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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

nhaines No (282 comments)

But that's the point. Ubuntu uses the same kernel on both its desktop and server (and phone/tablet) installs. The only difference is the default selection of packages.

about 3 months ago
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Bring On the Monsters: Tolkien's Translation of Beowulf To Be Published

nhaines Re:FINALLY! (94 comments)

Yes, cloying sounds like a word I might use, too. But remember that Anglo-Saxon/Old English poetry was meant to be recited, not read, and alliteration was both a memory aid as well as part of the skill required. The poems do much better in dramatic reading.

I haven't read the story of Arhur past the Kindle preview, but it was compelling. The Lancelot/Valinor connection would have been amusing indeed!

I hear a lot of crticism about Samus Heaney's translation (although I liked what I read). I suspect that Tolkien will be able to strike a very interesting balance the original and a modern form (which was a huge strength of his, as I mentioned). And he did seem to consider the poem in a greater sense rather than as only a linguistical curiosity, so I agree that it's going to be fascinating to see what he makes of it.

about 8 months ago
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Bring On the Monsters: Tolkien's Translation of Beowulf To Be Published

nhaines Re:FINALLY! (94 comments)

Retaining the old poetic forms was kinda Tolkien's thing. Have you ever seen the Lay of Leithian from The History of Middle Earth? It's thousands and thousands of lines of rhyming alliterative verse.

Tolkien's mastery of the English language stretched to Middle English and Old English as well. Not that other translations of Beowulf aren't good, and not that we don't have a far greater understanding of Old English now than Tolkien did, but Tolkien is guaranteed to have rendered the poem into Modern English which is both powerful, flowing, and evocative while retaining the original poetic form and meaning without being stilting.

I can't wait!

about 8 months ago
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Ubuntu Touch Port-a-Thon

nhaines Re:There's not much worth porting yet (48 comments)

Why would you expect that? It's a developer preview with the API and SDK frameworks so that developers can start testing their applications on the actual devices instead of an interface simulator on the computer. They've been nothing but clear about this since they announced it in January.

The "proper" Linux port will be finished in time for Ubuntu 13.10.

about 2 years ago
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GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss

nhaines Re:Unity wins (535 comments)

On the other hand, I have a fully updated Ubuntu 12.04 and I can Alt-Tab between Firefox and LibreOffice just fine (I just checked).

Sounds like a very annoying bug, but not a design decision. I wish I had a solution but because I can't reproduce it I don't have anything to offer. You may want to report the bug in the Unity bugtracker on Launchpad.

more than 2 years ago
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GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss

nhaines Re:Unity wins (535 comments)

Except that Unity is absolutely the worst kind of horror: unrepentant horror. They refuse to acknowledge that they've done wrong.

They haven't. The Unity desktop manager works just as it is designed to do, with a simple elegance that maxmizes screen space for your applications and a very useful Alt-` and Alt-Tab switcher. In addition, new users understand and can use the system quickly. When giving presentations to college students and other non-Linux users, the reaction has been "Oh wow, that looks great" every single time. Even my dad said "wow, they've really been polishing Ubuntu, haven't they?" the first time he saw Unity.

I work in a company with a strong Linux element, and while ubuntu is the preferred distro, nobody runs unity.

This is a feature, not a bug.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Unveils Nexus 7 Tablet, Nexus Q 'Social Streaming Device'

nhaines Re:Why is the Nexus 7 so... crippled? (261 comments)

Good news! There's no way an astronomy app would ever use the camera to identify what you're seeing.

They use GPS to determine your location and then the on-board accelerometers to determine device orientation, and then they show you what's on the other side of the phone based on that.

more than 2 years ago
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The Ups and Downs of Being a Twitter Fraudster

nhaines Re:Its disgusting (101 comments)

(I'm being vague enough in my post here that I'm comfortable that she won't track down this post and connect the two.)

Sure, until God rats you out again. ;)

more than 2 years ago
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Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Won't Fit On a CD

nhaines Re:Just leave LibreOffice off (488 comments)

You boot into a Live CD first and install from there for two reasons:

1. This is a computer that has never has Linux installed on it and you can find out really quickly if it's likely to have its hardware supported.
2. You can use the computer while installing. Especially when older machines can take 45-60 minutes, it can be really nice to have a Web browser or music player available.

