Author Archives: toowoombalinux

The Perfect Operating System


The Perfect Operating System for Home and Business.

There is no such thing as the perfect Operating System per se.  Each has it’s advantages and each has it’s flaws.  They are restricted to a design paradigm and you see very little variation in their development.  You may say the Windows 8 changed that mold but Microsoft have been known to radically shift their design.  And what’s wrong with Apple?  It only uses Apple and Apple alone; in the home and business environments this is actually a restriction and in some cases it is not a cost effective solution.  Also Windows Users actually find it difficult to orientate themselves to the OSX way.
What’s the criteria for the Perfect Operating System?
It needs to have the familiarity and ubiquity of Windows with the stability and design of Apple’s OSX and the security, speed and customisation of the Linux Desktop.  This is the design model of the 3A System which I am currently developing.  For obvious licensing issues it is based upon Linux; but the design incorporates aesthetic beauty with an efficient and effective desktop in a way that’s both familiar and user friendly, that is, the learning curve is small.  It has been successfully tested on people who have never used a computer before.
And the System is very responsive due to having only 30% of the hardware requirements of Windows 7.
Updating is actually an enjoyable time with the 3A System.  It installs seamlessly and does not interrupt workflow, integrating without having to reboot.  And it’s nice to see an App or function improved upon.
Integration and Compatibility.
Most modern computer/laptop hardware is supported.  Touchscreen integration and support is planned for future development when the 3A System is updated from the base Operating System.
Peripheral integration, such as Printers and Webcams, have nearly ubiquitous driver support.  Cloud integration, as a User or Administrator is seamlessly enabled.  Google/Andoid sharing has been successfully tested; File sharing and syncing, Google Calendar syncing, Dropbox and Skype are operational.

Where does it fall over?

Apple support is nearly nonexistent due to Apple’s restrictive licensing.  While the majority of Windows Apps work without fault using the Wine Framework (incorporating Crossover) many of the latest apps and those that use the MS Framework and MS Databases will not work.  However, there are nearly limitless, compatible alternatives with the 3A System, with over 10,000 apps and over 25,000 libraries to choose from.

We live in a world with endless possibilities and it amazes me that we restrict ourselves to two primary Operating Systems.  Yes, the development drivers within these Systems are highly dynamic but it doesn’t mean that these are the ideal solutions as they are restricted to these Systems.  There are alternatives that will surprise many with their applicability and seamless integration.  The reason I use such a system is this: I have such expansive needs and uses with my computer, that I need an equally expansive, stable and flexible system to meet those requirements – and for the past 10 years it is this type of system that ticks all the boxes.  It has provided me with workstation that allows me to maximise my production and gives me the tools to complete tasks in a timely manner.  Isn’t this the same criteria all businesses should be applying when looking for a computer system?

The 3A System is the end result of development and personal use to create a system that can be as simple or as complex as the User requires.
It is developed from Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 with additions and modifications from many PPA sources.  The next-gen 3A System will be developed from Linux Mint 17.


Posted by on December 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


Remastered at last!


It’s quite big – bigger than I thought it would be.  It’s 1.7gbs, and if you look at the installed apps you may be tempted to ask the obvious question …. how did it get so big?….why?

Well Wine + Gecko + windows .net support adds over 500mbs to the mix – that’s the price of MS compatibility.  In this version I’ve turn off the HP toolbox and ClamAV so it runs using only 230mbs at idle.  So the additions and the hugeness of the remaster hasn’t affected performance.

I’ll do another version with ClamAV active so it can be used as an emergency windows scanner….gparted is there as well to fix partitions.

I’ll put the download link up as soon as I upload the iso.



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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


A Few More Updates


Well I’ve updated both Firefox and Thunderbird to their latest incarnations (v. 31) and more excitedly I updated Abiword (plus dependencies and addons) from 2.8.6 –> 2.9.6.  I stumbled across a forgotten ppa with this update.  A little disappointed that the on-screen version still says 2.8.6 but the package manager says 2.9.6.  Oh and I added a nice array of clipart for Abiword to make it a little more versatile.

Also with this version I felt that Windows compatibility was a preferable arrangement – apologies to all uber linux geeks out there.  So I installed Wine 1.3.0–2; Playonlinix 4.2.4-2 (yes that’s quite a new version) – again stumbled across another ppa with this update – and Winetricks.  With Gecko and .net mono support and added weight to this distro.  It’s probably going to be around 1.5 – 1.6gbs iso with not much to show app-wise – but it’s what occurs behind the scene that matters, all the little improvements that, unfortunately, adds to the size of the distro.  It still uses the same Ram (between 240 and 250mbs) and it will boot at the same time (25 seconds..ish) so the user won’t see any lag.  However, when Microsoft adds stuff to Windows it seems to make things more sluggish ….go figure?


