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1  Misc / Misc Discussions / Re: The Un-Story on: Yesterday at 10:02:52 am
Not really an un-story, this is more of a missed opportunity and a huge disappointment in Damation.

50 Open Source Replacements for Windows XP

These are some of the best Linux distributions for former Windows XP users and people who have older PC hardware.

This is a three-page grocery list.

There is no useful information in this article that would compel any Linux newbie to replace their current XP install with a Linux distribution.  There are no instructions, no details, no helpful links.  There isn't even a conclusion at the end of this article.

It's a meaningless list of Linux distros and links to their respective homepages.  A brief and amateurish comment follows each link.

48. ReactOS

Unlike most of the other operating systems on this list, ReactOS isn't a version of Linux or BSD; instead, it's a completely new free OS designed to be Windows-compatible. At this point, it's still an alpha release, but it shows promise.

ReactOS is not a viable alternative for anything.  It's been in development for a decade and is still in the alpha phase of releases.  It shows no promise and does not belong in a list of replacement operating systems for XP users.  Cynthia Harvey has done no research at all into this topic.

Readers would be better off going to DistroWatch and using the Page Hit Ranking section in the right-hand column to find a list of 100 Linux replacements for Windows XP.

The editors at Datamation should be embarrassed by the poor quality of this article.  It's definitely not up to their usual high standards of journalistic integrity.   Angry
2  The Linux Operating System / Software / Re: Glabels Label Maker on: April 21, 2014, 09:44:27 am
Going Postal!

You can create US postal bar codes in gLabels for snail-mail.

Objects > Create > Barcode will insert a barcode into your project.

Click on the barcode to edit the code to your desired zip code.  Click anywhere else to deselect the barcode and you are done.

It's that simple!
3  Distributions / Other Operating Systems / Re: Windows 8/8.1 on: April 19, 2014, 10:30:10 am
File this one under:  The Ignorance of the Press.

Microsoft Abandons Windows 8.1: Take Immediate Action Or Be Cut Off Like Windows XP

...But when it comes to Windows 8, it seems the company has a permanently loaded pistol aimed squarely at its feet.

So it fits that just one week on from the launch of ‘Windows 8.1 Update 1’ (the smart upgrade mouse and keyboard users have long awaited) stupidity would strike once again.

“Windows 8.1 Update is a cumulative update to Windows 8.1,” said Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Ben Hunter in an apparently innocuous blog post aimed at IT professionals. Then came the clanger: “It also becomes the new servicing baseline for Windows 8.1, so next month’s security updates (on May 13th, the next ‘Patch Tuesday’) will be dependent on Windows 8.1 Update.”

In English: If you have not installed Update 1 by 13 May then Windows 8.1 will no longer receive security updates until you do. This is your 4 week countdown warning.

That's normal.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It's consistent with past Microsoft policies.  XP users had to upgrade from service pack one (SP1) to service pack two (SP2) in order to receive future updates.

In English, service pack 2 was a prerequisite for all future updates.  That's how it works.

And I have no idea what Gordon Kelly is complaining about here.  These updates will be automatically installed with the routine Patch Tuesday updates, which Windows users are supposed to install as part of their regular Windows maintenance schedule.

As a Linux user, I install updates in Mint 13 as soon as they become available.  As Garfield would say, big fat hair deal!

For many it is no big deal. Just update and be quick about it. But for anyone who chooses not to install every Microsoft update the moment it appears, like mainstream users or – let me think – most businesses around the world who have lengthy validation processes… it is another matter entirely.

That's NOT Microsoft's problem.  That's the stupidity of someone's IT department.  If you refuse to install security updates, on your own head be it.

You don't get the option of selectively deciding which updates to install or not.  You chose Windows.  You agreeded to their licensing agreement and policies.  You paid for this privileged.  Live with it!

Furthermore Microsoft’s decision has terrible timing. It is announced against the backdrop of Heartbleed, a security bug which this month exposed user details on 17% of the world’s supposedly secure web servers. Heartbleed has hit headlines around the globe and made users paranoid about security. Microsoft could not see it coming, but in refusing to give Windows 8.1 users more time in its wake the company looks antagonistic.

It's NOT Microsoft's fault that you can't read and keep up with two stories at the same time.  And 4 weeks isn't enough time for you to do one little automatic update?  Seriously?  Holy crap!  What the hell are you doing for 28 days that would prevent you from doing one update?

It gets worse because Microsoft recognises Windows 8.1 Update 1 has problems. In a TechNet post Senior Microsoft Consultant Steve Thomas confirms there is “an issue regarding Windows 8.1 Update preventing interaction with WSUS 3.2 over SSL connections” and until it is fixed the deployment of Update 1 will be suspended to affected machines.

For affected users who have already downloaded Windows 8.1 Update 1 Thomas says “we recommend that you suspend deployment of this update in your organization until we release the update that resolves this issue.”

