Archive for June, 2008

LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have a OLPC XO-1 spotted in a red enclosure and a possibly faked demo of XP an a OLPC as well, The MPAA says “We Don’t Need No Stinking Evidence!”, Linux developers petition for open Linux kernel drivers, No Vista Inside for Intel, Dear Microsoft, thanks for the help, Linux, Battle of the Titans – Mandriva vs openSUSE: The Rematch and Ten sticking points for new Ubuntu users.

Did Microsoft Fake XP on XO Press Media?!: Do you remember all the hoopla around the XP on the XO announcement in May? Where Microsoft gave us a press release, blog post, and a video, all announcing Windows XP for the XO laptop. Well, thanks to the sleuths on OLPC News Forum it looks like Microsoft may have faked two of the three. First, let’s look at the official press release photograph showing XP on the XO. Now, take a very, very close look. Do you see what teapot sees?

XO-1 spotted in red enclosure: At first I thought that I was looking at a late April’s fool joke. Then I was reminded of other potentially faked material involving Microsoft and OLPC. But the more often I look at the photos that Gizmodo has posted the more I believe that I’m really looking at a limited edition XO-1 that comes in red..

Morals, Force and Freedomware: “I would rather live in a free market where proprietary software has 90% market share than in a state where Free Software is enforced by law.”

MPAA: We Don’t Need No Stinking Evidence!: You get some positive news, such as the Amicus brief filed by the EFF and others in the Jammie Thomas case, which could net her a new trial. But also on Friday, the MPAA filed its own brief, one which basically says it feels evidence isn’t necessary in the case of one of its copyright infringement trials.

Installing applications on Linux: In my last article I talked about changing Linux so that software updates come from your ISPs local Linux mirror, which may not count towards your monthly download allowance. In this article I’ll chat about how to install applications.

Compare Ekiga and Skype on Ubuntu 8.04: What do you have to lose by using Internet Phone with Ekiga Softphone. This is easy to set up and can save you a lot of money by using it. This is especially a useful tool if you have broadband access to the Internet. Here is a step-by-step approach to setting up your phone. Also provided is a link to compare Skype with Ekiga.

Linux developers petition for open Linux kernel drivers: Insisting that they have “repeatedly found them to be detrimental to Linux users, businesses, and the greater Linux ecosystem,” today the Linux kernel community has started petitioning for open-source modules and open-source drivers for the Linux kernel. Such modules negate the openness, stability, flexibility, and maintainability of the Linux development model and shut their users off from the expertise of the Linux community. The Linux Foundation, led by Jim Zemlin, has issued a statement in favor of the Linux kernel developers’ position. It’s unclear why the kernel developers decided to speak out now, though the Linux Foundation indicates that the developers have been subjected to a steady barrage of questions on the topic for years. Apparently, they finally got sick of it.

HP Open Sources Unix File System for Linux: HP is opening up its Tru64 Advanced File System (AdvFS) to the open source Linux community in a bid to help further Linux file system innovation. The AdvFS file system, which has its roots in Digital Equipment Corporation’s Digital Unix, is used in mission-critical deployments by HP customers. But HP, which gained AdvFS through a series of acquisitions, has its own flavor of Unix, HP-UX, with its own file system.

Funny Side of Linux: In all seriousness of being a linux user we sometimes forget the fun side of it all, here is an attempt to capture some of it.

Debian To Replace Xandros on the Eee PC?: In an under-reported story this week, it appears that Debian could eventually replace Xandros as the default Linux OS on the Eee PC.

NVIDIA Denies Opening Up Its Driver: Yesterday we reported on the Linux Foundation’s message they have issued on the behalf of more than 140 kernel developers: Binary-only kernel modules are harmful and undesirable. While no vendor was singled out in this message, the biggest hardware manufacturer that has yet to provide any real level of open-source support is NVIDIA Corporation.

Battle of the Titans – Mandriva vs openSUSE: The Rematch: Last fall when the two mega-distros openSUSE and Mandriva both hit the mirrors, it was difficult to decide which I liked better. In an attempt to narrow it down, I ran some light-hearted tests and found Mandriva won out in a side-by-side comparison. But things change rapidly in the Linux world and I wondered how a competition of the newest releases would come out. Mandriva 2008.1 was released this past April and openSUSE 11.0 was released just last week.

