Saturday, November 27, 2010

Moving Desktop Windows users to Linux

More than a year ago I wrote a post concerning my personal experience

I manage our computer systems at work and never tried to convert user Pc's to Linux, instead sometimes I showed them some of the nice stuff and played with them when their windows system crashed, or simply because network printers stopped working.

Since then all item number 7 is ok since we have Bricscad / Ares Commander, and I have moved from OWA to IMAP on my machine, and all my troubles were over.

So about a month ago a Engineer colleague that had Win Vista, said to me... "Can't stand with this Sh#$ anymore, please install Linux here". I've made him a bunch of questions about software he used, and explained that one printer in our office would not work, and all stuff that is different, in the end it was ok for him so we went for it.

Before Linux (Ubuntu 10.04) he could not:

- Print to our 42" HP plotter without problems
- Work one day without rebooting 2 or 3 times
- Start working 1 minute after power-up
- Transfer files to/from his Nokia and Blackberry via bluetooth

After installation when I showed him Nautilus working with tabs (Ctrl+T) and extra panel (F3) it became amazed with a so simple thing that come very handy...

I've had less complaints than ever from him, only thing that went wrong was a day that our Exchange Server went "mad" and he thought it was because of Evolution.

This week I've had two more colleague that want Linux also. Both with XP. I guess it was because they saw a not experienced user doing so well with Linux. Soon both computer will soon boot Ubuntu instead of XP.

This week also I got amazed when I saw him getting drawings out of our plotter. I didn't configured the plotter because I hadn't time. So he did it all by himself. It never happened when he had windows... Even Bluetooth configuration was made by him.

So who could say... More than ever I believe Linux is easier than windows and ready for common users...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

DWF Files - A Challenge to You!

I challenge you to program a Open-Source DWF file viewer!!!

I love Computing and Linux in particular, I even know some C++, Basic, Fortran Pascal, VBasic and Gambas, but beside "Hello World!", I'm rusty, very rusty.....

Yesterday after upgrading my Ubuntu desktop to 10.10 on 5/10/2010 (Establish of Portuguese Republic, National Holiday), I took a look at Ubuntu new software center and went to - Science - Engineering, and as usual, a couple Math programs, a dozen electrical simulators/ designers, etc, etc... So I thought, what the hell.... There are only programs useful for Electrical Engineers.....

Why is that??? Easy, Electrical Engineering courses have a great component of computer science and programming, that why this engineering side has such nice software.....

So, since I'm not one of them (my area is more like machines, pipes, rivets, nuts, bolts, ducts), :) please help us..... I'm not talking for myself, I know there are a lot of Engineers, mechanical, civil, and even Architects that would love to have a DWF file viewer.

As you know Linux now has DWG capable software natively, but as PDF is to DOC files, DWF is to DWG files, and we are missing DWF.....

"Design Web Format (DWF) is a secure file format developed by Autodesk for the efficient distribution and communication of rich design data to anyone who needs to view, review, or print design files." in: Wikipedia

Nowadays it is used by Portuguese Government entities to distribute designs to contractors, note that, at Portugal this is LAW, Decreto-Lei 60/2007 says that PDF should be used for written elements and DWF for drawings (really nice lobby for Autodesk).

But, DWF is an open format based on ISO/IEC 29500-2:2008, and Autodesk provides a Open-Source Toolkit for developers That's Halfway there .....

Do you think you can do it? I believe that are others that can do it too. The first will get the gold...

So, who would be the first to get there??? I'm expecting to see one of this names:

- Evince (I have great confidence in you guys!!!)
- Bricsys (Closed-Source, with a dwg software and project management interactive with Lotus)
- Graebert (Closed-source, also with dwg software, in there ARES beta there was a reference to dwf)
- QCAD (maybe yes, maybe not, I think they are too busy dealing with DWG support first)
- Adobe (Why not??)
- CUPS (They can make print to DWF "cups-dwf" :), the way back sure it will be really simple)
- Inkscape (The experts in vectorial files...)

And don't forget Antitrust (2001) Gary's words "We work hard to stay ahead because we know any kid working in his garage can put us out of business".

