Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / Linux

  • Aug 25 / 2014
  • 6
technology

Start Talking About the GNU/Linux Desktop

Linus just mentioned that he thinks GNU/Linux could succeed on the desktop and folks come out of the woodwork dumping on the idea…“The briefest glance at market share data suggests that I’m not alone, either. While hundreds of millions of people want Linux powering their smartphones, and millions of businesses are content to let Linux run their servers, virtually no one wants Linux running their laptops and desktops.” The quotation to the right is from an article wherein the authour in a circular fashion argues that GNU/Linux on the business-desktop won’t succeed because of consumers’ needs… That’s laughable. Business is all about work, after all.

Further, business has no need of “consumery” things to use GNU/Linux for servers. Neither do Google, Munich, Largo, India, Spain,… You get the picture. These folks are assuming nothing is happening with GNU/Linux desktops despite things happening. That puts their entire thesis in the garbage.

If you look at global web-stats for GNU/Linux desktops, you see steady growth in a declining or stagnant market for legacy PCs. That means GNU/Linux is becoming accepted on the desktop by many more than just we geeks. Dell and Canonical have actual salesmen delivering it in China and India. OLPC is delivering it to schools in emerging markets around the world. Governments in Europe are adopting it at a great rate. And yes, even businesses are seeing that GNU/Linux works for them on desktop as well as server.

Shortly, I will be going to a meeting where one participant has asked me for help with GNU/Linux on a notebook. She doesn’t like what M$ does for her there. I’ve made up a bootable USB-drive with the Debian installer and a repository of stuff the typical desktop user will need, including Synaptic and gksu so she can customize her notebook when she gets home. I will start her off with a basic installation of Debian GNU/Linux and add the XFCE4 desktop environment with a selection of a few typical applications: FireFox browser, VLC media player, GIMP image editor, and Ristretto image viewer. XFCE4 is similar to what she liked from M$: XP. If M$ won’t give her what she wants, I and the FLOSS community will. When random people you meet are interested in desktop GNU/Linux, this is no time to abandon this thriving technology. It works for ordinary people.

Nope. If you haven’t already started talking about GNU/Linux on desktops, get going.

See (Or Not) Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?.

  • Aug 18 / 2014
  • 4
technology

Real People Now Ready To Accept A Real OS

Christine Hall writes about the evolution of the mental lock-in of ordinary people using IT.“cell phones and tablets have made people less afraid to move away from their Windows comfort zones. Indeed, I think that people have never been in love with Windows, it’s just what they knew. Now that they’ve seen that they’ve been able to learn to use Android and/or iOS like pros, they’re more than willing to move on when it comes to their PCs as well.” She’s seen what I’ve seen, that ordinary people a decade or more ago likely had no clue about anything except that other OS. Now people are willing to try GNU/Linux much more readily.

When I first taught in the North, no one I met had heard much about GNU/Linux and no one had tried GNU/Linux on a desktop, even myself. After a few years of using GNU/Linux in schools, everything changed. I met students, parents and members of the community who had used GNU/Linux before I arrived and I travelled to a new community almost every year. Students and community members also travel and several in each community had previously installed GNU/Linux or attended a school that used GNU/Linux much as I did. That was before Android/Linux and ChromeOS took off…

Today, a good fraction of humans have used Android/Linux on a PC-like smartphone or tablet and they are unafraid. They are used to operating without a EULA around their necks. They are used to an OS that doesn’t slow down or pick up malware like pocket-lint. They are used to an OS that doesn’t artificially raise the price of their PC. They are ready for an OS not designed by salesmen. They are ready for FLOSS and GNU/Linux on desktop/notebook PCs. Suggest they move on. Suggest they visit Goodbye-microsoft.com if they have the functionality to browse the web left in their PC. Suggest they visit Debian.org too.

See The Time to Recommend Linux & FOSS Is Now.

  • Aug 17 / 2014
  • 3
technology

More, Happening Faster

NCIX just sent me an e-mail announcing a “back to school” special, new smartphones for $99.95…

Look at the features:

Model Features
Samsung Galaxy Note 3™
  • 5.7-inch Full HD Screen
  • 13 megapixel camera
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core processor
Samsung Galaxy S5™

  • 5.1-inch Full HD Screen
  • 16 megapixel camera
  • 2.5 GHz quad-core processor
LG G3
  • 5.5-inch Quad HD Display
  • 13 megapixel camera
  • 2.5 GHz quad-core processor

Bigger screens with more pixels mean more work for the OS but at ~2.5gHz, it’s taken care of. Oh, yes, Apple’s 5S was in there but it has a smaller screen, for the same price.

