Linux

Review: MeeGo 1.1

It’s been a little while since Intel and Nokia came together to merge Moblin and Maemo together to create the MeeGo project.  Moblin started out as a project by Intel and the Linux Foundation to produce a Linux-based OS, interface and application stack for mobile internet devices.  In February of 2009, they merged with the Maemo project that was used by Nokia in the Nseries tablets like the N770, N800, N810 and the N900 smartphone.  Intel was nice enough to send me a Lenovo S10-3t convertible netbook with MeeGo preloaded so I could get a look at the state of MeeGo in version 1.1….


Review: The Wikireader

A while back the OpenMoko project created the goal of bringing out a Linux based smartphone called the Freerunner.  Then Google brought out what became the most successful Linux based operating system of all time, Android.  Well, needless to say, the writing was on the wall.  The clunky OpenMoko OS, with the behind the times hardware, was enough to make OpenMoko irrelevant in the smartphone arena.  Well, it seemed to be such a waste to throw out the work they did on the OS, so the next choice was to bring out another device.  This time, they didn’t even try…


Linux Netbook Review: ZaReason Terra HD Netbook

It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed a laptop from ZaReason, the UltraLap SR.  Now I’m reviewing something a bit smaller — the ZaReason Terra HD. ZaReason is a different type computer company; every single computer they sell runs Linux, and they only ship Linux (or no operating system at all) on all of their machines.  They care about this to the point where they even include a screwdriver in the box of every machine they sell.  That is because any system you buy is your system, and they feel that you have every right to look at what makes…


Ohio Linuxfest 2010: Here’s to the Hall Track

Another Ohio LinuxFest has come and gone.  The friends of the penguin gathered at the Greater Columbus Convention Center for yet another year of great sessions, networking and lots of fun and merriment as friends meet to discuss what is new and interesting in Free and Open Source Software. This is my second year working the booth with fellow members of the Linux Link Tech Show, and this year was a special one as we celebrated the relaunch of our website and the recording of Episode 366 which marks the start of season two.  In this show, we talked to…


Backups and Recovery Are Your Friends: A Cautionary Tale!

A few weeks ago I made a really dumb mistake. One of those, “I have been a geek for far too long to forget this” kind of mistakes. The easy to avoid, harder to fix kind…what happened? Read on and find out. It all started during a discussion in the “back room” here at Gear Diary, regarding Linux on netbooks and whether the OS really matters anymore.  Joel and Doug were arguing OS is less important these days, while Michael and I were of the opinion the learning curve and unfamiliar quirks would drive users into the loving arms of…


Droid X Gets the Lockdown: Does it Matter?

There’s been a bunch of stuff going around the web about the Droid X and the fact that it likely will not be able to run custom ROMS and may even be hard to root. I’ll try to describe, in layman’s terms, what this may mean to a prospective Droid X buyer. What is this root and custom rom thing? First, having root is like having the Administrator user password on a Windows machine or the root password on a Mac OS X machine or Linux machine. It essentially gives you the right to modify anything on the phone. You…


Southeast Linuxfest 2010: Building Strong and Lasting Connections

Friends gathered once again in South Carolina to learn about Linux and check out what is new in the Linux community.  It is a time of learning as well as  time of camaraderie and a over all great time if you are a fan of Linux and Open Source technologies. My trip to SELF started on Thursday as my new found friend, Ed Liddle and I headed down to my Mom’s house for a pitstop.  Mom and Dad put together a great dinner of Smoked Pork Roast and Chicken and all the fixens and we rested up for the rest of the…


Preview: Southeast LinuxFest 2010

Up until this year, I had only attended the Ohio LinuxFest being lucky enough to live in its host city of Columbus, Ohio.  The Ohio LinuxFest is an awesome community driven event that amazes me every year it’s run.  However, in 2010, I will be attending both the Ohio LinuxFest and the second year of the Southeast LinuxFest.  I am totally excited to see what the committee behind the show is planning for this coming weekend. Southeast LinuxFest is in a new location this year in the Marriot at Renaissance Park in Spartanburg, SC.  The previous location at Clemson was not available so they…


SpiderOak Cloud Backup Review

Backing your data up to the cloud and living out of the cloud is all the rage.  SpiderOak cloud backup has a lot of features that I have been looking for in an online backup solution. First, to get started with SpiderOak, you need to download the software for Windows, Mac or Linux and install it.  The version delivered for Ubuntu works on pretty much any version of Ubuntu.  You can install it with standard dpkg commands or double-click on it and us the graphical package manager, GDebi package installer.  Click on install, enter your system password and it installs….


