One of the oddest things I found about the crowd-funded Librem 15 laptop when writing about it last month was that it wanted to be open-source down to the component firmware/microcode yet they opted to ship with a NVIDIA GPU. In an updated earlier this month, at least they came to their senses and dropped the discrete NVIDIA GPU. While I have no problems recommending NVIDIA graphics for Linux gamers and those wanting the best performance, that's only when using the proprietary drivers, and certainly wouldn't recommend it for a fully open-source system -- NVIDIA on the desktop side doesn't do much for the open-source drivers, let alone down to the firmware/microcode level. Instead the Librem folks have opted to upgrade the design to using an Intel Core i7 4770HQ processor that features more powerful Intel Iris Pro 5200 Graphics, which isn't as powerful as a discrete NVIDIA GPU but at least is more open-source friendly.
With the year quickly coming to an end, it's time to do our year-end driver recap benchmarks from the year for the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers as well as the open-source drivers. To get things started, here's benchmarks done of the official AMD Catalyst Linux releases of 2014 and testing these drivers on three different graphics cards.
As for */Linux taking over the world, I think it’s inevitable. Android/Linux seems to be working on it’s third billion users perhaps by the end of 2015. At some point there will be saturation but the diversity is amazing. I saw a young lady with a Christmas gift of a CyanogenMod Android/Linux smartphone. CyanogenMod is a customization of Android/Linux which gives users more features and some independence from Google. She’s leaving a feature-phone behind as soon as she can switch “sim” cards. Within hours she’s learned to use a bunch of features including speech-to-text (It was nearly perfect)… Strangely, at about the same time her regular notebook PC (GNU/Linux) melted down (hard drive suspected). It will be interesting to see whether she even needs to replace it. This smartphone is just so powerful. Maybe I will get one and leave Beast to serving/storing stuff.
The automotive world is rapidly leaping into the next generation of infotainment systems. We already know that the CarPlay from Apple and Sync 3 from Ford are on the way. Even Microsoft has something up its sleeve. Google showed off its future concept for Android Auto earlier this year and promised that it would be available by the end of 2014. That didn't happen, but the technology giant has put a tentative plan in place for its challenger in this crowded field.
It’s been a while since Mac OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” has been released into the wild, so we have a pretty good idea of how it performs. Mac OS X is also sometimes used as the poster child for a clean and elegant interface (most of the time, anyways). As a Linux writer, it’s my duty to make comparisons not only amongst Linux distros, but also against the competition.
KaOS is very proud to announce the availability of the December release of a new stable ISO. This ISO marks two major milestones for this distribution. Since it’s inception almost two years ago, a need to be ready for UEFI installs has always been a priority. That was tied though to getting a modern Qt based installer that could handle such UEFI installs. With this ISO, both are implemented.
I have also repeatedly evaluated GNU/Linux as a platform for my daily writing and administration. Each time, I’ve found it fairly easy to install (moreso every time I try) and easy to add applications. I’ve never had problems with malware, but at some point in the life of the system, a problem arises that at best causes an inconvenience (like the sleep mode failing) and at worst leaves the system impossible to boot.