Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blogsy: A Blogging App for the iPad

After using an iOS device for several years I have found very few things to complain about. However, one thing that had been lacking was a good blogging app. After trying a number of apps, ranging from terrible (crash as soon as it opened) to working but not enjoyable, I gave up on trying to blog from an iOS device. However I have now found an app that makes blogging on my iPad fun. Blogsy is the best app for the iPad that I have used thus far. I highly recomend it to anyone looking for a blogging App. This post and the previous post were both written on Blogsy, including the pictures and video. Blogsy has a number of great features, however they are better watched than read, so checkout the video below.

Notes: I have experienced a couple of crashes, so save your drafts now and again. I would also like to see an undo feature added.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 Screencast

The release of Ubuntu 11.04 is only days away. Here is a nice video showing a little of the changes. Thanks to http://www.thisweekinlinux.com/

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Smart Book

While following some links that I had received from a conversation on Diaspora* Alpha, I ran across the Smart Book, a great product from Always Innovating. While they offer them for sale, they do not yet have a shipping date. Reading their press release, it does not look like they plan to sell them in mass quantities. Imaging having a hand held Internet device, a tablet, a netbook, and screen that can be plugged into another computer, all in one device. Along with all of those features it runs multiple operating systems all at the same time. On top of everything else it is Open Hardware and Open Software. The complete package is listed at $549. I would love to get my hands on one. The following has been copied in from the Always Innovating Website: http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/index.htm

"ARM-optimized advanced platform
Our devices come with multiple Linux-based distributions, running on an ARM processor. This includes our home-made Angstrom-based OS, Android, our own adaptation of Google chromium (while waiting for a stable and complete release), Ubuntu.
Tremendous work was necessary to adapt all these distributions to our devices, especially because of the need to optimize the support of our hardware (accelerometer, screen rotation, touchscreen, and more). All OS are running on the 2.6.32 Linux kernel, and got several optimizations to take benefits of the advanced instructions available in the chipset. Note that you will not be able to install Windows OS or Mac OS on the Touch Book or the Smart Book.

Hot multi-OS switching: You won't have to chose any more!

Several OS on the same machine at the same time? Yes, that's possible and without any performance loss. You can indeed choose and switch between several OSes installed on the device at runtime.By just pressing the magic AI button, you get a simple menu, letting you literally switch between several OS running at the same time on the same machine on a single processor. Instant-play, you can take the most of each OS, which means in our case: our AIOS, Android, Ubuntu, and ChromiumOS. Best of all, you can share your documents between those side-by-side instances.
Being able to switch OSes to best meet your need with out rebooting looks like a great plus.

Smart Book®: the most versatile device ever manufactured
It's a tablet. It's a keyboard. It's a MID (Mobile Internet Device). It's a free VOIP phone. It's a PC dual screen. It's a USB keychain. It's everything! It's like an electronic "Swiss knife". And for the price of one single device.

Save money, space, time, and headache.

Take your mobile out of your pocket to surf the web with your fingers, thanks to multi-touch technology support. Plug it into the back of the tablet to take full advantage of the larger touchscreen, as well as enhanced features and connectivity. Then attach the keyboard to enjoy the benefits of a full laptop allowing you to be as efficient as you have to. Want your life to be even easier? Connect your wireless keyboard to any other computer, or use your tablet as a second screen - with a simple USB cable. The Smart Book is the most incredible all-in-one device ever manufactured!

Four OS fully optimized and configured for the Beagleboard
Always Innovating is pleased to announce Super-Jumbo for the Beagleboard family (also compatible with Touch Book & Smart Book). Super-Jumbo a single image which provides four operating systems fully optimized for the OMAP3 chip, and aggregates hundreds of applications already set up for you across the four major ARM operating, i.e. AIOS (complete full features Angstrom fork), Android Gingerbread v2.3, Ubuntu Maverick 10.10, and ChromiumOS (first time ever released for OMAP3). Our single kernel is compatible across the whole Beagleboard and Touch Book families.
Last, Super-Jumbo includes the feature to switch at run-time between those four operating systems without any performance loss.
Beagleboard info found here: http://beagleboard.org/
Super-Jumbo can be downloaded here: https://www.alwaysinnovating.com/beagleboard/

