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My Inadvertent Experiment & Return

January 11th, 2010 by

Hello openSUSE Project! If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that since October, I’ve been a Windows 7 user instead of an openSUSE user. Well, late last night, I got a visit at home from this character:

samurai

So, I am now an openSUSE user again…

OK. Just kidding. Actually I left the project because I needed to concentrate my time on my work in the liberty movement and school, and when push comes to shove, the little green lizard got shoved. In the process, I had purchased a copy of Windows 7 when Microsoft was selling it for $50, and so I essentially switched over to using Windows 7 for a few months. In the end, I moved back to openSUSE because it’s, quite frankly, a better experience in many ways. I’ll probably write up an article or two in my comparisons between the two OSs… but I’m back now, using openSUSE 11.2.

In the course of these three months, I have to say I missed working with the openSUSE Project, especially the people. So… I’m back! I re-uped my mailinglist subscriptions and have been reading back articles of openSUSE News to try and catch up with what’s been going on in the project. I’m excited to be back and I look forward to working with you all again!

- Kevin

1-Click Bug Reporting?

August 23rd, 2009 by

First off, let me blow the dust off of my Lizards blog account ;-)

Now that Bug iconwork and school has started to settle down, I’ve gotten back in to testing openSUSE’s newest version, 11.2. One of the things that annoyed me a little, though, was having to open Firefox to report or search for a bug in Bugzilla. So with a little inspiration from the Windows 7 beta’s links to “report a problem” everywhere, I created a desktop icon and panel launcher to automatically launch Firefox and open the “enter new bug” page on our Bugzilla.

You can download this icon here (right-click and Save Link As). Perhaps this is something that should be included with the pre-release versions of the OS starting in 11.3? What do ya’ll think?

Update: Due to a suggestion by Pavol Rusnak, it’s now in openFATE – #307492

SUSE Out Your Tweets!

June 22nd, 2009 by

Thanks to Raul Libório from the openSUSE Marketing Team, you can trick out your Twitter background with your openSUSE Project affiliation (member, ambassador, user). Check out the openSUSE Social Network marketing page to get yours (look under “Sidebars for Twitter”.

You can add the logo itself, or use a program like The GIMP or Inkscape to add the logo to your current background (much like mine, below)

Twitter screenshot

A Quick Tour of GNOME Shell

May 16th, 2009 by

Because I feel a tad bit guilty about missing all of the Community Week sessions this week (school and work training, and before you ask, I’ve got more training all this weekend, so I can’t make those sessions either), I did decide to do a quick tour of the GNOME Shell, one of the integral parts of the GNOME 3 series, scheduled to be coming out in 2010 or so.

First, big thanks to Vincent Untz for packaging the GNOME Shell packages for openSUSE! I’m using these packages for my testing purposes

Here’s the quick tour:

First, here’s the openSUSE 11.1 desktop w/ GNOME 2.24 running GNOME Shell:

GNOME Shell Desktop

GNOME Shell Desktop

Note the Activity menu and the specially-capulated notification area. Good stuff. I al so like the stylized panel, but I don’t like it at the top. When  openSUSE adopts GNOME 3, I’d like to see it moved to the bottom.

Windows being created from the Application Launcher

Windows being created from the Application Launcher

Clicking on the Activity menu opens this menu. The desktop shrinks into a side (and you can create or remove as many as you wish, which is seriously awesome), and opens the most recent Applications and documents (I think). If you wish to open an application, double-click or drag the icon onto the desktop you wish it to open to.

Search

Search

Here I did a simple search for SUSE. Applications and documents that matched that search pop up (although I’m not sure what indexing service that is, I’m relatively sure it’s not Beagle, openSUSE’s desktop search indexer).

Full search results shown

Full search results shown

Here’s an expanded view of the search for apps with SUSE. The desktops slide out of the way, and a multi-column (and page) view pops up. To open, drag an icon over to the right (onto the desktop).

Overall, I like it. Combined with the new stuff coming next year in GNOME 3, this could be quite an interesting release. One of the most important things to note is that this interface seems incredibly tailored toward netbook’s small screens.

What do you think?

The *real* antidote to Conficker…

April 1st, 2009 by

I’m almost as sick of this Conficker stuff as I am going to be sick of April Fools Day stuff when I wake up tomorrow (not to mention I think this is a big promotional stunt for a movie called ‘Conficker’ coming out soon. You watch!), but I have to laugh when I see all these mainstream news organizations falling all over themselves to tell people how to get rid of this malware. In reality, all you have to tell your friends and family is to use one product that will protect them from Conficker and future viruses:

openSUSE 11.1

No joke. Happy April Fools Day, I guess.

