Sometimes surprises come from unexpected places. Wal-Mart for example. I mean : The mom and dad computer department store ? Not realy where one would think of finding a cutting edge peace of technology. So what’s the story ? A few weeks ago Wal-Mart Us started offering cheap-ass 199 dollar pc’s for standard office and internet use. What Onboard ? Some cheap hardware (a via processor of all things) so the performance under XP or Vista would be sure to suck. Except : They did not ship it with XP. To push the price down they decided to go for a different operating system. Now we all know the chances of 5 of these "alternate OS computers" ever selling to the average mom and dad : None ! There is no Whoopy-doo-daah way that a non geek would ever touch a linux distro without having a geek in the room. The solution ? lets give it a different name : Lets call it G O S … Sounds a whole lot like
"Google – OS" and in a way .. it is. GOS fills the gap that was gaping between the average Joe and his XP machine and the geek-without-a-girlfriend running his own version of Debian Edge. Ok , maybe its not that extreme but the GOS operating system builds a bridge between the computer desktop and the Web 2.0 as we know it today. Offering easy access to (google) applications like Google writer, Google spreadsheet, Gmail, Google earth and so on. Including direct access to Youtube, Wikipedia and so forth. Underneath the slick graphical interface ( called E17 ) that is mild for the eyes and the processor hides a Ubuntu distro. So with your little synaptic package manager you can still install just about anything you want on it. The guys at howtoforge have written up a great manual on how to beef up your GOS to realy become a powerful workstation.
As for me i’m having kittens over this : Why ? Because I’m sick of friends and family who fuck up their computer just because they love surfing porn, downloading crap with napster and bearshare and stuff like that. The average user (and I’m not talking about somebody in an office environment) only uses a select amount of software on his computer. He surfs the web (firefox) He reads his email (web based via firefox) he chats with friends (meebo or gaim) looks at video’s (youtube) checks stuff on wikipedia an may whack together a powerpoint presentation. Well you know what ? GOS offers it all. And not in an ‘advanced ubuntu package’. Because one of the reasons that the desktop integration of Linux fails is that people just get lost in the GUI. Take KDE for example : 50 ways to do things. Gnome : 30 different ways to do the same thing. For geeks like us its not really a problem, but for the average n00b its just an overload. When I configured Ubuntu for my wife’s grandmother, the first thing I did was dumb down the interface in order to get everything simplified enough so she could do her thing. And now with GOS that philosophy has been carried over onto a lighter and fresher desktop environment.
So : My plan. Last week the harddrive on my brothers computer crashed. My brother uses that computer only to surf the web and check his email and stuff, so no office related shit. Because I’m kind of tired of having to fix Windows Pc’s all the time AND I was planning to set up a linux server over there I’m going to do the following : 1 Take an old computer I have lying around (PIII 600) and install GOS on it. Tweak it just a little bit so he can check his email using thunderbird (he’s used to using thunderbird). I’ll also activate the SSH and webmin functions so i can control that computer (as a server) from my place. So i’ll kill two birds with one stone. 1 : I have a working linux server at a remote location. 2 : My brother has a computer he can use to surf the web and do his thing. And all of this using low-end hardware and providing me with a mall ware safe desktop. I’ll keep you posted on how things are going with this little experiment.
Make sure also to check out the latest episode of Fresh Ubuntu. A Linux-related podcast where I was a guest host and we talked about GOS.
Episode 4 takes us back to the Grid series and we take a look a the power of virtual computing. Forget having rows and rows of Pc’s stacked up in your bedroom to make that one and only dream-lab that only Neo of the Matrix would be able to one-up. User some sticks of ram, diskspace and processor cycles to creat your own computerised Holodeck. Computer : Begin program.
- Sponsored by “Podcastmaker” visit www.lemonzdream.com for more information.
- Introduction ..
- Part one : What are Virtual Machines.
- Music : Sonny Combs and Kitty Kat Rodeo : Thin Disguise.
- Part two : How do Virtual machines work.
- Music : Fresh Music : Egyptian nursery rhime.
- Part Three : Practical examples in using VM’s to let technology work for you.
- Howto : Install Vmware server on Ubuntu
- Howto : Install Ubuntu on an XP machine
The last thing we want to do is turn this into a "this is me and this is my hamster blog" boring you into oblivion with tons of useless facts about what is going down in our personal lives. But hey : Since this is kind of a technological-reality show anyway, it would be rude not to inform you of any cast changes. Hence today we present you with the newest addition to the Knightwise.com family. Another star player in this all-star cast who will probably have many of our female fans go "oooohhhhhhh ! Thats so cute !" . No i’m not referring to myself in a little elf costume or anything like that. We do however proudly present : Neelix ! The nine week old puppy we got last Saturday, and who has managed not only to steel our hearts , but also a lot of our sleep over the last two days. So let the pictures speak for themselves as we proudly present the pup of the house Be sure to check out the Flickr page on Neelix for more pictures .
Sure hope this never happens to me. ( It won"t cause I have hidden shares 🙂 $$$ )
This morning, 6 AM , Driving through the stormy autumn weather. Dark outside .. raining. Inside the car .. Darkness and the sound of one of DJ Tiesto’s Live sets. And all along I just could not keep myself from smiling.. Grinning.. Enjoying the privacy of my own thoughts. LIfe is a surprise sometimes. It jumps in your lap, huggs you and gives you a big fat sloppy kiss.