Saturday, May 8, 2010

LEGO 10213 Shuttle Adventure designer interview

Why I am Using Google Buzz as An Alternative to Facebook

A very interesting piece on why Google Buzz is better.

Why I am Using Google Buzz as An Alternative to Facebook: "The Internet is a big place, and there are a lot of opportunities for me to find places to spend time. But I am increasingly spending my time in Google Buzz. Google Buzz made sense to me from the first day it was launched, and it continues to improve. This is not a surprise to those of you who have been using the service in the last few months, but I thought I would explain why I am choosing to devote more of my social networking activity there, and why I think it is critical that the product succeed."

[ link ]

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Does Ubuntu Capture the “Mac Vision And Spirit” Better Than Mac OS X?

Does Ubuntu Capture the “Mac Vision And Spirit” Better Than Mac OS X?: "
A week ago, on April 29, Linux distro Canonical released Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) in Desktop, Server and Netbook editions. It featured a new look that some rate more attractive and up-to-date than Snow Leopard’s. “Lucid Lynx’s” new graphics card drivers and other consumer-oriented innovations front a Linux-based operating system package containing all the essential productivity applications you need, all for free: a web browser, office suite, media apps, instant messaging and much more, and is being pitched as an open-source alternative to Windows and Office or Mac OS X and the iApps. Ubuntu’s core applications are all free and open source.

The Register’s Gavin Clarke reported last week that with Lucid Lynx, Canonical is hoping to entice Mac and Windows users to switch, quoting the company’s COO and blogger Matt Asay asserting that changes in the consumer-oriented Ubuntu 10.04 LTS edition will cause “Apple fanbois” to reconsider their love for Steve Jobs, while “milk-fed Windows users” will be less inclined to run screaming to their retailer to return their Ubuntu PCs.

Given Apple’s increasingly evident distractedness from Mac OS development as it concentrates more and more on the mobile space with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, some are also suggesting that Ubuntu captures the traditional “Mac” spirit and vision better than the actual Mac OS does these days.

In an April 28 essay anticipating the imminent Ubuntu 10.04 release, ServerWatch’s Paul Rubens said that Apple is fading from relevance in the computing space as it focuses more and more on phones, web tablets and other consumer gadgets, and that if you’re an old-style Apple fan (by which he means a fan of real Apple Mac computers, not so much the new Apples-R-Us toys and games company), there’s no need to fret because while Apple may not “get” it anymore, it seems Canonical does. He asserts that during the past 12 months Ubuntu has evolved into something that’s powerful, easy to use, and far more stylish than Snow Leopard, which he thinks is not really that surprising when you consider that Apple is far too busy with its iPhone OS to bother much with updating OS X. Rubens says that Ubuntu is innovative, forward-looking, stylish and fun, and rapidly becoming everything that OS X might’ve been had Apple not decided to turn its back on it and become fixated with iPhone OS — “except for being overpriced and closed.”

The concept of desktop Linux possibly better capturing the early-days essence of Mac culture isn’t entirely new. A decade ago I reported on another user-friendly Linux GUI project by a startup called Eazel. The Eazel team was spearheaded by a who’s who of Macintosh alumni. Staffers included Mike Boich — former head of Macintosh evangelism for Apple Computer; Andy Hertzfeld — lead programmer for original Mac OS development in the early ’80s who wrote much of the code that became the iconic Macintosh GUI; Susan Kare who did the graphic design for the original Mac OS Finder icons; Darin Adler who had been technical lead for System 7 development at Apple; and Bud Tribble — first software architect on the Macintosh project and manager of the original Macintosh software team. Mac people all from way back. Arguably, that bunch had a more purebred Macintosh “pedigree” than the folks who were developing OS X at the time.

I suggested back in 2000 that there was a case to be made that the thinking behind Eazel may well be truer to the original Mac essence than OS X itself. I wondered whether OS X would retain enough distinct classic Mac-ness, that je ne sais quois that made the Mac a Mac for many of us veteran users, to sustain the dogged loyalty that had characterized the Mac community through thick and thin for 16 years up to that point? Or would it be so NeXT like, or much, much worse, Windows-like, that hitherto Mac loyalists might be tempted to stray into other pastures? As it turned out, the Eazel project eventually withered on the vine, as it were, and we Mac OS fans adapted to OS X, which turned out to be a very decent computing environment, but lately there are rumblings that Apple is losing interest in the Mac OS with its focus shifting primarily to the mobile space.

Indeed, in his April 29 philippic against Adobe Flash, Steve Jobs appeared to refer to “the PC era” in the past tense, “implying that the computer and mouse paradigm is passé, with the mobile era being about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards (notwithstanding that ironically the iPhone OS environment is anything but ‘open’).”