Get your openSUSE posters! Posters for everyone!

June 25th, 2008 by

These three openSUSE posters have been up for a while, but I now have the SVG files up so people can edit them, add their LUG or openSUSE Local User Group name/logo & address to them, change the design, etc. They are up on the Miscellaneous Artwork page, so our community can use them for flyers, posters, or to spam their neighbor’s mailboxes*. Comments, questions, or suggestions about the posters? Use that comment box below, folks ;-).

*Neither Kevin Dupuy, the openSUSE Project, nor Geeko endorse plastering people’s mailboxes with a bunch of openSUSE flyers. Save the trees, use email instead ;-).

openSUSE 11.0 At First Glance: It’s OK.

June 20th, 2008 by

So I’m still running openSUSE 10.3 as my main desktop, and will be until next week when the pre-ordered boxed editions are supposed to ship. By then I’ll be able to do a full review of what I think about openSUSE 11.0, but I did download and install the GNOME Live CD yesterday, and so I wanted to just talk about a few points, good and bad.

Keep in mind, this is just me using this system for a few hours, and just talking about a few key points. If you’ve got comments about something I’ve said, please comment ;-)

The Good

The art and look & feel of openSUSE 11.0 rocks! I really like the new GTK theme for the GNOME desktop, which gies the system a much needed refresh of the theme.

I also liked the GNOME live installer. Although it’s not the widely loved new installer from the DVD (which I’ll finally be able to use next week), it does look nice and do it’s job well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the world map included in the install, apparently it was included in response to a bug I filed in a late beta but came in too late for 11.0.

After the install and the reboot, I was brought to the login manager. It wasn’t the new login manager included in GNOME 2.22, but the older one. It still works, but I think in this day and age it’s time for people to be able to have a face browser. You know, 9 years after Mac OS 9 and Windows XP both included them.

On the desktop, I was shown the Greeter and a window asking for me to perform an online update. At the same time. Neither of which helped me, considering I have no internet access until I install the Madwifi driver. But if both windows are going to be shown at the same time, they should be a part of the same window, e.g. the user clicks out of the greeter, then the online update request is shown.

Setting up the online update was easy enough, although it still took a while. More on the online updating situation in the “The Bad” section below.

This was about the extention of the little playing around I did, so without further adieu…

The Bad

Yes, boo me if you will, but I unfortunatly found that the GNOME desktop seemed to regress in the polish department. The online update/greeter thing as mentioned earlier was one thing, but there are several other issues I have with 11.0. These may seem nit-picky, but these are things reviewers and users will take away from the system.

The first issue I noticed is something I filed a bug report about in 11.0, and that was the notification messages. They are over sized, obnoxious, and don’t fit in with the look and feel of openSUSE 11.0. For one, that little stripe is blue. 11.0 is green. Not a match, the board goes back. And it’s not even the shade of blue that matches the window decorations or the theme. And they are way too big. You can see the same message in 10.3 and 11.0, and the color and size difference. Worse than that, some applications change the color of the stripe for no apparent reason. NetworkManager is one, it makes it dark blue. PackageKit is another, making it this ugly shade of red. I’m sorry, this just doesn’t look professional to me.

Left is 10.3, Right is 11.0

Next, on the menu, is a button under Control Center for YaST. I don’t know when this was put in, but it had to have been late. It wasn’t in the last public release candidate, but it was snuck in in the later ones before gold, apparently. And it was a bad choice, considering YaST is already accessable from the Control Center. And it actually says YaST. Call me crazy, but if I’m a user looking to set up a new user, I’m probably not going to think, “well, I need to look for something called YaST”. Calling it Administrator Settings, as it was in 10.2 and 10.3 would work great. But it isn’t.

And another issue, in the Control Center, all but two of the Common Tasks are missing. And, the Show Administrator Settings (aka YaST) is missing. Meaning nowhere on the desktop is YaST referred to as anything but YaST. Bug report.

The 3D settings. I’m not sure making AIGLX default, and then not providing a way to switch on XGL for those people who AIGLX isn’t faster for, was the best option. Desktop Effects on my Intel graphics chip on 11.0 is really slow. Going into the console and switching on XGL works, but is that what you want to tell a new user who wants effects to actually work on his or her system to do?

