There’s a discussion in the comments section of the Using VirtualBox post which brings up the question of how screenshots should be handled in the Handbook. What’s your opinion? Do you find it useful if:
- the screenshot shows the default values (what the user sees when they first access a menu or screen)
- the screenshot shows the desired value (e.g. what the users sees after they make the demonstrated configuration change)
- the screenshot includes a drop down menu selected (e.g. so the user sees some possible selection values)
While we’re on the topic of screenshots, do you find an image for each possible screen and/or configuration within a screen to be helpful or distracting? Is it useful to describe in detail every possible configuration option in a particular screen, or is that distracting?
Please leave your comments and suggestions. They will help greatly in fleshing out a design that is useful to PC-BSD users (our ultimate goal for the Handbook).
The Using VirtualBox section of the Handbook has been updated.
Leave a comment if you see anything amiss or want some more content added to this section e.g. it doesn’t answer a scenario that you have encountered using VirtualBox to install PC-BSD.
The latest version of Bordeaux is now available. Bordeaux is inexpensive software that allows you to run Windows applications on a non-Windows system such as PC-BSD. This can be handy if you have recently migrated to PC-BSD and still need to use applications that you purchased for Windows or if you have a Windows application that you need to use for work or school. You can learn more about Bordeaux at their website.
You’ll find Bourdeaux in Software Manager–however, you’ll have to click on the link in order to purchase, download, and install the PBI.
LinuxBSDos.com has a review of PC-BSD 8.1. The review begins with:
PC-BSD 8.1 was released on July 20, 2010, roughly five months after version 8.0 was released. Some of the suggestions made in the review of PC-BSD 8.0 have been carried out in this latest release. In fact, the changes were made within one month of that review being published. It is an encouraging example of how some distro developers respond to suggestions (or critical reviews).
While I still think that PC-BSD is not yet ready for the masses, it is coming along very well. This review will offer another detailed look at some of the good and bad sides of this FreeBSD-based distribution, with the attendant recommendations and suggestions for improvement.
Let me begin by looking at the bright side of this distribution. And as always, it has to start with the …
Installation: PC-BSD’s installer is one of the most intuitive graphical installers available on any distribution – Linux or BSD. It is both simple and fully featured. It is not perfect, does not have some of the bells and whistles of Anaconda, the Fedora installer, but it is a lot better than the Ubuntu and Mandriva installers. One aspect of the PC-BSD installer that I especially favor, is that at every step, there is a Back and an Abort button.
You can read the complete review here.
How to do so has been a common topic on the #pcbsd Freenode IRC channel. We’ve provided two ways for doing so and updated the Handbook as follows:
Want to request a specific application to be made available in PBI format? This is an excellent way to let PBI developers know which applications are most useful to PC-BSD users. Before requesting a PBI, please do the following:
- check in Software Manager to see if a PBI already exists. If one does but you want to request a more recent version, please say so in your request.
- search at Freshports to see if there is an existing FreeBSD package as it is much easier and quicker to make a PBI from an existing package. If a package does not already exist, please say so in your request.
- check to see if a request has already been made in the PBI Requests Forum or PBI-dev Mailing list.
You can make your request one of two ways:
Whatever method you choose, please include the name of the PBI you are requesting in the thread name or email subject line. This way it is easy for PBI developers and other PC-BSD users to know which applications have already been requested.
Once a PBI developer has made a new PBI, the request will be removed from the PBI Requests Forum. Please note that it takes anywhere from 2–7 days for a new PBI to show up in Software Manager as it needs to be built and tested to make sure everything works.
If you wish to help test the resulting PBI before it has been approved, you may do so at the sites below:
- PC-BSD 7.x — i386
- PC-BSD 7.x — amd64
- PC-BSD 8.x — i386
- PC-BSD 8.x — amd64
- PC-BSD 9.x — i386
- PC-BSD 9.x — amd64
If you wish to be notified whenever a new PBI is added or an existing one is upgraded to a newer version, subscribe to the Latest PBI RSS feed.
The following PBIs were added this week and are available for installation in Software Manager:
- Workrave: Workrave is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit. These can be customized and it stops the counter when you stop. The program can be run distributed on one or more PCs. All connected PCs share the same timing information. When you switch computers, you will still be asked to pause on time.
- Geany: Geany is a small and lightweight integrated development environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies on other packages. Another goal was to be as independent as possible from a special Desktop Environment like KDE or GNOME.
- R: R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display. It includes an effective data handling and storage facility, a suite of operators for calculations on arrays, in particular matrices, a large, coherent, integrated collection of intermediate tools for data analysis, graphical facilities for data analysis and display either on-screen or on hardcopy, and a well-developed, simple and effective programming language which includes conditionals, loops, user-defined recursive functions and input and output facilities.
Many thanks to Jesse Smith and Sam Lin for taking the time to create these PBIs!