In case you missed it Linux Turned 20….

What does the future hold for Linux?

The guys at Tuxradar created a survey about the future of Linux.  The folks at Linux Insider did a nice job of wading through the comments and trying to distill what people think the future of Linux is.  The write up is pretty good but of course Joe and I had  to put our spin on it in the podcast.  Since no one really knows what they future holds. I mean who saw Goggle buying Motorola Mobility 5 years ago.  So check out what we thought in the podcast. 

Episode 37 – Top things that happened in 2010

Running Time:  43:19

1) Introduction

2) This is a running list of things to consider for the top news of 2010

 Big Purchases in 2010:

   Novell get’s purchased – the patents that went to Microsoft

   Oracle buying Sun

   Palm get’s bought by HP

 Changes in the world of Open Source:

   Google World:

    Android shoots for world domination – Or at least Mobile Platform domination

    Google TV announced and delivered

    Chrome OS Pilot Program announced Beta’s of Chrome OS on VM’s

   Ubuntu abandons Xorg and Gnome for Wayland and Unity

   Mandrivia struggling/passing away…

   Tablet Market exploded with the introduction of IPad and Galaxy Tablet

3) Conclusion

  Recommendations for People to interview

  E-Mail us at

  Go to the WebSite to call us via Google Voice

  Facebook Fan Page

  Follow us on Twitter and Identica as @linuxinstall

  Look for us and comment on iTunes, odeo

Meego how about you?

In case you missed it Intel and Nokia have combined their Open Source(think Linux but not really) operating systems into a new OS called Meego.  Do you wonder what that means?  Here is a link to that makes an attempt to answer the question.  The why of this quesiton is pretty simple.  Intel doesn’t want Google to be the Microsoft of the mobile phone OS world.  They lost control of the path of DOS and it’s why they keep having to make Backwards compatible chips to the original x86 line.  For Nokia it’s just what they need to start making inroads into the US Smart Phone Market.  So while it seems to be a strange partnership, the long term goal for both companies is aligned and has to be making sure that neither Apple or Google controls the Smart Phone Market.  Will this new OS be able to overtake the current power houses?  Only time will tell.

Microsoft Exec Bach believes Mobile Linux is not stable enough…

In this Article at the Registers Hardware site the author talks about how Richard Bach, the Executive at Microsoft responsible for the Smart/Cell Phone Market,  believes that Linux will prove to be too unstable on cell phones.  Everyone I know with a Windows Mobile phone has to reboot it at least once a day.  I have rebooted my Droid four times since I got it back in Novemember.  One of those times was an Android Update.  So which one is more stable?  Really Windows on cell phones is about at Windows 95 stability levels.  In other words it works most of the time but always runs better after a good reboot.

Every OS and App will need to be rebooted perodically so that they can update the cell tower information, software, and just general good house cleaning.  So expecting the same stability out of your cell phone as say an old physical phone or even a wireless home phone is pretty unrealistic.  As long as the phone isn’t rebooting while I am talking on it then you should be fine.

The reality is that none of the Cell Phone companies are giong to allow buggy phones on their network.  They want the happiest phone users and can’t get that without stable phones.  So the only people that believe this is a real issue are sitting in Redmond drinking coffee with Mr. Bach. 


Nexus One Pricing???

The folks at Mashable have a post up about the pricing on the Google’s move into the cell phone business, the Nexus One.  It seem that it will be, at least initially, tied into the TMobile network.  The price is about that of the Droid and the iPhone.  This will be running the 2.1 version of the phone and will have a complete “Google” experience.  Not sure how much more Google a phone can get after using the Droid.  Not complaining just not sure what else they are going to do.  It’s interesting and the web page for it is nice.  Still no good external reviews of the phone though.  Can’t wait for that.  My guess is a CES release in the next week or so.

My life with the Motorola Droid….

So I have been using the Motorola Droid for almost a month now. I have to say it has taken the top spot as best gadget I have ever purchased from my Ipod Touch. It is the best and most useful phone I have ever owned.

So what phones have I used? I traded up from an LG Chocolate. Not really a smart phone or fair comparison. So I am comparing my employer prodvided phone a Blackberry Curve and I own the IPod Touch and have several friends and family members with the IPhone. I will be comparing them to the Droid since everyone else seems to.

Let me start off by saying that the IPhone, Maemo and Android  based phones are what I have best heard described as application phones. Which seems a better title than smart phone in my opinion. The phones aren’t just smart they are computers all to themselves.  Maemo isn’t in wide release so why am I giving it a nod site unseen? Because Nokia owns a really large chunk of the cell phone market. Maemo is not their first attempt to make an application phone operating system. They are quick to change and have amazing brand loyalty both inside and outside of the US. This will draw developers and that will let them catch Apple and Google’s App store counts without much effort.

OK back to the review now.

What do I love about the Droid?

It just works. It does what it’s supposed to do when it’s supposed to. It makes really clear calls and gives me the option to call either with my Google Voice Number or my regular cell number. It is amazingly fast both for browsing and non-browsing tasks. The Voice Recognition is amazing.

