miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2015

Adding Screenlock to PicarOS Diego

This is the method I followed to add the screenlock function to PicarOS Diego 2015.  Since PicarOS uses LXDE, I could find my way to do it.

1. Replacing the Screensaver:
a-  Replace MateScreensaver with Xscreensaver (I used Synaptic for adding Xscreensaver).
b-  Make a file called “Screensaver.desktop” with Leafpad, add this as its content:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=xscreensaver -nosplash

c-  Set its permissions and make it executable (With right click / properties).
d-  Save the file as root in: /etc/xdg/autostart/  (I used PCManFm as root)
e-  Open the Startmenu (the cat footprint), go to Preferences / Desktop Session Settings, and tick “Screensaver” in the list of the tab “Automatically Started Applications”.
2.  Making a Screenlock file:
a-  As root, go to /usr/share/applications and make sure you have the Screenlock.desktop file. If not, make it and add this as its content:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Lock your screen

b-  Set its permissions and make it executable.

3.   Adding Screenlock to the panel:
a- Right click on the panel and choose “panel settings”
b- Choose the tab “Panel Applets”, find the last “Application Launch Bar” from the currently loaded plugins list. Then press the button “Preferences”

c- You must see in the panel to your left the button “Shutdown.” In the list of installed applications to your right, open “Accessories” and look for Screenlock”.
d- Select ScreenLock and press “Add” (from the buttons in the middle) to add it to the panel on your left, where Shutdown is and use the button “up” to move it above Shutdown.
Although the process was pretty long, it was not difficult.  I guess there must be a better way to do it but I'm glad I could find one at least.

PicarOS Diego 2015: My Impression so far

PicarOS Diego, a derivative of GalPON MiniNO aimed at children, is simply the best system for kids.   It is packed with all kinds of tools for education and leisure, and it also works as a full production system for adults.  I've used it countless times in my classes and my students are always amused and impressed by the visual design of this friendly OS.

My only two problems so far:

1.  VLC refuses to display .srt subtitles.

I've tried all I've read on the Internet to no avail.  I think it is a bug in the specific version of VLC that PicarOS comes with.  Fortunately, SMPlayer solves the problem, so I'll be using SMPlayer for the time being.

2.  There is no lockscreen feature.

To me, this is a very necessary function.  I know that I can always leave my session, but that is not useful if I am working on something and I have to leave my computer on while leaving for a moment.

Fortunately, I could solve that issue.  The steps for enabling Screenlock were not difficult, but they were quite a few.  I'll post the method later, when I get to my PicarOS system.

Apart from those two issues, I must say that I'm very happy and satisfied with this OS.  PicarOS is an impressive system!  

domingo, 18 de octubre de 2015

Linux for Children at Its Best: PicarOS Diego 2015 Is HERE!

Great news! PicarOS Diego, a special remix of GalPon MiniNo aimed at children, is here in its version 2015!

The changes have been many.  You may read them here.

I cannot say much right now because I am downloading it.  The ISO is 3.2 GB so it will take a bit.  For the time being, this part of the novelties caught my eye:

  • Updated launcher to create our own custom PicarOS LiveDVD with just one mouse click.
  • It includes a program to recover deleted files from memory cards, USB flash drives or hard drives damaged or accidentally formatted files. It is very easy to use and very powerful, because you can use three different engines and merge results.
Who says this OS is just for children?  I've found it extremely powerful (and now I'm eager to try those new features above)

Later on, I'll be posting again.

Thanks a lot, MiniNO and PicarOS devs!  You are the best!

jueves, 8 de octubre de 2015

Multiboot Fun!

I bought yesterday the Humble Bundle 15 because all its games are available for Linux.

The problem was that while trying to install one game, my system warned me that I was running out of space.

Fortunately, I have a lot of unallocated space on that hard drive...at the end of my seven partitions.  (Yes, seven!  And I use each one of those systems!)

I decided to move some of the unused space to my gaming partition, but to do that I had to move 5 partitions to the right...and among those was the partition that loads GRUB.

Last time I did something similar, I messed up GRUB and my laptop would not boot; thus, I tried to be more careful.  I replaced my current GRUB with the one of the first partition. Then, I moved the empty space to the left, one partition at a time, until it was next to the partition I wanted to enlarge.  I then resized the partition, but I did not use all the unallocated space (just in case).  Finally, I replaced GRUB with the one I had before starting the whole experiment.

Fortunately, everything worked.  I understand that was a risky operation and that seasoned users would have a lot of much better methods.

Well, even if I am not so experienced, I could find a way to do it, and that makes me happy!  :) 

jueves, 1 de octubre de 2015

For Those Who Love Market Share...

September's market share numbers are out.  According to Netmarketshare, these are the figures:

It is very interesting to see that Linux has surpassed Vista.  But where are the "tech journalists"?  Why nobody has mentioned it so far?  Whenever a new version of Windows climbs over Vista, these journalists always blow their trumpets...

Windows 10 climbed from 5.21% in August to 6.63% in September.  A 1.42% gain for an OS that is virtually pushed to most computers does not seem quite good, at least to me.  I'm sure that Windows fans and Windows-friendly tech journalists will see it differently.

Still, Windows 10 must make twice its marketshare if it wants to equal XP's current one.  It seems that the adoption rate of Microsoft's new Trojanwarhorse has not been as fast as they would have expected.