Sunday, April 15, 2018

Is Xubuntu Dying?

I often joke about human years compared to "computer years". For instance, if you have a computer that is 10 years old, it is 100 years old in "computer years".

That's not really accurate, but that is just my parable version of just how fast technology is moving and changing these days.

I'm amazed at how many "new" things are introduced, then vanish as if they never existed. A few weeks ago I was reading about the Steam Machines. I remember first seeing them at Walmart not that long ago and thinking, "ya! Chalk one up for the linux/opensource guys!"

If you weren't aware, the Steam Machines were nothing more than computers stuffed into attractive cases designed to compete in the game console world.

Oh, and if you want one, you'd better hurry... they will likely be discontinued soon.

Steam itself is alive and well, and runs on any platform.

So, if the Steam Machines die, that means their entire life cycle was just 3 years (30 computer years ;) ).

Back to the topic at hand - Xubuntu. I stumbled across the Linux distro Xubuntu almost by accident when I was reading an article about Media Center PC's (another thing that has come and gone).

Xubuntu is a lightweight offshoot of the well-known Ubuntu, Canonical's golden child. Back during 2014, it was wonderful! It was my goto operating system that I ran on everything, for everything, and even installed it on customers' pc's.

The update cycle for any Ubuntu spinoff is based on even numbered years and offers support for several years. The experimental, short-lived, hold my beer/see if this works is done on the odd numbered years and is only supported for months. (Xubuntu 16.04 3 years, 15.10 for 9 months)

I started with Xubuntu 14.04, released April (04) of 2014. It was lovely! I really felt that I had found my home in the Linux world with Xubuntu. Version 15 came out and all the new stuff and reviews were outstanding. I tried various other distros based on 15 and just could wait until the "real" version 16.04 was released in April of 2016.

Then the day came! Oh boy!!!

But, wait, where did all the coolness of 15 go?

I noticed they made a new interface to download install software and programs from the repositories... but it didn't work. I had to download and install all my favorite programs via command line in a terminal window. So now we are going backwards because that is the biggest complaint against using Linux, but that problem had been solved 100 years ago (human or computer?).

Next, I had a major snafu with the Network Manager on my streaming computer. Google came up with a fix, but I didn't realize the info was for previous versions of 'buntu. The result? My streaming pc now could not connect to the internet.

16.04 had a different package of software for office stuff. No big deal right? They all handle the same files, right?

The packaged version had some glitches. And, to make matters worse, I hadn't converted all my machines to the new 16.04 yet so I was working on and modifying files in 2 different programs. These files were my bookkeeping for my business. I almost lost everything in this, and that is not something you want to do when it comes to income and taxes.

I managed to recover, but I had to find another distro for me and my customers.

I noticed other distros that used Xubuntu as their base switched and went to debian. I mean, if Google did it, then there must be something to it, right?

Even after switching over to another distro, I still kept an updated copy of Xubuntu 16.04 on a thumbdrive. Even with all its misgivings, the "live" version was still good for fixing things.

One of those things was OS signing.

UEFI machines, laptops being THE WORST, must have an OS with proper signing/keys or the device will not boot the operating system. I have lost countless hours, non-billable hours fighting this stuff.

The cure? Install Xubuntu 16.04 and Grub Customizer. Xubuntu 16.04 has the correct key/signing so it will boot, then, Grub Customizer will find ALL OS's and make them available in the GRUB menu. From there I could customize everything and make it boot correctly.

So, here we are. It is April 2018. It's just about time for Xubuntu 18.04.

Is it going to be good? Will I rename it "TURDbuntu"?

Then I saw this -

"We hope that you’ll join us in making Xubuntu 18.04 a success. We think it’s going to be the best release ever, but if the community can’t find the time to contribute to the release, we can’t guarantee we can have one."

"Xubuntu is a community project. That includes all of you. If the community doesn’t care until it’s too late, what should we take from that?"

So does this mean the end of Xubuntu?

I have watched other distros based on 'buntu turn bad, but I'm shocked about Xubuntu.

Will it live, will it die?

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Friday, April 13, 2018

New Yahoo

My day started with this

Oath? Never heard of them. AOL? Yea, aren't they like that annoying neighbor kid that you can't get rid of?

Nobody every reads this TOS stuff because it's written by lawyers for lawyers in a language that must make sense to them, but for some reason, I kept reading...

Um, what?!

"Privacy Controls"? Not easy to find once you've clicked off, but here it is

It pretty much just links you back to all the old setting links that you found, maybe once in your lifetime, but could never figure out where they were after that.

I see stuff like this with a scrutinizing eye, then I look in the mirror and ask myself,

"Why do I still use Yahoo Mail?"

Back in the day (2 decades ago [for you millenials, that's when we chiselled messages onto a stone, then tied it to the leg of a pterodactyl]) Yahoo Mail was the best thing out there; the competition was things like Hotmail, AOL, and the like.

But today, what do we use for email? Do we need email?

I think the answer for me is in the question, "do I really want to integrate ALL THAT STUFF from 20 YEARS of emailing?"

I think it's easier just to complain...

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This is the One I Told You About

Sometime today Microsoft will be releasing their Spring Creators Update. Not all computers will receive this update at the same time. It may take a few days before your desktop or laptop downloads and begins to install this very important update.

When this happens, your computer might act slow and maybe just a little “crazy”.

Your computer will restart and give you this screen. DON’T WORRY! This is all very normal for these type of updates.

Do not turn off your computer. It might stay on this screen for a long time, but that is ok. Just be patient and let it do its thing. 


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