Dear Microsoft, thanks for the help, Linux: You gotta love it. Microsoft has decided that it will ho ahead and kill off easy access to XP on June 30th. On behalf of desktop Linux users everywhere, and our first cousins, the Mac fans, thanks. You’ve given us the best shot we’ll ever have of taking the desktop. But it gets even better! Microsoft has also announced that it will be releasing Windows 7 on January 2010. They’ll blow that ship date. Microsoft has never set a shipping date it could meet. But, who in their right mind would now buy Vista?

No Vista Inside for Intel: It looks like Microsoft may have shot itself in both feet by announcing Windows 7 so soon, as ‘Wintel’ decides not to bother upgrading to Vista because there is, and I quote here: “no compelling case.” ROFL. Perhaps they should skip Windows 7 as well and just opt for 80,000 Linux installs?

Nvidia says no to free drivers, I say no to Nvidia: “Bottom line is. Nvidia, you say no to freedomware drivers, I say no to you. How about that? Perhaps with enough people in the market acting on that same sentiment will make the value of NVIDIA’s precious “intellectual property” suddenly seem trivial.”

Portrait: Michelle Bisson balances consulting with Joomla! volunteerism: “I’ve always done the things that nobody else wanted to do,” Michelle Bisson says, explaining how she became the only woman on the core team for the Joomla! content management system. “I say, ‘Oh, that needs to be done? Okay, I’ll do what I can.'” This outlook is responsible not only for making her one of the founders of the Joomla! project, but also for giving her an unusual degree of insight into how non-developers can contribute to free and open source software projects (FOSS).

OpenSUSE 11: nice kid, bad custodians: Sometime back, I had a couple of encounters with OpenSUSE, the so-called community distribution which was started by Novell in 2005. Neither of them was exactly salutary. For example, in October last year, version 10.3 was released and my efforts to see what it was all about were frustrated to a large extent by the downloads themselves.

Ten sticking points for new Ubuntu users:
With Ubuntu, Canonical has had notable success in convincing people to switch from other platforms, but potential Ubuntu users are still running into trouble in several areas. Having spent some time on Canonical’s forums, I’ve identified 10 points that seem to be common sticking points for new users — that is, problems that have the potential to prevent a new user from adopting Ubuntu in the long term. These problems span the entire Ubuntu experience, but they all have two things in common: they are all serious enough to evoke the dreaded “I tried Linux but it didn’t work” excuse, and they are all solvable.

Life after Windows, 3 1/2 months: Deleted the Windows partition: On March 11 I decided to move away from using Microsoft Windows XP as my primary work operating system on my IBM-supplied Thinkpad T60p. I’ve offered progress reports on how I was getting along. Through all of this I kept a reduced Windows XP partition on the machine “just in case.”


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LXer Article

There is a local radio show here in Phoenix that is as cool as it gets. Its called The Gutsy Geeks Computer Show. Michael Cady, Nick Coons and Richard “Mr. Modem” Sherman host the show every Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. on 1310 KXAM here in Phoenix. This week’s show features your humble Editor-in-Chief as a guest. I have been on the show several times before and have always had a great time.

Gutsy Geeks Computer Show

PC Chat Show Archives

From The Gutsy Geek About Page:

If you think all computer shows are the same, think again! The focus here is Linux and Open Source computing. Not familiar with Open Source or Linux? Let the Gutsy Geeks tell you about this user-friendly alternative to Windows, why it’s finding its way to millions of desktops worldwide, and how it can benefit you while saving you lots of money in the process!

The distinctive personalities and technical expertise of hosts Michael, Nick, and Mr. Modem (The Gutsy Geeks) create a unique chemistry that has appealed to listeners for years. The hosts’ humor-laden banter and occasionally irreverent perspective on the world makes this one of the fastest 60-minutes in radio. Either that, or it will bore you to tears. Sometimes it’s just too close to call.

Michael, Nick, and Mr. Modem draw from their many years of experience in all facets of computing and each week feature news and information about the world of Open Source and Linux.

The Hosts:

Michael Cady – Over 20 years ago, Michael crossed paths with a Timex Sinclair computer, decided it was love at first byte, and has been living and breathing technology almost ever since. Today, he is the co-owner of a local computer company (RedSeven), helped to found a PC-recycling charity (KidComputers), and is knowledgeable about all facets of computing. Michael is also the show’s resident trouble-maker.

