martes, 25 de abril de 2017

PicarOS Diego 2017 Is Out?

What a surprise!  I learned that there was a release of PicarOS 2017 this month!

If you don't know PicarOS and you like GNU/Linux and have children, you're missing a jewel.  This is a GalPon MiniNO version made especially for children and with education in mind.  In my opinion, it is the most complete Linux distro for kids, and it is extremely attractive for them. Children love it!

The best part is that it is a fully featured system. I like to use it myself, and anytime I do, people get interested in this beautiful distro.  Too bad it receives so little attention from the media.

In terms of new features, I noticed that now it comes with the option of a 32-bit kernel, PAE, or a 64-bit one.  Nice!
The window buttons tell you you are running Compiz


To be honest, I did not see any extreme changes in PicarOS 2017, except that the minino-compiz feature seems to be missing in the menus.  Still, you can launch it manually.


I have to keep testing it to see what else is new.  Thanks, PicarOS developers!!



sábado, 15 de abril de 2017

When My New Laptop Lost its Home...

I bought a new laptop from a Linux vendor some time ago.  The machine is a beast and it comes with a SSD for the root system and a HD for the home system. One day, I noticed that I could not enter my session. 

After some checking, I realized that the machine was not reading the HD.  The BIOS did not show the entry for that drive.  Weird.

Now, what do you do with a computer like that?  Can you use it for working?

Of course!  I could log into a session from the root system and work from there.  Also, I could use my the clone of my system that I carry on a live USB pendrive.  Thus, the problem, although weird, did not stop me from working.

Later on Mechatotoro took my laptop to a repair shop and, as I thought, it all was caused by a hardware issue: the HD had somehow gone loose. Once it was put back into place, everything was normal again.

What did I learn from that experience?  That Linux is simply great!  While another OS would tell you that you cannot use the computer, with Linux I could keep working although the home system was unreachable.   

martes, 21 de marzo de 2017

Document Freedom Day

Document Freedom Day will be in a week.  What is DFD?

According to documentfreedom.org , it is:

"the international day of Open Standards and happens every year on the last Wednesday of March. It is a day to come together and raise attention towards the ever growing importance of Open Standards for all aspects of our digital communication and information accessibility."

I remember that once, I celebrated it sending to all my colleagues a "freedom test".  It was just a regular mail with a short explanation and an .odt file.  If they could not open it, they could realize that they were not free.  My small campaign had a modest rate of success, at least to make people question their choices.

I wonder if I should do something similar this year... 

lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

How to: VLC can't Resize Videos!

Yesterday, I tried to watch a video on my MX-16 install.  Unfortunately, the video display was very small and trying to adjust the size of the window did not help. The video size was still the same and taking a snapshot was no use, either:
Yes! The blue rectangle IS the video playing!
Then, I tried fullsize.  I got the same little video size embedded into a big, blue rectangle the size of my whole screen.
Nice, right? The snapshot didn't even show the video!
Ah, the video behaved funny.  Trying to access the menus was a nightmare for they would appear behind the video:
Groovy! How am I supposed to read the menu?
Was this a DRM-related issue?  Or something else?  Apparently, it was something else: it was a video acceleration problem, actually.

The fix was extremely easy.  Since VLC comes with video acceleration by default, if your card is within the unlucky ones, you get what I got.  Thus, all you have to do is disabling that option.  Go to Tools, and then choose Preferences. There, look for video.  Under the Screen category, untick accelerated video output:
Here you are! Let me watch my videos peacefully!
After that, close VLC. Open it again and that pretty much takes care of the problem:
Now I can resize the window and the video display, too!
I can go fullscreen, too!  Problem solved!
Now, the second part will be to tell Dragon Player to do the same!  I've no idea how to do it there!  :P

lunes, 13 de febrero de 2017

Hello, Think Penguin! Nice to Meet You!

Well, my Zareason laptop started doing strange things after a long life of intense work and harsh conditions.  I wanted to buy another computer from them, but the model I wanted was out of stock.

Thus, I started looking for options and finally found an Adelie computer from Think Penguin that was pretty close to the computer I wanted to buy originally.

I bought it, asking for their default choice for the OS.  When I got it, I realized that it came preloaded with Ubuntu 16.10.  Since Ubuntu has never been my favorite Linux distribution, I tried to go the multiboot way, making several partitions to host different Linux flavors. 

Unfortunately, none of my distros could be installed.  I tried MX-16, which is the newest distro I have and its partitioning tool (Gparted) threw errors at me when trying to make the partitions.   As a result, I could not install anything.

Then, I decided to use the Ubuntu disk that came with the computer to do the job.  That was my first time using Ubuntu's installer and my second time using Ubuntu.  The tool did its job and thanks to that, I could install MX-16.

I've had to learn a few new tricks with this computer.  As the rep from Think Penguin told me, the computer is too new for many Linux distributions (the ones I use regularly), but I've been able to manage so far.

What about Ubuntu?  I'll keep using it and maybe I'll get used to it.  My Steam games are all there, and most run perfectly.  So do other software tools I need for work.

I'll be checking other distros with current releases to see if any can work with this computer, too.  Maybe my next test will be with Fedora?

So far, I'm very happy with this new computer.  The service at Think Penguin was excellent, too.  I'm so satisfied that I may buy a Korora laptop from them in the future.

domingo, 29 de enero de 2017

GnuRooting Experiment 2: Success!

Long time ago, I had tried GnuRoot on a ZaReason tablet.  I didn't go very far: I got to boot a Linux environment, but without a graphics session.  Thus, I abandoned GnuRoot.

Debian GNU/Linux running on my tablet!
Today, I found this nice tutorial by Braden Farmer and it motivated me to try once again, this time using a Lenovo tablet.

Apparently, everything went as expected.  I could indeed install Debian with LXDE and it works pretty well (although you do need a keyboard and a mouse, which I don't have right now.)


Well, I'm glad this experiment worked.  I feel happy because I learned something new. 

martes, 24 de enero de 2017

My Quest for a GNU/Linux Laptop

My embattled Alto 4330, which I bought from ZaReason about 4 years ago, has started to fail.  I have to pledge guilty because I've dropped it twice and the poor machine kept working faithfully.  Thus, while I think of a way to fix it, I started looking for a replacement.

First, I do not want to pay for Windows 10, especially because all I'd do with it would be to wipe it out from the hard drive.  Since I do not want to put up with all the UEFI and restricted boot nonsense, buying from a Linux vendor is my road to take.

Unfortunately, ZaReason was a no-go.  I tried to buy their Strata twice, but my order was rejected.  Upon asking, they told me it was out of stock but they would get new merchandise soon.

I checked again two weeks later and they had the Ultralap.  Nice... I almost bought it, but it does not have an optical drive. Some may think "So... what's the problem?"  I guess the problem is that I do use CDs and DVDs, and having a super portable laptop that needs an external CD/DVD drive, even if it is very slim, is not convenient enough for me.  They may offer other models soon, but I cannot afford waiting.

I took a look at System 76, but their laptops did not fit my needs.

Then, Mechatotoro suggested Think Penguin.  Apparently, their Adelie laptop is the closest to the Strata I wanted... plus it comes with the keyboard in my language.

Thus, I took the plunge and ordered one.  Now their card verification loopholes have started...  although it is highly inconvenient for me as the customer, I understand their fight against fraud.

I hope my order gets processed and shipped without any other problem.  I also hope that the laptop I bought may be a good one.