Friday, October 26, 2012

Project Cloud Tab

This is my idea of next generation tablet please excuse me for my bad english.

I was imagining how much tablet could be cheaper. Of course the cheapest conventional tablet is Akash Tab. But the problem is that it has the software that is heavy on its processor. To overcome this problem I thought of the sitution where a low end computer do a heavy job . So I could thought of OPERA MINI mobile browser and thin clients.
Now, Opera mini preformats the pages in their servers before displaying it in the browser . The result is you could view the web pages properly that would have not been possible in a conventional way secondly, it lowers the data usage.
Similary, thin clients have a little processing power of their own they depend on the server to which they are connected.
So, A Cloud Tab should be like a thin client and running opEra mini like software. Therefore it should have a processor and RAM similar to Akash or can be little inferior. We dont need any local memory for storage data all we need is a BIOS/ROM chip that would just start the device and connect it to main server. But the tab should have good Wifi/3G/4G connection so that it could boot wirlessly from the main server. We also dont need any bluetooth for file sharing locally it can be done in cloud from the interface. The OS should be like a browser and the the main server will responsible for processing and everything else. As far choice of software only free software wll be used.
The Tab part over There should be bunch of servers from where tab will boot. There will be an account for an user on starting and logging in the device it will give that users his/her personalised settings and interface. Another advantage of this system is a single tab could be shared or leased . Now if a person wants to save anything in the tab it will just be copied to server account of the user thats not something new.
The main disadvantage of this device that the service provider have to set up additional servers and good connection in order of a few Mbps that will be huge inital investment but the tablet will cost very less to end user in order of few thousand rupees or the service provider even could lease the device for a few hundred rupees and could charge for network and servers. But, if cloudTab is mass produced it will be eventually become cheaper than Akash. But to for cloud tab to be commercially successful it should also have good security and data encryption also it should tightly integrate with some social network that will respect users privacy yet functionall. Also there is a need of many apps.
Thus, this tablet is not only about developing cheap tab but also cheap yet fast net connection , application and thus a whole GNU TAB ecosystem that will empower the education and digital freedom of many.

Potential uses

It could be used in college campus or educational institutes and teachers and parents could control how and what should the student read write or access over the net.
Army could issue to each soldier to help him navigate, send commands and better situational awarness but if the device is lost it cannot be used ny enemy because doesnt have any local data or so and beside the device was cheap.
As a cheap ebook reader.
Now my biggest question how could i make this device ? I don know where to start from . Every suggestion will be welcomed.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Xubuntu 12.04 LTS After 6 months

I have been using Xubuntu 12.04 ever since it was released this april. Now its October and the newer version of Xubuntu is going to be released sooner. Now since Xubuntu is an long term support release therefore  I have to see how its performing

My OS information is

When I recently installed  Xubuntu on a friend’s computer it straight give 321 updates which are basically security and bugs fixes , Mozilla suite upgrade and here there some library upgrades.
But still Gimp is at 2.6 and XFCE at 4.8 which is little bit old.

Stability wise the system is absolutely stable and responsive. Therefore for those who needs a stable and modern operating system without much fuss Xubuntu 12.04 is highly recommended.

Thunar File Manager
Firefox 15

Friday, August 17, 2012

PCLinuxOS - So cool ice cubes are jealous

PCLinuxOS 2012.06 another member of GNU/Linux family but people who really care about free software shouldn't read this further because its contain many of non-free software and drivers.
So, people who are still here, PCLinuxOS is mandrake based distro and its a rolling release. It comes in KDE, XFCE, LXDE and Full Monty Desktop(KDE with lots of software and nice themeing). I have tested the LXDE  edition and till now I am having fantastic experience.
The iso is 641 MB the installation is fairly simple, boring and a hiccup(I have to restart installer once after selecting the drive). Then get into default desktop which is at 800x600 resolution then I have to manually set it to 1024x768

One thing I liked about PCLinuxOS is the  PCLinuxOS control center is like something you find in windoes .

