5 Promising Linux Apps Worth Trying

posted in: Linux | 2

Linux is the free and open source kernel that powers numerous operating systems (or distributions) that users can freely download, install, remix, share, and even sell. Linux is all about freedom, but it also has the benefit of often being free of charge as well.

Because of its free nature, there are thousands of free and open source applications for Linux. Some of them come and go quite quickly, while others are stable and even among the most widely used software applications in the world (such as Mozilla Firefox). The following are five Linux apps that are still relatively young but that show the signs of being tools Linux users will love and continue to use for some time.


Browser Wars, My Own Observations

posted in: Technology, The Web | 7

On a given day, I may use three different browsers for various reasons.  Sometimes one browser just gets the job done better than another.  Having said that, the following results are only from one test (SunSpider), on one computer (mine), on one operating system (Kubuntu).  Results may vary for you, but the point of it is to demonstrate that the browser wars are getting very competitive.  On a given day, one build of Chrome may be faster than Firefox, and on another day, the opposite may be true.

Browser wars: Firefox vs. Chromium vs. Rekonq vs. Opera



Easy Rounded Corners with CSS3

posted in: The Web | 2

One of the common features of web design in the 1990s were boxes with rounded corners floating over beautifully designed backgrounds.  The sites looked nice, but you had to use some trickery to get the look you wanted. Rounded edges on anything required images, usually held in place by table cells.

Well, folks, we are now a decade into the 21st century, and some browsers that shall remain nameless are just now getting caught up on HTML and CSS standards.  With those standards come new goodies that make it easier to display divs rounded edges.

Internet Explorer 6 Still Kicking?

posted in: The Web | 2

I just discovered something shocking when looking through the statistics for this blog.  First, let me disclose that this blog is fairly new, so it is not getting a ton of visitors.  This month, however, I have started to discern trends, and one of them left me puzzled.

6.9% of visitors to this site are still using Internet Explorer 6.  With IE7 now a few years old, IE8 coming with most new Windows installations, and IE9 on the way, this to me is shocking, particularly when alternative browsers like Firefox and Chrome are available.

As a Linux user, updating to the latest browser version is something I do as part of a normal system update.  Windows users, however, are often in businesses and places where they are forced to use whatever the company has installed.  I can only guess that many of them refuse to let IE6 die.  With all of its security problems, poor standards compliance, and slow functionality, I feel for that sad 6.9 percent.

Beautiful HTML5 Video Demo

posted in: Free Software, Technology | 0

HTML5 video will hopefully soon replace Flash Player as the video streaming method of choice for websites.  YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and others are currently providing beta examples of their future HTML5 video players.  While these demos are OK, they do not really showcase how beautifully seamless the experience can be.

SublimeVideo does just that.  It feels like you are watching an HD video from a Blu Ray drive on your computer.  If you have an HDMI out on your laptop, you could display it on your TV, and it would be picture-perfect.  Flash never functions exactly like native video, and it hogs CPU and RAM.  Anyone with dual monitors like me knows that playing Flash in fullscreen is a pain as well.

HTML5 video requires no additional browser plugin, and the webmaster has the freedom to customize the interface and fullscreen support (which is built in to browsers anyway).

To view the video, you will need the latest release of Safari (v4.0.4+), Google Chrome (v4.0+), or Firefox (v3.6+).  It also works with Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame installed.