I tested this laptop with Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS, so most of my observations are based on using this operating system.

With Ubuntu, the laptop works flawlessly right out of the box without requiring any special setup.

The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro, which can be upgraded to Windows 11 Pro.


Here’s a polished version of your pros section:


Pros:

Processor: My laptop came with an AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 5650U, featuring 6 cores and 12 threads. It performs exceptionally well, handling my browser-based tasks with multiple open tabs without any slowdown.

Upgradable RAM: Unlike most ultrabooks that have soldered RAM, this laptop offers two RAM slots, allowing you to upgrade up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM. This provides ample speed for most use cases.

SSD: You can upgrade to any 2280 NVMe Gen 3 SSD (PCIe 3.0). While you can use PCIe 4.0 SSDs due to backward compatibility, it doesn’t offer any significant advantage in this setup.

Graphics: The integrated AMD Radeon Graphics smoothly plays 4K videos without any buffering issues.

Plenty of Ports

This laptop includes all the essential ports, unlike the current trend of laptops that only feature USB-C ports and require a hub for additional connectivity.

HDMI 2.0

2 USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2: Both ports are located on the right side. While I would prefer one on each side for convenience, having them both on one side is still manageable.

Charging Options: The laptop comes with a dedicated charger and an HP proprietary charging port. However, it also supports Type-C charging, and I was able to use my Android phone charger, power bank and Lenovo 65-W Chromebook Type C charger to charge the laptop. If Type-C charging fails, you can reset the battery.

  • 2 USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1: Both ports are on the left side.
  • Fingerprint Reader: Works well in Ubuntu and saves time during login.
  • WiFi: The Qualcomm Atheros QCNFA765 supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, ensuring fast and reliable wireless connectivity.
  • Battery Life: Offers long battery life, lasting up to 10 hours.
  • Weight: Weighs 1.37 kg (3.02 lb), making it portable and easy to carry.
  • Backlit Keyboard: The backlit keyboard enhances usability in low-light conditions.
  • 1080p Display: While some users have complained that the display is not bright enough, I find it very bright and usually reduce the brightness for comfortable use.
  • Trackpoint: It also has a trackpoint, reminiscent of ThinkPads, providing an alternative navigation option.

Cons:

No USB 4.0 or Thunderbolt: The laptop lacks USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt support, which could limit connectivity options for some users.

No Micro SD Slot: The absence of a Micro SD slot could be inconvenient for users who frequently transfer data from devices like cameras or smartphones.

No Ethernet: Most ultraportable/ultrabooks don’t have these anyways.

Other Tidbits:

M.2 2242 Slot for WWAN: The laptop has an M.2 2242 slot for WWAN, which is currently empty. It might be possible to use this slot for an additional SSD, but I haven’t tested this. Note that it only supports 2242 form factor SSDs, so you CANNOT use 2280 or 2230 SSDs in this slot.

Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) is here, and here are the direct download links.

PC 64-bitTorrentGlobal
Server 64-bitTorrentGlobal

Other Images can be found here:

India

Global

I’ve used over a dozen operating systems, and I recently decided to give ChromeOS a try. I initially considered getting a Windows laptop and dual-booting Linux, but since I wouldn’t use Windows, I didn’t want to pay for the license. I thought a Chromebook was a better choice because it runs Linux and can also run Android apps.

I’m a long-time Linux Desktop user (my current flavour is Ubuntu), so my expectations were high. I’m reviewing the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook. Here’s my experience:

The Good

  • ChromeOS runs very fast, just like most Linux distributions, faster than Windows.
  • It has a clean interface with no annoying popups.
  • The updates work great. They don’t take over your PC, and there are no forced reboots or endless waits. 
  • It doesn’t need antivirus software, and neither does Linux.
  • It’s stable and reliable, with no hanging or crashes.
  • It’s great if you live in the browser.
  • It’s nicely integrated with Android, and you can easily transfer files between your Android phone and Chromebook. You can also easily connect to your phone’s hotspot. It detects that you’re using mobile data even if you’re on a Mobile Hotspot, so it uses bandwidth judiciously.
  • It’s mostly cheaper than Windows laptops.
  • The touch works well.

