Category: Software Reviews (GNU)


Hello all,

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted anything on my blog, and for that I apologize.

Having gained new employment as a software developer and being approached by Google, I have been extremely busy.

However, in order to give back to the community, I plan to release some code and teach you all how to build virtually anything in Python.
I will be using PyQt as it is extremely rich, easy enough to pick up, and if done right, you can have applications that will run on Windows too.
Obviously you wouldn’t want all your potential customers to have to download Qt and Python in order to get it to run, so I will also show you how to bundle your software up, ready to be installed and used.

So that’s what’s coming up,

Have a great afternoon!

Do you have your phone on silent at work, or have it charging upstairs?
Or perhaps you are listening to music whilst on your computer and don’t see your phone.
Either way, you most likely will be the victim of ‘the forgotten messages’.

Many attempts at resolving this issue have been going for quite some time now.
Usually it involves a server client running on your computer, and a client on your phone.
You know the type, those ugly Java cross platform apps?
Well, they always fall short in my opinion.

Take for example WhatsApp.
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t use WhatsApp.
Yet, despite the huge success and usage numbers, all the apps to show notifications on the desktop never seem to work with Whatsapp.
Instead, the developer adds support for different applications as he/she goes along, so it’s a case of hoping that your favourite app is included.

Well, that’s all changed now.
First KDE showed off a new application called KDE Connect, which would send messages to the desktop.
The problem is, if you are an Ubuntu user, or just a Linux user who doesn’t use KDE, you were essentially left in the dark.

But a new project has just began called LinConnect.
Once again a server/client set up, but this time specific to Linux.
The server application is CLI, but is simply a case of set up and never touch again. Three questions and it’s all done.
The Android application is also extremely easy to set up, and beats it’s competitors by not requiring an IP specifically (though there is an option for it), but scans the network for servers running LinConnect and allows you to connect to it.

But what makes LinConnect all the more special is that it does not limit itself to built in support of Apps, but instead uses the notification bar on Android phones.
This means that any app that gives you a notification on tray, will do so on your computer too.
And what’s more, it uses cache’s of thumbnails for the different apps.
The notifications are then displayed on your computer just like normal desktop apps, but with thumbnails too.
So that Whatsapp picture of your girlfriend will also pop up as part of the notification. Very slick.
If no picture is needed, it will show a picture representing the type of app.

The impressive thing is that when I have received an email through my phone, and the notification is displayed on my computer, I find it difficult to see whether it was sent as a notification from my phone, or Evolution.

The project is in very early development (Alpha), but I wouldn’t let that discourage you, as I have yet to encounter any bugs.

Check it out on the Play Store: LinConnect

You can install the client from there (it’s free)

And you can install the server for on your desktop here: LinConnect Server

Say goodbye to those messages you might have missed, but also realize that the excuse ‘oh sorry, I didn’t see your message’ is no longer applicable with this. Either way, have fun.

 

A few years ago a picture was leaked from a Microsoft course for businesses selling computers.
The picture showed a slideshow regarding Linux. It gave mythological ‘facts’ about the limitations of Linux compared to Windows.
Mentions of no MP3 player compatibility, no DVD support and Word documents support, there was also the lack of games.

Nowadays we know that MP3 players work perfect and DVD support is most often out of the box.
But gaming seems to still be a reason for many people to not use Linux.

I want to introduce those new to Linux to the choices they have for gaming on Linux.
It’s actually a lot easier than you may think.

So, let’s see what options we have!

Native Linux Games

By native we mean games that were made for Linux.
These usually come in the form of .deb files (or .rpm if your using a RedHat based system) a .bin file or a .run file.
The good side to this is that there are no difficult steps to follow, and you know they run optimally on Linux.

The downside to native Linux games are…well…the real popular games are mostly absent in this list.
But really, that depends on what type of person you are.
I have to admit, I play games neither for their graphics, nor their popularity.
If a game has a great story, or is just great fun to play, then I’m very interested.

