Show me an Android tablet and I'll show you a device that has yet to live up to its full potential. Google's Play Store lacks a wide selection of apps that support a tablet's larger display, with most apps only expanding the phone interface, in turn looking horrible on the smaller screen.
In addition to the lack of quality apps, Android tablets have lacked key accessories such as a keyboard.
For the most part, Android tablets have been relegated to a device used to catch up on Netflix or to entertain kids with games.
Ask not what you can do for Amarok. Ask what Amarok can do for you!
Many years ago, just the mention of this music player would invoke shivers down my spine. It was stylish, exotic, modern, elegant, powerful. It did everything superbly, and there was always a hidden Joker up its sleeve. The plethora of options and possibilities and feature was endless. And then it all changed.
Amarok slid out of the spotlight and became just another program to play your music collection. Recently, fueled by nostalgia and perhaps vain hope, I’ve invested fresh new energy and time working with it, taming it, fighting it, loving it, hating it, trying to figure out how relevant, sleek and accessibility this player still is. My curiosity peaked with the extensive Plasma testing I did last month in my somewhat ultra-long article The State of Plasma. So I fired KDE neon once again, a brand new image, and started fiddling. Here’s the Spaghetti Western of what to expect. With a big disclaimer. Read on.
Also: Reading old stuff
Linux mint, the most popular Linux distribution is recommended by almost all Linux users for newbies. By default, Linux mint is released with cinnamon. But thanks to the Kubuntu team, we now have a KDE edition. Well, new users are probably wondering what all this KDE thing is? KDE is a community. KDE is a compilation of software. We will look at it in more detail on the way. Mint is a whole distro, so we will look at some specific aspects, But KDE is more than just a DE and we cannot review all of its features here. I will try to cover as much as possible in limited space.
Arch Linux has never been known as a user-friendly Linux distribution. In fact, the whole premise of Arch requires the end user make a certain amount of effort in understanding how the system works. Arch even goes so far as to use a package manager (aptly named, Pacman) designed specifically for the platform. That means all that apt-get and dnf knowledge you have doesn’t necessarily roll over.
We’ve documented the decline of Motorola under Lenovo extensively. We still liked the phones, which had probably been developed mostly under Google’s ownership anyway, but in 2015 we started to see slower updates and shorter support lifecycles. Last year was when the wheels really started to come off. Not only did the company mostly ruin its flagship phone by swapping the inexpensive and competent Moto X for the expensive and weird Moto Z, but Lenovo issued several contradictory statements about software updates that made it unclear whether the Z or the fourth-generation Moto G would be receiving regular updates at all.
I’ve been a fan of the work of the GNOME team for quite some time. They put together one heck of an excellent Linux desktop environment.
But of late, I’ve found myself gravitating towards some of the more lightweight environments. MATE (which is a forked version of GNOME 2) and xmonad. I like my systems to be light on resource usage and highly responsive—those are two absolutely critical things for the way I use my computers.
With this week’s release of GNOME 3.24, I decided to jump back into the world of modern GNOME desktops and kick the tires again. In order to give it the best possible shot, I did a clean install of openSUSE Tumbleweed (the rolling release version of openSUSE) and then installed GNOME 3.24 on top of it. (Side note: 3.24 was not yet available in the default repositories when I wrote this article, but it should be shortly.)
Leap is a solid performer. I had no trouble installing it on MBR and EFI systems. Secure Boot tends to be buggy with some configurations, but it was incident-free with this installation.
The bootloader handles multiboot with other Linux distributions or Windows fairly trouble-free. Installation is routine, thanks to the graphical format used.
Only 64-bit versions are available for x86 computers, which limits access to legacy hardware in the 32-bit machines. ARM ports are available if you can track them down through the project's wiki.
So, to summarize: openSUSE Tumbleweed is a good, solid, stable Linux distribution with a wide range of desktops available. It is not anything particularly exotic or unstable, and it does not require an unusual amount of Linux expertise to install and use on an everyday system. To make a very simple comparison, in my experience installing and using Tumbleweed is much less difficult and much less risky than using the Debian "testing" distribution, and it is kept much (much much) more up to date than openSUSE Leap, Debian "stable", Linux Mint or Ubuntu.
I don't say that to demean any of those other distributions. As I said at the end of my recent post about point-release vs. rolling-release distributions, if your hardware is fully supported by one of those point-release distributions, and you are satisfied with the applications included in them, then they are certainly a good choice. But if you like staying on the leading edge, or if you have very new hardware which requires the latest Linux kernel and drivers, or you just want/need the latest version of some application (in my case this would be digiKam), then openSuSE could be just what you want.
I am in productivity hell. For the past week, I’ve been using Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 to read Twitter, correspond on Slack, and write articles for this website. The Tab S3 is capable of doing all these things — in some cases, it’s even capable of doing them quite well — but it’s not capable of doing them anywhere near as well as a proper laptop. And in the week I’ve had it, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why I’d use this tablet as a portable work device instead of a cheaper, more functional computer like a Chromebook.
Most of the projects we talk about on DistroWatch are variants of Linux or, occasionally, one of the BSDs. However, there are other open source operating systems out there, smaller projects which rarely get attention because they have fewer developers or are not as rich in features. This week I would like to discuss a project that has been put together as a hobby, but which has a surprisingly rich feature set, especially when we consider the operating system appears to be mostly the work of one developer.