The Bad

  • If you’re a Linux power user, you’ll find ChromeOS very restrictive. It’s Linux under the hood, but many restrictions are hard to deal with. The Linux terminal is also very limited. While you can install most Linux packages, it’s still inside a container and it’s highly restricted.
  • The keyboard is very bad. Why did they change the keyboard layout? Why can’t they just stick to what people are used to? More Grumbling follows.
  • One of the features I like about Chrome Browser is the option for profiles, so I can run completely separate browser profiles, one for work and one for personal stuff. In ChromeOS, it’s no longer possible. You need to log out to log into another profile. Which is a bummer, how do you cut and paste between your personal space and workspace?
  • ChromeOS login and Google ID are closely tied to each other. Your Google password is the same as your ChromeOS login. It reduces the number of passwords you need to remember, but I prefer them to be separate.
  • ChromeOS is primarily a connected PC, so you have limited functionality when you’re offline.
  • The apps are not the same as on Ubuntu (Linux) or Windows. For example, the Zoom PWA doesn’t support all the features of the native desktop client.
  • I missed some of my favourite apps on ChromeOS, such as LibreOffice, Nemo file manager, Gimp, and a few other native Linux apps. There are ways to install them in the Linux container, but it’s not the same experience.

The Ugly

  • Chromebooks are missing some important keys, such as the delete key and the caps lock key. In place of the caps lock key, there’s a Google search button.
  • The function keys are also missing. You can enable this from settings, but they are not printed on the keys.
  • The workaround: You can use an external keyboard to access all of the keys.
  • I even tried to install a full-blown Linux distro on the Chromebook, but I wasn’t successful. If you’re planning to run a Linux distro, it’s best to get a Linux laptop or a Windows laptop that you can dual boot with Linux.

My Final Thoughts

ChromeOS is a great device if all you need is a web browser (read Chrome). Tablets are great content consumption devices, but Chromebooks are better because they have better keyboards. In short, it’s a content-consumption device with a keyboard.

If you’re a power user who needs more desktop apps, then you need to look elsewhere. Ubuntu (Linux) works well for me. It does everything that ChromeOS does and more. I can run native desktop apps, deal with large numbers of photos and videos, and easily edit PDFs.

Chromebooks are also a good choice for beginners and students who haven’t used computers for long and don’t want to deal with complexities. If you’ve been using a PC user for a while like me, you’ll find the keyboard layout very irritating and painful to get used to.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS got released yesterday. Here is the direct link to download from the India Server.

 

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Torrent Links Direct Downloads
Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 64-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server 18.04 64-Bit Torrent Main Server


Other releases:

http://mirrors.piconets.webwerks.in/ubuntu-mirror/ubuntu-releases/18.04/

http://mirrors.piconets.webwerks.in/ubuntu-mirror/ubuntu-cdimage/ubuntu/releases/18.04/release/

Regards

Prakash

 

Bill Gates announced this past weekend that he is using an Android phone, you could say that there’s been a slight tectonic shift, as though the plates below the surface of the planet are adjusting.

It’s no small surprise. Microsoft stopped emphasizing mobile operating systems some time ago, releasing Nokia (acquired in 2013, sold last year) to make smartphones and handsets running Android and then refocusing — as only a $73 billion company can do — on its multiple core businesses and total domination in areas like computing infrastructure, AI, desktop operating systems, and productivity software. It’s a blip, but for a company with 124,293 employees, it’s still notable because the most important figure in the history of operating systems is now using an OS designed by archenemy Google.

Read More: https://venturebeat.com/2017/09/25/bill-gates-now-uses-an-android-phone-has-no-interest-in-an-iphone/

 

When One Plus One was launched, it was the most talked about phone.  Now after successfully launching phones for a few years, One Plus has launched the One Plus 5. While they do create a lot of fanfare around launches, for this one people actually paid to attend the launch! of course One Plus threw in lots of freebies, but it’s still impressive. I think One Plus is now very serious about the Indian market, which is a good thing. Which means it’s no longer a phone that only a few people use but something which has a large sales volumes in India, so support should be available in many places.

