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Archive for December, 2006

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Interessant stuk:

VNU Business Media Europe has a new owner

Today, VNU announced that Business Media Europe has been sold to a British company called 3i. Since my employer,, is part of VNU Business Publications Benelux, which on its turn is part of VNU Business Media, this means that is also sold. Interesting. (more…)

Interesting article on Microsoft’s marketing strategies

This article is about the ‘vapour ware’ strategie Microsoft uses in order to push products from other companies of the radar. The article specifically tells the story on Microsoft’s Cairo, a product which never appears on the market. The article describes how this story resemble the current marketing buzz Microsoft is generating around Vista. Interestingly, it seems that Microsoft promised a ‘object oriented filesystem’ already back in 1993, but seems to be incapable of delevering such a filesystem even now in Vista (WinFS would be a part of Vista, but eventually was not of high enough quality to be shipped with Vitsta, according to Microsoft). When you read such an article, you’ll be almost ashamed for believing all the articles an publications on Microsoft products in the early nineties.

A ‘must read’ for Microsoft lovers and haters (I hope the first group will get to its senses after reading this 🙂 ):

Linux with Beryl: almost as good as Mac OS X

I’ve used Mac OS X almost exclusively for about 1,5 year. I especially liked the nice effects and the fact that things ‘just work’. Now, since a few weeks, I’m using Ubuntu Edgy Eft on my laptop and this week installed it on my old Athlon PC with Nvidia GeForce 4 graphics board. I enabled Compiz this week (see previous post) and now installed Beryl. This last engine is even nicer than Compiz (but according to the changelog of Compiz, a lot of the features of Beryl are also available in the latest development versions of Compiz). Beryl makes Linux almost as usable als Mac OS X. The software was already available (Firefox, Thunderbird, Gaim,, Eclipse, Gvim, The Gimp, Inkscape and Xchat are the programs I use the most) but with Beryl the usability and visual effects are almost as good, and sometimes even better. Especially the Exposé emulation and the trailfocus is very nice and actually improves the usability. I also installed Beagle and Deskbar. I have Beagle installed because of the engine, and use Deskbar as my main search program. This way, the functionality of Deskbar is similar to Spotlight on the Mac, and allows you to search for documents, e-mails, programs, chatlogs, webpages and much more. Finally, there is Network-manager which makes it easier to configure your network and especially makes it a lot easier to use wireless networks with WPA en WEP encryption.

Unfortunately, most of these tools are not installed by default on Ubuntu Edgy Eft, however, Feisty Feist (version 7.04) of Ubuntu, will include most of the stuff I mentioned in this post. At least there will be 3d desktop acceleration, beagle, network-manager and (I assume) Deskbar. As a bonus, the Ubuntu developers aim to improve the multimedia support in Ubuntu. I think this last point will make Linux even more usable for the average person than ever.

Ironically, I stumble across the news that Gartner thinks that Mac OS X is more attractive for businesses as a desktop operating system than desktop Linux. While I have the opinion that both Mac OS X and Linux are more usable than Windows as desktop operating system, I’m not sure that one of them is better than the other. Both are based on Unix, and as such have some obvious advantages over Windows (most notably a better command line shell and better security model), but I think they have both their specialties. Mac OS X is more suited for people who work with proprietary software, such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and MS Office, while Linux is a better platform for developers (although Mac OS X could be used for this as well, but requires some more fiddling because of the lack of an integrated package manager such as RPM/Yum or dpkg/Apt/Synaptic.

Compiz on Ubuntu Edgy Eft

Today I managed to get Compiz working on my computer. Compiz makes it possible to use OpenGL for rendering your desktop, which makes it possible to add all kind of cool effects. It didn’t take very much time, but some driver troubles made it a little more difficult then expected. I have a nVidia GeForce 4 Ti4200 videocard in this computer, so it was required to install the binary nVidia driver. While this driver is shipped with Ubuntu Edgy Eft, it is necessary to install a newer version. Using this topic at the Ubuntu Forum, this was not very difficult. After some minor modifications of /etc/X11/xorg.conf (enabling Composition and adding Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True", see this topic) everything works. Since the last time I tried AIGLX, there is a lot improved. The speed is much better and there are a lot more nice plugins, like wobbly windows, a rotating cube (for desktop switching), easy to configure transparent windows, a cool alt-tab window switch effect and an Exposé clone.

Exposé clone

Novell forking err.. not

On Slashdot and Groklaw, there is a news item about forking of by Novell. When reading an article, there is no prove for an actual fork, an as is pointed out by Jono Bacon, it seems that Groklaw is just using a sensational heading. As Andries Brouwer points out, the news at Groklaw is probably inspired by the disklike of Microsoft by PF.

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