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Archive for September, 2007

A friend of mine just sent me this picture. It’s perfect in every way. What does your browser say about you?

Firefox vs Opera vs Internet Explorer

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This here is just a little list that I started when I noticed several articles about governments and businesses switching over to Linux. I wanted to keep a small tab on who’s switching over to the Open Source side of things. This is what I have managed to collect:

ALREADY THERE:

  • Munich (14,000 by 2008)

http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/80071

  • China (2,800+ More Investments)

http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/02/08/13/020813hnchina.html

  • France (60,000 Workstations, 2,000 Servers)

http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid39_gci992096,00.html

  • Germany (Many…)

http://www.news.com/2100-1001-931027.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2023127.stm

  • Korea (120,000)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/01/14/korea_migrates_120k_civil_servants/

  • Denmark (55,000)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/08/22/swedish_government_mulls_linux/

  • Italy Parliment (3,500)

http://3v1n0.tuxfamily.org/blog/linux-docs/italian-parliament-moves-to-linux/

  • Mannheim (120 Servers, 3500 PCs)

http://www.news.com/One-citys-move-to-open-source/2100-7344_3-5924184.html

  • Russia (In Every School by 2009)

http://eng.cnews.ru/news/top/indexEn.shtml?2007/09/14/266177

  • Macedonia (5000 by 2008)

http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8560939207.html

  • North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany Universities – 860,000)

http://www.news.com/German-universities-embrace-Linux/2100-7344_3-6205170.html

CONSIDERING:

  • Japan

http://www.linuxworld.com/newsletters/linux/2007/0507linux2.html

  • Sweden

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/08/22/swedish_government_mulls_linux/

  • Puru

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/07/16/peru_mulls_free_software_gates/

  • UK

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3960025.stm

INTERACTIVE MAP:

Here’s an interactive map showing some of these countries. It is collectively edited by people from around the globe, so it should be a good place to get a comprehensive list of all countries and businesses utilizing Linux and Open Source.

http://www.listphile.com/Linux

Another Map:

http://www.billy-girlardo.com/Maps/OSS/ 

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Listen to Qeirstyn’s Story…

Hello family!

I hope you find Qeirstyn’s Story as fascinating as Heather and I did. It was riveting.

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Heather and I went down to Jackson Hole, WY to celebrate our anniversary, and we managed to locate Sasquatch.

Trip to Jackson Hole, WY

We also managed to find some pretty neat shops around the town and stopped in at our favorite restaurant called “Sidewinders” before we left back for home.  It was a beautiful drive up with all the fall colors in the hills, but it was a dark and rainy drive coming back home.  Obviously, we made it back safely because this photo diary entry has a happy ending with you enjoying the few photos that we took.

Take luck!

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This was a semester-long research project that I had chosen here at BYU-Idaho for my Advanced/Technical Writing class.  I have uploaded the final version of my paper including the letter to my teacher, Phil Murdock, as well as a list to the Appendixes on the last page.  These probably won’t mean much to you, so feel free to skip down to the title page.  I had also given an oral presentation on my research and if you would like, you may download the overview presentation from the link at the bottom of this post.

Abstract:

This research focuses on the reasons behind the fact that there hasn’t been a processor released to the public with clock speeds of over 4GHz. The current fastest commercial processor is 3.8GHz and has been that way for two years and counting. Reasons as to why this has occurred in the market today includes Intel’s marketing strategies, electrical migration (electromigration), and electrical current jumps (subthreshold voltage). A solution to these limitations includes building a smarter processor, rather than one with sheer strength. Processors like the recent Core Duo processor from Intel including multiple cores has stepped up to the challenge and has had huge success. Another way of smart computing is by the use of quantum mechanics, using the laws of physics to design a new type of processor. This research intends to investigate these findings.

Computer Developement in Park: Delays of a 4GHz Processor

Overview Presentation:

For those of you who are interested in the research project, but would rather view the “cliff-notes”, an overview presentation is available in the following link:

CPU Development in Park (PowerPoint)

(You will need either OpenOffice or at least PowerPoint Viewer to view this presentation.)

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Sunday Drive to Mesa and Cave Falls


Heather and I went out for a Sunday drive down through Yellowstone and Targhee national forests while listening to Johnny Cash’s greatest hits collection along the way.

We stopped at Cave Falls and took a couple of pictures. It was a pretty neat waterfall because you could get into the cave and look right up into the falling water. We’ll probably end up going back to the area next summer to hike up to some of the other eight waterfalls in the area.

After Cave Falls, we headed up towards Lower and Upper Mesa Falls. We’ve been there before, but by the time we got there it was too dark to see much. There was another time that we had attempted it, but the roads were blocked off to normal traffic because they were not maintained past a certain point so that the snowmobiles could ride on them. So, we finally made it which felt pretty good. We took in as much scenery as we could and then headed back home for the day and finished it up with a movie and snacks.

As always, we hope you enjoy the photos and video!

Day Trip to Mesa Falls and Cave Falls

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I’ve been using Gnome ever since I switched from Suse to Ubuntu Linux and I gotta say, although it’s not as customizable as KDE, Gnome is clean, easy to use, and well refined. Now, this isn’t a KDE vs Gnome flamewar, but there are some things that I believe Gnome is missing in order to provide an even greater desktop environment. So, during the last few months, I have been writing down mental notes on what I think needs to be incorporated into the next release and I would like to share them with you.

