One of the most asked questions is which Linux distribution should I use. Every time it is asked, we explain that there is no one correct answer. That is, what is best for one type of computer, one type of user, one set of uses and such is not necessarily the right answer for another.
The obvious questions are:
- Which desktop environment do you want to use?
- What type of computer do you have?
A while back I asked a question here about software to manage logins and passwords (http://www.tuxmagazine.com/node/1000240). I appreciate all the answers and pretty much tried everything that was offered. Well, I now have a very different solution than I expected. Mainly, it taught me to better define the problem before looking for the solution.
This is not Linux unique but here is one way to get a free telephone complete with a free US phone number, and even personally answered voice mail. For those who want more, let me toss in free conference calls. If I was writing this for monthly TUX this would be a real how-to. Here, this is more like a "what-to".
- A Gizmo account (which gets you a SIP number)
- Gizmo Project software for your Linux desktop
I just read an article about this in ComputerWorld Australia. The article is an interview and talks about some of what will be new in KDE 4. Having used KDE for close to 10 years now, I am clearly a fan but I am not sure KDE 2, 3, 4 or 27 is the answer.
More accurately, I am not sure KDE, Gnome or whatever is the answer to getting everyone using Linux systems. Yes, KDE today is very nice from a user point of view and KDE 4 will be better. Also, each version of KDE "does more" for the developer so there is less work to do. I think there are two problems:
In business I have been told many times that if you have a good idea and you wait a bit, someone else will run with it. Sometimes I have had the good idea (Linux Journal, for example) and did run with it. I even hope TUX is another one of those good ideas.
Today, I just helped prove the "someone else will run with it" part. What makes it interesting is that I was going to build some software to give away but someone else did the same. Thus, it clearly was just the "good idea" part and has nothing to do with profit. If this is too much suspense, take a look at Campcaster.
After I wrote my blog entry about the Feisty first alpha being available I decided to give it a try. I think the reason I do these crazy things is that it now takes virtually no time to try a Kubuntu Linux distribution. The process is down to:
- Download the image (Konqueror does that)
- Burn the CD (a job for K3b)
- Boot (on anything as it comes up live off the CD)
- If I like it, seven steps to install
Well, that is what I did with the boot (and install) happening on my T23 ThinkPad. It booted fine and the KDE desktop came up. I went to K->Internet->Wireless Assistant. It showed me my wireless network. I told it to use DHCP (it's default). I'm connected. After a bit of playing, I decided it was worth installing. The sequence is becoming very familiar but here are the specifics after clicking the Install icon on the desktop.
Back in the days of the Apple ][, Apple recognized the advantage of getting their systems into schools. Microsoft later ran with the idea as well. It's both a good idea for the companies and the grants and discounts are good for the schools. While there have been some progress made getting Linux into schools, tuXlab looks like it may be an important part of the future.
The project is to get Linux systems into primary schools in South Africa. You will likely not be surprised to find that Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Edubuntu fame is involved. The project is derived from the Xubuntu and Edubuntu projects and is now deployed in 200 primary schools in South Africa. Plans are to provide a complete distribution that can be installed in other locations in early 2007.
For anyone interested in the bleeding edge in Kubuntu and Ubuntu Linux systems, the first alpha release of Feisty Fawn is now available. This is far from ready for prime time on the average desktop but it is a chance to see what is happening.
You can see the details and, if you wish, download it here. The final release is due out in April 2007.
Generally my posts here are in the form of information or answers. This one is really a question. I have been thinking about this problem for quite some time and looking for a solution and finally realized it made perfect sense to ask here. If I don't get a good answer, I will have to build my own and I will share the results with you folks.
I have a few hundred logins for various things. They include different things for TUX-related stuff such as my login to our computers, root access information, database user information and even this web site. I then have multiple email accounts and logins on different computers at home. Add to that login information for web sites where I have accounts--from freshmeat.net to powells.com. While some of this is remembered by my KDE wallet, all can't be and I am not always accessing these sites from this machine.
In my past life (ok, about 34 years ago) I was a Systems Programmer. I worked for what was the world's largest independent software company, Computer Sciences Corporation. In 1972 I moved to Richland, Washington to do systems programming work for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation where CSC had the contract to run the computer center.
This was back in the time of card punches and multi-million dollar mainframe computers. One of my responsibilities was to upgrade and maintain what was called the "premium billed library". This was a set of programs running on a Univac 1108 mainframe where the users were charged a royalty to pay for the cost of the software.