8 great apps for the Chromebook

Also in today’s open source roundup: Should you choose rolling releases or point releases in Linux distros? And Windows users are dumping Microsoft’s browser for Chrome

Samsung Chromebook Pro
Samsung

8 great apps for the Chromebook

Many people have discovered that a Chromebook can be a terrific replacement for a regular desktop or laptop computer. But what apps can you get to replace your favorite desktop apps? A writer at Make Use Of has a helpful list of 8 useful apps for the Chromebook.

Joel Lee reports for Make Use Of:

If you’re reading this as someone who’s thinking of switching to Chromebook but hasn’t yet, here’s what I think: Chromebooks fall short for specialized business or creative work, but they’re perfect for everyday tasks like music, taking notes, surfing the web, documents and spreadsheets, etc. Check out the following apps to see if your needs can be fulfilled with a Chromebook.

1. Playing Music: Enjoy

2. Chat: All-in-One Messenger

3. Notes and To-Dos: Knotes

4. Text Editing: Caret

5. Distraction-Free Writing: Writer

6. Image Editing: Pixlr

7. Torrenting: JSTorrent ($2.99)

8. Screen Capture: Clipular

More at Make Use Of

Linux distros: Point releases or rolling releases?

Linux distributions offer a wide range of choices, including rolling releases or point releases. But which one is better? Does it make more sense to use a rolling release or a point release on your computer?

A writer at ZDNet looks at the pros and cons of rolling releases and point releases in Linux distributions.

J.A. Watson reports for ZDNet:

My recent experiences with installing a number of different Linux distributions on a new ASUS notebook have provided an interesting illustration of the differences between "rolling release" and "point release" distributions. I would like to go into a bit more detail about that here.

First, for those who might not be familiar with the two release models, I will explain each of them -- and to avoid boring most others, I will keep the descriptions very brief.

A Linux rolling release distribution is continuously updated in all areas of the operating system, including the Linux kernel, the desktop environment, all utilities and all applications. The distribution of installation images serves only as a starting point for a new system - they are usually called "roll-up" releases because they simply consolidate all of the latest updates into a new image, but they don't contain anything that would not be included in an up-to-date installed system. The installation images are generally only updated when the difference between the current image and the latest updated state becomes so large that making a fresh installation and then updating it becomes too large or time consuming.

A point release distribution puts out installation images on some sort of a fixed schedule, typically something like every six months, nine months or even annually. Each such release is identified by a specific name, which usually includes either the date or sequence number of the release. In most cases, between the major releases only security bug fixes and updates are made to the Linux kernel and desktop environment, but policies on utilities and applications vary between distributions. For example, most point release distributions continue to release new versions of Firefox.

More at ZDNet

Folks in the Linux subreddit shared their thoughts about rolling releases versus point releases in a recent thread:

Deusmetallum: “I prefer point releases, personally. Every time I've tried a rolling release, there's always been something I haven't been able to get working because the app hasn't been able to keep up with the distro's progress.

Fair play to those that want to take the time to make their rolling release distro work for them, but I like to install Fedora and go.”

Necheffa: “I use both.

Gentoo on my desktop and file server. Debian testing on my laptop. Debian stable on my other servers.”

F-0X: “I'm a very point-release guy. I like things stable, and constant. Feel no need at all to upgrade to the latest whatever, I only ever install security updates.”

LastFireTruck: “Until the 6 month, 9 month or 2 year interim is up and it's time to do a release upgrade, at which point stability and newbie-friendliness go right out the window. And anybody you helped with the install calls up to ask for hand-holding through the dicey upgrade.”

Zissue: “I greatly prefer rolling-release distributions. The two that I use pretty much everywhere are Gentoo (my primary) and Arch (for work, where I don't want to spend the time compiling).

There are definitely pros to using point-release distributions though, especially in an environment where homogeneity and stability are favoured over new features and possible security backporting (e.g. a private lab for a build environment).”

TheRed: “Point release, in particular Mint Cinnamon.”

Ikbeneenheld: “The problem with point releases is often upgrading to another point release.”

More at Reddit

Windows users are dumping Microsoft’s browser for Chrome

Microsoft has been losing users when it comes to its built-in web browser, and those users have been gravitating to Google’s Chrome browser.

Erick Frederiksen reports for TechnoBuffalo:

While we’ve watched those included browsers’ market shares falling, though, Google Chrome’s has been rising and is now the world’s most-used browser. In the same period, Chrome’s share jumped from 25 percent to 59.5 percent.

Network World suggests that Microsoft’s substantial drop in percentage points is a result of the company retiring Internet Explorer versions 9 and 10 last year, forcing an upgrade to IE11.

That call for retirement is good for the health of the internet overall, as outdated browsers start to cause more problems by continuing to exist than upgrading would.

More at TechnoBuffalo

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