* Posts by i1ya

49 posts • joined 21 Nov 2013

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update


Fellow commenters already bashed GIMP - kudos to them

...still can't resist myself.

GIMP is good for occasional image resizing or cropping, maybe even for applying some filters, but it royally sucks for non-destructive editing. Layer effects? Nah, who needs them. Ability to lock mask position while moving the layer content within it? That's for lazy Adobe fanbois. Who am I kidding, ability to preview layer during transformations, to do image editing, like, visualy, was added when GIMP celebrated it 20th anniversary. People who advocate GIMP must never have tried to use longer than 10 minutes.

Dropbox plans to drop encrypted Linux filesystems in November


Re: Er wait...

I'll bite ))

Dropbox syncs to directory, usually located in your home directory.

Encrypting your home directory (and, better, your whole disk) is a must: not to protect from NSA or KGB or whatever, but to protect your data on the laptop in case it will be stolen or lost. And dropbox is perfect fit to sync occasional notes between home/laptop/work.


Another case that proves RMS is right

If you are using non free-as-in-freedom product, don't be surprised when terms of use or quality of product or supported platform(s) suddenly change and you are out of the boat. I already been there - with Ubuntu One (remember when it offered storage + sync?). That being said, my dropbox is working on EXT4 on top of LUKS (on top of LVM... oh well), so I'm sure it will continue to work as intended. But if some day I won't be as lazy as usual, I will definitely switch to something self-hosted.

Arch Linux PDF reader package poisoned


What, you want me to stop building packages as root using AUR helpers?

And reading every pkgbuild file? Sure, it will be more fun than reading every EULA for non-free software.

But, jokes aside, I think that some malicious code can be successfully obfuscated to look more innocent to average lazy folk like me.

Firefox to emit ‘occasional sponsored story’ in ads test


I'm sure Firefox users are smart enough to turn it off

Also, while this step is quite controversial, I'm sure community will react loudly enough to be heard by Mozilla. At least they (in my opinion) listen to their users a bit more often than other browsers' vendors.

That being said, I'm sure at least some people won't mind opt-in sponsored content. I deliberately turn off adblocker for websites that I want to support (including this one), and some people may choose to support Mozilla in such way.

RIP Ursula K Le Guin: The wizard of Earthsea


The Disposessed is one of books that changed the way I see the world

"Crappily organised would-be anarchic utopia" - well said, but I would prefer "Crappily organized anarchic would-be utopia", because the form of anarchy as "absence of government or power of one person above the other" was quite established in the world described by the book. For me it serves as a model of open-source software movement and how the open projects are governed: no member has absolute power, and every member of the project does what he can; ideologic differences between "proprietary" and "free" worlds don't stop them from trading goods and technologies with each other. A great read that gives plenty insights.

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

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Using Firefox Quantum since beta. Really fast. I did some tests, and the only place where Chromium is still faster is javascript on subsequent page loads (probably because they cache JIT compilation results). Call me a fanboi (I am), but browser is great. Although UI is so Chrome-ish that I sometimes confuse those two. Yep, some useful addons don't work. Nope, don't miss them since the time I read how some of them were cooked (hint: sometimes they modify JS source of browser UI functions - imagine the hell of maintaining that)

Huge ransomware outbreak spreads in Ukraine and beyond


"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

My beloved country, which is Ukraine, is famous for pirated Windows and nihilist admins who often deliberately don't install patches. The horse was stolen two months ago when "Wanna Cry" was all over the news; but to some people, it's never enough to finally lock the barn door.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits RC2


Re: Easy answer.

Pomous Git, heads up! Downvotes incoming: you left pro-systemd comment on TheRegister!

You only need 60 bytes to hose Linux's rpcbind


I have several servers on Hetzner

...and they nagged me with automated e-mails to close RPC ports more than year ago. So, no news.

(yes, was on Debian LTS by default)

Another career suicide as reporter leaves The Register for broadcaster


What? Suicide? Where? The Register?

Scrolls up, re-reads... ah, nothing to see here, just headlines a-la Reg as usual.

P.S. Good luck on new job.

Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04


My 2 cents regarding ditching Unity

1) Unity had perfect keybord support and does something to un-clutter your screen - the only two upsides, really

2) Unity is compiz based. And shares all compiz-related bugs. I.e. on old ASUS laptop with some prehistoric Radeon video card it crashes when pixel width of combined screens is more than 2000px. I saw same bug on both Arch + custom-built compiz AND stock Ubuntu 16.08

3) Compiz project was cool (really cool), but doesn't have enough resources now. Actually, it looks stagnating.