I’ll Remaster soon and I’ll put the iso link up – usually I do this on FB – need to do it here as well :/



PS. If you need any explanations on what I’ve talked about PM me.

PPS.  If you would like any of the PPAs I’ve downloaded gain PM me.

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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized


Package Upgrade


This is simply documentation – boring for most.

Apart from the standard security and system upgrades these were added “carefully” to the 3A System – it appears that none of these upgrades breaks the system.

List of the 120 Package Upgrades:

Upgrades to 3A-System-10.04b1

libqt4-assistant 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-dbus 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-designer 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-help 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-network 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-script 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-scripttools 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-sql 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-mysql 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-svg 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-test 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-webkit 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-xml 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
libqt4-xmlpatterns 4:4.6.2-0 –> 4:4.7.0-0
python-qt4 4.7.2-0 –> 4.8.3-2.1
python-qt4-dbus 4.7.2-0 –> 4.8.3-2.1
python-sip 4.10.1-0 –> 4.12.1-1
libsoup-gnome2.4.1 2.30.2-0 –> 2.30.2-1
eog 2.30.0-0 –> 2.31.90-0
libgnomevfs2-extra 1:2.24.2-1 –> 1:2.24.3-1
libgnomevfs2-common 1:2.24.2-1 –> 1:2.24.3-1
libgnomevfs2-0 1:2.24.2-1 –> 1:2.24.3-1
update-manager 1:0.134-12.1 –> 1:0.142-11
indicator-applet 0.3.7-0 –> 0.4.4-0
gnome-user-share 2.30.0-0 –> 2.30.1-1
jockey-gtk 0.5.8-0 –> 0.5.10-0
libgexiv2-0 0.2.0-0 –> 0.2.2-0
gcalctool 5.30.0 –> 5.32.2-0
nautilus-data 1:2.30.1-0 –> 1:2.31.1-0
libnautilus-extension1 1:2.30.1-0 –> 1:2.31.1-0
shared-mime-info 0.71-1 –> 0.71-3
libasound 1.0.22-0 –> 1.0.24-0
libglib2.0-data 1.24.1-0 –> 2.27.5-0
usb-creator-gtk 0.2.22-3 –> 0.2.25
java-common 0.34 –> 0.42
clamtk 4.29-1 –> 4.36-1
abiword + Plugins 2.8.6-0 –>
vlc 1.1.9-1 –> 1.1.13-1
vlc-nox 1.1.9-1 –> 1.1.13-1
vlc-data 1.1.9-1 –> 1.1.13-1
vlc-plugin-notify 1.1.9-1 –> 1.1.13-1
vlc-plugin-pulse 1.1.9-1 –> 1.1.13-1
libvlccore4 1.1.9-1 –> 1.1.13-1
libvlc5 1.1.9-1 –> 1.1.13-1
flashplugin-installer –>
faad 2.7-4 –> 2.7-6
libfaad2 2.7-4 –> 2.7-6
audacious 2.50 –> 2.53
brasero 2.30.2 –> 2.31.2
pitivi 0.13.4 –> 0.14.0-2
gstreater-ffmpeg 0.10.10-1 –> 0.10.12-1
gstreater-fluendo 0.10.12-2 –> 0.10.15-1
gstreater-tools 0.10.28-1 –> 0.10.34-1
gstreater-nice 0.0.10-2 –> 0.0.12-1
gstreater-sdl 0.10.18-1 –> 0.10.22-1
gstreater-gnonlin 0.10.15-1 –> 0.10.17-1
gstreater-pulseaudio 0.10.21-1 –> 0.10.29-1
gstreater-alsa 0.10.28-1 –> 0.10.34-1
gstreater-plugin-base 0.10.28-1 –> 0.10.34-1
gstreamer-gnomevfs 0.10.28-1 –> 0.10.34-1
gstreamer0.10-plugins-good 0.10.21-1 –> 0.10.29-1
gstreamer0.10-10-x 0.10.28-1 –> 0.10.34-1
gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad 0.10.18-1 –> 0.10 22-1
gstreamer0.10-plugins-base-apps 0.10.28-1 –> 0.10.34-1
gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly 0.10.14-1 –. 0.10.18-1
gnome-media 2.30-1 –> 2.30-2
libgnome-media 2.30-1 –> 2.30-2
libnice0 0.0.10-2 –> 0.0.12-1
pulseaudio 1:0.9.21 –> (plus asscoiated dependencies)
lame 3.98.2 –> 3.98.4
libmp3lame0 3.98.2 –> 3.98.4
mplayer 2:1.0rc4 –> 2:1.0-sun33060
mencoder 2:1.0rc4 –> 2:1.0-sun33060
libupx0 0.9.5-2 –> 0.9.7-1
libschroedinger 1.0.9 –> 1.0.10-1
compiz 1:0.8.4 –> 1:0.8.6
compiz-plugins 1:0.8.4 –> 1:0.8.6
compiz-gnome 1:0.8.4 –> 1:0.8.6
compiz-core 1:0.8.4 –> 1:0.8.6
libdecoration0 1:0.8.4 –> 1:0.8.6
compiz-fusion-plugins-main 1:0.8.4 –> 1:0.8.6
shotwell 0.7.2 –> 0.11.6
alsa-utils 1.0.22-5 –> 1.0.24-0
alsa-base 1.0.22-5 –> 1.0.24-0
gwibber 2.30.3 –> 3.0.0
libsane 1.0.20-13 –> 1.0.22
sane-utils 1.0.20-13 –> 1.0.22
libsane-dev 1.0.20-13 –> 1.0.22
xsane 0.996-2 –> 0.997-2
xsane-common 0.996-2 –> 0.997-2
simple-scan 1.0.3 –> 2.320.-1
gufw 10.04-5 –> 11.04-1
espeak 1.43.03 –> 1.44.05
espeak-data 1.43.03 –> 1.44.05
libespeak1 1.43.03 –> 1.44.05
wpasupplicant 0.6.9-3 –> 0.7.2-0
python-configglue 0.2 –> 0.9
python-qt4 4.7.2 –> 4.8.3-2.1
python-appindicator 0.0.19 –> 0.2.6-0
python-indicate 0.3.0-0 –> 0.44-0
python-webkit 1.1.7-1 –> 1.1.8-1
python-xapian 1.0.17-1 –> 1.0.20-1
python-simplejson 2.0.9-1 –> 2.1.1-1
python-desktopcouch 0.6.4-0 –> 0.6.96-0
python-ubuntuone-client 1.2.2-0 –> 1.4.6-1
python-sip 4.10.1-0 –> 4.12.1-1
python-ubuntustorageprotocol 1.2.0-0 –> 1.4.0-0
python-beagle 0.3.9-1 –> 0.3.9-2
python-aptdaemon 0.11 –> 0.31
python-vte 1:0.23-5 –> 1:0.24-1
python-farsight 0.0.17-2 –> 0.0.22-1
python-aptdaemon-gtk 0.11 –> 0.31
python-debian 0.1.14 –> 0.1.16
python-desktopcouch-records 0.6.4-0 –> 0.6.96-0
python-papyon 0.4.8-0 –> 0.5.5-1
python-launchpad-integration 0.1.35 –> 0.1.36
desktopcouch 0.6.4-0 –> 0.6.96-0
python-ubuntuone 0.3.1-0 –> 0.3.8-0



