Monday, December 31, 2012

Gigastrand to have a new website soon

Gigastrand International will soon have a new website and, on the surface, you may not be able to tell the difference.

What we plan to do is move to a newer, better, more capable host and many of the changes will be seen starting with the Gigastrand Store and the Gigastrand OS page.

Recommended Linux Printer
HP has always had very good Linux compatibility and the Officejet 8600 Pro is no exception. I have personally tested it on Linux Mint and the Gigastrand OS and it has performed beyond expectation in both cases.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Gigastrand OS Promo Video

It was time to update the promo video for the Gigastrand OS - so we did. Updated a few slides, some screenshots and changed the message.

We lied, however, on the last slide. It says it was made with OpenShot. While we had intended to do so, we actually made it with KDEnlive on the original Gigastrand laptop.

I find it funny how the darn thing will barely run 2 web browsers at the same time yet, it can render a one minute video in less than 2. 


Friday, December 28, 2012

Gigastrand OS: BETA Delayed and Free Insider Membership

It is as we suspected: The Gigastrand BETA will be delayed until we can secure funding and overcome some of the pre-BETA challenges. Work will continue on other systems while we tackle the issues in the OS itself. 

In the meantime, we are forming the Gigastrand Insider Group (GIG). Members of the group will 

  • Get special access to Alpha, BETA, and Release Candidate software
  • Free software on release
  • Special access to areas of the Gigastrand Website
  • Discounts and special offers given only to insiders
  • More to come!
Through December 31, 2012 we will allow anyone who is interested in becoming an Insider to sign up for free for a year. Just use the contact page on the Gigastrand site to send the following information:
  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. E-mail
  4. Preferred Username (for future site access).
Indicate in the message that you would like to sign up for the insider program.

On January 1, 2013 the insider memberships will be $48.84 per year or $84.48 for a lifetime membership and can be obtained through the Gigastrand OS website. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Gigastrand OS development fund.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gigastrand Zazzle Products

Ok. I admit this is a little late for Christmas, but most of this is stuff you will want to give all year round. Proceeds help Linux4Everyone or the Gigastrand OS. Our first Gigastrand OS product with the new logo is now available.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Gigastrand to remove "Windows Tax" from laptops.

Gigastrand has been selling Linux PCs and laptops for nearly 7 years. While our customers never pay for the Windows license on our PCs, our laptops have often been a challenge.  

Paying the "Windows Tax" is not just less than ideal, but completely ridiculous for someone who wants a machine purely Linux. Having the Windows licence for those who dual-boot or run a Windows virtual machine is beneficial.


"Every time you buy a computer that bundles a Windows license just to save a few bucks over buying a Linux machine, you're shooting yourself in the foot. It doesn't matter that you blow Windows away and install Linux-- it still counts as a Windows sale, which reinforces your vendor's belief that they need Windows users and can safely ignore Linux users. It sends money to Redmond. It rewards all the junkware, adware, and spyware vendors that load their garbage on Windows PCs. And it cements the anti-competitive status quo more firmly."

Gigastrand is taking action by eliminating or mitigating the "Windows Tax" from its laptops. This will lower the price of each laptop and the option of Windows will now be an add-on.

Look for these changes soon.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Gigastrand OS: Chrome Browser to be Included

Gigastrand International announced today that they plan to include the Google Chrome web browser in the Gigastrand OS. This will add Chromebook-like functionality to the Gigastrand OS when used in conjunction with Google cloud-based services like Google Drive, Gmail, and YouTube.

At this point it is unclear as to whether Chrome will be the default web browser on the OS or if it will be installed alongside Firefox, the OS's current default web browser, so that Chrome will be available to users that wish to use it.

"We are certainly having fewer issues with Chrome than we are with Firefox," explains Gigastrand CEO Josh Tordsen. "From a compatibility standpoint, Firefox has the edge. From a functionality standpoint, Chrome has the edge. We are not sure which should be the default browser so we are currently listening to the community and running various compatibility tests."