4) From my experience, Unity works good on some machines and has significant lag on others, especially older ones. And I cannot disable effing effects!

I don't know about Unity 8, but if they were going to bet on Compiz, it is a miracle that they dropped Unity only now.

Spies do spying, part 97: Shock horror as CIA turn phones, TVs, computers into surveillance bugs


While it was nice to see no mention of Linux here...

1) ...but the original article mentions Linux too

2) most interesting part for me in related HN thread was that CIA had to tag all this cyber-weaponry as "declassified" because otherwise the person who deploys it on hacked systems should be prosecuted

NASA honors Apollo 1 crew 50 years after deadly launchpad fire


Maybe offtopic, maybe not...

Not so long ago I learned about Nedelin catastrophe - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedelin_catastrophe - launchpad accident in USSR that had ~78 killed, 120 injured

systemd free Linux distro Devuan releases second beta



Once it was said "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment". Seeing all these comments, I can guess that current motto of Regs' (also /. and HN) Linux community is "nobody ever got downvoted for bashing systemd". P.S. Someone, please create Devuan/SystemD fork. For true init freedom. And of course for lulz.

Android-rooting Gooligan malware infects 1 million devices


Re: Social Attacks

Well, first reaction is to blame the users. But I need to state that, given the ease of use and cheapness of Android phones, there is good number of people who have their smartphones as *first* personal computing device in life. Including both illiterate kids and not very computer-savvy older people. Remember circa 97' web that had banners stylized as Windows system dalogs with "Your computer is infected" text? And back then we had neither bandwidth nor simplicity of applications' installation. Now, thanks for app store and user-friendliness, it takes two taps to install stuff, including malware, in fast and convenient way. If Google made the platform so popular and cheap and easy-to-extend, it's their direct responsibility to provide users of app store with better level of security. Also, why not to write "Warning! Some apps may contain malware and steal your data" on every store page, as tabacco manufacturers do?

Arch Linux: In a world of polish, DIY never felt so good

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"How do you tell if someone uses arch linux? They will tell you." (c) Reddit

I switched to Arch after discovering that most issues I googled are described and solved either in Arch Wiki or in Arch forums. The wiki, although sometimes opinionated and biased (towards "elitist" part of society), is great way of discovering more about Linux.

My conclusions after using Arch for 3 years, both on laptop and office machine:

1) Yes, the manual installation is a pain, but after doing it at least once you will know how to boot from CD or pen drive to mount and recover your broken system (and how to chroot to it to fix). It saved me several times, even with other distros. Also, it gives interesting insights if, for example, you want to get full-disk encryption.

2) Yes, Arch always has latest-and-greatest, and, since I love to binge through Linux and OSS news (began doing that before using Linux), it's very cool to read about new release of your favorite %package% and then use it in a week or two. Also, since I'm web developer, I'm able to prepare my websites for latest Apache and PHP way before they are included in current Debian or Ubuntu which my servers run.

3) Arch is about a choice. If you love reading, choosing, trying something new, tweaking and tinkering - it's ok. If you don't like to spend time toying - it's ok too, but, IMHO, you're missing the fun. If you want something to "Just work", go with Fedora/Debian/Whatever.

4) Package management (pacman) is great. Once I updated 32-bit system to 64-bit without any issues (aside from forgetting to install 64-bit kernel to bootloader). Another time I borked attributes of the whole filesystem, and was able to fix everything using pacman.

5) Yes, things do break with updates. Especially when you combine them in perverse ways. No, I won't install it on the server. (Although some people do)

6) After Arch, I began to much better see and understand the common parts and the differences between different distros. I even stopped to be afraid of Debian Sid ))

P.S. First distro I installed was Slackware. But it was in 2005, and turned out to be so difficult to use and maintain, that I returned to Windows for 3 more years until successfully switching to Ubuntu 8.04.

Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January


Re: This is proper and important step and I hope other browsers will do the same

"This is going to train users to ignore the certificates completely and if they end up on their "banking" site, they will see a green padlock because the phishing operation used a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt"

You can't get free certificate unless you prove that you control the site or DNS zone, so that's not the case. And imagine the contrary: some person may log onto banking site that is produced by fishing script, without noticing that green lock has disappeared.

