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Linux Mint 18 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable to use.


Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" Cinnamon Edition

Cinnamon 3.0

Linux Mint 18 features the latest Cinnamon 3.0. Here's a video (see top) showing some of its new features:

Thanks to Linux Scoop for making this video.

X-Apps

A new project called "X-Apps" was started and its goal is to produce generic applications for traditional GTK desktop environments.

The idea behind this project is to replace applications which no longer integrate properly outside of a particular environment (this is the case for a growing number of GNOME applications) and to give our desktop environments the same set of core applications, so that each change, each new feature being developed, each little improvement made in one of them will benefit not just one environment, but all of them.

The core ideas for X-Apps are:

  • To use modern toolkits and technologies (GTK3 for HiDPI support, gsettings etc..)
  • To use traditional user interfaces (titlebars, menubars)
  • To work everywhere (to be generic, desktop-agnostic and distro-agnostic)
  • To provide the functionality users already enjoy (or enjoyed in the past for distributions which already lost some functionality)
  • To be backward-compatible (in order to work on as many distributions as possible)

Within Linux Mint, you won't need to adapt to X-Apps, because in many cases, they're very similar or exactly the same as the applications you were already using. For instance, Totem 3.18 (which is available in the Linux Mint 18 repositories) is radically different than Totem 3.10 which shipped with Linux Mint 17, but Xplayer 1.0 (which is the default media player in Linux Mint 18) is exactly the same. The goal of the X-Apps is not to reinvent the wheel. Quite the opposite in fact, it's to guarantee the maintenance of applications we already enjoyed and to steer their development in a direction that benefits multiple desktop environments.

Xed is based on Pluma and acts as the default text editor.


Starting a new text file in Xed

Xviewer is based on Eye of GNOME and acts as the default image viewer.


Viewing a picture in Xviewer

Xreader is based on Atril and acts as the default document and PDF reader.


Reading a magazine in Xreader

Xplayer is based on Totem and acts as the default media player for music and videos.


Watching a music video in Xplayer

Pix is based on gThumb, which is an application to organize your photos.


Organizing pictures in Pix

Note that the GNOME apps, MATE apps and Xfce apps these X-Apps replace are still available in the repositories. You can install them side-to-side to X-Apps and compare them to decide which ones you like best. X-Apps do integrate better however with your environment, not only in obvious ways (with traditional interface) but also in the way they support desktop environments.

Update Manager

The update manager received many improvements, both visual and under the hood.

The main screen and the preferences screen now use stack widgets and subtle animations, and better support was given for alternative themes (toolbar icons are now compatible with dark themes, application and status icons are now themeable and dimmed text is now rendered with dynamic colors).

Two new settings were added to let you see and select kernel updates. Even though these aren’t really updates, but the availability of packages for newer kernels, the manager is now able to detect them and to present them for installation to you as a traditional update. These are level 5 updates but the new settings let you configure them independently.


Kernel updates can be configured independently and appear as traditional updates

The kernel selection window was completely redesigned and is now preceded with an information screen which explains what kernels are, how to select them at boot time and what happens to DKMS modules when multiple kernels are installed.

Linux Mint no longer ships lists of fixes and lists of regressions specific to particular kernels. With so many kernel revisions, so many fixes and so many regressions happening sometimes on a daily basis, this information was quickly outdated. Instead, it was replaced with links to relevant sources of information. For instance, if you select a particular kernel you can now quickly access its changelog and see all the bug reports marked against it.


Kernel changelogs and bug reports are now quickly accessible

The update manager was already configurable but it wasn’t clear how to configure it, and why. In particular, the concepts of regressions, stability and security weren’t clearly explained. To raise awareness around these concepts and to show more information, a new screen is there to welcome you to the update manager and to ask you to select an update policy.


Choosing an update policy

This screen is complemented with a help section which explains what’s at play and what to consider when choosing a policy.

Although this screen is only showed once and its main purpose is to present information, it can also be used as a quick way to switch between sets of preferences and it can be launched from the Edit->Update Policy menu.

