Archive for February, 2010

Nautilus Reconstructed

There are a number of posts doing the rounds on ways to overhaul or improve the Nautilus file manager:



And for OSX converts moving to Ubuntu. All we really need is Nautilus + Clutterflow.

Needless to say I am extremely excited by the development occuring in Nautilus, even if the approaching Gnome-Shell represents somewhat of a crisis. It will be at least another year before Gnome-Shell is anywhere near the kind of stability required in a maturing distribution like Ubuntu. I therefore encourage people to see Gnome-Shell as another desktop option rather than the solution for gnome and to continue with Nautilus development. I especially like designer Izo’s approach to journaling and there are lot of issues such as implementing a common set of mouse gestures across common multimedia applications which would facilitate productivity. Why should one bother saving multimedia files for instance? Why waste time in the file menu when we could be pointing and clicking? Just some of the issues which need common libraries and standards.

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The African caracul lynx has a lot going for it. Raw speed, agility, aerodynamics versus the Canadian lynx, which lacks the speed, but makes up with a fashionable coat and processing power. Which do you prefer Ubuntu with or without the bloatware?

Speedy African caracal

Snow Leopard Lynx?

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Is Ubuntu going grey?

News that the popular Human theme is about to be dropped in Lucid has unleashed a style-war amongst the community. After Another Ubuntu reported Mark Shuttleworth’s comments at the recent Ubuntu Openweek:

…we’ll have some new styling which is going to be the starting point of another five year view. We’ve been Human for the last five years and now we’re gonna be light oriented.

Speculation began that the replacement would resemble the Elementary theme being touted by designers at OMG!Ubuntu. While Elementary is a knock-em-dead linux style statement, it closely resembles OSX and there are slicker themes like eHomoSapien available.

Ubuntu, whose motto is “Linux for human beings” has on occasion veered off into fashion conscious Orange and devilish Red in order to escape the Big Blue of Microsoft/IBM and other distributions.

Dumping the trademark human theme which in Karmic is chocolate brown might just tear the community apart if it is not done with enough forethought and consultation. Exchanging Brown for Grey could also alienate ardent supporters in the third world, and one can only hope that eHomoSapien makes it past the Elementary level while giving users more default options.The thing about Ubuntu is the OS is instantly recognizable —  as Ubuntu becomes more popular (Ubuntuforums recently gained its 1 millionth member) the tendency to emulate the frontrunner, OSX may just sow confusion and work against us. Will Lucid be Snow Leopard Linux?

The Ubuntu community invariably charts its own path, instead of measuring the OS  against Windows 7 and OSX, we could just take a quantum leap forward with Lucid by catering for the fashion conscious as well as those who believe brown is retro, organic and still cool.

Ubuntu OS is all about putting Africa inside the machine. Finding the missing element in technology or as Brian Eno once said: The trouble with computers, there is not enough Africa in them.

NOTE: a couple of days after writing this post I found this posting on Tech Source from Bohol published the day after my posting


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If penguins could fly

Love this Linux freedom insert. Somebody should try turning the critters into Ubuntu with shiki colours.

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The changing face of Ubuntu. Note the latest wording on the inside sleeve.

Speedy 9.10 with Orange Tang

Latest version of the Ubuntu four promises?

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The Ethical CO-OP refuses to honour exchanges made in Talents.  Although some of its produce is on offer on CES.

Believe it or not, but I have managed to enter into a mutually-beneficial economic exchange using an alternative currency which is based upon the community as opposed to the financial system. The alternative Community Exchange System (CES) uses Talents (T) instead of Rands or Dollars. The CO-OP appears to have restricted these kind of transactions to old stock which it is offering on the exchange for T.  A recent order placed with the CO-OP had to be canceled because it involved an alternative currency.

Here is the message I wrote to Natalie Reid of Ethical Co-Op who after initially saying no, appeared to  change her mind when I explained to her the benefits. She now says the matter is “under consideration” with the COOP directors.

Dear Natalie,

I recently signed up to the CES site. Initially I was of the same opinion but curious, what is there to actually buy or exchange in T? My bad financial status forced me to give it a try because it offers an alternative to the current system of exchange which is based upon banks, interest and currency trading. CES has a wonderful energy about it and it has allowed me to share my Linux computer skills with the community.

The exchanges therefore don’t have to be direct exchanges but can be moderated by the system which gives you local credit for your goods and services which you can then exchange for anything on offer in the community. Stokvels work in a similar way.

The CES  electronic system has certainly evolved quiet beautifully over the years from when it was just a paper-based system, which made me a bit dubious. There are now hundreds of users on the site and a whole variety of different goods and services on offer. I recently purchased an organic origanum plant for my herb garden and a vegi burger and am hoping that as more services are offered, more energy is distributed and shared amongst the community.

This is the real beauty of CES, it discourages hoarding, because the value is not in paper, but in the community. In other words, CES encourages people to meet the needs of the community as opposed to meeting the needs of financial instruments. Instead of working for your bank, (and your own selfish interests), you end up working for your community which is better equipped to see to your needs than your bank manager.

I would therefore encourage you to raise the issues you have with the CES system amongst the community. If there is a shortage of a particular type of produce as you indicate, then please put this to the community as a suggestion for an offer category. Maybe there should be an agricultural section? There is abundant energy in the universe, we just need to direct it to a good purpose.

Also the recommended exchange of R for T is 1:1. I have noticed the pricing varies from transaction to transaction. Some services are cheaper in T while others are more expensive. T won’t replace R as yet, but it can help to circulate energy around the community in an alternative way, creating new possibilities as one moves forward. So yes, I would love the opportunity to be able to trade with you and go organic by exchanging my T for your produce.

Just an idea, perhaps you need to set a quota, or percentage, aside to be traded on CES? Then ethical trading could advertise that a certain percentage of its transactions were traded in T, which in turn would create an expectation of what one can expect to buy through the CES? We could challenge users in turn to set aside a certain percentage towards organic produce which would help organic farmers and so on!

Look forward to hearing from you again.



Below is my canceled order from the Ethical Trading Site. I was prepared to pay the “organic premium” and even a delivery fee.

The Ethical Co-Op thanks you for order.

You have chosen to have your order delivered to your Home address

1 x Honey, Pure 500ml (Filtered) - Honeywood Farm (R33.00 each)
1 x Apples Royal Gala / 1kg - Organic Farmers Co-Op (R18.00 each)
1 x Baguette, Petite (wheat) - La Petite Boulangerie (R12.50 each)
1 x Cows Milk Feta 175g - Camphill Dairy (R22.00 each)
1 x Couscous (wholemeal) 500g - *the ethical co-op (R23.50 each)
1 x Onions, Pickled 375ml - Sandveld Organics (R22.00 each)
1 x Rooibos Tea, Leaves 250g - Cedarfruits (R14.00 each)
1 x Buchu Tea Leaves 25g - Cedarfruits (R14.50 each)
1 x Apple Juice 1Litre - Elgin Organics (R15.50 each)
1 x Soap, Fynbos 100g - Bloublommetjies (R9.00 each)
1 x Essential Oil, Tea Tree 11ml - S.O.I.L (R31.00 each)

Order: R215.00
Delivery: R45.00
Total: R260.00

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Ubuntu mug shots

I challenge from Ubuntu France LoCo to put you mug where it belongs. Picture taken with Cheese and Webcam.

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