Monday, November 24, 2008

Yet Another "10 Useful Forefox Extensions"

You have read such posts again & again... So read Yet Another!

Video Download helper
This extension allows you to download flash videos from Youtube, as well as dozens of sites. 264.000 downloads per week speak for it. It updates very often to support more sites.
Download statusbar
If the pop-up window that shows you the downloads annoys you, then download statusbar is for you. It replaces that window with a bar at the bottom of Firefox, which is not obtrusive.
A simple to use download manager inside Firefox. It supports resume as well as downloading from many sources simultaneously. Personally, i don't need much more from a download manager.
This is more eycandy, than usability. It adds a progress meter to the web bar.

Foxmark allows you to synchronize your bookmarks across many PCs.
Google Preview
Google preview can help increase your productivity by showing a Thumbnail beside each Google result. Want even more? It works with Yahoo as well!!
Tab Scope
It shows a preview of tabs, as you hover your mouse over them.

I use Strata Human,
which gives the key-lock shape that we all like in Windows and Mac. For some reason beyond comprehension, the Linux version does not come with this shape in the back/forward buttons and looks like Firefox 2 at first sight.

For KDE users, i suggest KDE4 + Firefox 3 theme. It gives Firefox 3 an Oxygen look.
2 other nice themes are MacOS X for those who like Mac visual style and Phoenity Reborn.
If you want more extensions/themes, take a look at

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OSS Reloaded

2008 was without doubt a very exciting year. Open Source keeps stirring the (until recent years) still waters of IT industry, which is the best things for all Computer users. Competition has risen to profound levels, which gave all commercials programs a run for their money. Any program that stands still faces the danger of being overtaken by an Open Source competitor (See what happened with IE & Firefox).

So, let's see which major applications made major releases this year:

Firefox 3
You have read dozen reviews about Firefox 3 & you probably know about the Guiness world record. Much faster, much lighter, more secure than the previous version & with more extensions than all other browsers combined. What else can we ask for?? Download here

OpenOffice 3
OpenOffice 3 brings many improvements, such as import of MS-Office 2007 documents & Pdf, native version for MAC and better extension management. I don't believe that extensions in an Office application are as important as in a browser, but it is a very welcome improvement nontheless. Download here

KDE 4 received a profound amount of bashing when it came out because a lot of bugs existed and it did not offer a gazillion customizations like KDE 3.5. Does it sound a little like Vista?? Yet, only 6 months after the initial release, many bugs were squashed, customization options are beginning to return and programs like Amarok & Koffice are perparing to be ported. And after another 6 months, the benefits of KDE 4 will be clear: Version 4 is faster than ver.3, it is multi-platform (can be ported to BSD, Solaris, cell phones & Windows) and more importantly it has a very clean codebase with clear seperation of back-ends & front-ends. This may sound irrelavant to end users, but makes the work of developers very easy, which will allow for much creativity in the near future.


PackageKit is a very promising approach to the issue that every new Linux user faces; how do i install a program? What the f&*k is a tar.gz file and why does it not install when i double-click it?? With Packagekit all distributions can have a unified GUI for program installation, while keeping the back-end of their choice (dpkg, yum, apt, zypper, whatever...) This way all Linux users will see the same GUI for package management and a newbie will be able to help other newbies on this subject! Diversity & choice will finally come at no cost. Learn more here
It will be used in Fedora 10 and as stated in Ubuntu Brainstorm, there is an effort to integrate it in Ubuntu 9.04.

The new version 4.6 (currently in rc1) of the package management of RPM-based distros is featuring cleaned up codebase, bugfixes and several new features such as support for large packages. Full list here

And ofcourse we should mention the succesful new releases of popular Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, Mandriva and many others that achieved better hardware compatibility, more user-friendliness, more features. In one word, improved & with no setbacks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

13 Great Linux Videos!

Linux does not need multi-million advertising on top TV networks!
Every one of us can spread the word.
Embed these videos on your sites/blogs and email them to your friends.
If you find more good videos, post the links in comments.

The Matrix Runs on Windows

3 Great Videos by NOVELL

Mac vs PC vs Linux # 1

Mac vs PC vs Linux # 2

Mac vs PC vs Linux # 3

Penguins Linux Ad

IBM Linux Commercial: The Kid

IBM Linux ad: Prodigy

Your Linux is Ready

Some Anti-microsoft Videos

Bill Gates Blue Screen of Death

Blue Screen at Windows Vista Launch


"WARNING" - Linux commercial


Linux boots in 2.97 seconds

Japanese embedded Linux house Lineo has announced a quick-start technology that it claims can boot Linux in 2.97 seconds on a low-powered system. The technology appears similar to but much faster than Linux's existing "suspend-to-disk" capability.

There is alot more about it here. This was released Nov. 7th.

The Matrix Runs on Windows

Monday, November 10, 2008

The War of the Browsers

Since the fall of Netscape, Internet Explorer held 90% market share for years to come. No one, back then, though possible that anyone could pose a threat to IE or Microsoft. With the advent of Firefox in November of 2004, everything changed forever. People started to question the superiority of IE. Moreover Apple made an impressive comeback the last few years, with the use of the BSD kernel and the Vista bad press. So it came as no suprise that when Safari came to Windows, many people tried it (especially Mac users who also use Windows). Opera was always considered a fast and innovative browser, the first to have tabbed browsing, but for some strange reason most users considered it their second choice behind Firefox or IE. Last but not least, is of course Google Chrome. Having the brand name of Google, that most love and the rest love to hate, it is definitely heading for success.

