Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04Jaunty Jackalope Reviewed by Gandalfdjh

Gandalfdjh posted this in the TechtalkRadio Forum and thought we would share it here for those looking for Information on Ubuntu 9.04 Janunty Jackalope

Ubuntu 9.04Jaunty Jackalope

Vital Stats:
Distro base - DebianPackaging - .deb (Managed by the mighty Apt)
Linux Kernel - 2.6.28-11-generic
Default Desktop - Gnome 2.26.1
Installer: Ubiquity (the Ubuntu installer)

Several installation images of Ubuntu 9.04 are available for x86 and x64 processors download : Desktop (live system with graphical installer), Server and Alternate install (text-based installer). The Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) variation offers an image of the UNR for installing the release candidate on netbooks from a USB flash drive.

The install screens probably took less than a minute for each screen. After about 20mins the progress bar was complete and I was ready to reboot into Jaunty

Canonical hardware support has been expanded with 9.04.

Ubuntu 9.04 offers a 30 per cent faster boot process than the previous versions.

New Eye Candy Notifications:

One of the new features that’s caused a lot of interest in Jaunty is the new notification system.

Change has been made to the new notification system that uniformly displays system messages in the top right corner of the desktop. Now the update tool automatically starts pending software updates after one week, rather than just indicating updates are available and waiting for the user to start the update process. Pending security updates will notify users on a daily basis.

Installing software is quick and simple with the Add/Remove tool and even novice users would find this simple; once you get over the Windows mindset and realise that Add/Remove will actually add software and not just remove it like XP. There are some minor changes to the default Compiz 3D desktop set up, the effects seem more subtle. Switching workspaces no longer slides the whole screen to one side, but only the application windows. I guess the developers felt this was more elegant.

Why does Ubuntu include things like Pulse Audio and Compiz, but not the actual tools required to configure them. You have to install CCFM yourself if you want to tweak the 3D effects beyond the simple options in the administration tools.

Was impressed with Jaunty, it’s a very solid release. There have been a lot of minor improvements and tweaks. The new notification system looks good. There have also been some major performance improvements under the hood. On the laptop I used it would boot up and shut down a hell of a lot quicker.

Recommendation: Try it and you will like it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

SteelSeries headsets

We at TechtalkRadio have had the great pleasure of reviewing headphones from SteelSeries, and I do mean "pleasure"...


The first set I tried was the SteelSeries 3H.

This is an entry-level product for gamers that is a foldable/collapsible, lightweight gaming headset designed for easy transport.

10 - 27.000 Hz frequency response
7.1 virtual surround sound
The "closed" headphones are optimized for specific gaming sounds like: gunfire, weapon reloads, footsteps, and other crucial sounds...

Retractable, non-directional microphone system
50 - 18.000 Hz frequency response
6.5 foot cable

The cord comes out of the right headphone. On the cord there is an "On/Off" switch for the headset, a mute switch, and "volume up" and "volume down" switches.


The SteelSeries 5H v2 USB headset is designed for gamers with onboard soundcards, and/or gamers who regularly find themselves playing at third party computers.

The "open", full-size, ear cushions fit around ears and are very comfortable. The headphones can be dismantled into three separate parts (so they can fit into a bag or a carrying case).

"...This headset was developed and optimized specifically for in-game sound frequencies found in the most popular shooters - making in-game sounds like footsteps, alerts and gunfire especially clear. You will be able to hear and pinpoint the location of your can boost and lower frequencies of your own choosing, allowing optimization..."

- Frequency response: 16 - 28.000 Hz
- Cable length: 10 feet
- Connectors: 1/8"

"...Our...soundcard...was designed for gamers who either use systems with (often crappy) on-board soundcards or players who travel a lot."

"The soundcard features a processor which frees up CPU power...More free CPU power equals more CPU power for your game application..."
- USB soundcard with 7.1 virtual surround
- Equalizer: 12 channels
- Operating systems: Win XP/Vista/Win 2000/Win 98/Win ME/Mac OS

- Pull-out microphone system (it is much easier to grab and extend than the 3H...)
- Frequency response: 75 - 16.000 Hz
- Pick up pattern: Uni-directional

There is a seven foot extension cord for both the headphones and the microphone.

The SteelSeries USB Soundcard software provides options for:
7.1 virtual surround sound...
microphone boost...
environments (padded cell, auditorium, cave, arena, hanger, hallway, drugged, dizzy, psychotic, and more)...
an equalizer...
and karaoke functionality (with vocal cancellation).


The SteelSeries Siberia USB Headset was designed and...

"...developed in cooperation with professional gamers to ensure that the soundscape, specifications and comfort is suitable for long gaming sessions. But the SteelSeries Siberia USB full-size headset is also designed for multi-functionality.

"This headset is bundled with a USB soundcard featuring virtual 7.1 surround, extremely suitable for gaming, music and movies...The 12 channel equalizer allows for tweaking to personal preferences, while the built-in effects processor can provide ambiance and other effects.

"...this product has been designed so gamers can use it with their favorite MP3-player, handheld gaming device or practically any other kind of portable digital device.

"...the headset features a separate microphone (and a separate soundcard)...and comes with an additional extra long cord for use with stationary computers."

The choice of colors are black and white.

- Frequency response: 18 - 28.000 Hz
- Impedance: 40 Ohm
- SPL@1kHz, 1V rms: 99 - 104 dB
- Jack: 1/8" (a 1/4" converter is included)
- Cable length: 9 feet (with extension cord)

I measured the cable coming from the headphones to be 3 feet long. (The extension cord is 6 feet long.)

The headphones use a suspension design to sit on your head. Because I have an obscenely large afro...unless I restrain my hair by tying it in a ponytail...I put the headphones on, and then take my hair out of the headphones.

- Frequency response: 80 - 15.000 Hz
- Impedance: 2K Ohm
- Pick-up pattern: Uni-directional
- Sensitivity (1V/P@1 kHz): -38 dB

The microphone cord is 9.5 feet long (115 inches), and can be connected alongside of the headphone extension cord with the clips that are on the extension cord. There is an "on/off" switch on the microphone. It has a clip so you can attach it to clothing, or the supplied "screen hanger" (which can be attached to a surface/monitor with Velcro...which is also supplied).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Windows 7 available October 23

Per Pocket-lint:

In September, the Acer Z5600 will be in stores...with Windows 7.

Acer has confirmed that Windows 7 will be available October 23.

And, any Vista-based models purchased 30 days prior to October 23 will be eligible for a free upgrade.