Nick Coons – Any computer show worth its weight in floppies needs a die-hard, fingers-to-the-keyboard geek, and Nick is Gutsy Geeks’ Chairman of the Circuit Board. Nick began programming when he was eight years old and his passion for all aspects of computing has grown through the years. Nick’s advanced networking and programming skills include DOS, Windows, Linux, and Unix. Whatever it is, Nick knows it and puts it to good use as CEO (with Michael) of the aforementioned computer company. Computing is such an integral part of his life, he even met a girl on the Internet who has since become his wife!

Richard Sherman – “Mr. Modem” began his computing career with a dual-floppy Zenith computer and monochrome monitor in 1981, and from that cutting-edge start, began writing about computers and the Internet. Today, he writes the nationally syndicated “Ask Mr. Modem” newspaper column, and is a featured columnist each month in Smart Computing magazine. As publisher of the award-winning “Ask Mr. Modem” weekly newsletter, Mr. Modem reaches subscribers in 38 countries and has a combined readership of more than three million readers each month. The author of eight books, his articles and columns have appeared in The Reader’s Digest, Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, the AARP Magazine, and countless Web sites. Mr. Modem hosts the “Mr. Modem Minute” produced by FOX-TV, currently broadcast in remote outposts throughout the U.S. primarily in the coveted 3:00 to 4:00 AM time slot.

Gutsy Geeks (formerly PC Chat), which made its debut in August 2001, exists to educate, enlighten, and entertain listeners about Linux and Open Source.

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LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu, Is Linux Ready for Firefox 3?, After 15 years in beta Wine 1.o finally arrives along with a review, an interview with Andrew Morton, AMD Makes An Evolutionary Leap In Linux Support, a Damn Small Linux 4.4 Review, the top 10 best GTK applications not included in GNOME and Nokia thinks that open source developers should play by their rules.

A Future of Instant-On Cloud Computing: All the technology of the future is here, and it runs Linux.

This week at LWN: Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu: The life of South African Mark Shuttleworth has been a kind of geek dream: found and sell Internet company for $500+ million in mid-20s; spend $20 million to become the second space tourist; and create a GNU/Linux distribution with a cool name that has become the most popular on the desktop. Here, he talks to Glyn Moody about Ubuntu’s new focus on the server side, why Ubuntu could switch from GNOME to KDE, and what happens to Ubuntu and its commercial arm, Canonical, if Shuttleworth were to fall out of a spaceship.

Microsoft and Its Open-Source Gambit: Microsoft has made another move in its open source gambit by becoming a sponsor of the Open Source Census The move follows Microsoft’s partnership with the Eclipse Foundation, where Microsoft pledged to support Eclipse open-source projects at the EclipseCon conference in March. Now Microsoft joins the Open Source Census effort as a sponsor.

Vista’s big problem: 92 percent of developers ignoring it: And to think Microsoft used to be popular with the developer crowd…Not anymore. A recent report from Evans Data shows fewer than one in 10 software developers writing applications for Windows Vista this year. Eight percent. This is perhaps made even worse by the corresponding data that shows 49 percent of developers writing applications for Windows XP. Such appreciation for history is not likely to warm the cockles of Microsoft’s heart, especially when Linux is getting lots of love from developers (13 percent writing apps for it this year and 15.5 percent in 2009). The Mac? I don’t have any equivalent data via Evans Data.

Is Linux Ready for Firefox 3?: With the new Firefox 3 set for release tomorrow (Tuesday June 16), tens of millions of Mozilla Firefox users on Windows will get an update notification directly from Mozilla to upgrade. But what about Linux users? Is there a conspiracy to keep Firefox 3 from them? Most Linux users do not get their Firefox browser directly from Mozilla, but rather get it from their Linux distribution.

Wine 1.0 Released: The Wine team is proud to announce that Wine 1.0 is now available. This is the first stable release of Wine after 15 years of development and beta testing.

Microsoft Ruins “Open Source” from the Inside: Microsoft’s strategy goes like this: invade open source, redefine open source, make open source work better on Windows, force open source to ‘license’ for software patents.

Kernel space: Interview with Andrew Morton: Andrew Morton is well-known in the kernel community for doing a wide variety of different tasks: maintaining the -mm tree for patches that may be on their way to the mainline, reviewing lots of patches, giving presentations about working with the community, and, in general, handling lots of important and visible kernel development chores. Things are changing in the way he does things, though, so we asked him a few questions by email. He responded at length about the -mm tree and how that is changing with the advent of linux-next, kernel quality, and what folks can do to help make the kernel better.

