Lenovo ideapad Z570 review

July 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Hai everyone,

I am writing this review as  how i feel about this laptop since i am using the same laptop.

The lenovo ideapad Z570 comes into market with the following configurations:

2nd gen Intel core i3/i5

4gb/3gb RAM

640/750 Gb HDD

Intel dedicated graphics/Nvidia getforce 1Gb graphic card

win 7 home basic/home premium

15.6 HD LED glare

Card reader,numpad

3 usb slots.

Lenovo ideapad Z70 models have a thermal management button on their lap which enables efficient heat management of laptop depending upoun the surrounding temperature.

Another speaciality is thet this laps are having round keys which are more comfortable to work with and also their is a gap of 0.5 mm in between the keys which also enables easy use.The sound is good and the video clarity is also good.The screen is about 0.5cm thick.

overall look of the laptop is good.There is also a seperate numpad which adds to the easy use of laptops.

There is no choice on the basis of colour .Only one colour is available(Metallic grey with a pinkish touch).

Overall perfomance is good.The battery gives a backup for 5hrs when fully charged.


Categories: GENERAL

The Open Source Office Software Sector Heats Up

July 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The world of LibreOffice and OpenOffice(.org) has been heating up recently with several exciting and, at times, bewildering developments. The Document Foundation remains very active as is LibreOffice development, but Oracle has given up on OpenOffice and slapped LibreOffice in the face by giving it to Apache. Perhaps the most important announcement was the release of LibreOffice 3.4.0.

The recent release of LibreOffice 3.4 demonstrates the very philosophical differences in community projects and those stifled by commercial interests. LibreOffice development has been happening at an unprecedented pace while OpenOffice lagged behind and lost many of its previous users. Even under Sun development was tightly controlled, but Oracle increased the bonds. In contrast, according to the release announcement, LibreOffice now has 120 happy developers committing approximately 20 changes per day. Cédric Bosdonnat puts the number of contributors at 223. Italo Vignoli is quoted as saying, “We care for our developers, and it shows.”

Just before LibreOffice 3.4 was released Oracle announced that it was donating OpenOffice to the Apache Software Foundation. Pundits have speculated all around the spectrum of how that will affect the office suite with some thinking it will certainly benefit while others think it will most likely wane even further. The Document Foundation expressed disappointment that a reunification of the two projects will probably not occur but offered their best wishes for OpenOffice. They were upbeat about including OpenOffice code since the Apache license is compatible with the GNU Lesser General Public License under which LibreOffice is released. Given these facts, “the event is neutral for The Document Foundation.”

What’s New in LibreOffice 3.4?

Most folks just want to hear of the pretty and handy features visible in their daily work, but underestimating the impact of code clean-up is a disservice to developers. These code clean-ups are what leads to faster operation and fewer crashes. Michael Meeks calls this “ridding ourself of sillies.” One area in which these two world merge comes in an example given by Meeks: icons. He said, “OO.o had simply tons of duplication, of icons everywhere” – approximately 150 duplicated missing icons. He added, “All of that nonsense is now gone.” A font memory leak has been fixed and rarely used encodings have been moved out into their own library. This “reduces run-time memory consumption” and shrinks download size.

New gradient page borderWriter has gotten some eye candy like gradient color backgrounds, drop shadows, and colored footnote separators to spruce up the appearance. A new font engine makes text prettier and faster. Flat ODF filters can make .odf files more accessible to other applications.

For the Ubuntu user, Unity global menu support has been added and improved GTK+ integration gives LibreOffice a native look. Better mouse theme support adds a little more polish. Encrypted document passwords can now be changed while the document is still open.

Impress got improved HTML with image thumbnail gallery exportThe full list of changes and most annoying bugs is located on the wiki.

Version 3.4.1 is scheduled for release on Jun 29, 2011, with patch version releases coming pretty much monthly afterwards. 3.5.0 is expected on Feb 8, 2012 and 3.6.0 Aug 1, 2012. Release dates are scheduled every six months and largely synchronized with popular Linux distribution releases. Releases are supported for one year.