As you cam see from the screenshot it has nicely categorized menus its much convenient. There is also a button on task bar called Configure your Desktop to configure desktop look and feel.

As far the choice of application comes it comes with a decent selection of apps the media codecs and flash worked out of the box. DeaDBeeF is the music player UMplayer is the default media player. There is also a format convertor.
In office you get Abiword, calibre, Evince ,Foxit(non-free), and libreoffice manger(to download and install libreoffice).
In Internet you get usual Firefox 13 pidgin sylpheed(email client), XChat and gFTP.
In graphics it has GIMP v2.6, gpic, ImageMagick, Xsane(scanning) and LRF viewer.
As far package management is concerned don't ask me its little bit complicated . There is synaptic package manger and installing software from other than official repos is not recommended (Apple like policy ...) although you can install .rpm packages check this.
For Nvidia user there is proprietary drivers and for ATI user there is fglrx drivers also I got realtek Ethernet drivers. One major problem I ran into is connecting through USB 3G modem. I first failed to connect via my NOKIA X6-00 but Huawei modem worked but still there is no Ubuntu like configuration Wizard and I have to figure everything manually.

Conclusion : PCLinuxOS gives you good out of the box experience and you can easily customize it easily. It looks great and also works great. If there is something like Software center it would be better but still everything works fine

PCLinuxOS Homepage

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fedora 17 XFCE

Fedora 17 XFCE is a rather nice GNU/Linux Operating System. For all of you who misses the classic look, feel work flow GNOME 2,  XFCE is a good choice. The Live session was smooth and then I clicked Install on Hard Drive and then Anaconda fired up and installtion was smooth yet boring.

The default wallpaper is the fireworks wallpaper that you are familiar with. The XFCE themeing is vanila but after a few minutes tweaking it was looking great. Stability wise rock solid stable. But it rather contain a rather boring set of applications. Music Player is Pragha and Media Player is Parole which will play none of your mp3 because it doesn't contain any propietary codecs. In Internet you get Firefox but you also get Midori which is yet another avatar chromium(I guess). You also  Claws mail , Remmina , Pidgin, transmission etc. In office application you get Abiword and Gnumeric.

Overall the system is stable with some rough edges

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Adventures To XFCE

I have tested so much on myn computer that it has began to show symptoms of slowing down. So, I decided to get an GNU/Linux with an light weight desktop environment to suite my old PC. Now my PC is an 2005 LG MyPC with 2.66 GHz single core Celeron processor, 512Mb of  DDR RAM and 40Gb HDD I also have a partially working LG DVD RW therefore I have to boot using a pendrive thats, pretty old but running OK. I have also MS XP SP3 installed on it .

The choice of light weight desktop environments I have narrowed down to Lubuntu, Bodhi Linux, Sabayon 9 XFCE, Fedora 17 XFCE and Xubuntu 12.04 . Except Xubuntu and Fedora I have to download the OS es. My previous installation was Xubuntu 12.04 which liked very much but if I reinstalled it will give me straight 200MB download therfore I skiped it next is Fedora 17  Beefy Miracle but the XFCE edition I would like to say “The beef is half cooked”. From my previous installtion of Lubuntu-desktop on top of Xubuntu has made me feel that it is fast and
light, proprietary audio and video codecs are installed by default but it somewhat feels like old Ms 98 days so left it also. Bodhi Linux is good choice with E17 DE but but......... My Last choice is Sabayon 9 XFCE it is based on Gentoo its modular and simple(It is what I have read in Internet). It will be nice expedition to Sabayon because its different to what I have used before plus all the good internet reviews .Therefore I decided to download 1.48 GB iso.