Still not a problem for the majority of Windows users. But is there a solution to this problem?  Yes.  You have three options:

Windows update Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 update

There is currently an issue with Windows 8.1 Update preventing interactions with WSUS 3.2 over SSL connections. If you run a local WSUS server you can:

    * Disable https
    * Enable TLS1.2 on the server
    * Wait for an update from Microsoft

I found that information in matter of two minutes.

See also:  Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355) prevents interaction with WSUS 3.2 over SSL

Or you could just download the update directly from Microsoft as a stand-alone file and bypass the problem entirely.

But wait!  There's been an update to this story:

Update: 17.04.14

In an official blog post Microsoft has announced it will be changing the deployment timescale for Windows 8.1 Update 1 for business users. It is scrapping the 30 day window we criticised in this post and extending eligibility for security updates to a more reasonable 120 days.

“As we’ve been monitoring the release [of Update 1], we’ve been actively discussing this new approach to servicing with enterprise customers and listening to their feedback regarding managing the deployment timeline,” said Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Senior Marketing Communications Manager. “As a result, we’ve decided to extend the timeframe for enterprise customers to deploy these new product updates from 30 to 120 days. In order to receive future updates, all customers managing updates using WSUS, Windows Intune, or System Center Configuration Manager have until August 12th to apply the new updates. For those that decide to defer installation, separate security updates will be published during the 120-day window.”

This is a significant advance and while I’d like to see the same courtesy extended to consumers (regardless of automatic Windows updates) I commend Microsoft on recognising its mistake and making this change.

Looks like Mr. Kelly needs to take a tip from Emily Litella and just say:

4  Distributions / Debian Based Distrtibutions / Re: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Available Now on: April 19, 2014, 09:16:52 am
Looks good!

Xubuntu 14.04 Screenshot Tour

Lubuntu 14.04 Screenshot Tour

14.04 is the first LTS to overlap the previous LTS release (12.04 / Mint 13), since 12.04 will continue to be supported until April 2017.

The news services have again been very positive towards Ubuntu's latest offering:

Ubuntu 14.04: Smoother than earlier versions (Gallery)

Hands on with Ubuntu 14.04: The best Ubuntu desktop ever

Ubuntu Linux Has What It Takes to Challenge Windows on the Desktop

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) review: Solid and stable, but no big changes

That's quite true.  The LTS releases are built for stability and reliability, not for experimentation with new technologies.  The short term releases tend to be more cutting edge and less stable, but still reliable enough for everyday use.

Also a first:

Ubuntu 14.04 will power “first commercially available Ubuntu tablets”

But not everyone is impressed:

Hands-on with Ubuntu Touch 14.04: Coming along, but miles to go


Canonical Pushes Ubuntu 14.04 as XP, Windows 7 Alternative

Ubuntu 14.04 is ready for a world filled with high-resolution touchscreens and tablets

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS plays better with high-res displays, forms Ubuntu's tablet backbone
5  Distributions / Other Operating Systems / Re: The XP Opportunity on: April 17, 2014, 10:54:17 pm
Not so cute!  Angry

Buggy Microsoft Security Essentials Update Kicks XP Machines While Down

After more than 12 years of service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Windows XP by ceasing to support the operating system last week. However, Microsoft did promise to keep doling out updates for its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software, including the version that runs on XP, but in doing so, the Redmond outfit only made things worse. That's because the latest MSE update is causing some XP machines to freeze up and run slow.

My wife's XP computer at work locked up on her the other day for just this very reason.  It was running MSE.

Replace MSE with a free AV like AVG or Avast or whatever.
6  Distributions / Debian Based Distrtibutions / Re: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Available Now on: April 17, 2014, 04:57:02 pm
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) Officially Released, Download Now

Canonical has announced that the next version of its operating system, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), has been officially released and is now available for download.

Distribution Release: Ubuntu 14.04

Distribution Release: Lubuntu 14.04

Distribution Release: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04

Distribution Release: Edubuntu 14.04

Distribution Release: Kubuntu 14.04

Distribution Release: Ubuntu GNOME 14.04

Distribution Release: Xubuntu 14.04

Distribution Release: Ubuntu Studio 14.04

Distribution Release: Mythbuntu 14.04

14.04 is supported until April 2019.
7  Distributions / Other Operating Systems / Re: The XP Opportunity on: April 17, 2014, 01:05:08 pm
Microsoft's 'Escape from Windows XP' Game Caps the End of an Era

You can play Escape from XP here.

Cute!   Grin
8  The Linux Operating System / Software / TrueCrypt on: April 16, 2014, 10:25:15 pm
Sloppy but secure: Open source TrueCrypt passes audit

An independent audit of the open source disk encryption utility finds no backdoors, but dredges up other troubling issues.

I use TrueCrypt.

It's not for encrypting individual files.  That's not what it does.  Instead it creates a virtual drive on your system (in your Home folder, for example) of a given size.  You tell it how large.  Then you mount the virtual drive by two passwords: one you create plus your root password (in Linux).  Then any file you place in that virtual drive can be secured once you unmount the drive.

A full step-by-step tutorial is posted on their website.

