboration…

    Original article from Ars Technica.

  • April 24, 2011 /  Geeking Out, Operating Systems, Windows

    A kid wears a computer with a Blue Screen of Death. Classic!:)

  • April 24, 2011 /  Geeking Out, Windows

    Found this short article really, really interesting.

    A List of People Who Need to Stop Writing Software

    Thank God I’m no longer using MS Windows and Internet Explorer.:)

  • March 9, 2009 /  Lifestyle, Mac, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, Windows

    I used to be an MS user, ever since the days of DOS. And naturally, there are things that I miss in Windows. On the other hand, having used Ubuntu at home exclusively for the past couple of years, there are always things I miss when I sit down in front of my office PC (a fact I am slowly changing by virtualizing my workspace).

    So today, I’ll be telling you not only the top 5 things I miss in Windows, but also the top 5 things I miss in GNU/Linux.

    DISCLAIMER: Many of you will disagree. Some of you will give suggestions. These are my own experiences, based on what I use my computers for. You’re daily activity and workflow will differ from mine.


    1. See Your IP Address Quickly Without Opening A Terminal

    See Your Connection Details With The Support Tab

    See Your Connection Details With The Support Tab

    In Windows XP, you double-click the LAN icon in the system tray (you have to set the “Display Icon in System Tray When Connected” in the connection properties, but you only have to do this once) and the local area connection dialog pops-up. If you go to the Support tab, you can find your connection’s information including IP address and subnet there.

    2. Middle-click scroll

    Yes, the middle-mouse button doesn’t scroll your browser or application in Ubuntu. I’ll tell you why later. While it is possible to set this in Linux,  (heck, practically ANYTHING can be set somehow), there is no fancy GUI way to do it so it’s definitely not for the lesser-experienced. The middle-mouse button is useful for those lazy days when you’re surfing the web and  just don’t want to scroll that mouse wheel.
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • September 22, 2008 /  Games, Wii, Windows

    Consider this: would you rather execute a Force Push with B (XBox360) or Triangle (PS3) or would you rather just literally push your enemy? That’s exactly what the Wii version empowers you to do. And if that’s what gets your Star Wars fantasies excited, the Wii version is for you. I just got my copy of TFU for the Wii from Play-Asia, and it plays great!
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • September 12, 2008 /  Mac, Miro, Tutorials and Guides, Ubuntu, Windows

    In line with our celebration of our new wordpress server, here is the second post for the day. In this post, we discuss a video player I’ve been using for over a year, but seems that not enough people are using it. It’s not just any video player. It’s Miro.

    Miro Video Player

    Miro Video Player

    I know a lot of people who love watching videos at YouTube. And among them, there are also plenty who like downloading their favorite videos. The problem though is that YouTube doesn’t freely provide this service. Instead they have to rely on Firefox extensions, download websites (which are either full of ads, possibly virus-laden, or just plain dubious), and other such hacks.

    That was how I found Miro. I’ve been using Miro for about a year now, and it has improved over the past year in terms of both usability and stability. But Miro is more than just another YouTube downloader. Advertised as an Internet TV player, it does what it says and does it well.

    Downloading YouTube Videos

    Downloading Videos

    Downloading Videos

    With Miro’s integrated video search feature, you can search videos from YouTube, Daily Motion, Veoh, and other video websites without starting your browser. You then just choose your search results and Miro will start downloading them into your library. I find this feature really nice, especially when downloading a long or large video, when I want to show something to some friends, or when I’m just too busy to watch them immediately. WIth the video in my library, I can load it up anytime at my convenience, whether I’m on the train or relaxing after cooking/eating dinner.

    Internet TV with Miro

    Viewing The Contents of a Channel

    Viewing The Contents of a Channel

    Miro comes with a few default channels and lets you add more channels. There are plenty of channels to choose from the integrated Miro Guide, which offers you some of its recommendations or you can search for a particular interest. Miro uses the open RSS standard for its channels, so it’s compatible with practically all feeds on the internet, including iTunes podcasts.

