Posts Tagged ‘Ubuntu’

MariaDB & distributions update, Dec 2013

A few things to note recently, amongst MariaDB in distributions. 

  1. Ubuntu keeps MySQL 5.5 despite MariaDB’s success. There’s a lot of reasons for this, but remember the key takeaway here is MySQL 5.5 & the fact that MariaDB wasn’t even in Debian yet when the decision was made.
  2. MariaDB is now inside of Debian/sid – check out the packages.
  3. RHEL 7 comes with MariaDB 5.5 as a default; this is a good thing.

Now, from a distribution standpoint, we’re looking at starting to ship 10.0 as well. Distro maintainers don’t want one-way streets (i.e. an upgrade to MariaDB prevents you from going back to MySQL). This is something we have to deal with as more start looking at MySQL 5.6 & MariaDB 10 (think temporal literals as an example).

Ubuntu Edge failure and what it means to me

A few days ago I received a credit from Indiegogo, because the USD$600 that I pledged for the Ubuntu Edge didn’t work out (I pledged on day one not because it was cheap but because I felt I needed the device and thank Canonical for the wonderful work they’ve done in addition to being brave about going into new markets; I would have paid $895 if need be – we don’t get heavily subsidised phones where I come from). There was a lot of buzz about how this is the largest crowdfunding experience ever, and so on, but to me, as a believer in opensource, I feel this failure to get an Ubuntu Edge more than ever.

It was by no means a shoddy amount that was pledged, in the sense that it raised USD$12,813,501 out of the USD$32,000,000 goal. I was curious with who pledged, and this is quite public as well – see the pledges list. But what you see is that a lot of people pledged not for the phone but smaller amounts which I guess is a huge problem.

Simply put, you need about 50,000 people (community members/Ubuntu users/etc.) to pledge to buy the phone (at an average sale price of USD$695). A mere 50,000. I planned to analyze the data, but its great that The Guardian did most of the work for me, so read: Ubuntu Edge: how many phones were really ordered – and the mistakes.

14,577 individuals pledged to order the phone. Enterprises were shy by the looks of it.

Out of the 14,577 individuals, I expect many of them to be Ubuntu users to some extent (if not lovers of opensource). Where are the rest of the Ubuntu users?

The public stats for Ubuntu are quite impressive – generally it is the most popular desktop Linux distribution out there. Just look at the adoption & reception: in June 2009, it was estimated that there are 13 million active users; in fall 2011 Canonical itself estimated more than 20 million users worldwide. This number must have grown tremendously, but even at a 20 million base, you’re looking at 0.073% conversion rate to buy an Ubuntu Edge.

I know people that are Ubuntu users and wanted to buy it, but not at the price point. Over $600 for a phone with a computer that docks just isn’t feasible as a cost in many parts of the developing world. Without user registration, we can’t tell where Ubuntu users are located, but I’m willing to bet it’s a good mix between the developed/developing world, right?

I was hoping to hold an Edge in my hand come May 2014. I’m still hoping to hold an Ubuntu mobile device in my hand. While I am disappointed, I can imagine Mark Shuttleworth asking himself a lot of questions. He’s spent millions developing Ubuntu, the community that surrounds it and the commercial aspects around it. Apparently monetizing the userbase is harder than it looks.

Facebook Home

Colored houseI happened to be awake last night so I caught the announcement via livestream for Facebook Home. I’m glad its just a system launcher. There are many (I myself on my phone use Nova Launcher), but from the demo, this is beautifully designed with a new take on the interface. The demo showed it being smoother than butter ;)

Chat heads look interesting. Some may claim it being bothersome or unintuitive, but most iOS users have this already turned on via accessibility settings assistive touch since the home button breaks far too easily. Why a little white dot when you can now make it do things for you?

I was impressed with the amount of partners on launch day. Buy-in from manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Alcatel. Chipmaker like Qualcomm. Telcos like AT&T, Orange, EE. I can only expect this to grow of course. Gives great competition in the mobile landscape for 2013.

You see, FirefoxOS has a huge amount of partners & buy-in. I continue to be surprised that Ubuntu doesn’t have a similar page.

Am I switching from iOS as my main phone? Unlikely. I’m almost certain that many at Facebook, including Zuckerberg runs on IOS. But I will be playing with this on my secondary device (the Galaxy S3). I’m a little surprised that the April 12 launch isn’t available for the Nexus set of phones… and in Asia, the Galaxy Note form factor is popular, where did that go?

HTC First will be the first device to come with the Facebook Home system launcher as a default. I’m not sure how this is different to them applying skins and admitting that Facebook does it better. This isn’t the first time they’re playing around with a Facebook phone though.

Interesting times as Facebook has confirmed that their strategy is clearly mobile first. The fact that they built this on top of Android can’t really impress Google very much ;)

Others have also covered this well, i.e a strategy for Facebook, how this isn’t good for privacy.