All these actions are aimed to protect people that are not very computer-literate, but percentage of such people increases every day.

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This is proper and important step and I hope other browsers will do the same

It is much more simple to force webmasters (relatively small and less dumb part of humanity) to add HTTPS to all dynamic sites than to teach everyone on Internet to not to re-use passwords. Considering broad SNI support and free SSL certificates from Let's Encrypt, we don't have excuses for NOT using HTTPS anymore. Yes, I will need to spend some extra time on sites that I maintain, but I hope that eventually web will become a bit safer for an average person.

Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that


Funny comments, but actually not a bad idea

I spent some good time reading 'condom' stories... Now please keep in mind that if the concept will take off and the idea will be adopted, we will have numerous customizable clones of "WIFI command button" that can perform any command for you once you press it, including e-commerce orders, calling taxi or doing anything you want it to do. But why bothering if we already have smartphones and can stick QR tags in proper places? Maybe because of convenience.

Fedora 24 is here. Go ahead – dive in


Re: GNOME Problem...

It may be a bit off topic, but my experience with GDM3 is exactly opptosite. I use Arch/XFCE both on laptop and at the office, first I switched from Slim to LightDM to avoid PulseAudio issues, but around say late 2014 LightDM began to hang the X on wakeups from suspend-to-ram. I mean, not completely hung, but keyboard + mouse not responding, screens blank, and the only option I had was to restart X server via SSH, which kind of spoiled the idea of sleep mode. First this curse haunted my 3-monitor office rig, but after some time issues began to occur on the laptop too. Most annoying thing was that error was random, with about 1/3 chance of crash. So I switched to latest GDM/Gnome Screensaver combo. And know what? I use it for months without any problems. Very solid. (and disappointing from freedom-of-choice perspective)

Linux Mint hacked: Malware-infected ISOs linked from official site


First page of comments shows a nice example of what does "troll-feeding" term mean

Aside from that, I agree with people who say that Mint becoming a hacking target shows that it is popular; secondly, I'm sure it's first (or, to be exact, not last) attack on minor, yet prominent distros (minor because they don't have enough resources to maintain first-class security on their websites), and it's also pity to hear this news since bad publicity is the last thing I want to happen to independent distro world.

Now please tell me, how many people do check MD5 and SHA sums each time they download something? (I'm surely will be downvoted for this, but I confess: I did this 0 times. But I will try to learn the lesson.)

2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you


Just in case if anyone is curious about "an impressive new distro that's forging its own path"

After the day of thinking, I came into conclusion that author meant SolusOS - got release 1.0 in early 2016 and I was impressed by the fact that it has own package manager (in contrary to numerous Ubuntu offsprings). Also there are PapyrOS (as in "Arch/Google Material Design") and Maui (as in "Qt/Wayland") but last time I visited them, both were far from beta (or even from Alpha).

Telegram messaging app blocks some 'public' ISIS-related channels


We see nice PR here

by the way, Telegram is a secure messaging service, they don't have to block terrorists (or anyone), it's just not within their competence. So blocking ISIS accounts looks more like an act of good will from them and an attempt to address bad publicity. Pavel Durov, creator of Telegram, was author of a very popular in Russian segment Facebook clone, VKontakte, but was pushed by the government-friendly oligarchs into selling it.

Here are the God-mode holes that gave TrueCrypt audit the slip


Let me note that these vulnerabilities are Windows-only

And from the links in article, it looks like Linux version isn't affected by them (phew...) That doesn't mean, of course, that Linux version is hole-free.

Facebook profiles? They're not 'personal data' Mr Putin


Let me explain how it works in exUSSR (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus' etc)

1. Create the law that is as stupid and ambiguous as possible, holes intended

2. Make sure that government people can interpret the law in any way they want

3. Use it to slap your political opponents and extort money from businesses

4. Profit

Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers


Re: I have a beefy PC, but still run ye olde GNOME 2

> I could never get into KDE myself and I never understood why Linux couldn't settle on one desktop and only a few distros (250+ distros is sheer lunacy).

Consider that as mutations that, in perspective, may lead to evolution. Who knows, maybe after 10 years, one of exotic projects like NixOS (like the idea, by the way) will be the most popular OS.


