Ubuntu - Linux for the common man
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BY webmaster
12 years ago
Linux
3
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A majority of people still look at Linux as something where you have to type everything in consoles, where view documents in consoles and runs applications from consoles. This was the case several years ago. Not anymore. Desktop Linux has arrived. Almost all the major distros(distributions) come with at least one of the many window managers (the graphical user interface you see as the desktop) available in the OSS marketplace. Each distribution differs from others in one way or other; some for the better while some for the worse. There are tonnes of FLOSS applications targeted at different audiences and addressing different needs and packaged along with most of these distributions.

One distribution that has differentiated a lot is the Ubuntu. It comes in three flavours - Ubuntu(with GNOME), Kubuntu(with KDE) and Xubuntu(with XFCE - a lightweight window manager for older systems). There is also the edubuntu targeting students and the education market. Ubuntu differs from the other distributions in its philosophy that it would like to make the Linux experience easier and better for the common man. Ubuntu installation is a simple process and takes only a few mouse clicks which even a novice can perform.

Ubuntu supports most of the hardware straight out of the box. Some of the hardware manufactures provide only binary drivers and Ubuntu has started packaging these with the OS. This has not gone well with a section of the OSS community. However this has opened up the Linux experience for those who were unable to use Linux because of hardware incompatibilities. Hopefully over a period of time these vendors would open their eyes and realize the significance of the Linux market and open up their drivers. After all they sell hardware not drivers...

For a home user the applications he/she uses would comprise - Internet browser, Chat Client, Email Client, Document Writer, Presentation Creator, Spreadsheet Editor, Movie Viewer, Music Player, CD/DVD Writer. Ubuntu, like most other distributions, comes with FLOSS applications addressing each of these areas. The respective applications would be - Firefox, Pidgin(formerly GAIM), Thunderbird, Openoffice Writer, Openoffice Impress, Openoffice Calc, VLC Media Player, K3B. Some of these comes preinstalled with the Ubuntu Installation while others can be easily installed using the synaptic package manager. Adding a new application is childs-play with synaptic. There are around 20000 packages to select from and you can easily search and pick your application. The dependencies and related apps will be automatically installed by synaptics (by apt-get whose gui is synaptic).

Games are one area where Linux still struggles behind windows operating systems. Not very many game developers create games for Linux. Though Ubuntu comes with some games installed not many of these are really what you would call a modern game. You could set up windows games under the wine environment. Quite a lot of the games are supposed to work well under wine. But installation and configuration might be a little involved for a novice.

Then there are some hardware that might not work with Ubuntu. Very likely these would not work with any Linux Distribution as well. Some of the problem components would be - internal modems, printers, scanners etc. Hardware that are more commonly used would have a higher chance of having an OSS driver available. Specialized hardware would very likely not have a Linux driver available unless the manufacturer puts the effort to do so.

In all Ubuntu team has created a very easy-to-install-and-use OS for the common man. Though Ubuntu has some excellent features it is still not quite perfect yet. However it is on its way. It has already received wide acclaim as an OS for the common man. Unless the Ubuntu movement loses ground the OS should have a very bright future indeed.


