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Compiz: Ubuntu Desktop's little known best friend
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-13 01:06:29

Compiz can quickly get you the desktop you deserve: a desktop with a very high degree of customizability, on top of being faster than the default GNOME Shell, and (as far as I can tell) faster than Mac or Windows.

The best part is that it takes no time at all to get up and running! I’ll show you how to transform Ubuntu into a desktop that is functionally similar to Mac.

I doubt any of this is news to many OSNews readers, but it's still a nice introduction into the functionality offered by Compiz.

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Windows Server 2019 includes OpenSSH
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-13 01:03:07

The OpenSSH client and server are now available as a supported Feature-on-Demand in Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 1809! The Win32 port of OpenSSH was first included in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Windows Server 1709 as a pre-release feature. In the Windows 10 1803 release, OpenSSH was released as a supported feature on-demand component, but there was not a supported release on Windows Server until now.

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FreeBSD 12.0 released
By Thom Holwerda, submitted by Ruben on 2018-12-12 23:34:18

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE. This is the first release of the stable/12 branch.

The full release notes have all the details.

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The future of Core, Intel GPUs, 10nm, and Hybrid x86
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-12 23:26:25

It has been hard to miss the fact that Intel has been vacuuming up a lot of industry talent, which brings with them a lot of experience. Renduchintala, Koduri, Keller, Hook, and Carvill, are just to name a few. This new crew has decided to break Intel out of its shell for the first time in a while, holding the first in a new tradition of Intel Architecture Days. Through the five hours of presentations, Intel lifted the lid on the CPU core roadmaps through 2021, the next generation of integrated graphics, the future of Intel's graphics business, new chips built on 3D packaging technologies, and even parts of the microarchitecture for the 2019 consumer processors. In other words, it's many of the things we've been missing out on for years. And now that Intel is once again holding these kinds of disclosures, there's a lot to dig in to.

AnandTech's coverage of the event.

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Linux kernel developers discuss dropping x32 support
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-12 23:13:45

It was just several years ago that the open-source ecosystem began supporting the x32 ABI, but already kernel developers are talking of potentially deprecating the support and for it to be ultimately removed.

The Linux x32 ABI as a reminder requires x86_64 processors and is engineered to support the modern x86_64 features but with using 32-bit pointers rather than 64-bit pointers. The x32 ABI allows for making use of the additional registers and other features of x86_64 but with just 32-bit pointers in order to provide faster performance when 64-bit pointers are unnecessary.

This headline confused me for a second, because at first I thought the Linux team was removing 32 bit support - which obviously made little sense to me. As the quoted blurb explains, that's not the case.

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Archiving C64 tapes correctly
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-12 23:10:06

It's pretty simple to archive Commodore 64 tapes, but it's hard if you want to do it right. Creating the complete archive of the German "INPUT 64" magazine was not as easy as getting one copy of each of the 32 tapes and reading them. The tapes are over 30 years old by now, and many of them are hardly readable any more.

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How Doug Engelbart pulled off the Mother of all Demos
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-10 19:17:00

Doug Engelbart was the first to actually build a computer that might seem familiar to us, today. He came to Silicon Valley after a stint in the Navy as a radar technician during World War II. Engelbart was, in his own estimation, a "naive drifter", but something about the Valley inspired him to think big. Engelbart's idea was that computers of the future should be optimized for human needs - communication and collaboration. Computers, he reasoned, should have keyboards and screens instead of punch cards and printouts. They should augment rather than replace the human intellect. And so he pulled a team together and built a working prototype: the oN‑Line System. Unlike earlier efforts, the NLS wasn't a military supercalculator. It was a general‑purpose tool designed to help knowledge workers perform better and faster, and that was a controversial idea. Letting non-engineers interact directly with a computer was seen as harebrained, utopian - subversive, even. And then people saw the demo.

Engelbart is one of the greatest visionaries of this industry.

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How a major bug in the October 2018 Update slipped past Microsoft
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-10 19:11:23

Last week, Microsoft began the relaunch of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update after pulling it more than a month ago due to a file deletion bug that somehow crept into the shipping build. While Microsoft has since gone into extensive detail as to how it's making sure something like this doesn't happen again, it's still unclear how such an issue made its way into the final release. So I did some digging.

Short version: Microsoft conflated two different bugs.

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Android Emulator picks up support for Fuchsia's Zircon kernel
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-08 02:12:53

With yesterday's Flutter Live event and the stable release of Flutter, one of the primary ways to create Fuchsia apps, Google is one step closer to possibly unveiling their in-development operating system. Another unexpected step is coming, in the form of the official Android Emulator from Android Studio gaining the ability to boot Fuchsia's Zircon kernel.

While Google can be quite fickle, I feel every step forward for Fuchsia is a step towards the grave for Android/Linux.

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Google Play Services no longer supports Android 4.0
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-12-08 01:43:06

The Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) platform is seven years old and the active device count has been below 1% for some time. Consequently, we are deprecating support for ICS in future releases of Google Play services. For devices running ICS, the Google Play Store will no longer update Play Services APK beyond version 14.7.99.

Seven years seems reasonable.

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