OS Smackdown: Linux vs. Mac OS X vs. Vista vs. XP: Since the dawn of time — or, at least, the dawn of personal computers — the holy wars over desktop operating systems have raged, with each faction proclaiming the unrivaled superiority of its chosen OS and the vile loathsomeness of all others.

AMD Makes An Evolutionary Leap In Linux Support: Less than a year ago we shared with you the revolutionary steps AMD was taking to deliver significant improvements to their once infamous proprietary Linux display driver and at the same time the work they were doing to foster the growth of an open-source driver for their latest graphics card families. These steps have certainly paid off for both AMD and the Linux community at large. AMD’s proprietary driver is now on par with NVIDIA’s Linux driver and there are two open-source ATI drivers picking up new features and improvements on an almost daily basis. AMD also continues to publish new programming guides and register information on a routine basis for their latest and greatest hardware.

To Those Who Make My Job Easier: Recently, I did a laptop install for an individual that needed to upload files to his home computer from his laptop. It was important to him to do so. He didn’t need a full feature SSH protocol or anything remotely (sorry) close to it. Many of the files are too big to get past his email size limit so he was worried that his Linux Box wouldn’t be able to do what his Windows install did. That is where droopy comes in. That fact that it is a Python script endears me immediately but more so, the absolute ease by which it is utilized makes it the perfect little app for almost anyone’s use.

Damn Small Linux 4.4 Review: DSL 4.4 was just released on June 9th, so this past weekend I installed it on my Compaq Deskpro Pentium III 800 Mhz machine. It only has 256 megs of RAM, so a lightweight distribution like DSL is a good choice for it. Their site claims you can run DSL 486 DX with 16 megs of RAM, so even this old Compaq should fly with what it�s got.

Wine 1.0 Review: Finally, the so called ‘stable’ version of Wine, 1.0, has been released on June 17, 2008. The last Wine review I made was to 1.0RC2 (release candidate 2), in which I already tested World of WarCraft, mIRC and DC++. I had no issues with World of WarCraft (tested using a trial account) which performs very well, without any visible problems, DC++ has minor stability problems and the mIRC scripts editor crashes, but otherwise, mIRC behaves good enough.

Top 10 Best GTK Applications Not Included in GNOME: The article reviews 10 GTK applications which don’t come with the GNOME desktop environment: GIMP, Banshee, Inkscape, Firefox, Deluge, XChat, OpenOffice, VLC, LinuxDC++ and Geany.

Nokia: Open source developers should play by our rules: I was a little surprised to hear Nokia vice president of software Ari Jaaski’s comments last week. Not long ago, Nokia got off to a great start by embracing open source for its mobile device business. But now, according to Jaaski, it’s the open source developer community that needs to adapt to the ways of commercial software vendors, not the other way around.

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LXer Article

First off, It is Father’s Day in the U.S. and I want to wish a Happy Fathers Day to my Beloved Father and to all the Dads across the world. In this week’s Roundup we have stories from the big OOXML vote fiasco that has been brewing. We have an LXer Feature written by Thomas King entitled “The future is bright for Linux filesystems”, How to buy the wrong color laser printer, a review of Slackware 12.1, IBM rolls out Symphony support, The inevitability of open source windows, Richard Stallman attacks Oyster’s ‘unethical’ use of Linux, Are there any evil distros? and last but not least I end things with a couple of very funny articles that should bring a smile to your face. Enjoy!

Microsoft OOXML opponents won’t back down: After Hillary Clinton spoke last night I listened closely for what the loudspeakers would play. It was Tom Petty’s hit “I Won’t Back Down.” (UPDATE: Clinton did back down Wednesday, with the official announcement now expected in two stages Friday and Saturday. OOXML opponents, meanwhile, fight on.)

ISO puts OOXML standardization on hold: After member states filed four complaints against the standardisation of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in Geneva have responded by postponing publication of the revised specification. As the ISO announced, the planned ISO/IEC DIS 29500 cannot be published until these complaints have been heard. Procedure requires that they be dealt with by the end of June, when the ISO and IEC have to hand over their comments on the complaints to two management committees for a final decision.

The future is bright for Linux filesystems: In a recent article, Linux File Systems: Ready for the Future?, Henry Newman expands on what he feels are shortcomings in current GNU/Linux filesystems. Specifically, he believes current Linux filesystem technology cannot meet the demands that massive implementations of 100TB or larger require. He states he received some emotional responses trying to either refute his information or impugn his character, although those comments do not show on either of the article’s pages. This prompted me to get the real scoop on how Linux filesystem technology is trying to keep pace with the ever-growing need for storage space.

