Delays at login/boot after crashing

October 19, 2007

I left my Zonbu on at home today to download the latest Ubuntu ISO.  Since its almost 700 MB, and in high demand, it took around an hour.  I headed back to work before it was done.  As I’ve said before, the Zonbu makes a really energy efficient download host.

Only one problem.  When I got home at the end of the day, my machine was frozen.  Odd.

I rebooted it, and when I went to login it took about 1.5 hours to take me to my desktop.  I wandered over and did an ALT-F1 to read the console and it appeared to say something about corrupted S3 cache, but it wasn’t at all clear.  The main graphical window actually had no update at all.  I’m still not sure what was happening or why it couldn’t let me on to the desktop and do any data synch post desktop initialization.

If there is a process that needs to complete in the event of a previous crash, then some kind of percentage progress meter needs to be displayed to say what is going on, and ideally after the desktop is started.  Average end users are going to think their device is bricked with the current approach.

These are the kinds of rough edges Zonbu needs to polish off before the Christmas season.

-Mr. Zonbu


Gimp 2.4 final will be out soon, when will Zonbu update?

October 19, 2007

The Zonbu team sent me two extra units (in addition to the one I bought) to use around the office. One has proven to be a robust kiosk PC in our office lobby. We have a few thousand people a month come through to pay bills, report faults or sign up for new service. Many stop and use the web and the system has performed admirably in this role.

We are not using “Kiosk mode”, instead choosing to leave it “as is” for now. We haven’t had any nefarious problems yet.

The other unit I gave to our online editor. A Macbook user, and non-techie, I basically dropped it on her desk, booted it up and showed her how to login then walked away. She’s been using it for weeks to edit images with Gimp, surf the web with Firefox, and do other basic office functions with the included application stack. She’s had virtually no problems, save for a small bug with open folders in the file manager not closing properly. I’m quite impressed, to be honest.

Next up is connecting to shares in the office on our Windows based server, which I will report back on, as well as trying our some printer support.

One thing that did come up is the lack of fonts configured in Gimp, which I’ve raised before, as well as the fact that a new version of Gimp is iminent. It will be interesting to see how fast the final release of Gimp 2.4 gets pushed out to the Zonbu populace.

You can read more about Gimp 2.4 here:

-Mr. Zonbu

Former Linspire CEO switches to Ubuntu; talks momentum

October 19, 2007

Some time ago I wrote about the importance of momentum in relation to the choice of the Linux distribution the Zonbu runs on. You can read my article here:

I was interested to read this morning the former Linspire CEO, Kevin Carmony, has switched all of his home machines to Ubuntu as his distribution of choice. What did he have to say about this?

In another note, Carmony added, “My main reason for deciding upon Ubuntu is I think it has the most momentum and greatest chance of succeeding. There will be continued consolidation as desktop Linux moves into the mainstream, and my money is on Ubuntu to be a central and key player there.”

With the release yesterday of Ubuntu7.10, the momentum continues to build.  Brand matters and could help propoel the Zonbu forward.  I’m excited to see how 7.10 runs on the Zonbu hardware.

You can read the full piece over at

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu: Flash update on the way?

October 19, 2007

I was reading an article this morning about Rsizr, the online photo editing app It sounded interesting so I popped over to take a look.

I was greeted with the following:

Hi there Linux user.
There are bugs in the release versions of Adobe Flash Player for Linux (x86) that prevent rsizr from loading images properly. Don’t worry! Just head over to the Adobe Flash Player 9 Update page and grab the latest prerelease (it’s stable, we tested). Once installed, everything should be good. Sorry for the hassle, but it should only take a second to upgrade. It’s worth it!

I know Flash has been a source of frustration for many Linux users, and as we can’t directly upgrade our Zonbus on our own, I hope the good people at Zonbu world headquarters are keeping an eye on the Flash release cycle and will push these updates to us soon.

-Mr. Zonbu