Let’s look at what is good about the One Plus 5

  • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 – The fastest process around, so you won’t have to struggle with any lag.
  • 6 or 8 GB RAM –  who would need more? Until very recently my laptop only had 4GB RAM. I think 4GB is more than what most people would ever need.
  • 64-128GB USF 2.1 storage, 64GB should be good for most use-cases. The USF 2.1 is also faster.
  • 20+16 Megapixel Dual Camera with 1.6x optical zoom. These days Dual camera are in fashion for providing better photographs.
  • 16 Megapixel front-facing camera for the Selfie junkies.
  • 3300 MaH battery with fast charger- they call it Dash charger and it is rated as the fastest charger in the market. However fast charging works only with the charger that’s bundled with the phone.
  • 3.5mm jack, you may ask what’s the big deal? but with many flagship phones ditching the 3.mm jack for audio over USB type C, it’s a nice to have.
  • USB Type C. This is quickly replacing the Micro USB as a charging port. Although not backward compatible, but definitely the future.

 

What we don’t like about it

  • No expandable storage, if you choose the go with the 64GB or 128GB you can’t upgrade later as there is no microSD slot.
  • Not water proof. Well, do you need it? People take their phone to the washroom these days (yikes), so nice to have 🙂

Overall good value for money. At half the price of Samsung S8, it’s definitely worth buying.

 

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to become a $4-11 trillion market by 2025, contributing 11% to the global economy, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report, The Internet of Things: Mapping the value beyond the hype.

IoT is about connecting sensors and devices to the Internet, collecting their data and automating processes and decision-making. It touches almost every industry and will soon be in your house, your office, your company, your city, your country and your planet.

IoT, however, does face a host of issues—lack of standards being a big one. Remember the days when there was no standard USB phone charger and every phone manufacturer chose its “own standard”? The Internet and mobile have evolved rapidly because they are built on open standards and often open source standards. IoT is being held back due to the lack of standards. Devices are generating data in proprietary ways, which can’t be easily shared with other devices. Hence, no synergetic actions can be taken.

Security is another issue. In mid-2015, a connected car got hacked and the two hackers were able to take full control of the car—the steering, brakes and even its engine. With everything becoming connected through IoT, security will be key for IoT to be successful in the long term. IoT will continue to require better security solutions than what is currently available. The best way to secure a system is to allow anybody to inspect the code and contribute a patch. Closed source is just hiding problems, not making solutions more secure. Through open source more eyes can look at the code and solve any security issues.

IoT is currently a collection of technical solutions for an unvalidated set of customer problems. Years ago people would ask: “Why do I need a smartphone?” Angry Birds, WhatsApp, Pokémon GO, and many other apps have had an enormous effect on what we do with a phone. Most of us only make calls a fraction of the time we spend on our phones.

We don’t know what an Angry Birds or Pokémon GO equivalent for a fridge, a robot, a drone, a router, etc, looks like. However, by providing an app-based infrastructure, we make it easy for software developers to create apps that can derive much more value from any smart device.

App stores on devices will help us find the IoT Pokémon GO for lots of new smart devices. By open sourcing the technology to app-enable any type of smart device, we are accelerating this discovery process. Any enterprise will be able to run its own app store.

Today we can start IoT-enabling devices around us but managing large deployments of devices is hard.

You can’t go to a PC model where you are expected to take actions, like cleaning up disk space, to keep things going smoothly. Devices that are connected to the Internet will need software upgrades when security bugs are discovered. You will not want these upgrades to fail and stop the device from working. Even if the device is cheap, digging a hole in the street to get a device out of the ground or getting scaffolding to get if off the roof means the price of the device will be irrelevant if a software update fails.

By open sourcing a solution for transactional updates, any update that fails can be easily rolled back to the last working version. This will allow any developer, device manufacturer and enterprise to focus their efforts on solving real customer problems and not reinventing the wheel.

To give you an example, today every large building has IP (Internet protocol) security cameras. The only intelligence these cameras have is that they can sense motion. They will send everything they see to a central system where somebody needs to check the streams manually. All data will be recorded but finding that one image that matters is still really hard.

By app-enabling IP security cameras and providing them with trained artificial intelligence (AI) models, IP cameras will be able to recognise the person, animal or object in front of them. A rabbit on the grass can be ignored. An unknown person in the middle of the night generates a potential security alert. A known criminal with a weapon will make sure the police gets automatically warned.