Not so with Ubuntu, which is committed to traditional desktop and laptop computing, and where the ‘free’ in ‘free software’ is used primarily in reference to freedom, and not to price — although the company says it’s committed to not charging for Ubuntu, and that the most important thing about Ubuntu is that it confers rights of software freedom on the people who install and use it, freedoms that will enable the Ubuntu community to grow, continue to share its collective experience and expertise to improve Ubuntu and make it suitable for use in new countries and new industries.

What do you think? Does Canonical with Ubuntu have a realistic shot at convincing significant numbers of Mac OS and Windows users to switch?


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Use an Ubuntu Live CD to Test Your PC's Memory [Ubuntu]

Use an Ubuntu Live CD to Test Your PC's Memory [Ubuntu]: "
If your PC has been experiencing strange system crashes, or even the dreaded Blue Screen of Death, it's worth running some tests to check your system hardware. Luckily the Ubuntu Live CD has some tools built right in. More »


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Steam for Linux next on cards after OS X?

Steam for Linux next on cards after OS X?: "
Linux and gaming haven’t always been the most familiar of bedfellows, but that could all change should Valve bring their Steam client to the OS. Hot on the heels of a confirmed OS X Steam launch date comes news that Phonorix have discovered several unreleased Steam Linux binaries that are apparently being actively developed.

steam for linux 540x337

“Less than two weeks ago we reported on the Mac OS X Steam client confirming the existence of a Linux client and then found more Linux references too. We then found the unreleased Steam Linux binaries that were under active development. Some still didn’t believe the existence of a Steam client for Linux with Source Engine support, but it’s something we have said for nearly two years based upon our sources and then the emergence of these binaries.” Phoronix

The binaries don’t currently run, but some Phoronix forum members have dug through and managed to get the above screenshot working. What it proves is that Steam is running natively under Linux, though it’ll take some time before you can actually play games via the system.

Valve are yet to publicly comment on the Linux Steam client, though they’ve also done nothing to disguise the work-in-progress files since they were first spotted around two weeks ago. It seems likely they’ll get the OS X Steam launch out of the way before focusing on the new platform.

[via Gear Diary]

Monday, May 3, 2010

What Would You Need to Ditch Cable Television? [Ask The Readers]

What Would You Need to Ditch Cable Television? [Ask The Readers]: "
People across the U.S. are rethinking the necessity of premium television service, in light of increasing costs and an overall trend towards frugality. Have you cut the cable recently? What tools or content would you need to live without a standard subscription? More »


Free Getting Started with Ubuntu Manual Helps Out Linux Rookies [Ebook]

Free Getting Started with Ubuntu Manual Helps Out Linux Rookies [Ebook]: "
Numerous commenters and emailers have written in to recommend that both newcomers to Ubuntu and those looking for a particular fix check out Getting Started with Ubuntu 10.04, the first in a planned series of community-edited manuals that will accompany each successive Ubuntu release. It covers all the new stuff in Ubuntu 10.04, the basics of setting up multimedia access and the apps you want, and a lot more, and it looks pretty darned nice for a Linux manual. It's a free PDF that should work on most e-book readers. [Ubuntu Manual] More »


How to Troubleshoot Your Friends’ Computers From Far Away [Troubleshooting]

How to Troubleshoot Your Friends’ Computers From Far Away [Troubleshooting]: "
You're the computer whiz in your circle of friends and family, which means, inevitably, somebody is going to call for tech support. If you can't fix it in person, these are the best approaches we've found for troubleshooting from far away. More »


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vintage-Style DC Character Posters on the Behance Network

Vintage-Style DC Character Posters on the Behance Network: "This is a personal project, featuring DC comic characters presented in a vintage poster form."

Give a Major Award to the Maker of this Atari Lamp [Cool]

Give a Major Award to the Maker of this Atari Lamp [Cool]: "
One year later, the Atari 2600 Joystick Lamp gets a worthy companion - this combination of a dead VCS, 10 cartridges, and a boxart lampshade. Put it in the living room window so people can see it from the street! More »


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Best Improvements in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx [Operating Systems]

The Best Improvements in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx [Operating Systems]: "
Ubuntu 10.04 is out today, and there are quite a few improvements in 'Lucid Lynx,' a long-term support release. What's worth checking out, beyond the geeky guts? A pretty nifty social manager, a great music store, faster boot-ups, and more. More »


Donate Your Old Electronics to Skip the Hassle of Selling [Charity]

Donate Your Old Electronics to Skip the Hassle of Selling [Charity]: "
Selling your old electronics gear can be a hassle. Skip the haggling and annoying question-obsessed eBay buyers by donating your gear to charity. More »


Play Super Mario Bros. As Mega Man, Link, Samus, And More! [Hot Flashes]

Play Super Mario Bros. As Mega Man, Link, Samus, And More! [Hot Flashes]: "
What if you could play the original Super Mario Bros. with other classic video game characters, controlling just as they did in their own titles? Well now you can, with Simon Belmont, Link, Samus, Mega Man, and Bill from Contra. More »