It’s easy to do stuff. I had all of my Facebook and Gmail contacts in my phone before I left the store. When I make a change to those contacts on either the phone or the website they stay synched. I have three E-Mail addresses I am currently watching for new mail and all of them are setup and syncing with my Droid. (All of the accounts say “Droid” when I get new mail. It gets an eye roll from my wife which just makes me love it all the more. :))

Multitasking applications are amazing. I love listening to Pandora while I am looking at the Navigation app and then switching to an E-Mail or Message coming in without having to shut anything down. It seems like a little thing until you have it. Then you can’t live without it. Apple needs to remove this restriction from the next version of the IPhone/Touch software.

The Navigation on the phone will replace the both the Garmin Nuvi I own and the one built into my car. It’s just that good. It is so cool to look up a business in Google Search or  any search engine, click on the address and get a pop-up to start Navigating there. It’s really that easy. I raced my wife the first day and I not only beat her and the Garmin Nuvi but was 5 minutes down the road before they even found where we were going. It is accurate, useable, and fast. The GPS in the phone is good when you are in the car or outside.

Want to know what is sucking up all of the batter on your phone? There is an app for that. You can see what app is stealing all of your power. This let’s you see that the video you were watching on YouTube drove the screen hard while you watched it and had left in battery almost dead.  Luckily the battery charges fast because if you are watching video and playing games the battery drains quickly.  During normal use, even with Pandora running, the battery easily lasts me all day.  The big beautiful screen is what kills the battery most often.  So if you are just streaming music or listening to podcasts downloaded to the phone it easily  lasts you more than a day.

What I have heard about my beloved phone but I don’t agree with?

The keyboard sucks compared to X phones keyboard.

Let’s face it folks the full keyboards on any phone sucks because of how small the keys just have to be to fit in your pocket. The one on the Droid is no better or worse than either the physical one on my Curve or the virtual one on my Touch. I mistype just as much with all three of them. What I like about the Droid over the Blackberry Keyboard is that it’s laid out like a keyboard. I don’t mean it’s qwerty I mean it’s square like I am used to on my keyboard. The lack of that slight curve just feels more natural. Contrary to several reports the keys are easy to tell apart  as long as your thumbs calloused for too  much game playing. The visual keyboard isn’t really any better than the IPhone/Touch one. What makes it better is the predictive word list which is in a scrolling list and you have to click to choose a word it doesn’t choose a word. It seemed like a small thing to me when I first tried it but it’s amazingly useful.

The App Store doesn’t have enough apps.

Really how many farting, calendar, alarm clock and lighter apps do you need? The Droid Market place may be smaller but the number of apps I miss from my Touch on my Droid is two. The folks at Squarespace(hosts of this blog) and Tweetdeck desperately need a Droid version. While I wait for Tweetdeck I have been trying out several different options but still miss it. I have plenty of free games to play on both the Droid and Touch. The Curve isn’t really in the same league here. There are apps out there for it but they are no where as easy to get on the phone. Never underestimate  the pleasure you can get from downloading a new app or game while waiting for something else to happen. Click, download, click to run and your done. Both the iPhone/Touch and Droid make this so simple and easy.

What don’t like about it?

There are a few coding standards I would like to see all of the app developers follow.

  1. Add an exit/quit choice in every applications somewhere. I want to be able to quit your app without having to use the brute force kill app choice to kill your app.  Pulling up the Google Kill App and seeing 20 some apps running because I can’t stop them.

  2. Remember its a phone. The real first purpose is to be that. One of my apps, a game, somehow blacks out the screen when a call comes in. So you can’t see exactly where the on screen buttons are to answer with. They are there and when I guess right still work. It’s just annoying.

A lot of the options are burried in menus several levels deep. I haven’t counted yet but it’s more than the three I think it should be maxing out at. This makes the phone seem a bit intimidating.

Neither sliding the keyboard out, touching the screen or home row buttons wakes the phone up. You have to hit the power button to start the screen. It’s minor but can be annoying.

Battery life is a bit short. I make it through the day but as the battery ages I suspect I may have days where it won’t. I can probably address this with the user replaceable batteries.

The UI isn’t always as intuitive  as it could be. In handing the phone  to several Technical and non-technical friends there were struggles at several points with each of them. So they seem to have a slight learning curve with the interface. This isn’t a problem that the IPhone/Touch for the Curve has faced for me in the past.

In Conclusion:

If you have the means and desire to buy an Application Phone I think the Droid is it. If you are going to hand it to your mother who isn’t at all tech savy  you may want an IPhone. It works and works well. You do need the data plan because the usefulness of the phone is the internet.

Will the Droid or any android phone unseat Blackberry in the corporate arena? Not at this time but it will be a contender. The number of useful apps is growing by leaps and bounds on a weekly basis. If I could get my corporation to allow me to use my phone on the internal network I might not need my laptop to do my job away from the office. At least most of it.  Before anyone get’s to excited about replacing laptops with Droids, I am a Linux Admin and don’t need any of the Microsoft tools.  It won’t be long until someone comes out with a Remote Terminal app for this phone.