A default browser decision may not be made until early February. Until then, Gigastrand is taking feedback from the community.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gigastrand OS: Mr. Gigabytes Desktop

The Gigastrand OS has been evolving. We have redesigned some graphics, installed new software, and have been working on some bugs. My desktop is probably the most customized of all the installations we have here at Gigastrand. I have 2 laptops I use for Gigastrand - one for home and one at the office. Both have the Gigastrand OS on them. The above screenshot is the more powerful office laptop. I have done everything from this one. Editing videos, creating documents, developing the Gigastrand site, writing this blog, bookkeeping, and - naturally - this screenshot.

What we have done so far I equate to dipping our toes into the water as far as development is concerned. We started with a proven system, customized it, and now we have a good base to add the more complex items to. 

As one person put it: "You've got a good system here. Now its time to eff it up and see what it can do."


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gigastrand OS: New Logo Video Announcement

The Gigastrand OS has a new logo inspired by the "Globe desktop" screenshot from Alphas .02-.04. It has been observed that the 2 parts of the Gigastrand "G" logo look a bit like parts of the globe - either North and South America or Eurasia and Australia. The blue parts of the new logo also form an OS. The font was changed for the "Gigastrand OS" Label. 

For no real reason whatsoever, we also created a short 15 second video demonstrating this inspiration. 

Shortly, we will have the new logo desktop wallpaper uploaded to the Gigastrand Operating System site. You will see new graphical components for upcoming screenshots as well. The "GO" (Start, Launch, Menu or whatever you want to call it) button will also change in the next set of screenshots.


Monday, December 10, 2012

What Gigastrand is working on: A leak from the founder

Gigastrand is working on several projects through the first of the year. I figured rather than surprising folks when the projects are released, I would just tell you what we are doing.

1. Gigastrand OS. We are attempting to get an installer and flash player working by December 15th. If we can do that, we can meet the deadline for beta release on January 1st. If not, we may have to delay the BETA program while we build a custom installer.

2. LOTS of website changes. We are currently testing new site designs to be released by year end. We have several goals in mind in regards to the website changes.
  • More modern look. I like the design of our website and how consistent the look is across the many sections, but I feel it lacks a few modern touches that many other sites have. We will also be improving the flow of the site considerably.
  • Ease of use. We are looking into content managers to improve function and useability on both the front and back end.
  • Refocusing key areas. Support is a big one. I want to see a consolidation of support on the Gigastrand site. Right now, each section has its own store and its own support area.
  • Landing page simplification. Each division should have a share of the main page. As it is, the bulk of the main page goes to the top story and the other divisions simply have a link in the menu.
3. Removing the Windows Tax on Laptops. Gigastrand is making a concerted effort to remove or mitigate the Windows license on its laptops and lower its prices. This has been a giant pain for me personally on a number of levels. More on that in an upcoming blog.

4. Development of the Gigastrand OS support systems is commencing. You will start to see some of the systems around the the new year - even if the OS development is delayed.

5. New Gigastrand OS Videos. Around the first of the year the Gigastrand YouTube channel will have new OS promo videos. Later on, we are planning How-to videos.

6. New tablet offerings. Gigastrand is working on new Gigastrand P.A.D.D.s to go on sale early next year. Look for a sale on the current tablets soon.

7. Expanding our Zazzle store. We have already added new products to both the Linux4Everyone and Gigastrand Stores. More to come!

Well, that is about all I am going to be allowed to tell you about. We will be making regular blog posts through the end of the year and will keep you updated on all the Gigastrand news.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Digging up the past: Old TV commercial

I got my nickname because I used to own a local computer store with a couple of locations. Gigabytes Computer Store closed shortly after Gigastrand International was founded and it was a good run. I am posting this at the request of those who participated in its making. 

Though the quality of the video is poor (it was re-recorded off of a screen), it is a well put together piece of advertising. It aired on a local TV station (KELO/UTV) mostly during the news.


PS: For you Linux fans, note the operating system on the computer at the end.