Saturday, March 28, 2009

It has been quiet... too quiet

Not much has been happening here. It is now almost tax time and there are no Linux versions of any tax preparation software for Canada so far. I broke down and picked up QuickTax and installed it on my Vista partition. To say that I am unhappy about this would be a slight understatement. I can understand in a way that companies will cater to the largest segment of the O/S market, but, figure out what has to be anchored to the O/S and what can be independent. If you do that you should be able to market to Linux, OS/X along with Windows and gain a slight competitive advantage by grabbing market share from those of us who use anything but Windows.

On the Linux Distro side I have been playing a bit with KUbuntu. I like the look and feel of it and the latest distro actually booted up on my Dell box. There will be a bit more playing around here to see if
  • Runescape will play
  • My graphic card can be used to its fullest
  • TV tuner
  • my Palm will work
  • Scanner will work (XSANE)
  • Web Camera
  • Software to organize my photo library
KDE 4 looks nice and clean, but, I want more than eye-candy, I want all of my hardware to work to its fullest.

Another little thing and maybe someone out there can point me to the right place. A little while ago I was the photographer at my daughter in-law's baby shower and I took two videos. The camera stored it in AVI format. Linux does not have a problem showing me those, but, they are massive files and I cannot upload 200+ meg videos to facebook to share with the family. I looked quickly at the video editing software, but, I cannot see how I can redo AVI to MPG format and lower the size of the video. I don't want or need 640x480 to show family members some of the funny portions of the part, I just want to be able to share a small, easily downloaded video.

Now about one of my favorite topics, SPAM email. So far this year it has been a minor problem unlike other years (less than 30% spam rate now). However I have noticed the scams have been getting much better. Both for grammar and spelling. When you get a notice that purports to be from your Bank, Insurance Company, ISP wanting private information or to re-enter your security information... DON'T. Never click on any link supplied, but, use the one you type directly into a browser or saved previously in a bookmark. Keep your system up-to-date with all patches, run a virus scanner and have a firewall installed and running.