Mint-Y

In 2010, Linux Mint 10 introduced a beautiful metallic theme called "Mint-X". 6 years later trends have changed significantly. Many interfaces and websites changed their style to look more modern. 3D elements and gradients were replaced with simpler shapes, cleaner lines and plain colors.

To respond to this new trend, Linux Mint 18 introduces "Mint-Y", a brand new theme based on the very popular Arc theme from horst3180 and Sam Hewitt's beautiful set of Moka icons.

Mint-Y looks modern, clean and professional. It embraces the new trends, but without looking too "flat" or minimalistic.

There are three variations of the theme. One is light:


Mint-Y

Another one is dark:


Mint-Y-Dark

And the third one is a mix of light and dark, using light widgets but with dark titlebars/toolbars/menubars:


Mint-Y-Darker

Themeing is a very important aspect of the operating system, because for your experience to be comfortable, your computer doesn't just need to work well, it also needs to make you feel at home. With this in mind, Mint-Y will be given time to mature and it won't replace Mint-X, but complement it.

In Linux Mint 18, both Mint-X and Mint-Y are installed, and Mint-X is still the default theme.

Mint-Y is a work in progress and it will continue to change and to improve, with your feedback, after the Linux Mint 18 release.

System improvements

In 2007, Linux Mint 3.1 introduced the "apt" command, a handy shortcut to apt-get, aptitude, apt-cache and other commands related to package management, and since then this command was improved, slightly, release after release. In 2014, Debian came up with the same idea but implemented it differently. Although their "apt" command was missing some of the features we supported, it also introduced a few improvements. The Debian "apt" command made its way into Ubuntu and many tutorials now refer to it. In Linux Mint 18, "apt" continues to support all the features it previously had, but also now supports the syntax of the Debian "apt" and benefits from the improvements it introduced. Here is an overview of some of the changes:

  • "apt install" and "apt remove" now show progress output.
  • New commands were introduced to support Debian's syntax. "apt full-upgrade" does the same as "apt dist-upgrade", "apt edit-sources" the same as "apt sources" and "apt showhold" the same as "apt held".

The add-apt-repository command now supports the "--remove" argument, making it possible to remove PPAs from the command line.

Linux Mint 18 ships with Thermald, a daemon which monitors thermal sensors and prevent CPUs from overheating.

exFAT file systems are now supported out of the box.

Btrfs support is back and installed by default again.

Artwork improvements

The default theme used in the login screen received the following improvements:

  • To prevent passwords from being typed when no users are pre-selected (thus, when the login screen is waiting for a username to be typed or selected), no dialog is shown by default. Instead, the login screen suggests to select a user. Cases where usernames need to be typed (for instance for LDAP users) are still supported, but you need to press F1 before you can type on the keyboard.
  • Slight improvements were made in the way elements of the login screen appear on the screen, giving the theme extra polish and better quality.

Linux Mint 18 features a superb collection of backgrounds from Andy Fitzsimon, Helena Bartosova, David Cantrell, dking, Jeremy Hill, Jan Kaluza , Konstantin Leonov, Rene Reichenbach, and Sezgin Mendil.


An overview of some of the new backgrounds

Other improvements

HiDPI support is largely improved in Linux Mint 18. Firefox, all the XApps (Xed, Xviewer, Xreader, Xplayer, Pix) and most of the Mint apps (mintdesktop, mintsystem, mintwelcome, mintlocale, mintdrivers, mintnanny, mintstick, mint-common, mintupdate, mintbackup and mintupload) migrated to GTK3.

Popular applications such as Steam, Spotify, Dropbox or even Minecraft were added to the Software Manager and are now easier to install.

All editions now support OEM installations.

Gufw, the graphical firewall configuration tool, was added to the default software selection and is now installed by default.

Main components

Linux Mint 18 features Cinnamon 3.0, MDM 2.0, a Linux kernel 4.4 and an Ubuntu 16.04 package base.