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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Uncategorized




This is a rant about complicated stuff that people just have to deal with (but they shouldn’t!) – when it come to technology.  Q. Why is it that everything has to get more complicated, have more features and functions, become more bloated with stuff that 99% of peeps do use and have little no similarities to previous versions? A. Cos manufacturers, programmers and marketers think that the only way to sell something is to make it “better” than the last model.  This is bullshit!  How can it be “better” if I can’t do what I previously did with more effort and now I’ve got to relearn how to use it.

Case in Point: On the old scanners there was a scan now button – press it and a scanned image would appear on your computer.  Now that feature has all but disappeared to be replaced with a complicated multi-function and multi-task application that takes many clicks and scratched heads to make it scan.  Is this progress?  Is this making it better?  What’s happened to the one App for one task approach?

I think “technology” should be defined as a better way of doing something.  And by better I mean improved quality, improved efficiency and improved user transparency.

What is user transparency?

User transparency is where a person uses a technology and they don’t need to understand how it works and they don’t need to learn how to use it.  It just works – a car’s fuel injector system is a user transparent technology – it’s there and it works.  And this should be the same with computer technology but from where I sit and with whom I have talked to, this ain’t happening.

Which brings me to another rant.  iPad/iPhone vs Android.  Now everyone who’s in love with their Apple product will switch off now….actually it’s probably better that stop reading now!…please….. How can anyone honestly, straight faced and earnest tell me that Apple’s iOS is better than Android.  Let’s look at hardware – spec-wise most ASUS Tablets are have better specs than iPad (and they’re cheapereven with the Nvidia Tegra) – and Samsung have specs as good as Apple (and they’re cheaper).  Build quality is much the same between all these examples.  So your probably paying for the brand and the marketing.

