PCLinuxOS – 30 Days to #1

PCLinuxOS has continued its upward climb on the distrowatch page hit meter. It is #1 over the span of 30 days…most likely due to the recent release of 2007 Final. Is it really that good? I think it is. It’s powerful enough to satisfy my nerdiest inclination to program and yet soft enough to pad my wife’s computing needs as well. I’ve found it suitable for all my computing needs. Does this mean I’m done looking for the perfect desktop? Far from it! I’ll continue that hunt until I can’t continue it at all.

For now, PCLinuxOS is my #1 desktop choice for my main computer…with other computers in my household rotating distros at quite a good pace. This blog often focuses on items of interest to the desktop Linux user…and it’s updated quite infrequently. This should change after June as I’ll begin a new job in a new city working with Linux on a daily basis 😀

Look for more frequent updates and more robust content. I’m also going to be moving away from a KDE Centric blog and experimenting around quite a bit with the Gnome desktop as well by way of Foresight Linux. Quite a bit on the horizon so please stay tuned.

PCLinuxOS passes Ubuntu

Interesting tidbit of information…amidst all the hype about Ubuntu and Dell PC’s…the little distro that could has marched up to the #1 spot for the span of 7 days.

It’s important to note that the last test release took place 6 days ago…so that could be part of things…but it’s also important to note that PCLOS forums have seen over 700 new members in the past week an a half. That’s quite a bit of interest in my favorite Desktop Linux 🙂 Makes me happy to be part of the team of people that help make this distro special.

Give this a digg if you find it worthy info 🙂

Dell and Ubuntu – The most Logical Decision?

Most people by now have heard that Dell will be preinstalling Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 on a few laptops and desktops. This is fantastic opportunity for Linux…a landmark opportunity. I know that this was done in response to the large popularity of Ubuntu and it’s solid performance and I’m happy that it was chosen over Suse or Fedora.

However, I question whether this was the logical decision to be made…was it the smartest for the end user? Allow me to ellaborate:

Readers of this blog know that I use Ubuntu at work for servers. I also love Kubuntu (I’m not a gnome fan). So my problem isn’t with (K)Ubuntu itself…it works for me. My problem is that Gnome in general may not work for the consumer. If you’re not convinced, do a comparison on adding a printer in Gnome and KDE. Record the number of steps and note any confusing dialogue that pops up…then compare at the end. Still not convinced? I can’t help you understand where I’m coming from then.

Sure, there are those of us out there that are pretty Linux savvy and we can hum along quite easily with Ubuntu…but what of the person who’s looking to try Linux? What will happen when they power up their new Dell Laptop and can’t find a control panel? What happens when an error message just spits out random characters of data as many gnome error messages do?

If there is one thing in all usability studies or guides that is uniform it’s this…that people will resist change. Now, how much change Gnome is from what they are used to is up for debate and I’m not about to debate it here. My feelings are that Gnome isn’t the right choice for new users…and that’s a personal opinion only…and it’s one I’ve found to be true when converting family members to Linux.

So, I ask the question…is Ubuntu and the Gnome desktop the most logical decision for Dell? In my opinion, it isn’t. What do you think?

Debunking Confusion in PCLinuxOS

Active readers of this blog know that I help out with a little distribution called PCLinuxOS. I help out through my other website mypclinuxos.com which is a community development website where like minded individuals can gather together to develop add-ons, customizations, and other items to PCLinuxOS to tailor it to what they want in a distro. It’s a great concept and one that has been gathering quite a bit of support from the PCLinuxOS community.

This week, Distrowatch Weekly has redone their top 10 distributions and included PCLinuxOS inside of that top ten for the first time ever. In fact, when I began using PCLinuxOS, it was around 15th on the distrowatch charts. If you look at 2005 vs. 2006 charts, you’ll see that out of the top 15 distros tracked, PCLinuxOS was the largest gainer over the course of that year. I like to think that mypclinuxos (started Mar 27, 2006) had a lot to do with that…and I don’t ask for any recognition at all…but take great satisfaction in helping what I believe to be the premiere Linux distribution for new users gain ground.

As stated, Distrowatch Weekly named PCLinuxOS as one of the “Top Ten” distributions and I was very happy about this. What was less than stellar was some of the negative feedback that resulted from this announcement. I realize that much of the feedback is based on false assumptions, ignorance, and fanboism…but just the same, I found a couple of comments I’d like to respond to so that the correct information is available for everyone to see.

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Linspire to Become “LinBuntu”, CNR goes into Fiesty

That’s right…Linspire will now use Ubuntu for its base instead of straight Debian. Linspire also announced a “technology partnership” with Canonical. Also in the announcement is that Ubuntu will be using CNR (Click and Run) technology in Release 7.04 “Fiesty Fawn”…which will link directly to Linspire’s CNR warehouse.

Now users will be able to install both commercial and non-commercial software as well as proprietary multimedia codecs through the Click and Run Repositories with a single click of the mouse.

From a business perspective, It makes perfect sense for Linspire to do this…it’s a winning situation for them…they get to ride the popularity coat tails of Ubuntu and they get a standardized update schedule (which signifies stability in Business). With Ubuntu announcing previously that it would begin shipping with proprietary binaries installed, you can also see how Canonical set themselves up for this as well…when you open the door a crack (for binaries), you may just as well open it up all the way right?

I’m not sure what to think of this.

It also makes me wonder what will happen when something goes wrong in this “partnership” (as the announcement states it is).

Will one company buy out the other? Will one become the bitter and scorned outsider when a separation occurs? Will none of this happen at all? Did I leave the iron on? (sorry, last one is my wandering mind).

Who’s going to be the official support for these installed applications (Canonical or Linspire)? Will there be any official support? Normally, there is official support when you buy software…I wonder what will happen here…

What do you think of this? Drop me a comment below and let me know.

UPDATE: An official FAQ has been released.

Why Having 500+ Distros is a Good Thing

I just browsed back across some old bookmarks I had made on subjects to blog about. I’ve been playing catch up for the last few days as some of my projects I’ve been working on are slowing down. During this browsing session, I happened upon a blog entry titled “So Many Distros, So Little Time” which originally jumped across the RSS reader during January of this year. I gave it an honest read and was disgusted with the article quite a bit. Let me go point for point on this:

1. “We don’t need to keep reinventing Linux, creating distributions that put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places.”

This couldn’t be more wrong. We DO need to keep reinventing Linux and creating distributions that put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places. Without these multiple distributions and their drive to do what isn’t “normal” or “business as usual” innovation would be left up to a small number of distros and developers. Innovation thrives in the current environment…we have seen how desktop Linux has lept & bounded during the past 3-4 years. This statement is not only false, but it shows how much people (even industry consultants/analysts/journalists with over 25 years in the business) totally miss the mark when it comes to Linux and Open Source Software.

I assume you’d prefer a ‘unified distro’ or at least fewer to choose from…one where everyone can stop spinning their wheels developing for that small time distro and all join hands and work on that larger distro and make it 1000% better right? That’s something that won’t happen and shouldn’t happen.

Perhaps you think new users will be scared of all of these choices? I bet these same new users walk around in circles when picking out a new shirt or shopping for a pair of pants…there is just too many of them isn’t there? Using this as a reason for justification of having fewer distros is silly and stupid.

Continue reading “Why Having 500+ Distros is a Good Thing”