LTS strategy

Linux Mint 18 will receive security updates until 2021.

Until 2018, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 18, making it trivial for people to upgrade.

Until 2018, the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one.

 

source: https://www.linuxmint.com/rel_sarah_cinnamon_whatsnew.php

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My door is broken. Not exactly mine, the house I stay in. So I asked my manager, in the evening by the way (not cool), to allow me wait for the promised welder to come and fix it. He/she is supposed to be paid by the management. Estate's management. sikai place ivi ivi. hehe..So, I kinda had the day for myself, to work as I waited for the welder and stuff. I did lotsa stuff, not optimal though.

Was lose.

So, 11am hits. I didn't want to lose my cool. I didn't. Wouldn't like to do it two days in a row. Yesterday was fierce. Was geared up for a fight. Not verbal. I don't do verbal. Physical.
[laugh here]
When I mean geared, I mean having shoe laces tight, a high-soled shoe(for height boost), track suit for flexibility and fitness....you get. I wanted a fight. I wanted a physical fight to settle something. I went to speak with a person who would trigger my cool and I knew it. That's why I visited the "said person", in that gear.

The said is waay taller than I, but that wasn't close to any of the reasons as to why I wouldn't whoop some ass. "said person's ofcourse". I watched the subject lose it, waiting for that bell like, "Start the war". ok, glorified fight.
I had all the reasons to be mad. I just needed to focus and hit all the right places and right. Not to do the right things, but to do things right. Contextualizing, fighting right. I got the damn skills. Aint kidding there. Si chocha maze...na usikam vita. :(
Oflate, I feel awesome. Physically mentally and freaking all. Whatever you fear I'm close to that may be. I need to take some measurement and see whether am getting taller or where the hell is all this courage and pysche for fights in the 21st century, especially for a developer, is coming from.
I'll visit some cool nurse I know. Hails from Meru. So, I explain what I feel sometimes in kimeru. Cool right? ndagitari ntina mirire mono,na ndigua ta njoka cii kiu....ok. back, she's cool. The nurse. She just irked me when she told me she missed me. You are not supposed to miss me[ not you, her], from her workplace. Hospital. Miss me away from there please. Trust me, I didn't give it a nod.

I'm upfront 80%

Back to 11am. Was to check  for the welder. A kitu 50's guy shows up, checks the door, recommends to bring down the whole door, so as to weld it better. I swear I din't break it intentionally. I didn't hang by it. I ok everything he says. I just want it fixed dammit!! Some people are to visit me. I don't want them to be hurt by my door and complicate my social circles( which am not good at, but I try).
The man goes to get the machine, and this is where am left in some murk.
No number, no way be in contact with the guy, just the office, which has proved to be slow enough to sort me out.

The clock hits 2pm.

By then, had already called my manager again, prolonged the period again, told him I'd to wait to the guy after he came, late, to check the "damages". (Thank God am not paying for this welding..cheap is expensive | kungoja nayo?!).
My manager is quite cool. Bad a55 server-admin too. He agreed.
I felt bad for me and my employer. There was work to be done. Was not at the office, this welder guy aint showing up..I finally decided to call the property manager, who says.."naona kama amenichezea akili..hachukui simu..nimepiga mara nne ivi.." bla bla bra...Hell!

The guy never shows up.

The property manager knows am not an easy guy. Nkakula blue ticks, nkachorea io stori.

I decide to pay a visit to my tailor after having the longest chat I've ever had with a maasai guy, proved to be funny, I'm funny, he laughed alot. I swear he wasn't laughing at me. We know each other. My tailor reminds me of my employer alot. There's a quote my employer once told us, Imma explain through my tailor.

My tailor understand me well. He never assumes stuff, like am not growing. He takes my measurements everytime I need a cloth. Trashes any other measurements he has on me, takes new one and uses them. Always appreciate growth and development however little. It's growth. Hail boss.

