[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.

Reading Into the Red Hat CentOS Deal

There was a somewhat quiet, cost-free acquisition of sorts in the Linux world earlier this year when Red Hat announced it was joining forces with Red Hat Enterprise Linux community clone CentOS. The move, which effectively brings organization, governance, backing and technology of CentOS under Red Hat’s brim, is interesting for a few reasons. First, it illustrates the continued presence and power of unpaid community Linux distributions like CentOS. Second, it’s part of the changing Linux market, which is being driven by cloud computing and new types of uses on the rise.

GitHub Cofounder Resigns but Denies Harassment

GitHub cofounder Tom Preston-Werner has resigned following an investigation into harassment charges made by developer Julie Ann Horvath, who departed the company last month. “The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation, or of a sexist or hostile work environment,” said Chris Wanstrath, GitHub cofounder and CEO, in an announcement on Monday.

Heartbleed and Heartache in FOSS Town

Well it’s been a wild few weeks here in the Linux blogosphere, thanks not just to XP’s demise but also the long-overdue discovery of the all-pervasive Heartbleed bug. That the bug is “catastrophic” appears to be beyond dispute; in fact, “some might argue that it is the worst vulnerability found … since commercial traffic began to flow on the Internet,” as at least one commentator suggested. The fact that the flaw exists in OpenSSL, of course, is what’s made the topic particularly pertinent to those of us in the FOSS world.

Adobe’s Open Source Tightrope Walk

Open source software continues to gain momentum — but what is not growing is an open desire among individual software developers to port their commercial Windows wares to Linux. Open source support is not a mere in or out decision. Some software makers shape their business models to take advantage of open source support for some products but not others. For other software developers, making a commitment to support FOSS often goes well beyond the notion of putting one’s money where one’s mouth is.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or Ubuntu 13.10 in few easy steps

The latest Ubuntu LTS is here with a lot of minor as well as major changes. When it comes to Ubuntu and most other common Linux flavours, upgrading an entire OS is as easy as upgrading an application. All it takes is a whole lot of extra bandwidth for additional packages needed for the upgrade. And when it comes to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS which was released almost two years ago, you can directly upgrade to the latest LTS, Ubuntu 14.04 ie, skipping all the non-LTS releases in between with no real issues. Here’s how its done.

how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS

How to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 from Ubuntu 12.04/Ubuntu 13.10?

  • Before starting with the upgrade process, make sure that your Ubuntu is up-to-date. Check for updates in the Update Manager and install them all.
  • Hit ALT + F2 and run the command “update-manager -d” (without quotes).
how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Hit ENTER and the following window will pop up.
how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • See the message on top: “New Ubuntu release ’14.04′ is available”. Hit the upgrade button and you’re already on your way. (Note: This was done on an Ubuntu 12.04 machine and FYI the upgrade process went super smooth in my case)
upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 from ubuntu 12.04
  • And the best part is, you can cancel and resume the upgrade whenever you want, up until the point where the upgrade process reach the step: “Installing the upgrades”. Enjoy the latest and greatest from Ubuntu.
how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS

15 new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS features that will help you make the final switch

Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr” has just been released. This is the second Ubuntu LTS release which will be based on Unity desktop. I have been using it for more than a month now and my experience with the new Ubuntu 14.04 has been exceptionally good so far. And unlike previous LTS releases, there are a truck load of major as well as minor changes. Meet the 15 new Ubuntu 14.04 features and changes that will help you make the final switch. 
ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes

New Lock Screen: Ubuntu finally gets a revamped lock screen. The previous lock screen looked like something out of the 90′s to be frank. Thankfully the new updated lock screen not only looks good, but actually loads faster and thus easier to use!
top ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes

Locally Integrated Menus (LIMs): Time to say good-bye to global menus already? Not yet. But locally integrated menus is provided as an optional feature now which is nice. A lot of people with larger displays have been asking for something like LIMs since the introduction of global menus. More details, screenshots and videos here.
15 new ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
Click to Minimize: I have accidentally clicked on apps on Unity launcher expecting the minimize action. I’m sure that many among you must have done the same. Well, our “clicks” has been answered. The latest iteration of Compiz Config Settings Manager (CCSM) has the Click to Minimize feature in the Launcher settings as an experimental addon. Details & Video.

top 15 ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes

Click to Spread: In fact, this feature is like an extension of Click to Minimize action. When more than one instances of the same Window/App is opened, you can click on its launcher icon in order to initiate the spread animation.

