Last updated: 01 Dec 2007 - 17:42
If you read news on the internet about technology related things, You will almost certainly have heard about the gPC that Walmart in the US were selling. For those of you just landed from a trip outside the solar system, the machine was a $199 PC, running a VIA C7 CPU at 1.5GHz rather than an Intel/AMD, but still x86. It had an 80GB hard disk and 512MB of RAM. So, a reasonable spec PC at an amazing price, but how could that kind of hardware survive running Vista? It didn't! The PC ran gOS, an Ubuntu based Linux distribution. The PC sold out within a week according to reports on the internet, exactly how many units this is I'm not sure, but it seems to have taken Walmart by surprise.
However, the tale of the gPC is now well documented and this is not intended to be another gloating article about how awesome Linux is or anything. What started me off on this review was the fact that I am writing it from within gOS.
Last updated: 18 Nov 2007 - 15:28
I've been reading the news on slashdot about the amazing new solid state drives that are being released at the moment. However it wasn't until today when I went to one of my favourite on-line computer stores (actually looking at the page layout for inspiration for some html I was working on) when I saw this on the home page: Samsung 32GB 2.5" PATA drive. At last, not just talk or US only products, they have arrived here!
I will admit that the price is way too high for me to spend just to play with it at the moment but like all new technology we can expect that to fall pretty quickly. One of my house mates at Uni has just had his laptop hard disk fail on him, a mechanical failure of the read mechanism, and it's just that sort of thing that one of these solid state drives would solve. If it were my laptop I would seriously consider paying out for one of these solid state drives (SSD) because it would be a really handy excuse to get one.
Last updated: 17 Nov 2007 - 01:09
What would happen if you tried to pay at a supermarket with one of those huge charity cheques like they had on Children in Need last night?
Last updated: 07 Nov 2007 - 16:00
It occurred to me the other day that I haven't done any serious fractal programming since my first year at uni when I was learning MATLAB. (When I say serious, I in now way imply that this is particularly import, more that it demands I think harder than I might otherwise do.)
Last updated: 26 Oct 2007 - 16:39
What was really wrong with Konqueror? It was one of my main reasons for using KDE, I was really looking forward to KDE4 and new features and an even more attractive interface with more functionality. That was until I heard they were retiring Konqueror. The full horror didn't hit me until I started using Dolphin in Kubuntu 7.10 which has been enabled by default.
Last updated: 21 Oct 2007 - 14:05
Whilst I was in France in the summer I happened to walk past a model shop which had some Star Wars model kits in the window which caught my eye. In the end I chose the TIE Advanced X1 kit as the most interesting one to build. The kit was one of the Revel "easykit" range which means that theoretically you need no glue or paint to build the model, but I ingored this theory and went ahead and painted and glued bits as I felt they would benefit. It seems that Revel have bought the rights to sell Star Wars plastic kits, I saw several more this summer in various places of different models, including a version of the Millenium Falcon which looks very similar to my original AMT/ERTL model of the Falcon that I have half-built at home. I believe this is good news for the Star Wars modeller as the old models were beginning to get a bit hard to find.
Last updated: 19 Oct 2007 - 22:26
It's been quite a while since I started using Linux now. As I was reading this months edition of Linux Format magazine today I began to think back to what it used to be like using Linux, and how it has changed (particularly since I switched to Ubuntu). When I first installed Linux, it was SUSE 9.1, made by SUSE not Novell, and came in two versions, Professional and Personal. I got it on 5 CDs and two double sided DVDs in a box with some big manuals for the sum of around £60 from Amazon. I bought it because at the time there was no question of downloading it, there was just no way my dial up connection would have held up long enough to download it even if I could have afforded the phone bill. I installed this software on a couple of computers and was blown away by how smooth and easy to use it was. Looking at the slide show whilst installing and the variety of software included was astounding. I started using the OS with Firefox (0.8) already installed, there was an office suite, a PDF reader, and back then, it could even play MP3s out of the box. However, it was working only on an IBM laptop I had bought largely with the intention of installing Linux, and only after some trouble.
Last updated: 19 Oct 2007 - 16:14
During a fairly dull lecture earlier this week I came up with the mad idea to create a cardboard model of the weighted companion cube from "Portal" a new game from Valve. The companion cube has become quite a cult thing so I'm guessing there may be more people out there that would like to have a little cardboard companion cube sitting on their desk!
Last updated: 14 Oct 2007 - 16:54
It is, in my experience, a fairly rare thing to find a day with nice weather in Bath, even more difficult then to find a day with nice weather when I have an afternoon free. So I took advantage of this afternoon to go for a walk around the Bath Skyline walk. Unfortunately I ended up somewhat closer to the city than I would have liked as this meant I had a fairly long walk to get back up to the top of one of the hills upon which I live.
Last updated: 23 Sep 2007 - 12:59
I've just got hold of a live version of KDE 4 alpha 1 on a live DVD that came with this months copy of Linux Format. I am writing this review from Konqueror on KDE4, and it seems to mostly be working.