Mandriva 2009.0 Released

A little less than three weeks ago, the Mandriva team announced the official release of Mandriva 2009.0. I downloaded the “One” live disc the other day, and, after a few minor issues (a blank screen on boot and some issues getting my hard drives backed up) I got the OS installed tonight.

At first glance, the new version looks nice. It will be interesting to see if Mandriva’s decision to hold off on KDE4 until this release will prove wiser than the inclusion of KDE4 in OpenSuSE’s previous version. I haven’t really kept track of what improvements have been made to KDE4 over the last six or eight months, but I am hoping they are significant.

E-mail Client Survey – What Are People Using?

A blog entry from SitePoint was forwarded to me the other day at work. The blog entry dealt with a new survey put out by Litmus, using their Fingerprint e-mail analysis system.

The survey explored the usage of various e-mail clients throughout both the business and consumer sectors. The survey produced some very interesting results.

Some of the results I found the most intriguing are after the jump.

Frustrated With Outlook

I’ve been using Evolution quite a bit in Linux Mint lately, and it’s really made me realize just how frustrating Outlook can be. After the jump is a list of features that I believe are missing from Microsoft Outlook. If you know of any easy way to add any of these features (other than payware add-ins), please let me know. Also, if there are other features that you’d like to see Microsoft add to Outlook, please feel free to post them.

Boxee Releases New Alpha Version

Boxee, the XBMC-based media player I wrote about a few weeks ago, has released a new alpha version. The official list of changes (to the Linux version, at least) is as follows:

  • complete UI overhaul
  • play content available from: Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, MySpaceTV, NextNewNetworks, On Networks
  • connect to videos from Hulu and CBS straight from friends activity and recommendations
  • manage your personal RSS feeds from http://app.boxee.tv and access them through boxee (on My Feeds under Internet Video or Internet Music)
  • navigation in media is vertical (up/down) instead of horizontal (left/right)
  • mouse is supported and enabled by default for new installations (for upgrades it can be enabled via Settings > Appearance)
  • application settings (YouTube, Flickr, Last.fm) are now accessible from the Settings menu
  • improved SMB support, which also fixes accessing your media via the Apple TV
  • when using a keyboard, the ESCAPE button always takes you to the previous screen
  • improved lyrics support
  • improved subtitles look and feel, support for subtitle switching and fixed media going Speedy Gonzales for a few seconds when subtitle are applied
  • when working in off-line mode, you can now properly access your local content
  • numerous bug fixes
  • many fixes from our friends at xbmc.org
  • moved boxee install directory to /opt/boxee under Ubuntu (POSIX compliance FTW )
I am a bit excited about the addition of Hulu. Unfortunately, however, I found that on my slow “high-speed” Internet connection, Hulu videos are virtually unwatchable. This, sadly, has nothing to do with boxee, as I tested the video outside of boxee. I guess I’ll just have to keep dreaming and waiting for the day that Verizon decides to upgrade the phone lines that run to my house or Comcast decides to run the extra 50 feet of cable it would take to extend cable service from the end of my driveway (seriously, that’s where cable service in my area ends) to my house.

Coding With CodeIgniter

I’ve been coding away at my new startup CloudContacts for a good bit now and I’ve found that using the CodeIgniter PHP framework has been great. I’ve always been able to edit PHP code pretty well but starting an application from scratch has been a struggle. I watched a few CodeIgniter videos and was off. There are many libraries and downloadable code across the Web which helps even more as you build the app.

What’s great is that you can combine straight PHP code with CodeIgniter bits. I certainly am no expert but I think I have the basics down.

Except for Java, I can typically edit any code in most languages. Now I feel even more excited to be able to begin the application process. My belief has always been that every entrepreneur needs to understand, at least, enough code to discuss the application and more importantly decide which language to use for the application.

Hats off to my friend Jimmy who spent the good part of a day teaching me some of the more advanced features in CodeIgniter. I will provide more updates as I learn more with CodeIgniter.

Linux Mint Available for 64-bit Computers

Linux Mint has now released a 64-bit version of Linux Mint 5 Elyssa. For some reason, when Linux Mint 5 was initially released, the 64-bit version was not ready for release. Instead, the team seems to have worked exclusively on the 32-bit version first, then finished up what needed to be done on the 64-bit version once that was done.

The team has said in their blog that they will be releasing the 64-bit versions concurrently from now on.

They are looking for feedback from users that have been using the 32-bit version to see if the 64-bit version works faster and better, like it should. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to download the installation disc and replace my Mint installation with the 64-bit version, soon.


Useful Things