What Else?

Michael Meeks published a “Why LibreOffice is the Future” article back in May. In it he enumerated many reasons LibreOffice is a better choice than OpenOffice or others. He posits that LibreOffice is vendor neutral, whether your talking about Red Hat, Novell, or Canonical. He also thinks LibreOffice isn’t vulnerable to contributors leaving because it’s a community project with lots of other participants. Another point is that “Linux distributions are safer with LibreOffice” because of the new time-based released schedule and stability from a diverse contributor base. See his full article for more.

According to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols Attachmate and Novell will continue to support LibreOffice. In addition, in response to the Oracle OpenOffice contribution, Holger Dyroff, Vice President of Business Development, SUSE said, “SUSE is continuing to invest in LibreOffice and The Document Foundation. SUSE is looking forward to the future contributions of IBM and potentially others into this new ASF incubator project, but would certainly have liked to see such contributions go directly to LibreOffice. We will follow the incubation process very closely to understand future opportunities and possibilities which can improve our offerings for our users and customers.”

If you been following the development of LibreOffice through their announce mailing list, that’s over now. The foundation has decided to only announce stable / final releases on that general list from now on. Developmental releases will be announced on a few lists used primarily by developers. They said this is to avoid having users trying to use developmental releases in production environments. It’s doubtful very few actually risked critical work environments and trying to limit the use of developmental releases could possibly result in fewer bug reports. Time will tell.


Linux and Open Source software is rarely boring and the office suite sector has certainly offered its share of drama over the last year or so. And it hasn’t let up yet. Many pundits think Oracle’s contribution of OpenOffice to Apache will certainly benefit users. Apache is a well respected organization and with IBM and some distributions expected to contribute, many think OpenOffice will likely see continued development – giving users an option that was largely considered gone a few months ago. (This is assuming Apache officially accepts the project as predicted.)

On the other hand, LibreOffice has taken off like wildfire. Developers and contributors continue to flock to LibreOffice’s corner and distributions are switching left and right. Under the community-contribution model, new features and code improvements are being integrated at an amazingly rapid pace. Again, this is all the better for users.

So, just about anyway you look at, the ordinary everyday Linux user is the benefactor of all this code shuffling. It’s exciting to watch as well. The next few months will be especially interesting as we begin to see how Apache Office progresses and if the Apache license will end up attracting more developers than LibreOffice’s LGPL.


Categories: GENERAL

FOSS is Fun: A Testing Time

July 2, 2011 Leave a comment

By : Kenneth Gonsalves

First, the sales team meets the client, and promises him anything whatsoever—as long as they get the order. Then the payment schedule is set up, and a hefty advance is taken. Next, the folks in design move in—they may or may not meet the client, but they produce a huge number of specs, graphs, diagrams, etc. Again, the client may or may not get to see them. Then, it’s over to ‘Production’. Here, the application is chopped up into bits, and handed over to various teams—in such a way that no team gets an overview of the whole application.

Soon, the coding starts. Each coder is given a little bit to do, while all coders are given commit rights. Since the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, a lot of the code is duplicated—or the same functionality is implemented in several different ways, in the same application. At this stage, no attempt is made to check if the various parts work together. Peer review—that is, one coder criticising the work of another—is never done; it is seen as an insult. Then the pieces of code are all sent to an ‘integrator’, who is the most highly paid person in the project. He performs some magic to make everything work together.

The application then goes to the testing group. Testing is something everyone hates to do. If those in this department find bugs and flaws, it goes back to the integrator to be resolved. Finally, the application goes to the service and support team, who installs it for the customer. This is perhaps six months to a year after the order was placed. The customer’s business needs would have changed by then, but since the money has been paid, the client silently accepts what is delivered. The customer then does some testing (a task usually assigned to the vendor’s support team, who hasn’t a clue as to what is happening, as the production team that originally worked on the application, has moved on, elsewhere). So the customer either accepts and makes the best of what’s been delivered or ends up spending more money to fix/modify things that should not have been broken in the first place. Although this sounds crazy, apparently this is how the software industry works.