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on 30th March 2007 / by webmaster
Ever since we started our pc sales and services division we have been trying to get a system with 100% linux supported hardware. One of the pieces which had been the stumbling block till now had been the internal modem. We had tried all the internal modems available in the Trivandrum local market and we had failed, ... well not all. We have found the missing link! We recently tried out the WeP (Wipro e-Peripherals) Spider 56K V.92 PCI Modem with the Conexant HSFi CX11252-412 0610y1DB chipset (PCI ID 14F1:2F30 - from running lspci from Linux). This modem is supported in Linux and it costs only around Rs. 375. Up till now we were hesitant in offering to install linux on PCs with internal modems because of the dreaded unsupported winmodem issue. No longer so. New PCs are seldom bought with an internal modem but there are quite a lot of people with PCs who still depend on dialup as their primary means of accessing the internet. So this has opened up a whole new market for us and Linux. The Conexant HSFi CX11252 driver installation is pretty straigtforward and is given below Setting up Conexant HSFi CX11252 on Linux Linuxant.com provides drivers for modems with conexant chipsets. They provide two versions of the driver one is a fully free version and another is the paid version. The fully free version works perfectly fine but the modem speed will be limited to 14.4kbps. The paid version costs only around 19$ and those of you who can afford it should just go ahead and buy it. Linuxant is following a model that should be a good example for other driver development companies and hardware manufacturers. The driver installation has been simplified through an easy to use installation program. The installation is available at http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/hsf/downloads-installer.php. Just download the application and follow the instructions. If you are already connected to the internet through a DSL or a Cable modem connection or through your LAN then the installer will automatically detect your chipset and settings and download the required driver and install it for you. Otherwise you will have to download the driver from http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/hsf/full/downloads.php and set it up manually using instructions in the following page http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/hsf/install.php. Hardware Linux Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Cherry (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:04 Is that true ? Are there many people who still use modems to dialup internet ? I was thinking of helping out with some limited internal modem support for NetBSD, but wasn’t sure what the user base is like. Anoop John (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:04 Yes I have come across quite a few customers who still use dialup as the only means of accessing net. For people who just use internet to check mail, dialup is the cheapest way to go. shankar (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:04 I have read your above article. I have the same problem. I want to use the new Bharatiya Operating System Solution (BOSS) which is linux based. My dial up modem of D-Link is not detected in linux/BOSS neither I can get a driver for linux. D-Link company have informed that they do not have any modem supporting linux. Please inform whether you can send it by post, cost and methods available for payment. regards, shankar Pagination Current page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Next page Next › Last page Last » Add new comment
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on 04th April 2007 / by webmaster
Linux is the epitome of the FLOSS model. For a developing country like India, the FLOSS paradigm works out to be an optimal solution. This is not just because FLOSS philosophy means free software, although it is one of the crucial factors. We at Zyxware would like to offer our services for free for people interested in trying out Linux. Currently we will be providing this service only to people in Trivandrum. If you would like to install Linux on your PC we will be more than happy to send one of our service engineers and install it on your PC. Dont worry about trying it out - your old operating system will be maintained as it is. All you would need is around 5GB of free hard disk space and you are ready. If you would like to know more about linux or, to see how it works or, to try it out on your PC, give us a call at 0471-4063818 or drop by our office. FLOSS is not just about free stuff but it is more about the freedom - a freedom to choose. There is always the much touted cost factor. It is true that the software is free but there are operational costs. There has been aspersions cast about the TCO(Total Cost of ownership - purchase cost + maintenance cost + efficiency cost) being higher for FLOSS solutions. However several independent studies over large sample sets have indicated that it is in the contrary. FLOSS promotes local industry and local businesses through the software support model. Add to it the fact that there is no cash outflow from the country for software purchases, FLOSS is a dream-come-true solution for developing countries. GNU Linux as an operating system has come a long way since it started out. It has been seen that there is a wrong notion among people, who are ignorant about Linux, that the system is not user friendly. This was true some time ago but not anymore. The GUI has all the features that normal users are used to on a Windows desktop. Additionally most Linux distributions comes with most of the popular applications that a normal PC user would require. This would include office applications, web browser, chat applications, graphics editors, multimedia players for the basic user. For the power users the system can be preloaded with database servers, web servers and hosts of other application servers and applications. Our preferred Linux distribution is Ubuntu and its variants - Kubuntu (with the KDE desktop), Edubuntu (preloaded with educational applications), Xubuntu (with the much lighter XFCE desktops targeting older systems). Ubuntu is one of the fastest growing Linux distribution available in the market. It is very easy to install and even easier to use. The installation is so much more simpler than a Windows installation and takes less than half the time too. The default installation comes with almost all applications that a normal home or office user would require. Any additional application can be installed in a few clicks using the built in package manager - apt + synaptic. Ubuntu has a very dynamic community that is willing to support people for any and all issues. Commercial or Governmental establishments can get paid support from any of the Linux Support Companies - including Zyxware. We also give away free Original Ubuntu CDs. We get our Ubuntu CDs in bulk from ubuntu.com. You can also request for free CDs from shipit.ubuntu.com . However we feel that it would be cheaper for Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, if you get the CDs from us. If you like any other distribution or other flavours of Ubuntu we can download it using our high speed connection and write CDs for you Linux Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Dewey J. Corl (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:49 Linux is not ready for the general public! (I am a Ubuntu user). For proof, 1. try to simply print labels on a Dymo label printer. It takes a LOT of work to get to the ease of label printing already available in Windows and Mac. 2. try syncing a modern Palm based PDA. Yes, jpilot and others will sync the main data, but pictures and midi files do not get transferred without a lot of extra setup. These