    The beauty of using channels is that you can set it to auto-download New content or All content to download even old videos you haven’t seen yet. For example, I am subscribed to the WebbAlert channel, which offers an almost-daily 5-minute round-up of what’s new on the Internet and computing in general. When I get home and turn on my computer and Miro, it will automatically download new episode(s) if any, for my viewing pleasure, at my own leisure. It’s like turning on your TV to your favorite daily program, only you’re not bound by stiff schedules.

    More Cool Features

    Video Playback

    Video Playback

    Miro’s core functionalities are wonderfully complemented by the options that Miro’s intellgent engineers came up with.

    Afraid you’ll run out of disk space? That shouldn’t be a problem when using Miro. You can easily set Miro to make sure to leave a gigabyte or two. And if space is a problem, the expire feature comes in very handy. Some people unfamiliar with this concept might be wary at first, but trust me, you’re not going to be watching last week’s podcast episodes anyway. YouTube videos also expire in the default 6 days, but you can choose to keep a video indefinitely by clicking on the “keep” button. Of course, there’s also a “delete” button, in case you downloaded a loser video or this week’s podcast episode just sucks.

    Each channel also displays the number of unwatched videos you have, which conveniently turns into a play button when you move your mouse over it, giving you instant access to unwatched content. There’s also a “New” item in the sidebar. Just like the channels, it displays the number of unwatched videos across all your channels and clicking it plays it. By default Miro is set to play all videos consecutively in a section (be it a channel, New, or your library), but if you prefer watching one at a time (like me), you can turn it off in the options.

    Miro is available for GNU/Linux, Mac, as well as Windows. Download it now from http://www.getmiro.com

    While you’re downloading Miro, click on over here to read more about how Miro does what it does. And if you’re interested in making your own videos or channels for Miro, http://makeinternettv.org is a good resource for information.

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  • Breaking Barriers

    Breaking Barriers

    Do you tire of reformatting your computer so that it can be set up with the prescribed environment determined by your superior or client? How about the hassle of making sure that there is a backup copy of your past project? Is quality assurance testing a pain because you have to reset your environment over and over again?

    Well I did tire of that hassle. And I also tired of having to run my computer on a specific OS, just because that was what the task prescribed. So I went out and used a few proven tools to remedy the situation, which will be what this guide will be all about.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Kohjinsha’s Size Compared to An SD CardI saw a Kohjinsha SH6KP10A for only Y40K in Nipponbashi! I have seen the Kohjinsha quite a few times before, but never really paid attention because it was a local brand and was as expensive as a more powerful, albeit larger laptop. So coming home, I decided to do a little forward research on the Kohjinsha, specifically on Linux support. It only had an Intel A100 600Mhz processor (for reasons unknown to me, it’s faster than my 2.4Ghz main laptop), although it did have an Intel 945 GPU, which was perfect for 3D in Linux. If this thing could run a Vista, it would be quite fast when running Ubuntu. I compared the price vs. feature set with other UMPCs. TheSamsung Q1 was another favorite of Ubuntu users, but as it did not have a real keyboard (I need to be able to work on it; the optional keyboard attachment made it not so ultra-mobile, yuck). Searching the Ubuntu Forums yielded few, but very promising and helpful results. Checking them out, I found a few owners of Kohjinshas getting Gutsy on their UMPCs.

    It was only 40K yen if you were going to get a Yahoo!BB subscription with it. But at 60K, it was still a bargain, since it was only 6mos used and at half the price of a new one. And I got myself one last weekend.

