Posted by: macstevejb | February 19, 2008

aMSN with anti-aliased fonts-Ubuntu Gutsy

I came across a great little script which can be run in Gutsy to create a smooth looking aMSN.

It can be downloaded here

You simply save it in your home folder, then open a terminal window and type:


You will see a whole list of data appear in your terminal and the process can take up to 10 mins but fear not, you will be left with a really great looking aMSN installed on your machine!

Thanks to Vuen over at the Ubuntu forums for this little gem.

Posted by: macstevejb | February 17, 2008

New Mini-Laptop

Following on from my previous comments regarding the Asus eeePC, I have come across another mini pc gadget from the British manufacturer, Elonex called simply the “One”.
With a low price tag of only GBP 99 it will be interesting to see how well it sells after the launch date planned for the end of February.
Apparently aimed at schoolchildren, more information can be found here
Posted by: macstevejb | February 17, 2008

Asus eeePC

6702_asus-eeepc-01-open-mainmenu.jpgI’ve heard some great things about this budget mini laptop. Apparently it’s selling like hotcakes right now here in the UK and consequently there are few places where you can actually buy it over the counter. Of course it runs on linux, albeit a paired-down specialised version of Xandros, however. hackers have made available other special versions of linux like a version of xubuntu (eeexubuntu) tailored especially for this piece of hardware.

At around GBP 200 for the most basic version the price is hard to beat.

A great website for all matters pertaining to this incredible little piece of hardware can be found at:

Posted by: macstevejb | February 16, 2008

My First Blog

linux3.pngThis is my first entry so bear with me and I apologise in advance for any mistakes made here. I will get better at this.

My entries here will be predominantly centered around matters relating to OSS/Linux. This is an exciting time for OSS supporters. The recent introduction of Microsoft Vista is quite possibly the best thing that could have happened for Linux advocacy. Many Linux distributions have come of age and can certainly compete hands down with anything else currently available. It is certainly now a viable alternative to that other excuse for an OS.

Now let me say right now that I am no Linux zealot, neither am I what could be considered to be an expert in any way. I am neither a developer or programmer, just someone who loves using Linux and being part of the incredible open source community.

I have been using Linux for almost 10 years now and today’s distributions have made incredible strides, beyond any recognition of those early distros I started out with at a time when I was embarked on a pretty steep learning curve. It took a while to get out of those awful Windows habits and learn a new way of doing things. It wasn’t easy to start with, but then it was as if everything just fell into place with Linux and from that moment, there was no looking back.

Most of what I have learned has been self-taught, support is abundant and forthcoming and there are unlimited resources from which to refer. The community is always there to help (through online forums, websites, newsfeeds and IRC chat rooms). On a more local level, there is the LUG and where I live, it is very proactive with regular meetings and advocacy sessions and there is a dedicated IRC chatroom and active mailing list.

So there is always help at hand.

I maintain that if we can just find ways and means of weaning people away from their Windows mindset and show them what else is out there, then the battle is already half-won.

One great enabler here is compiz-fusion (window effects) which is now an integral part of most popular Linux distributions. Initially, if you can show people some incredible eye-candy to catch their interest, then the subsequent task of reeling them in isn’t so difficult.

In other areas, the “Linux Effect” is beginning to roll and gather momentum. Look at what happened with Walmart and the budget Everex Desktop Pc running the Linux g-OS distro. Currently, the Asus eeePC is consistently sold out because of demand and popularity. Hardware vendors such as Dell, Lenovo, Acer and others have begun to sell models of their desktop/laptop units pre-installed with Linux.

People are becoming disillusioned with paying a high price for an operating system which, at best, is barely capable, and at worst is a lumbering, resource-hungry leviathon which can only begin to work effectively with a high spec, top of the range pc.

I am sensing a distinct sea-change with Linux adoption. Although I dont think 2008 will be the year of the Linux desktop, that year is fast approaching….


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