IoT will initially be used to reduce costs. Smart meters will negotiate with power generation companies when electricity is cheapest. Home appliances like washing and drying machines will choose the most economical times to wash and dry your clothes. Your house will know you are home and it will make sure the temperature and ambiance is just the way you like it. Your house will not waste energy on warming or cooling when you are not home. In the office technicians will come and fix the copier before it breaks. Industrial 3D (three-dimensional) printers will print substitution parts when they are needed.

The mid- and long-term IoT future will, however, bring more change. Autonomous cars will be rented, not owned. Owning a car means you have it parked 95% of the time. If the same car can be used to transport many people on the same day, personal transport-as-a-service will cost a fraction of the cost of owning a car. You also won’t need city parking.

Vending machines can have app stores, iris scanners, touch screens, and more. All of a sudden you can use a vending machine to make an international money transfer to family on the other side of the world. An app-enabled MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner will look for thousands of symptoms categorized by the health risks based on your DNA profile.

Automatic sewing robots will make personalised clothes that you can try on before they exist via digital mirrors and augmented reality. Your city will pick up your garbage when it is full and you will only pay for what you waste, all done by autonomous trucks.

When the world was affected by the Y2K (Year 2000) problem, India was safe as it didn’t have a lot of the legacy mainframes and mini computers which were affected. India has the same advantage today with IoT. The country doesn’t have many IoT deployments, so it can choose the right approach before any deployment happens.

India is able to choose open source and open standards when deploying IoT. This will give India huge advantages today and help prevent future problems. India has one of the most tech-savvy populations. Cheap hardware like Raspberry Pi will allow Indian start-ups and enterprises to dream up new IoT solutions without breaking the bank.

By using open source IoT app standards, Indian entrepreneurs will be able to sell their IoT apps globally. App store customers can run these apps on any type of enterprise or industrial hardware. India’s software industry is uniquely positioned to benefit from IoT. India can combine low-cost, innovation and revenue generation in any future IoT solution. IoT is the next big thing, and India should do everything possible to drive it.

This was published at Mint Newspaper

One Plus has always provided cutting edge phones at less than half the price of leading branding. Today they launched the One Plus 3 with some great specifications. The good thing is, you don’t need an invite anymore.

Here are some great specifications:

  • Snapdragon 820 Quad Core processor
  • 6GB RAM (more than my PC :))
  • Dual Nano Sims
  • Fast charging upto 60% within 30 Minutes
  • 16MP camera with Optical image stabilisation
  • Android 6.0.1
  • All metallic body
  • Finger print scanner
  • Any many more

Buy OnePlus 3  on Amazon for  Rs. 27,999

 

The public cloud services market in the country is projected to grow 30.4 per cent to reach USD 1.26 billion this year as organisations are pursuing a digital business strategy, Gartner said today. According to the research firm, public cloud services market, which stood at USD 968.1 million in 2015, will reach USD 3.52 billion by 2020.

Read More: http://www.financialexpress.com/article/industry/tech/public-cloud-services-in-india-to-reach-1-26-billion-this-year-gartner/249120/

I started blogging on 3rd March 2003 — that makes it 13 years of blogging today. Makes me feel older, when there are people who are not even 13 and have started blogging!

Thanks you to all those readers and followers for all your encouragements, comments and feedback.

For those interested in the History, you can read it here.

Tripping valuations of unicorns might have set a dull tone for startups this year, but many industry experts believe that companies that are doing things “the right way” will continue to secure funding. Companies like Big Basket, Practo, Car Dekho, MSwipe and Urban Ladder have continued to show progress in their respective business models in spite of a weak environment.

Prakash Advani, Canonical’s Regional Director, Sales & Alliances – India & South East Asia said that companies should raise capital as the last resort. If they can quickly convert their ideas into a profitable business then they don’t need to give up on equity.

Read More: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274986

From a numbers standpoint, Google is actually a distant fourth in the $23 billion cloud infrastructure services market, according to Synergy Research Group. AWS ranks first with 31 percent, followed by Microsoft Azure at 9 percent, IBM at 7 percent and Google Cloud Platform at 4 percent, Synergy data show. That means of Google parent Alphabet’s $75 billion in revenue, less than $1 billion came from cloud infrastructure.