    Kohjinsha and My Old Asus L3Taking it home, what was my first impression? First of all, it was preloaded with Vista, and instead of a recovery disc it had a 4GB recovery partition. I had to test all the hardware first to see if everything was A-Ok. Touch screen worked, webcam worked, the controls beside the screen (a lot of ‘em: D-pad, track pointer, launcher, shutter, rotation, enter, brightnes. scroll keys. left and right mouse buttons), webcam, TV tuner, bluetooth and WiFi, all working perfectly. And you had no less than 3 ways to control your pointer: via the touch pad, the thumb pointer, and touch screen. As for text input, well you had the physical keyboard when you really need the typing speed, or you can use the touch screen.

    While it still had Vista, I decided to do a quick speed comparison test. Nothing fancy, just a quick test to see which OS would allow me to work more before I had to get off the train at the station. In short, boot times.

    Here are the results:

    Windows Vista Home Basic Startup time:
    1:10.03 – Time to welcome screen
    1:49.83 – Time to desktop display
    4:06.85 – Time to finish loading everything

    Ubuntu Gutsy LiveCD startup time:
    0:22.21 – Time to LiveCD menu
    3:02.19 – Time to opening tune
    4:26.33 – Time to finish loading everything

    Vista was able to boot in just a little over 4 minutes (about the time it takes for a train to get to the next station) and 20 seconds faster than Ubuntu. That’s swell, until you consider the fact that IT WAS A LIVECD! For those not in the know, a LiveCD basically allows you to run an OS without installing on your computer. That’s right, that 4 minute Vista on my fast hard drive barely beat Ubuntu running off a CD drive! Hey, I wanted a fair fight, so I had to handicap Ubuntu..<snicker>

    Kohjinsha Showing Compiz’s Scale FeatureAlright, so what are the real comparison figures for Ubuntu and Vista when both are installed in the hard disk?
    Ubuntu Gutsy LiveCD startup time:
    1:01.44 – Time to Login Screen
    1:10.41 – Time to opening tune
    1:35.58 – Time to desktop display
    1:39.49 – Time to finish loading everything

    You could argue that the Vista desktop already appears at about 1:50, but you just can’t do anything with it yet for another 30 seconds, where you can *technically* do something e.g. click a button/menu, just don’t expect your computer to respond well.

    Kohjinsha Reverse StyleSo Vista was out and Ubuntu was in, and without needing to install any drivers at all, the CF and SD card reader, controls beside the screen, the webcam, 3D card, sound, and most everything worked out-of-the-box and without my intervention. And from the info in the Ubuntu Forums thread I had found earlier, I was able to get Koji up to speed.

    Kohjinsha Handwriting Recognition With CellwriterSo right now, I can type away on the train(where I wrote most of this post’s content yesterday on the train to Kyoto). Heck, I could do away with the typing altogether and just scribble away with Cellwriter.

    I don’t really need to say this but I’m one very, very proud Ubuntu-powered Kohjinsha owner!

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  • July 30, 2007 /  Mac, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, Windows

    To avoid being criticized for bashing M$ Windoze, I decided I’m just gonna let others do the talking for me this time around, and I didn’t have to go farther than YouTube for answers. (Search: Windows Vista)

    Firstoff, some of you may have heard that Aero stole it’s ideas from Mac OS X. Here’s showing that Microsoft didn’t:
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=TaIUkwPybtM">http://youtube.com/watch?v=TaIUkwPybtM</a>

    Steve Jobs and Bertrand Serlet also talks about Aero’s features:
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=N-2C2gb6ws8">http://youtube.com/watch?v=N-2C2gb6ws8</a>

    Of course, Vista does have it’s good points. Take for example its voice recognition system. See how it performs in action: <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=kX8oYoYy2Gc">http://youtube.com/watch?v=kX8oYoYy2Gc</a>

    And of course, the new window switcher included in Aero:
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=4gSzDggUtoI">http://youtube.com/watch?v=4gSzDggUtoI</a>

    Followed by a video highlighting the features of Aero. And afterwards, Beryl
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=xC5uEe5OzNQ">http://youtube.com/watch?v=xC5uEe5OzNQ</a>

    Now, let’s hear what this Vista owner has to say after buying a brand new computer to run Vista: <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=FVbf9tOGwno">http://youtube.com/watch?v=FVbf9tOGwno</a>

    Microsoft is proud to offer several innovations in Vista. Here is a timeline of competitor’s innovations. I think it’s self-explanatory.

