Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Picasa 3 (beta) for Linux

Google Photos Blog has released a Linux version of their fabulous Picasa software.  One more argument for adopting Ubuntu.  From the site:

We’re proud to announce the public beta of Picasa 3.0 for Linux (just a few days past the end of summer 🙂

With version 3, Picasa adds improved Linux desktop integration. For instance, it now uses your preferred file manager, and you can use your preferred email program to send photos directly from Picasa. Picasa even integrates with the camera detection features in Gnome and KDE, so your desktop environment will ask you to
launch Picasa when you plug in your camera. Our native Firefox integration also makes it easy to download entire albums from Picasa Web Albums with just a click.

The most important features from our Windows release are all present in this beta of Picasa 3 for Linux: Along with faster performance, Picasa 3 for Linux introduces new features like automatic web sync, a greatly-improved collage tool, a powerful retouching tool, and an intuitive text tool that’s both fun and useful. A full list of changes can be viewed here.

Read on…

The NYT on Ubuntu’s latest – Jaunty Jackalope

The New York Times has a story in their Technology section on Ubuntu‘s latest development effort which they have named Jaunty Jackalope.  The full version won’t be released until April 2009 but I am sure we will start seeing Alpha’s and Beta’s in the coming months.  From the article:

Microsoft has spent years battling an Apple. Now it must go up against a Jaunty Jackalope as well.

The Jaunty Jackalope moniker is the latest animal-themed name used by Canonical, a maker of open source software, to describe an upcoming version of Ubuntu, its flavor of the Linux operating system. Other names used for previous releases of Ubuntu have included Hardy Heron, Dapper Drake and Breezy Badger. While the names may seem silly, they reflect part of the culture that has helped Ubuntu become a legitimate player in both the desktop and server operating system markets.

The geek elite use Linux, which is an operating system built with open source software that serves the same basic functions as Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s Mac OS X. Of late, members of that geek elite have tended to choose Ubuntu as their favorite version of Linux. (There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations on Linux, each with their own collections of applications and features.)

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Is this an aid worker’s dream machine with pre-installed Ubuntu and built-in 3G?

It turns out that the new Dell Inspirion Mini 9 will not only be selling with Ubuntu pre-installed, for those of you who want it, but Gizmodo let’s us know that the new Dell ‘netbook’ will also be sporting an integrated 3G card!

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Afrigadget – A much needed reality check

Erik Hersman over at White African has a sister site which he has aptly named Afrigadget.  It is a wonderful look at the resourcefulness found throughout Africa.  For you Ubuntu lovers, check out the image below.  For the rest of you please head over to Afrigadget and check out some of the ingenuity on display.


Test drive Ubuntu with Wubi

If you are interested in testing out Ubuntu but don’t want to deal with an ISO please be sure to check out Wubi.  Wubi allows you to install Ubuntu on your Windows machine as if it were just another application.  At the end of the day, if you don’t like it, just uninstall it as you would an other app.

I have yet to try Wubi so please leave comments below if you have had a chance to run it.  If you are interested in going stright for Ubuntu’s latest offereing, Hardy Heron, just click the image above.

Linux Mint

If you are intersted in trying out another Linux OS be sure to check out Linux Mint.  A number of people have commented that it is a good substitute for Ubuntu’s latest offering.  Reviews abound so spend some time reviewing them.

Macedonia and Ubuntu

I am pretty proud of my adopted country, Macedonia.  (Full disclosure – my wife is Macedonian.)  At the end of 2005 Macedonia became the world’s first wireless country.  The full BBC write-up is here.  Two years later, in 2007, Macedonia became one of the few countries to roll out, en masse, Ubuntu throughout the educational system.  The story, from the Ubuntu website, can be found here and here is a BBC World video detailing the Macedonia Connects wireless story:

A few weeks ago, while my wife was still in Macedonia, I asked her to install Ubuntu on our old laptop which her parents had been using for years, primarily for Skype.  The machine had contracted a bug and I am not a fan of bootleg software.  With the popularity of Ubuntu it was easy enough to find someone to handle the installation (the neighbor) and within 24hrs she was back up and running.  It seems as if everyone in Macedonia keeps a copy of the ISO in their back pocket.

My wife left a few weeks later without explaining to her father how to navigate the new interface and fire up Skype.  She was bringing her mother home for a few months and she was worried about having an open line so her folks could communicate.  I am not sure if her father had ever used the machine while it had Windows loaded and I know he had never seen Ubuntu.  Computer literacy among older generations in Macedonia is quite low but it is improving.  Metamorphosis, an OSI/ Soros backed non-profit, has done a lot of work in this area and has a survey on their site detailing INTERNET penetration throughout the country.

Shortly after returning to the States my wife called her father and asked him if he had a minute so that she could explain to him how to get online.  His response was, “Don’t worry about it.  I figured it out on my own.”  When she told me that I started laughing.  That has got to be the ultimate selling point for a product – a complete neophyte simply sits down and starts surfing the web with little to no difficulty.

With such accessibility is there any argument for aid organizations not rolling Ubuntu out in the field?  I understand the compatibility issues but the stability of the application coupled with the ease of use is a strong argument for mandating that local field offices run Ubuntu rather than other the various versions of Windows that are available.  At this point I am not worried about bugs and even if our machine in Macedonia does crash I’ll just buy the next cheapest machine and load up the latest version of Ubuntu.