How to Buy the Wrong Color Laser Printer: Despite the title, I think my experiences could be useful guide for others. Should you need to replace a printer quickly, my choices of criteria could be instructive. I should note too, much of the information I had was based upon faulty inputs and mis-diagnosed problems. Nonetheless, my criteria yielded a decent unit, just more than what was needed. In part that was due to my daughter needing a quick replacement. Moreover, the printer had to function on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Given those constraints and misinformation, I could have done much worse.

KDE 4 sucks big time: I’ve been a KDE user for many years. Maybe it’s just me, maybe the UI world is changing, but the newest incarnation of KDE sucks big time. All was fine until the 4.x series, then suddenly, the switch was made and what do we have now? All glitter, all bloatware. And what’s with the desktop icons? Where’s the simplicity? Do you want to confuse new users to death?

Slackware 12.1 – The Newest Release of the Oldest Surviving Linux Distribution: Slackware has a well earned reputation for reliability, stability, and performance. It may also be the least user friendly major Linux distribution on the planet short of building Linux From Scratch.

IBM takes on Microsoft with ODF-based Symphony: IBM has launched a commercially supported version of its Lotus Symphony productivity suite, ready to take on Microsoft Office. The software is free, with unlimited technical support for around US$25 (£13) per user, and it supports the ODF document format–which could cast an unflattering light on the confusion around Microsoft Office

The Inevitability of Open Source Windows: Microsoft is going to become an OSS company, not a FOSS company. We are already seeing the early signs of this. They have created a couple of open source licenses and have submitted them for approval successfully with the Open Source Initiative. Microsoft has pledged to become a more open company. Although the said pledge has been received with a lot of skepticism, I think they really mean it. They have to. Microsoft is now hard at work trying to convince the world that they really have changed. Is all this going to be enough? I don’t think so. They have to still go a little further. Lets see why.

Revenge of the Nerdette: As geeks become chic in all levels of society, an unlikely subset is starting to roar. Meet the Nerd Girls: they’re smart, they’re techie and they’re hot.

OpenOffice.org template collections: Stubbornly, OpenOffice.org continues to ship with only a handful of templates. Despite the efforts of several sub-projects and individuals to change the situation, the standard OpenOffice.org download includes only a couple of slide show presentations and a few templates to accompany the wizards available in the file menu. This lack of templates is a serious handicap for many users, and often leaves a poor impression on new users who are accustomed to the selection of templates found in other office suites.

3 Reasons Why Your System Might Be Slow: Computer users expect their systems to work well at all times, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. If your system becomes slow, there certainly is something you can do about it. This article will help you understand what’s happening on the system, whether it’s the computer in front of you or a system you’re accessing remotely. Naturally, I presume you’re running Linux, and the tools described here are Linux tools. If you’re on some other weird system ( 😉 ), your mileage may vary.

Stallman attacks Oyster’s ‘unethical’ use of Linux: Free-software advocate Richard Stallman has spoken out against the association of open-source software with London’s “unethical” Oyster-card system. In an email sent to ZDNet.co.uk on Monday, Stallman criticised the use of open-source software, such as Red Hat Linux, JBoss middleware and Apache web-server software, in the online payment system for the Oyster contactless cards used on London’s underground rail network.

Desktops in trouble: There are some disturbing developments and they are happening in the key components of our systems: the desktop. KDE has spawned a new release. People are not only complaining about its instability, but also about its direction. Gnome is in trouble as well. There is the Mono controversy and some people feel it has become a dead project, because it has ceased to be “exciting and innovative”.

Are There Any Evil Distros?: If you take a gander at the number of Linux distributions listed at Distrowatch, you’ll find there are tons of “forks” and “offshoots” from one distribution to another. With Linux, we have the freedom to do that, but I’m curious if there are any Linux flavors that are truly offensive to people. There has been some controversial uprisings in the past, but it begs the questions — does the freedom to fork ever cross over into creepville?

The Definitive Guide to VoIP for Linux Users: Have you tried lately to figure out which Linux operating system you’d like to use? And, did you think about adding a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) device to that Linux system? We can guess that you probably overwhelmed with the choices available to VoIP users today. In fact, to write a truly definitive guide to VoIP for Linux users, we would need to write a book. Instead, we combed the online Linux and VoIP Wikis to find the most-used combinations of Linux and VoIP according to the systems and devices that were most talked about on these support and documentation pages.