If you are a person who absolutely loves first person shooters. Then Linux is heaven for you. As the amount of FPS in the Software Center and websites for Linux is rediculous.
But, if you are a person who wants to keep up with the latest trends in games, then you will find Linux somewhat lacking.
But, there are other options for you.

Wine

Wine stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator.
And what it does not do (since so many people seem to think this), is to emulate Windows a bit like VirtualBox or VMWare.
What it does is convert the signals it gets from programs or games to native Linux equivalents.
This makes sense, since many report that many programs and games designed for Windows run better through Wine. This would not happen if it was an emulator since it would require the Windows system resources which run on top of the Linux ones, making it do more than Windows alone, and therefore run slower.

However, Wine runs Windows apps on Linux, that’s the point.
But before you get all excited, this does not mean that whatever you throw at it will work.
There are a few programs and apps that simply do not work.
Luckily for you, Wine has come a long way since it’s beginnings and there is a far greater chance in something working, than not working.

The upside to Wine is that it’s free, works for games and programs alike and has a fantastic community behind it.
They have an AppDB(Database) which means you can search for a program or game on there to see if it works well or not.

The downside to Wine is that it’s not for the faint hearted.
Whilst it’s not rocket science and if your quite comfortable on Linux it’s not too difficult to use, for new beginners it’s quite difficult.
Also, it’s fairly bare boned.
Especially with games you will find that you need to install extra components such as DirectX in order to get games to work.

Crossover Games (Non-free)

If you are willing to pay money to get games to work with minimal trouble and some commercial support for when it’s not working, then maybe Crossover Games is something worth considering.
Crossover Games is an application built on top of Wine.
It allows you to select a game from a list within the application (not all games are listed) and follow three small steps and it will set up the game with the correct version of Wine, all necessary drivers or additional programs it needs, and without needing to grab headache tablets your game will be set up ready for you to play.
You can also visit their site (all links at the bottom of this post) and if you find a game you want to install, there is a possibility you only have to click on a button on the page and it will install it for you. It couldn’t be easier.

The upside to Crossover Games is the ease with which you can get games to install and work. You don’t need to worry about using Wine, installing extra components since it’s all done for you. You also get great support, and because you pay, it’s like any commercial support, it is answered as quickly as possible.

The downside to Crossover Games is that it costs money. Although there is a demo available, the fact that it’s based on Wine (which is free) and you basically pay to ease it’s use, makes you want to think again. Don’t get me wrong, support is good, and I have used it happily for sometime, but if you already paid for the game, you might not want to pay for having to play it.

PlayOnLinux

PlayOnLinux is like Crossover Games in it’s aim, except it is built by a community rather than a company, it doesn’t have commercial support and it’s free.
PlayOnLinux is also built on top of Wine, and makes installing games a breeze.
You select a game from the list, and it will install the correct version of Wine, necessary drivers and components and makes it ready for you so you can just play the game rather than trying to get it to work.
Sometimes you will have a game that isn’t listed, and if you find it works on Wine through their AppDB, you also have the option to install it manually.

The upside of PlayOnLinux is the ease with which you can install games, and it’s great community support. The list of games is big and always growing with the latest games on the list. I also find an upside that you can remove the shortcuts on your Desktop if you like since it makes a nice list of the games you have installed available when you open PlayOnLinux, and you can just click on one and then click on Play to start the game.

The downside to PlayOnLinux is it’s support. Some installers are not always clear or sometimes outdated. However 99% of the times it works perfectly.

My recommended choice:

Since native Linux games are obviously the best choice, I’m going to exclude that from my choice as it would always be number one.

Out of the remaining three my choice would be:

PlayOnLinux

I have found myself using PlayOnLinux for all Windows games that work.
If a game is not in the list, I install it using PlayOnLinux manually just for organisation.
When a game is listed it’s a case of Next Next Next Finish and you can’t argue with that.
Whether you play World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Call of Duty series, Fifa or anything else, you will find PlayOnLinux perfect!

