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February 20th, 2015

Xfce 4.12, Raspberry Pi’s Whole Number & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Larry’s at SCALE 13x, covering the event for us while fulfilling his duties as the conference’s publicity chair, so he twisted my arm to again take care of the week’s news review. Well, he didn’t really twist my arm; he asked politely. And promised to give me some piece of conference swag he has no use for. Can’t wait to see what it is.

New Xfce due next week

Speaking of Larry, back in December he helped quash a rumor that the popular Xfce desktop had been abandoned. Now we have further evidence that he wasn’t just talking through his hat — as if there was ever any doubt.

Today the folks at Softpedia announced that Xfce 4.12 will be released by the end of February, or most likely on March 1st:

“Unfortunately, a release date hasn’t been pinned down at the moment of writing this article, but it looks like Xfce 4.12 is in string freeze starting February 20. Xfce 4.12 is in development for more than two years, as Xfce 4.11.”

As several of us here at FOSS Force are Xfce users, we’ll be keeping our eyes on this and will let you know more as soon as we know more.

Ubuntu phones are sold out

Those who reside in the olde world, that would be Europe, have seen their chance to purchase a Ubuntu phone come and go — but evidently not for long. Here in the States, we’re still waiting, as the phones haven’t been offered to us yet.

Anyway, yesterday Softpedia reported that the available Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu phones from BQ are sold out.

We still have no idea how many BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition devices were sold at the moment of writing this article, despite our efforts to find out directly from BQ or Canonical.

Europeans who want a phone and didn’t get one need not fear however. In a tweet announcing sellout, BQ said, “Stay tuned for new chances to get yours.” No news on when that’ll apply us us Yanks.

Crapware, crapware, everywhere crapware…

Today Adrian Kingsley-Hughes posted an article on ZDNet about new Windows and Android devices being loaded with crapware, those worse than merely annoying free trials and such which come preloaded on all Windows boxes and Android devices, which are also all but impossible to remove. He points out that even though the crapware developers make it impossible to remove their…er, crap, from Android devices without rooting and installing a fresh instance of Android, one solution is to buy a Google branded Nexus device, which comes crapware free.

When it comes to the desktop world, however, Mr. Kinsley-Hughes trips a bit. He points out that Microsoft offers a Signature line of machines which are guaranteed to be crapware free. Other than that, he says, your only alternative is to go with a Mac.

Methinks we need to send Tux over to this guys office to give him a good lecture. Install your own Linux and, guess what? No crapware. Or, order a computer with Linux preinstalled and you’ll also get a crapware free device. Probably even if from Dell. As far as I know, the crapware folks haven’t discovered Linux…yet.

Raspberry Pi hits five million mark

Has it really been three years since Raspberry Pi, the uber small computer that could, first hit the market? Evidently so. Well, guess what? Maximum PC let us know on Tuesday that the credit card sized device has logged five million sales during that time.

“‘Just confirmed the big news we’ve all been waiting for: we’ve now sold more than 5 million Raspberry Pis,’ a tweet from the official Twitter account for Raspberry Pi stated. The news was followed by another that went on to say, ‘We think that this means that in just under 3 years, we’ve gone from zero to being the biggest selling UK computer manufacturer ever. Yowza.'”

Yowza indeed. That’s quite an accomplishment for a device which seemed destined for a brief run at the hobbyist market. According to the Raspberry Pi foundation, sales of the devices are pretty evenly split between educational, industrial, and hobbyist use.


Well, that wraps it up for another week. Cafiero will probably be back next week. Until then, may the FOSS be with you…

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

2 comments to Xfce 4.12, Raspberry Pi’s Whole Number & More…

  • Crapware is most certainly the price you pay for most new computers and phones. Fortunately, I have a Nexus 5 that was donated to me and I really like it. Oh…latest and greatest LiquidSmooth ROM.

    But on PCs and laptops? I had forgotten just how much junk clutters up your new machine until yesterday.

    Every now and then I will take on repair work to make a few extra bucks. I received a Compaq CQ-57 laptop who’s owner decried the viruses roamed the backwaters of his hard drive and would I fix it. It also had a cracked screen. I told him the low side estimate would be 100.00 and the high side, somewhere around 165.00. He accepted, we shook hands and departed to our respective other places.

    I found a good used screen on Amazon for almost nothing and I used our virus and malware tools to scan his system. He did not have any viruses but he did possess one of the most impressive collections of toolbars and malware that I’ve ever seen. I gave him a bid of 120.00 and he readily accepted.

    I called him a couple of days later and told him that his machine was ready and he could come pick it up. He hemmed and stammered for a bit before telling me he couldn’t pick it up until pay day and would I hold it for him. I told him of course I would.

    To make a long story a bit more tolerable, he never did answer my calls or messages after that. At the 4 month mark I listed the Compaq CQ57 as abandoned and sent him a certified letter saying so. The letter was returned as no one at that address.

    The fact is, that particular laptop isn’t really much to brag about. it’s a dual core at 1.3GB and 2GB of RAM. It had a Windows 7 Home Premium installed on a 250 gig hard drive. In preparing to either sell it or donate it to reglue I dug around and found 2 4GB sticks or RAM that would work and I installed them.

    I opted to bring the machine back to it’s original factory setup and holy freakin’ cow…all those crappy icons that I thought were junk he had installed? Nope…they came as “enhancements” to the original system. I’m trying to remove as many of them as I can but it’s proving too much trouble to remove 3 or more of them. I’ll be lucky to get 100.00 for it on craigslist

  • Eddie G.

    In regards to XFCE!? I use it on both my openSuSE and my Linux Mint and Ubuntu machines. So I hope beyond hope they continue to thrive and exist! Secondly, in regards to Windows and the Crapware that come with it? I can only say, it’s how they do things. I have yet to install anything on my Linux systems that isn’t something I actually NEED! No such thing as applications that sit there for years without ever getting used. I’ve even been known to uninstall applications and programs that I never use from a standard install of Linux! (Not into graphics so the GIMP is the first to go usually!) I only feel pity for those people who still use Windows for their daily computing needs…thinking that they “have no choice”. Thank goodness for sites like this one that enlightens the masses weekly! LoL! Cheers!