I appreciate that. He gives me "fitting" clothes. Usually I'm the one who comes up with design alterations and I like it. I'm notorious for saying no to clothes I don't like irrespective of how much time was consumed. I'm a hard person, am not good either. If you like cool people, am not that.

sorry.

My guy here, knows that. We both love good business. I give him money, he gives me product. Today, I sat longer for stories. I love kambas for no reason..!! This guy starts speaking java, c, c++, OOP and stuff...damn! I'm shocked! He tells me he builds software! used to. WTH is a developer doing with sewing machines? I didn't tell him much about how I love development or how I would save my laptop first if that house without a door were to burn or if the person I was to fight were to come and try to break it or fall on it from the weight of my uppercut with springy Js on me and so...I leave him and email to send a cv to our company and all that, I swear I laughed..not at him.

It was engaging.

I used my day to work and socialize. Now I know that my new friend won't be calling me mzito again, simply because he didn't know am patrick and works, or my pool 'friends' who don't mind me having whatever I have in my wallet.

Today wasn't my best. Was yesterday's upgrade though.

Live today. Avoid fights. If you have to fight, WIN...I mean Kick some Ass.

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ROLE TITLE

FRONT OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR.

SALARY BAND

C

DEPARTMENT

FANDA

LOCATION

Nairobi

Reports to

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

NO. OF DIRECT REPORTS

0

 

Role Summary

Organize and supervise all of the administrative activities that facilitate the smooth running of the office. Supports company operations by maintaining office systems. This role is responsible for the organization and coordination of office operations, procedures and resources to facilitate organizational effectiveness and efficiency. The incumbent will also be responsible for managing the front office and customer care duties.

 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Welcomes visitors by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or referring inquiries.

  • Update appointment calendars and schedule meetings/appointments.

  • Petty cash management.

  • Handling customer queries and directing them to the relevant party’s.

  • Build sustainable relationship of trust through open and interactive communication.

  • Provide accurate, valid and complete information by using the right methods/tools.

  • Keep records of customer interactions, process customer accounts and file documents.

  • Follow the right procedures, guidelines and policies while communicating courteously with customers by telephone, email, letter and face to face.

  • Resolves administrative problems by coordinating preparation of reports, analyzing data, and identifying solutions.

  • Maintains supplies inventory by checking stock to determine inventory level; anticipating needed supplies; placing and expediting orders for supplies; verifying receipt of supplies.

  • Maintains continuity among work teams by documenting and communicating actions, irregularities, and continuing needs.

  • Handling company logistics, staff travel, meeting preparation, car booking.

  • In charge of office cleanliness and preparation of office tea.

  • Any other duty as assigned.

Skills.

  • Excellent command of verbal and written business English.

  • Attention to details and problem solving.

  • Strong organization and planning skills.

  • Good presentation skills.

  • Good time management skills

  • Customer oriented and ability to adapt & respond to diverse culture.

Qualifications.

  • Diploma in Business Management.

  • Good knowledge of office software packages.

  • Clerical and accounting knowledge.

  • 2 years working experience in the same field.

  • A valid driver’s license is an added advantage.

send a mail to careers@gbc.co.ke

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Oracle recently lost its attempt to use patent and copyright law to force Google to pay US$9 billion for using parts of its Java computer language. Nine billion dollars isn’t chump change, not even for Google, but despite the verdict against Oracle, I’d say Google is not the only winner.

The dispute between the two internet giants was whether Google had needed Oracle’s permission to use computer code called the Java API. The API, and therefore the legal issue, relates to some pretty technical details about how computer programs work – how the instructions programmers write are followed on different hardware devices and different software operating systems.

The outcome of the case, decided in parts by a judge, an appeals court and a jury, was that Google’s use of computer code didn’t violate Oracle’s patents, and that Oracle could copyright its code. However, the jury found that Google’s use did not violate the copyright restrictions because it significantly expanded on the existing copyrighted materials, an exception in law called “fair use.”