I have my own opinions on the display where I don’t want to see (and scroll through) all my installed Apps – so I can be picky about what appears on my Home page – it’s not very cluttered.  I’m sure there’s options in Apple but they’re not obvious…to me.

Apple Store vs Google Play – using Google Play all you need is a gmail account where you only need to put a minimum of info to get it running (a bit more info is required if your paying $$s for Apps) – you don’t even need your real name!  Apple Store required that I provide them with pages of information…why?  It took a long time to complete and I felt very uncomfortable giving them so much of my information….why?….and who has access to that information?  It really isn’t a simple process when comparing to Google’s version.

And let’s talk about the “Australia Tax” – 

And how much did Apple pay in taxes for aussie profit?

My pointless 5 cents as the marketers will always win in the world we currently live in…



PS. Active links not working – sry – just copy paste links.

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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


3A System Development


I haven’t checked but I may not have given an update regarding the 3A System Operating System’s development.  In short, it’s based on Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) – it’s been updated to kernel 2.6.32-64.  It’s got Clam AV but this has been disabled as it uses around 220mbs extra.  The OS uses around 250mbs when idle and I’ve kept the running processes down to ensure the system doesn’t get bogged down.  

Many smaller aspects have been updated – such as hplip (latest version), a number of gnome components are 2.30 (as opposed to 2.28);  latest versions of Thunderbird and Firefox; gufw firewall is from the Ubuntu Natty repos.  It has the Gnomenu in WIndows 7 mode as this is a nicely designed menu.  It also has wbar (it only uses less than 10mbs) which is much lighter than cairo-dock.

Other updates include: abiword, gnumeric, mtpaint, shotwell, brasero, transmission, clamtk.

The repositories (including many ppas) I access are downloaded to an external drive.  With these an additional 380 updates are available but I know that some of these updates break the system.  These will be carefully installed and tested before releasing – documentation will occur on this WordPress account.

Is it safe to use?

The short answer is yes!  It’s very safe!  Well, it’s Linux and so it’s naturally secure and immune to most attacks anyway. The primary system language is Python 2.6 and PHP4.  This is just not used as a host languages for malware simply because no current system uses these particular languages – it simply isn’t worth the effort to try to infect (at most) a couple of thousand computers – there’s much bigger and easier targets.

As for the X-server (the programme that runs the display), which is a potential security issue – as long as you have a properly setup firewall running with non-administration rights and your web browser and email client (and all applications that access the internet) are secure then this shouldn’t be an issues.

And anyway this kernel was one of the few that was immune to the heartbleed bug – so its pretty water-tight!

But I’ll post a screen-shot and imo looks fantastic!



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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized


Business based philanthropy


I originally started Toowoomba Linux Community (TLC) so a group of local volunteers could get together and refurbish computers to give to families in crisis and in need.  Time, other commitments, lack of resources and lack of participation meant it didn’t really get a kick off.  But I’m making TLC part and parcel of 3A Computers’ business model.  With each sale a portion goes towards purchasing old computers; also it’ll be a collection point for those who wish to donate their old computer.

I hope to promote this business model as a workable example of holistic social business practices.  With decreasing abilities of government to sustain the population’s quality of life, it becomes the role of commerce/business to fill in the gaps.  The worst thing to happen to business is to see an increase in poverty – and this is what’s happening.  Government budgetary policies promote an underclass that has few resources to become a contributing citizen other than the under-recognised role of a volunteer.  Money is an indicator of power and influence in a western society – and the underclass tend not to have either one of these.  Education has always been the leveling process but even education has seen a quantum shift in equality with the growth in private schooling and the decline in public schooling – we simply need to look at the American model to see vast shifting in wealth and power and the social and economic issues they face…. are we becoming another USA?

A the time of writing I’m unsure of the percentage of business resources will be forwarded to TLC – it may be that once a certain threshold is exceeded that contributions will increase.

With additional resources and a renewed spirit for commitment I hope to find like-minded people to help with this worthy service.



Caveat: As this is not a registered charity I know that this will not be a deduction; but I’m hoping with advise from my accountant that we’ll be able to get some tax break.

PostScript1:  The challenge is to ensure that my social capitalism viewpoint stays intact when I become wealthy….lol!!

PostScript2: I’m not having a go at the USA – it’s just some key point power leverages have significantly shifted in favour of the wealthy and it continues to accelerate.  I think the US is a dynamic society that’s exciting and passionate but seriously flawed….but that’s a whole new diatribe…..


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Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Uncategorized