The List:

Better Screensaver Options.

I know ths sounds strange, and a lot of the computer gurus and uber geeks are going to dissagree, but Gnome is in desperate need of a better screensaver program. The gurus and geeks will say their favorite screensaver is pitch black because there is no reason take up precious processing power just to display something that will never be seen anyways while away from the computer. But to the average computer user, there is nothing more dissapointing than when they can’t setup their screensaver to their preferrence. For example, a lot of people (like myself) love the GLSlideshow screensaver. But, at first glance, there isn’t a way to customize where the pictures are being taken from. It shoud be as easy as point and click, but instead you have to use the help guide to figure out how to customize it with cryptic command lines and file names. Another example is the GLText screensaver. Again, the average user should be able to just point and click to change the message that it shows, but instead you have to hunt down the configuration file someplace in the filesystem in order to change the text displayed. Gnome needs to have an easy to use, all inclusive screensaver applet that will allow users to easily configure their screensavers.

Restore from Trash.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I would love to see this functionality incorporated into the trash bin. Again, this isn’t a KDE vs Gnome vs Windows debate, but really…. KDE and Windows has had this functionality for a long time now. I erase a file sending it to the trash bin, and then I learn later that I actually need that file. So, after a quick right click and “restore”, it’s placed neatly back into the original directory from which it came. In Gnome, I have to cut/paste it into the directory myself. It can’t be that hard to incorporate this into the trash bin, can it?

http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=474071

Data Transfer Speed (Read/Write) Read-Out.

The other day, I bought a new USB flash drive from SanDisk (4GB) and I wanted to see exactly how fast the read and write speeds were in Mbps, but to my dismay, I realized that the “Coping Files” dialoge that appears when you copy/paste from one directory to another didn’t include a “details” drop down, or even a simple speed rate read-out. I would love to see a drop-down button that gives you much more details about the files that you are transferring. Again, this is something that is incorporated into KDE and Windows, but not Gnome.

http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=474074

Add a “Rename Files” option when copy/paste files instead of only “skip and replace”.

This one is a little harder to explain, but the principle is very simple. For example, when you move a file named “mydocument.txt” from one directory to another directory with a file of the same name, you’ll get a warning message that says “A file with this name already exists” and then it will give you an option to either skip the file, or replace it. How about a “rename file and copy” option that prompts you for the new file name and then continues to move the file.

http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=474076

Thumbnail view while browsing.

Here’s a situation that occurs very often, and I’ve heard of others having the same frustraiting dilema. You’re online trying to upload a file or picture to your blog or web service by using the “Browse…” button on the website. You’re browing around your files only to realize that you’ve forgotten the file name of that perfect picture you want to upload. So, you go to right-click and change the view from “details” to “thumbnails” and it’s not there! So, now you have to open the directory, find the picture, remember the filename, and then find it in the upload dialoge on the website. I would love to see a “view as” and an “arrange by” option when you right click in nautilus.

“View As” dialog on right-click menu in nautilus.

This feature request is pretty much the same as the one before it, but it would be great to have a “View As” option when you right-click in nautilus. I know that you can use the “View” option in the window toolbar, but it would be much easier to use the right-click option. The method that I use now is Ctrl+1 to display icons in details view and Ctrl+2 to display them in thumbnail view, but not every user likes to use keyboard shortcuts.

Make installing software from source easier.

This would be huge. Maybe there is already a program that will do this that I don’t know about, but it would be great if Gnome could figure out a way to make it as easy as double-clicking a tar.gz file and automagically compile, make, and install it seamlessly into the Gnome application menu. This is another one of those things that the computer guru or professional would be able to understand and comprehend easily, but grandma and grandpa would be, needless to say, in the dark. Installing software is one of the hardest things for a user to get used to in Linux, and I think that if you can make it easier for the average user to install a new piece of software, then there would be more people converting to Linux.

Choose to “decline” updates so update icon doesn’t sit in notification tray forever.

This one may not be specific to Gnome alone, but I know that in Ubuntu, there needs to be a simple way to “decline” an update or “ignore” an update so that the update utility doesn’t sit in the notification panel forever. I invision that a user will choose the updates that they want by clicking the check box next to the item, and then leaving the other items unchecked. When they click “Apply”, a dialog box will pop up asking the user if they would like to ignore the unchecked packages for future updates. I know that updates are important and that there is a rare time that one would not choose to accept the updates, but there are other cases that the update actually breaks something in the system and the user will want to decline the update forever or until the bug has been fixed in a later version. Yet another example of the problem with not being able to decline the updates is when the user is running a newer version of the software. For instance, I’m running Kernal 2.6.22, but the update manager is suggesting a ‘downgrade’ to 2.6.20. I want to decline this until it offers me a version greater than that.

Get more “Add to Panel” accessories!

I love the “Add to Panel” accessories, but there aren’t enough options or they are out-dated with cheesy graphics and what-not. Can there be some more applets added to the panel? Right now, I don’t have anything in mind, but it would be kinda neat to see some more innovation in this area. Speaking of, I really like the “weather” applet and I would like to see a “forecast mode” where it will get the forcast for the next week or so.

This is all I can think of at the moment, but if you (the readers) have any other suggestions, please feel free to put them into the comments below. I would like to hear what you have to say about your experience with Gnome as well. I really think that these things (or at least some of them) could be incorporated into the the desktop environment to bring the end user an even better desktop experience.

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