Ubuntu for Strict Time-Release Policy

The following comments from an anonymous commenter on the I’ Been to Ubuntu blog was so good I am reposting it.

Anonymous said…

I don’t think the six month release cycle is a big problem only the way they are implementing it.
LTS Release – unfortunately they try to cram in new features and “tear out and replace large parts of the system”. The LTS Release should be a bugfix only release. The goal should be stability above all.
release right after LTS – This is the time to replace major parts of the system. xorg, network manager, and pulse audio are all examples of what this release should be about. Firefox and OpenOffice are not Major parts of the system. They are major software packages that do not cause instability. Also a good time to introduce new features. This release should be known for breaking things and instability.
two releases from LTS – continued introduction of new features. but a larger focus on bugs.
three releases from LTS – a few new features but most time should be focused on major bug fixes and focusing on stability.
LTS – nothing but bug fixes. Stability is the goal…
They have a good thing going but every release has huge issues. I have stopped updating right away when new releases come out. I have actually dumped Ubuntu all together because it has turned into an absolute unstable distribution. It would be nice to see a real “stable” version of Ubuntu.

posted on July 15, 2009 11:06 AM

New York Times Anti-Open Source Bias

In a recent article by Ashlee Vance in the New York Times, we see a clear bias against the Open Source community. Let’s look at three of his comments and I will point out the neutral equivalents that he should have used.

First he says, “Look out, lobbyists: Here come the open-source zealots.” Zealots is a biased word giving the impression of extremists or radicals. The neutral word would be advocates. So an unbiased rewrite would be, “Look out, lobbyists: Here come the open-source advocates.” Is the New York Times suppose to be neutral? I think so.

And he further claims that the group Open Source for America seeks to “push open-source software on the United States government.” Oh, now the “zealots” are pushy. Just because a group now has a voice in Washington they are pushy? So an unbiased rewrite would be, “Some of the world’s largest technology companies have banded together in a bid to promote open-source software in the United States government.” “Promote” is neutral, “push” is inflammatory.

Last example, “Regardless of their affiliation, open-source types have demonstrated a fondness for backing free software in a vocal, often argumentative manner.” It seems that Ashlee Vance views people of the open source community as argumentative and vocal zealots who are pushing their agenda down the throat of the United States government. Can anyone say stereo-typing? Too much philosophy and not enough reporting. Maybe that is fine for The Register, where Ashlee Vance was an editor, but I guess I expect more from the New York Times.

Notice how these comments sound is we use proprietary instead of open source. “Look out, lobbyists: Here come the proprietary zealots. Some of the world’s largest technology companies have banded together in a bid to push proprietary software on the United States government…. Regardless of their affiliation, proprietary types have demonstrated a fondness for backing closed software in a vocal, often argumentative manner.” One could argue these statements are just as true, maybe even more so. Microsoft and Apple have dominated the governmental scene. Now open source has a voice.

Link to Orginal

My Favorite Firefox Plugins

The following are my favorite Firefox pluggins:

  1. Download status – a must for those who hate the default downloader
  2. BetterSearch – Enhances Google.
  3. Delicious Bookmarks – I never lose links to great sites.
  4. BetterPrivacy – Super Cookie Safeguard plugin
  5. Flagfox – It shows what country a website is from
  6. Wired Marker – It highlights text in web pages

Firefox Mousewheel Problem (Fix Found)

Firefox has started the most annoying bug. Everytime I scroll to the top of the page it sends be to the previous site I visited. Then in that previous site I have to scroll down just a bit and scroll back up and it takes me back to my original site. I have disabled all my plugins and am using the default theme. I have uninstalled it and renamed the .mozilla folder in my home directory so all my settings were gone (I am using Ubuntu 9.04 with Firefox 3.0.11). And it still does it. Then I edited the about:config file a number of times with no success. They were all default before. Which leads me suspect that it may be something in Ubuntu. There are a few reports of the bug. It seems that it only effects ps/2 mice. I guess this is a great opportunity for me to try chrome.


The problem is the KVM switch. I unplugged it and it stopped. Just going to use two mice instead.

I have managed to fix the problem. It appears that it might be an x-org setting? See below:

Here is what you need to do:
1. In the terminal type: sudo gedit
2. Enter password. This will give your text editor root privileges, which you will need.
3. Then open the xorg.conf file located at root level: etc/X11/
4. Add the following to the very end of the page:
Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Mouse0”
Driver “mouse”
Option “Protocol”    “auto”
Option “Device”     “/dev/input/mice
Option “Buttons”     “5”
Option “ZAxisMapping”  “4 5”
Option “CorePointer”
Option “SendCoreEvents” “true”

5. Then save the file.
6.  Type in the terminal: sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
7. Reboot and reinstall your video drivers (System>Administration>Hardware Drivers).

Please let me know if there is an easier way. It is a pain to do this and xorg keeps resettling.

Problems with Linux Mint

I must confess that I really like Linux Mint 7. It is one of the most promising distributions based on Ubuntu out there. However after repeated problems I have stopped using it. My problems included the mouse ceasing to function on install, and a fatal initramfs failure after I had it up and running. In all fairness my system is a older AMD, but I have not had the same problems with Ubuntu.

What I liked about Mint was it had one title bar at the bottom like Windows. It also put the Applications, Places, and System selections into one button labeled menu. It is just more intuitive and simple. I also was impressed with the graphics and artwork. I also liked that the version 7 included a getting started menu with a user guide for new users to read. I also like the rating system for the software. They used numbers to indicate the level of importance and stability. Oh, and I like that they included Adobe Flash and Sun Java out of the box. They are aiming for the power user and they are getting a lot right.

Just to clarify, because I know someone will ask. I downladed the iso directly from Linux Mint. I had run into worse poblems with the previos version. I will probably try them again on the next version. I was really impressed.

Programs I Install in Ubuntu

After installing Ubuntu there are a number of programs I install that aren’t included. First are the plugins I need for Firebox to display web pages. Because these are proprietary they cannot be included in the basic Ubuntu install. There are also a few other codecs that I use. Here is the full list.

  1. flashplugin-installer (Adobe Flash Player plugin installer)
  2. sun-java6-plugin (Sun Java6 plugin)
  3. libmp3lame0 (Lame mp3 codecs for Audacity)
  4. gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly (GStreamer plugins)
  5. gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg (mpeg plugin for GStreamer)

Next are the privacy and security programs I run. They are:

  1. Firestarter (Fire wall)
  2. Sbackup (Backup program)
  3. gpa (PGP utility)
  4. gnupg-agent (PGP utility)

And then I install my other programs. They are:

  1. gpodder
  2. Soundconverter
  3. x-chat-gnome
  4. easytag
  5. xchm
  6. liferea
  7. Banshee

The following are related to podcasting and webdesign:

  1. Filezilla
  2. Seamonkey
  3. Bluefish
  4. Audacity
  5. swh-plugins
  6. gPHPEdit

And that sets up my basic system. Optional are:

  1. W.I.N.E. (directly from winehq – http://www.winehq.org/download/de
  2. clamTK antivirus (for files you may be moving to a Wibdows system)
  3. blubuntu-theme if you want a blue theme [I just use clearlooks theme]
  4. Bluman-icons from http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Bluman?content=78075

Making Ubuntu feel more like Windows
For those who are used to the Windows way of doing things or have to use windows at work, you can configure Ubuntu to feel more like Windows. See: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwitchingToUbuntu/FromWindows/Configuring