What this means in the bigger picture is that many consumers will have all they need in a personal computer in a tiny package for much less cost than a legacy PC even if M$ pays OEMs to install that other OS. We are there. Consumers have choice on retail shelves and M$ need not apply.

  • Aug 15 / 2014
  • 0
technology

Small, But Not Too Small, Cheap Computers

As the market for Android/Linux smartphones matures, they get bigger and more powerful.“Huawei Honor 3C 4G LTE Smartphone use 5.0 inch screen, Hisilicon Kirin 910 Quad-Core 1.6GHz processor, has 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, 5MP front camera and 8MP back camera, and installed Android 4.4.” A decade ago, these specs would have been spectacular on a desktop PC. Heck, I was using ~512MB RAM in those days and my digital camera, alone, cost as much…

With a 5 inch screen these things aren’t competing against desktops/notebooks as much as they are competing against tablets. IDC reports 300million smartphones shipped last quarter. Is the market mature yet? The legacy PC reached about 360million units shipped in a year but these days is down to less than 300million in a year.

See Huawei Honor 3C 4G LTE Smartphone.

  • Aug 13 / 2014
  • 3
technology

Who Is Himangi Saraogi?

I was wandering through the LKML and found a blast of patches submitted by Himangi Saraogi. “I love coding”This blast started May 7, and so far there are ~300 patches. Many of them seemed related to fixing matters of style and coding faults dug up by “Coccinelle” (Lady Bugs, to me…). But no, this tool is not an insect walking around and eating parasites but a code-searching tool spotting patterns. This is all about fixing the problems that creep in when humans run amok changing things in complex and huge codes. Good! This should improve the quality and ease of maintenance of Linux, one of the wonders of the world of IT.

It turns out that this developer is a female student in India. She is learning by contributing to the Linux kernel! Look out world! She aims to succeed.

See Himangi Saraogi | CodeChef.

  • Aug 08 / 2014
  • 2
technology

Oh No! M$ Acts Like It Has A Monopoly On Smartphone OS…

The train wreck that is M$ as a supplier of client device operating system caused yet another jolt today.“We are permanently retiring all Skype apps for Windows Phone 7. As a result, within the next few weeks, you’ll no longer be able to sign in and use Skype on any Windows Phone 7 device” With users locked in to their OS, M$ was able to lead millions into slavery on the Wintel treadmill grinding $billions for M$ coffers. Today is a new day, though. M$ no longer has a monopoly on anything. Outraged users can flee to Android/Linux smartphones or just about any other brand of smartphone and escape the trap M$ has set. Expect to see M$’s share of the smartphone universe plunge. It’s already in last placePenfield, you were right.

See Win Phone 7 users aghast Microsoft axed Skype for their phones.

  • Aug 08 / 2014
  • 14
technology

The Good Times Roll… Unless You’re Heavily Into Wintel

For months (years?) Wintel has been up-beat about prospects for recovery, if only this or that happens. We are now into heavy replacement of XP and this is all they can do:
Meanwhile,

I think it’s time we all accepted reality. Wintel is a dead horse. It may be massive but it is starting to rot. Stop beating it. There’s just no reason to pay premium prices for legacy hardware/software when there are smaller and cheaper choices that do the job.

  • Aug 07 / 2014
  • 15
technology

Android/Linux Smartphone Results

A recent debate here amongst commentators about whether or not Android/Linux was a “distro” or not relates to a new finding by ABI Research.“ABI Research reports that forked Android or AOSP smartphones grew 20% sequentially from 1Q 2014 to 2Q 2014 (total market growth was 3% sequentially) and also accounted for 20% of the smartphone market. Certified or OHA Android still leads the market with 65%, but it grew 13% sequentially. Android AOSP and OHA combined shipped 278 million smartphones, a staggering 86% share, in 2Q 2014.” Whether or not Google wants Android/Linux to be a certain product, because it is FLOSS and various entrepreneurs are willing to invest in things other than Google, there is diversity in smartphones. About 20% of smartphones that shipped last quarter used AOSP (Android Open Source Project) rather than “certified” Android as provided by Google. Some folks just don’t want the restrictions/hassles that Google would impose.

