Unbeatable Open Source Deals for Black Friday

 Deals, General, Open Source  Comments Off on Unbeatable Open Source Deals for Black Friday
Nov 102014

If I have realized one thing in the evening of my life, it’s that smart people are few while the not-so-smart number in the billions.

Wherever you live, a good, secure computer with Internet connectivity is a must these days.

But most of us do not need a iMac with Retina 5K display with an obscene price tag of $2,500. Or a Windows 8 systems where even finding the “Start” button is an ordeal.

Black Friday 2014 – Open Source Deals

So this year on Black Friday, instead of lining up in the cold at Best Buy, Walmart or Staples like all those not-so-smart people, why don’t you be smart (or at least act smart) by sitting at home in your pajamas and pamper yourself with a bunch of nice open source gifts.

Your cost will be less than $150 (monitor excluded) for a secure Linux desktop computer with a bunch of important applications.

Here are some great open source deals I recommend for you this Black Friday:

* Dell Optiplex 780 SFF – These are used business computers easily available on eBay or Craigslist. For those of us not into molecular designing, heavy online gaming or graphic intensive tasks, these SFF (small form factor) workhorses are more than adequate. They usually come with Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz processor, 4GB memory, 160GB hard-drive and Windows 7. Pricing ranges from $100-$149 depending on memory, hard-drive size and whether it has Microsoft Office installed. My suggestion is to pay no more than $130 and get a system with 4GB RAM and 160GB-500GB hard drive. (If you have money to burn, go for faster systems like Dell Op[tiplex 980 or 990. They’ll run you a couple of hundred dollars more since they come with current Intel i5 or i7 quad-core processors.) But Dell Optiplex 780 is good enough for routine tasks.  Optiplex 780 SFF is Bluetooth enabled and my Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard run without issues. Once you get the Optiplex 780 computer, install the following software (some of them like LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird may already be installed). By the way, Optiplex 780 comes in three sizes – Tower, SFF and USFF. My recommendation is to go for either SFF (small form factor) or USFF (ultra small form factor). They won’t take much space.

* Linux Mint 17 – For newcomers to Linux, things can’t get better than Linux Mint 17 with the Cinnamon desktop. Continue reading »

Brackets 1.0 Open Source Text Editor Debuts

 Free, Open Source  Comments Off on Brackets 1.0 Open Source Text Editor Debuts
Nov 052014

After three years of development, the Adobe-sponsored open source text editor Brackets recently hit Release 1.0.

Hailing it as a milestone, Brackets’ developers say Release 1.0 comes with several performance improvements over Release 0.44 and is now ready for every day use by developers.

A cross-platform lightweight text editor built in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Brackets runs on Ubuntu Linux 12.04 or newer, Debian Linux 8 or newer, Mac OSX 10.6.8 or newer and Windows Vista, 7, or 8/8.1 (x32 and x64).

Highlights of Brackets include inline editing, a Live Preview mode that lets developers see HTML and CSS code changes instantly in the browser and tons of extensions (439 extensions and 75 themes at last count). Continue reading »

Ubuntu for Mobile Phones Nearing Completion

 Open Source, Smartphones  Comments Off on Ubuntu for Mobile Phones Nearing Completion
Oct 212014

Linux distribution Ubuntu should soon be wrapping up work on Ubuntu Touch, its first iteration for smartphones.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical (the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu), wrote in a blog post Monday, October 20, 2014:

Our ventrous quest to put GNU as you love it on phones is bearing fruit, with final touches to the first image in a new era of convergence in computing. From tiny devices to personal computers of all shapes and sizes to the ventose vistas of cloud computing, our goal is to make a platform that is useful, versal and widely used.

Ubuntu has partnered with mobile device manufacturers bq of Spain and Meizu of China to bring Ubuntu Touch based smartphones to consumers globally.

Ubuntu Touch should be available eventually for both low-end and high-end smartphones. The goal for the high-end version is to provide a desktop Ubuntu experience when users connect it to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Applications designed for Ubuntu Desktop should also run on Ubuntu Touch since the core technologies underpinning the two platforms are the same. Continue reading »

Linux Mint Rebecca will Sport Cinnamon 2.4

 Open Source  Comments Off on Linux Mint Rebecca will Sport Cinnamon 2.4
Oct 102014

Fans of Cinnamon should be pleased that the new version (version 2.4) of their favorite Linux desktop will be available to the public by the end of October, 2014.

After a month of ‘maturation,’ Cinnamon 2.4 will be integrated into the upcoming Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” in late November.

What’s New

Highlights of Cinnamon 2.4 include support for background slideshows, a new startup animation, a visual theme selector and a faster javascript interpreter..

Cinnamon developers say two types of background collections will be supported:

* Cinnamon background collections, which are XML collections provided by the operating system or installed via the Software Manager
* Filesystem directories, which users can add or remove via the interface

The goal with the background slideshows is to keep the interface simple and let users pick a single background from a collection or activate a slideshow for that collection.

The current version of Cinnamon is 2.2.16 has been available since August 2014.

Please show your support for the good work being done by the Cinnamon/Linux Mint team by becoming a sponsor.

Ubuntu 14.10 Final Beta Out, Official Release October 23

 Open Source  Comments Off on Ubuntu 14.10 Final Beta Out, Official Release October 23
Sep 292014

Ubuntu has put out the final beta of Ubuntu 14.10 codenamed Utopic Unicorn for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products.

Utopic Final Beta features updated versions of the core set of packages (including a current 3.16.2 kernel and apparmor improvements) and bug fixes.

Besides images from Ubuntu Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products, the beta includes Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Studio and Xubuntu flavors.

Ubuntu developers say the beta images are “reasonably free” of showstopper CD build or installer bugs and represent a recent snapshot of 14.10 with features that will ship with the final release due on October 23, 2014.

Ubuntu 14.10 is not a long term support release of the distribution since the support lifespan for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Core, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin along with all other flavours is only nine months.

Download links for the Ubuntu 14.10 final beta are available on the Ubuntu ‘Fridge’ site.

If you plan to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.10 Final Beta from Ubuntu 14.04, follow these instructions.

LibreOffice 4.3.2 Lands with 80 Fixes

 Open Source, Products  Comments Off on LibreOffice 4.3.2 Lands with 80 Fixes
Sep 252014

Users of free office suite LibreOffice should be pleased as punch today.

Version 4.3.2 debuted today with 80 fixes that address interoperability issues when reading or writing Microsoft Office DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.

Release 4.3.2 is the second minor release of the LibreOffice 4.3 “Fresh” family.

People interested in technical details of the release can access the change logs here.
LibreOffice - Free Office Suite

Where to Download

Users may download LibreOffice 4.3.2 “Fresh” and LibreOffice 4.2.6 “Still” from this download link.

The update arrives just before the fourth anniversary of the LibreOffice project on September 28, 2014.

LibreOffice is available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.


The LibreOffice community is said to be gaining traction for the past four years, attracting at least three new developers per month plus several volunteers active in localization, quality assurance and marketing and development of local communities.

LibreOffice is now available in over 100 languages.

Show your appreciation for the LibreOffice project by making a donation.