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GEEK TO ME: Linux as a Windows alternative involves a steep learning curve

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For some people, such as yourself, Linux is a great alternative to Windows. It’s cheap enough – usually free. It requires less memory, and less CPU horsepower than Windows, making it an excellent choice for keeping older hardware alive. But, for many (I would say most) users, for all the reasons above, and probably more, it’s just not a good fit.

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EU link (the above is blocked in the EU for breaching GDPR): GEEK TO ME: Linux as a Windows alternative involves a steep learning curve

Devices With GNU/Linux or Linux Support

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  • Pantahub Enables Seamless, Remote Linux Firmware Updates Over-the-Air

    Let’s say you’re running Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi 4 board, but would like to check out the latest Ubuntu 19.10 for the board. What would you normally have to do?

  • Intel rounds out its Comet Lake line with new Pentium and Celeron parts

    Intel unveiled dual-core Pentium Gold 6405U and Celeron 5205U processors — two low-end additions to its 10th Gen, 14nm, Comet Lake-U series, which includes four Core models led by a hexa-core i7-10710U.

    Intel “quietly announced” two more Comet Lake-U processors, according to an AnandTech report. There’s a dual-core, quad-thread Pentium Gold 6405U clocked at 2.4GHz and a dual-core, dual-thread Celeron 5205U at 1.9GHz.

    Both are limited to 2MB cache and lack turbo modes but are available for much lower prices than the other Comet Lake parts. The Pentium sells for a recommended $161 and the Celeron for $107 in 1K volume.

  • Smart streetlamp computer has a camera, sensors, and Myriad X AI analytics

    Aaeon’s “Atlas” is a smart streetlight computer based on its Apollo Lake based NanoCOM-APL module with an optional UP Core Plus SBC. Camera, wireless, and sensors are mated with analytics supplied by Intel’s Movidius Myriad X VPU and OpenVINO toolkit.

    Aaeon and Intel announced a fanless, AI-enhanced “Atlas” embedded computer designed to be integrated with a variety of different streetlamp designs. No OS was listed for the “edge node,” which is based on an Intel Apollo Lake SoC and a Myriad X VPU, but we would be surprised if Linux was not supported.

Lenovo Laptop Love..Not!

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The story below is my journey in getting Linux installed on a laptop that was given to me, hope you enjoy..

I was recently given a new Lenovo laptop with Windows 10 on it and at the moment it is the only computer I own. I have tried everything I know (which I know is limited) and looked up all kinds of information on the internet and I cannot get it to boot from anything other than the internal hard drive it has and/or install Linux on it.

I would like to state for the record that having been a Linux user for many years and trying and using many different versions of Linux that the Windows 10 I am stuck at that moment using is a serious pain in the behind. It is slow and using the internet reminds me the the dial-up days in that I get choppy performance and frozen browser pages all the time. If Windows 10 is supposed to be an upgrade or update from the previous version of Windows..LOL! Yeah right.

The laptop is a new Lenovo Idea Pad S340-15IWL, Model Name-81N8 with 4G of RAM, a 926gig SSD and a Intel Core i3-8145U 2.30GHz chip running an x64 version of Windows 10. Not the greatest specs but then not the worst either. It could have more RAM and a faster processor but a huge Hard Drive.

For the heck of it I decided I would try to install Linux on a 128G USB 3.0 jump-drive I happen to own. I downloaded Linux Mint 19.2 on the laptop and I installed a free program called rufus to attempt to install the Linux Mint .iso on to the jump-drive so as to be able to then boot from the jump-drive but I got an error saying that some windows program was using the .iso and cannot be written to the jump-drive. Now if I try it I get an 'ISO image extraction failure' error. Like I said it I did it just to see if I could, and I can't.

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Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Headlines, TechSNAP, Bad Voltage

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  • 2019-11-01 | Linux Headlines

    Firefox is phasing out traditional sideloaded apps, but it's not as reported. Almost all of LibreOffice's UI is ported to GTK, Google wants to help WordPress admins, and Python goes annual.