I think if you are in one of these teams you would be happy to get there first than the others.... I also believe that it will get your piece of software ahead of the others in a big niche (Engineering and Architecture)...

It is easy, so let's get to work....

Note that I will always be here to do beta testing in a daily basis (it's my job working with those files), and also provide you files to test.....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

DWG CAD on Linux - Ares Commander Commercial Release

Last week I wrote about Ares and Draftsight, and how they where close to go full comercial (Ares only, Draftsight will be free as Mac and Win released versions), so this is it....

So, since 18 Set., what happened here? Let's go back a few days, and:

22 September - I found out that Draftsight for MAC was available for download
28 September - After reporting a bug for ARES, I received an email from Graebert, that says "BTW:
We have released a final version of  ARES Commander on Linux yesterday evening.".

So this last 2 days I've been using final version of ARES, so now I'm capable of write something more about than before.

- Interface is really polished, very nice and modern icons
- It has a built in table creator (really usefull)
- I don't remember if Autocad or Bricscad, does this but in hatch window, we have "create hatch for each boundary". How many of you had to delete hatch and create it all over again?
- When in a command, line for example, you don't loose focus on main windows and you can do F3 or F8, for example. This bug is not solved in Bricscad for Linux.
- Plot works really good in Linux. I've been plotting large format drawing for hand drafting. With "DEMO VERSION" watermarked.
- I opened 15 dwg at once without a single hiccup, and changing from one drawing to another brings no problem in performance
- It has a full-screen feature (very usefull for my eee701) on view->Clean Screen, or Ctrl+0 shortcut
- Layout tab is much smaller than in beta version, and you don't need it, so if your screen is small just take it out and use "Model" "Sheet" button on bottom bar
- Real time zoom and pan is somehow slow when very zoomed out, and I haven't figured out why...
- On Beta there was an option for opening DWF (it didn't work), but in final release is not implemented, maybe in the future we will see this (afterall Autodesk has a Open Source SDK for DWF)
- They are releasing packages for every main Linux distribution.

In general is a very polished piece of software and I can say Graebert did some really nice work from Beta to commercial version.

The price of this Software is till the end of October 495€ (with 50% off).

Linux is getting easy, Correction, even more easy.....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

DWG Cad on Linux - Draftsight and Ares Commander

This is the first Linux Made Easy Bilingual Post. I intend to reach a bigger audience in my native language, Portuguese. I hope to get to Brasil, Portugal and some PALOP (African Countries with Portuguese as Official Language). Without further delay, let's get to the post....

Today I found another Linux CAD software that will be out soon, I'm talking about DraftSight. While not available yet in Linux version it's a free alternative to other programs in 2d drawing. According to the manufacturer "Mac OS and Linux support will be available later this year".

A very important feature related to Draftsight is the name of developer - Dassault Systemes - Don't you know them? And if I mention the name SolidWorks? And Catia? Well, we are talking about a major cad dealer. Can this mean that we have competition on CAD software on Linux?

Answering the previous question - YES !

At this time, economical Autocad Linux alternatives were just one - Bricscad, but there is already another one available for download. I'm talking about German Grabert's ARES Commander. Right now to be able to try the software you will need to register as a Beta-Tester to get the download link. After installation you will be able to enjoy a complete 2D cad with DWG support. Actually from the short time that I tried out it looked a bit faster in processing DWG than Bricscad, however it looks very professional, clean looks and practical.

I present you a screenshot of ARES Commander working (This is a  real production design's):

At this moment this software is commercial available for OSX, and Linux became a little late. However for what was tried out, it will be a good competitor for Bricscad, Autocad e for certain Draftsight.

It's getting even easier to work on Linux, and with a lot of choices.....

The Links to Software:

DraftSight -
Ares Commander -


DWG no Linux - DraftSight e Ares Commander

Este post é o 1º Bilingue do Linux Made Easy. O objectivo é atingir uma maior audiência na minha língua materna, o Português. Espero com isto chegar ao povo Brasileiro, Português e possivelmente aos habitantes dos Palop (Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa). Mas, continuando para o artigo em questão...