So, what are the pros and cons of each browser?


  • Fast, second only to chrome, but in the next version 3.1, it will be the fastest again.
  • Secure: Issues are patched faster than any other browser, has many security features (also available in opera & safari).
  • Flexible: Firefox's add-ons are simply the best and more numerous than all other browsers combined.
  • Excellent compatibility with almost every single web site.
  • Geatly reduced memory consumption in version 3, which was the biggest problem in past vesrions.
  • Runs natively under Windows, Linux, Mac and BSD.
  • Supported financially by Googled and promoted by Yahoo(in response to Chrome, obviously)
  • Open source.
  • Needs more system resources than webkit based browsers
  • No mobile version yet.

  • Preinstalled in Windows.
  • Version 8 is a big improvement compared to 7 in terms of speed.
  • Thanks to competition, it is finally becoming a decent broswer.
  • Does not run natively under Linux, Mac and BSD.
  • Very slow compared to the others (even 20 times in some javascript tests). Uses a lot of system resources.
  • Bad security record.
  • Proprietary, closed source.
  • Bad publicity for Microsoft last two years, mostly because of Vista.


  • Preinstalled & greatly integrated in Mac & iPhone.
  • Secure.
  • Fast: Webkit(on which it is based) is fast and does not use many resources.
  • Excellent compatibility with almost every single web site.
  • Does not run natively under Linux and BSD.
  • Proprietary, closed source.

  • Multi-threading technology keeps chrome alive, even if one tab crashes.
  • The fastest browser this moment (until Firefox 3.1 comes out)
  • Based on Webkit, like Safari, which means excellent compatibility with almost every single web site.
  • Open Source. (under the name Chromium)
  • Will run natively on all platforms after some time.
  • Even better address bar than Firefox (gives the first Googled result, as an option, while you type)

  • No add-ons yet, though this will definitely change in the future, since it is open source.
  • Many users don't trust Google in terms of privacy.*
  • Excellent compatibility has not been achieved yet.
  • Google has showed in the past that it can have a beta for years (cough..Gmail,cough..Why still beta??It rocks!)

  • fast: Until Firefox 3 and Chrome, it was the fastest brower. It is still close on terms of speed.
  • Had great features like tabbed browsing, before any other broswer.
  • Secure.
  • Runs natively under Windows, Linux, Mac and BSD.
  • Does not use many resources.
  • Best option for mobile phones.
  • Inexplicable low market share...(1%)
  • Proprietary, closed source.

Internet Explorer will keep losing market share, unless IE 8 surpasses all expectations and becomes as good as the rest.
Firefox may lose some share to Chrome (although the Yahoo promotion will likely offshet it in the expense of IE), or may be aquired by Google in the future. After all, most of Mozilla Foundation's funding comes from Google.
Safari will keep gaining market share, as long as Mac sales are rising.
Chrome will become a top player shortly, when the initial bugs are squashed and add-ons are made available.
Grim days seem to come for Opera. Although in technology terms it is great, users just don't use it... It should become open source as soon as possible.

Maybe a merge of Firefox, Chrome & Opera will give THE ULTIMATE BROWSER in the future and take web to the next level (whatever that may be...!!). But i guess this is just me daydreaming...

*If you think you have any privacy at all, whatever browser you may be using, click the w3counter widget on the top right of the blog. You will see evrything about who visited the blog:IP,country,OS,browser! Need more??

Monday, November 3, 2008

How user-friendly are Windows really?

A common thing we hear every now and then is that "my friends use Windows, so whenever i have a problem, they help me". Since 90% of the world are Windows users, the above must be correct, right?? Not quite in my way of thinking.

First of all, let's see the profile of advanced users: A very big portion of advanced IT users, such as sysadmins, programmers, web developers, network administrators, etc are Linux users as well. These are also the people who help others with their Windows problems. Most of those do not use Vista at all, nor do they plan to use "Windows 7". This means that they do not know Vista as well as they knew XP and their Windows skills are no longer honed, since they use Windows less and less each passing day. For example, i use Linux exclusively for 1,5 year and Windows only when i am forced to (when i forget to take my bootable Ubuntu usb with with me).
Getting help for Vista or Windows 7 is becoming increasing difficult since many advanced users simply slowly forget how to use it. On the other hand geting help for Linux gets increasingly easier, since more and more people use it and new distributions get a lot easier with each new version. The only thing that new Linux users need to be shown is how to install programs. After that, they can do almost anything; surf the web, write their documents get their emails, play some games, update their system and all this without having to worry about viruses, spyware, registry problems or defragmentation.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Year of Linux Desktop is finally here! (If last year wasn't!)

It is finally happening!

Everyone these days seems to be trying Linux. In the whole 2007, i only managed to get 1 user to Linux but since last week, 2 of my superiors asked me to make dual boot (XP-Ubuntu) and 2 other colleagues bought the Linux version of Acer Aspire One!! And more have told me that they plan to try Ubuntu very soon.
Ubuntu has just become so great that anyone can use it and maintain it easier than XP and a lot easier than Vista. (After someone shows him/her how to install a program).
Also, use of Red Hat in our Application Servers has got on the table and is no longer dismissed without even the slightest consideration.

I strongly believe that the last 12 months were the Year of Linux Desktop (or netbook if you prefer...). If you think it wasn't, then this year will definitely be!