Re: Another minimalist here

Have an upvote, sir! I never understood the guys who are afraid of Debian. As for me, it's like Ubuntu, just minus Canonical :)) My way was 2 years Ubuntu, 2 years Debian, then Arch. The only reason I replaced Debian with Arch is that I like having all latest and hottest, also their Wiki is better.


Re: Linux long ago reached parity with Windows and OS X.

I re-read this sentence twice and came to conclusion author means that for average, non-technical user who sits in the browser most of the time and using office programs not too deeply, top Linux distributions can provide experience not worse than one of Windows or MacOS. I have live example: my collegue replaced winXP of his wife laptop with Fedora, and never received complains from her. I'm not sure same can be done if you don't have a Linux-savvy spouse


Only two "desktops" mentioned here

...are Openbox and LXDE (XFCE mentinoned very, very briefly). Author surely knows that, thus the term "5 desktop worlds" instead of "5 desktop environments" or "5 window managers". Not a single word about DWM, i3 (has much buzz in Arch community, aslo I heard Google uses it), xmonad or englightenment. As for Openbox, I use it as a window manager in XFCE, since, once you overcome a disguist related to need of editing XML files, it has great multi-monitor commands - while not being "tiled" WM. You can assign bindings to move window to next/prev montor, make it fill designated quarter or half of current monitor, etc. I can't imagine my 3-monitor setup in the office without it. Lack of panel, launcher and a bit of control panel - that's why I use it with XFCE. As for LXDE, I never seen LXQT option (QT-based, as you can guess), but Lubuntu team (I'm not sure that LXDE team, not Lubuntu team, should be credited for it) is very, very sane in term of keyboard shortcuts: any Windows convert will appreciate Win+<buttons> that do the same actions as in Windows, i.e. Win-E to launch file manager. Regarding both three, XFCE, OpenBox and LXDE: you should be warned that setting up multi-monitor, volume control (mute/volUp-Down/switch to HDMI when it is plugged) or multi-language is a pain for non-programmer. (Should be; can't insist on that, since I'm a programmer). Also XFCE, while calling itself "light", is short of one thing: keyboard support. I mean, XFCE panel is completely un-accessible with keyboard, it's a mouse-only thing (even Gnome 2, Gnome 3 to some degree have that, not mentioning Unity with first-class keyboard support). No workaround available to make keyboard work with XFCE panel, it is described as bug or feature for last 4 years in their tracker. Enlightenment is sexy, exotic and claims to be light on resources, but I never tried to use it longer than 2 hours, so can't tell much.

P.S. There are also several "boxes" which share same ancestor with OpenBox (fluxbox, blackbox, possible others), OpenSTEP, "pure X11 session", and several others I which don't rembemer.

Firefox to speed up dev cycle, go multi-process, rip and replace UI – soon


Don't fix what's not broken

Firefox remains my browser of choice since first release. Chromium may seem faster and snappier sometimes, but it will throw you to Google search every freakin'' possible time. Firefox has super-powerful address bar that allows to find any page you visited before using any part of title or URL (also to remove URLs from history by clicking DEL - what a nice touch) - it made bookmarks obsolete as far as I remember a bit what the page was about. Firefox is just better. And, when not bloated with extensions (shame on you, Firebug, so useful and ugly) it's fast and quite efficient on memory. So I don't really care about XUL, XBL, XwtfL and other things, even "multithreadness". It works, and please, whatever you do, don't lose your users and force us to choose between the products of two corporate giants. Also, dear Firefox management, remember what happened with Gnome 2 when developers decided to replace old blob of spaghetti technologies with something clean, innovative and simple.

Putin's lapdog? Zuckerberg questioned over quisling claims


Ukrainian speeker here

As some of you can know, a tense conflict is going on between "pro-russian" and Ukrainian military in Eastern Ukraine. The situation reflects in actions between "pro-russian" and "pro-ukrainian" trolls in social networks and comments sections of news sites (quotes are intentional since political vector doesn't always repeat geographical location). The quite common, often-occuring issue is that "russian" Facebook department blocks pro-ukrainian, anti-russian posts in Facebook by request of hordes of (assumingly) russian Facebook users, who report abuse or Facebook policy violation on such posts.

The actiual problem has two parts. First, it is believeed that there is organised group of pro-russian commentards that fills-in abuse requests which leads to automated (because there are many requests by different users) posts takedown. Second part of problem, described by some experts in Russia and Ukraine, is that Ukrainian government and part of Ukrainian society believes that "Facebook Russian office" is located in Moscow and is loyal to "russian" part of audience. They think (or say that that think) that Facebook should create a sub-division that will modereate Ukrainian segment of the posts independently from Russian segment. Since we talk about politics, they "think" about that quite loudly.