Tuxdroid the Open Source Robot Review

I have often wanted to buy one of those Ambient Devices Judie blogged about a few weeks ago.  I’ve also wanted a Nabaztag as well, since they are cute and can do some really cool stuff like play mp3 files or provide e-mail alerts.  I don’t want either anymore, thanks to kysoh.com who sent me a Tuxdroid that is not only very cute, but is also based on open source software.


Tux Droid: a Nabaztag for Linux Geeks

Kysoh.com has released the new Tux Droid 2.0.  Tux Droid is essentially a Open Source Nabaztag that looks like Tux the Penguin (Tux was originally designed as the Linux mascot by Larry Ewing).  The Tux Droid is wirelessly connected to your computer via its cute fish shaped dongle, which  has a striking resemblance to Tux himself.  What does Tux do?  He’ll do a little dance whenever you get an E-mail, Twitter message or a Facebook messag; he also has a text-to-speech engine, and by interacting with Tux Droid, you can also complete certain tasks on your computer.  If you aren’t…


Review: Jolicloud OS

Netbooks are all the rage, and while Linux did start out on netbooks, it seems Microsoft has been getting the lion share of the shipments.  Well, if you have a netbook and are tired of Windows XP, but your hardware is too anemic Windows Vista or you don’t think you are geek enough for Linux, maybe you should try Jolicloud. Jolicloud is based on Ubuntu Linux, the Linux OS that is considered the easiest Linux distribution to use. It has been getting a lot of love from such sites as Lifehacker, PC Magazine and Cranky Geeks. How good is it?…


Review: Moovida Media Center

Last month while searching for some media player software for Linux, I came across a program called Elisa.   Elisa was a full screen media player similar to Apple’s Front Row.  It had an interface that looked a lot like Apple’s Front Row, with a twist.  I installed it on both my Eee PC 701 and initially on my 1000HE and would use it whenever I wanted some music playing in the background. Flash forward to today.  The Elisa project has revamped itself and renamed itself into the media center called Moovida.  It is available for both Linux and WindowsXP/Vista with…



Dakim Brain Fitness

I taught my grandmother how to use a computer when she was well into her 80’s. She saw that my parents and brother had computers at home, and I had one at college…so she wanted to get in on all the fun. I taught her to use AOL, how to play various games (Spider Solitaire was her favorite), and generally how to be self-sufficient and keep herself “sharp” through her games. Not everyone has a granddaughter with nothing to do for a summer but write a thesis-size set of instructions on how to use a computer (It was Windows ME,…


Review: Blue Eyeball Web Cam

Blue has been well known for their microphones.  They are of exceptional quality, they look good, and they are very well built.  Well Blue has taken one of their most portable microphones, the Snowflake, and made it into a webcam called the Eyeball.


Review: Insignia Pilot 8GB and the Insignia Bluetooth Headphones

I have a confession to make: I am a iPod owner who dislikes his iPod. I don’t hate the iPod; quite the contrary, I really like it but am frustrated by it’s caretaker, Apple. For everything Apple has done right, there’s lots of things that it has done wrong. For example, if you look at the files on the iPod itself you’ll see undecipherable file names for each of your music files. Plus there’s Apple’s Love/Hate relationship with DRM. Then there’s codec limitations. You can listen to MP3, AAC,Protected AAC, Apple Lossless, Audible, WAV and AIFF, but what about open…


The Forgotten Mission of the OLPC

This is definitely a moment in OLPC’s history of big changes as views are conflicting on what the mission should really be about. This week, we have two important announcements: Microsoft is officially pushing Windows XP into the XO and Sugar Labs is no longer dedicated to the XO but will now offer the possibilities of building a “learning ecosystem” on all platforms. XP XO Is the XO sporting windows a good or bad thing? This is such a trivial question and so besides the point that we need to look at the real issues with OLPC. OLPC and Microsoft…


Review: Logitech Z Cinéma Advanced Surround Sound System

When I first saw these speakers I thought that they looked great, and the fact that they came with a remote was a bonus.  Let’s see if they stand up to my standards in regards to audio quality and compatibility with my favorite OS, Linux. In the package was a sub woofer with two satellite speakers, as well as a Windows Media Center compatible IR remote control.


Review: ZaReason UltraLap SR

When I came across ZaReason, I was impressed. Selling machines that have Linux installed by default isn’t new, and many companies support only Linux now, but it’s ZaReason’s service and the communication I received all during the review process that impressed me the most. ZaReason cares about their customers and always puts them first, even over sending out review units, which is why it took about two months for ZaReason to finally get me a unit to review; I was not disappointed.


Why Walmart isn’t the place for Linux

A lot has been said this week about Walmart pulling the Everex gPC and Cloudbook from their stores. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a interesting article on desktoplinux.com regarding his views. What it boils down to is the people who typically shop at WalMart are probably not even capable of determining what OS their computer is running. All they know is they bought the computer and then bought Quicken and couldn’t get it to run on the gPC.