martes, 15 de julio de 2014

News about My Favorite Linux Cats

I am a supporter of two little-known distros that are named after cats: Pisi Linux and GalPon MiniNo Linux ("pisi" means "kitty" in Turkish and "minino" is the same word in Spanish).

What has happened with these two Linux cats lately?

Pisi developers are working hard squashing bugs and polishing the distro for its first release.  The process has been slow, but steady.  Right now, Pisi is 92% ready.  Go, Pisi!!!

Minino, similarly, is baking a new Release Candidate of its Artabros version.  The new 2.1 release candidate will be based on Debian 7.5 Wheezy and will come in two flavors: minimal, (that fits on a CD) and full (that must be placed on a DVD).   The minimal release will include a script which, once the distro is installed, will let you upgrade to full.

I'll wait for both, then...

miércoles, 2 de julio de 2014

A Requiem for Vivaldi and other Thoughts about New Devices

I was struck by sad news today.  My long awaited Vivaldi tablet has become a canceled project.  Too bad!  That was the only tablet in which I could say I was truly interested.

Open hardware seems to be quite a tough goal to reach.  My ZaReason's ZaTab ZT2 is the closest thing to such ideal I own...and it is not even truly open!

Well, I guess I'll have to give up on the idea for the time being and wait for a Firefox OS tablet...

True, there are other open hardware projects.  The Novena laptop project seems to be doing pretty well, but those prices are prohibitive for me.  If I had $2000 to spend on a laptop, I'd go for ZaReason's new Mir 640

Well, I could always get a Surface Pro 3.

No, I don't think so.  Call it cat wisdom. 

jueves, 5 de junio de 2014

Quick News

1- The MX-14 developing team is planning a point release in mid-June.

2- GalPOn MiniNO has released a new version of Alguadaira.  It is now at version 1.2.3

3-  Antonio Sánchez, PicarOS lead developer, is thinking about:
    a.  Adding a new file manager to the distro:

    b.   Creating a PicarOS version for high school students.  Its name?    MozOS!

jueves, 29 de mayo de 2014

Quite a Surprise!

We had a School Assembly today.  Usually, the speakers use a netbook or laptop loaded with Windows 7 (which has caused already several embarrassments and delays) and use MS Office PowerPoint during their presentations.

However, today was a bit different.  When the speaker double clicked his document to open it, I saw an old friend:

That was a delight!  The computer used LibreOffice's Impress to do the job!

Little by little, our university's migration to Free Software is advancing.

domingo, 18 de mayo de 2014

Elive 2.2.2 Beta Is Here!

Yay!  Elive has a new beta release: 2.2.2!

It finally comes with my long awaited feature: an installer!

Gotta download it ASAP to start testing it.

The release anouncement is here.

domingo, 11 de mayo de 2014

The Good Ol' Antivirus is Dead??

According to the Wall Street Journal, Symantec has declared antivirus software dead.  Woah!  That's a pretty strong claim, especially considering that Symantec is attributed the invention of commercial antivirus software.

What's the problem?

Basically, that they got tired of the endless mouse-catching game antivirus is in.  We have to face the truth: malware is usually a step (or many) ahead of antivirus software.

Thus, what they will be doing now is assuming that the computers are compromised to then try to minimize the damage.

This forces us to make a series of interesting observations:

1.  No matter the antivirus you use, your computer will be eventually assimilated into a cyber criminal's network.

Now, this observation is seriously flawed.  First, the main problem is not the computer; it is the OS.  Guess which OS are they talking about (without saying it, of course)?      

2.  If companies will focus on minimizing potential damages caused by malware, that means some damage will have to be done first.

No, it doesn't necessarily mean that, right?  It is about distracting criminals with fake information and knowing how and why they enter a specific computer network.

Well, maybe they could figure out ideas for tightening security so that damages do not occur.  But what does "tightening security" mean?

Maybe  adding new features to their software to help the user?

And why not going a step beyond that and we add features to the hardware, too?

Yes!  We could have something called "Secure" Boot enabled by default "to prevent" breaches!  The problem is that the so called "Secure" boot has never been secure in the first place.  I've seen how computers with that and running Windows 8 have been easily hijacked but not so easily fixed.

Also, "Secure" (I always prefer to call it "restricted") boot is causing a much greater damage than those it seeks to prevent: now you can't even control your hardware but others can.  You pay for hardware and others are the ones who can actually use it.  Of course, they have your best interests at heart.   

Of course, there are alternatives to this.  Why not using a safer OS to begin with?  That could create a truly competitive market that would force Microsoft to get their act together and actually design a secure OS.  Will that be Windows 10, maybe?

jueves, 8 de mayo de 2014

Some Thoughts ...

Recently, I witnessed how a new user of a Linux distro took on Linux developers on a forum because he was unable to automagically use some piece of hardware.  To "prove" his point, he compared Linux to Redmond's OS.

Of course, other Linux users (and several developers) joined the discussion, some to offer help and others to criticize this person's approach.

The whole situation made me think about several interesting disparities:

-- Why is it that when many Windows users cannot set up a printer, they blame either the printer or the computer (hardware)... but when the same happens on Linux, they immediately blame the OS?

--  Why is it that when Windows lacks an important feature (or an unimportant one that they like), they accept it saying "that's how computers are"... but if Linux lacks it, then it is because Linux developers don't think about the regular user?

--  Why is it that when a virus strikes a Windows computer, users blame the computer or the antivirus, but not the OS?  Linux does not get hit by many viruses, by the way.  Last time I got a virus since I switched to Linux four years ago was... Wait!  I've NEVER gotten any!

--  Why is it that when malware takes over the files in a thumbdrive and hides them, Windows users usually blame the thumbdrive and not the OS?  Yes, the files are still as visible as ever if you use Linux!  It is not the thumbdrive, it is Redmond's OS that does not see them!

People should pay more attention to these matters...