Before I get to the big finish, I wanted to say: would it seriously have been a huge hit to the 11.0 development cycle to include at least a release candidate of Firefox 3, instead of Beta 5?

And finally, PackageKit. I’ve only used it a little, but I’m not a fan. Personally, I liked the GNOME openSUSE Updater from openSUSE 10.3, and with just a few improvements (such as showing what the updates are and allowing users to select or deselect them without loading up the YaST module), would have been a fine addition to 11.0. But instead, we’re using PackageKit’s updater, which is annoying and obnoxious, at least the time I used it. After getting online update set up, I get this blaring giant red notification message about 1 security update. I have the option of choosing to update it with a click of the button on the screen, so I click it. Then the root password dialog comes up, and after that another notification, this time in blue, comes up letting me know my system is being updated. After a minute, I get another notification, telling me it’s done. The icon goes away, I assume it’s finished. Then I try going into the Install Software, and I get a message that something else is accessing package management. What else is it? Well, PackageKit still has control over it, although it doesn’t tell me. At least with the openSUSE updater, you can see when it’s doing something.

I don’t see the value add for PackageKit vs. our own updater. Unless this is all about being as close to possible to GNOME upstream, in which case I don’t think that’s a case for which we need to be degrading user experiance. It is a desktop enviroment, we are supposed to be free to change it in whichever way we would like to make it better, and more openSUSE-ish. And although I’m reserving full judgement on openSUSE 11.0 GNOME until I get the full edition and live with it for a few days, I’m unfortunately not that impressed with it as of yet.

openSUSE 11.0 Now Available for Pre-order!

June 5th, 2008 by

openSUSE 11.0 Boxed EditionIt was quietly put up on the Novell store front page but openSUSE 11.0 is now available for pre-order! The boxed edition of openSUSE, which I have long been buying, has stayed the same, kinda bland looking white with a big lizard for a long time. But with 11.0 comes a new design that looks extremely slick and cool.

I also noticed the rather large notice on the American store page for openSUSE 11.0, which reads “Order to be shipped upon product release June 19.”

Hopefully that means they’ll try to avoid the tough time I and several others had getting a boxed edition in the United States (pre-ordering openSUSE, then getting it five weeks later, or four weeks after public release). They also don’t have the promotion from last year, where if you pre-ordered openSUSE 10.3 you got free shipping. Maybe that’s a trade-off for getting it at a reasonable time, if so I’m cool ;-).

UPDATE: According to an email Novell just sent out, free shipping is back if you pre-order, at least in the US. Also, a commenter said there is free shipping in Germany too.

openSUSE 11.0 and Vista Users (Poor souls): How’s Dual-booting?

June 4th, 2008 by

Stephan Kulow asked on the Factory mailinglist if anyone was dual-booting Windows Vista and openSUSE 11.0:

Both me and the reporter of bug 396444 have a broken vista
boot after RC1 instalation (I ignored the problem as I did
not boot vista since quite some time, so it could just as well
be broken with alpha0).

So I wonder if other's vista is still functional? Unless I
know what's causing this, this bug is one of those that will
delay 11.0, so please help me.

Since there weren’t many people on the mailinglist who were, if you do boot Vista and SUSE 11.0, with success or otherwise, please let us know on the opensuse-factory@opensuse.org mailinglist ;-)

11.0 Installation Walk-Throughs Mostly Done!

June 3rd, 2008 by

openSUSE 11.0 Installation Welcome PageI’ve got the openSUSE 11.0 installation walk-throughs mostly done! I say mostly, I did get the DVD installation tutorial completely done and published, but since we have a little over two weeks, if anyone has anything to add or correct to it, there’s plenty of time to do so. I also mostly finished a walk-through of the Live CD installation, but I’ve still got a few screenshots to add and corrections to make, so if you’ve got time take a look at both and help out, help us make them awesome easy to follow by release day!

I thought about just copying the instructions from the 10.3 Installation tutoral and adjusting them to 11.0, but since there were so many changes in the installation it would be more trouble than it would be worth.

So let’s raise a toast to the YaST developers for making the new installers really nice and spiffy! And thanks to Jonathon Arnold, hieronymus on Twitter, for providing me with the screenshots for the DVD installation!

Also, since I think this is my first post on Planet SUSE, hey everybody! I’ll just link to my bio.