Linux Mint 9/10

Mint 9 Logo

Mint 9 Logo

Over the years, I have enjoyed and struggled with many versions of linux operating systems (OS). There was a time when the only people who could actually install them were true hard core geeks whom picked up on how to navigate around the OS using the command prompt easily, ummm, sorta. But now with a graphics interface, it has become an OS almost everyone can use.

I say almost because there are still some limitations to certain programs you can run on any linux distribution. As years went by, more and more people began testing the OS waters and reporting what hardware they were able to get to work or not work. Eventually a HUGE list of compatibility hardware was developed and people could see if they could install and run linux. This hardware list included graphics, network, modem, sound adapters, ports in the PC and external devices like web cams, printers, scanners, etc.

There is very little difference in with how linux works and looks. To make it easier for Windows users, they have KDE and Gnome for people that like a completely new look. I personally love Gnome desktop layout and have used it for years.

I use to be a long time follower of Ubuntu Linux, but most recently have fell in love with Linux Mint 9. It was a super easy installation on my tower and my Dell mini 10.1v netbook and seems very fast. Linux Mint seem to come with the right programs I use most including OpenOffice suite, xChat and many others pre-installed allowing me to just turn it on and work or play. Keeping in mind other distributions come with the above as well though some may have to be installed. With thousands of free programs at your finger tips, using the software package manager is a snap to install what you may be looking for.

I highly recommend you try Linux Mint 10, like others it also saw special hardware like my HP 3330 multifunction laser, so I could print without installing old printer drivers (which I have no idea where I put the CD if I need to re-install them on my XP machine lol). Linux just seems to work as OS’s should. Computers were designed to help make life easier, not harder.

Please take some time to learn more about Linux Mint 9/10

Techiegeek

Context and Chat Slang

The biggest problem with any text chat is how people will read or miss read what is being said.  Just the other day, the chat was a bit heated with drama.  (Drama, that’s another blog lol).  I posted my favorite phrase in the chat that I use as sarcasm all the time “Good Times!”.   They read it as if I were attacking them directly.

The main thing missing when typing in chat rooms is emotion.  Without emotion people sometimes don’t understand the context at what things are being said.   To get your emotions across we have emoticons or smileys.  Using these, we can relay emotion so people understand what you mean by what you have said most of the time.

Examples:  Happy :)     Shock :O     Sad :(     Angry >(

Here are some examples of emoticons:

http://www.n2h.it/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/emoticons.PNG

Another interesting topic is shortcuts or chat slang.  This comes in handy to save having to type a whole phrase or sentence and is limited to a few characters. You may have seen some being used in chat like brb, lol, rotfl these mean the following:

brb = be right back
lol = laughing out loud
rotfl = rolling on the floor laughing

you can learn more about chat slang at:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:English_internet_slang

If you have questions while in chat about a slang, don’t be shy to ask what it means :)

What's new at Apple? – June '10

If you’re following me on Twitter or you keep up with the Obviously Tech Podcast, you probably know about Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Developer’s Conference)
It was held today, June 7th 2010 at 10am CST

A lot of information was given to us. I’ll just go over two topics quickly.
Safari 5 and iPhone 4 / iOS 4

Safari 5
Safari wasn’t mentioned in WWDC but it is available, just go to your Mac’s Software Updater. Currently I am running Safari 4.0.5 as my default browser. I am no stranger to Opera, Chrome, Firefox, and many other browsers. I just prefer Safari on the Mac. Safari 5 is said to be 3% faster then Chrome and of course twice as fast as Firefox. As a fan of Safari, I’m really looking forward to Safari 5 and what it has store for it’s users. Anyone remember Safari 3? LOL. I feel funny saying that Microsoft’s search engine, Bing is going to be one one of the three preloaded default search engines. Oh well. It will be nice to have the option of using Bing a bit more. As I’m writing this blog post, I am installing Safari 5.0. I’ll be sure to keep you updated via blog post or I might even do a screen recording of a short review.


iPhone 4
The iPhone 4, running iOS 4. Let’s all thank the company that leaked photos and info about this product. This iPhone wasn’t as much of a surprise as the 3GS but still has a lot of cool new features.

Some of my favourites:
2 Cameras One front, one back, perfect for video chatting.
HD 720p video recording
Higher screen resolution dispel

The Free iOS 4 upgrade for the iPod Touch and previous iPhones obviously don’t have these physical updates such as he new camera but here are some of the new software updates:

Home Screen Wallpaper
Folders
Multi-tasking :D YAY!
Mail all-in-one
iBooks
Would you read a book on something as small as an iPhone?

I’ll keep you up to date with more blog posts and hopefully screen recordings soon. Let me know what you think about the Apple WWDC ’10, Safari 5.0, and the new iPhone by commenting below or e-mailing me eric@techzany.com

What's new in Photoshop CS5

The 30-day free trial versions of Adobe CS5 products are now available for download on adobe.com. Every feature functions just as the retail version does, so you can take every feature for a test-drive.

Download the trial here.

Photoshop CS5 first project

I downloaded and installed this trial on Thursday and have been playing with it every since. Here are some of the new features – from adobe.com – :

Complex selections made easy, Content-Aware Fill, Superior HDR imaging, Extraordinary painting effects, Better media management, Easier UI management, Superior black-and-white conversion, New GPU-accelerated features, Faster performance across platforms, Efficient workflow, Puppet Warp, State-of-the-art raw image processing

Open source software.

The logo of the Open Source Initiative.
The logo of the Open Source Initiative.

Open source software is basically software that is free and built for almost every operating system. All open source software is available in source code so anyone can edit and distribute it. This doesn’t mean you need to be good with computer coding and programing just to use these pieces of software, you download, install, and use it just as a regular program that isn’t open source. Open source software is very often developed in a public and collaborative manner so everyone has a chance to contribute before it is released.

A report by Standish Group states that adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year to consumers. This is because instead of purchasing software you can get an alternative that is legally free. This software might not be as great or as fast as the ‘popular version’ but your going to save alot of money.  Next time you go out to buy ANY software, such as Microsoft office, VMware Fusion, Adobe Photoshop, etc. think about an open source version and figure out what route will get you better software and a better price. Some open source software has actually been said to be better then the retail alternative.   Just remember to do your searching on the internet before you buy anything.

Open source.