PCLinuxOS .93 xorg.conf problem quick fix

If you’re like me, you change things constantly in your linux desktop. I’m always entering in and tweaking .conf files to see what I can do and where the limits of things might be. In my attempt yesterday to get my EXACT monitor supported in PCLinuxOS, I hosed my xorg.conf file which is where all the Xsession settings (or Xwindows session) are stored (like mouse, keyboard, monitor, and graphics driver settings). Since I hosed this up, my graphical user interface and window manager would not start. So I was dropped to login via the shell. This might be daunting for some new users in Linux so I figured I’d write up this little how-to that would get them back on their feet.

First, don’t be intimidated by the shell. It’s more powerful than a cmd line in windows and you’ll have complete control of your computer from the confines of this awesome tool. Plus, you’re about 15-20 seconds away from having your desktop back up and running by executing only a few commands.

In order to fix your xorg.conf file, it’s important that we become root…so login as root and let’s fix your xorg.conf file in 4 commands.

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Of Vista, Linux, and the User Experience

I was reading this article earlier this week and thought that it was interesting. It announced the Windows Vista release as being delayed. I thought that this was just par for the course and something Microsoft always has done and will always do…delay. However, what does this mean for the Linux desktop? Does it mean anything at all? Probably not on the scale most are hoping.

It’s Opportunity, Albeit, a Small One

Does anyone else here smell that? It’s opportunity. Perhaps an opportunity to push Linux just a little while longer and to develop it into what it needs to be before Microsoft once again proliferates itself onto every PC in America and sets the standard to which all things are compared. I can just see it when Vista finally does release…all of the comparison articles that will sprout across the web between Vista and desktops such as Ubuntu and SuSe 10.X. Linux can gain ground only one way; if it can become about user experience versus user function. If it can do that, I think Linux just might gain some ground. Babysteps…that’s what it is all about.

Microsoft’s OS has always been a rip-off of the work others do. OS/2 did things before Microsoft…Macs did things before Microsoft. They’ve been playing constant catch up since Windows began. If developers and users seize this opportunity in Linux to develop their distros in new ways, it can give Linux a slight foothold onto the desktop. Notice I said slight foothold. That’s because Linux will never storm onto the desktop. It will chip away slowly at the desktop until it gains acceptance. Linux has been granted a small door to the desktop and there is a set criteria for those distros that want to go through it. Will your favorite distro be able to go through the door? Can it provide the user experience needed to win people on the desktop over?

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mv elitism /dev/null

In the beginning of things, open source was about open everything. I remember joining an irc channel # on efnet back in 1993 and chatting with people who could make things happen with computers…really make things happen. Coders, managers, hackers…they were all there and a tight nit core of about 6 of us stayed in touch for about 7 years until we went our separate ways and began to use irc less and less. The thing that I remember the most is the fact that when I joined their little group, I was a complete and total n00b. Not just a n00b to Open Source…but to computers altogether. I had a Texas Instruments computer back in 1985 but only messed with that for about a year. Mice were new to me…I didn’t know ANYTHING at all. In the short time that I began chatting on irc, I was shown how to do things. When I didn’t know how to do something, I could count on one of the guys or girls in the channel helping me to solve my problem within a matter of minutes. These people stepped down off of their level of operation long enough to educate me in the ways of the open source.

I look fondly back at this time and have spoken about it before…not because I don’t think something like this exists now…just that I think it is a rarity. There was a time when this “spirit of open source” was all about educating and furthering the program/app that you were working on. Now it seems that when a new user comes in to any channel on irc or forum, they are told off with a hearty RTFM (Read the ‘Friendly’ Manual).

Where did this Elitism come from? Where and when did Linux and open source become about the mentality “you must be this knowledgeable to ride?” It pains me to see people do this to new users…distancing themselves from potential advocates of open source…zealous ones at that. It’s a real testament to some of these new users STILL wanting to plug open source and Linux, despite being squashed by elitists in forums.

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