It is not only a victory for Google, which has done nothing wrong and need not pay Oracle any money. Programmers remain allowed to use a very popular programming language without fear of crippling legal penalties – which in turn benefits the public, who use apps and websites made with Java. And while technically the legal loser, Oracle also won in a way, because it will benefit from Java’s continued popularity.
What’s an API?

To understand the heart of the dispute, we first need to grasp what an Application Programming Interface (API) is and what it does for programmers. At its simplest, an API defines the specific details of how a program interacts with a computer’s operating system and the underlying hardware.

Computer manufacturers use a wide range of specific components: hard drives and memory storage units with different sizes, faster or slower processing chips, smaller and larger screens. They also choose different operating systems, such as Windows, the Macintosh OS X, and Linux – each of which is regularly upgraded with a new version.
Hoping to avoid nightmares: a Java programmer. Joonspoon, CC BY-SA

Each variation might handle basic functions differently – such as reading a file connecting to the internet, or drawing images on the screen. For a computer programmer, that is a nightmare. Nobody wants to write a program that works only on a Dell laptop with a 15-inch screen, a 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB of RAM, running Windows 10 – and no other computer. And nobody wants to write the extremely large number of slight variations to make sure a program works on every machine, either.

The API solves that problem for the programmer, handling the complicated and difficult details of exactly how any specific computer will act. That leaves programmers free to concentrate on what they want a computer program to do, without having to worry about precisely how. It’s better for the user, too. If she has (for example) Java installed on whatever computer she uses, programs written in Java will run.
Java itself

The Java API contains methods for everything from reading and writing a file, to drawing on a screen, to handling web security certificates. Without a functioning copy of the API, programs in Java are fundamentally broken. Clearly, therefore, he who controls the API controls the language.

Oracle, when it bought Sun Microsystems, bought the rights to Java and its API. The crux of the legal battle was how this control is exerted and how far it extends.

No one denied that Oracle has a valid copyright on the language and API specification. This is a good thing. It means I can’t just make a copy of Java, give it a name (like “Darjeeling”), and call it a new language that I own. Similarly, a company can’t change the API arbitrarily and still call it the Java API.
What did Google do?

When it released Android in 2008, Google added software and hardware development to its existing internet service business. If its products were going to succeed, they needed to be able to run lots of interesting programs. The easiest way to do ensure that was to make sure the new devices could understand at least one computer language that’s already widely used by programmers. Java is a natural choice.

The alternative would have been to create a new language, but that pathway is fraught with difficulties. Introducing a new language requires convincing programmers that it is worth using and giving them time and resources to learn the language.

Once Google decided on Java, it needed to connect Java programs to Android’s hardware and software – it needed a Java API for Android.
Sharing names for computer commands

Rather than commissioning Oracle to write it, Google wrote the software in-house, customizing it for cellphone hardware. For example, Bluetooth, touch-screen gestures and telephone calls are not handled in Oracle’s standard Java API; they are solely in Android-specific code.

However, to be sure Android devices could run existing Java software, Google wrote its Android Java with some of the same commands as Oracle’s version of Java. Both Android and Oracle support the Java.io methods that let programmers use the same files.newInputStream(filename) command to initiate the arcane and complex Java file-reading process.

Google didn’t copy the code Oracle had written for other hardware or software systems. It wrote all-new Android-specific instructions for devices to follow each command, but to help programmers, gave many common commands the same name Oracle used.

Oracle’s lawyers sharpened their knives and the battle was on. Could Google use the same names, even if the code they referred to was different?
The stakes were high

If Oracle had won, Java’s days as a primary programming language for Android – the world’s most popular smartphone system – were numbered. Very quickly, Google would have chosen a new language for Android programmers to use, and published a conversion tool to translate existing Java apps into the new language. Then it would have stopped supporting Java. (I suspect one of Oracle’s competitors would have offered Google excellent licensing terms to choose another language.)

Programmers would have lost. The tools to write code for Android would have been, at a bare minimum, more expensive and less flexible. The public would have lost, because new and interesting apps would both be more expensive and released less frequently.

