ZonbuOS 6.999 pushed to users today

November 8, 2007

Zonbu logo<br />The latest public release of the ZonbuOS dropped today – 6.999.

Due to problems with logging in to my account (both on wired and wireless connections) I don’t have the update yet. Thankfully, this release claims to address many of those issues. I expect to get it downloaded later tonight, at which point I can offer more observations about the good, the bad and the still missing items from my wish list. 🙂

In the mean time, courtesy of the official Zonbu support site, here are the release notes:

Version 6.999 – released 2007-11-08
See also notes for 6.971 that was not pushed to customers
New features

* Control Panel to change Zonbu password
* Add sshfs


* Upgrade Firefox to
* Firefox offers a reasonnable choice of applications to open downloaded files
* Upgrade FreeCiv to 2.1.0

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Zonbu may get web cam support via Skype 2.0 for Linux

November 8, 2007

Skype Video CallGreat news. Skype 2.0 beta has dropped for Linux – and it contains webcam support.

Regular readers will know that I feel that the lack of webcam support in the Zonbu is a major hurdle to adoption. While I would really like to see support for MSN webcam sessions, I would accept Skype 2.0 as a viable alternative, as long as Grandma can talk to my son from her Windows (or future Zonbu) machine and her Logitech quickcam.

I wonder what, if any hurdles, are involved in supporting this on the Zonbu?

You can read more about the Skype beta on their site, although the wording is a bit strange…

-Mr. Zonbu

Fluxbuntu – not a bad start, I like it

November 7, 2007

This distribution deserves more detail here, and it will get it in a later post, but so far Fluxbuntu is looking like a solid candidate for a base to build a Debian/Ubuntu derived distro for the Zonbu.

The installer, which is lifted from the server installer, is text based.  It’s attractive and relatively self explanatory for anyone who is fiddling with different distros on their box.

Some initial observations:

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gOS is a problem for Zonbu, but not because gOS is good right now…

November 4, 2007

gOS logoI only have time for a brief update, but I did spend an hour or so last night playing with the gOS that is shipping on the $189 Ever machines available at Walmart and other places.

It represents a major problem for Zonbu. And not because its good right now, it’s not ready for prime time. Virtually every edge of it is rough and I would say it is six to twelve months behind where the Zonbu OS stack is (although it does have a few “eye candy” things that make it look polished at first glance).

Because the low cost desktop Linux space is at a critical inflection point, if the gOS team (who have secured the holy grail of retail distribution with Walmart et al.) don’t execute well, they could give the entire market space a back eye.

While I can’t comment on the Everex hardware (other than to say I’d enjoy more processing power in the Zonbu, and the Everex is higher spec), the software just isn’t ready for “regular” end users. Especially not in the way the Zonbu OS is. This means that a lot of people could rapidly get turned off after spending a few hundred dollars to bring a PC in to their daily lives – leaving them with a negative impression that Linux isn’t ready for the desktop of that its too hard to use/too unstable/not intuitive etc. Not good…

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Does anyone like the beeps during boot-up?

November 3, 2007

I’ve been meaning to mention this one for a while.  I hate the beeps (I think there are 3 or 4) that were introduced during the boot sequence around the time of the release of 6.907.

The screen is fairly descriptive/indicative of how the boot is going and you can always press CTRL-F1 (which maybe they should mention on the graphical display) to see the detailed console output.

I find the beeps irritate me and disturb the silent environment the Zonbu helped create in the first place.  Beeps are not very Zen.

What do you think, fellow Zonbu users?

-Mr. Zonbu

Test drive the Everex gOS

November 3, 2007

gOS logoI have to admit I have more than a passing curiosity about the Everex gOS product.

I’ve been saying for months that Zonbu should do a LiveCD so people can see what the Zonbu OS is all about, and how nice it is before they buy. Sadly, no LiveCD yet. You can, however, try a LiveDVD of the gOS product which is also optimized to run on Via C7 based machines.

You can get all the details and the ISO download for gOS over at the Think gOS site: http://www.thinkgos.com/

I’m downloading it now, I’ll post my findings here this weekend. A few things I noticed already and like:

  • Ubuntu (Debian) Based
  • A dock/launcher a la MacOS
  • If you want, you an unlock and install apps on your own

-Mr. Zonbu

Is this an HTML, Flash, Firefox or Zonbu bug?

November 2, 2007

Occasionally I run in to sites that incorporate flash and have problems where content appears under flash content.

Check out this site and hover over “Features” on the menu. http://www.xfxforce.com/web/home.jspa

On my Zonbu, the menu drops down behind the flash graphic, so I can’t click on things. Is anyone else seeing this? Any idea how to correct it, if at all?

A friend tells me FF on Windows renders properly, with the menu on top of the flash.

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu Update any day now…

November 2, 2007

Zonbu Beta LogoGregoire, from Zonbu, has announced on the support pages that a new release will be out soon, as I correctly predicted a few days ago. Here is what he had to say:

New build is on its wayby Gregoire Gentil on 11/01.
A new official build is on its way. And it’s looking very good! The new image is scheduled to be pushed next week. We have fixed all the blocking bugs you have reported to us, especially one of the most painful problems: the back USB ports which were not working properly. We have also added full support for the iPod – all generations – including video support. This build will be the LAST beta build. Thanks for your support and stay tuned!

I hope it includes a freshening of all the apps, especially the IM and Image Editing apps, as well as improvements in the wireless driver and the overall network wizard. While the wizard is an improvement on past releases it is still not completely intuitive to an end user, and it could probably have fewer screens/steps.

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu: More S3 online storage login issues

November 1, 2007

I took a look at the console today to see what exactly the error is when my machine boots and can’t login. The same thing happens when I try and run through the network wizard.

I thought this was cute:

“This case can not happen” is the error.

I’m guessing thats good old “error message” style debug info. And despite what the Zonbu thinks, that case has, in fact happened.

If I don’t disconnect my WiFi I can’t get past the initial login screen. If I do, I can then run the networking wizard and get an IP address, but I still fail login when I am asked to re-auth. I can, however, use the Internet (as you can see).

So what’s up Zonbu? Any idea how I ended up in a “case that can not happen”?

-Mr. Zonbu

DL: Everex ships $199 PC with splashly Linux

November 1, 2007

gOS ScreenshotWow. Now this IS interesting and a very viable competitor to the Zonbu, at least in terms of price and features. Desktoplinux.com is reporting that Everex is shipping a new $199 PC pre-loaded with a customer (Google inspired) version of Ubuntu 7.10 called gOS.

Everex is following Dell, which pioneered the broad release of Linux-powered desktops and laptops to the consumer market in the United States. Since Dell’s first moves, other PC vendors such as Lenovo and HP have explored broader Linux PC releases.

The Everex Green gPC TC2502 includes popular applications from Google, Mozilla, Skype and OpenOffice.org. It runs gOS Initial G, which in turn is based on Ubuntu Linux 7.10 The gOS operating system features a simple and intuitive Linux Enlightenment E17 desktop interface with a Google-centric theme. The system comes with a lifetime of free updates and revisions.

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