Regarding non-listed games:
If you have a game and it’s not in the list, don’t dispair. Go to the Wine AppDB in the link at the bottom and check whether it works, and on which version of Wine.
Then using PlayOnLinux in the games list at the bottom click on the link for non-listed programs and set up a new prefix (a prefix prevents one messed up app from messing up others), select the version of Wine to use, what extra components you need and then install the game.

Please note that the version of PlayOnLinux in the Ubuntu Software Center is almost always out of date, so please use the link at the bottom to use the newest version.

Links

Native Linux Games

www.lgdb.org
http://www.penguspy.com
http://www.happypenguin.org/
www.humblebundle.com

Wine

http://www.winehq.org/

http://appdb.winehq.org/

Crossover Games

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxgames/

PlayOnLinux

http://www.playonlinux.com/en/
http://www.playonlinux.com/en/download.html

A while ago I finished a product called AppBackup.

Now you are probably wondering what that is.
If you have AppBackup on your iPhone, don’t get mixed up, they are no way related, it’s just a coincidence in the names.

AppBackup takes the frustration out of reinstalling or installing new Debian based systems.

How many times have you installed Linux on your computer, or had to reinstall it, and spend hours reinstalling all those great applications you love?

Now, we have Ubuntu One, Dropbox, and many MANY cloud storage systems to take care of moving our personal files from one place to the next.
But seriously, no backup for our applications?!

That was something I had to change…introducing, AppBackup.

What AppBackup does is use your apt-get repository to create a list of your installed applications, then sends that to Dropbox.
Then, it creates a cronjob to ensure this happens hourly, so you don’t need to do it yourself.

Then when you format/reinstall/install debian on another system, AppBackup will take the list from your Dropbox, and reinstall alllllll those applications*.

Does that make things easier or what?!

And come on, it’s award winning, that counts for something surely?

*Only able to reinstall applications that have been installed using repositories. If you have used third-party repositories, please ensure they are added to the list before restoring your applications, otherwise it will not install those packages.

So without further time wasting;

You can download AppBackup in two formats, just a single python file, and a packaged Debian file for easy install.

Please note, that after it has been installed, it will need to be ran for the first time to set up.
You will also need a Dropbox account and the Dropbox app installed for this to work (available from dropbox.com and the Software Center).

For the python file: http://db.tt/Fp5stRKR

For the Debian package: http://db.tt/4iAkyBLX

 

Enjoy!

Do you watch the Linux Action Show?

Then you may already know that Bryan Lunduke’s company Radical Breeze has for quite some time released a product called ‘Illumination Software Creator’.
If not, go check it out at radicalbreeze.com

Recently a competition was held by users of Illumination Software Creator to create a great piece of software where there would be 3 winners picked.
Seeing as though I had built AppBackup using this product, I felt it would be brilliant to enter it into the competition.

The competition was huge and a lot of great apps had been entered.
AppBackup won as the best utility.

But, the Linux Action Show was recording their 200th episode with guest speaker Richard Stallman to make it extra special.
What really threw me however, was that even when the competition was briefly mentioned, AppBackup was mentioned in great detail and enthousiasm.

So, if Bryan can get so excited, then so must the rest of you!

In some of my other other posts I gave some real criticism towards Unity in Ubuntu 11.04.

However, I retract all that after getting a glimpse at Ubuntu 11.10.

Here I hope to give you some insight into the upcoming new release of the Ubuntu OS.

Unity redefined

A lot of changes have been made to Unity since it’s earlier release and these changes have definantly made a difference.

The icon in the top left hand corner has been replaced by an Ubuntu launcher at the top of the Unity bar which acts the same as before.
Because of the Compiz integration working nicer than ever, it allows for transparency of both the Unity launcher bar as well as the top bar, which is a nice change and allows customization once again.

Launching the Ubuntu menu shows sharper transparency and looks far more professional as a pose to it’s predecessor.

