The DistRogue

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Microsoft: All talk and no code?

OK, OK, I was wrong. The "Microvell" deal (Microsoft partnering up with Novell) wasn't a lapse in Microsoft's decision-making capabilities, caused by a sudden realization that Linux is catching up to Windows (historic lapses including a certain cake...). Rather, as almost any Linux fan that reads Slashdot knows by now, it was a clever ploy to launch up to 283 lawsuits against Linux for intellectual-property infringement. Microsoft claims that some of Linux's code infringes on their intellectual property, and their partnership with Novell (Windows Vista and SLED 10 are still competing fiercely) only cemented this claim. So, we know what they want: to prove that we're wrong, and that we infringe on some code that Microsoft has locked away in the Vault of Redmond, and kernel developers have no access to whatsoever, and make a few quick bucks off of it in court. Oh, and to "dismantle Linux". Typical shady Redmond tactics. For that reason, we want as much as they do to see the offending code removed. Apparently, they want to see it as well- they even threatened court action against it! ;) But, we can't remove it if we don't know what the code is that we have to remove. So, Steve Ballmer, in four words:
Show us the code. is an independent website where concerned Linux users can petition to have the code Microsoft apparently wants removed shown, so we can actually remove it. I beg (as they do) Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu), Kevin Carmony (Linspire/Freespire), Daniel Robbins (Gentoo), Richard Stallman (GNU Project), Linus Torvalds (kernel)... hell, anyone important who might have come across this page (or that page) to add your name. Because we can destroy Microsoft, or at least discredit them, no matter which direction they take. They can show us the code that they base so much on, or they can look foolish by refusing a challenge from the open-source community. Once the gauntlet has been thrown down, it's a win for us.
EDIT: Never mind. They'll never show us the code. They always take the route out that makes them look foolish. Just look at Steve Ballmer's "Developers" chant.
From Ubuntu 6.10,
The DistRogue.
Saturday, February 17, 2007

For you pickier users

Sooo... Did you take my advice and try PCLinuxOS? No? Clearly not. That's okay, I might have found something better. Sure, PCLinuxOS is one of the fastest KDE-based distributions, but if you don't like KDE, think, for a second, about how fast stuff woud run with XFCE installed on it. That is what SAM Linux is. PCLinuxOS comes with tools for re-mastering a new Live CD, like SLAX. I haven't tried it yet, but I know this much:
-SAM Linux comes with 3D effects, just like the 0.94-test versions of PCLinuxOS.
-It uses an XFCE desktop, but as far as XFCE desktops, SAM's is a cut above most others.
-PCLinuxOS with XFCE 4.2 installed runs SuperTux about 7 FPS faster than usual.
Might SAM become the new Xubuntu? Might I happen to install it myself and give it a try? Stay tuned for another chilling episode of...
(from PCLinuxOS 0.93a/XFCE)
-The DistRogue!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Indecisive? Try my new LDC.

As a Valentines' Day gift to all of you, I finally got around to doing something I've been meaning to do for a looong time: coding my own Linux Distribution Chooser. Based on an idea I got from Zegenie Studios, and a long time in the making, it takes about a minute to do, and works on cookies- you don't have to go through the whole thing again to correct a mistake. It scores distros on an 8-point scale, and has an adjustable threshold that defaults to 6 out of 8. Currently, I have 24 distributions listed.
Monday, February 12, 2007

Compiz on Ubuntu

First Fedora, now Ubuntu... Really. Sure, I've run Beryl on Ubuntu before, but never on my laptop- it keeps crashing X. But I fond this link when I was browsing the #ubuntu-xgl channel on Within minutes, the cube was back on my laptop- which, again, has horrible specs (i810, 800MHz Celeron, 320MB RAM). Of course, being able to turn it back off would help...
What this tutorial leaves out is that you have to turn on AIGLX on your system for it to work. You do this by editing xorg.conf:
sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Then, add the following line in the "Device" section for your graphics card:
Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps"
Finally, add this code at the end, assuming it's not there:
Section "DRI"
Mode 0666

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Enable"
Then, follow the instructions and type "compiz-tray-icon".
Friday, February 02, 2007

Rant: s/Kubuntu/PCLinuxOS

I'm a die-hard Ubuntuer, let's face it. So, it should come as a shock that I've decided against using- or recommending- Kubuntu Linux, in favor of PCLinuxOS. Sure, all bets are off after April 19 (release date of [K,X]Ubuntu "Feisty"), but for now, PCLinuxOS 0.93a is an undeniably able substitute for Kubuntu 6.10.
One of PCLinuxOS's main advantages is speed. Kubuntu's been known to boot fast (even faster than Xubuntu) through a new init system called Upstart (which Xubuntu lacks, but can have installed through "sudo apt-get install upstart"), but PCLinuxOS is still a bit faster (a matter of seconds). It does this by "splitting" some packages, and not booting some less-vital parts of itself- a trick Debian uses.
PCLinuxOS also one-ups Kubuntu as far as user-friendliness- something vital these days. It comes with a built-in control center, in addition to KDE's control center and config dialogs. As of the 2007 pre-releases, it also includes 3D drivers and AIGLX/Beryl effects. Ubuntu can easily have Beryl installed, but as of Edgy Eft, Beryl is not included
(it will as of Feisty). (Update: the dev team, lazy as usual, put it off until the release after that. For the most part, these are the same guys who released Ubuntu 6.06 a month and a half behind schedule.)
Finally, PCLinuxOS just plain looks cooler. Windows Vista came out 3 days ago; PCLinuxOS has had a default theme similar to it for longer. Transparent taskbar? Sure. Clear window borders? Yep. Tolerable wallpaper? Mm-hmm. Some of the other included themes are pretty cool, too. (Windows MCE fans? Check out SUSE2. Looks nothing like SUSE, but who cares?)
So, basically, PCLinuxOS owns Kubuntu, and will for a long time. But there are workarounds: The Vista theme can probably be downloaded from, and Beryl can be installed. As for the boot speed, look here.
From Debian "Sid" (oops... I've said too much),
The DistRogue.

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