Hoje tomei conhecimento de mais um software de CAD para Linux que está para ser lançado em breve, estou a falar do DraftSight. Este software, ainda não disponível na versão Linux apresenta-se como uma alternativa gratuita a outros concorrentes no desenho 2D. De acordo com o fabricante "Mac OS and Linux support will be available later this year".

Um factor muito importante neste software é o nome do seu fabricante - Dassault Systemes - Não sabe quem é? Então e se lhe falar no nome Solidworks? E Catia? Bem, estamos a falar de um dos principais fabricantes de software CAD no mundo. Poderá isto significar que até já temos concorrência em programas CAD em Linux?

Respondendo à pergunta anterior - SIM!!!

Neste momento, alternativas económicas a Autocad em Linux, tínhamos 1 - Bricscad, mas existe outra actualmente e já disponível para download. Estou a falar de ARES Commander da Alemã Grabert. Neste momento tirar partido do software terá de se inscrever como Beta-tester para obter o link do download. Após instalar o programa poderá disfrutar de um completo software cad 2d com suporte para DWG. Actualmente do pouco tempo despendido a experimentar este software, pareceu-nos mais rápido no processamento dos ficheiros DWG do que o Bricscad, mas no entanto apresenta um aspecto bastante profissional, limpo e prático.

Apresentamos um screenshot do software a trabalhar (Isto são ficheiros meus de trabalho):

Actualmente este software encontra-se à venda para OSX, tendo atrasado o lançamento em Linux, no entanto, pelo que já vimos, será um concorrente à altura do Bricscad, Autocad e concerteza do Draftsight.

Cada vez está mais fácil trabalhar em Linux, e com possibilidade de escolha...

Os Links para o Software:
DraftSight -
Ares Commander -

Friday, September 17, 2010

Novell - Who are the mysterious buyers?

I usually don't do politics nor business assumptions, but this in getting me nervous, and I can't stop thinking about it....

Maybe there are many interests for a lot of companies to buy Novell, but.....

What if, Microsoft is on the run to Novell?!?!?! Novell own Unix, they are somewhat friends, they work together....

It's a strange recipe, what could be the result if they really buy it?

This time I don't have an easy answer, and neither a hard one, I will leave the conversation open.... Please leave your comments....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Biometric Hardware with Linux and GPL violations

Image from:
Recently at work we installed  a biometric access control system. I was not in charge of this buy, but I tried the Windows software that is responsible for data handling and connects to biometric terminals.

Today, we were doing a few more work in our office, and drilling a hole to basement, the worker made bullseye on power cable for biometrics terminals.

So I had the chance to watch one of the biometrics terminal boot. What was my surprise when I see on the small LCD a Penguin and the word LINUX.

Well this product is made by ZK-USA, and consulting their site there is some reference to Linux OS.

I didn't had access to the documentation in box but I can't see anything on their website related to GPL. I'm no specialist at GPL, but I will go deep on this tomorrow, related to the papers that came with the hardware to see if they are violating GPL or not.

On the other side at home I bought a wireless multimedia reader, and with the Manual came the GPL and a address to ask for source code if interested. I have to name that company, because I should, it's the French Dane-Elec. Cheers for them, great product and great attitude.

On a world with more and more embedded system I believe all of us should look deeply to what we are buying, if some of us defend FOSS, so let's do it.

Linux GPL don't ask for much money, is just 0$=0€, why a company that profit a lot from free raw material violate GPL?

At the following sites you can find Lists of companies who violate GPL, and the only reason i see is greed.

ffmpeg Hall of Shame

GPL Violations

Would you buy stolen goods? It's very easy to verify this before buying, just go for this websites.... And please, participate....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Linux Mint Debian Edition - 1st Impression

Image retrieved from

It's been long time since I tried Linux Mint for the 1st time and loved it. Only problem is that it was Ubuntu based.

Well, I love Ubuntu, but it's not 100%, and after my upgrade from 8.04 to 8.10 without a full reinstall that didn't went well, it came down a few points in my consideration. I had one bad night, since i needed the pc fully operational next day (its a work PC).

So I tried everything else on market, but can't handle with anything else than Debian based OS.

Crunchbang was my 1st thought, but is still Ubuntu based and their Debian distro is still Alpha and, ..... well you can understand.