The most noticeable difference has to be the new additions to this menu.
It now has three small icons at the bottom of this window:
One for searching through files shown by a file icon, One for searching applications, shown by a rather confusing icon depicting drawing tools.
And the last is for searching through your music collection which, when Banshee is open, clicking on the song you searched for will automatically play, or the album will play the entire album.

Global overview

The same global overview

 

 

Music

Searching through music, songs or albums

Search through Applications

Searching through installed and suggested apps

 

Tray changes

The same icons are still there in the tray, except for the power button changes, which I will discuss soon.

One change however is the messaging icon which is much longer and boasts all the possible messaging applications. You may wonder why there is both an option for Evolution and Mail, this is due to the replacement of Evolution mail for Thunderbird, while calenders are still handled by Evolution. More about application changes in the App changes section of this post.
Unfortunately I cannot provide a screenshot for this as it won’t allow me to take a screenshot of a tray icon.

There are the usual options for changing chat status, although this doesn’t seem to correspond to the actual status at the moment.
The usual option to launch Empathy chat is also listed below there.
Underneath that you have Evolution along with the options to write a new message and contacts (eventhough Thunderbird has become the standard email client?)
Directly underneath is the Broadcast option for Gwibber which has been completely re-written and the option for broadcasting a new message now comes up with a handy box in the center of the screen (you either love it or hate it)

Broadcast a new message

Broadcasting a new message to Twitter, Facebook and Identi.ca

Underneath this you have Thunderbird along with another option for creating new email and contacts.
Following that you have the Ubuntu One account overview which now looks better

Ubuntu One

The Ubuntu One window

And finally the Clear option, which to be honest I don’t know what it does, but the menu looks good and I don’t want to clear anything.

The power button icon has now got a lot more options and looks very good to be fair.
The first few options allow you to change display settings, System Settings, Startup Applications and Checking for updates.
It also lists your connected devices. In my case it also lists a printer which I don’t have connected (perhaps it shows it by default), but having inserted a USB it did not add it to the menu.
And below that you have the standard options for power off, log out, suspend, hibernate and restarting.

Ubuntu Software Center

For those who payed attention to the screenshots, they may have noticed a different icon for the ubuntu software center.

That isn’t the main difference though.
Although the software center does exactly the same as it did before, it now looks much better and professional.

Ubuntu Software Center

All new Ubuntu Software Center

 DeJaDup

This is the default backup tool for Ubuntu 11.10, and for those who already use(d) it, it needs no introduction, for those that haven’t, read on.

If you have an Ubuntu One account, this backup tool is amazing. You can select which folders you wish to backup and when. It backs it all up to a folder in your Ubuntu One account and you don’t have to worry about a thing. I never backed up my information due to a partition I have for that very reason, but with DeJaDup, that is a thing of the past.

The backup utility

The backup utility

Software Changes

Here are the changes in software with Ubuntu 11.10

  • Evolution has been replaced by Thunderbird for main email client
  • Banshee has replaced Rhythmbox as the default music player
  • Dejadup is the default backup tool
  • LightDM to replace GDM login screen (not implemented yet to my knowledge)

My thoughts on Ubuntu 11.10

I installed Gnome 2 and then Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 11.04 in order to like the OS.

Ubuntu 11.04 looked childish, unprofessional and rough around the edges.
You needed to really do twice as many things to get something done than with previous releases and I hated Unity.

Ubuntu 11.10 has totally changed my perception on the matter.
It looks slick, professional and everything is within easy access. Unity really is a love or hate thing, but having been a serious hater, I actually love it now.
From the menu’s to the tray icons, to the professional apps, it’s a major improvement.

I will be using this as my main OS and I couldn’t be more pleased. A great job

One thing I need to say however, Beta 1 is just that, a beta version. And you notice it. There are a lot of bugs that still need straightening out.
Some are error messaged about an unexpected close of an application when it hasn’t closed. Banshee will hang often, and I mean OFTEN.

