The Linux operating system is gradually catching on to the usability and design trend we see everywhere else these days. Today it comes in the form of a rehaul of Elisa’s user interface. Elisa is a media center type application for Linux that lets people use a Linux box as a media center appliance. Here is a quick YouTube video showing the new interface:
From Digg again:
“A large list of GIMP brushes, with screenshots and links to each brush download.”
This is a list of beautiful brushes for GIMP, a Photoshop like program (now supported on Linux, Mac and Windows). This site also has a link to the Top 40 GIMP plugins. Good stuff!!
Here are my “prophecies” as to Apple’s future. Macbook Air sales are going to disappoint. Apple TV2 sales will soar initially boosting iTunes rentals for the rest of the year. iPhone sales will gradually drop in anticipation of the rumored 3G iPhone. Will my prediction come true?
Ok, so you’ve just followed my advice and spent 500 bucks on a brand new Nokia 810. Here is a list of apps to get you off the desktop and out into the world.
- Transmission bittorrent client. I don’t think this needs explaining, think Animes (or adult multimedia, whatever floats your boat) on the go!
- FBReader book reader. Hey man! The internet is cool and all, and yes, you can watch movies to pass the time, but even I need to read a nice book once a year or so…
- Pidgin universal IM client. All the Nokia tablets support Google chat by default. This gives you everything else.
- UKMP media player. Be like your annoying iPhone toting, screen poking friends! This will add finger driven multimedia playback to your N810.
- Games. Play time begins now!
So you’ve heard me talk of the Nokia 770 (which I own) and the Nokia 800. Nokia just started selling the Nokia 810, a sleeker more feature packed version of the 800. For starters, it sports a slide out keyboard, GPS, and is smaller than its predecessors. Wifi and bluetooth as usual and a camera. The new model sports a built-in stand. Software wise, the browser is webkit based and some improvements were made to flash performance. I hear it plays youtube and flash video just fine but I have not tried it myself. For most people interested in either an iPhone or a UMPC, I strongly recommend the N810 as a more capable alternative.
So you’ve got a brand new Nokia 770 or N800 and some bozo in your office went and spent a grand on a UMPC and is showing off. Needless to say, talking about Linux, hackability and speed to a non-geek audience would be an utter waste of time. So what’s a geek to do? why install Canola of course! Canola is a media center type application for the Maemo platform. It runs on both the Nokia 770 and the 800. Although beau-coup memory is needed to have your multimedia on the device itself, you can also stream content straight out of your PC or NAS as long as you install the proper UPNP software. Update: Canola 2 is out, please help test it and provide feedback to the authors at http://openbossa.indt.org.br/canola/
The Venture One sounds like a dream vehicle from reading its planned specifications, but hopefully a dream that will come true when the first model rolls off the assembly line in 2009. Ian Bruce is hard at work with several other companies to assemble the initial 3 configurations for this futuristic leaning 3 wheeler based on the Carver.
It is expected to give drivers sport car like performance with 100mpg and top speeds of 100mph, with the fun and excitement of a motorcycle thanks to a complex yet elegant hydraulic system that allows the front part of the car to lean independent of the rear.
Here we go again… I am leaving in 2 days for Vancouver again. This is a repeat of last year’s visa stamping thing at the US consulate there. It should go much smoother this time since they already have most of my information on their computers. I guess we’ll see if I am staying 6 days or a month and a half like last time
On a brighter note, I have been mucking around with Ubuntu on an IBM Thinkpad T42. I have to say that so far, it pretty darn good after running automatix and bringing over the Tahoma font from the NTFS partition. Performance is acceptable and the features are just amazing. I will be taking this laptop with me to Vancouver and working remotely through VPN, which incidentally was a breeze to configure on Ubuntu. Continue reading →
Blender 3D is open source 3D modeling and animation software that runs on Windows, Linux and OSX. This is sort of like 3DMax only much much much better.
It was used for such things as the staging of Spiderman 2 scenes, the open source movie “Elephants have dreams too” and other impressive videos. Checkout www.blender.org for more info.
Version 3 of KTDMS really proves how far open source software has come in recent years. Quality wise, it is not in the same league as SugarCRM or even Joomla, but in it’s defense, it does’nt have a huge community behind it…yet. This version brings powerful workflow management, precise permissions by document/folder for roles, groups, and users. It also tries to provide support for organizational units which can have their own unit administrators. Despite all these features, this is not for the faint of heart as documentation is scarse and you are on your own to come up with a deployment plan that fits your own company. If you already have a system in place and you want to migrate to a platform you can customize, then this is for you; otherwise, spend the money and buy a NexPrize or Documentum DMS.
Well, I’ve had a couple of weeks to play with my N770 and here is why I think Nokia is going to nail UMPCs to the wall:
- Form factor: Bigger is NOT better when you have to lug it around! 1.7 pounds!! If i need a bag then i might as well carry a nice compaq presario with me. You know, the pretty skinny grey ones selling for 600 bucks…The Nokia on the other hand is barely noticeable in my inside vest pocket! Weight and size are perfect!
- Ease of use: I have to admit, XP has it’s usefullness when treated to a mouse and a nice keyboard. Mobile OS, it is not! The challenge here is that mobile applications have to be built for mobile use. I mean, sure, MS Streets is nifty, but it is no tomtom! Let’s face it, the screen is way too cluttered for a driver who can barely look at it while driving!
- Price: 500 to 1000 dollars…or 369 dollars…well…
Great new tablet from Nokia running on a 250 Mhz ARM CPU and a Nokia Debian based Linux distribution called Nokia Tablet OS 2005 (version 2006 coming out soon). This thing would be no nicer than say a Zaurus in terms of hardware specs if it wasn’t for the builtin 802.11g WiFi and the GORGEOUS 800×480 touchscreen! Battery life is said to be a little over 3 hours with the WiFi on, and 7 days on standby.
Well, hurricane Wilma caused me much grief this week as it took out the electricity grid for the data center where my web host happens to be located. The generators failed and I had to explain to my company’s management why my dedicated server hosted website was not accessible anymore. This is on a class 5 data center operated by NTT Verio, one of the largest operators in the country! I felt cheated, yet helpless. If these guys failed, how am I to chose the next web hosting vendor?
While evaluating CRM software for my company, I stumbled upon SugarSuite, an open source sales automation package that is frankly far superior in design to SAP’s BusinessOne. It is extremely easy to customize and you can add things like hierarchical user management, or fairly complex restrictions on what users can see and do. Coupled with my half-decent workflow module, I see this as a real threat to the big boys and their over generalized systems.
So I dumped the awesome Mambo for the beautifull WordPress. Why, you ask? Well Mambo is great and all, but I am no corporation or community builder, I just want a page to speak my often empty mind. WordPress does just that and does it in style.