Maria and John play with KNOPPIX

It’s real fun spending time with my small kids before computer. But with too small kids, we can’t predict what they may do with the machine. When John – my sweet little boy – was a very small kid (still now he is) once he switched off the mains power directly while I just went out of the room. That’s why I used ~LIVE~ systems for giving my computer to kids to play their favourite game apps. Yes there is apps for very small kids. Just like TUXTYPE, GCOMPRIS, CHILDSPLAY etc.

Well, I use Knoppix for ~LIVE~ to give my computer to the kids for playing games. Knoppix gives all their favourite apps in one DVD. (Not only games, a lot of other serious applications also bundled with that.) All you can play live from that disc. And before I give it to kids, I just disconnect the data and power cables from my main hard drive. So the operating system will be loaded from the DVD itself. The advantage is, even if the system got an unsuccessful shutdown, it wont affect the hard drive.

John is an excited boy when seeing the computer. Yesterday when he demanded me to switch on the computer, I decided to copy his excitement with my handycam. So I placed the cam very carefully as if it were a spy cam 🙂

Hand of thief

Hand of Thief

OK. Many security experts now say that there is a real Linux Trojan is on market and it started its activity on web. It’s called Hand Of Thief (HOT). It is a commercial malware, comes with its own logo and command & control panel interfaces. Zdnet describes it as a semi-successful Linux Trojan. But still I don’t think it is a fully-functional malware that affects a Linux system which is automatically installed, it may need a basic user permission.

Basically HOT is affected on the web browsers of major popular distributions. Mozilla FireFox, Iceweasel, Epiphany, Chromium browsers are affected. But my concern is this – how this happened. I think it is not Linux vulnerable – but my computer habits are. Wonder why we add such fancy and complicated yet less useful features to the operating system. Doing so, it gets more fatty and thus weaker in the matter of security. A rule of thumb is: the more we make it fancy the less it become secure!

As an additional security, never use any in-built applications in a browser, be it Iceweasel, or Midori or whatever. Instead you open a PDF document in a PDF viewer installed inside your system. Likewise, open an mp4 file in Totem or VLC stand alone application. Please care to update security patches always.

New T-shirt

Yet another T-shirt design. With an oxymoron slogan – I’M GNU/LINUX EVANGELIST. SLAVE OF FREEDOM.

I have planned to create such a T-shirt for so long. I know it is not a great one, may be ridiculous. When using the acrylic paint with fabric medium, the print gets some unwanted strokes and all. Then I tried painting without the fabric medium. The yellow portion in the design is done without it.

Some Unix / Linux / GNU cartoons

I have seen some interesting cartoons on based on Unix / Linux / GNU. Had lol’ed reading it. Shared to many. Now just want to collect them and trying to share it. There may be a lot of other interesting stuff, which I may missed.

Why popular app developers ignore GNU/Linux

Many of my friends and relatives ask my opinion before they buy computer. Whenever they ask my advice, I usually ask them about their requirements. Most of them just require internet browsing, document preparation, listen to music, watch movies and so on. I suggest them GNU/Linux as the Operating System. I explain them GNU/Linux is FREE, it has in-built military grade security, it is simple and intuitive and so on. However after a day or two they definitely call me up and ask, “Hey, will Photoshop work in that system, Tally…, what about Autocad?” I tell them “Nope. No Photoshop, but GIMP works. Not Tally, but Kmymoney works”.

A common question and very common answer. But the history of this question dates back for decades since GNU/Linux landed to the computing planet. Now Gnu/Linux has evolved. Evolved to a full grown OS. Right now, it’s a feature rich OS. Smart. Secure. Stable. With uncountable distributions worldwide.

However why does most of the popular app developers ignore it still? Why do they hesitate to port their popular products to Gnu / Linux? Adobe Photoshop / Creative Suite is the most popular and industry standard tool for art directors.

Take the example of Adobe. Adobe Creative Suite contains a bunch of power tools for image manipulation, vector editing, html editing and flash content generation and so on. GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Programme) – the free and open source counterpart – is still in its infancy stage. When asked about porting to GNU/Linux, Adobe’s stand always is dubious. Every time their stand is that there is no profit in Linux porting. They always argue that very few Linux users are willing to pay for commercial software. This argument is without any documentary research back up. Photoshop’s codebase has a long history of over two decades. it is written mostly in C++ which is very portable. To justify their stand to do nothing on Linux porting, they tend to usually blame that Linux still lacks standards for color management, fonts, driver issues and so and so 🙂

Another justification is that most Linux users have already paid for Photoshop on a different OS, so they are not willing to purchase another.  If all the potential users have already purchased Adobe products, is everything over? Is their business over? So why do they release patches and updated versions and encourage repeated purchase? Take the case of Ubuntu? It has a built-in software download centre in the OS. Aprox 25 Million users are available at once with the purchase section of the software center in Ubuntu alone. If we take other distros, numbers will be a lot more.  Is Adobe corporation not considering this? Adobe’s stand always is not digestible in a customer care point of view, though few points are valid in a commercial angle, those valid points are of market risk, which is applicable to all products in a competitive market.

Adobe and Tux

Not only Adobe, a line of other app developers are lined up behind. Corel Corporation, Autodesk are some among the corporate giants in the line. These major corporates also repeating the same blah blah what Adobe is arguing against GNU/Linux – all they say is that there is no marketing potential in Linux porting.

It is obvious that Adobe / Autodesk / Corel can easily port their products to any OS at anytime. Market is not an issue. Generating hype, ad campaigns are not a stumbling block for them. Still they do not do anything on Linux porting. Why? The answer to this question is still in debate. Might they have some undisclosed tie-ups with some corporate giants who fear the dominance of Linux? May be not, but their stand always makes us think so!

Why GNU/Linux distros ignore market?

This post is a response to a techrepublic post.  You can read the full post here.

Unlike my usual fare, I’m going to cut to the chase and answer this question up front. The Chromebook (and it’s Linux-based Chromium OS) succeeds because it’s easy to use and it works. Simple. End of story.

Oh, but wait — it’s not really all that simple. There’s one additional point of interest, one that I’ve been harping on Linux distributions about for years. The Chromebook does one thing all other distributions do not…

Market.

Granted. Market is the only thing MOST of the GNU/Linux distros omit ( Just note that I said “most” not “all”). Except “Red hat”, “Ubuntu” and few others, rest of the GNU/Linux distros are not at all market oriented. But no doubt, they are great products. But why did they ignore the market? The answer is too simple – good products will neither target nor conquer the market. Market is the place where hypes and exaggerations rule. The GNU/Linux universe has a well built ecosystem and the users has a close awareness about it. So the target users will automatically get into the right distros, there is no need for a market study nor any kind of hypes. Take the example of Debian – they IGNORE the market as a whole.  Their concern is not the market, it is stability, usability, security and so on. And so does MOST of the GNU/Linux distros. They have clear target users, and are not designed to conquer the market.  Users do not mind the market.

The true GNU/Linux users and activists are observing the entry of Chromebook with a little fear and excitement. The reason for fear is that Chromebook is a Linux based product focused on market strategies and hypes. So values of  FREEDOM may not be present in such a market oriented product. The reason for excitement is that lots of new users may come forward to use Chromebook and thus Linux and Open Source products will get into the limelight. Thus people will understand the power of FLOSS (Free / Libre and Open Source Software) products.