Monthly Archives: August 2018

X-Window System

X-Window System is what makes everything appear so friendly on the screen in LINUX.

The X-window system is a system-level application, or rather, a process that handles the display in Linux. Basically, what you see on your screen is coming from X. X-“talks” to the graphics display device (the graphics processor) and tells it what to display. As X interacts with the hardware at basic level, programmers need not be bothered about giving instructions to the video card for any display (mind you, the GUI taxes a system heavily). With the difficult job being taken care of, programmers only need to give instructions to X saying “move window 1 to position x” or “minimize window 2” or “refresh window 3 every 5 seconds”. The X concept came about when a GUI for UNIX was being worked out. It was released in 1984 by the “Athena Project”, an academic project undertaken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was taken over in 1998 by a the X Consortium, which has been maintaining the standards for X ever since. The X specifications are freely available for further development, and Linux developers adopt these specifications and called it the Xfree86. Xfree86, like its base-the X-is very versatile, with various options that developers can use to make different windows (or apps) display differently. X follows a client-server architecture.

PicLens Review

Among the plethora of add-ons available for the Firefox browser, Piclens is one of the most impressive – mainly because it appears to offer much of the ‘wow’ of Vista or Leopard’s smooth graphical wizardry, but through a browser, and with none of the high RAM requirements of the operating systems. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a must to visit and install.

Even more unusual, Piclens is also supported in Internet Explorer and Safari add-ons for Windows and Mac. Only Linux users are left in out in the cold. What Piclens does is more difficult to explain. At its most simple, it offers a view of the internet as a 3D, smoothly scrolling wall. The wall entirely replaces the usual browser interface, so it appears much more like a separate piece of software than a browser plugin. Try it with Flikr and you can immediately see the attraction, as an endless wall of beautifully rendered images sweeps by, which you can zoom into and manipulate at will. But it also integrates with Google, Amazon, YouTube (it shows videos too) and other search engines, so that you can search the internet in a new and visual way. Put simply, it’s about as far from your grandad’s HTML home page as you could imagine. One question remains: is it useful? While for graphical work it might be useful to view thousands of images at once, navigating them is quite difficult, and the ‘metadata’ that goes along with the images hard to view. Time will tell, but for now Piclens is the most impressive add-on you’ll never use.