Being the computing enthusiast that I am, I’ve always loved trying different operating systems. I think it’s essential to not “bury” yourself in a single ecosystem. I’ve owned and/or used computers running Apple II OS, AmigaOS, DOS, BeOS, MacOS, OSX, Windows (3.11 through 8) and various flavors of Linux. And while it’s easy to hate Windows, I find it to be quite stable nowadays, and certainly not the worst OS out there. What is incredibly bad about Microsoft’s offering though is its out-of-the-box experience.
More Windows’ biggest problem may be its out-of-the-box experience
Two weeks ago, I finally bought myself a new laptop. The Lenovo Yoga 2 was the first ultrabook to offer all the specs I wanted at a (very) reasonable price. It’s taken me a while to properly set it up, but the Yoga is now ready to replace my trusty old Asus UL30A. The Lenovo has some pros and cons, so I thought I’d write about them.
More Lenovo Yoga 2 13 first impressions
That’s assuming “Sputnik8” is a guy. A couple of days ago, he (or she) posted a series of Windows UI concept designs on The Verge. They’re chock-full of elegant new interface ideas, yet they clearly build on existing Microsoft design conventions, most notably “Metro“. Despite (possibly unintentionally) using Ubuntu’s default color scheme, they show a possible direction for Windows. And I love it.
More Dear Microsoft, please hire this guy!
There’s been a lot of controversy over Apple’s decision to ban Flash (and Java for that matter) from the iPhone since the day it was released. Now, with the iPad about to hit retail, there’s been more debate on whether this was a technical decision or not, and whether it’s a severe limitation for the devices, or a blessing. Being both a Flash developer, an iPhone OS user an open source advocate, I thought I’d weigh in on the conversation.
Before I get started though, let me point out that I’m not a fan of Flash. I think it’s a real shame that there’s no open, official standard that lets web designers do the things Flash can. Adobe has the web in an awkward stranglehold right now, and I’d love to see that change. But the reality is that Flash is an integral part of the web today.
More My thoughts on Flash and the iPad
I came across this post on Smashing Magazine yesterday, and while it offers some fine reasons for web developers to use a PC, I thought it missed a few too. Most of these venture into web designer territory somewhat, but I wanted to mention them nontheless.
More Why web designers should consider using a PC too
I know I’ve been writing about Ubuntu for a while now, but the truth is I’m still pretty new to Linux. I’ve only been using it for a year now, and with Linux’s uneven learning curve (by which I mean that it’s very easy to get to a novice/intermediate level and it gets steeper from there), I’m really not an expert.
One of the things I’d not done before was upgrade from one version to the next. Under Windows, upgrading is such a recipe for disaster that I chose to do fresh installs of Ubuntu when I moved from 8.04 to 8.10. But as it turns out, upgrading is another thing that works really well under Ubuntu.
More Kudos to Ubuntu for a great upgrade experience!
Microsoft pounded itself on the chest last week saying over 96% of netbooks now use Windows. This made me somewhat sad, because I was hoping these little computers could be the break Linux had been waiting for.
The first couple of netbooks all had Linux pre-installed. Unfortunately, Asus chose to go with a custom Linux distribution for which it has yet to release its first update. No Firefox 3, no Flash 10 and no easy way to get additional software. Except for the easy to use interface, they came up with the worst example of what Linux can be. But if there’s one thing Linux offers its choice. It is my opinion that Ubuntu is the most user-friendly Linux distro out there, and I highly recommend giving it a go on your netbook.
More Five reasons to put Ubuntu Linux on your netbook
My father-in-law just stopped by because his new computer was giving him trouble. He was about to return his brand new Vista laptop because he found himself unable to configure his email accounts. The problem? He couldn’t type an ‘@’. It turned out he was running into the same issue that kept my own dad from succesfully typing in his WPA key when he bought a new notebook. The same issue that my wife’s laptop unboxing a frustrating one too. Windows was expecting a Dutch keyboard.
More Windows Dutch keyboard trouble
Two stories caught my eye this week. On tuesday, and to the horror of most of its users, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 will ship in six different versions. Most of which have pesky little limitations.
A day earlier, Linus Torvalds said in an interview with Distrowatch that having ‘hundreds’ of different Linux distributions is ‘absolutely required’. So where most Windows users would have greatly preferred a single version of ‘their’ OS, Linux’s founding father sees no problem with having hundreds. I have to admit that I tend to agree with the Windows community on this one.
More Six Windows versions bad? Try hundreds!
I came across this article on Ars Technica a while ago while looking for ways to improve Flash performance on my two Ubuntu machines. I wanted to see if there was a way to get YouTube clips to play properly. Both my 1 GHz Pentium III and the 1.6 GHz Atom have trouble with Flash videos and especially it seems with Flash’s full screen mode.
Ars tested how much CPU load YouTube caused on some pretty interesting machines.
More What’s up with Linux and Mac Flash performance?