Blog Archives

From Around The Web: The ffmpeg libav Situation

Quite a nice little perspective on what the situation looked and looks like recently between the ffmpeg and libav camps.  libav was created as a fork aside from ffmpeg, and has met both opposition and praise from some.  It really depends on how you came across either.  For me, I have always known ffmpeg since I heard about it around 2006, and it serves me well.  However, some developers prefer otherwise.  Be sure to hit up the source link for more.


How To – Making a Media Center Using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

ccdf6dc794fd35c2a702751c7732b2324b66586216aee7bcad8017dd8ab508f3For quite some time I have been away from the HTPC scene (~2 years), having resigned to using a Roku Player with the Plexapp channel for home media purposes.  I recently took another look last week at the HTPC option for my home.  Safe to say, I found I could safely get 80 percent of what I wanted for a media box out of the experience.  The Dell GX755 PC slim desktop is now tucked safely into the TV stand, and it works beautifully.  How did I do it it? Why? Read on for more.  Read the rest of this entry

From Around The Web – SteamOS: What we know so far and what to expect

Are you excited yet!?  Today is the day projected for the SteamOS beta release, and I will most certainly be giving it a go. There were many assumptions make in the previous weeks, including Ubuntu being the base distribution, as well as no access to a full desktop. Given what was surmized by, it seems that is not so much the case, with a confirmation even from Valve. Read the rest of this entry

Inpatient Gamer: Can’t Wait For Steam OS?

If you’re like me, you have followed the Steam announcements for Linux quite closely, and are eagerly awaiting release of not just the Steambox, but the pre-emptive Steam OS even more so.  Luckily the Steam platform runs quote effortlessly on Ubuntu, among a few other prominent Linux distros.  This post will detail just how to get your beloved Steam installed, as well as set it up to be that interim Steam box until the machines drop near you. Read the rest of this entry

Want to safeguard your privacy on Ubuntu? Here’s how!

Thanks to the great folks at, there is a quick and easy set of commands you can enter to do just that.  Simple open the Terminal application and paste the below code: Read the rest of this entry

Interesting perspective from a normal user on Unity and the Dash interface.

Family Friendly Linux on Ubuntu

This article I sifted through today gives a good rundown of many avenues you can pursue to create a Family Friendly Ubuntu setup.  There are other things that could be done, but this setup provides much of what most parents desire in access control for thier kids.  Enjoy.

Source: How to Geek


Video Reel: Ubuntu first boot animation – Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Edition Startup

Very cool first boot sequence for the Dell XPS 13. Enjoy


Featured Articles: Professor XYZ – The Rise Of Wayland

On behalf of the X-Men, Wayland, I'd like to wish you all possible luck in your new position.

Sounds like a blockbuster hit, right?  Wayland development continues, in what is considered by many as the holy grail of one this decades major Linux developments.  Is it shapping up to be all that we have hoped?  Of course it is way to early to tell.  But, it does warrant an update every so often.  Maybe a philosophical update, a viewpoint, something I have been thinking about.

_professor (no, not that professor…) Read the rest of this entry

Ubuntu’s New Groove

Ubuntu is one interesting monster, and has been since it’s inception.  We have seen it jump from a simple upstart, to the huge distribution that it is today.  But that change is not without criticism or concerns…

The Gamble:

To start, one such aspect is Ubuntu’s visual desktop structure.  I cannot think of one distro that changes how it looks (as the default environment) so much as Ubuntu.  Now, now all of this is bad.  Take it from this perspective:  Mark Shuttleworth’s aim is to make Ubuntu as easy to use as possible, and that is coming with some growing pains, but progress is being made.

When Ubuntu switched to Unity as its main interface, many were irritated and concerned.  “Why should I have to use Unity?” many would ask.  The easy response was to use an alternative DE, such as KDE or Gnome and so on.  There were numerous examples of Ubuntu doing visual changes like this, and this was just one major occurrence.   Alternative distros such as Mint are thriving as a result, and we owe a lot of that to Ubuntu.  Again, the power of choice is beautiful.

It’s not that I like the changes, but I understand the reason for them, and why Ubuntu is doing what it is doing.  With one of the smallest commit size to the Linux Kernel,  many criticize the giant for not being a big enough contributor to Linux as a whole.  But, that is not what their aim seems to be.  They are a part of something much bigger, the desktop experience.  

Look at it this way, Ubuntu is doing what other distros are too afraid to try.  They are looking to make Linux as something easy to use and acceptable to outside users that currently use Windows or OS X.  Sure, being a current Arch user, I desire other things, but I truly appreciate the efforts of Ubuntu in this regard.  They are really trying to get Linux out in the open, despite the criticisms along the way.

Now, we are seeing this same sort of gamble with MIR, which has roots in the Linux Kernel, as well as being something new visually to the desktop.  MIR aims to solve some of the current issues with Compiz and Unity, as well as make it “easier” going forward for other implementations.  Now, obviously MIR is receiving criticism, not just from users, but from internal Cannonical developers as well.  While we see Ubuntu sort of “distancing” itself from other distros and technology that is considered “standardized,” we may see something good out of this.   No one should argue that Ubuntu is not* driving media attention to Linux, and even if they do not win out in the end, people will be talking more about Linux, and by proxy, consider other distros.

In Summary:

In the end, I think Ubuntu’s gamble may very well pay off.  That is the beauty of choice.  If you are a Linux “nerd” or “power user,” then by all means use a distro that presents, or allows you to do so.  That is why I truly believe in Linux, the power of collaboration and choice, the community, philosophy, and the growing presence that you are a part* of something, rather than the OS pushing you to do things that you don’t want.  Ubuntu is doing a great job of making GNU/Linux acceptable to regular people.  In that respect, I applaud Ubuntu.  They are plowing the road for something great, even if it is not what I will use.

The next decade or so will be increasingly interesting to watch.  We will see many changes, especially with Ubuntu, good or* bad.  Seeing Ubuntu in the media will draw people to other aspects of Linux as well if they are curious to see what else is out there as well.  1 step at a time people.  Big changes are in the works for Linux as a whole, so it is definitely an exciting time.  So, in the end, give them some credit for doing things that others have not, despite the ripple in the dev and user community surrounding Ubuntu.

Comments are very welcome for this story.