  • It’s All About IOPS | TechSNAP 415

    We share our simple approach to disk benchmarking and explain why you should always test your pain points.

    Plus the basics of solid state disks and how to evaluate which model is right for you.

  • Bad Voltage 2×59: Inciteful

    Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which Jono and Jeremy are coming to you direct from the Open Source Summit in France, the word for “full of incitement” is not “inciteful”, Stuart, and:

    [00:01:55] Facebook News and what it should include and what not: what responsibility, if any, does Facebook’s newly-proposed News tab have to choose the journalistic contributions that go into it?
    [00:25:05] Using “AI” in job interviews and whether this is a good idea
    [00:33:30] Disney seem to be stopping good older films from going into cinemas

Going from macOS to Ubuntu

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So, can Linux be my workhorse?

Yes. But this is not a sales pitch. If you walk away thinking/knowing Linux is still too much trouble, that's a fair takeway. There are sacrifices and struggles and whether those are worth it to you depends on, well, you. I don't intend to win anybody over to either side.

Ok let's dive in, I'll try to describe the things I ran into, the things I can't fix, and straight up howto's for the things I could.

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Linux Foundation Leftovers

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  • Cloud Foundry open-sources its Certified Developer Exam course

    The Cloud Foundry Foundation, home to the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud, has announced it will open-source its educational material to help prepare developers for its Cloud Foundry Certified Developer Exam.

    The Foundation isn't the only one turning to the community for documentation. At the Open Source Summit Europe in Lyon, France, Megan Byrd-Sanicki, a Google Open Source Strategist, announced they're working on a new program that brings new technical writers to open-source projects without sufficient resources to do documentation right: Season of Docs.

    This, Byrd-Sanick said, is "similar to our Google Summer of Code, which matches students with projects to work on code, but with Season of Docs, we are hiring tech writers and paying them to work on project documentation. I am really pleased that this year, we are working with 50 different open-source projects, and we have already secured the tech writers and the work is underway."

  • Linux Foundation Training Announces a Free Online Course-Exploring GraphQL: A Query Language for APIs

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced enrollment is now open for a new, free, course – Exploring GraphQL: A Query Language for APIs. This course is offered through edX, the trusted platform for learning.

    GraphQL is revolutionizing the way developers are building APIs for web, mobile and even databases. But what exactly is GraphQL? GraphQL is an open source data query and manipulation language for APIs, and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data.

    This course explains what GraphQL is and why it is getting so much attention from software engineers. It covers the advantages over REST, what types of software architectures to use it with, and why it benefits both frontend and backend developers. The student practices GraphQL queries in an interactive playground, and learns advanced topics such as how to implement a GraphQL server on the backend, how to use a GraphQL server with a client, and how to keep the GraphQL server secure. The course content was originally created by Prisma, and updated and maintained by Novvum.

Linux's Marketing Problem

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Let’s look a little deeper into this problem as it relates to Linux and take a broad overview of the current state of operating system useage rates. For desktops and laptops, Windows has 87% of the market, with macOS trailing at around 10% and Linux under 4%. Both Microsoft and Apple have huge marketing budgets and also benefit from some institutional advantage here. But if we look at systems who do not rely on marketing for sales, such as the supercomputing or server worlds, Linux is dominant in every way. Virtually 100% of supercomputers use Linux now. How you define a webserver is contentious, and Linux figures range from 70% to 98% depending on whether you count cloud services and subdomains, but anyway Linux runs the vast majority of the web. Even smartphones are dominated by the Linux-powered Android, with about 65% of devices, 20% using iOS, and the rest being an amalgamation of fading Blackberries, Windows Phones, and others.

From these numbers we can infer that there is some intrinsic benefit to working in a Linux environment. Not only does it have dominance when raw computing ability is needed, either in a supercomputer or a webserver, but it must have some ability to effectively work as a personal computer as well, otherwise Android wouldn’t be so popular on smartphones and tablets. From there it follows that the only reason that Microsoft and Apple dominate the desktop world is because they have a marketing group behind their products, which provides customers with a comfortable customer service layer between themselves and the engineers and programmers at those companies, and also drowns out the message that Linux even exists in the personal computing realm.

