[sticky] Tired of paying for Windows? Linux is your answer!

Welcome to PrescottLinux.com, we are a local team dedicated to informing dispirited computer users of the tri-city area that there is an alternative to Microsoft Windows. You may very well have a Dell PC right now, did you know you paid Microsoft a percentage of the cost of that PC? With Microsoft’s versions of Windows, you are paying them for the privilege of providing you with an operating system that will open you up viruses, spyware, and all types of malware. Windows by far is the biggest platform for attracting all the unwanted nuisances floating around on the Internet.

If you have kids in the house going online, then you probably have had problems with your Windows computer catching a virus, and all the popups, hijacking of your computer, etc. It is an expensive nightmare to try to get that computer cleaned out. That’s where Linux has a huge advantage over Windows- It is designed from the ground-up with security in mind.

Linux is Free and Open Source Software, a concept known by the acronym, FOSS. As such, you don’t have to pay for Linux, most of the software that runs on Linux is also free and open source. All your favorite applications, such as Mozilla Firefox, web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird E-mail client, Sun’s Open Office, their office suite that is compatible with Microsoft’s Office, as well as many other programs you are probably using already.

Linux also gives you freedom from knowing that there isn’t a big, centralized corporation controlling what do you with your computer, with just its shareholders in mind.

We will add more posts here to explain the virtues of Linux periodically and hope to inform the public.

Pearl OS Could Be a Gem in the Making


If you favor the OS X environment, Pearl OS might be a Linux distro to feed your fancy.
Pearl OS is a revival of the discontinued Pear OS distro. It picks up where Pear left off in early 2014. Pearl OS has two desktop versions: XFCE and MATE. Both are based on Ubuntu Linux distro version 14.04 Mini release. The two flavors of Pearl OS are customized to look and act like the OS X operating system. But Pearl is Linux and not OS X. This distro runs Debian-based Linux applications. It does not run OS X software or have actual OS X functions.

MPV – A truly lightweight Mplayer based media player for Linux

For those who are in the lookout for a decent multimedia player beyond the usual suspects such as VLC, SMPlayer or GNOME Mplayer, and one that is also light as a feather, look no further, MPV has you covered.

mpv media player ubuntu


MPV – Clean and simple media player for Linux
MPV is a free, open source, and cross-platform media player based on mplayer2 and MPlayer. Though heavily sharing characteristics with its parent projects, MPV further extended their functionalities and added more features while getting nimbler at the same time. MPV is a command line based tool and can be launched from Terminal only, but you can always make it your default media player for different media file formats.

mpv media player ubuntu
  • Powerful command-line based media player with wide range of functionalities.
  • High quality video output, supports video scaling with popular high quality algorithms, color management etc.
  • While MPV has no official GUI, it has a small controller that is triggered by mouse movement. Good enough trade-off when you consider the nimbleness of MPV.

How to install MPV in Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 14.10, elementary Freya?

  • Add the following PPA, update your repositories, and you are good to go. Open Terminal and copy-paste the following commands.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/mpv-tests
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mpv
  • Done.
mpv media player linux
  • Select your media, right click on it and choose “open in mpv” option. I have set mpv as my default media player for a host of file types. Honestly, I’m really impressed by it so far. 
  • MPV is not just an ordinary media player either. It is a powerful command line tool with capabilities for capturing audio/video output, format conversion, content streaming etc. See mpv manpages for more details. And MPV is being actively developed too. More download options for other platforms can be found here

Open Source vs. Proprietary Firms on the IoT Battleground


Technology wars are predictable. Every new wave of gadgetry brings a fight over who will be the next king of the software hill. The next big battle is brewing over control of the Internet of Things marketplace. Consumers see only convenience and extensions to their always-on mobile devices. Product makers see a pathway to streaming data that can be monetized from buyers’ connections. Will history repeat itself, as open source begins to take on the current, yet unsustainable, walled-garden core of the IoT?

HP’s Marten Mickos: Open Source Is Not a Business Model


Marten Mickos, SVP and general manager of HP’s cloud unit, preaches what at first glance may appear to be two opposing business models. One is the notion that developing open source software entails meeting a reciprocity requirement. The other is the idea that using open source software does not require any reciprocity. Mickos is a seasoned open source executive with a passion for infrastructure software. In learning to adapt his business strategies to make open source profitable, Mickos succeeded where many others have failed.

University Paris 8 ditches Adobe’s Photoshop for Krita, Blender and Natron

Opensource tools in the professional software space are really taking off, be it Blender or GIMP or even the humble LibreOffice. Krita on the other hand is generally accepted as an user-friendly GIMP alternative which is also cross-platform. Krita, which was launched about 9 years ago, is now considered to be as reliable as the best industry has to offer. 

University Paris 8 adopts Krita, ditches Photoshop
The ATI (Art and Technology of Image) department at University Paris 8 is switching over to Krita this year, primary reason being the immense cost benefits that Krita has over costly proprietary alternatives such as Adobe’s Photoshop.

This department has the double aim to train students both to use graphic software (2D,3D,VFX and Compositing) and to code their own (Python, C#, C++). Until recently the classes used only Adobe Photoshop, but because of inadequate support from the company the department decided to replace that, according to Krita.

