May
25

Adobe Flash Plugin Update

An update to Adobe Flash is now available in the System Updates tab of Software Manager. The update addresses the security vulnerabilities described here. After applying the update, simply restart any open web browsers so that they will use the new version of flash.

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May
23

New PBI: Pan

The following PBI is now available in Software Manager:

Pan: Pan is a newsreader, loosely based on Agent and Gravity, which attempts to be pleasant to use for new and advanced users alike. It has all the typical features found in newsreaders, and also supports offline reading, multiple connections, and a number of features for power users and alt.binaries fans.

Thanks to Jesse Smith for creating this PBI and to bsdaddict for suggesting it.

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May
19

Hubble and Fibonacci Wallpaper Now Available on PC-BSD Artwork Page

A PC-BSD user asked on IRC the other day if it was possible to download PC-BSD wallpapers from the website. The Fibonacci and Hubble wallpapers have been added to the Wallpaper section of theArtwork page.

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May
14

Interview with Kris Moore Published in PC Perspective

John Davis recently interviewed Kris Moore for PC Perspective. In the interview they discuss PC-BSD’s hardware support, performance, gaming, and the future of PC-BSD. The full interview is available here.

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May
13

New Danish Social Group on PC-BSD Forums

Henrik Eismark has created a Danish social group on the PC-BSD forums. If you are a Dane who uses PC-BSD, check it out and help to spread the word so that it becomes a useful resource for networking with other Danish PC-BSD users. It looks like he is also hoping to get some help in translating the Guide to Danish.

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May
10

Interview on PC-BSD in DistroWatch

This week’s issue of Distrowatch has an interview by Jesse Smith on design elements (think artwork, wallpaper, icons, etc.). He interviews Jenny Rosenberg and James Nixon from the PC-BSD and FreeNAS projects. It’s great to see this aspect of an open source project getting some attention! The introduction to the article is pasted here; you’ll find the full interview here.

Open source projects are often started and run by coders. The new feature lists that accompany releases usually talk about technical changes and advancements. This may seem natural until we consider that many of our first impressions of a project are not based upon its technical capabilities. Rather, most of our early observations of a product, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, will revolve around things like colours, layout and font. What does the distribution’s website look like, is it easy to navigate, how big is the project’s ISO, is the boot menu intuitive, is the loading screen text or graphical, how long does it take to boot, is it easy to find options on the login screen, is the wallpaper attractive, how hard is it to find what I want on the application menu? Most of the preceding questions deal with design and aesthetics rather than technical concerns. Technical enthusiasts tend to downplay the role colours and placement have in our lives, preferring to focus on behind-the-scenes capabilities, but it’s hard to deny white text on a fuzzy background, white text on a clear background and tiny black text on a white background will invoke different feelings.

With this in mind, it might seem odd that many of us can name half a dozen or more developers involved in major open source projects, but most of us probably can’t come up with a name to associate with our desktop background, icons or menu layout. We often see raging debates on the best colour theme for a distro, whether window buttons should be on the left, the right or not even exist, and what font is ideal for avoiding eye strain, but we rarely think about the people who put those touches into our operating systems. In an effort to shine a spotlight on the designers who make using computers a more pleasant experience I got in touch with Jenny Rosenberg and James Nixon, who work for iXsystems (a major sponsor of several BSD projects, including PD-BSD and FreeNAS), and asked them to tell us about the work they do.

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