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Granular Newsletter: June 2008

Welcome to the third edition of Granular Newsletter
After about a year, Granular Newsletter has been reinstated. A very warm welcome to you from Team Granular. Granular Newsletter is a monthly update for your Granular Linux desktop. This is the third edition of the newsletter and the first one of this year. We hope you'll enjoy reading the newsletter.

Granular Newsletter is divided into 3 parts:

  1. News - Latest happenings from the Granular Linux community and Team Granular, and some other news related to Granular.
  2. Tips & Tricks - Find some tips, tricks, work arounds and tutorials in this section that would help tweak/fine-tune/enhance your Granular Linux.
  3. Featured article - Check out an original piece of writing submitted by members of the Granular Community.

Team Granular is looking out for contributions from interested ones for the future editions of Granular Newsletter. The newsletter is intended to grow both in quality and quantity. And this is possible only with the support of more people. If you wish to contribute articles, tips, tricks, tutorials, news (non-Granular), or any other possible contributions for the newsletter, contact us through email at [email protected].

Granular 1.0 Preview released
The first testing release of Granular 1.0 was made on 14th March 2008 in the form of Granular 1.0 Preview. The download was made available as an ISO image, downloadable via torrent and direct downloads. Read the release notes.

To make the regular works of our artwork team and archive of artwork of previous releases available to the users, a website dedicated to artwork was launched a few weeks ago. Named Granuminati, it is an expanding archive of wallpapers, icons, banners, themes, and other artwork for your desktop. You can visit Granuminati at

Interview with project lead of Granular Project
Dr. Saleem Khan on his blog published a nice interview with the founder and project leader of the Granular Project. Read the interview

Granular 1.0 RC coming soon
The next testing release of Granular 1.0 will be released in the form of a Release Candidate (RC). You can expect it before mid June. Check out the complete road map for Granular 1.0. There will be quite good amount of changes in RC as compared to Preview.

Recent package updates
Recently, Granular's 2008 repository was updated with the new releases of some major packages:

  • Mozilla Firefox (bug fix)
  • Mozilla Firefox 3 RC1 (version update)
  • Flock 1.1.4 (version update)
  • Cairo Dock 1.5.4 (new addition)
  • Kooldock 0.4.7 (bug fix)
  • Gimp 2.4.6 (version update)
  • K3b 1.0.5 (version update)

Granular in the news
Recently, Granular 1.0 Preview got a decent and honest review from one of the most popular and most visited Linux websites Read the review. Granular also featured on the front page of the Linux section at Slashdot. According to Manmath's blog, Granular FunWorks 2007 offered the best of work and fun.

Quickly upload your images to ImageShack
Did you know that Granular comes with a built-in service menu that allows to upload your images to ImageShack? If not, here is how to do it:

  • Right-click on the image to upload.
  • Go to Actions > Host on Imageshack.
  • Wait for the image to upload. As soon as the upload completes, you'll get the links to your image.
Note: Due to some recent changes in the back end of ImageShack, this tip will not always work.

Mount ISO images using a graphical interface
Granular comes with a pre-installed script that allows you to easily mount and unmount the ISO images. To do that, go to Menu > Other > Mount File. Follow the instructions in the resulting wizard and you are off!

My Computer icon does not work?
On certain hardware configuration, the My Computer icon does not work as expected. On double-clicking, it gives an error, something like "protocol died unexpectedly...". As of yet, there is not way to correct the problem, but there is a work around. Right-click on the My Computer icon and choose Open With. In the resulting dialog box, type kwrite and press enter. The file will open in the text editor called KWrite. Look out for the text sysinfo:/ and replace it with system:/. Save the file. Now, double-clicking the icon should work.

Make changes persistent in LiveCD mode
Usually, there is no way in which one can save changes on a Live CD so that upon the next reboot from the same Live CD, all the settings are saved while using the Live CD previously. These settings may include:

  • Desktop preferences (like wallpaper, screensaver, etc.)
  • New software installations (manual or through Synaptic Package Manager)
  • Media library in Amarok
  • Cache, settings, passwords in Firefox
  • and so on...
In this tutorial, you'll see that there indeed is a way to actually save all your settings and preferences even when working in the Live mode. That is, it is possible to make all these changes "persistent" in the Live CD mode as well. [Continue reading]

The Future by Craig Shockley aka Galjaman

How will the future look, oh, lets say about 20 years from now?

For a start, all of us will be driving electrically powered vehicles, and whether we need a battery charging assist with a separate engine running on ethanol, diesel, or hydrogen will depend on how far we need to travel before stopping for a Big Mac, the call of nature, or a shopping excursion to your wife's newly found antique emporium.

Your house or apartment rooftop will be covered with solar cells and windmills allowing total energy independence for individuals. Most industry, however, will still rely on energy providers for production and other business needs. Global warming continues if it's hot, or not, if there's snow outside your window.

Most politicians will still be lying, cheating, scandal ridden nabobs, out for a fast buck in exchange for photo ops, because some things are so deeply inherent in the human condition that we wouldn't be human without them. Scientists say they can tweak the human genome to preclude the propensity of public figures to engage in nefarious conduct, but of course, the politicians, acting on behalf of humanity and their own pocketbooks, won't let them.

Personal computers will be totally different. People will carry a pen-sized gadget which holds at least 10 terabytes of data, has a couple hundred gigs of memory, will project a three dimensional "screen" and "keyboard", if you insist on having one, on any flat surface. The mouse will be your hand, eyes, or maybe some other body part if you feel daring or risque. Of course it will be connected to a much upgraded version of the Internet by some technology much better than wi-fi. And these super computers will be running Linux.

Yes, I said Linux, although in the future we may be calling our favorite OS something other than than what Linus originally intended. Torvalds, of course will have achieved full saint-hood within the various geek communities (and I mean that in a friendly, non-disparaging way). Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer will finally have achieved equal recognition as the opposite of sainthood. Is there a real word for that? How about demonhood?

These super computers will have other functions as well, replacing the cell phone, ipod, blackberry, and probably dog whistle, pedograph, and oven temperature monitor as well.

Nevertheless, one thing will not have changed. Open Source, being what Open Source is, will continue the flame wars over which is the better environment, KDE, Gnome, XFCE, or any one of a dozen or so new data management systems. And it won't be just the "desktop" environment. There will be those who threaten great virtual conflagrations over which descendant of Red Hat, Debian, Slackware, or Gentoo should be the system of choice. Will Granular be among the favorites? We must all hope it will.

And finally, before I have another beer, my lovely wife will finally have given up on Vista and allowed me to install a decent OS on her laptop. Unless she's stolen my penputer.

Take part in the discussion over this topic on Granular Community Forum

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