Note - BerkeleyLUG blog posts are written by BerkeleyLUG members of various backgrounds, levels of experience etc... The views and opinions in each blog post do not represent the views of the group as a whole or the founders.

2014 User Experiences

Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm by grantbow


One of the advantages (and sometimes confusing) aspects of Free Software and open source software is the choice of user experiences (UX). Desktop choices include Gnome (and derivatives including Mate, Cinnamon & Unity), KDE, LXDE and XFCE. Google’s Android UX and derivatives are perhaps even more popular now. The fragmentation of end user communities is specifically allowed by the licenses these groups choose for their software and the licenses of the underlying software.

Coming up April 17th Canonical and the community are scheduled to release 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr. 14.04′s Gnome derived Unity experience is designed to transcend the phone, tablet, desktop and television form factors. 14.04 LTS is also enabled for phones and tablets which is called the Touch UI. You can try the Touch UI by installing 14.04 on at least the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. California 14.04 release parties in San Francisco and Fullerton are developing as mentioned on the BerkeleyLUG email list and many others throughout the world organized by local communities. Please consider yourself invited.

In five years every TV may have an Internet experience built in. The need for a separate device like the newly announced Amazon set top box Fire TV, Linux powered Roku, AppleTV or other device may go away. Not content with just millions of Chromecast dongle sales, last week The Verge broke a story on the heels of the Fire TV announcement that Google plans an Android TV. I hope user freedoms are preserved on these and future devices.

Other recent news also supports the move of the computing industry as it focuses on convergence and UX. Facebook recently purchased (wired, marketplace) Oculus VR. In recent weeks Microsoft announced it will be focusing on UIs that do not require keyboards and mice, they have released Office365 for the iPad and their Build 2014 annual developer conference (mobile, desktop and other platforms) in SF has just concluded. What user experiences and on what form factors do you compute?

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our email list.


Windows XP End-of-Support Day

Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 6:29 pm by goossbears


Microsoft’s support for Windows XP is officially over today.
Nope, Not kidding!! MS’s official announcement is linked here ==> http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

Anyone still have Windows XP installed alone or else installed dual boot?
Other than those of you who have XP installed in a VM or a Hypervisor, what are your thoughts about using Windows XP further??

Are any of you going to fully migrate to Linux with maybe using Wine for any remaining gotta-have XP apps? Or assuming your hardware is sufficient for upgrading, any of you with XP still around contemplating a straight move to Windows 7 or Windows 8?? Or are some of you (admittedly like me!) going to keep Windows XP as a side Operating System; never to be seriously used any longer for most purposes???

Here is a helpful link for those of us who may want to keep Windows XP around, even though support has absolutely ended; ==> http://www.zdnet.com/windows-xp-support-end-10-steps-to-cut-security-risks-7000028193/


Massive Open Online Course ‘Introduction to Linux’ for Newbies

Posted on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm by goossbears


Those of you who may be either interested in a very basic Introduction to Linux class intended for computer newbies that you know of or else interested in reviewing such a class for yourselves, might be very interested in an announcement that was released just over two weeks ago. The announcement article is ‘Linux Foundation to Build Massive Open Online Course Program with edX, Increase Access to Linux Training for All’[1].

This announcement in essence is that the Linux Foundation and edX are partnering to develop a MOOC(*) program that will help address the effort to meet an increasing demand for Linux professionals and to grow the pool of Linux technical talent worldwide by making basic Linux training materials available to all for free. Previously a $2,400 course, Introduction to Linux will be the first class available as a MOOC and will be free to anyone, anywhere.