    • January 2000 – Apple comes out with Aqua
    • April 2005 – Mac OS X Tiger is released, featuring Gadgets, Spotlight, Expose, and a host of other innovations.
    • Janury 2006 – Novell releases Compiz, featuring Annotate, Scale, Minimize/Maximize/Close animations, Desktop Cube, Zoom, and a host of other innovations.
    • October 2006 – Beryl forks from Compiz. Changable window decorators, and other innovations were added.
    • Windows Vista – End of January 2007. Features the Aero window decorator, theme, and icon set that looks like OS X, and provides other innovations such as live windows like in OS X and Compiz/Beryl, live icons like in Ubuntu, and transparent windows like on OS X and Compiz/Beryl.

    Innovations? I don’t think so.

    Edit: Did you know Vista requires twice the computing power of Beryl-powered PCs? People are ditching their perfectly good computers to throw money at computer vendors for top-of-the-line models.

    Ok, I’m being too kind. Actually, Vista needs up to four times more computing power:

    • 4X HDD (15GB vs. 4GB)
    • 4X memory (1GB vs. 256MB)
    • 4X 3D card (128MB vs. 32MB)

    Take my advice, put the money you’ll use to buy a new computer into savings, and put the money you’re gonna pay for Vista to buy a camera or something. What’s that? You need to pirate Vista to get it free?

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  • June 4, 2007 /  Operating Systems, Windows

    This article is kinda late in writing, by over a week. It’s kind of funny when you look advertisements, sometimes because the hype is so obvious or when the advertising machinery has gone overboard. But sometimes, it’s much more interesting when you spot a trap disguised as an advantage.

    In a recent newspaper ad, Microsoft offers the Pinoy Genuine Kit as a promotional chance to get genuine Microsoft software for only Php7,748 ( roughly $170). The ad states the following:

    1. VALIDATE. Log on to www.microsoft.com/philippines/genuine and validate your operating system. If your OS appears non-genuine, you automatically qualify for this special Pinoy Genuine Kit promo.
    2. BUY. For only Php7,748, you can now purchase your genuine Windows XP Professional license in two ways:
      • Option 1 – Buy from participating Elite, Advanced Volume License, MVPP Resellers and FG Distributors who will order it online for you.
      • Option 2 – Buy online using your credit card. Major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners are accepted.
    3. GET YOUR KIT–WE’LL SHIP IT FOR FREE. No need to worry about shipping, handling, duties, and taxes. Your genuine license is on its way to your doorstep!

    So what’s wrong you ask? I’m not condoning piracy, but the first step is like a bear trap camouflaged with flowers. If you’re using a pirated copy of Windows, once you go to the validation, there’s no turning back; once the WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) tool is installed, your computer is host to some limitations, including being able to download only critical updates, being nagged at login, etc. You can read more about the restrictions WGA tool places in this Wikipedia article on Windows Genuine Advantage.

    The real problem is that the WGA tool is not really perfect; Windows Genuine Advantage Falsely Accuses Millions of legitimate Windows users–as many as 5 million people are being wrongly accused of software piracy! Critics have also slammed the WGA tool’s spyware-like behaviorThe WGA tool “phones home” with information about your computer to their servers. Microsoft admitted to this behavior, but denies that it’s spyware. Something bad is only bad unless it’s Microsoft doing it. That’s such a nice, friendly company you’d like to put your trust that you won’t get burned by them in the future.

    They also offer free shipping, which is funny if you know what you’re actually buying. You’re not buying a boxed Windows XP Pro OS. You’re just buying the license, which is basically a paper leaflet with a cardboard backing, and that doesn’t really cost much shipping now, does it?

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