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When you donate to the Black Lab Linux Project it helps us with many things:

Domain renewals
Aging equipment replacement

How much should you donate? Any amount you wish. No matter how large or small it goes to the project. We also take hardware donations as well. Contact for details. We thank you for your support.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

E-mail questions February 2014

Hey guys,

We are going to answer the latest round of e-mail questions regarding Black Lab Linux and about Ami/LX.  A couple of questions regarding Ami/LX have been asked and its about time to answer those questions although most of the questions will be about Black Lab Linux.

Q) Roberto, I have tried Black Lab Server 4.2 and its pretty neat but what is the type of user you are trying to target with Black Lab Server and when will Black Lab Server 5 be released?

A) We target the small to medium sized business for Black Lab Server.  This includes customers who dont have a huge IT budget and just want something thats easy to administer and they dont have to be system administrators, developers or even power users to be able to work the system.  Its got a nice GUI for those that like a GUI but it boots into the command line for those hardcore users who just want a good development platform.  For users who want the GUI just remember 1 command 'startx'.  We are waiting for some beta testers to get back to us but the official release date is March 12, although we fully intend to beat that date.

Q) Your preinstalled system section is kind of confusing.  As a home user which system should I buy?

We have reworked the hardware section.  We have two sections, Commercial hardware and consumer desktops and portable systems.  Commercial has 3 systems.  The BriQ, The BriQ 8 node cluster and the PowerStation.  They ship with Black Lab Server or Black Lab Enterprise Linux.  The consumer hardware has two units, the Black Lab Vision Desktop and the Black Lab Omega Netbook 2.0.  All very competitively priced.  As a consumer of course you should look at the Vision, but we also have home users who have bought the BriQ for consumer use and gamers, power users and developers like the PowerStation.  If you just want a system to surf the web, write a term paper, watch videos and look at the stock market.  The Vision is definitely a system you should look at.

Q) When will Black Lab 4.3 be released.  What will be different?

May 20 is the official release date for Black Lab Linux 4.3 as well as Education and Enterprise.  There are a lot of updates, and new features coming so just stay tuned to the website.  We have recently released Alpha 0.2 which is kind of raw and definitely not for the faint of heart.  But we are making progress.  As always.  One change we made was the color scheme which we changed to green.  I like green, the users like green and it symbolizes that we are a green company.

Q) What happened to your refurbed systems?

They are coming back but they will be sold on the main PC OpenSystems site and will ship with Black Lab Linux (OSE).  Now, just because these systems are older does not make them junk.  They are refurbished, repaired and are no older than 5 years old.  They just need a new home.  But they are great for an entry level machine, 150 to 200 bucks.

Q) You guys ship OpenSSH 5, when will that be upgraded?

Black Lab Linux 4.3

Q) What is Ami/LX and how does that fit into your lineup?

When Commodore USA went out of business they left users of their hardware without a home to go to.  So what Ami/LX is, is a respin of Black Lab Linux that directly targets those users and legacy Amiga users who want to upgrade to a more modern system.  But these users demand a certain aesthetic, they want a platform where they can run their legacy AmigaOS applications and games.  Ami/LX provides that for them.  My Black Lab users and customers dont want those applications, they dont want that aesthetic.  So we decided a respin was necessary for legacy Commodore and Amiga users.  We were originally going to offer 3 releases, a consumer, professional and education edition but we cut the education edition and may cut the professional version as well.  That is determinate on the users and what they want to see.

Q) How do you plan to get Commodore USA customers to upgrade?

Right now we are working with Cybernet who provided the components of the original C64x.  They also provide the Black Lab Vision Desktop.  But we are working out a board deal with them so that we can get boards that fit in the C64x cases and while old Commodore USA customers  are out of warranty, we will offer them a warranty on the board itself.  We cannot offer a warranty on the cases because we dont have the molds.  Pricing is still being determined so get back with me in a few weeks and we will see where we stand.  Commodore USA customers who wish to upgrade the entire system but like that form factor, keyboard computer, can buy the Black Lab Vision desktop and we actually sell them much cheaper than the C64x was 3 years ago.  But you will get the same experience that you got with the C64x but lots of performance enhancements.

Q) Will you be working with Hyperion to port AmigaOS 4 to x86?

No.  We are not affiliated, nor do we want to be affiliated with Hyperion.

Q) Did you have to get licensing from Amiga Inc for Ami/LX?

No, we have not, nor do we use any of Amiga Inc.'s  intellectual property, if they even have any intellectual property, so a license was not necessary.

Q) What happens if Ami/LX becomes more popular than Black Lab Linux?

We dont forsee that happening.  If it does, then we will see where we stand at that time.  But at this time, Black Lab Linux is here to stay.

Q) Why did you cut GNUStep development out of Black Lab Enterprise Linux?

It wasnt being used.  Cocoa and Mac OS X development has surpassed GNUStep and GNUStep has not caught up to that pace.  So it was redundant.  If you want cross platform support we recommend QT or Gambas3.

Q) When will you use Ubuntu 14.04 as your base?

Black Lab Linux 6.