Monday, August 24, 2009

Chromium and Linux

I've been reading about Chrome on Linux, i.e. Chromium, these past few weeks. The most positive article was published on Ars Technica (Chromium popularity rising on Ubuntu, gains 64-bit support). Of particular interest to me is the success of porting their V8 Javascript engine to 64-bit. Either as part of Chrome/Chromium or as a stand-alone engine, V8 is a fascinating piece of software. The fact that all of Chrome is going to be 64-bit native, and running on 64-bit Ubuntu, makes the Chrome/Ubuntu combination very interesting. As usual there's no specific release date for Chromium, let alone 64-bit Chromium, but a date isn't really needed when there is significant and clearly documented progress.

I'm certainly not going to get my hopes up. I've been disappointed by Linux's lack of quality across the distributions too many times to suddenly forgive and forget. The best course of action is to simply monitor the situation with an eye towards installing the next release of Ubuntu in a virtual machine and then test Chromium in that environment if it's either released or mature enough. Another course of action would be to wait for the cleanup release from Mint, then try Chromium on that platform. Only time will tell.

Monday, August 17, 2009


The number of posts I make have dwindled quite a bit since the start of 2009. There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from the load of life and work to total disillusionment with desktop Linux. Other time sinks have appeared, such as Facebook and Twitter, and I've been heavily involved (again) with photography, posting odd bits of work on Flickr. All of that is about to change.

If you look at the Olympus tag in the Category cloud you'll discover I shoot with Olympus DSLR equipment, specifically the E-300 (which I first purchased back in March 2006) and the E-3 (which I purchased in December 2008). I've been collecting lenses and other peripherals, expanding my tools and doing more and more with my "hobby". I've got my sister's wedding to shoot in October, and I've been building up before I make the big trek up to Atlanta. This is her wedding, and I intend to give the best I possibly can.

In the mean time I will be transitioning to more photography-based blogging, ranging from equipment experience to post-processing on notebooks and the type of tools and operating systems. It will all be Windows or Mac based post-processing; no Linux. After a lot of work I've come to the conclusion that if you want to get work done day-in and day-out, then you buy Apple or Microsoft and the tools that run on top of those OS platforms.

If you'd like to read about one of the reasons I won't be using Linux, you should read Thom Holwerda's editorial "X Could Learn a Lot from Vista, Windows 7". I agree with this assessment 100%. Linux didn't use to be this way. The 'golden age' of Linux, for me, was the period between 2006 and 2007, when I was running OpenSUSE 10.x and Ubuntu 7.04. I didn't realize it at the time but both those distributions at those points in time were pretty rock solid for what I wanted to do. But not today. Too many unstable changes in too many subsystems such as video, sound, and even the file systems have produced an environment in which all distributions suffer. Perhaps those earlier distributions were just as unstable, and I've grown intolerant of instabilities over time. Vista hardware incompatibilities and performance-sapping change for the sake of change are two of the reasons I stayed with Windows XP and refused to move to Vista.

But now, it looks like Microsoft has cleaned up it's OS game with Windows 7. And I'm in the market for a new system. So it's going to be a 'contest' between Windows 7 and Mac OS X. In spite of what Microsoft claims the hardware is going to cost essentially the same no matter what OS I pick. I'll probably make a purchase around January of 2010. In the mean time I'll work with either my Windows XP systems or my wife's Mac.

I've got too much to do in too little time. I need support from tools and services that "just work". Unless it's embedded (Android) or managed (Google) I just don't have the time any more for Linux.

This is post 600. Too many, or too few over time? Who can say?

Thursday, August 13, 2009