P.S. I live in Ukraine and I'm quite opposed to actions of (pro-)Russian rebels here, but I tried to write as un-oppinionated as I could, that's why so many quote signs here :)

Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin


Re: Hmm. Geany could be worth a look...

Shutter is really the best tool for screenshots that I discovered. It allows to make a quick edits in screens, crop them, annotate and then upload into cloud. Also you can drag-and-drop your images directly to Thunderbird to attach them to messages (from my experience, usually drag-and-drop sort of sucks in Linux).

As for other open source desktop-based software, you have to try a lots of junk before you will find real gems you can't live without.


Re: Hmm. Geany could be worth a look...

You can also try "medit". It is well-made alternative of Kate/KWrite/Gedit (which is now GTK3), GTK2 based, has all Gedit features that Gedit but also, like Geany, is more developer-oriented.

P.S. And if you like lightweight and fast editors, give "scite" a look. It is very very fast, can crunch large files (except when you have extremely long lines which can lead to slowness), has almost no dependencies, and also a cross-platform (works on Windows as fast as on Linux). It also includes some weird Lua-based inner platform but I never tried to script anything in it.

Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'


I understand the poor guy but probably public whining is not a good idea

There is really too much hate around systemd. And, as I see from upvotes above (and on other formus too) to criticise systemd and its developers is almost considered a good taste. But why? The guy(s) created something (probably, something new), gave it away for free, the systemd was adopted by distro maintainers - which are quite a smart people, I think, and no one forced them to make such decision! You dislike some technical decisions? As it always is with open source, why not to fork it? If there is dependent code, a compatibility layer can always be introduced. And, finally, there are other solutions - upstart for example. But why to continiously bash systemd and its' developers with such effort and energy? Why to create boycott petitions and write hate letters? What other wanna-be-contributors will think when seeing such awful response of a community to a successful (on scale of adoption) and modern (created in recent years) open-source project developed from the scratch to be used with Linux?

As for me, none of init solution seems perfect. When I see a pile of bash scripts in Debian init, it looks more like a spaghetti code. If someone re-created such spaghetti in C, that's ok - at least I won't be able to break anything by an accidental edit. Helpers such as update-rc.d don't look beautiful and well-designed too. And really, "systemctl start Foo" vs "/etc/init.d/Foo start" is no big change to care about it either.

Work in the tech industry? The Ukraine WAR is coming to YOU


Re: Morals, ethics, principles...

Dear "Voland's right hand", you are either a paid troll or a "useful idiot" (term that communists used to call their supporters in the Western countries). The only argument of advocates of Putin's actions in Ukraine is accusing Ukraininans in anti-semitism or fascism. That simply isn't true (escpecially in comparison to rise of personality cult, propaganda and militarism in Russia). And ethnic Jews along with ethnic Russians, Armenians, Georgians and other "local minorities", as you call them, are currently fighting side-by-side with ethnic Ukrainians to protect their land from Russian mercenaries and armed forces. And ones who are not on the front line, donate money to help army, give out their blood for transfusion or just help in the hospitals. One of Putin's most hated enemies, oligarch Igor Kolomoiskyi, who initiated formation of territorial defence squads consisting of armed volunteers, is president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine. So please stop telling about anti-semitism here.

Yahoo! YUI! project! is! no! more!


YUI is not particularly bad, but probably lack of popularity killed it

I'm quite familar with YUI2. It has two very distinctive advantages over different frameworks: it is exhaustively documented with nice examples (and had quite useful API docs), and also it's API remains friendly to the application after you have instatiated your objects. All created widgets remain controllable from Javascript at very fine degree (not just receiving input from users and changing some hidden fields in the form.) Of course it had more steep learning curve and required some knoweledge of an object' lifecycle than with cut-and-paste jQuerish approach. What raised most questions is that some widgets where just incomplete and never became complete enough (as with Calendar or RTE editor). Why "rich editor" had to be re-inventend when there are enough more than mature solutions on the net? And also instead of improving YUI2 and making it complete, they decided to build YUI3 from scratch (which shared almost nothing with YUI2). I checked YUI3 from time to time and it progressed very, very slow - propably because the library was both gigantic, ambitous and not able to receive any hype. And still being ill with same "not invented here" dicease (why, for example, they were needed to re-create Canvas or charts?)

