Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Clearing up some rumors

Ok so there are a few rumors going on that I wish to address before they get to out of control and the press picks up on it and it becomes god speak.

1. We are not abandoning Black Lab Linux.

 There have been rumors floating that we are going to adopt Fedora or Ubuntu. We already have spins of both, we have a Fedora based spin, Yellow Lab for a few select customers and Black Lab which is Ubuntu based and Silver Lab which is BSD based, once again for select customers. users have asked us to release the Fedora based spin which we will do in 2016. But we are not abandoning the Ubuntu base, our relationship with Canonical teams are strong.

2. You guys are abandoning GNOME.

No we are not. The reason we have reemphasized our XFCE based desktop is because we want to port Black Lab over to the Rasp Pi and some ARM based set-top boxes. GNOME is not a good solution for this. We tried. Out of 75 builds for the Raspberry Pi using GNOME they all failed miserably due to RAM. XFCE takes less RAM and is much better suited for old 32 bit systems and IoT devices.

3. You guys ship Windows and Ubuntu on your hardware.

 Yes, we do on a customer by customer basis. Although we do ship Black Lab as the default, we have been known to ship upon customer request a dual boot system. Black Lab Software is a business, and like all other businesses we offer our customers choice. If a customer comes to me and says "I want Windows" Im not going to refuse a sale because I disagree with the customers choice. I inform them of the immense benefit of Linux. Black Lab is by far the most popular, we have three Windows customers and most of the time those customers get a mix of Black Lab and Windows, our RHEL and Ubuntu customers are a small faction and I have one Bodhi Linux customer. But unless a customer requests something else, they get Black Lab Linux by default and Black Lab Linux is extremely popular and continues to be on our hardware.

Thanks guys

Monday, July 13, 2015

Happy Birthday to the Black Lab Linux Project

This month we celebrate 7 years for the Black Lab Linux Project and with that we are selling a commemorative wireless keyboard and mouse combination.  This keyboard comes with the Paw key and goes great with the BriQ or any of our other systems and comes in a range of colors.


So show your support for the Black Lab Linux project and order yours today.

Black Lab Commemorative Keyboard

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Windows vs Linux

IT Pro recently released an article on Windows vs Linux

In this article they covered a few points:

Software Compatibility
Layout, design and User Interface

Now.  Im not here to bash Windows.  Windows definitely has some strong points and Linux has its strong points.

Black Lab Linux though is designed with user-friendliness in its DNA as well as software and compatibility.  Many of our users and customers have deemed us as the best distro when it comes to a professional, user friendly and performance computing environment.  We are compatible with existing Linux applications through our shared code base with Ubuntu and we work hard to achieve compatibility with all kinds of traditional UNIX applications from SGI IRIX, AIX, HP/UX, SCO UnixWare and SCO OpenServer.  As for Windows compatibility, all of our commercial systems ship with Virtualbox so you can run virtualized sessions of Windows and we can configure the software layer known as Wine to run a variety of Windows software.

Black Lab Linux in addition to most Linux distros nowadays are very simple to install with even the most tedious of tasks being fully automated.  Long gone are the days of having to manually configure monitors, keyboards, mice and disk partitions.  As for user friendliness we work hard so that even new users can use the GUI and be as familiar with our layout as are most Windows and OS X users.  Whatever background you come from Black Lab Linux will seem familiar and easy to navigate with a short transition period.

Support.  The article suggests that Windows is easier to support.  Now, with Microsoft support its very difficult and sifting through many forums and documentation can be extremely tedious.  With Black Lab Linux our users and customers enjoy an issue response within 24 hours of contact, 7 days a week.  If its a serious concern we do attempt to recreate the issue and put out a fix within a timely matter.  You also have a friendly community who can also answer any questions you have.

Hardware support -  Many people claim Windows to have better hardware support and to be better supported with hardware.  With Linux even newer systems have that support and when you purchase systems with Black Lab Linux from us they are 100% tested and GUARANTEED to work.  We thoroughly test each system before it gets shipped to the customer.  When you have Black Lab Linux installed on OUR systems we don't make you reinstall Windows and ship it back.  If we have to replace or repair a system you send it back as is whether you have Windows, Linux, even Hackintosh installed.  We will repair or replace the ailing hardware component.  Dell, HP, Acer and Samsung make you reinstall Windows in order for them to even look at your machine.

So while Linux and Windows both offer compelling reasons to use either/or the situation is not as cut and dry as it makes it to be.  The decision to use Linux or Windows should be based on your needs and what you desire because in all those points above Linux is just as good and sometimes superior to Windows.  With Black Lab Linux you get that personal touch, around the clock support and a staff with over 90 years of combined experience of Unix/Linux support.  When we say we look forward to serving you, its not just a byline to make you buy a box. We are with you 100% through order, shipment, installation and usage.  This includes home, business, or education usage.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Online Privacy and Security

We get asked this all the time; how do I stay anonymous online? The answer is you cant. Thats the basics of it. The only way to be anonymous online is to throw away your cell phone and unplug that network cable from the back of your computer and NEVER go online again. PERIOD. These people that "sell" or advertise these customized Linux distros and recommend the Tor network, it is all misleading. Being anonymous online is a fantasy.  People point to Edward Snowden and Tor as an example.  How did he move all this information?  The answer is very simple.  They didn't know he was doing it and they weren't looking for him.  Others point to proxies.  You have a couple of issues with proxies.  If you try to filter your traffic through a bunch of proxies you will eventually hit a performance and speed issue.  You also have the problem that with all traffic you have a start and an end point.  First of all, the government has been spying on private citizens since before the times of technology. Computing and the always on devices has made it easier.  The question is not how do you stay anonymous. The question is how much in terms of resources someone is going spend to find out what you are doing. If you intend to commit Jihad, kill a president, blow up buildings or commit mass genocide on a school playground then they care. Unless you fit the criteria of terrorist, child porn peddler or mass murderer the chances are you are not on the NSA's most wanted list. 

We leave digital fingerprints everywhere we go. From services, to search, music videos you watch to what Netflix shows you watch. Its called e-biometrics. Human beings are creatures of habit.  Search companies, data analytics companies can tell EVERYTHING about you by what you do. So anyone who tells you that they have this perfect solution, Tor, GPG, proxies etc etc. They amount to nothing more than snake oil salesmen. The best example of this was recently Silk Road which operated on the deep web and the Tor Network which was shut down by the FBI and the proprietor was imprisoned for life.  So really, being anonymous online. It will never happen, and more importantly it cant be done.

This is why Black Lab Software does not advertise, produce or mislead customers and potential customers by what we do and dont include in our distributions.  While yes, we can help you secure your servers and desktops against crackers using proper security measures and techniques we cannot guarantee any solution or program will keep you "anonymous" once data leaves your own internal networks.  Anyone who says they can is lying to you.

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.