Friday, May 22, 2009

Rant: Hypocritism

After the Judges smacked Pirates Bay, Mininova started scrambling like rats scurrying for hideouts , trying hard to appease copyright hardliners and do whatever it takes to filter their stuff. So good bye, Mininova...

All these stuff about justice, I felt it's pure hypocritism at large. Sorry, I am no fan for patents and stuff like that. I felt these are purely hypocritism.

That's all for now.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rant: LinuxMint , iPod , Areca Backup

Here's another of my long rants again. Finally, my WinXP have crashed here and there and thrown me all sorts of stupid errors till I decided to migrate to Linux platform and of all the distros in Linux, I chose LinuxMint. I would explain why in a short while.

So the reason for LinuxMint and not the typical Ubuntu , OpenSuSE or Fedora is simply, when I visit LinuxMint and I see the screenshots, they caught my eyes right away. The 'Menu' or what Windows call 'Start' is more comprehensive and easier to use then the usual ones in the typical Linux distros.. or should I say, in the Gnome desktop environment. LinuxMint did try to tweak softwares and environments with their own style according to their motto:" From Freedom came Elegance". The 'Menu' , the panels , the Openoffice.... all these were tweaked in a way or another. The looks are clean , simple yet it empowers users. I have not seen Ubuntu , OpenSuSE or Fedora come to this extend to my knowledge and experience (or maybe I am too ignorant or outdated ?) with such elegance , empowerment and simplicity ... all merging together.

What I am looking for to replace my problematic Windows XP is an elegant , simple and easy to use and navigate Linux distro. LinuxMint just presents itself better than any distros (Ubuntu 8.10 , Fedora 8 and 9, OpenSuSE 11) did. Anyway, I managed to migrate to Windows XP after little struggle and I am currently comfortable here in LinuxMint (Felicia, version 6). It doesn't screw my system , hardwares (as I observe) and doesn't do anything stupid. Anyway, LinuxMint managed to prolong the lifespan of my HP machine...else , I might have to throw my HP machine(5 yrs old) out and replace it if I didn't turn to Linux.

iPod 5th Gen
I finally got an iPod. Yes, I am outdated and this is my first time getting one. The Rhythmbox music player in my LinuxMint managed to connect with my iPod and I was happy I could play with it rather smoothly. See.... you don't really need some iTunes...but you might need it to upload videos into your iPod since Rhythmbox only sync audio related stuff. I would find a solution for the video anyway later. I tried playing 'parachute' , a game in the iPod and I can tell that the click wheel iPod uses as a control is a bad choice. My finger keep slipping out of the wheel and when i try to coordinate using two hands , one controlling the wheel and the other controlling the main button, both hands got in the way. My hand isn't so big as I am averagely built. Anyway, I guess I am a sore loser in games and keep finding something to blame ? Lol.

Areca backup
I used Areca backup from Sourceforge to backup my files and folders before moving from WinXP to Linux in an external hard disk. When I got to the Linux version of Areca, I have to change the path to Linux file paths. Can't Areca do it automatically or ask the user for permission to do so ? Does Areca have a cross platform way of specifying file paths ? That would be better. Anyway, I can't blame them for not doing it. Hey, this is an open source free software where people create softwares for free and give it to you so what better can you expect ?

The worst thing I encountered while trying to recover the backup files and folders in LinuxMint is that the version I used on WinXP is Areca version 6 (I already had Areca for sometime) and the Linux version is version 7 which I just got recently. Because of the difference in the versions, version 7.x cannot read backups made by anything earlier than version 7 so I have to recover the files in another Windows machine using the Windows version of Areca (version 6) and then copy all the files directly into the external hard disk and transfer it into LinuxMint. I should have just copy files and folders directly rather than using Areca to backup.

Anyway, I am finding other ways to backup which is cross platform. Something must be out there more efficient than Areca I guess.

Well...this is a quick end to my loads of rant.

To summarize, the migration and recovery of my files and folders weren't really too smooth but at least nothing much too bad crop up.

See you next time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rants: Chrome , iTunes GUI , iPod

Here's another rant I have ... and it's been a long time since I have ranted here...

Let's start with Chrome ... yes ... Google Chrome. I was wondering when the official Linux version of Chrome would be out which is stable and official for Linux to use. The current Chromes running on Linux OSes are either hacked versions , unofficials or simply running on Wine. I hope an official and also stable version of Chrome for Linux to be out soon since I am moving from Windows OS to Linux as my Windows XP OS have been crashing so often and I have always wanted to work in a Linux enviroment.

iPod and iTunes. I have been tinkering with a hand-me-down iPod my brother used and decided to pass to me. It's a iPod Classic and should be version 5 if I am not wrong. I don't like to install a iTunes on my Win XP as my 60 GB hard disk is nearly full and I don't want another thing to come in to eat into my precious space. Actually, the real reason is that I am not very keen in using iTunes as I have experienced system crashes caused by malfunctioning iTunes and it leaves a very bad 'after taste'. You can count it as 'I don't like you' rather than a 'phobia' since I did actually got down to use 'iTunes' sometimes but I don't touch it until necessary. I prefer open source powered or should I say 'freedom-powered... oh so hippie' softwares and this is not what iTunes is made for. I see iTunes as a jail box. Anyway, no offense and let's not get into it anyway but rather the main point... my personal experience.

I tried navigating in iTunes and it's just darn confusing. Sometimes right click works on certain portions of the GUI and sometimes not. I hope this is iron out. The messages can be confusing. Other than that, I have to compliment the simplistic and clean looks. I tried to access the iTunes store to search for some podcast and I needed sometime to get used to it. It needs to put more controls for users to use because I felt that the controls it have a too abstract.

Since this is my first time 'owning' an iPod, I would say that it's quite a good one but using a circular knob as a control can be not easy to get used to. I am trying to figure out how to re-play a song and make it repeat and how to shuffle it. I tried playing Solitare and Parachute games using the circular control and it's not very smooth to my touch or maybe I am not used to it. The too simple and too little control have a weakness... it keeps people guessing , especially beginners , on how to operate it. It took me sometime to learn how to operate iPod.

Overall, iPod and iTunes... or should I say ... Apple design... is simple , which I like, but sometimes, you need to give yours more control options too. A balance between the infamous simple designs of Apple should also provide users with more control.

That's all for my rant for now.