I remember my old Slackware CD from 1995 having ctetris on VT2 and how fascinating that was since Windows had no similar concept and how convenient it was for a 15yo, considering installs took a good 90 minutes. Having the Ubuntu Desktop CD be a live CD also makes it a very powerful system recovery tool, and that's worth it too.

I don't agree with the complaints that the alternate install CD is "too hard", although I definitely appreciate the considerably higher user experience provided by the current graphical installer. This is especially important now that Windows Vista and 7 do the same.

about 3 years ago
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Consumer Tech: an IT Nightmare

nhaines Re:Not many people want you to support consumer te (533 comments)

I don't expect you to support it, and most others don't either.... It'd be nice if you could spend a few minutes helping me to figure out how to make my email work on the thing, fixing any server related issues in the process.

This is the definition of support.

about 3 years ago
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Linux 3.1 Released With Support for the OpenRISC CPU

nhaines Re:Active Direcotry Support (165 comments)

Okay, those are all important things but nothing you described has to do with the kernel.

plus I want me Email client to have full Exchange 2010 support.

And did you not want to download your email client as a third-party application along with that? But the graphical framework, the desktop manager, and the widgets framework will all be third-party apps as well.

The kernel takes care of hardware support and basic I/O such as file systems and things. Everything else is a "third-party" app.

more than 3 years ago
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I get most of my books...

nhaines Re:Yay! (283 comments)

My favorite thing about buying a Kindle book, for example, is that I can then read it on any of my computers, either of my Android phones, or my Kindle e-reader. That convenience has been very enjoyable--especially since I don't bring my Kindle to a lot of places but I always have my phone.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion, Updates Air

nhaines Re:First Download? (453 comments)

Not everything you wrote makes sense, but I'd like to address some of your concerns. :)

They make a USB version for purchase in the store.

Having used Ubuntu for awhile now I really appreciate the Apple way of doing things. A few complaints about ubuntu:

  • when the version of my four day old local copy of the repository was not correct, the GUI offered no help, it just wouldn't work;
  • the GUI for apt-get doesn't let me refresh the local copy of the repository, forcing me to us the CLI, sigh;

I'm not sure what you mean by the GUI for apt-get. Ubuntu doesn't strictly have one of these although it has a few programs which fill the role: Ubuntu Software Center, Update Manager, and Synaptic. Ubuntu Software Center doesn't have a way to update the repository listings but Ubuntu will check for updates once a day if you're on the Internet so this should be automatic. That's not to say the feature wouldn't be useful. The other two programs have fairly clear methods for updates. I'd argue that Synaptic is the true front end for apt-get, and it's very comprehensive.

  • the Ubuntu package manager is crustier than the Mac package manager, i.e. the apt-get for unison is way out of date, the Mac Ports version is newer;

This has nothing to do with the package manager but with the Ubuntu repositories. This is probably something that can be fixed in in Debian and Ubuntu. It is annoying how some software lags behind. Sometimes PPAs (personal package archives) that individuals add can help with this but these can be risky as they aren't vetted like the rest of the OS.

As for sshd, it doesn't enable remote root access by password as Ubuntu ships with no root password.

GUIs for server daemons aren't unified because you can pick your favorite software package and use it. This gives you more power and choice with the drawback of needing to know how each package works. I disagree with your premise that a [system services configuration] GUI that doesn't support every possible package just shouldn't be shipped. I think it makes more sense to start with core functionality that's stable, ship what you have, and improve it rather than not ship or work on something at all. If the GUI tool proves unsuitable for your purposes, then it's easily ignored until such time as it is.

The "Ubuntu GUI" is more of a way to use the standard desktop stuff, not to administer a server. So unless you're referring to server administration tools specifically, I'm not sure I agree with your opinion that Ubuntu would be better off as a CLI-only OS.

more than 3 years ago
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I get most of my books...

nhaines Yay! (283 comments)

First vote!

