Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Released

The third alpha release of the Ubuntu 11.10 development cycle has been made available for download.

As Ubuntu 11.10 is still in active development you are not advised to install this alpha on your Mom’s laptop, your Brother’s nettop or even your own desktop.

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What’s new since Alpha 2?

The latest experimental snapshots of Compiz and Unity are provided in Alpha 3, with notable new featuresoptions and changes including visual feedback on the trash icon when dropping files into it, improved launcher reveal logic, and a newly coloured ‘Grid’ highlight.

Revamped ALT+TAB

Note: The new look Alt+Tab is is currently bound to CTRL+TAB during testing.


An all new Gwibber is present, boasting a brand new look, slick animated transitions and massively improved performance.

We were given a sneak peek of this just before it landed and it’s come on leaps and bounds since then.


It’s all change on the Indicator front with the removal of the Me Menu; a rejigged ‘Messaging Menu’; a new-look session indicator and the arrival of a brand new power indicator (that, joy of joys, is able to actually report you battery life!).

Support for middle-clicking on indicators has also been introduced, but until developers get chance to play around with it don’t expect too much from this just yet.


For further information refer to: wiki.ubuntu.com/OneiricOcelot/TechnicalOverview/Alpha3


The Girl Who Didn’t Want Ubuntu [Video]

Alligators in sewers, lucky escapes from hook-handed serial killers and the unpalatable notion that we all eat 8 spiders a year whilst snoozing: all are Urban myths.

Until recently I assumed that the well-known story of a girl from Wisconsin USA, whose inadvertent purchase of a Dell laptop running Ubuntu 7.10 saw her dropping out of her online college classes, was like all of the example above: a load of hot-air.

Turns out it actually happened.

The local new-station, WKOW TV, were overwhelmed by the intense and passionate response to the item, so a follow up report on Abbie Schubert’s situation was soon run. I was expecting to hear that Dell had sent her a Windows disc and all was solved.

But not quite.

Instead, Dell, her internet provider Verizon, and the college to which she was enrolled, MATC, all help her to stick with Ubuntu.

Sadly the follow up piece also touches upon the agressive and defensive response targeted towards both Abbie and the news-station from the Linux community.

It’s easy to “blame” the user in a situation like this for not paying attention when ordering and/or not having enough gusto to figure out problems faced. But I think it’s more telling to note that all of her troubles stem from 3rd parties rather than Ubuntu itself – a fact glossed over in both of the reports.

It wasn’t Ubuntu that was incompatible in this situation but rather the companies providing the services.

I can’t help but wonder how she’s doing now and whether she’s still using Ubuntu.

Maybe i’ll try and find out after I check the drains outside for alligators…

Thanks to K. Hendrik

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[How to] Access and Add Files On Your ASUS Transformer in Ubuntu

Despite having had my ASUS Transformer – the company’s hugely successful Android tablet – for almost a week it’s only today that I got around to seeing how it fared when hooked up to Ubuntu.

For adding files to the Transformer ASUS provide some Windows only software. Call me lazy but I couldn’t be bothered to find out this worked through Wine. Instead I wanted a “native” solution.

Thankfully I wasn’t alone. Over on the XDA Developers forum two plucky members had already posted solutions…


gMTP can be installed through the Ubuntu Software Centre (click) and provides a simple interface for browsing through files and folders on your Transformer. To add files from your PC to your tablet you simple drag and drop them into the folder you wish to store them in.

Drawbacks include an inability to ‘download’ files from my Transformer to my desktop and no extra ‘views’ for the file browser such as ‘thumbnails’ to make identifying photos easier.


MTPFS is “…a FUSE filesystem that supports reading and writing from any MTP device.” It’s not a standalone programme like gMTP above. Instead MTPFS gives you access to your Transformer files via Nautilus, allowing you to browse them just like any other folder on your desktop.

The main drawback is ‘mounting’ it. One needs to jump through a few hoops to get it set up. If you’re prepared to, and this is certainly my preferred method for now, instructions follow.

Open a terminal and run the following commands separately, entering your password where prompted. Ensure your Transformer is connected via USB to your computer.
  • sudo apt-get install mtpfs
  • sudo mkdir /media/transformer
  • sudo chmod 775 /media/transformer

To “mount” your transformer so you can access, add and download files run: -
  • sudo mtpfs -o allow_other /media/transformer

When done run:
  • sudo umount mtpfs
You will need to repeat the last two steps every time you wish to mount then unmount your device.
Admittedly this method is less than elegant but it does work. Using it I can browse my Transformer using Nautilus, including seeing thumbnails of photos, previews of music tracks by hovering over them, etc.

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Lubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Released

Lubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 has been released.

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As a development release Lubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 is not recommended for everyday use or installation on systems with important data (like your list to Santa, your best man speech or your 3/4 completed game of Braid.)

Lubuntu Alpha 3 is, for the very first time, available to download from the Ubuntu server: -
Note: the Lubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 CD Image is over-sized.

New in Alpha 3

  • The latest updates of core LXDE components
  • A switch to xfce4-power-manager for power management
  • ‘pidgin-microblog’ is installed as the Microblogging client

Known issues in Alpha 3

Amongst bugs and issues affecting Alpha 3 are ‘Missing icons from various menus (see image) and panel applets; the installation of Gwibber by default; indicators are missing from the LXPanel; and GTK3 applications lack a theme.
missing icons in Lubuntu menus is a known bug of Alpha 3



Disney to Produce Penguin Film… Called ‘Tux’.

The relation to Linux is tangental at best, but the following is amusing in a way…

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Deadline.com are reporting that Disney have hired Night At The Museum writer Robert Ben Garant to pen an animated feature about a talking Penguin called, you guessed it, ‘Tux’.

The film is to be an adaptation of “gritty” Japanese graphic novel ‘Tuxedo Gin’, the storyline of which sees a young street fighter “fall into a coma and learns that he …only has enough karma points to be reincarnated as an animal 15 pounds or less.”

That animal is a penguin.

For those unaware of why this is slightly humorous the Linux mascot, Tux, is a penguin. Here’s hoping for a Linux in joke somewhere ;)

I think i’ve written the word penguin too many times now.

Deadline.com  via Janis P.

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