We will provide to the press and blogers a few units for review. We would like to point out that our primary focus is to sell our design and our expertise to OEMs, manufacturers and projects which want a customized tablet or portable device. We don't intend to compete directly against top-tier players in the consumer space because we don't have the scale, nor the access to the same production chain. But we do offer our products to the public, especially towards the open source and open hardware communities who are interested to experiment innovative products. In other words, we don't consider ourselves as the next iPhone killer, but we still offer an incredible concept at a very affordable price. And we publish all our schematics and source code on our website: we don't know so many companies which do that...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

MultiSystem: Live USB MultiBoot

I was directed to this great program from a random stranger on identi.ca. I had posted a dent asking thoughts on a good Linux OS to run on a live USB. One of the replies asked, "Why run just one? Check out MultiSystem." A quick search revealed the MultiSystem web page. The page http://liveusb.info happens to be in French, but fortunately for me there is a Google translator gadget.

Using MultiSystem I was able to install several Linux OS's on one 16g USB stick. Combined with Plop Boot Manager, I am now able to boot to my USB and chose between multiple operating systems. It's great for testing and as a portable Linux option. MultiSystem is also Free Software licensed under GPL-V3. The following from liveusb.info is translated from French to English.

"With Multisystem Create your LiveUSB MultiBoot simply. You just have to drag and drop your files. Iso on a window and voila! Multisystem enables a LiveUSB to do everything, ideal for exploring different Linux distributions without installing on your PC, and it seamlessly. Or to install the Linux distribution of your choice on your PC much faster than via a LiveCD with fast USB 2.0 ports. Essential throughout the current range of netbooks that have no CD drive. Ideal for any Geek, anyone doing maintenance, your USB key with you always, and ready for use in a nomadic your friends in a cafe ..."

Installation instructions can be found at http://liveusb.info/dotclear/index.php?pages/install, where several install methods are available. After installing MultiSystem, open it, and follow the steps. I received an error message in French saying that Multiboot does not like spaces in the USB Stick's name. I renamed the stick and then logged out and back in to make it work. Below are screenshots of the whole process.

Multisystem Renamed the USB Stick.

A large amount of links to different OSs.

Just drag and drop the ISO files.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jolicloud Video Tour

Jolicloud Video Tour from Jolicloud on Vimeo.
Jolicloud is a cloud desktop that makes it easy to manage your Web apps, files and services all in one place.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Plop Boot Manager

Recently, I setup a bootable Linux USB key, to act as a portable OS.  On the laptop I'm using as my test machine, boot to USB is unavailable in the BIOS.  I was happy to find "Plop Boot Manager," it is a great program that allows me to boot my test machine (an old Dell laptop) from my Linux USB key. The following is from the Plop web site:

"The Plop Boot Manager is a small program to boot different operating systems. The boot manager has a builtin ide cdrom and usb driver to access those hardware without the help/need of a bios. You can boot the operating systems from harddisk, floppy, CD/DVD or from USB. You can start the boot manager from floppy, CD, network and there are many more ways to start the boot manager. You can install the boot manager on your harddisk. There is no extra partition required for the boot manager."

If your looking to install plop, visit http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html#intro ...  The simplest way to use the Plop Boot Manager, is to burn it to a CD, and then to boot it from the CD.  If you want to run it any other way, read the directions carefully.  This site might come in handy if you decide to install Plop Boot Manager to your hard-disk: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CreateBootPartitionAfterInstall (The site also provides help for reinstalling Grub 2), I personaly setup Plop to boot from Grub 2.
Plop Booting From Grub
Enjoy Plop!  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Identi.ca: An Open Source Alternative to Twitter

Recently I started using Identi.ca (http://identi.ca/rwdubsreviews) after using Twitter exclusively for a couple of years. One feature that came in handy recently is groups. Using ! plus the name of the group sends a dent (think tweet) to all the members of said group. For instance, !linux, sends to all in the linux group. I had a linux question so sent a dent and with in a couple of minutes had four replies. If you are looking for a Twitter alternative check identi.ca out. I might add there are lots of Linux users on identi.ca. Here is a list of apps http://status.net/open-source/add-ons/apps broke down between clients.

Identi.ca is a micro-blogging service based on the Free Software StatusNet tool.
If you register for an account, you can post small (140 chars or less) text notices about yourself, where you are, what you're doing, or practically anything you want. You can also subscribe to the notices of your friends, or other people you're interested in, and follow them on the Web or in an RSS feed

Here is a blog dedicated to Identi.ca: http://ohidentica.com/how-to-start-using-identica-fast/