In an interview with Libre Graphics World, University Paris 8′s François Grassard, the man behind the department’s switch-over to Krita, confirms that their budget is indeed the primary reason for choosing Krita over Photoshop.

“Our university is among public schools that are mostly free in France, except registration fees that are pretty acceptable in comparison to fees in some other countries. To acquire all licenses of software that we teach, we have to rely on our own budget only. And our budget is ridiculously low. So we always have to talk to software vendors about the price of licenses.”

“Some companies are pretty fair with us, and we can, for instance, buy all Maya licenses we need. In other cases, companies can’t lower the price of their products. That was the case for Adobe. We asked for a discount, they said they can’t do that. End of the story.” So instead of simply using a cracked version of Adobe Photoshop, the team decides to give Krita a chance.

Enter Krita, the power-packed opensource Photoshop alternative
After being introduced to Krita by an industry expert, students at ATI were mostly impressed by the capabilities of the software, says Grassard. Of course, it’s not so easy to learn new software when you have used Photoshop for such a long time. But they decides to give it a go anyway.

“As the result, we switched from Photoshop to Krita. We didn’t do it for some kind of revolutionary ideology, we did it to continue using high quality software, and Krita was the best option. I think it’s going to be a pretty good experience for everybody at ATI. And we know that a lot of other animation schools in France are watching us.”

Story behind Blender and Natron
Blender is a well-know free and opensource 3D modelling & graphics software widely used for making animated movies while Natron is an opensource compositing software. Unlike Krita, the most students at ATI were already quite familiar with Blender. So the choice of this software came naturally from our students, says Grassard. He himself being an ardent user of Blender 3D graphics software, the choice of Blender was pretty straight forward.

After Effects was the primary software of choice for introducing compositing to students at ATI. But after the switch from Photoshop to Krita, they had to find a new one. Then they came to know about open source compositing software named Natron, which apparently was built by a French team at INRIA lab. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Commendable courage and determination shown here by the students as well as their mentor at ATI. We wish them the very best. Read his full interview at Libre Graphics World.

VLC 3.0 to come up with Chromecast support

Recent changelog published by VLC confirms once and for all the fact that the next important version of VLC is indeed going to come up with Chromecast support across multiple devices. 

Chromecast support and VLC 3.0
A changelog posted by VLC has confirmed that support for the Google Chromecast, the mighty popular TV dongle, is soon to be added to one of the most loved open source media player out there. That means users will be able to stream just about any media file through VLC media player to the connected Chromecast TV dongle.

Still, it is not entirely clear whether the changes are applicable to VLC player across platforms, but there are indications. VLC had previously revealed that it was looking to add Chromecast support for its entire suite of apps. Let the release happen and then we’ll know for sure.
[Source: pocket-lint]

Pivotal Punts Big Data Platform to Open Source


Pivotal on Wednesday announced its decision to open source all of the core components of its big data platform, becoming the first big data industry player to do so. The company also announced its participation in the Open Data Platform, which seeks to encourage more enterprise collaboration, along with the adoption of modern, scalable data architectures. The opening of the Pivotal Big Data Suite follows Pivotal’s success last year with open sourcing its Cloud Foundry.

Say hello to Trinity Bundle: 10 epic Steam games for Linux at just $2.49!

10 epic Steam games for Linux worth more than 120 USD for just $2.49, Bundle Star brings to you perhaps one of the most exciting collection of Linux games this year at throw-away prices. Grab your copy before the time runs out. 
game bundle linux

Trinity Bundle brought to you by Bundle Stars
“All Steam, All Windows, All Mac, All Linux – Save $120 on 10 epic games in the Trinity Bundle, only $2.49!” Official list of games include:
  • Pixel Boy and the Ever Expanding Dungeon (Action-RPG Shoot-em-up)
  • STRONGHOLD 3 GOLD (simulation, Strategy)
  • IO (an abstract physics platformer)
  • REVENGE OF THE TITANS (real-time Strategy and Tower Defense)
  • ERADICATOR (arcade-style action shooter)
  • TERRIAN SAGA: KR-17 (side-scrolling action puzzle-platformer)
  • SENTINEL (tower-defense, strategy)
  • LEGENDS OF AETHEREUS (online action-roleplaying game)
  • SHINY THE FIREFLY (platform adventure)

Yandex Asks Russian Authorities to Drop the Hammer on Google


Yandex has asked Russia’s antitrust authorities to look into whether Google is breaking the country’s laws by not allowing preinstallation of third-party services on Android devices. Three smartphone vendors told Yandex last year that they couldn’t install its search engine as the default, the company claimed. Yandex is seeking to have the Android OS unbundled from Google Search and other end-user services. The EU began looking into this issue last year. “What goes around comes around,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Korora Comes Bursting With Extras


Korora, a Linux distro based on Fedora, the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, just keeps getting better. When I reviewed Korora 19, released in July 2013, I said it had the potential to grow in popularity among users looking for a better, more user-friendly Linux distro that reaches beyond Fedora’s enterprise appeal. The latest release, Korora 21, provides even more assurance of that statement’s accuracy. Korora is packed with lots of additional packages besides those provided by the Fedora community.