Follow-ups and Linux Mint

Identifying CDs, virtual CD drives also get the Gearhead treatment

We’ll start with a followup on last week’s Gearhead on 2D bar-coding. Going by what was on the Nextcode Connexto Web site here and here, it rather looked like Firefox and OS X weren’t supported. The company’s CEO, Amir Rosenberg, dropped me a note, and it turns out that there have been updates and now both Firefox and OS X are supported using a Flash component instead of the original ActiveX component.

On another Gearhead topic, identifying CDs, reader Matthew Leeds pointed out something I was unaware of: “Gracenote has over 11,000 CDs in its database with the primary genre of DATA. You might also want to take a look through this list as some of the applications may meet your requirements for a cataloger.”

The only application that seems to meet my requirements to catalog data disks is AVCataloger, which is designed not only for cataloging music and data CDs but also videotapes and books. The program can also access your scanner so you can capture additional data such as your original receipt, produces a variety of reports and provides a loan or rental-tracking system. Priced at $59.95 AVCataloger looks promising.

Leeds wrote a second time regarding the next week’s Gearhead on virtual CD drives to suggest that Original CD Emulator and Noteburner might be good legal DRM removal tools, albeit they aren’t free (they are both $34.95).

In Gibbsblog a few weeks ago an Irregular Voice named Miles Baska wrote about the wonders of Ubuntu, one of the most popular desktop Linux distros. Reader John Jasper (from Boston) wrote to sing the praises of Linux Mint: “ … after installing it on my laptop, it has been the absolutely best Linux I have ever used. I have been through countless Linux installations over the many years — starting with RedHat 5.0. [With Linux Mint every] piece of hardware and software has worked on the first try — no ‘missing dependencies, etc.’ Using Mint actually makes me feel lazy — like … I really didn’t have to work to get this running. This is the only Linux I feel is ready for the desktop, and with over 250 desktops in my company I am really starting to think this would be a real possibility.” That has to be one of the most enthusiastic endorsements of a Linux desktop I’ve ever seen.

Linux Mint, now up to Version 3.0 — the Cassandra release — comes in two editions. The standard edition, which is compatible with the Ubuntu Feisty Fawn release and its repositories, uses the Linux Kernel 2.6.20 with Gnome 2.18 and comes with the complete version of OpenOffice 2.2 along with all of the usual suspects (Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, Gimp and so on).

The Cassandra Light Edition is a slimmed-down version of Linux Mint that doesn't contain any proprietary software and excludes patented technologies; so, for example, Macromedia Flash and Windows codecs are missing, and Sun Java is replaced by the GNU Interpreter for Java which is part of the GNU Compiler for Java.

There are also two beta versions available: The Cassandra XFCE Community Edition Beta 003 replaces the standard edition’s Gnome desktop manager with, you guessed it, the XFCE desktop manager, while the Cassandra KDE Community Edition Beta 013 substitutes the KDE desktop manager.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT