Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

Last week Canonical released its latest version of Linux operating-system; Ubuntu 9.04 – Jaunty Jackalope. After downloading the iso, I decided to take Jaunty Jackalope for a whirl and see for myself how this new edition fits in the family. However, this is not a complete review of this release considering the fact that I haven't spent much time on this yet since I've installed it less than 24 hours ago.

The most appreciated improvement is the boot-time performance by improving start-up process and with the inclusion of ext4 – it's impressive. However, ext3 is still the default filesystem in this release, but you can choose ext4 as your filesystem during the installation. Speed is one of the most obvious difference that you will notice in comparison with other releases of Ubuntu – I'm not insinuating that other releases were sluggish but this one is just 'fast'.

The whole desktop experience is really great. The system is fast and responsive without any jerkiness. This release comes with; GNOME 2.26, Firefox 3.08, OpenOffice 3.0.1, Brasero Disc Burner 2.26.0, X.Org Server 1.6 and the new notification system – to name a few. Checkout Ubuntu's website for more information about the new features that have been added to this release. I've upgraded my system after installation so I'm using Firefox 3.09 now.

I'm also testing the performance of Ubuntu 9.04 on a six year old desktop with P4 processor and 512MB of RAM (just to see how it performs on old machine), and I must say that you will never know that you're using a six year old system. And, if you've a system with Core 2 Duo processors and a minimum of 2GB of RAM, this release is worth taking a look, and it's surely a treat by Canonical.

One thing is for sure; you will not be able to notice the improvements in Jaunty Jackalope's desktop experience by browsing screenshots or by looking at new feature lists of this release. You've to use it to experience the great desktop user experience that it offers. This release has set a benchmark with its speedy performance, and it only gets better from here!

Navinesh: Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Xvoice

Xvoice

Xvoice Project on Sourceforge
Xvoice-sphinx project
Xvoice CVS repository
Frequently Asked Questions
SourceForge documentation
Mailing lists

Xvoice enables continuous speech dictation and speech control of most X applications. To convert users' speech into text it uses the IBM ViaVoice speech recognition engine, which is distributed separately (see below).

When in dictation mode Xvoice passes this text directly to the currently focused X application. When in command mode, Xvoice matches the speech with predefined, user-modifieable, key sequences or commands. For instance "list" would match "ls -l" when commanding the console, so that when the user says "list" "ls -l" will be sent to the console as if the user had typed it.

This figure shows a typical session with Xvoice. Recognised (and some rejected) speech can be seen on the right pane. Currently active vocabularies are listed on the left. The application to which commands are being sent is listed on the top. Here it is used to control Xemacs to read mail and create a new mail. Dictation mode is then entered in order to dictate the text of the email to be sent. We then return to mail commands to send the mail and exit. Back in emacs, we open a file called xvoice.xml, which we can then modify and save as we wish.


Xvoice