Open source development follows a totally different path. For one, the customer is pulled in as a contributor to development. The application runs from, practically, day one; the customer sees the application in all stages of development, and is encouraged to play with it by entering real data. The developers see the whole application at all times, and hence code is not duplicated, nor is the same thing done differently in different parts. Peer review of code is encouraged, everyone improves, no one takes offence. So when the customers actually get the application, they are familiar with it, and find that they’ve got what they wanted. And it works.

So what about testing? Testing is the fun part of development—and the developers write the tests. The mantra is: “First write your tests, then write the code. As you keep writing the code, run your tests. When all tests pass, stop writing code.” Of course, it does not work in such a linear fashion. One usually writes some proof-of-concept code at first, then tests it; this is followed by more code, then more tests. When the developer is also the tester, bugs and problems tend to vanish. And when the customer is playing with the application using real data, functionality is also ensured.

Of course, to really understand and use this model, one has to view an application as an incrementally growing and evolving process—not something to be ‘produced’ and delivered when complete. Software is never final or complete


Categories: GENERAL

Ubuntu 11.04, Unity Released to Mixed Reactions

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Ubuntu 11.04 was released on April 28 with a brand new interface and a couple default application changes. But all the talk is about Unity, that brand new interface. As one might predict, reactions are all over the spectrum.

The Unity interface has taken design cues from popular mobile systems with the focus being on saving screen space and making everything readily accessible from within that limited space. It appears designers were shooting for easy and beautiful, but some users are finding adjustment during these early days a bit challenging.

Unity consists of several significant changes to the traditional desktop layout. Unity consists of three main parts: Dash, Launcher, and Top Panel. Dash has replaced the traditional menu system with a window of icons that launch applications or places. The Launcher is the dock-looking element on the left side of the screen where running apps are represented. The Top Panel is the home of some applet indicators but its main function is work as the focused application’s menu or main toolbar.

These Mac-like elements are causing some controversy. Some really like the new desktop while others find it very awkward and yet others are neither impressed or put off. There have been dozens of postings about Ubuntu’s new Unity and they’ve been all over the map.

For example:

Ivor O’Connor said, “Ubuntu seems to be run by kiddies more interested in blinding you with eye-candy than allowing you to be productive.”

Ethan C. Nobles said, “Unity is, in essence, a strip of icons that sits mockingly on the left side of the screen and makes running and switching between applications very clumsy. It’s buggy, too.”

“I find Unity to be suffocating and unnecessary. For me it adds little value and seems to be in the way most of the time; so I would definitely not use Ubuntu 11.04 as one of my regular distros. I tried to like it but I just couldn’t,” said Jim Lynch.

Of course the reviews aren’t all bad:

“I have to say that a few months of using Unity leaves me loving it. There’s no desktop out there – not Windows, KDE or even OS X – that feels this well integrated and consistent.” That is from Justin Pot.

A blogger on identified as Zenobia said, “Unity was a like a breeze of fresh air. I was quite excited with the changes. I love the dash in Unity.”

“I like the changes a lot, because the desktop environment gets out of the way when I am using an application, but the launcher and application chooser is there if and when I want them,” said Zeth.

Then you have those in middle of the road:

“After a bit of work, I’m enjoying my new Ubuntu with Unity. I don’t think it’s better than the previous Ubuntu, but it looks nice; it’s visually appealing and fast. But in my opinion, not as easy to use for those familiar with Ubuntu/Linux.” This was posted on utherpendragonfly.wordpress.com.

“This is not a disaster like the KDE 4 release was. Ubuntu 11.04 is really the culmination of what Canonical have been doing for the past 6 (or so) years: it’s generally slick, it makes bold and well thought out choices, and it doesn’t get in your way,” was found on flavor8.com.