Finally, Oracle would have lost because programming in Java would no longer be a viable option for a major market. Computer languages compete for popularity, so fewer programmers would choose to program in Java, reducing the pool of people who were comfortable and competent in Java. Instead they would choose others, like Python or Ruby. With fewer people working in Java, Oracle’s primary way of making money from it (creating Java-based computer systems that can be expanded by third-party developers) would slowly decline.

Instead, while Oracle doesn’t get $9 billion from Google, the programming community – and those of us who use apps and websites every day – gets to keep using an important tool, without fear of a similarly large lawsuit in the future.

 

 

source: https://theconversation.com/google-wins-in-court-and-so-does-losing-party-oracle-60418

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It's unbelievable to me that a company would pay a developer $60-$100k in salary, yet cripple him or her with terrible working conditions and crusty hand-me-down hardware. This makes no business sense whatsoever. And yet I see it all the time. It's shocking how many companies still don't provide software developers with the essential things they need to succeed.

I propose we adopt a Programmer's Bill of Rights, protecting the rights of programmers by preventing companies from denying them the fundamentals they need to be successful.

The Bill of Rights

Every programmer shall have two monitors

With the crashing prices of LCDs and the ubiquity of dual-output video cards, you'd be crazy to limit your developers to a single screen. The productivity benefits of doubling your desktop are well documented by now. If you want to maximize developer productivity, make sure each developer has two monitors.

Every programmer shall have a fast PC

Developers are required to run a lot of software to get their jobs done: development environments, database engines, web servers, virtual machines, and so forth. Running all this software requires a fast PC with lots of memory. The faster a developer's PC is, the faster they can cycle through debug and compile cycles. You'd be foolish to pay the extortionist prices for the extreme top of the current performance heap-- but always make sure you're buying near the top end. Outfit your developers with fast PCs that have lots of memory. Time spent staring at a progress bar is wasted time.

Every programmer shall have their choice of mouse and keyboard

In college, I ran a painting business. Every painter I hired had to buy their own brushes. This was one of the first things I learned. Throwing a standard brush at new painters didn't work. The "company" brushes were quickly neglected and degenerated into a state of disrepair. But painters who bought their own brushes took care of them. Painters who bought their own brushes learned to appreciate the difference between the professional $20 brush they owned and cheap disposable dollar store brushes. Having their own brush engendered a sense of enduring responsibility and craftsmanship. Programmers should have the same relationship with their mouse and keyboard-- they are the essential, workaday tools we use to practice our craft and should be treated as such.

Every programmer shall have a comfortable chair

Let's face it. We make our livings largely by sitting on our butts for 8 hours a day. Why not spend that 8 hours in a comfortable, well-designed chair? Give developers chairs that make sitting for 8 hours not just tolerable, but enjoyable. Sure, you hire developers primarily for their giant brains, but don't forget your developers' other assets.

Every programmer shall have a fast internet connection

Good programmers never write what they can steal. And the internet is the best conduit for stolen material ever invented. I'm all for books, but it's hard to imagine getting any work done without fast, responsive internet searches at my fingertips.

Every programmer shall have quiet working conditions

Programming requires focused mental concentration. Programmers cannot work effectively in an interrupt-driven environment. Make sure your working environment protects your programmers' flow state, otherwise they'll waste most of their time bouncing back and forth between distractions.

The few basic rights we're asking for are easy. They aren't extravagant demands. They're fundamental to the quality of work life for a software developer. If the company you work for isn't getting it right, making it right is neither expensive nor difficult. Demand your rights as a programmer! And remember: you can either change your company, or you can change your company.

source: http://blog.codinghorror.com/the-programmers-bill-of-rights

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About Me

Oops...Almost forgot to say something about me. But anyway, I'm that guy, yule Msee, who'll sort out your techie issue and hails from the land of milk and honey. Not forgetting the bitter herbs too.

This is what am best at. Feel free to ask something. 

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