How to write a Gnome Application: By popular demand, a guide to writing a Gnome app: Find some reasonable app from another platform (Windows, Mac, KDE, whatever, but preferably, Mac). Bonus points if there are already 3 other gtk-based alternatives who don’t want to integrate with Gnome…

Gates Says Linux Best OS Ever: At a hastily convened press conference Bill Gates announced that he personally thinks that “Linux is the best OS ever.” Linux #1. He added, “Mundie and Ballmer are idiots. Their talk about how open source software damages intellectual property or how Linux is a cancer, is moronic. When I heard these attacks I felt sick to my stomach. How could a company that I poured my blood, sweat and tears into spread these untruths? My conscience guides me, that’s why I’m before you today.”

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LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have Essential Thunderbird add-ons, Microsoft Free – One year later, Google Gadgets for Linux, 42 More of the Best Free Linux Games and Could the eeePC end up being Microsoft’s trojan horse? We have two LXer Features, a review of the EeePC entitled “Wow! It’s PINK!” and the continuation of Herschel Cohen’s HTML series “Web Input – Securing Data, Second Level of Defense”, also Ken Starks finds out that his Linux box is infected. To wrap things up, in our FUD section we have the SourceForge.net 2008 Community Choice Awards brought to you by Microsoft, at least it sure seems that way, and Novell joins Microsoft in Anti-Linux FUD. Enjoy!

Wow! It’s PINK!: Where computers are concerned, I like to think of myself as cool, calm, and technically proficient. I got my first microcomputer (a Color Computer with 16K RAM) in 1983, and before I moved on to a bigger and better machine I’d learned to program it in assembly language. I’ve given up on learning assembly since then (the chipsets keep changing) but I still build my desktop computers from scratch. So I’m a tad embarrassed to report that when I first saw an ad for the Eee, in NewEgg’s Valentine’s Day newsletter, my initial reaction was, “Oh, wow! It’s PINK!”

Essential Thunderbird add-ons: What’s your normal routine when you log on in the morning? It’s probably something along the lines of: pour cup of coffee, fire up Thunderbird, check your email, check your other email accounts that Thunderbird can’t access, pour another cup of coffee. Well, here are a few Thunderbird extensions that may make your mornings go a little more smoothly.

Windows, IE lose web share to Mac OS X, Linux, Safari, Firefox, iPhone: The trouble with having a huge market share is that the only way to move is down – and that’s exactly what’s happening to Windows and Internet Explorer, according to an new report. The question is how much further are they going to fall?

Microsoft Free – One year later: In May of 2007 I wrote a post called Open Source and Microsoft Free. Little did I know that this post would show up on Digg, Slashdot, Craigslist, and several other popular web sites and become a platform for both the Linux and Microsoft camps to wage yet another flame war. This whole “Microsoft free” experiment started when a colleague of mine challenged me to eat my own dog food after reading many of my posts about my dabbling with open source technologies. The next day, after a few blue screens of death and various issues with Outlook, I grabbed a Ubuntu CD and installed it on my laptop….at work! From that day forward, I have not used a single Microsoft product at work. It has been one year now and I have survived with Thunderbird and Evolution, Open Office, Firefox, and many other open source replacements for Microsoft products.

How to be a good (and lazy) System Administrator: If you’re anything like the average System Administrator, you are understaffed, underfunded, and overworked. By now, you’ve also gotten used to the idea that no one knows you exist until the mail server goes down, then you’re suddenly on America’s Most Wanted. In this article, I’m also assuming that you have many servers that you are responsible for. I’m also assuming that you don’t really want to work as hard as you are; if you do, you should become a Windows server manager and begin worrying about frequent patches from Microsoft, security vulnerabilities, virus protection, a clumsy user interface, and lack of native scriptability. I’m not saying that Linux is perfect, but there are a lot of things about Linux that just makes it easier to administer.

Could the eeePC end up being Microsoft’s trojan horse?: Right from the time the 7-inch model made its debut, there have been any number of positive reviews. With the emergence of the 9-inch model, the praise has grown even louder with the Linux fanatics among the crowd of yea-sayers seeing the device as the one that finally gives the operating system a chance to gain its comeuppance against Microsoft. In truth, the eeePC has many things going for it. The size and weight are major plus factors – it would win over a businessman on those counts alone.

Linux: You Get What You Paid For (When You Bought Windows): If you’ve been an Open Source advocate for any significant amount of time, you’ve no doubt heard someone say, with a sneer in their voice, “You get what you pay for”. Let it be noted, I really hate that cliche. It does make me think, however, about what you really get when you purchase the license to use a commercial operating system like Windows or OSX.