Read More: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/23/google-aims-to-catch-amazon-microsoft-in-cloud.html

There are a lot of ways to stream music at home. Dedicated Bluetooth speakers, like the Supertooth Disco or Jawbone Jambox work well, but because they are designed for portability they don’t sound all that great. At home, the Chromecast is cheap and easy if you already have a home A/V system to distribute the music, or you can splurge and pick up a Sonos for better sound and features like multi-room broadcasting. But, as we all know, a DIY junkie always has his or her eyes open for something better.

I’ve got an alternative that lets you not only stream music from your Android (or any portable device that supports Bluetooth 3.0 or higher with A2DP) or computer, but will sound as good as you want it to sound, determined on how much you want to spend on speakers. Realistically, you can spend $200 and have the very best audio possible while streaming over Bluetooth, or you can spend $100 and have something that sounds really good and the satisfaction that you did it yourself.

http://www.androidcentral.com/how-build-your-own-bluetooth-streaming-home-audio-system

You can also get a Bluetooth Amplifier and speakers from Griffin which combines bluetooth and amplifier functionality.

New research has found, for the first time, a scientific solution that enables future internet infrastructure to become completely open and programmable while carrying internet traffic at the speed of light.

Read More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160126110910.htm

When Internet of Things devices debut at this year’s CES, one of the biggest questions will be how they’ll connect to all the other smart-home gear on display. But anyone who expects a clear answer to that is like a kid who gets up Thanksgiving morning looking for a bunch of gifts under a tree.

The fact is, it’s too early to say what standard or protocol will become the glue that can turn a pile of cool gadgets into a system that runs your whole house for you. New systems are just starting to emerge, and though they may eventually work with each other and with older platforms, buying one of each and expecting harmony is still wishful thinking.

Connected homes may make life easier eventually. A thermostat linked to a garage-door opener could tell who’s coming home and set the heat or air-conditioning for their preferences. Compatible room lights and an audio system could join in, too.

Read More: http://www.cio.com/article/3018836/internet-of-things/what-you-need-to-know-about-home-iot-standards-at-ces.html

 

Google’s OnHub is a bit of a mystery. Google shipped us this box—well, this cylinder—but it won’t really talk about what’s in it or why it exists. Today, it’s a Wi-Fi router from Google; tomorrow it might be something totally different. But it’s also a funny glowing cylinder with way too much processing power for its own good, a boatload of antennas, and an ever-present cloud connection to a Google update server so that it can evolve at will. OnHub is a tiny bundle of potential and no one really knows what it will turn into.

Read More: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/08/google-onhub-review-googles-smart-home-trojan-horse-is-a-200-leap-of-faith/

A few days before Thanksgiving, George Hotz, a 26-year-old hacker, invites me to his house in San Francisco to check out a project he’s been working on. He says it’s a self-driving car that he had built in about a month. The claim seems absurd. But when I turn up that morning, in his garage there’s a white 2016 Acura ILX outfitted with a laser-based radar (lidar) system on the roof and a camera mounted near the rearview mirror. A tangle of electronics is attached to a wooden board where the glove compartment used to be, a joystick protrudes where you’d usually find a gearshift, and a 21.5-inch screen is attached to the center of the dash. “Tesla only has a 17-inch screen,” Hotz says.

Read More: http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-george-hotz-self-driving-car/

If you are a company that is interested in connected devices or the Internet of Things (IoT), you better not be waiting for standards to emerge. This will not be happening anytime soon. IoT is a multi-trillion dollar market, and, with so much potential business on the line, the big technology companies are all angling to create their own standard.
Of course these companies all say they want to create common protocols and framework. But let’s face it, there is too much at stake for any of these companies to not try and get the upper hand on the competition. As a result, we have an explosion of consortiums and “open source” projects that are intended to create these standards.

If you purchased your computer in the last decade, it probably has a 64-bit-capable processor. The transition to 64-bit operating systems has been a long one, but Google is about to give Linux users another push. In March 2016, Google will stop releasing Chrome for 32-bit Linux distributions.

Read More: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3010404/browsers/googles-killing-chrome-support-for-32-bit-linux-ubuntu-1204-and-debian-7.html

WHAT do you do when you have 30 seconds to spare? It may not sound like a lot of time, but there are productive things which you can try when the clock’s ticking away.

Here’s a list of 15 productive things for you to do within 30 seconds or less. No more complaints about “I don’t have time”, okay?

Read More: http://mypaper.sg/lifestyle/do-something-useful-within-30-seconds-20151117

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