Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend Ubuntu download:democracy player

Here is your cool weekend download.The internet TV on desktop application.Watch near HD quality videos in full screen from lots of sources like National Geographic and other 1000 free channels.You can subscribe to any RSS video feeds,download and save videos from wide variety of sources like You tube,Google Videos etc..On top of that you can download any bit torrent file using the same application.Another cool thing is it can play virtually every format.The earlier version for Ubuntu used to crash and not worked well for me.But the new 0.9.6 beta is stable and working quite good.Don't worry,it is available for Windows and Mac users also.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Microsoft and Apple,the Friendly rivals

I always doubted whether Microsoft and Apple are the fiercest rivals??To me,the answer is no.I feel the rivalry is all about innovation Vs plagiarism and nothing more.The press and blogosphere adds fuel to the actual facts.For example,Apple recently released safari browser for windows and many people started hype around it.Look at browser market, both IE7,Firefox doing excellent job already.I don't know what safari can do??I would like to give brief analysis why Microsoft and Apple are different companies.

  • Both are software companies but Apple have serious hardware business too.Microsoft markets Xbox,Zune etc. but its primary bread and butter is software.
  • Second thing is Microsoft is majorly an Enterprise company and Apple is a Consumer company.Apple is not much trying to be an Enterprise company.Both companies almost shed PC company image.
  • Both are platform companies but Microsoft is a serious player in application market too.Apple doesn't have much presence in application market except creative market.Apple neither competes with MS Office nor with Google apps.
  • Microsoft competes in many markets like Enterprise(Oracle,SAP,IBM),Online(Yahoo,Google,Salesforce etc.),Entertainment (Sony,Nintendo, etc.) and of course Linux.Apple never had to fight in multiple markets like Microsoft.It picks up its battles carefully.But Microsoft enters wherever it sees money with its give it three times approach.Apple also doesn't have data centers like Microsoft,Google.
  • What if Microsoft's Zune a flop?Microsoft doesn't care much.But for Apple, iPod is a serious business.For Microsoft,Gaming is a serious business and Apple doesn't have clue in gaming market.Coincidentally back in 2001,both started with different visions in consumer market .Apple started with Music and Microsoft started with Gaming.But at the end of the day Microsoft depends heavily on platform(Windows plus Server) and application(Office and Enterprise) market.
  • Microsoft's Eco-system is far bigger than Apple's.Microsoft depends heavily on Partners but Apple is kind of vertical company and competes in niche market.
  • Many people thinking that iPhone would take out market share from windows mobile devices.But if you look at closely, Windows mobile devices competing in Enterprise mobility and iPhone is a music phone.MS office won't run on iPhone.

Well,i can conclude both are far different companies in many senses and both are good for industry for many reasons.After all Microsoft is the biggest Mac software developer out side Apple.They are rivals but certainly not the fiercest as most of us think.They are friendly rivals.

Skype 1.4 beta for linux

The new update by Skype for linux simply not good.No webcam support yet and call quality still don't match windows version.In this version there is no menu bar.I think Skype following Microsoft footsteps.When you want to call ordinary phones and choosing country you need to identify country by 2 letter code.Very annoying and confusing for ordinary users.If you want to download Linux Skype 1.4 beta you can get here.There you can choose your linux distribution accordingly.

Ubuntu Microphone Problems and Solutions

I had a rough time with my microphone last week on my Ubuntu fiesty (7.04).I burned my weekend hours to google it and the story had a happy ending.To my surprise,most of the good links buried under some useless stuff.So,I decided to post those links which helped me and hope would help people who are in need.

Here is the solution that solved my problem.Open your terminal and just copy and paste the following code(got
from Ubuntu support site) to get the latest ALSA drivers which can fix.

tar -xjf alsa-driver-1.0.14.tar.bz2
cd alsa-driver-1.0.14
sudo make
sudo make install

But before trying above trick you can try one more.Double click on the volume icon on the panel.Then Edit>Preferences.Then make sure you have selected Microphone,Mic boost,Capture.Once you do this you can find new capture tab in the volume control panel.Here, make sure nothing is muted(no red x on microphone icon).In options tab make sure you selected Microphone as input source.

Third is editing esd.conf as follows.Type the following code in the terminal.

sudo gedit /etc/esound/esd.conf

Then edit the file like this.It worked for some people and I got this ubuntu forums.

spawn_options=-terminate -nobeeps -as 1
# default options are used in spawned and non-spawned mode

If none of them seems to work , you can visit ubuntu forums where people discussed some other ways of activating microphone.Hope it works.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Where IBM draws its revenues

I was reading an interesting article by EETimes which tells about IBM's increasing focus on technology consulting business.Some say,Microsoft missed that badly(Technology consulting).Irony is IBM no longer concentrates on PC business.Well, last year Big Blue's revenue was staggering $91bn.I always wondered how 800 pound gorilla companies like IBM,Microsoft move agile in market place.I think its about continuously finding new revenue generator markets and stripping off loss making divisions.I encourage my blog visitors to read the full article in their site.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

iPhone competitors

Well,today taiwanese company High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) released a touch interface phone which runs on Microsoft's windows mobile 6 platform.see the full specifications here.You can see a flash demo of HTC touch phone here.It has got a three dimensional interface,which looks interesting.Right now its available in UK and will be released later this month in Asia and throughout Europe.They are planning to release in US by the end of this year.iPhone also releasing this month on 29th.Looks like old PC rivals gearing up for new age hand held market.

Looks like touch interface catching up with all major companies.Here is some major announcements of touch interface mobile devices by different companies.I am listing those only in which phone functionality is primary and ready for commercial market.

Most of these phones other than iPhone using windows mobile software which shows that Microsoft's appetite for leadership in enterprise mobile computing market.This is going to set a new trend in smart phone market like GUI for PC industry.This touch interface phones further stressing the importance of software on phone.Touch interface on phone surely a paradigm shift.Its rather surprise that so far no touch interface phone announcements from giants like Nokia,Motorola and Sony ericsson.For some statistics of phone market refer to one of my previous post.