Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Windows Blues (again)

This week certainly hasn't been one to improve my impression of Windows. One of my friends requested that I get a system running with Windows 98/ME for them, as they had some old games that wouldn't run on Windows Vista (surprise surprise!). A simple matter, isn't it? Seems not...

Firstly, I had a system already running with Fedora 5/Windows 98 dual boot. "Aha, just give her this system," thought I. But it wouldn't boot. The BIOS loaded, but trying to start LILO failed (all that showed on the screen was "LI"). Okay, so it's a bootloader problem. Why not just install GRUB? That's what I tried to do. And after trying several rescue systems, GRUB installed successfully, detecting both Fedora and Windows. Reboot, choose Windows in the bootloader, and up pops a list of errors - Could not load registry, HIMEM.SYS missing, Unidentified error, etc. Back to the old drawing board.

So I tried to reinstall Windows. But the Windows install system told be that there were operating systems on the computer that setup couldn't upgrade, and that I should start Windows on the computer and then load setup. Only problem is, I can't start Windows.

Well, to cut a long story short, I still haven't got Windows running. After just about every thing possible failed, HDDs, OSs, the lot, I haven't got a single thing to show for it. Funny thing is, every single version of Linux that I installed on that computer worked perfectly! Not a problem at all. Something fishy is going on here for sure.

For now, I'm going to tell my friend to either run the games on WINE, or buy a new version. But this is a matter of pride as well. Let me tell you, Windoze, this battle isn't over yet....

Friday, 21 September 2007

Announcing openSUSE 10.3 RC1 (with screenshots!)

The openSUSE team is happy to announce that RC1 looks brilliant and is now available for download. They consider this release to be feature complete, stable, and suitable for testing from any user. You can discover all the great things (parts of KDE 4, GNOME 2.20, 1-Click Install, Super-fast Boot time, new Package Management) right now! openSUSE 10.3: Here we come!

read more | digg story

Monday, 17 September 2007

New Ipod Hash Cracked, Linux Supported Once Again

Less than two days after the announcement came that the new iPod used a new hashing algorithm that rendered all iPod clients other than iTunes useless, here is a new announcement by wtbw:
From #gtkpod today:
>okay guys
>i think we're done.
>let me code something just to check
>[30 minutes later] can i hear a fuck yeah?
>works for both mine and xamphears :>

In case this is too obscure, here is the general gist of things. The iPod has been cracked.

Did Apple really think that they could lock down the iPod that easily? Come on, remember CSS and more recently the HD-DVD/Blu-ray encryption schemes. As sockdemon says on Digg:

"Oh, when I said that 'iPods will never work with anything but iTunes' I was using the modern definition of 'never', you know, the one that means in a few hours. What I really said was 'Ipods will work on linux in the next few hours, don't panic or sensationalize'.

Now I'm really surprised that Apple tried to lock down their platform. Especially with Linux rapidly gaining momentum in the commercial space, is this a direct hit at Linux (possibly as an alternative to the Mac), or just another instance of monopolistic vendor lock-in? Something seems very familiar here (read: Microsoft).
Please, Apple, don't follow the path of "The Big M" by locking people in to your way of doing things. Look to the future - share.

read more | digg story

Sunday, 16 September 2007

AMD Releases 900+ Pages Of ATI GPU Specifications

I know this is old news for some of you (3 days old Digg front page news), but I think it's very important to notice if you want to follow Linux's commercial progression. Below is an excerpt from the Digg news release:"AMD has started to release their GPU specifications in the open! Right now you can download M56 and RV630 register reference guides for free with no Non-Disclosure Agreement (over 900 pages in total so far). More documents will be delivered shortly."Finally AMD/ATI have opened up their specifications so that open source developers can create truly efficient drivers, without having to rely on proprietary solutions. This is another step along the way for Linux to have true "interoperability" and "plug and play" support, while still remaining free. Now, watch and see whether sales figures begin to slant towards ATI graphics cards as opposed to Nvidea. I would certainly choose an AMD/ATI solution now that I know it will work with my operating system of choice.

read more | digg story

Saturday, 15 September 2007

New Google Earth satellite to launch next week

DigitalGlobe, provider of imagery for Google Inc.'s interactive mapping program Google Earth, said a new high-resolution satellite will boost the accuracy of its satellite images and flesh out its archive. The new spacecraft, dubbed WorldView I, is to be launched on Tuesday. This new satellite will boast 1/2 meter resolution, and will be able to collect over 600,000 square kilometers of imagery each day, up from the current collection of that amount each week.

Tuesday's launch is to be broadcast live on the Internet at

Once its third satellite is launched, DigitalGlobe said it will be collecting more than 1 million square kilometers per day of high-resolution imagery.This digital "refresh" of Google Earth's satellite imagery should help to improve it's currently patchy high-res coverage of the world, and bring some lesser-known areas into focus. However, there is likely to be a large amount of processing (i.e. cloud-analysis, selective "screening" of areas, etc.) that has to be done before the new digital data arrives on Google Earth, so don't hold your breath waiting yet.....

read more | digg story

Friday, 14 September 2007

Google Moon goes live!

Google Moon has just graduated from the Labs! Google Moon is a new website similar to Google Maps, but instead of showing satellite images of the Earth, it has visible and elevation maps of the Moon. Google Moon also charts all of the Apollo spacecraft landings.

So check it out! Now all we need is for Google to release Google Mars, incorporate them both with Google Earth, and we have a complete "Google Universe" product!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Microsoft Throws Daggers At Google Apps

Following a deal with Capgemini to push Google Apps into global companies, Microsoft comes out swinging.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

ISO Rejects OOXML as a Standard!

Microsoft Corp. has failed in its attempt to have its Office Open XML document format fast-tracked straight to the status of an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization.

read more | digg story

Saturday, 1 September 2007

The Swedish OOXML vote has been declared invalid!

The Swedish Standards Institute has tonight issued a press release where they declared this weeks earlier vote regarding OOXML as invalid. This means that Sweden doesn't have any official position regarding OOXML any more.The official reason for invalidating the vote was because one of the participants voted twice, which is against the rules. As it turns out, the voter appears to be a Microsoft supporter, bringing new evidence to the already dirty list of tricks Microsoft has employed to win the Swedish vote.I was shocked when I heard earlier that Microsoft had effectively "bought" the Swiss vote on OOXML, with 20 Certified Microsoft Partners joining just hours before the decision was made. This in itself would seem suspicious, but when you also consider that Microsoft sent an email to some of their Certified Partners offering them more dollars for marketing support if they voted for OOXML, the situation looks overwhelmingly like bribery. I wouldn't have thought that a company like Microsoft would stoop to such dishonest tactics. But regardless of the morality of the issue, Microsoft's approach to this vote has demonstrated an important factor: fear.By using underhanded tactics to swing the votes in their favour, Microsoft has inevitably demonstrated that they believe they would otherwise have lost the vote. This means Microsoft doesn't believe that OOXML could stand up to ODF on an even playing field. Just as they recently showed their fear of Linux as a viable competition to Windows, Microsoft has now admitted that open standards are a very real threat to their monopoly.It will be interesting to see the result of the ISO vote on document formats later this year. If things continue to go as they have been, this looks like it will be the biggest single manipulation of the standards industry for the advantage of one company that has ever been seen. Here's hoping that we don't have to accept the proprietary standards of Microsoft, especially after seeing the anti-competitive behaviour they have exhibited in the Swedish vote.

read more | digg story