Monday, May 9, 2016

Black Lab NetOS and Black Lab Cloudbook Released

Today PC / Opensystems LLC is pleased to announce the release of Black Lab NetOS. This new and web-centric version differs from our main distribution in that its primary applications all point to the cloud, and this focus makes NetOS the perfect Chromebook replacement. Unlike ChromeOS, any and all applications from the Ubuntu repositories are readily available and installable locally on your system : LibreOffice, The GIMP, Steam, Banshee, developer tools (Geany), IDE’s (Eclipse, Android SDK) for use on the system. Develop and compile Android apps; participate in application development using familiar tools instead of being hamstrung by limited web-based editors.
NetOS can be installed on a wide range of representative 64 bit consumer PCs (Dell, HP, Lenovo) as well as a Chromebook if you’re inclined to free yourself from its limitations. And as of today, PC/ Opensystems is announcing the Cloudbook, a dedicated PC hardware to run Black Lab NetOS exclusively.

Black Lab NetOS includes :

Local apps:

XFCE 4.12
Google Chrome

Web apps :

Google Docs / Drive / Photos / Hangouts / Play Music
Microsoft Office Online
Facebook Messenger

Black Lab NetOS can be managed through the Chrome Management Console.

For those of you that want to download and use Black Lab NetOS on generic PC hardware you can download it here:

Interested in the Black Lab Cloudbook? It’s an optimized ACER laptop, designed with the cloud in mind with the following system configuration:

Color: Electric Blue / Black
Processor : Intel Celeron N3050 1.6 GHz
Memory : 2GB of DDR3L Onboard Memory
Internal Storage : 32 GB SSD
Screen : 11.6-Inch HD Screen,
Graphics : Intel HD Graphics,
8-hour battery

The Black Lab Cloudbook is available for purchase for $250.00 USD. For education and business facilities we can also arrange multiple shipments with at least 15 days advance notice.

Black Lab Cloudbook
OS Options
Order Notes

We have sat down with Roberto Dohnert to find out the differences between NetOS and ChromeOS.

Q) Why is NetOS important? What segment of the market does it serve?

A) NetOS is important because it serves the business, law enforcement and educational facilities that have come to rely on web-based applications and private/public clouds. It also offers the security and redundancy of a desktop PC, so you can also run local applications and store data locally.

Q) Chromebooks offer hard drives and storage devices. How does Black Lab NetOS enhance security and protect data?

A) Very simple. ChromeOS primarily stores data on the cloud through Google Drive. In essence the cloud is just someone else’s computer. The primary storage of Chromebooks uses that drive as a giant cache and as you add data, music, pictures etc, old data that hasn’t been accessed for awhile is deleted. First-come, first-serve The drive assumes that older data is no longer relevant. Now as a business owner, I want some data retained locally and securely, for as long as I choose : financial spreadsheets, internal memos and business plans. Storing this type of data on Google’s cloud runs the risk of the next big data breach exposing sensitive company data, available on the cloud for the world to see. Now you have heard people say “Well it’s Google’s cloud, a data breach of that type just isn’t possible.” Tell that to Target, tell that to Home Depot, tell that to any company that has suffered this kind of exposure. No one thinks it will ever happen to their provider. Do you think your clients or customers want their data out there for public consumption? I don’t think so. Do education facilities want their students’ personal information leaked to the public? Likewise. Oops is unacceptable in these circumstances. When you save data to Google’s cloud or Microsoft’s cloud it is no longer strictly your data. There are (usually) unread disclaimers involved in using these public clouds, and once uploaded, that data belongs to Google, Microsoft or whomever and it essentially becomes public. NetOS gives you localized storage that will not be overwritten and allows robust and secure data transmission - only YOU see your data.

Q) How does this effect law enforcement?

A) Well LEO’s rely on notes and reports to do their jobs and to make sure that the criminals and guilty parties wind up where they need to be. Save that kind of data on a Chromebook you take that chance of it being overwritten;save it to the cloud rather than your own departments, and you lose chain of custody. It then becomes a question of reliability and credibility. When saved to the cloud, can you say without a reasonable doubt that nobody has tampered with that data? No. You can’t.

Q) Some people will claim that all these statements are bitterness, from a relic of the age of client/server computing, which is coming to an end. How do you respond to the people saying that “This guy is crazy, he’s just trying to preserve old-school ways of thinking, a legacy method and mindset”?

A) Chromebooks are client/server based, in exactly the same way as that old technology. Back in the day, you accessed apps and data through a mainframe, and the resulting data was manipulated through an attached terminal Same difference here. Only difference being that web apps are more robust, point-and-click optimized and prettier than terminal output. And because of faster broadband, you aren’t confined to the vicinity of mainframe’s location. Client/server isn’t dead at all; it’s just taken on a different form and has become more convenient. I said in 2006 that as webapps became more prevalent and as connection speeds improved, we would see distinctions blur and what was local become web-oriented. But in the end, you can’t make a webapp as robust as you can a localized one – only so much data can be pushed through that pipe before it starts springing leaks.

Q) Hows does NetOS differ from ChromeOS?