Rob Williams said, “Unity impressed me a lot more than I expected it to. After some use, that all becomes easier to get used to, but I don’t think it’ll ever feel like it’s the “best” way to do things. The simple fact is that it’ll require more steps than what we’re used to.”

*****One thing to note about most of the reviews is that few were entirely negative or positive. Most mention some good things and bad things. Again, like the thesis of this article, feelings were mixed. Another noticeable trend is that there were more negative than positive posts, but that’s probably to be expected given human nature.

More evidence of this can be found in a recent poll at tuxmachines.org. Never has a poll been so closely voted:

How’s Ubuntu 11.04? Percentage Great! 14%Good 13%Okay 13% Not So Good 15%Awful! 11%Who Cares? 35%Total Votes679

Work-flow isn’t the only consideration. There have been significant bugs reported as well. The most prominent was the installer partition selection bug. This prevented those with partitioned drives to choose which partition to install upon.

This release may have been a real departure for Ubuntu and its developers, but users are not all universally pleased. Some are and some aren’t. So, if you were waiting for the reviews to help you decide, you’re out of luck. This is one you’ll have to test and decide for yourself.


Categories: GENERAL

Ebook Publishing Using Linux Tools

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

<!– how’d this get in here?



Digital books, aka “ebooks” are going to change the publishing world just as iTunes and digital music have changed the music industry.  At the moment, Amazon’s Kindle seems to be the biggest fish in the pond.  While the actual numbers are fuzzy, Amazon’s Kindle appears to be driving ebook growth, as suggested by this article.

Recent news points to authors making a dramatic shift from traditional publishing houses to self-publishing, as pointed out in this article that describes why Barry Eisler turned down a $500,000 deal from a mainstream publisher, choosing instead to self-publish.  This particular article was in fact my own tipping point: I had written a science fiction novel 30 years ago that I was unable to get any of the publishing houses interested in at the time.  I thought to myself, “Why not?”  So I dusted off the old digital manuscript, completely rewrote the story, and recently published it on Amazon’s Kindle publishing site.  BTW, for more info on how the original digital manuscript migrated from machine to machine over that thirty year period, see the Author’s Note on the home page for my novel, Second Cousins.

As a long-time hard-core Linux user, I thought that some of you other Linux folks might be interested in how to write and publish a Kindle ebook using only Linux tools.  Before I give the the list of required software for publishing a Kindle ebook using Linux (it’s a short list), I want to point out there there isn’t any good single “Howto” guide that I’ve been able to find that describes the best way publish a Kindle ebook.  There are a whole bunch of references that describe part of the process, like this one for example that describes how to create an NCX file that will enable live table of contents navigation on the Kindle.  I spent a lot of time diddling with XML and OPF (Open Packaging Format) files before deciding that this was not the way to go.

Likewise, some of the Kindle HowTo references out there suggest writing your book using an html editor, defining bookmarks and tags to specify the table of contents, cover, and start page  in such a way that the Kindle device will recognize them. Again, wrong approach, IMO.  When I write, I want to focus on the story, not the software.

Then I found The Answer: this.  An OpenOffice template specifically designed to support publishing Kindle ebooks.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the only software you need to publish a Kindle ebook on Amazon.  If you follow the simple Youtube video instructions for using this template, you can directly upload the .doc file generated by the template to the Amazon Kindle publishing site.  No muss, no fuss.  This file contains all the tags and bookmarks necessary for a Kindle device or one of the free Kindle reading apps to be able to render the cover, table of contents, and book contents correctly.  Further, the OpenOffice Kindle template formats your text such that you see your book as it will appear when viewed on the Kindle.

Considering the amount of time I save by using this template, the nominal fee charged by its developer is well worth it for me. However, if you really do want to write your book in html, and create the ancillary NCX and OPF files, you can do this and then create an uploadable Kindle ebook file using the free Kindlegen app from Amazon.  But seriously, why would you want to?