Using chroot to Recover root Passwords: There’s a system that’s on my self, and I’ve come to realize that I no longer remember the password for this machine. Rather than reinstall the system, I used a much easier method utilizing chroot.

Google Gadgets for Linux: Since releasing Google Desktop for Linux, we’ve added almost all of our most requested features, like 64-bit support and the ability to search applications and documents. All except one major exception: Desktop Gadgets. Gadget support is not just a single feature, but rather an entire platform for miniature applications. It’s a complex undertaking, but we’re now putting the finishing touches on the product.

Web Input – Securing Data, Second Level of Defense: My implicit presumption in this series is that break ins are unplanned, opportunistic occurrences. Break in attempts are triggered by encountering an input form. As I mentioned previously, do not give information away needlessly. Moreover, I strongly suggest you consider becoming passively aggressive by making your presentation of the form and its expected input somewhat unpredictable. Moreover, I advise turning your data input into a simple waste of time and effort for those not trained to use the entry way.

42 More of the Best Free Linux Games: In response to our request for users’ thoughts on their favorite Linux games, we received, as anticipated, a flood of emails. Hundreds of games were recommended for inclusion in this compilation, with a few people eulogizing at great length why a particular title could not be omitted. To say that strong emotions were stirred by our previous ’42 of the Best Linux Games’ feature is an understatement!

My Linux Box is INFECTED!: And please…don’t tell me “that’s what you get for allowing Javascript to run in my browser.” I refuse to be intimidated into crippling my computing experience. Extensions like no-script might take care of this but at what cost? No…we fix the problem, not amputate part of the browsing experience for expediency.

The 10 Best Linus Torvalds Quotes: Linus Torvalds – a classic example of the love-it-or-hate-it type of person. Brilliant programmer, of course, and the father of one of the most extraordinary software projects in the world, but sometimes, he can be utterly arrogant any annoying, yet the other moment completely sensible and utterly spot-on in his statements. CBR listed the ten best Linus Torvalds quotes.

SourceForge.net 2008 Community Choice Awards: Hey! You! Are you sick of letting the big hardware companies, tech blogs, and mainstream media decide which open source projects deserve widespread attention? So are we. That’s why we created the SourceForge.net Community Choice Awards, and we need your nominations!

Novell joins Microsoft in Anti-Linux FUD: A few years ago, I had really high hope’s for Novell’s forays in to Linux. However; bad move after bad move has left me with no confidence in Novell or their Linux products. I can’t say I was shocked to find this work of misinformation touting the “benefits” of Novell over Redhat and “unpaid” Linux.

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LXer Article

For the Roundup this week we have, Ubuntu 8.04 is ready to take on Windows, Why the pre-loaded Linux Desktop is important, Caitlyn Martin’s first impression of Slackware 12.1, Is OpenOffice.org Getting Faster?, AirRivals on Linux with Wine and the Korean government writes a digital textbook on Linux.

Korean Government Writes Digital Textbook on Linux: The government-led Korean digital textbook project will adopt Linux. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea announced their decision to choose the open software for digital textbook, the key project for the government’s digital education policy. The digital textbook provides the contents of conventional textbooks, reference books, workbooks and terminologies in the form of video files, animations and virtual reality. It is the main learning material for students with various interactive features that cater for the needs of learners with different levels of capability.

Death knell for television as we know it: Japanese television technology that will give viewers access to high-speed broadcasts over the internet could render conventional television obsolete and transform the media landscape within years, analysts have predicted. The country’s electronics and telecommunications industries are developing a technological standard for a new “internet television” set, which will let users browse websites and watch streaming programs at the touch of a remote control.

AirRivals on Linux with Wine: AirRivals is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with the characteristics of both Third-person shooters and flight simulators, developed by MasangSoft and owned by Yedang. In AirRivals, players pilot their own individual starfighters (called “Gears”) throughout a number of maps, including terrestrial, lunar, and space maps. It has typical MMORPG elements such as leveling, currency, and a skills system. Ace Online is a largely Player vs. Player (PvP)-oriented game, with character leveling and item acquisition achieved through combat against Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and the completion of missions. As a player gains levels, more and more maps become accessible.