Let's hope that people will still bring some patches and fixes from time to time. At least it is an open source and project will not die completely when the funding stops.

Remember Palm's WebOS? LG does – check out its smart TVs


Javascript & HTML again

It is worth mentioning that WebOS user interface, Enyo (http://enyojs.com/), is built using Javascript and HTML. LG did nice job by picking and continuing development of this open-source project. I spent some time using Enyo and think it is not too bad. It allows to create applications without single line of HTML (nodes are defined using Javascript). Some decisions of its developers are disputable, but at least the framwork was designed to subclass existing widgets, create custom controls and re-use code with ease. So, another distant brother to Firefox OS is growing :)

Mozilla to cram a full web-dev IDE inside Firefox browser


I don't want to offend any of Firefox fans here (while also being one of them), but Chromium already has very IDE-like web developer tools. It allows remote debugging via USB (it's very comfortable to use inspector and console on PC to debug web app on a small tablet), mapping of remote resources to local directory (although buggy or I didn't figured out how to do it right), grepping in several files. If you will detach dev tools window, you will see that its Source panel looks exactly as IDE. And much less buggier than latest Firefox dev tools. And yes, Firefox' tools do crash. I develop a complex Javascript app and Firefox with dev tools open crashes on my Debian (sid) system every hour! (and sometimes I receive messages about hanging script in its CodeMirror). Also it has quite poor keyboard shortcuts and is less customisable than Chrome's. But having said that, Fx' tools are quite young and in Firefox we also have a Firebug as one of the options. And also it's not ethical to bash a non-profit Mozilla for trying to make our life better - let's not criticise but help :)

10 PRINT "Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC" : GOTO 10


The funny thing is...

that my dad bought me an illustrated 3-book series about computers when I was about 8 yrs old. I have read about inventors of Basic, about first mass-production computer (Altair, if I spell it correctly), about Jobs and Wosniak, about Apple and Microsoft, about movement against proprietary software. And now, 22 years later, I read about the same things! (at least, nothing in that book mentioned an Internet)

Eugene Kaspersky: Ukraine conflict hurts enterprise security


Re: Of course!

"О комедия всего этого!" is quite a nonsense in Russian. All my attempts to imagine what you have entered into google translate to produce such grammatical mess failed.

Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever


Re: Head to head

Sorry for feeding such an obvious troll as dear "Windows wins" AC, but I can't resist myself (it's also Friday). I have considered myself a long-time Windows power-user. When I have switched to Linux, it was very counter-productive: "un-intuitive" and "non-usable interface" (as windows-user-friendly Gnome 2!) really pissed me off for a long time. Since then I have spent about 6 years using Linux as my primary OS. And now I feel exactly the same feeling when I have to "fix" or install something on my wife's or relatives' windows-based PC: it seems to me counter-productive and counter-intuitive (just because my preferences have changed after all these years, so it's almost exclusively a matter of taste).

Another issue less known to many civilised el Reg readers is that in my third-world post-USSR country almost no one buys Windows when it doesn't ship with a new PC. Most people just download and install non-updated, backdoor-supplied, warez version of Win XP or Win 7, and sooner or later their computers are just a nodes in a botnet. (No, personally I just don't do that, I always insist that Windows must be 'genuine' to get all security patches, since I cannot support a computer full of security holes). So free-as-freedom Linux is MUCH MUCH better. secure and easier to maintain than a free-as-beer pirated Windows, believe me :)



Let me describe how it feels being a Ukrainian

I live in Ukraine... Here's how my typcal day passes: morning (turining PC up): is Putin already conquered Ukraine? Oh, no... Ok. Let's go to work. Evening. Reading the news: what? More russian troops in Crimea? Oh, hell... probably the war will start tonight. Ok, let's read something peaceful and not related to politics. Something that describes the things I love the most - the computers... TheRegister, my peaceful cape of technology, here you are.... (browsing through some headlines)... Oops! Putin is already here! Is some place out there left he didn't conquered yet? Slashdot probably? /sarcasm

Sanity now: Gnome 3.12 looking sensible - at least in beta


Gnome 2 was a face of desktop Linux for me primarily because it came with Ubuntu and seemed relatively user-friendly for former Windows user. I clicked icons in menus and was quite ok with it. Because of Gnome 2/3 change, I now know differences, good and bad points of Unity, KDE, XFCE, OpenBox and Enlightenment. Spent some time working in KDE, but tweaked it to the point where it resembled my XFCE setup so returned to XFCE+OpenBox config. BTW OpenBox rocks for those who are not afraid of XML config file (but still don't want to re-compile after every config change as one of radical twms suggests).