See 2Q 2014 Smartphone Results: Forked Android AOSP Grows 20% Quarter-on-quarter, Driven by Chinese Domination.

  • Jul 31 / 2014
  • 7
technology

Android/Linux Is The New PacMan

“Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments reached a new peak in Q2 2014, with an impressive 85 percent of all smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came at the expense of every major rival platform. BlackBerry saw its global smartphone share tumble from 2 percent to 1 percent in the past year due to a weak line-up of BB10 devices. Apple iOS lost one point of share to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market. Microsoft Windows Phone continued to struggle in the United States and China, and its global smartphone marketshare fell from 4 percent in Q2 2013 to just 3 percent during Q2 2014.”

Like the ancient PacMan game, smartphones have a winner, Android/Linux, the OS of 85% of the 295million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of this year. The causes of this monopoly unlike that other OS are:

  • a strong Linux base,
  • plenty of developers skilled in Java, and
  • a great price of $0 for many years.

Google did not need exclusive dealing to create the monopoly. It’s based on quality the consumer can see and feel.

See Android Captures Record 85 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments.

  • Jul 30 / 2014
  • 2
technology

83% of Chinese Get Their Internet Fix From Smartphones

Yep. That’s straight from CNNIC, the China Internet Network Information Center.

Yes, they still use desktops for that but the preferred medium, even at home is the smartphone. Wintel is doomed. Too expensive. Too inflexible. Too immobile. Too impersonal. It’s not just the Chinese. A whole generation of humans is growing up knowing that M$ is unnecessary for human existence.

OK, so I don’t read Chinese… I identified stuff from an article on Digitimes. They get it. 527 million of the 632 million users of the Internet in China use smartphones. Why would they switch device when they get home?

  • Jul 26 / 2014
  • 4
technology

Tablets Are Doing Well

Oh, the poor desktop PC. First, the notebook overtook them in units sold. Then the smartphone did the same. Now it’s the tablet’s turn“The worldwide tablet grew 11.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14) with shipments reaching 49.3 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
…Share outside the top 5 grew to an all time high as more and more vendors have made inroads in the tablet space. By now most traditional PC and phone vendors have at least one tablet model in the market, and strategies to move bundled devices and promotional offerings have slowly gained momentum.”

These are real people and organizations buying these tablets. The real PC is no longer a big box filled with air and fans, but a tiny energy-sipping small cheap computer running */Linux. OK, quite a few run iOS but iOS has certainly lost most of its early lead.

See Worldwide Tablet Market Grows 11% in Second Quarter on Shipments from a Wide Range of Vendors, According to IDC.

  • Jul 24 / 2014
  • 8
technology

Folly – Wintel And “Partners” Response To Competition

There’s this thing about dinosaurs. They were magnificent and perfectly suited to their environment… until the environment changed.“Intel, Microsoft and notebook brand vendors are preparing to push entry-level notebooks priced at US$199-249 in the second half, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.” Wintel is like the dinosaurs when it comes to competition from the small cheap computers. Apparently, they continue to believe it’s only the “little guys” they have to worry about. M$ is giving away its OS to put on small cheap Wintel PCs. Intel is pricing down certain low-power CPUs. There’s nothing wrong with such moves except that it ignores much of the rest of the world and the fact that we can hook a monitor, keyboard and mouse onto a smartphone and get better performance than their offering. What use is a $200 clamshell compared to something that will fit in one’s pocket and which can be used on a desk or on the go? You could pay people to use these notebooks and still have no effect on that competition.

It’s just folly to assume that this move will have any effect on the huge volume of smartphones being sold. They are the real competition. Chromebooks are not the real competition. Chromebooks won’t be affected in the least by lowering prices on Wintel. It’s WINTEL that people are escaping, not high prices. Low prices are just a fringe benefit of using FLOSS on small cheap computers. People are tired of the Wintel treadmill, re-re-reboots, malware and bloat. You can pay people to use Wintel and they will just refuse often enough to affect the bottom line of the proponents of Wintel.

Still, it’s fun to see them try. I bet those machines would work great with GNU/Linux or Android/Linux… ;-) Finally, we won’t have to build a PC from parts to escape M$’s “tax” or Intel’s high prices.

See Vendors partner with Wintel to release US$199-249 notebooks for 2H14.

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