But considering this is a beta release, it’s actually very smooth and I am able to do exactly what I need to do, sometimes I may have to kill Banshee but I’m sure this will be straightened out when it’s released to the public. And if you happen to try the new Beta release, then it’s probably wise that you start Banshee, and minimize it right away, then use the music search and it shouldn’t give you any problems. If you need to kill it, simply go to System Monitor and kill it there.

If you are uncertain of using an unstable system then wait for the release, and trust me, it is well worth your wait.
If you want to try it however, make sure you have Ubuntu 11.04 and have all updates done.

Then hit Ctrl+F2, and type in ‘update-manager -d’ (without quotes) and you will get see a message saying that a new version of Ubuntu is available, click that and let it’s do it’s work.

Great job Ubuntu, great job!

 

 

 

How many friends of yours, or even yourself, are constantly having debates about the evil that is Microsoft and Bill Gates (I know, he’s no longer at MS yet people still go on about him)?

Well, I think it’s time to leave that behind and focus on a more evil and direct threat.

If you have been living under a rock, or perhaps your not the type of user who checks out on news related to the world of Linux or Open Source, well, I will update you.

A few months back, Sun Microsystems, the company behind Java, OpenOffice.org, MySQL and VirtualBox to name a few, got taken over by the company named Oracle. Now I imagine you will know who Oracle is, and that they too have a database system.

For many of us, we looked a little uncomfortable at the deal and wondered what they had planned. And then it happened.

An almost immediate assault on many of the great things that Open Source has brought to us had occurred. And not mildly either. Let me tell you exactly what is going on and see how different this threat is to the one we all seem to think Microsoft has.

Firstly, Microsoft may be evil in their way of business practice, but let’s face it, we are the ones that are making a big deal out of them. They have never really done anything so terrible to directly assault us. The worst they have done is made their own software and technology only available to their users. In war talk it means the battle with Microsoft was more like a cold war which was fought on the Microsoft lands.

Now Oracle.

Rumours have surfaced about the future of MySQL, at the time of writing these are just rumours but if it is true, we are looking at perhaps paying for MySQL or that it will seize to exist. But now for the facts:

The fastest growing mobile platform at the moment is Android, if sales continue to go the way they are, then it will not be long until Android is the number 1 OS on a mobile device. But here comes the problem. Android uses for pretty much everything Dalvik, which in easy terms is a kind of Java programming. And Java as we know is now owned by Oracle. Oracle claims that Google’s Android breaches 7 patents that now belong to Oracle, including Dalvik.
The rediculous part of that affair, is what Oracle is trying to achieve. Oracle has stated that they are looking for a large undisclosed amount of compensation, and also for the discontinuation of Android OS. In other words, they are trying to kill off Android.

It doesn’t end there though. The future also looks grim for OpenSolaris, and due to all these attacks on the Open Source world, it has split the OpenOffice.org community and developers in two. And who can blame them.

What Oracle seems to have forgotten however, is that in the world of cyber war tactics, the Open Source community is not an army, they are a guerilla force. They fight back, and they retaliate, and will find ways to punch holes into their enemy and keep there products open source. Even if under another name.

Therefore I wish to give a special mention the amazing Document Foundation.

These amazing people have decided to stand up against Oracle and their evil ways.
How? Easy, they have taken OpenOffice.org, given it a new name, changed it here and there to stay in the legal boundary and thus ensuring it stays open source.

The new office suite is called Libre Office. Libre means free in french, as in free liberty.

Now usually, I would recommend programs for you to try out if I find one, and provide you with a great new software. This time however, It will be slightly different.

Are you passionate about Linux and the Open Source community?

Does this new disgusting way of attacking the open source way make you feel sick?

Then do what I do. Remove OpenOffice.org (it bears the Oracle brand, so it’s been raped anyway). And install Libre Office. Don’t worry, LibreOffice does exactly the same as OpenOffice, and looks the same, same compatibility your used to. You lose nothing.

