Archive for February 5th, 2007

Excellent Linux laptop

Now, here is a very nice laptop running Ubuntu at a pretty good price! It even comes with Bluetooth, it has Firewire/S-Video ports and an Intel card (which is a good thing if you want to be fully forward compatible in the future with the Beryl/AIXGL stuff). What I love most about this laptop is its lightweight nature, at 4.3 lbs. The only things missing is a line-in, an on-board microphone for Gizmo/Ekiga/Skype VoIP and an integrated VGA web cam (for use with Ekiga). Other than that, it’s really da bomb!

Random stuff…

* The GPE project launched a GPE Phone sub-project. A clever move, as the PDA market is dead in favor of smartphones. However, their current alpha build is disappointing (I tried it). Yes, it’s alpha, but it feels a lot like the MS Smartphone story: they had a PocketPC interface and then they had to find a way to shrink and adapt that interface for their smartphone edition. The result was atrocious in terms of usability. Same goes for GPE: they should have started more “cleanly” rather than trying to move a few widgets around. The phone market is not the same as the PDA one and it requires a different interface that it can be used with only a few softkeys and one-hand navigation.

* I met a guy in-the-know the other night and he assured me that there won’t be any open source or highly-tested/optimized Linux driver for the nVidia consumer cards, because Linux’s desktop market has been stack at 2-3% the last few years and no one wants to pay nVidia to fix the driver (they would probably do it for the right price). He specifically said that the currently released desktop driver is simply a “byproduct of the Quadro drivers”. NVidia is very interested in the professional 3D Animation Linux market (which flourishes after the demise of the SGI IRIX) and they are getting paid well to do good Quadro drivers. Additionally, he said that (at least in USA) users who are leaving Windows are mostly going to the Mac platform rather than in desktop Linux, so there is not a strong incentive for nVidia to work for desktop Linux. Of course, this is nothing that we didn’t already know (it’s pretty much public information), but hey.

* I tried XFce 4.4 over the weekend. Consumes considerably less RAM than Gnome, but it is not polished. There are a number of inconveniences that I personally would not be able to live with on a daily basis. I emailed the XFce guys about it, hopefully some of them will be fixed for v4.4.1 so I can write a less-than-bitchy review.

* If there is one thing I don’t like about US sports is that the American people are getting all psyched about games between US teams instead of international games. This does not happen in any other country. For example, when your country is in the world’s final of football/soccer with another country, this is the one huge event compared to the country’s internal champions league final. To me, this shows how Americans are living within the constraints of their own country and they have not learned to embrace the international community as much as they should have. And sports is a great example of this. Heck, most Americans don’t even know where China is on the map.

* I love the song “Flathead” by the Fratellis in the new iPod ads (check the ad on the left, it’s better than the one on the right hand side).

* We ordered the complete series of the “Lone Gunmen” on DVD. Also, we ordered the X-Files movie and two Madonna concerts, including her newest one.

* My ciabatta seems to have been a hit last Saturday with our friends. I will bake some more today for my JBQ.