Sunday, December 28, 2014

Acer CB5-311-T9Y2 Chromebook with 4GB RAM

I went out on a limb and bought a new Acer Chromebook this Christmas.  It is the 4GB version that uses and Nvidia Tegra K1 chip as its CPU.  My other Acer is still humming along running Lubuntu, but its age is starting to show.  I have put that little laptop through the paces and it will find a new home being passed down to the kids.  I was a little nervous about straying away from Intel.  So far the battery life of this Chromebook is really good.  I have been getting about 13 hours with with general internet use and using the laptop to write documents, etc.  It machine makes zero noise since there is no fan and puts out very little heat.  It is also pretty damn fast.  A lot faster than my older Acer.

I have read that the Nvidia chip may not be compatible with all of the ChromeApps out there, but so far I have not run into that problem.  However, I am a very focused user so your mileage may vary.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Quick Review of Xubuntu 12.10 Beta

A beta version of Xubuntu 12.10 has been released, and I decided to take it for a little test drive. There is a new desktop wallpaper, new icons, and a couple of new themes.  Overall the remaining software packages are generally the same. The just are running newer versions.

Abiword example, is still used for its main word processor, and Firefox is still the default browser.  Abiword is a good clean word processor with minimal frills.  I like it, but prefer the features that come with LibreOffice. After a quick visit to the software center, I was able to get LibreOffice installed with no problems.

In Xubuntu 12.10, and also the vanilla flavored Ubuntu, LibreOffice has been upgraded to version 3.6.  One big change that I like in this latest version of LibreOffice is that there is now a status window that provides total word count for your documents as you type along.  This one little change is enough to get me to want to upgrade once the stable release is out next month. That is because I am a little bit of a word count geek.

Here is a screenshot of Xubuntu 12.10 with the new Blackbird Theme. You get a nice clean desktop and are able to concentrate on getting work done without a lot of flashy widgets and gimmicks. Kinda nice!

Overall, I have found the Beta version to working just fine. However, it still is taking to long to open a folder in Xubuntu because of some sort of conflict with gvfs-backend. Use this fix if you are having a delay when opening a folder in Xubuntu. I hope that bug is fixed soon!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hanging File Manager in Xubuntu 12.04

I am mainly an Xubuntu user now, but have run into a pesky bug with how the Xubuntu desktop works in version 12.04.  When I try to open the filemanger using either the menu or the icon it hangs for a minute or two.  Apparently, this is bug has been around for quite some time in Xubuntu.

Here is how to fix a hanging file manager window in Xubuntu 12.04:

1. Open the software manager either through the menu or by opening a terminal window and typing:  sudo software-manager.

2. In the software manager type:  gvfs-backend.

3.  Click on the 'More info' tab, then click 'Remove'

Removing this piece of software does not seem to have any adverse effects, and your file manager will behave properly!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

MLB and Apple TV get App Fixed for 2012 Season

Well it appears the MLB and Apple TV have got the MLBTV application fixed for the 2012 season.  Now we are able to watch spring training games.  The fix came in just a few days before the Apple TV software version was upgraded to 5.0.0.  Last night, I took in the Yankees spring training game against the Atlanta Braves, and all appears to be working as it should.

As for the update to the new software on the Apple TV, there does not appear to be anything earth shattering to talk about.  They just updated the interface and are using tiled icons to make menu selections.  Their also seem to be more audio adjustments to make, which I have not explored yet.  Otherwise, you get pretty much the same options.

Now if you do decide to splurge on a brand new Apple TV, then you get to upgrade to 1080p HD, and at $99 price point, that comes in as a pretty fair deal.  Waiting for the day when the NFL divorces itself from satellite TV providers and makes its games available via the Internet. If that happens, then I will dump cable altogether.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Apple TV Leaves MLB Subscribers Hanging on 2011 Season

Sure this is a blog about Ubuntu, but I also indulge in watching MLB on my Apple TV. So, you can imagine my chagrin when I turned on my magical little black rectangular box that would have allowed me to watch the first Yankee spring training game yesterday and found that the MLB TV Application on my Apple TV was still stuck on the 2011 season.  Yep, the MLB App was still showing last years World Series game and there is no sign of any spring training games anywhere on the interface.

After searching around the net, I found that this problem is also plaguing some Playstation subscribers to MLB TV.   We all paid for a subscription to MLB to the tune of $124.95 and are getting gyped out of watching MLB spring training games.

The latest word on when the 2012 season will start to be available from MLB is some time in early March.  Well folks, it is early March and spring traning has begun!  Lets get this taken care of!  If you want to stay up to date on discussions about the problem, you can check out this Apple Discusison Thread.

If you see any changes on your Apple TV, please do leave a comment here.   But please, spare me the "Yankees Suck..." comments.  They probably will have a hard time winning the AL East this year anyways...

Now a quick plug on Ubuntu for MLB subscribers.  Yes, you can watch MLB games from your MLB account on Ubuntu and Xubuntu.  However, the HD and DVR options do not work unless you have a Mac or Windows machine.  I was able to watch a MLB game on my Xubuntu 12.04 box without a hitch.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Canonical taking on Microsoft with Ubuntu Business Remix

A new tab has appeared on the website along the top menu. It appears that Canonical, the lead development company for Ubuntu, is looking to take on Microsoft by directly entering the business PC area. If you click through the links and attempt to download the Remix version of software, you are even asked to sign off on some licensing agreements. This new version of Ubuntu contains some proprietary software. I have not downloaded or tried out this latest version of Ubuntu. It appears to be running the Unity desktop. The oft criticized Unity desktop just may be seen as a slightly better evil to work with than the upcoming Windows 8 version.

Microsoft has continued to dominate the business PC desktop world over the past couple of decades with its Windows based operating system. However, support for Windows XP is coming to an end, and Windows 8 is creeping on the horizon. Many businesses have already upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7, and may be looking at shelling out more dough to upgrade to the next version of Windows. Ubuntu Business Remix may be the ticket for businesses to convert to to avoid the Windows update costs.

However, Canonical's launch of Ubuntu Business Remix may still be coming about a year too late. They could have really taken advantage of Microsoft's Windows Vista debacle. Windows 7 is a much improved version of Windows. Since Remix is free, it may still make significant inroads into the business arena if Windows 8 comes in at a premium price point, especially in the cost cutting era phase of the economic downturn.