Friday, January 30, 2015

Black Lab Linux and Tax Season

Ok so its that time of year again and once again Americans have to do the one thing we hate.  File taxes.  With all the talk of taxes and in Wal-Mart, Target and other fine retailers you find the tax preparation software.  For the last 3 years Black Lab Software Inc. has worked with Intuit and H&R Block and TaxACT to make sure that the websites work flawlessly with Black Lab Linux which has also helped users of alternative distributions and OS's and this year has been no different.  We have completed testing of TurboTaxes online web app, H&R Blocks online web app and TaxACTS online web app.  And they all work properly and as they should.  So users will have no problem filing their taxes using the web applications.  Some users have asked us can they use the retail releases under Wine.  The answer is an unfortunate no.  We have offered our assistance to Intuit and H&R Block to make a retail version available and there has been 0 interest in doing so.  Even with making it compatible with Wine.  So with that said, the Web applications work very similarly to the retail versions and users should have no issues.  I have had a few people I know use an alternative Tax preparation software called Open Tax Solver.  They are currently updating for the 2015 tax season.  I did use it one year and I didnt get audited  but thats not an official endorsement.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Re-release of Black Lab Linux XFCE

Today we are announcing the re-release of Black Lab Linux XFCE.  We had originally planned to redo the XFCE release and release it branded as Yellow Lab Linux.  Some of our users have expressed to us that it was sort of confusing and we decided we wanted to preserve our brand.  So with that we are releasing Black Lab Linux XFCE 6.0 SR1.1.

While there has not been a ton of changes since our last release of it back in October we did do some significant rework of it.  We installed all updates up to January 19, 2015.  We have also reworked the GUI so that Windows and Mac OS users who come over will not have any difficulty using the system.  So with this release what is new.

1.  Heavily customized XFCE 4.11.4 Desktop
2.  Firefox 35
3.  Thunderbird 31.4  Released on January 19, 2015
4.  GTK 3.14
5.  Font Manager
6.  Fogger for Web Apps
7.  Updated Dropbox
8.  Updated Steam client
9.  Black Lab Visual Subsystem 8
10.  Linux Kernel 3.13.44
11.  Install Script for 3.18.3

There have been over 60 updates application and system updates that have been applied.

You can download Black Lab Linux XFCE 6 from our Sourceforge Page

Black Lab Linux XFCE 6.0 SR1.1 x86_64

Black Lab Linux XFCE is also available in a Professional Desktop build

If you would like to purchase or donate to the Black Lab Linux Project you can do that here:

Donate to the Black Lab Linux Project

Purchase a Live USB, LiveSD, LiveDVD

Purchase Black Lab Linux 6.0 SR1.1

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Black Lab Linux KDE 6.0 SR1

Today we are announcing that back by popular demand is the KDE release of Black Lab Linux.  We have a long history with KDE and  it has always been one of our more popular releases and the KDE desktop is the most requested desktops for our custom build service.  With this release we are bringing it to the general public.  With this release we made many changes to the KDE desktop to make it more friendly to novices as well as power users alike.  The KDE release like all of our releases of Black Lab Linux is based on the LTS version of Ubuntu and so you can be rest assured of continued support by us and by Canonical

Built on the base of Black Lab Linux 6, the KDE release contains the following software.

KDE 4.14.2
Firefox 35
Thunderbird with the Lightning Extension
Backup Utility
Dragon Player
All multimedia codecs
Muon Software Center
Firewall utility

And many, many more software packages included and many more waiting to be discovered.

Some of the customizations that we make with Black Lab Linux KDE is that we cut off all unnecessary services and effects so we trim down the memory requirements for the system.  Many people have asked, what do we get that we wouldnt get with vanilla Kubuntu?  We include everything you need as a desktop system completely out of box.  You get streaming music, audio and video, office applications, system management tools, gaming facilities, and the ability to create your own desktop webapps.  So if you use Google Docs, Microsoft Office Online you can use them with Black Lab Linux.  Filesharing is made easy both by industry standard networking tools as well as through Dropbox.  So with that lets go ahead an answer a few questions that users may have.

Q) Will you guys be switching from GNOME3 to KDE now?
A) No, GNOME3 will continue to be our default window manager we are offering KDE as an alternative desktop for users.  Rightfully so because demand has been so high.

Q) Will KDE be offered alongside GNOME3 for professional desktop users?
A) Yes, KDE and GNOME3 are the only two choices users get on the Pro Desktop series. 

Known issues

Installer still sports Kubuntu Branding - We are working on a new installer
Older NVIDIA cards may not work in live mode but the direct install option does work.
No installer on desktop in live mode - Open the menu and go to the system submenu and the installer is there.

You can download Black Lab Linux KDE from our Sourceforge Page

Black Lab Linux KDE 6.0 SR1 x86_64

If you are would like installable media or are on bandwith restrictions or you would like to purchase Black Lab Linux KDE on a Live USB, Live SD card or Live DVD please visit our store:

Buy Black Lab Linux

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kernel Enablement Kit 3.18.2 Released

Today we are pleased to announce the release of the Black Lab Kernel Enablement Kit 3.18.2.  With this release we include the following:

Kernel Kit script
Release Notes + readme

System compatibility

Black Lab Linux 5.x/6.x
Black Lab Pro Desktop 6.x
Black Lab Education Desktop 5.x/6.x
Ubuntu 12.x/14.x
Linux Mint 17.x

You can download the kit from our Sourceforge Page

Kernel Enablement Kit 3.18.2


Whats new in this release:

Highlights include

DRM Graphics:

- Re-clocking improvements for AMD's Radeon driver.

- Radeon R600 UVD hardware-accelerated video decoding support for old ATI/AMD GPUs of the Radeon HD 3000 series.

- Radeon Userptr support.

- Numerous Intel graphics enhancements across the board.

- Nouveau DisplayPort audio, other re-clocking work, and various other enhancements for this open-source NVIDIA driver.

- Other DRM improvements.

Linux Hardware:

- Many new media drivers.

- New support for ARM SoCs on Linux.

- AMD Carrizo thermal monitoring.

- Razer Sabertooth support and other input device improvements.

- Wacom tablet enhancements.

- ACPI and power management improvements.

- PCI support on 64-bit ARM (ARM64/AArch64).

- Faster suspend and resume on large servers / many CPU cores.


- Btrfs improvements with recovery and repair in RAID configurations being notable.

- F2FS additions like FITRIM support, atomic/volatile writes, and much more.

- Many minor XFS improvements.

- Cleaning and bug fixing happened for EXT4.

- The mailbox framework has finally been mainlined.


- Xen PVSCSI support.

- Firmware core-dumps to user-space via sysfs for allowing better debugging of GPU/WiFi microcode issues and other complex firmware problems.

- USB improvements.

Welcome to Black Lab Microsystems.

Black Lab Software Inc. 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 Black Lab Software Inc. will deliver a high performance and stable product

Black Lab Software Inc. Web Search

About Black Lab Software Inc.

Black Lab Software Inc. 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.