And now, from behind the smoke, comes Linux Mint, with a Debian based and rolling distro...

So without further delay, let's talk about Mint...

1 - Boot Time - Nothing new, fast as hell...
2 - Kernel - 2.6.32 - Same as Ubuntu 10.04
3 - Speed - same as 1
4 - Update Manager - ok, not very intrusive with all the updates and the wonderful Mint level for update, very nice for beginners
5 - My samba share appeared on Nautilus and network
6 - Software: F-spot, Gimp, Thunderbird, Pidgin!!!!!, VLC!!!!!!, MintNanny (it would come very useful for me soon), Giver (file share), root terminal, Openoffice..... Yes, they are better than Ubuntu at choosing packages
7 - Well, everything else, just like regular Mint, very very nice......

I didn't install, but I'm sure it will be easy as Linux usual is....

Ps: I changed the installed background, just because I love this image (available on right click - change desktop background...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Linux DWG - Official Release - Bricscad v10

It happened today...

Bricsys released the official version of bricscad V10. No long in beta stage is now commercial with version 10.6.3-2 (windows version is 10.4.18-1).

So now Linux users have a CAD software capable of handling DWG file format.

Now there is no excuse to stay with windows just because you need Autocad. Bricscad is a very capable software and in many case can do better.

The basic version starts on 315€ or 395$ wich is a very nice price. Of course not FOSS, but for production is the best know alternative in Linux.

You can download a trial version of Bricscad here

Here is a nice screenshot:

From Bricscad website:

Bricscad™ V10 for Linux released

Sep 6, 2010BricscadLinuxV10
Gent Belgium and Merrimack NH USA, September 6, 2010 – Bricsys is the first to release a .dwg based CAD software for Linux users. Bricsys NV, the developer of Bricscad, announced today that Bricscad V10 for Linux is now available
Bricscad V10 is the first .dwg based CAD platform available for the Linux Operating System. Bricscad V10, the leading alternative CAD platform for the .dwg file format, continues to offer freedom of choice to the CAD and Engineering community.
The Linux community so far had no access to .dwg based CAD, commonly accepted as the standard CAD file format. With Bricscad V10 for Linux that problem is solved and people don’t have to stick with the Windows OS just because they need .dwg based CAD.
Erik De Keyser, CEO of Bricsys, comments: “We consider Bricscad V10 for Linux as a milestone for our company. Despite doubts of many about the viability of a native Linux based professional CAD product, we are convinced that there is a strong demand for it and a huge potential for applications. Bricsys is the right company to play a leading role in this evolution. For now we want to thank the thousands of Beta testers that helped us to finalize this version.”
Bricscad V10 for Windows is highly appreciated for its rich set of API’s. Today well over 500 Third party application developers are in the process of porting their applications to Bricscad V10 and 155 applications are released. This first release of Bricscad V10 for Linux comes immediately with the complete LISP, DCL and Diesel API’s. Encryption is available for commercial LISP based applications and users can run their LISP routines without any modification. The Bricscad LISP engine is one of the fastest available. Depending on the demand of application developers, Bricsys will extend the set of API’s for the Linux platform.
Initially Bricscad will support three Linux flavors: Fedora 12 or higher, OpenSuse 11.1 or higher and Ubuntu 9.10 or higher. The English version of Bricscad V10 for Linux is available in the Bricsys e-store. The other 15 language versions will be available within days.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Linux Is Fun!!! Second Life....

I'm not a big fan of Second Life, but today, just for experience I logon to my account created around 1998 :)....

I had read somewhere that Second Life had  a Linux client... So it was time to try it...

I've downloaded the client named SecondLife-i686-, and after untar it using nothing but just Nautilus, i ran the executable (no need to install).... and....

Now I'm dancing around justo for fun.... Nice Graphics, 3d Hardware ok, Easy...

Try for yourself...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Linux found in Portugal - RHL

Last Summer while in hollidays in Algarve, I noticed at the supermarket cashier after a reboot that they were using Red Hat Linux.

Well, this is a major Supermarket chain here at Portugal.

So today i had the idea to make some calculations and figure out how much computers with RHL installed just for cashier POS.

