lunes, 31 de diciembre de 2012

jueves, 27 de diciembre de 2012

Bye Mainstream Computer Stores! Hello Zareason!

When buying portable computers, I always went to computer stores.  I could check several laptop or netbook brands, but I always had to buy Windows with the PC no matter if I intended not to use it.

Since my Toshiba Dynabook laptop (which I had bought back in 2003) is about to die on me (it still runs thanks to MEPIS 8), I decided to go hunting for a good replacement.  Although netbooks are more convenient for my work-related purposes, I still can do with my little Toshiba NB100.  Even if its specs are far from powerful, it is capable of running several Linux distros and has never failed me.  

I thought "my old laptop is about to die, so I should buy a laptop to replace it."

With that thought, I went to several stores.  I checked several laptop models and brands...and discovered two patterns:

1.  The standard was 2 GB of RAM.  Some of them came with Windows 7 Starter (Common! That's a crippled OS designed for netbooks, not for laptops!  Besides, today's netbooks have as much RAM) 

2.  "Powerful" laptops had 4 GB of RAM.  They came with Windows 7 Home Basic or Home Premium.  Their price tags were a bit too high, too. 

Although a few machines had more than 4 GB of RAM, their prices were quite close to Apple products. Clearly, these stores were taking a sizable part of the whole price for these laptops...and the Microsoft tax also played a part, I guess.

Thus, I went back home and decided to buy a Linux computer from Zareason instead.  Why?  Simply because for less than the price local stores here were selling me their ultrabooks with 6 GB of RAM, I could buy a laptop Alto 4330 with 8 GB of RAM (I could get 16, but none of my other machines goes beyond 2) and more HD space, not to mention a better processor...and most importantly, it's already running my favorite Linux distro!

 That's exactly what I got.  I have to say that people at Zareason were not lying when they advertised their Alto 4330 as "The 14" Linux laptop people have been asking for -- better graphics, efficiency and overall computing power" and "everything a laptop should be."

Although it was not among the variety of their supported Linux flavors, I asked Zareason to preinstall MEPIS 11 (64 bit) on my laptop.  They did it and even included a MEPIS  DVD for me!  That was a nice touch! I, as a customer, felt very happy because I never liked the OEM new trend of placing one's OS into a hidden partition and giving the customers the hassle of burning their own rescue media (yes, I know the philosophy behind that!)

I must also say that my laptop was delivered exactly within the time frame specified.  The people at Zareason also got in touch with me by e-mail to confirm my transaction for security reasons. They took my order seriously and very professionally.  Too much, maybe!  :P

After playing with my new laptop, I decided to replace MEPIS 11 with the second alpha of MEPIS 12.  I know alphas are not for production machines, but so far, I haven't found any issues.  I was even able to add Dreamdesktop (animated video wallpapers) along with my other KDE plasma effects:
I also installed the RC2 version of Pardus Debian 2012.  Although this is 32 bits, it is mounted on a PAE kernel.  I got a bit crazy playing with it:

I want to install another Linux flavor.  An actual final release, just for a little variety! :P  I'm trying to decide which.

It feels great to have a Linux friendly laptop at last.  While many people are complaining about the atrocities of Metro, I feel at ease...and with a much better hardware, too!

From now on, I'll buy my laptops from Zareason and I'll also recommend it to others.  Unlike mainstream computer stores, Zareason does not force unwanted software on their clients.  You have choices...that is, real ones!

December 2012 did not mean the end of the world, but it meant the end of my Windows-powered laptop-buying era.  Bye, mainstream computer stores! Hello, Zareason!

lunes, 24 de diciembre de 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Wow!  I reached my third Linux Christmas!

Thanks to all who kindly visited my blog.  Merry Christmas to all of you!

¡Wow! ¡Llegué a mi tercera Navidad con Linux!

Gracias a todos los que amablemente visitaron mi blog. ¡Feliz Navidad a todos ustedes! 

viernes, 21 de diciembre de 2012

Linux Fun with Stamps and Stickers

I made some Linux stickers (out of logos on the Web) for personal use.  So far, these are the ones I have:

Then, Namida12, a fellow Mepis user, mentioned these Linux stamps:

These stamps are for sale here in case you want some.

martes, 18 de diciembre de 2012

A Quick Note about Pardus 2012

The Pardus community worldwide is sad because of what happened to  In spite of this, Pardus users still have faith in Pardus Anka, the project that came to life as a fork of the Turkish distro, but which actually keeps most of Pardus actual inner identity. 

What happened to the original Pardus? Is it dead yet?

I remember going into the forum of a Linux distro I don't use some time ago.  They said that Pardus was almost dead. That may be true...but it is still debatable.  Let's remember that now Pardus (the original) is based on Debian.  People call it Pardus Debian.

I am running a RC version of Pardus Debian.  It works extremely well, even more considering it is not a finished product.  Two days ago, I updated it and noticed a few changes.  For example, when it starts, now you can read "Pardus 2012."  It is taking shape little by little.

If anyone wants to try it out, the downloads are here.

viernes, 14 de diciembre de 2012

My Work is Done...Let the Fun Start!

I've been away of this blog for quite a long time.  Of course, the reason has nothing to do with viruses or computer malfunctioning...quite the opposite: my systems have been more reliable and productive than ever!

In fact, what kept me away from entering my experiences here was the intensity of the work I had to do.  Well, my graduation was also part of it.

By the way, I can say that my graduation serves as an example of the inaccuracy of all the arguments claiming that GNU/Linux is unprofessional software: everything, from online research to multimedia presentation design and my thesis writing, all was done using open source software exclusively.  Mepis Linux was my OS, Libre Office was my office suite, Firefox was my browser...I even used Kolourpaint for simple image editing!  Symbolically speaking, my Master's Degree has the Free Software stamp on it!  How come people say you cannot use Linux for serious tasks?  I have to disagree with them on the basis of my own experience.

What about my work?  There was an International Congress at my university and both my brother Mechatotoro and I had two lectures to present.  I thought about using Platinum Arts Sandbox (a 3D engine for games) instead of Impress to manage the visual aids this time.  Why?  Just for a little variety and a lot of experimentation!

                           These are captures of the presentation about Cruelty and Plays:

Since my knowledge about 3D designing amounts to zero, I had to learn everything from scratch, but I found the process very rewarding and intellectually stimulating (although I am not sure how many of my colleagues will be able to use it).

                    (This is a capture of the presentation about Children's Literature)

With the help of Mechatotoro, who gave me most of the special textures we needed to include in our virtual 3D environments, I set up the presentations.

                  These are more captures of the presentation about Children's Literature:

Apparently, those who attended our lectures were impressed by the innovative visual aids.  To me, that is the biggest reward since I put a lot of time and effort learning about 3D by myself!

And now that the work is done and I am on vacation...LET THE FUN START!
I bought a brand new ALTO 4330 Linux laptop from Zareason.  ( I guess my next entry will be about it!)  Also, I can play with a Toshiba netbook NB515 and a coworker wants me to install Linux on her Toshiba netbook NB-505 because Windows 7 is giving her lots of BSODs...what a surprise!