Categories: GENERAL


May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Free and open-source software (F/OSS, FOSS) or free/libre/open-source software (FLOSS) is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporations.

In the context of free and open-source software, free refers to the freedom to copy and re-use the software, rather than to the price of the software. The Free Software Foundation, an organization that advocates the free software model, suggests that, to understand the concept, one should “think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer”.

FOSS is an inclusive term that covers both free software and open source software, which despite describing similar development models, have differing cultures and philosophies.Free software focuses on the philosophical freedoms it gives to users, whereas open source software focuses on the perceived strengths of its peer-to-peer development model. FOSS is a term that can be used without particular bias towards either political approach.

Free software licences and open source licenses are used by many software packages. While the licenses themselves are in most cases the same, the two terms grew out of different philosophies and are often used to signify different distribution methodologies.


Categories: GENERAL

Talking Point: Overlapping Windows

May 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Back in the 80s, a GUI paradigm called WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pointer) began to establish itself as the new way in which most people interacted with computers. When it comes to one of the most significant elements of that system, overlapping windows, I’m beginning to wonder, has it had its day?

One of few things that Microsoft can claim to have developed from scratch is an efficient method of application switching called the taskbar, although it’s now in the process of being superseded on most GUIs by the application dock. One side-effect of that form of program management is that it doesn’t penalize the user for running applications fullscreen, and it therefore encourages it. You can glean some ideas about modern user behavior by observing that, in the most popular WM themes and skins, the areas of the window that are used for resizing have almost disappeared. The truth is, if you use Gnome or KDE, you probably run most of your apps fullscreen, most of the time.

In the future, I think that overlapping windows will be seen as a power user’s feature, rather like the command line. The non-expert computer user has little use for windows that don’t encompass the entire screen, and novice users find resizable, overlapping windows confusing. There are some operations, such as dragging and dropping of file icons, that benefit from overlapping windows, but again, this is a feature that is mostly used by experts.

PDAs and other small computers have long pioneered the techniques needed to make multiple running programs individually accessible. Running everything fullscreen on a full-sized device does, however, present a few drawbacks. For one thing, text can be difficult to read when spread out over large areas on modern widescreen monitors. Personally, I wouldn’t fancy word processing on a 24” widescreen monitor with the main window maximized. I think that multi-column websites give us some clues as to what a desktop of the future might look like.

There are probably two solutions that we are going to see dominate over the next few years.

Firstly, tiled window management, of a sort that has existed for many years on Linux, may finally break through to the mainstream. Tiling has the advantage that it does away with the complexities and inefficiencies of overlapping windows while still allowing the user to view more than one window at once. It’s worth noting that KDE SC 4.5 introduced tiling support.

The wmii window manager. Could this be a glimpse into the future?

Secondly, it’s possible that applications will begin to make use of more panes within a main window. For example, on a widescreen monitor, it’s quite convenient to leave the Firefox sidebar open at all times. I wonder if other subwindows could be enabled by default, perhaps piping in pertinent information? Some tiled window managers can simulate this approach, to an extent, by allowing you to associate certain applications together into groups.

Back in the mid-90s, Apple and IBM collaborated on an application framework called OpenDoc. The idea behind OpenDoc was that application components could be freely embedded into host applications. So, for example, if you clicked on a image in your word processor, a toolbar might appear around it, courtesy of Adobe Photoshop. Although the tech did appear in the form of some proof of concept applications that shipped with OS/2, it was ultimately abandoned. However, another framework such as that one could solve some of the problems of efficient use of screen resources in an intuitive manner without resorting to traditional overlapping windows.

LyX 2.0 is an application that can pack quite a lot into its main window. Perhaps this will be the norm in the future?

Of the tiled WMs I’ve seen, none of them seem to be very easy for the newcomer to use. So the question is, is anyone actually using these things on a day to day basis?


Categories: GENERAL