Mobile landscape: Ubuntu, Firefox OS

LandscapedLong-term I’m bullish on Android. Its everywhere, its like the multiple Linux distributions. I have a preference to Google-sanctioned devices (i.e. the Nexus series), but each and every Android device manufacturer has their own bells & whistles.

The mobile landscape is actively changing. I was in Paris when I watched the announcement that there would be an Ubuntu for phones. I was a little disappointed that the announcement was for the possibility with no manufacturers or no actual device being announced. You’d presume that’s what you would get with the countdown on the website, and all the hype built up around it. To add to my confusion, there still exists Ubuntu for Android, which has been around for quite some time with no one biting. I heard its vaguely opensource so you could run it on a device, but I’ve not seen much.

The idea is amazing (carrying your phone, plugging it in to see a full-featured desktop) and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014. It seems like the developer environment is Qt/QML for a native feel, but you’ve also got HTML5. They’re going to leverage on the Ubuntu community. I just think the hype around this is being built too early.

However, what’s more exciting is Mozilla’s recent announcements. They have a Firefox OS developer preview phone announced. They tell you how to use Firefox OS today. There are also AppDays happening worldwide. And they have a phone coming soon as a partnership with Geeksphone & Telefonica of Spain. Here it seems clear that your HTML5 apps are going to rock (see the Firefox Marketplace). When I say soon, I’m saying next month, i.e. February 2013. I’ve signed up to buy one.

The mobile landscape is changing. Nokia was the king of phones with Symbian, and today they’re backing Windows Mobile. Most of the top manufacturers are building Android devices (opensource). There are many companies signed up to make Tizen devices in 2013 and beyond (opensource). Now you have opensource Ubuntu & Firefox OS. Apple may have started this modern trend but iOS device sales aren’t stellar (witness Apple’s recent stock drop). iOS to be fair is also built on opensource (itself its closed).

Year of the Linux desktop? Who needs that. You’ve already arrived at the years of opensource computing.

Ubuntu updated on the ThinkPad Edge 11″ (magorian)

Breakfast of champions! Soft boiled egg done correctly w/o cup/holderI’ve been using Ubuntu on my Thinkpad Edge 11″ (which has the machine name: magorian) for quite some time now (from 10.10). Today I did an update from 12.04 to 12.04.1 and found my wifi stopped working. Turning the card on/off using the Fn+F9 key seemed to be the fix. Minor niggle.

Some resources: Ubuntu on Thinkpad Edge 11/13/14/15 is a great place to see common problems & fixes. The ThinkWiki also has a page for the Edge 11″.

The update to 12.10 is currently going on and is expected to take 1.7GB of downloads.

I’m thinking about upgrading the RAM from 2GB -> 4GB (I’m seeing prices that are really cheap for this kind of RAM – less than RM100 ~USD33). I have to admit that the machine definitely feels a lot snappier than my aging MacBook Pro (lovegood). 

First hour with Ubuntu 10.10 on a laptop

Recently, I’ve only used Mac OSX based laptops from Apple largely because I needed a few things to work: suspend/resume, WiFi, video out. Over that time, I’ve also grown used to some closed source software: Evernote and OmniOutliner are on my dock, and I really cannot live without them. OK, TextMate is also on my dock, but I’m still nimble in vim as I still use it daily.

Where have I used Linux? On servers. Plenty of servers, running CentOS and Ubuntu mainly. Servers that I am regularly SSH’ed into on a daily basis. The other place I use Linux widely is virtual machines (without X).

I picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11″ today with no OS loaded. Much props to Lenovo Malaysia’s PR agency Text100 – they read the post, and attempted to solve my problems for me by liaising with Lenovo. Paid for it today with no extra charge on the credit card, and they threw in a case as well.

Coming from a Mac, I have to say Ubuntu 10.10′s initial experience nailed it. I popped the 64-bit ISO that I had burnt to a DVD into an external optical drive, and it just booted. Ubuntu installed with ease, and during installation it detected my WiFi card (so I could connect to the network), and also had working sound out of the box.

During installation, it decided to go on the Net to download packages, and that took about 180MB. It rebooted. And like magic, everything just worked. I tried suspending the machine by closing the lid. It worked. I opened the lid to see if it would resume – it worked. I did this more than once and I’m pleased to say the laptop works as expected. The hardware keys to control sound, brightness and more all just work. I have not tried video out (there’s VGA and HDMI) yet.

Ubuntu has this concept of certified hardware. The specs don’t match, but it does list the Thinkpad Edge 11.

There are over 300MB of updates to download, which I’ll do when I get away from unmetered Internet. Quick verdict? A world of win, Ubuntu might be exactly what people are looking for when it comes to Linux on a laptop/desktop.


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