Showing posts with label Open source. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Open source. Show all posts

Thursday, 15 July 2010

OpenSUSE 11.3 - First Impressions

Thanks to my 10MB Virgin Media connection it only took a few hours too long to download, courtesy of their traffic management system.

As always I went for the 64-bit DVD version and after checking the SHA1 I quickly burnt it to a DVD+R disk.

If you have used the previous version of OpenSUSE, you will be quite familiar with the installer. In fact it is the same but with different graphics.

I am not surprised that the installer has remained the same because it is quite hard to improve something which does an excellent job, OpenSUSE has the best installer of any distribution I have used with some great options for the more advanced user.

Installing OpenSUSE 11.3 is very quick, in about 10 minutes it was all done.

Since I am a KDE fan, I chose to install KDE. OpenSUSE 11.3 comes with KDE 4.4.4 which I have already been using in Gentoo.

After logging in, I must admit I do not like the default green wallpaper but I do like the performance.

The system feels quite nippy and is a big improvement over 11.2. In fact I am quite amazed with this release. Opening a few applications such as Firefox, OpenOffice, Kaffeine and browsing through folders with Dolphin was reasonably quick.

The sluggish performance I felt in OpenSUSE 11.2 seems to have disappeared and I installed Gentoo in favour of 11.2 for this very reason.

As it happens I wiped out my Gentoo install in order to try out OpenSUSE 11.3, question is do I put it back?

For now I will continue to evaluate OpenSUSE 11.3, I have only been using it for a few minutes but already feel it is going to be a good release.

Time will tell if any hidden monsters await and I will be keeping an eye on the OpenSUSE forums to see what horror stories may surface.

OpenSUSE 11.3 with KDE 4.4.4 (Oxygen Theme and a nicer wallpaper)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Google restricting the internal use of Windows over security fears

Browsing the news today, I came across this very interesting story.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7792685/Google-bans-Microsoft-Windows-on-office-computers.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1283075/Google-bans-employees-running-Microsoft-Windows-security-fears.html

http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/828644-google-bans-windows-for-internal-use

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d2f3f04e-6ccf-11df-91c8-00144feab49a.html

Interesting because not only are they casting even more doubt over the security of Windows but also demonstrating that Windows does not have to be used in the workplace, for office use.

For many years Windows has continued to be the dominant and dependant operating system. Dominant because of its dependency, an addiction that is slowly fading away.

Of course Google have other motives for making such a drastic and potentially IT changing move, as repeated in the above stories they are competing with Microsoft on many fronts. Ranging from search engine, mail, browser client and more recently with the development of their operating system Google Chrome OS.

So yes it is a good PR stunt but I am not concerned about that.

I believe Linux will never directly take over Windows but it will take over people, causing us to adapt and change the way we work.

The move by Google is a clear indication of that.

For years already Linux has been used by home users and continues to gain popularity. In fact I can say with confidence that there are many people who can live without Windows and happily use a Linux distribution. They just do not know it.

Security is a big concern in today's society, especially with many users resorting to online banking and other e-commerce transactions.

Windows is failing to meet our expectations when security is concerned. I myself feel more confident accessing my bank account online using a Linux distribution, so do others.

Funnily enough I know my Windows PC is uncompromised but it has become a standard security practice to use Linux to check my bank balance.

Personally I think Google are doing the right thing and I fail to see why anyone would object.

Google are taking reasonable steps to ensure the integrity of their network remains uncompromised or is less likely to be compromised.

As a user of Google provided services such as Gmail, Blogger and Picasa, I want the peace of mind knowing that Google will do whatever steps are necessary to ensure my data is safe.

Others should follow the same steps, especially Government bodies given the financial state of today's economy. I'd rather my tax contributions went towards paying for better NHS care than Microsoft volume licensing fees.

I wonder just how much money is spent by all UK Government and Public bodies on Microsoft licensing fees?

If the UK Government is serious about reducing the UK debt, open source software is the way forward.

"According to some in the open source industry, the shift from proprietary standards could save the government £600m a year"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7910110.stm

Reading articles like the above from the BBC News indicates a positive reception from the Government to the idea of open source software but I do not feel it is been pushed enough.

Any serious and responsible UK Government should be at the forefront of pushing realistic and viable money saving concepts.

Instead we are seeing privately run companies taking the lead. Companies like Maplin Electronics Ltd, who currently use CentOS throughout their company, more notably on their instore till system.

Achieving results and saving expense is business sense, does the UK Government have any?