15 ubuntu 14.04 lts changes

Borderless Windows: Ubuntu’s new borderless theme for window decorators look absolutely gorgeous. The default Ambiance and Radiance themes will be borderless in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Tahr”. Further details here.

top thing new in ubuntu 14.04 lts

New LIM settings: Locally Integrated Menus are not default yet, but you can easily enable it by going to Settings – Appearance. See screenshot.

15 things new in ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes

Sound Settings: If you’ve ever used VLC media player, you know what this means already. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS have the capability to raise volume beyond 100%.

top 15 ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes

New Wallpapers: 11 new community contributed wallpapers. Download them here.

whats new in ubuntu 14.04 lts

Keyboard Filtering in Unity Spread: We did mention the arrival of Click to Spread feature before, but there’s a small twist to the tale. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has also added keyboard filtering for Unity Spread feature. Video preview

ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes

Even more Launcher customization: You can now resize the launcher to a miniscule 16px value. Not that it is a very useful feature ‘n all, but the more customizing options the better.  

Nautilus Type-Ahead feature: Very recently, a feature that has been an integral part of Nautilus for a long time was dropped unceremoniously. Remember when you could simply start typing a file name in Nautilus and the focus automagically will be on that file/folder with that name within a particular directory? Well the feature was called type-ahead, and it is back on Ubuntu. I can already hear many sighs of relief out there.

Backspace Key in Back in Nautilus: A previous Ubuntu release replaced the Backspace keyboard shortcut with ALT + Backspace in order to ‘go back’ a directory in Nautilus. I regarded it as one of the most regressive moves ever, and using Nautilus ever since has been a pain. All that is going to change for good now, Backspace key is the shortcut again!

Better Support for Hi-Res Screens: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS codenamed “Trust Tahr” will have support HiDPI/Retina displays. A little bit delayed but still a welcome move. 
Ubuntu One file Service discontinued: Effective from 1st June 2014, Ubuntu One file support will be discontinued. It is no longer possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One file services apps in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores have been removed. More information regarding the shut down can be found here.

SSD TRIM Support added: “Finally, SSDs are now being trimmed automatically out of the box. Embarrassingly late, but at least in time for 14.04 LTS,” posted Martin Pitt, a leading developer at Canonical, on Google+. Basically, TRIM allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) as to which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally. More on the subject here.

uGet Gives Great Downloads

The latest version of the uGet Download Manager rekindled my interest in grabbing files without relying on a Web browser. uGet version 1.10.4. was released last month. Written in C, it uses GTK+3 for its user interface, and it is packed full with improvements. It is very reliable and stable, with 11 years of growth behind it. The uGet website has received a makeover to better support users, according to Michael Tunnell of the uGet Project. To help spur a new round of development, the project team for the first time is seeking donations.

Google Mounts $100K Project Ara Dev Challenge

Google announced a $100,000 developers’ challenge prize on Wednesday, the second day of its Project Ara modular phone developers’ conference. The top two runners-up will get all-expenses paid trips for two or three people to the next Ara devcon — there will be a few more held this year — and guaranteed hardware for the project, said Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko. Judging will be based on both objective and subjective criteria.
The challenge will be unveiled officially in mid-May, with a detailed set of rules, Eremenko said.

Fun and Angst With Google Glass

Google Glass, which has been the focus of considerable controversy, went on sale Tuesday — for one day only — at $1,500, with Android KitKat and new features that include improved battery life, photo bundles, photo replies and voice command sorting.
However, one feature — video calling — has been eliminated because fewer than 10 percent of Explorer beta users employed it. “Today we hope to bring even more Explorers into the program to reflect an even more diverse group of people,” said Google spokesperson Chris Dale.

Linux and the Post-XP Cry for Help

Well the Linux landscape shifted dramatically last week, and not just because of the discovery of the Heartbleed bug. No indeed, there’s another key reason this little planet of ours isn’t the same as it was a week ago, and that’s none other than Windows XP’s long-anticipated end of life. “As of April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP are no longer available,” wrote Microsoft. The news was hardly any surprise, of course — but neither was the cry for help that rang out soon thereafter in the Linux blogosphere.