Bulleted points worth mentioning:

  • (*)MOOC == Massive Open Online Course
  • Further description of edX’s LFS101x ‘Introduction to Linux’ course goals are at the link here[2]. Note that this MOOC is free, is 100% self-paced, and is specifically designed for “computer users who have limited or no previous exposure to Linux”.
  • The LFS101x ‘Introduction to Linux’ MOOC is officially slated to begin sometime this Summer of 2014. Current estimates are that it will begin closer to late Summertime.
  • edX registration for LFS101x has already begun through their online Registration form at the link [3] and more specifically at [4].
  • Carefully note from their FAQ[5] that while edX courses are free for everyone to audit, some courses have a fee for ID verified certificates of achievement. Indeed, edX seems to be “nudging” course-registrants toward this paid certification of achievement via their TOS[6]. In addition, verification for their paid certification mandates that registrants provide identity authentication through webcam photos of themselves, as well as to provide photos of “an acceptable form of photo ID”. You can skip edX’s paid certification “nudge” and the authentication requirement by going to the lower part of the ‘Register + Account Creation’ screen that follows edX’s initial online registration forms [3] or [4]. You would wish to solely audit the LFS101x course.
  • Newbie computer users everywhere are welcome to register for this MOOC now, and in the long interim period before the LFS101x course officially starts, can gain some familiarity with computers and common software, such as would be had from daily computer use, e.g., using the Berkeley Public Library’s publicly reservable computers[7].

Again, the key announcement is ‘Linux Foundation to Build Massive Open Online Course Program with edX, Increase Access to Linux Training for All’ at the webpage here[1]

Please feel free to pass along and share this information with others.
And of course, please feel free to comment on how great (or not) you think this MOOC will be, and the same on mentioning any good alternatives!

References:
=========
[1]http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/announcements/2014/03/linux-foundation-build-massive-open-online-course-program-edx
[2]https://www.edx.org/course/linuxfoundationx/linuxfoundationx-lfs101x-introduction-1621
[3]https://courses.edx.org/register
[4]https://courses.edx.org/register?course_id=LinuxFoundationX/LFS101x/2T2014&enrollment_action=enroll
[5]https://www.edx.org/student-faq#
[6]https://www.edx.org/edx-terms-service
[7]http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/library/reserve-computer

 


Feb 2014 Software

Posted on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 10:16 am by grantbow


2014-02-gtrends
Here’s what Google Trends (image at right) says are last month’s top search items for software technologies. Are these the ones you use most often?

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our list.


More Battery Life!

Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm by grantbow


Does your laptop or mobile battery last as long as you need it to? Mine do OK but longer is better. Here’s a Tech News Today show from this week that talks about solar power as a future solution as the technologies get better all the time.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our list.


Guns, Open Source and Bad Voltage

Posted on Friday, February 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm by grantbow


Congratulations to our friends at badvoltage.org on launching and keeping their latest podcast adventure going strong for four months. Their most recent episode 1×08 talks about the timid topic of gun control which has relevance to some 3d-printer (1×06) enthusiasts. Let us know what you think here and/or post on their forums community.badvoltage.org powered by Discourse (1×05).

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our list.


Python for Statistics

Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm by grantbow


I got interested by this article tweeted by @darmesh about the declining use of the specialized statistical R-project.org environment and the increasing use of the Python language (overview) for big data scientific applications despite needing some work.

What types of code are you writing and what languages do you prefer these days?


Self Driving Cars

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm by grantbow


Chris Peeples forwarded an article to our email list after mentioning it during our last Sunday meeting. “Auto Correct: Has the self-driving car at last arrived?” by Burkhard Bilger in The New Yorker. Google is improving on the technology every week, meeting for status updates each Monday at 11:30AM. They and others would like to eliminate the 1.24 million car accident fatalities each year worldwide and reduce the fifty million more that are injured.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.


Free, The Future of a Radical Price

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 7:18 am by grantbow


Ignore these ideas at your own peril. Free, The Future of a Radical Price (2009) by Chris Anderson is available, not surprisingly, for free, gratis, no marginal cost. The google buzz is interesting too.

* books.google.com version
* Amazon has hardcover, paperback, kindle ebook and (gratis) audible.com versions

Mr. Anderson is a fellow resident of Berkeley and is also the author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution (2012) and The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business Is Selling Less Of More (2006). This TED bio is helpful and his first TED Talk recorded in 2004 is a prelude to his 2006 book.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.


Could Canonical Become Profitable? Yes

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 2:54 am by grantbow


Here’s an arstechnica.com article providing some background and details.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.








Recent Entries

Popular Posts