One thing I must tell you what I fear is downloading OS from Internet because my Internet connection TATA GSM 2G gives me average 12KBps and that takes really long for an OS to be downloaded. So, I thought to upgrade to 3G . Now when it comes to choice of 3G we do not have to many choice especially when we are in tight budget. Thus I picked up Reliance 3G for Rs 450 which give me 2Gb X 3Months data dowloading and uploading . I started downloading uusing direct http download using Firefox’s download manager it was downloading at a rate of near abou 200KBps near about 60 MB Firefox notified Download completed. Ugh! it Failed Now I grabbed a torrent file and opened it using Transmission and if by magic it Shifted the Gears and picked up where firefox left with an average speed of 350KBps.

The Download completed now I prepared a bootable USB thumb drive using Unetbootin. The USB drive is an old 4Gb Moaserbaer drive. Next I rebooted and setiup the BIOS to boot from pendrive first and then I selected the ‘Default’ from unetbootin menu and it took me to a nice and sober desktop with a sabayon logo. It has full Libre-office suite,Midori web browser, but no email client( are you kidding 1.48 GB and no mail client ). then I clicked on the Disk logo called install it on a hard drive. The installer which some of you might be familiar is Fedora’s Anaconda installer but at the end installer hanged up and I have to reset and finally
Grub rescue>
I again booted the pendrive and choose ‘installer’ from the Unetbootin menu and this time the same Anaconda conquering the whole screen started  up and successfully completing the installation. Now when I rebooted  setting the bios there was GRUB with sabayon background booted up in login screen there  entered username and password and Whoos.  STOP!!
NOTHING HAPPENED no error or whatsoever the same login screen. I again entered username and password this time also nothing happened , I tried several times without success then I entered  user:root
and set desktop from default to XFCE
and this time I entered into vanilla XFCE session and then again I booted the pendrive and this time I booted live CD and then clicked many times installer without any success I rebooted and choose text based installer and it started a semi-graphical installer almost same as Anaconda installer and I successfully logged in as sourav but without any ‘GRAPHICAL DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT’ only BASH. Frustrated I went to my MS XP and created USB bootable drive with a new pendrive  and This time everything went smooth and sccessfully logged into xfce the default themeing is nice and smooth.

Exploring the Sabayon it looked like Gnome2 or MATE  although it was XFCE 4.10 the latest and greatest. The mp3 and Videos played smooth like never before on any Linux I have tested.
Then the problems started I clicked the mail icon a small window popped up and asked me to choose the default mail client but sadly no mail client was there. Midori is a light browser somewhat trying to look like chromium and crashed a lot . Therefore I went to ‘RIGO’ application browser and downloaded Chromium straight from Italy. Rigo gave some funny notifications 'All the applications are updated, cool.’ when i accidental tried to stop it said 'HEY, HEY, HEY, Rigo is installing. The first run was OK but 2nd time it refused to launch. then I tried something terminalish I typed
emerge firefox
error no file found for “firefox”

Then I referred the Docs it was documentation of its eternal papa the Gentoo on which Sabayon is based and it was enormously long and techie and seemed like enormous mountain  neither I have the courage nor time to read it all . Therefore I grabbed the new USB drive and loaded it with Xubuntu 12.04 and  fired it up after installation i updated and with my new 3G connection in only 20 min  I got ready to run I also installed  XFCE 4.10

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.10
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

And After a few minutes of tweaking I got my favourite looking Desktop.

Lessons I learnt

Whenever upgrading or trying  a new distro always backup data and keeping a reliable booting media.
Sometime bad pendrives or CDs can break things into frustration.
Sabayon 9 XFCE is a  good distro but not at all for average users.


I concluded that my pendrive is faulty by retesting with fedora and ubuntu. Once in ubuntu a funny error popped out “Installer Crashed: The Hard disk is old or keep it in a cooler place.”
Sabayon 9 XFCE is good but Rigo is not upto mark thats not a problem an average user is not going to use it and Experienced user don’t need it


I dont guarantee corectness of the data because I am also an average user.


This doucument is in public domain is free to modify or redistribute for any purpose.