Beauty: Evolution needs to Evolve to make her happy

December 16, 2007

Evolution IconWe’ve hit our first stumbling block.

Evolution, it the form shipped with the Zonbu, does not include the signature of the respondent (at the top) when you reply to a message. Oddly, while it top posts the text, the signature is at the very bottom of the message chain.

Say what you will about top posting, the reality is that Outlook puts it at the top with the message. For better or worse, that is what people generally expect when they are average windows users.

Someone has finally written a patch for Evolution that gives you the option of turning on this feature (which apparently makes certain geek skin crawl). I, like many others, welcome the feature. Without it, it would literally stop me from switching away from Outlook.  And by the way, my signature starts with two -‘s and I’ve been using e-mail since the Vax.  Never forget that being right, and doing the right thing, are often not the same.

Here is some background on the fix:

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Beauty & The Geek Part II: XP to Zonbu laptop, moving the data

December 16, 2007

Bon Voyage LogoAs promised, I took a few hours this afternoon and migrated my wife from her XP/Acer Celeron laptop to the Zonbu laptop. This post is all about how to move the critical user data from XP over to the Zonbu OS Linux desktop.

It was not quite as easy as I would have liked, but it was still relatively quick and painless.

The Zonbu website, under applications, makes the following claim:

Full-featured Email and Calendar program — recommended by, “Evolution looks and feels like Outlook, and it has great email features.” Get up and running in moments with the Zonbu data import/export wizard, and transfer all your email history from Outlook or Outlook Express.

I was never able to find such an Import wizard.

Searching the online documentation yielded no reference to import and/or Outlook. I ended up falling back to Google. As Outlook (for e-mail and contacts) is the principal thing my wife was using, other than her web browser, it ws especially important that all of her Outlook content (some 175M) was moved over.

So how did things go?

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Beauty & the Geek – The experiment has evolved…

December 16, 2007

Beauty and the Geek logoFor the next chapter in our story, I’m going to take the Zonbu laptop and pass it along to my beautiful wife.

She currently has a Windows XP system on a 2.5 year old Celeron 1.4 GHz Acer laptop. This Acer was her first personal computer. She’s been a PC user for some time, but always used mine at home and had one at the office so the Zonbu will be the second machine that has been hers to customize.

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Tip: Zonbu Keyboard Shortcuts

December 16, 2007

A recent post in the Zonbu support forms brought to light the extensive keyboard shortcuts available to us as Zonbu users:

Most of the shortcuts are either Windows or XFCE shortcuts. If neither of these work, the shortcut probably does not exist. Here, the XFCE default shortcut Ctrl-Alt-D does what you want.

The offical list is here: but we have several customizations.

You can review and edit system keyboard shortcuts in Control Panel > Advanced > Keyboard > Shortcuts — assuming you know how you would create the effect of the shortcut in command line… which is why it’s hidden in the advanced control panels…

I wanted to pass it along for anyone who missed it.

Thanks Aymeric.

-Mr. Zonbu

BBC iPlayer to include Flash derivative

December 15, 2007

BBC LogoFor all of you who are Top Gear fans (and really, who isn’t a Top Gear fan? Even my wife loves it), some good news from the BBC this week. is reporting that there will be a Flash based derivative of their previously Windows only (and very contentious) iPlayer platform:

As observant readers may recall, in August we chatted with Peter Brown of the Free Software Foundation about the BBC iPlayer, and DRM in general. The BBC iPlayer is the U.K. public broadcaster’s drawn-out and vastly expensive endeavour to bring the BBC’s wealth of content into the 21st century.

Until today, the entire project has been Windows-only, with Mac and Linux support missing despite having been much-debated – and required at some stage due to the BBC’s remit for platform independence. As expected, the BBC is starting a new beta phase today with the introduction of a ‘7-day catch-up’ online streaming service via Adobe Flash player to cater for all three platforms.

Wow, another tier one site moves to a flash based video platform.

Read the rest of this entry » New Flash player important, slow

December 11, 2007

There is a very interesting piece over at, regarding Flash and H.264. If I didn’t know better, I’d be tempted to think Steven J. Vaughan Nichols has been reading my blog.

Adobe clearly means to claim HDTV for its Flash line of products. At the same time, Adobe has also committed itself to support Linux on the same level as Windows and Mac OS. Slow performance and all, it appears to me that Adobe Flash Player is going to become for Linux multimedia, what OpenOffice is for office software and Firefox is for Web-browsing: the application of choice for Linux users everywhere.

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2008 to be the YouTube Election?

December 7, 2007

YouTubeLogoAnother sign flash video is seeping in to the mainstream (for those of you who didn’t like learning that YouPorn is in the top 35 of all Internet sites…):

From TG Daily:

One of the main things seen for the first time in the dawning of the 2008 election is the addition of a special “face the candidates” page on YouTube. Sixteen candidates, eight each on the Republican and Democratic side, each have their own official YouTube pages with anywhere from a couple dozen to hundreds of campaign videos. Users can also filter official videos by issues such as education, immigration, and health care.

More here:

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu’s new “Public” folder

December 6, 2007

Zonbu LogoMaybe I’m just slow, but how do I let others access the files that I put in my new “Public” folder on the desktop?

Is there a web address where they go? A secret incantation they need to utter?

Was I in the restroom when the instruction was given to the rest of the class, or has the documentation not caught up with the product yet?

-Mr. Zonbu

Adobe releases Flash with h.264 support, including Linux

December 5, 2007

Flash IconFrom the team over at

Adobe has launched a much anticipated update to its Flash video player. Adobe Flash Player includes support for the H.264 codec. The upshot is that web publishers can easily embed HD videos on their site.

By way of background, MPEG2 and MPEG4 are the video codecs that support digital TV in North America and Europe. The broadcast and cable TV industries are broadly deployed with MPEG2 today and are rapidly moving top MPEG4 h.264 for its much better bitrate efficiency and higher qualities.

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First Impressions: Real life with the Zonbu Laptop Review

December 5, 2007

Zonbu LaptopI’ve had the Zonbu laptop for a few days now so I wanted to share my initial impressions and do a review.

I will be doing an additional piece when the Asus 3e laptop and entry level Acer arrive.

In the mean time, let’s take a look at the latest addition to the Zonbu line-up…

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