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OSMC's October update is here with Kodi 18.4

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OSMC's October update is now here. We didn't release an update in August or September as we waited to collate a significant number of improvements and stabilise Kodi 18.4 for our users. We are working on a number of significant improvements that will take some more time, but wanted to delay this update no further and maintain our commitment to regular updates.

We continue our development for 3D Frame Packed (MVC) output for Vero 4K / 4K + and a significantly improved video stack which will land before the end of the year.

Our work on preparing Raspberry Pi 4 support continues.

Team Kodi recently announced the 18.4 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes.

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Dell Brings Ubuntu to More Dell XPS 13 Configs

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  • Dell Brings Ubuntu to More Dell XPS 13 Configs

    The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop stands out at the forefront of Linux laptops.

    It’s powerful, it’s sexy, and it’s got class.

    And today it just got even better.

    Dell has announced that it will pre-load Ubuntu on more variations in the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition line in the United States.

    While this might be a British blog — you did notice the and dour tone, right? — a sizeable chunk of omg! readers sit stateside, making this news well worth covering.

  • Dell Now Offering More Ubuntu Developer Edition Options For Their Comet Lake XPS

    Dell has been offering the Dell XPS 7390 in "Developer Edition" form with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for this newest XPS generation using 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs while now they have added more hardware configuration options.

    The latest-generation Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is now available in 18 different configurations from Core i5/i7 CPU options, varying RAM and storage capacities, and different FHD/UHD (and touch-screen) display options. These 18 different options is the most they have ever offered for their "Developer Edition" Ubuntu-loadd laptop options.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Linux Headlines, Ubuntu Podcast and Fedora 31 in Video

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  • 2019-10-31 | Linux Headlines

    SUSE comes to Oracle Cloud, it's time to move on from openSUSE LEAP 15.0, a new home for Vulkan code samples, and Google's AI takes on StarCraft II.

  • A Chat with mergerfs Developer Antonio Musumeci | Jupiter Extras 28

    Alex, Drew from ChooseLinux, and Brent (of the Brunch fame) sit down with Antonio Musumeci, the developer of mergerfs during the JB sprint. It is a union filesystem geared towards simplifying storage and management of files across numerous commodity storage devices, it is similar to mhddfs, unionfs, and aufs.

    mergerfs makes JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Drives) appear like an ‘array’ of drives. mergerfs transparently translates read/write commands to the underlying drives from a single mount point, such as /mnt/storage. Point all your applications at /mnt/storage and forget about how the underlying storage is architected, mergerfs handles the rest transparently. Multiple mismatched size drives? No problem.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E30 – Quadralien

    This week we’ve been live streaming, we discuss our time at OggCamp 2019, bring you some command line love and go over all your amazing feedback.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 30 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Fedora 31 overview | Welcome to Freedom.

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of Fedora 31 and some of the applications pre-installed.

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More in Tux Machines

Open Source Firmware updates for the masses! (Part 1)

Thanks to the Linux Vendor Firmware Service it's now much easier to update firmware on Linux. The LVFS supports a huge amount of devices, brings it's own firmware database, has a nice UI and periodically checks if new firmware updates are available. Hardware vendors can upload their firmware to LVFS, which charges no cost for hosting or distribution. Read more Also: Coreboot Support Is Being Worked On For Fwupd/LVFS

GNU: GCC, GNU Assembler and Spring Internships at the FSF

  • AMD GCN OpenMP/OpenACC Offloading Patches For The GCC 10 Compiler

    Over the past year Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics has been working extensively on the new AMD Radeon "GCN" back-end for the GCC code compiler. With the code that is found in GCC 9 and up to now in GCC 10 hasn't supported OpenMP/OpenACC parallel programming interfaces but that could soon change with patches under review. The Radeon GPU support in GCC up to now hasn't supported OpenMP or OpenACC for offloading to the graphics processor and thus its practicality has been limited.