Well, consulting their website, at I found:

40 - Continente Hipermarket - At about 50 cashiers each= 2000 RHL
120 - Modelo Supermarket - At about 10 cashiers each = 1200 RHL

Each one of this shops have other cashier for other brands, Worten (home appliances) Modalfa (clothes), and each one a few more cashiers... Just sum, and sum...

With simple math at Portugal we just found 3500 Linux computers with important position, not just some desktops....

So those people who say that Linux is just about 1% of desktop, how about make some calculations and count the number of computers with Linux? Remember, a router with embebed Linux is a computer!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Abiword - Writing Collaboration

Can you do this on MSOffice?

Sure you can't..... But you can do it on Windows...

I tried it and it is very easy to use .....

Each colour is a diferent person writing on the same file from diferent computers, at the same time...... UAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU....

Abiword is a standalone word processor, available on Linux, Windows, and Macosx and with more feature than you will ever need....

Find out more at

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

# IRC Channel # Freenode # #linuxmadeasy

Today i created a IRC channel for online chat. Hope to see you there.

Channel is #linuxmadeasy and it stands on FREENODE network.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fedora 13

In my search for the perfect desktop for my Asus eee 701, i found Fedora 13...

It has been a few years since i tried Fedora Core. The other night I decided to try it on my Toshiba Laptop, and my mouth was wide open after the live cd boot...

I found out that the system was fast... So 2+2, and i tried it on the asus... Live boot ok, install ok (minus a small detail on 1 step due to 800x480 screen), run smooth.....

The installation method is very easy, and everything is perfect for the newbie.

I love the choice of Simple Scan for scanner developed by Canonical (Ubuntu). (You must love FLOSS)

Afterall Fedora keep thins lean, clean and easy.

After a few tweaks i could get 105Mb of ram usage after boot, yes, with Gnome....

Install this, remove that, and after all i got 1.2 Gb free on harddrive even with 245 Mb of swap, this means a lot of free space...

So, it's a good distro, easy, very stable, with some very nice tools.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

ell, it's here!

So far so good, for my system, Toshiba A300-1RW i got these improvements:

- Compiz and fglrx now work without problems. (Just Great!!!)
- Suspend, hibernate, etc, etc, now out of the box (2 x Just Great!!!)
- Boot is fast, but not really fast (I upgraded, not fresh install)

What is not so good yet!

- No fn keys yet (no problemo....)

All the rest is great as usual....

I'll leave you with my screenshot with compiz....

Look at it.... So nice..... And it look's very easy ain't it???

Monday, March 22, 2010

Why don't you Linux? 10 Reasons you should!


1 - You can acess Facebook, Youtube, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Twitter, etc., etc.!

2 - Yes, you can even play Farmville in Linux!

3 - 99,999% free of Virus!

4 - You can watch videos, ear music, plug your IPhone!

5 - It comes with most of the software you ever need installed!

6 - You dont have to search outside your system for software, every piece of software you install is refered and safe to install!

7 - You can use your USB Pen, External HD, and everything compatible with Windows.

8 - Have new hardware? Just Plug and Play! There is more hardware supported in Linux than in Windows 7 (for certain if you count the number of old periphals that Win7 don't support)!

9 - It's easy to install, see post and you don't need to install to try!

10 - You know a lot of Linux developers, such as: IBM, Intel, HP, Google, Oracle. If they trust and develop Linux, why don't you?

Linux is easy... Believe me....

Bricscad and DWG cad Again

I'm posting this to comment on latest release of Bricscad and Alpha release of their cad package for Linux.

This release it's named Alpha 10.3.7, and it continues with great improvement.

Everytime a new release is out, a great number of new features is added and is closer to windows version.

In the next image there is a screenshot of this native version of Bricscad with a drawing that i made for production.

There are some features missing, but for simples drawings it's ready. It's been a few weeks since i dont have the need for boot my Windows virtual machine.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dwg cad Linux - Bricscad

It's happening...

Bricsys is launching a alpha version everyday or so.....

Yesterday it was possible to draw some lines.... And today is already possible to open DWG files....

Amazing speed even on my asus eee with 900 mhz...

Now i'm even more sure that soon it will be running full speed on a lot of computers...

Goodbye windows....

Made in Portugal