are examples of applications that are not ready for the general public. Since an operating system only supports applications, Linux is not ready to be a common desktop for the general public. While we are waiting for the applications to catch up, keep up the good work!! Anoop John (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:49 Dewey Yes you may be right. But these are not applications that a common man would use. A common man would use one of these applications - Internet browser, Chat Client, Email Client, Document Writer, Presentation Creator, Spreadsheet Editor, Movie Viewer, Music Player, CD/DVD Writer. Both examples you cited are more specific applications that only a small percentage of the whole population uses. It will take time before those hardware vendors identify the need from their perspective to address the Linux community. Krishnadas (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:49 Dear Mr Anoop, Thank you very much for the free installation of LINUX done in my PC. I am getting immersed in the LINUX and seeing the versatility. To my surprise, I am able to read one of my old backup CD(wherein lot of my valuable file exist) done in DIRECT CD wizard (a custom cd writing software of Easy Cd creator in WIN98) which could not be read in XP. Installation of old version of easycd creator/direct cd program was not possible in XP. I thought that possible i lost all data. Very pleasant start! Srikanth N. S. (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:49 Hi Anoop, My friend is thrilled with Ubuntu. One of his grouses with windows was that after OS installation, everything else is to be installed separately which is a real headache. WHereas if u install Linux, everything is installed as a package and he is thrilled to bits! Let linux installation spread in Trivandrum and your service in this direction is highly appreciated. Kepp up the good work Regards. PDA Freak (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:49 Is it possible to install linux on a packardbell notebook ? Add new comment
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on 20th April 2007 / by webmaster
Linux has been growing in leaps and bounds in terms of internationalization. Setting up a Linux box for Reading and Writing in Malayalam has become pretty straightforward, thanks to passionate promoters like Peringodan, Cibu and Suresh and the countless others who have contributed through their efforts. The idea of webpages in Malayalam is rather common place to most online Keralites as a lot of them would have at some point of time been to any of the popular Malayalam newspaper sites. However the idea of keying in Malayalam would be unfamiliar territory to most of them as they are yet to try anything other than English keyboards. So can you write Malayalam using an English keyboard? One obvious solution is pretty straightforward - assign Malayalam characters to different keys and key-combinations. Though this sounds simple, think of the hassles of learning by-heart all the keys and their combinations and their corresponding Malayalam characters. There is however a more elegant solution for this, what if we could type Manglish (typing malayalam using english characters; eg - namaskaram) and see the corresponding malayalam characters. This is exactly what is achieved using the Mozhi Keyman transliteration application. It is however a pity that the site does not have instructions on how to use the application in Linux. Peringodan has however a detailed explanation on how to do this in Linux on his blog at http://linux-n-malayalam.blogspot.com/2006/11/610.htm. If you follow his instructions you should be able to set up Malayalam reading and writing on a Ubuntu box. However there are two small points that needs to be kept in mind. One is the shebang issue. Ubuntu 6.10 onwards follows a strict adherance to the POSIX shell interpreter specification and uses dash as the default for #! /bin/sh. So make sure that you change /bin/sh to /bin/bash in the scripts that are run as part of the installation [for that matter - keep this in mind when you see your old scripts failing left and right :)]. In this case the install.sh for the KMFL runtime installation. Another thing is regarding pango. Firefox by default disables pango and you have to disable this disabling by setting disable = false in the firefoxrc file inside /etc/firefox folder. More specifically you have to add a line MOZ_DISABLE_PANGO=0 to the firefoxrc file. During the KMFL installation if you use Distro="Ubuntu 7.04" instead of the Distro="Ubuntu 6.10" then you are all set to install the application on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn. However there seems to be some problem in typing text. Viewing Malayalam seems to be working fine but not writing in Malayalam. We are still trying to figure out how to get it to work on Feisty Fawn. We will be posting an update as soon as we figure out a way to do it. In the meanwhile you can use Ilamozhi to write in Malayalam. Linux Malayalam Open Source Ubuntu Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Ranjith Antony (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:10 Everything is fine an dandy. However, to read those websites which doesn't support unicode fonts you have to install padma firefox extension . Those websites include all malayalam newspaper websites including, deepika, manorama, keralakaumudi etc. These websites only support truetype fonts. TrueTypes are glyphs matching a malayalam character but doesn't have a hex code assigned to it. They use ASCII character set but with a different glyph. Just to read malayalam, you only need to perform the first 3 steps in Peringodan's blog, in addition to the hacks thats been explained in this blog post. PS: Its so funny; a tutorial to explain how to install malayalam read and write support is written in malayalam. Thats what called a chicken and egg problem. Cherry (not verified) access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:10 I’d like to point out a couple of things: a) Malayalam support is not an Ubuntu thing or a Linux thing… I am running NetBSD -current on my laptop with x.org and I can type malayalam. Learning the key combinations is very easy and intuitive… it just requires attention and commitment. I learnt it in about a week and something. b) Mangleesh support for TeX has been around for a while. The TuX group in Trivandrum and specifically A.J.Alex have worked on very good quality latex support for malayalam. See: sarovar.org Just to set the record. Cheers, Cherry. vimal access_time 24 May 2019 - 22:10 Ready to use packages to support malayalam in Ubuntu 7.10 and Debian GNU/Linux Etch is available at http://malaylam.web4all.in . Add new comment
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Manoj Mathai (not verified)
access_time 25 May 2019 - 01:08

hi,

read your comment on slashdot. thats how i got here. i think ubuntu is a gr8 linux distro and all it needs is good support and lots of GUI tools to make it smoooth to install and use. if each linux enthusiast can get atleast 5 ppl to atleast try ubuntu or any other distro, i think it would be of gr8 help.

anyways, what role does linux play in your company ?


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I stumbled upon your blog and I definitely will give you a ring when I need something for my PC!


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Manoj,
We sell PCs and Peripherals. We give linux as the preloaded operating system in all the systems we sell. Ubuntu is our default choice unless the customer requests another distro.
We also have a software development division. All the systems used for software development are running either ubuntu or xubuntu.
We are also providing free linux assistance to customers.
These are some ways we are trying to contribute to the Linux community.