  • GNU Assembler Patches Sent Out For Optimizing The Intel Jump Conditional Code Erratum

    Now that Intel lifted its embargo on the "Jump Conditional Code" erratum affecting Skylake through Cascade Lake processors, while Intel's own Clear Linux was first to carry these patches they have now been sent out on the Binutils mailing list for trying to get the JCC optimization patches into the upstream Binutils/GAS code-base. Well known Intel compiler toolchain expert H.J. Lu sent out the five patches on Tuesday for optimizing around the JCC Erratum. The GNU Assembler (GAS) patches aim to mitigate the performance by aligning branches within 32-byte boundaries for various instructions. The behavior is activated via the -mbranches-within-32B-boundaries command line switch.

  • Spring internships at the FSF! Apply by Nov. 29

    Do you believe that free software is crucial to a free society? Do you want to help people learn why free software matters, and how to use it? Do you want to dig deep into software freedom issues like copyleft, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), or surveillance and encryption? Or, do you want to learn systems administration, design, or other tasks using only free software? The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is looking for interns to spend the summer contributing to work in one of three areas: campaigns, licensing, or technical. These positions are unpaid, but the FSF will provide any appropriate documentation you might need to receive funding and school credit from outside sources. We also provide lunch expense reimbursement and a monthly transportation pass that will give you free access to local subways and buses (MBTA). We place an emphasis on providing hands-on educational opportunities for interns, in which they work closely with staff mentors on projects that match their skills and interest.

Games: Parkitect Taste of Adventure and CodeWeavers Working on Steam Play

  • Theme park building sim Parkitect is getting a Taste of Adventure expansion

    Releasing on November 20, Texel Raptor just announced the first big expansion to their incredibly fun theme park building game Parkitect and I couldn't be more excited. I remember being completely absorbed by the classic Theme Park from Bullfrog in my youth, to which Parkitect firmly filled the hole it left in my adult life. Parkitect doesn't necessarily need an expansion, it already has everything that makes it a great game. However, I will gladly take this expansion so I can happily play even more of it.

  • CodeWeavers Is Hiring Another Graphics Developer To Help With Wine D3D / Steam Play

    CodeWeavers is looking to hire another developer to work on Wine's graphics stack and in particular the WineD3D code while having an emphasis that it's part of Valve's Steam Play (Proton) efforts.

  • CodeWeavers are after a Graphics Developer for Steam Play Proton and Wine

    CodeWeavers, the company that helps to support development of Wine and are currently partnered up with Valve to help with Steam Play/Proton have a new Graphics Developer position open. This is a completely different position to the one we posted about before, which is a more generalised role. Instead, their new Graphics Developer position would have you working on Wine's Direct3D implementation. Quite a complicated role, involving early DirectDraw up until modern Direct3D 12 in addition to Vulkan and OpenGL.

Removals From Linux 5.4

  • VirtualBox SF Driver Ejected From The Linux 5.4 Kernel

    Merged to the mainline Linux kernel last week was a driver providing VirtualBox guest shared folder support with the driver up to now being out-of-tree but important for sharing files between the host and guest VM(s). While the driver was part of Linux 5.4-rc7, Linus Torvalds decided to delete this driver on Tuesday. The VirtualBox Shared Folder (VBOXSF) driver will not be part of the mainline Linux 5.4 kernel. Linus was unhappy that it didn't have the necessary sign-offs plus that it's coming late in the cycle and not appearing to meet quality expectations.

  • The Linux Kernel Disabling HPET For Intel Coffee Lake

    Another Intel change being sent off for Linux 5.4 and to be back-ported to current stable series is disabling of HPET for Coffee Lake systems. Due to bug reports going back at least a half-year and workarounds not panning out, kernel developers have decided to blacklist the High Precision Event Timer (HPET) on Coffee Lake systems. Some Coffee Lake systems have a skewed HPET timer when entering the PC10 power state and that in turn marks the time stamp counter (TSC) as unstable.