So after 3 or 4 years Gnome 3 authors brought some sanity to it. I assume after 4 more years it will become a less distracting thing that can be used for productive work. But who will care if every 'power' Linux desktop user will find a better alternative and stick to it?

For clarity: Gnome 2 wasn't ideal either. It was the ONLY desktop environment I know where clock applet was able to freeze. "Hey, guys, my digital clock stopped AGAIN!"

The perfect fantasy flick for the online Valentine you've never met: Her


I'm already in a man-OS relationship...

she's called Arch. I think she is getting jealous if I don't tinker with her in the evening and spend some time with, errr, my human wife. Sometimes I even talk to my OS: don't you want me to change your GRUB theme, dear? But the only response I usually receive is that my root system may be fsck'd later...

Ubuntu desktop is so 2013... All hail 2014 Ubuntu mobile


Re: Microsoft's failure is Canonical's failure.

Please don't call me a troll, but I suspect both Microsoft and Canonical think from very different point of view than we, Linux desktop users, have.

Average Linux desktop "power" user (especially regular ElReg reader) is a person smart enough to find, - at last, - distro that suits him, pick his desktop of choice, throw several customizations in - and finally, everything works! Same applies to MS desktop, really, when a professional customizes it for productive work it is VERY different from what do we have in first place, after installing a stock Win flavour.

But both MS and Canonical aim at newcomers, at now-children-then-teenagers. What is the first computing device in child's life? A personal computer with a keyboard and mouse? A laptop? A tablet???? NOOO. It's, suprisingly, A PHONE ! Every child at school age has it's own PHONE!!! And a laptop is SECOND device in life of a child, not first! *This* is the real reason of dumbed-down, touch oriented, "converging" GUIs such as Gnome3, Unity and TIFKAM (didn't seen Win8 yet, really, but Unity + Gnome did piss me off more than enough in late 2010).

The little 6-8 year old guys & girls that first got familar with swipe-and-smear paradigm on daddy's tablet, than on their own phone, and only then on a PC - THAT is a customer both MS and Canonical are aiming at.

Think of a market that grows with several millions of newcomers ever year - a young ones who don't 1) have any stereotypes regarding WIMP paradigm yet and 2) get familiar with touch interface many years before they will be using software for work. And you will understand where all money and effort go.

DJANGO UNCHAINED: Don't let 'preview' apps put you off Fedora 20


Re: the header bar.

Regarding randomly chosen icons that mean nothing: I owe you a bear! Sometimes I'm thinking that only option to teach people to _read_ is to replace all icons with text


Warning: large number of unformatted text below.

Most of the commentards just react to keywords in the article. Oh, GNOME3 was mentioned - so let's discuss GNOME3 and its dumbed down GUI...

I have an Arch install at home and Debian Wheezy at work. Arch works extremely fast - it's GUI reacts almost as fast as old Windows XP. Same GTK apps at my office, where I have Debian installed, work noticeably slow, probably due to buddy opensource radeon drivers in conjunction with GTK 3.4 - I physically feel how "lightweight" gedit redraws the text area. (I ended up using KDE software and Oracle-built Java - somehow it works faster). Why am I telling you this? Because I have tried different distros in search of better speed/simplicity ratio, I just don't want to spend another 20 hours to configure perfect Arch install.

I have tried several ditstros, Fedora 20 among them. Fedora 20 works fast and responsive, has almost last kernel (3.11), works extremely snappy - I have installed Fedora 20 XFCE on my son's laptop which has SINGLE CORE cpu + AMD Gpu and it works *considerably faster* than Debian wheezy XFCE on my quad-core, 4 GB ram Debian at office!

So the bottom line, for ones that made it here, is: try Fedora 20, it's modern, it has latest and _fastest_ version of FOSS packages, it installs in minutes and it feels really snappy.

Dry, cold and volatile: How to survive Mars, and your fellow crew


As far as I remember, actor on the first picture plays Chuck Yeager, not Sam Shepard

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