Ubuntu 8.04 Is Ready to Take On Windows: Ubuntu’s deep software catalog, focus on usability and active community combine with long-term support to put desktop Linux’s best face forward. Canonical has marshaled the best of what the open-source world has to offer in Ubuntu 8.04, a Linux-based operating system that’s capable of mounting a serious challenge to Microsoft Windows on mainstream desktops and notebooks.

Secure and anonymous browsing with Firefox and TorK: Often, the web browser that comes with an operating system is not set up in a secure default configuration. Not securing your web browser can lead quickly to a variety of computer problems caused by anything from spyware being installed without your knowledge to intruders taking control of your computer. As a result, exploiting vulnerabilities in web browsers has become a popular way for attackers to compromise computer systems. For that reason, it is very important to take control and to decide what kind of browser and plug-in to use. But here is the good news; Linux is already using Mozilla Firefox as a default browser.

Why the pre-loaded Linux Desktop is important: I will never cease to be amazed at how fast things change and how quickly people forget. Today’s example is a Slashdot posting with the title, “Why Buy a PC Preloaded with Linux?” Specifically, the dotter—slasher really doesn’t give the right tone—wants to know “‘Why should I buy a PC preloaded with Linux?’ They are more expensive, and it’s not hard just to reformat the PC with Linux. I hate paying the Microsoft Tax as much as anybody else, but if paying that ‘tax’ allows companies to reduce my price by bundling with my PC products that I will never use, why wouldn’t I just buy a Windows-loaded PC and reformat?”

Slackware 12.1 First Impressions: Late last week I downloaded and installed Slackware 12.1 on my aging (OK, old) Toshiba laptop side by side with Vector Linux Light. I’ll post a full review to my O’Reilly Linux Dev Center blog once I’ve had more opportunity to use the latest version of Slack. My first impression: Slackware is still Slackware.

Microsoft readies new ‘don’t blame Windows’ tool: Microsoft has begun privately beta testing a new tool, known as “Windows Advisor,” which is aimed at helping consumers better pinpoint why their Windows machines might not be up to snuff.

Is OpenOffice.org Getting Faster?: Some complain OpenOffice.org is slow and bloated. With each release there may be dozens of individual performance improvements, but there are also new features, some of which may slow things down. This the natural balance in software development, but in the end, what is the net effect on performance from one version to the next? Is it realistic to expect new features and faster performance? This OpenOffice.org benchmark measures the speed of versions 1.1.5 through 3.0.

Review: Lightweight Linux distributions: Years ago I already played a bit with Linux (It was Redhat 5.0 on my 386). At that time I thought the operating system wasn’t yet ready for the desktop and after a while I reinstalled Windows. Things changed when Ubuntu 5.04 was released. This was the first time I really enjoyed Linux; the most important things worked, it was easy and it was just great! Because I liked Ubuntu so much, I decided to install it on my laptop too and also this worked very good. However, these days Ubuntu is way to heavy to run on my laptop. Because I wanted to have a fast system I tried to install Gentoo Linux; the installation took 3 days but I ended up with a very fast and responsible system.

Linux On The Desktop: Who Cares!: Every so often, you read on Slashdot, Digg, or some other techie news site that Linux is finally ready for the desktop. It’s finally to the point that any end user could sit down at a computer and happily compute away. The applications are sufficiently sanitized and Windows-like that even Grandma can use them. I think it’s fair to say that most of our previous conceptions of “ready for the desktop” are moot points.

Penny Arcade: Linux Screenshots: Hothead Games together with Penny Arcade released a very interesting game called “Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness”. It can be purchased at $20 in Greenhouse Internet store, which is a counterpart of more known Steam Games. Nothing peculiar, you say? And you’d be right if not for one small detail: the game is available also for GNU/Linux. PolishLinux has a short review with screenshots.

Microsoft’s Plan to Colonise Open Source: A Microsoft job ad for Senior Marketing Manager – Open Source Community, spells out the company’s plans: a concerted attack on GNU/Linux. Once use of the leading open source program has been reduced, Microsoft can then easily dispose of the now-dependent open source app vendors, assuming they are foolish enough to fall for this trick.

Top tech security risks and cash-sappers: Among its list of top ten tech problems are open source software and the popular music player iTunes, according to BDNA’s survey of its customers.

Wiping your disk drive clean: Everybody who owns a computer will someday need to dispose of a disk drive. Before you do, it is a good idea to cleanse the drive, so no one can read your sensitive information. Deleting files and reformatting is not sufficient; determined effort can still reveal data from a drive even after it appears to be gone. To do a more thorough job, I suggest using wipe.

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