Archive for July, 2009

Karmic Koala Alpha 3 Has Been Released

Yesterday, July 23, 2009, Karmic Koala Alpha 3 was released. Of course, since this is a pre-release, it is not advised for use by anyone who needs stable, production-type system. You may also find breakage. That said, the Ubuntu community is always looking for testers to try out the new alphas and report bugs. (Thankfully, due to the excellent bug-reporting software Apport, many bugs almost report themselves. All you have to do is agree to let the computer collect the information. It’s been a while since I hit a show-stopper bug, though, so I don’t have any screen-shots. 🙂

The announcement for Karmic Alpha 3 states that it “includes a number of software updates that are ready for large-scale testing.” New features include the use of Linux kernel 2.6.31, a gorgeous new gdm screen (please come out with colors other than “human”!, the latest GNOME 2.27.4 development release, and Empathy replacing Pidgin as the default instant meassaging client.

More information is available here.

Happy testing!

Clam AV

You may have read on more than one occasion that Linux is not susceptible to viruses. It is true that, because Linux doesn’t automatically run in root mode and because it contains more security, it isn’t anything like as susceptible to viruses as Windows is. However, I still recommend installing antivirus software.

I have been testing Clam AV because it comes in the Ubuntu repository. Simply typing in

sudo aptitude install clamtk

will pull in all of the parts of Clam AV that a normal user will need. Then it is a matter of starting up Clam AV from Applications > System Tools > Virus Scanner.

When I first ran Clam AV this evening, it reported that i had 3 viruses. A screen popped up with the names and locations of the suspect files. The delete function didn’t work – possibly because I am testing Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10), which isn’t due out in final form until October. However, with the names and locations given, I could easily pull up the file manager, and then search for and delete the files manually.

Here are the results of my re-scan after deleting the suspect files.

One possibility for these viruses is, of course, a false alarm. (I prefer not to take any chances!) Another possibility is that they are Windows viruses, unable to infect a Linux machine but lurking until they can be passed onto the next Windows computer on the network or among your group of friends. There are enough Windows viruses out there that anyone on a network that includes Windows computers should consider taking precautions not to pass along any garbage.

Themes for Ubuntu

A couple of weeks ago, while I was in Salt Lake City helping out at the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) depot that has just started up there, Ubuntu Geek ran a beautifully detailed article on the new repository of Zgegblog themes for Jaunty and Intrepid. I won’t quote much of the article, except to say how to get these themes into your sources.list and onto your computer.

First for the sources.list. This will require you to open up System > Administration > Software Sources, go to the Third-Party Software tag, click on add and add the line

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/bisigi/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main (or Intrepid if that is your version).

The following command will add the GPG key to let your computer know the repository is signed and safe for your use:

sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 1781bd45c4c3275a34bb6aec6e871c4a881574de

Then, once you update, you can type sudo aptitude install zgegblog-themes. (They can also be installed separately.)

Even though I am running Karmic, I installed these themes without a hitch. Here is my favorite of the group, Balanzan.

Karmic Koala also has a group of new themes, available right in the repository. These are based on the brave (blue), wine, noble (purple), wise (green), dust and human themes. There are wallpapers to go with them. Here is the shiki-brave theme with the arc-brave wallpaper:

To install these themes, type in your terminal or Alt+F2 window,

sudo aptitude install shiki-human-theme shiki-brave-theme shiki-noble-theme shiki-wine-theme shiki-dust-theme shiki-wise-theme arc-human arc-noble arc-wise arc-dust arc-wine arc-brave

Fallen Sword

Today I am going to review another MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) that works with Linux.

Fallen Sword is set in ancient times. there is a fragmented backstory which tells of the ancient world of Erildath, consisting of four world realms. You need to go about each of these realms, proceeding by level. As you go, you get better equipment, but of course you also face more serious monsters.

Here, I am showing my own character profile page. I have “paid” in Fallen Sword points to have extra storage slots. There are other enhancements that can be bought with them. I have borrowed my equipment from my guild. Guilds are very important in this game, giving access to better equipment than one person can afford or earn, as well as guild buffs.

I personally don’t find that there is much of a story line to this game. If you like competition, however, or the good old standby of killing plenty of monsters, you will have that galore! There is even a PvP (Player vs. Player) Arena for those who are so inclined. (I personally don’t like PvP, so I warn people in my bio that I will put a bounty on players who attack me and don’t pay back the gold they got.)

When I went to upload my avatar, I found that Fallen Sword recognizes my home directory, and is able to upload from a Linux system. I made my decision to review it when I found this out. Although the game can get a bit (for me) tedious at times as you are leveling up, it does have great guilds and interesting quests. I rate it as a B, knowing that those who are interested in PvP might view it more kindly. Since it works with Linux, it is well worth considering.


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