A) You get actual localized storage and you get a robustness of the appliance and the versatility of a desktop computer, running apps that you created in your organization, or any other Linux desktop software. NetOS can also serve as a development platform;this can’t be done on a Chromebook. Unless you install Ubuntu or connect to a container. Or install NetOS.

Q) How does NetOS save businesses, education facilities and other customers money?

A) You can install it on a variety of repurposed hardware (even Chromebooks). ChromeOS only comes preinstalled on its own specific platform. You get the same management facilities on NetOS that you have on ChromeOS, without the expense of the proprietary Google platform and hardware.

Q) What are the system requirements for NetOS?

A) 1 GB or more of RAM, 1 GhZ 64-bit capable processor, 10 GB of storage space. Obviously, for web apps, an active internet connection. And the usual mouse and keyboard

Q) Hows does NetOS differ from Black Lab Linux and Black Lab Enterprise Linux?

A) NetOS is built primarily for those who want to use web-based applications. That is its primary purpose. Black Lab Enterprise Linux allows you that same great web application usability as well as specific roles builtin : development, accounting, desktop processing, clustering facilities and more advanced features. You can also manage the web side of things through the Chrome Management Console and Webmin for the local system administration.

Q) When will NetOS and the Cloudbook be available?

A) Today. Immediately, if not sooner.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Black Lab Enterprise Desktop 8 Developer Preview 6

Today we are releasing Black Lab Enterprise Desktop 8 Developer Preview 6 or "DP6".  DP6 offers you a window into whats new and whats coming when Black Lab Enterprise Desktop and Black Lab Enterprise Desktop for Education is released.  As with our other developer previews it also aids in porting your applications to the new environment.  
So with that out of the way whats new?

Kernel 4.2 which is a newer LTS kernel and includes the no-reboot patching services.
LibreOffice 5.1
Accounting Software
Print and Press facilities
Fluxbox as an alternative desktop for utility and embedded systems
PostgreSQL 9.5.2
Wine 1.8
**Chromium Browser
Thunderbird e-mail suite with Google apps support
**Fogger web app utility
Mint Update Manager

(**fogger will be replaced by Peppermint Ice in the final release, Chromium will be replaced by Chrome)

You can download DP6 from our Ibiblio page.

Black Lab Enterprise Desktop will be available at the following price point:

1 license $99.99
2 licenses $159.99
3 - 10 licenses $499.00
11 -20 licenses $799.00
Unlimited Corporate Licensing $1,200.99

Black Lab Enterprise Desktop for Education is available at the following price point:

1 license $75.00
2 licenses $135.00
3 - 10 licenses $399.00
11 -20 licenses $599.99
*Unlimited District license $650.00
*Unlimited Lab License $450.00
Custom Configuration $1,150.00

*Also ships with Black Lab Enterprise Desktop in addition

Shipping method:

Black Lab Enterprise Desktop with more than 1 license  ships with a VirtualBox Virtual Machine image

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Black Lab 8 "Onyx" Alpha 2 is released!

Today, PC / Opensystems LLC is pleased to announce the second alpha release in the upcoming Black Lab 8 "Onyx" series. The team continues to focus on the desktop experience, bringing the same high-performance and rock-solid stability that its users have come to expect from Black Lab Linux.

So what's new with Black Lab Linux 8 “Onyx” Alpha 1? Here are some highlights:

Linux kernel
LibreOffice 5.1
Docker integration
gpg 2.0.22
Xfdashboard (GNOME-shell-style interface for the Xfce desktop) included.
Full support for the Xbox One and Xbox One Kinect controllers.
OpenJRE 8.
USB-C is now supported
Improved Windows Phone, Android based phone and iPhone 6/6S integration.

These are some Issues that have been fixed by the development team :

Macbook hibernation issue - some of our users reported that the laptop required a reboot to wake up from sleep
Screen fragmentation with the Intel HD driver resolved.
Surface Pro 3 touchscreen responsiveness improved.

New supported hardware to run your favorite distro on :

Mac Pro 2015.
Pixel C.

Some things change, the rest stays the same : Onyx Alpha 2 includes the same great application mix that its users depend on :

Download Onyx here!

If you would like to contribute documentation, artwork or code please contact PC / OS at support_at_pc-opensystems_dot_com and we will let you know what areas require contributors;if you prefer to contribute funds to sustain your favorite distro, donate through our homepage

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

From a contributor (not the developer) - Black Lab GNOME running the Budgie Desktop!

The Budgie Desktop is developed by Ikey Doherty for Evolve OS - what makes it interesting and unique is that it doesn't fork GNOME, instead utilizing the underlying applications and libraries seamlessly. Here's a first look;check it out!

Welcome to PC/OpenSystems LLC

PC/OpenSystems LLC. is dedicated to providing top customer service including integration, providing Linux compatible hardware and enterprise desktop software solutions. We provide solutions tailored to your needs whether its building systems to suit your needs. Whether its a custom database solution, providing Linux powered PC and Server Solutions. Whatever you need you can rest assured that PC/OpenSystems LLC. will deliver a high performance and stable product

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About PC/OpenSystems LLC.

PC/OpenSystems LLC. is a small consulting firm and the only Linux retailer in NC for Linux PC's and custom systems located in Franklinton North Carolina. We specialize in hardware repair and we resell custom Linux based computers, software maintenance as well as custom application development.