Firstly uninstall OpenOffice.org with the following command:

sudo apt-get remove –purge openoffice*.*

After which you click on this adress if you use X86: http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/testing/LO_3.3.0-beta1_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz

or this one if you have 64-bit:

http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/testing/LO_3.3.0-beta1_Linux_x86-64_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz

After this file has been downloaded, extract it to a location that is easy for you to access, for me this was my Downloads folder.

In a terminal again, type the following(Replacing Downloads with your saved location:

sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/en-US/DEBS/*.deb

This will install the debian files on your system.

Once this is installed enter this command in the terminal (Once again replacing Downloads with your saved location):

sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/en-US/DEBS/desktop-integration/libreoffice3.3-debian-menus_3.3-9526_all.deb

Once this is done, you can find your LibreOffice in Applications > Office.

Hands up those who need Windows programs but have not found a Linux equivalent?
Hands up those who have tried Wine but found it either didn’t work or didn’t know what to do?

Well, Wine 1.2 has come out and was shipped with Ubuntu 10.04 and updated to Release Candidate 4 at the time of this post.
And what an amazing version it has become.

I am personally someone who tries to and in most cases successfully finds, Linux equivalents to Windows applications.
It is fair and well using wine to get photoshop working or Microsoft Office, but how can Linux ever progress if it’s products don’t get taken seriously.
The only real time I use wine is when I wish to play games, mostly MMORPGS.
It was always a ‘fingers crossed’ game when doing this, since most times the application just did not work at all.

And then came Wine 1.2.

Since using this version of Wine, I have not had a single piece of software or game fail to work.
Now before you start to comment with lists of games or softwares that do not work, I do some software simply doesn’t work.
My point is not that, it is to point out that Wine has matured immensely and I wish to thank the Wine developers for their hard work.

If you don’t know how to install software in wine, well it couldn’t be simpler:

1) Ensure you have Wine (preferably 1.2), if you have 10.04 the repositories are set, otherwise go to the Wine HQ website and follow the instructions.
2) Through the terminal, cd to the directory of the windows installer file(.exe), so if it is on the Desktop simply enter ‘cd Desktop/’
3) Type ‘wine’ followed by the name of the exe file for instance: ‘wine abcdef.exe’
4) Just follow the instructions and once it is done, click on Applications > Wine > Programs

To check which version of wine you have installed, simply type ‘wine –version’ in a terminal.

If this is still a little too much for you, and you wish to find a simpler installer, why not take a look at PlayOnLinux, a Linux installer for games and applications through Wine.

Well, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Lucid Lynx since everyone was talking about it.

First things first, the look and feel.

Well, gone are the days of Ubuntu brown…yes, you heard it right. After all those years of the same old brown, Ubuntu has decided to refresh the desktop with a new ‘Mystic Purple’ colour.

There is also more integration between IM/social networking and the desktop. The MeMenu which sits nicely next to the clock allows you to send messages to sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc. And the applet from 9.10 which caused Evolution and Empathy to fall under an envelope dropdown box is still there, only now more involved with these services. Such an example is that it keeps updated with coming emails and IMs.

Rhythmbox has been fitted with the new Ubuntu One Music Store. This like iTunes has the ability to download (by means of payment) the latest and greatest hits.

The Ubuntu Software Center now has 2 more noticable updates: Firstly it has the ability to connect to 3rd party repositories, this means that you can also browse through the Software Centre for packages provided by for instance GetDeb.net. Secondly, it also has a tab for ‘Featured Software’, this is basically a recommended list of software. But what also interested me was that if you search for libdvd in the Software Center, it now has a package for DVD, mp3 etc support. That is in my opinion a great feature.

The boot time is worth noticing, there was a big mention in boot time reducing since 9.10, but it’s with 10.04 that I am noticing the difference.

To finish off, for all those NVidia users but Opensource fans, there is a new opensource driver which works well in my experience.