Ubuntu/Mint users can install TreuCrypt via a PPA by entering the following commands in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stefansundin/truecrypt

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install truecrypt
9  The Linux Operating System / Networking / Samba on: April 15, 2014, 06:09:45 pm
Using Samba to Share Your Linux Folders with Another PC or Virtual Machine

One of the most popular questions long-time Linux users have been asked is, “How do I create a network share that Windows can see?“, and it’s for good reason. Creating a network share in Linux is a simple enough affair, but your knowledge of pulling off the same trick in Redmond’s famed OS might not help too much.

The best solution for sharing Linux folders across a network is a piece of software that’s about as old as Linux itself: Samba. Despite the fact that the tool is designed to cater to Windows’ SMB protocol, it became a Linux stature long ago. Its tagline is “Opening Windows to a Wider World”, and it couldn’t be more apt for what it accomplishes.

Guides for installing and using Samba are a Dogecoin a dozen, so what I’m hoping to accomplish with this one is to make it simple. I’d also like to provide some unusual examples of what can be done with it, including what can be done from within a Windows virtual machine.

10  Distributions / Other Operating Systems / Re: The XP Opportunity on: April 15, 2014, 05:36:06 pm
85% of Windows XP users say they’re not upgrading, antivirus company finds

Only 15 percent of Avast customers surveyed said they planned to upgrade from XP, even though Microsoft officially ended support for the aging OS last week. Even scarier, 21 percent of customers weren’t even aware that XP was losing Microsoft’s support, and 27 percent don’t plan to upgrade or buy a new PC.

And at this point, it’s probably not worth putting more money into an old XP machine. Only 5 percent of Avast customers surveyed said they planned to buy a new PC.

As of last month, 23.6 percent of Avast’s 200 million customers were still running Windows XP. Since then, less than 2 percent of customers have upgraded, the company revealed.

I would like to know out of that 85% how many were installing regular monthly MS updates.  Undecided
11  Misc / Misc Discussions / Re: Teh Funny Thread on: April 15, 2014, 08:55:55 am
I would watch more golf if this the way it was played.



 Reply #100!!!

Yay.  Smiley
12  The Linux Operating System / Hardware / Re: Web cam on: April 11, 2014, 11:57:47 pm
My wife uses a $5 webcam with Skype that works just fine in Linux.

Newegg lists Linux compatible webcams -- Just search for:  webcam linux.  But almost any webcam should work.

Cheese for Linux is in your Ubuntu repositories.  And may already be installed.

Also in the repositories I found Luvcview:  "luvcview is a camera viewer for UVC based webcams. It includes an mjpeg decoder and is able to save the video stream as an AVI file."

GetDeb has WebcamStudio:  "WebcamStudio helps you create a virtual webcam that can show:

- Your webcam that won't work with Flash site
- Your desktop with your webcam in overlay
- Your desktop/webcam with several video effects
- You in all your glory! Compatible with Flash sites!"

See also:
13  Distributions / Other Operating Systems / Re: The XP Opportunity on: April 10, 2014, 10:31:38 am
Here's a story with a missed opportunity:

A Beginners Guide for XP Users to Switch to Linux

Why should I switch my XP machine to Linux?

Microsoft has ended its support for Windows XP and most of you might not even care but for some of you who do care and understand the complications involved in using a discontinued piece of software, you are in for a change. You can either install already outdated Windows 7, no one’s favourite Windows 8 or you can join the elite group of Linux users by installing on of the many available flavours of Linux.

Windows 7 is not outdated and will continue to be supported until April 2020.

Microsoft will soon be putting the Start menu back into Windows 8.1 with a free update.  This will restore much of the functionality that Windows users have been craving and complaining about since the first release version.

The real problem with continuing the use XP is not security or Microsoft's lack of support, it's more the fact that all the hardware manufacturers will stop providing Windows XP compatible drives for newer peripherals and add-ons (printers, video cards, sound cards, etc.). So after a period of elapsed time, upgrading or repairing your XP system will be almost impossible.

The real issue is hardware.  The best hardware support for newer components on older systems will come from Linux developers.  If you are planning to keep that old computer running for years to come, Linux is your best supported option.
14  Misc / Computer General / Re: Advantage: Linux on: April 08, 2014, 11:07:49 pm
Since April of 2006, no less than 17 versions of Ubuntu have gone the way of the Dodo.  And no one in the press ever made a big deal about it.

One Microsoft operating system, three generations removed, reaches it's long-ago announced end of support day and the media would have us believe that the entire world is coming to an end.


Huge Advantage:  Linux!
15  General / General Discussion / Re: 3D Printing on: April 08, 2014, 10:39:01 am
I want a pizza printer!

A Guide to All the Food That's Fit to 3D Print (So Far)

Because the health and happiness of astronauts is paramount, NASA granted contractor Systems & Materials Research $125,000 to develop a pizza printer. The prototype uses shelf-stable powdered food and oils, offering nutrition while minimizing garbage on board a space vehicle. It first prints a layer of dough onto a heated plate that bakes the dough and then lays down a tomato base that has been stored in powdered form and mixed with water and oil. Last comes a printed “protein layer.”

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