Zonbu OS Releases 7.1176

February 4, 2008

Zonbu posted a new release yesterday, the details below. A lot of things I was hoping to see haven’t emerged yet. I’m downloading it now, I’ll share some thoughts in a bit.

Certainly, in what is now a crowded space, I would have expected webcam support to be a top priority…

Version 7.1176 – released 2007-02-03

New features

  • Added the capability to share files on a local network with the Neighborhood (Samba)
  • Added the Amazon MP3 Store to the Music Library
  • Added music sharing to the Music Library – DAAP does not work with iTunes 7
  • Added a Desktop Clock widget, under Desktop Settings > Show Desktop Clock
  • Added the WriterTools extension for OpenOffice.org: new Internet menu enabling online dictionary lookup, translation and map.
  • New reset center, a more flexible alternative to the Reset to Defaults command
  • In developer edition, new packages: wireshark, eix, zsh, and new ebuilds: GoogleEarth, VLC.
  • Experimental iPhone support (requires jailbreaking)
  • Read the rest of this entry »


The 22-year-old behind gOS

January 21, 2008

My apologies, I’m quite busy at work and can’t post as frequently at the moment.  On the upside I’m neck deep in some very interesting IPTV stuff.

I did come across an interesting article on the 22-year-old behind the gOS distribution that is shipping on PCs at a competing price point with the Zonbu that I wanted to share:

http://blogs.computerworld.com/the_22_year_old_behind_everex_cloudbooks_linux_os 

I’m also really looking forward to the next Zonbu release, which I understand from company comments in their forum is expected in mid-February.  Here is hoping that web cam support is finally working.

-Mr. Zonbu


S3 storage catches on, ZManda launches support for S3

January 14, 2008

Zonbu is really on to something organizing transparent online storage in partnership with the Amazon S3 storage cloud.  They aren’t the only ones doing it however.

While not nearly as slick as the transparent integration that the Zonbu OS offers, ZManda, a commercial service, is now offering corporate users the ability to backup to S3, in addition to tape and optical media.

Will it be much longer before someone does a tool for Ubuntu and other popular distributions that allows the end user to create folders and entire backups directly to S3 from the desktop?

You can read more over at DownloadSquad.com: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/01/11/zmanda-offers-backup-to-amazons-s3/

Or on the ZManda website: http://www.zmanda.com/

-Mr. Zonbu


Rhapsody – Get your head around the model

January 8, 2008

Sansa RhapsodyI was reading Esquire the other day, great magazine by the way. Occasionally a bit pretentious but really excellent non-fiction and fiction articles every month. Its the kind of magazine that makes you think.

What jumped out at me was that their resident gadget author, film director Barry Sonnenfeld, had some very kind words for the Rhapsody subscription service I’ve been singing the praises of (and saying should be bundled with the Zonbu). I’ll let you read for yourself:

Rhapsody Sansa e280R

Lyle Lovett and Toots and the Maytals recently released new albums, and Sweetie and I downloaded them from the Rhapsody Internet-music-subscription service (rhapsody.com). Since I liked them both, I transferred them to the incredibly small Sansa e280R MP3 player ($150). So long as I keep up my $15-a-month subscription, I can download any of the four million songs on Rhapsody without ever buying one. I thought it would be stupid to rent songs instead of owning them, but in reality, I’m listening to all sorts of great stuff that I never would have purchased from iTunes.

Read the rest of this entry »


EEE Officially Skype 2.0 with webcam support, works great

January 7, 2008

Video Conf ImageThis weekend I decided to do a package update on my EEE PC. I’ve resisted adding non-official repositories and generally doing geeky things to it as I wanted to compare the typical end user experience with that of the Zonbu.

To date, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed with the lack of updates. Firefox is still 2.0.0.7 and various other apps are older as well. The update function in the “basic” interface is a bit confusing and didn’t seem to be working consistently for me, but I soldiered on.

Read the rest of this entry »


Philips launches embedded Rhapsody radios

January 7, 2008
Philips Streamium

The Rhapsody “all you can eat” subscription music service keeps going from strength to strength.

At CES this week Real Networks announced a partnership with Philips that will see the service emebedded in a number of new Internet enabled radio systems.

This is a bold move and it means you no longer need a PC active on your network in order to access your Rhapsody account. I’m seriously thinking about buying one, as I hate having to power my PC to enjoy my music via Rhapsody on my Roku Soundbridge. Dollar for dollar this may be the best option.

Read the rest of this entry »


Just what is product management?

January 4, 2008

Dilbert and friendsNow may be a good time to talk about software product management.

You can read the Wikipedia answer to the title question “Just what is product management?” here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_management

Or I can take a stab at it.

Product management is the discipline primarily responsible for the defining and managing the roadmap of a product. Product managers marry the vision of the product to the needs of the end users in a practical, usable and profitable way. That means they have to balance end user feedback and requests with engineering realities, marketing budgets, sales demands and so on.

It’s the ultimate crossfire job…

Read the rest of this entry »


Beauty: ZonbuOS not meeting basic photo management needs

January 4, 2008

The beauty is not happy tonight.  Which means Mr. Zonbu isn’t happy.Canon SD800

After putting the baby to bed, the Beauty sat down to deal with some of the dozens of recent photos on our digital camera.

She plugged in her SD card reader to the USB slot and waited.

She heard a brief sound but no wizard popped up. She waited a minute or two then said to me that it wasn’t working.

I asked her why she thought that and she said she didn’t get any wizard to help her import the photos…

Read the rest of this entry »


The Beauty experiences some Zonbook printing issues

January 3, 2008

HP LaserJet 1012All is not quite right in our tropical island lair.

Last evening the Beauty told me she couldn’t print and hadn’t been able to for a few days. She said it just didn’t work.

This struck me as odd as neither the printer nor the Zonbu configuration have changed. I took a look and in the printers tab, the printer was paused. I’m not sure how that would have happened. I unpaused it, patted myself on the back and tried to print. Nothing.

I went back and looked at the panel again. Printer paused. I unpaused it. Printed. Paused again. Definitely a bug. Lots of paper and ink the in HP LaserJet. Reset the printer, reseated the paper etc etc.

In the end I had to uninstall and reinstall the driver (not that it is hard, but annoying and weird). Once I reinstalled it, it has been fine. I have no idea what went wrong.

Has anyone else seen this?

-Mr. Zonbu


The Zonbu Desktop just feels right…

January 1, 2008

Zonbu logoI’m using my Zonbu desktop again this morning, after a stint using the EEE PC around the house. The odd screen size on the EEE PC and the chiclet keyboard become an issue for anything more than a few minutes of use (at least for me). However, the <30s boot time is very appealing. The Zonbu could benefit from an SSD disk for the OS.

The Zonbu OS experience is still the smoothest, easiest to use, most “complete” feeling Linux desktop experience I’ve had. It just feels “right”. It’s a shame there isn’t a LiveCD so people can try it before signing up for the subscription. I think this could go a long way to opening up new markets.

It’s hard to quantify exactly what I mean, but they really have done an exceptional job putting the OS together. I have a few small gripes about rough edges, but overall it is an exceptional software product.  And knowing some one else is actively taking care of things “under the hood” and ensuring application updates are pushed out on a regular basis is lovely.  So is knowing my data is backed up somewhere in the Internet cloud.

The Zonbu team should be very proud of their achivements in this regard.

Now if the hardware was just more modern…

-Mr. Zonbu

PS -Happy new year to all our readers.  Since inception we’ve now had almost 70K page views.