All in all I am very impressed, and can quite honestly say that this is the most promising and dare I say ‘sexiest’ version that Canonical has released.

But as with any pre-release, there are some downsides which some I am sure will be resolved by the release date, and others that I think will most definately not be resolved.

Firstly, as a big fan of Facebook, and twitter, I could not wait to try out the MeMenu. It was like the little toy in a Happy Meal. The idea is like this:

Gwibber is a service for these social networking sites. You set up your account through there, and this is directly connected to the MeMenu which has a small input box where you can type a quick message and hit enter, then Gwibber sends that on its way to the appropriate site.

Now, many swear that this works beautifully, others have problems with the twitter service and some others with Facebook. I had a problem with all! I did not get a twitter timeline, could not send messages to twitter, and as for Facebook, setting it all up was straightforward, and checking my applications on Facebook showed that I was connected to Gwibber, but Facebook would not be added on Gwibber itself, meaning I could not interact with it. So for me (and many MANY others, the MeMenu is useless right now). I know that this is an issue that shouldnt take much to sort out, however here it gets complicated. The MeMenu is a product from Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical ie. Ubuntu, but it depends entirely on Gwibber, a product of Gwibber, not Canonical. So eventhough Ubuntu has a lot of pressure on itself to get this fixed in the next 11 days, Gwibber has no such deadline and the question is, can they be pressured to get it fixed in time?

Then there is the issue of Empathy, we all know the switch from Pidgin to Empathy was a controversial one. And although I was extremely opposed to the switch due to the boring interface and lack of features, they seemed to have changed a lot to make it more appealing. But one feature which in my opinion is a must has simply got to be the ability to block either spam messages, or unwanted people. And empathy does not have support for this. If they had included the abilities for plugins, then I’m sure I wouldnt have had to mention this because someone would have wrote one by now.

So summing it all up:

Ubuntu 10.04 currently looks like one mean, powerful, fast and exciting OS, it has all the features we want. It looks sleek and sexy, has a new feel to it. Is so easy anyone can use it and makes all other versions of Ubuntu look outdated. However the bad sides to it currently are that it relies to heavily on Gwibber which is far from stable and may put a lot of people off, and it relies heavily in the IM department on Empathy, a good and strong client which simply lacks everything except for the main messaging features and some voice and cam.

Lets just hope that this resolves itself before the final release.

Please note that the moment there are any improvements on any of the features, that I will update this blog.

The computer used for this test was:

MSI CR700 laptop, Nvidia GeForce Graphics, 350Gb HDD, 3 G RAM, Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 2

EDIT: On Monday April the 19th, the day after writing this blog, everything began to work…I am able to add a facebook account now, and the MeMenu and Gwibber now integrates with Twitter and Facebook without problems. In fact, it works nice, real nice!

EDIT EDIT: Okay, this will not become a running commentary, however it is good to point out the exact unpredictable nature of the current state of Gwibber and in turn the MeMenu, unfortunately Gwibber has decided to not respond to Facebook or Twitter again.

I have just finished a project at school involving the creation of an auction website together with Access programs.
But at school it is generally known that I am about as anti-Windows as you’re going to get and due to the restrictions that were placed upon this project, I was dismayed at the changes I had to make in order to participate.

We were forced to use MS SQL over MySQL and the use of Access over other techniques.
Before long I found myself having to install Windows XP on VMWare in order to run MS SQL and Access.

But now I wish to share with you a developing project I have just stumbled upon, which may be of interest to some of you who are not as restricted.

GNU/Linux now has a program which does much of the same things as MS Access does.

Please check out The Kexi Project, a fantastic open-source alternative.

According to the website, this program boasts the following:”Kexi is a Free/Libre and Open-Source integrated data management application, a long awaited Open Source competitor for products like Microsoft Access. Kexi can be used for creating database schemas, inserting data, performing queries, and processing data. Forms can be created to provide a custom interface to your data. All database objects – tables, queries and forms – are stored in the relational database, making it easy to share data and design”