Though I haven’t gotten it to work yet, it is nice to see that Valve is working on SteamVR for Linux. I’m looking forward to trying it out. At the moment it looks like it’ll take a bit of tinkering, but it should be usable in the future.
Ian Murdock, the person that founded the Debian Linux distrobution of Linux, and the creator of the apt-get program has passed away at the age of 42. It is a sad day when a person that has made a popular distro of Linux passes away. I use Ubuntu as my primary distro, which is based on Debian, and has worked very well for me over the last several years.
As of now, the cause of his death is unknown, his twitter account announced that he’d be commiting suicide, though some people believe that his account was hacked. The account has been deleted since the tweet was posted.
To read more on this, click on this link. You can also click here to view a webcache of his tweet. It’s worded very … strangely. I can see why people are thinking that the account was hacked, though it’s a possibility that he did also make it himself as well.
There are some more… interesting tweets from him as well, click here to read about them. Evidently he had a run-in with some angry police, ended up in the hospital and ended up having to post bail for ‘assulting a police officer’. This story keeps on getting stranger and stranger.
This isn’t a very nice to end the year, hopefully there will be better news coming soon.
I recently got a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a very nice tablet computer. The interesting thing about this tablet is the fact that unlike my Android tablets, or iPad, this is a full computer, able to run desktop applications. (Even Ubuntu Linux can be loaded on the blasted thing!)
Part of the reason I wanted to get a Surface is the fact that I’d like to resume working on my webcomic, Age of the Elements, and as far as I can tell, this device is similar to some Wacom tablets. The pen works very well, I had heard that the surface used Wacom tech for the pen, but that was only in the original and Surface 2 tablets. The Surface Pro 3 uses a NTrig pen instead. At first I was skeptical, the pen requires a AAA battery to work, unlike Wacom pens, and it has a lot fewer configuration options than my older graphics tablets (Wacom Intuos and Bamboo Fun) which can be troublesome.
So far I’ve used Photoshop Elements 7, GIMP, and the Krita image editors on the device, all of them work well, though GIMP has a bug that makes the image update extremely slowly, though that was fixed by downgrading some of GIMPs .dll files. They should really fix that soon… So far I’ve taken a liking to Krita, though it has a mildly annoying issue where it will scroll up or down randomly when drawing (Probably a configuration issue I believe…) All of these applications detect the Stylus properly and have full pressure sensitivity, which can be tweaked via the ‘Surface’ App, or in the art applications themselves. It is very nice not needing to carry any extra equipment around when I feel like drawing, I just need to take this out and start.
The type keyboard is surprisingly nice. Not as nice as a good mechanical keyboard, but given how thin the keyboard is, it is a pleasure to type with. It disconnects from the device fairly easily, but won’t just fall off, as the magnet that holds it in place is very powerful. The on-screen keyboard is also nice, but nothing to write home about. It works about the same as the on-screen keyboards that my Android devices and iPad have.
I can see why Microsoft designed Windows 8 the way they did, Windows 8 Apps work very well, I haven’t installed any start-menu replacements, as those would actually make life more difficult than the standard w8 menu. They really should have done more work to the desktop interface though, as some parts are too small to use easily without the stylus, or a mouse.
The kickstand is also a interesting part of the device, it can go to a very low angle which is useful for drawing, and the keyboard makes it difficult to push around when flipped under the device which is very nice while drawing.
Well those are my experiences With the Surface Pro 3 so far, I’m going to keep on using it, it has some faults, but it’s good enough for me to use it in place of my standard laptops in most situations.
So, within the next few years, you could see a new version of Windows on all of the computers at the local computer store…
Microsoft has officially unveiled some key new features of its forthcoming operating system. The next-generation OS, which may or may not be called “Windows 8” (its “internal code-name”), delivers a completely re-imagined user interface, with a heavy emphasis on touch-based functionality that takes a hefty helping of inspiration from the Windows Phone UI.
I don’t download many programs from random websites, as Ubuntu has a large repository of applications that are legit. I do reccomend being careful on where you download applications from, only download from places that you trust.
For me it also helps that most viruses are made for Windows, and thus won’t work on Mac or Linux (though I have heard of a few Mac viruses recently too…)
A group called the Raspberry Pi Foundation is working on designing a computer that’s the size of a USB stick…
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity Registration Number 1129409 which exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing.We plan to develop, manufacture and distribute an ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children. We expect this computer to have many other applications both in the developed and the developing world.
I wonder how this new version of Ubuntu will work, I haven’t had time to get it running on one of my machines, and that testdrive feature only allows ~ 15 minutes before it logs you out, and as far as I can tell, I cannot try it again.
I’m planning on using the new Ubuntu in a VirtualBox Virtual Machine before I change any of my main machines, as I need them for business.
As I said, I ran the online Ubuntu yesterday, and it looked nice, although it was quite slow, that can be explained with the fact that my network isn’t as fast as I may have thought…
A lot has changed in this version, the main change is the fact that it doesn’t use the GNOME desktop anymore, but a newly developed environment called Unity. Unity seems to have a base in the old GNOME, and as such, some of the interface features haven’t changed much from the previous version of Ubuntu. Other changes include, Maximised windows have their controls move into the top bar, and the top bar also has a Global Menu. Very few of the Ubuntu applications still show the menu on the window anymore, but a few do still (All Wine applications, Libre Office, and it appears that QT/KDE apps may not use it.)
All in all, I’ll need more than fifteen minutes to test it out to get a full opinion on the new version of Ubuntu. It looks nice, and a lot has changed. Though I’m fairly sure that I’ll have to disable the global menu, I have a dual screen machine, and if I have to go back to the main screen to select from the menus, well it would not be very fun…
Conical has added a new feature to it’s website, you can try Ubuntu before you download it, and see if you like it. (You can also do this while downloading) I know that I’m going to try it out, I’ve heard a lot of good, and bad about the New Ubuntu.
You will have ~15 minutes, depending on your network speed, the slower your network, the less time you’ll have, as you will have to download some software on the first run, I had about 13.5 minutes on my first run. I’ll be making a short review post later…