I love paper books but ebooks are so handy... I keep reference books in print and light reads electronic.

more than 3 years ago
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Are Streaming Media Players a Passing Fad

nhaines Re:Yes. (367 comments)

The WD TV Live HD Media Player does not contain the necessary hardware to support Netflix and some other commercial content providers, unfortunately. Happily, most of the other features of the WD TV Live Plus and even the WD TV Live Hub in many cases have been brought back to the WD TV Live where possible. As for Netflix Canada support on the WD TV Live Plus and WD TV Live Hub, this is supported and should be fully operational.

Western Digital KB 6612: NetFlix support in Canada for the WD TV Live Plus and Live Hub

Disclaimer: I am a technical support auditor for Western Digital.

more than 3 years ago
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Ubuntu Unity: The Great Divider

nhaines Re:unity (729 comments)

Actually, there's an Ubuntu 6.06.1 LTS and 6.06.2 LTS, and 10.04.1 LTS and 10.04.2 LTS as well. Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS comes out on July 28th.

The LTS releases are supported for 3 years/5 years on the desktop/server, so the CD images are rerolled with updates every 6 months.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Canonical the Next Apple?

nhaines Re:problem is, Unity is a disaster (511 comments)

It does take a little getting used to. I still tap Super to bring up the Dash and then start typing away, but for casual browsing, well, I'm hoping there are improvements to be made. :) I don't think Unity is confusing at all. In fact, after using it for about two months I really enjoy it--although I really did have to give it a try and it's only been the last 3 weeks where it's really felt solid.

I don't see anything wrong with the GNOME 2 desktop with panels, but between Unity and GNOME Shell I definitely greatly prefer Unity. But what I'm most grateful for in Linux is that the desktop environment and window managers are all decoupled from each other and the OS itself so that we really do have as much choice as we're willing to configure.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Canonical the Next Apple?

nhaines Re:problem is, Unity is a disaster (511 comments)

Who the hell thought it was a good idea not to have a decent easily accessible menu with all your applications?

That'd be the Applications Lens that comes up when you press Super+A or click on the application lens icon in the Launcher?

more than 3 years ago
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Reminiscing Old School Linux

nhaines Re:Linuxconf (539 comments)

I never had the pleasure of using it. However, making things easier in Linux isn't "dumbing down" the operating system. It's simply making things more accessible. Done properly, the fancy GUI stuff just snaps together with the existing CLI and config file stuff and then you get to choose the most appropriate way to manage and configure your system. That's a win for absolutely everyone.

And that's what will keep Linux competitive--the ability to meet novice computer users alongside having the power and the efficiency for die-hard CLI lovers.

more than 3 years ago
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Open Source Guy Takes the Hardest Job At Microsoft

nhaines Re:We will when MS does. (325 comments)

The first freedom of Free Software is the freedom to run and use a program for any purpose you see fit. If you restrict commercial usage, then that software is no longer Free. In addition, the GPL forbids this type of additional restriction from being placed on the software when you distribute it.

Other software licenses may be more permissive in this regard.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Home Temperature Monitoring System?

nhaines nhaines writes  |  more than 6 years ago

nhaines writes "I have a couple wireless thermometers that report back to a base unit in my living room. I'd really like to set up a system that could track current weather conditions in several locations and use my computer to monitor and record the data. Aside from inside and outside the house, I'd like to measure the pool temperature at surface and bottom depth if that's possible. Is there anything like this available that I could control with my Linux computer?"
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Ubuntu 9.04 Announced

nhaines nhaines writes  |  more than 6 years ago

nhaines writes "Now that the next Ubuntu Developer Summit is gearing up for December 8th — 12th, Mark Shuttleworth has announced the development codename for Ubuntu 9.04: the Jaunty Jackalope.

There are some specific goals that we need to meet in Jaunty. One of them is boot time. We want Ubuntu to boot as fast as possible — both in the standard case, and especially when it is being tailored to a specific device.... Another goal is the the blurring of web services and desktop applications.

I'm looking forward to integration between Ubuntu and Launchpad that will let me branch an Ubuntu package with Bazaar and easily publish my own changes with Personal Package Archive support. Especially now that Launchpad has a roadmap for going entirely Open Source."
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