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Archive for September, 2008

LXer Article

In this weeks Roundup we have Microsoft all over the place with articles on the advertising campaign and how Stanford and Harvard are teaching MS business tactics. Also, lists of cool desktops you may have not seen, alternative operating systems and the Linux Foundation says we should all support IBM. Sorry for the lateness in posting, had to fix my own darn links..

Attention Microsoft: I’m A PC (Running Ubuntu Linux): Microsoft’s new “I’m a PC” ad campaign celebrates the fact that millions of people prefer PCs over Macs. But it overlooks the fact that many of those PC users are leaping from Windows to Linux. For me, “I’m a PC” means I’ve discovered the freedom of open source.

A Linux Bun in HP’s Oven; Firefox and the EULA Hounds: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Linux community must be doing something right. Rumors abounded throughout the blogosphere last week that HP may be working on its own version of our favorite operating system. Specifically, employees within HP’s PC division are reportedly working on a mass-market operating system that is based on Linux but easier to use.

Stanford and Harvard teach businesses how to squash open source: Having given in to gravity, America’s elite graduate schools are taking on open source. In recent research published in Production and Operations Management, Deishin Lee (Harvard Business School) and Haim Mendelson (Stanford Graduate School of Business) teach would-be business executives how to “Divide and Conquer: Competing with Free Technology Under Network Effects.”

A Linux zealot examines Microsoft Vista: I know, I know…you’re wondering why this is in the open source blog. The reason is simple: I have used open source operating systems for a long, long time now. I have championed against Microsoft for over ten years. But when Techrepublic liked the idea of me writing some Vista content for them, I couldn’t say no. Of course this meant me actually using Vista. So I thought it would be interesting for the open source crowd to get my initial reaction to my explorations with Windows Vista. You know, see how (or if) it stands up to Linux. It was a hard pill to swallow for me. It might be a equally as hard for you. Let’s find out. Shall we?

VDI: Very Disappointed Indeed: Virtualization vendors use VDI internally in their networks don’t they? Maybe no one bothered to ask before. Find out for yourself.

Gentoo Cancels 2008.1, Plans New Future: There was no Gentoo 2007.1 release that made it out last year, and we now know for sure that there will be no Gentoo 2008.1 release this year. The Gentoo Release Engineering Team has canceled the Gentoo 2008.1 release that would have otherwise been expected in the next three months…

Is the honeymoon over for Google Chrome as market share plummets?: Within 48 hours of launching at the start of September, the Google Chrome open source browser managed to carve itself a pretty impressive one percent share of the global web browser market. That honeymoon period would appear to be over as we approach the end of the month and the market share starts to plummet…

Linux Foundation Calls for Support of IBM IT Policy: Yesterday, IBM announced a new “I.T.Standards Policy,” calling for (among other things) more transparency, openness and inclusiveness in the standards development process, and for the use by standards organizations of fewer, clearer and more open-source friendly intellectual property rights policies. IBM also disclosed the wide-ranging, and in some cases radical, recommendations offered by 70 standards experts from around the world. These recommendations are intended to raise the bar in standards development. But will anyone fall in line behind it?

Five Reasons to Forego the G1: Everyone is all ga-ga this week over the G1, the new HTC phone from T-Mobile, which is the first phone powered by Google’s Android phone OS. So to temper the excitement a bit and get back to reality, I came up with a list of 5 reasons not to get the G1.

Do-it-yourself Konqueror commands: KDE’s Konqueror is as multifunctional as a Swiss Army knife. It works as both a file manager and a Web browser, and you can enhance it even further by adding new commands to its repertoire by means of service menus. The new commands appear in Konqueror’s context menu when you right-click a file. Here’s how to create service menus, and some specific commands that you might want to use in them.

Linux Where You’d Least Expect It: OK. You’ve heard of Linux. It’s another operating system for a computer. But why use it when you can choose between Windows and Macs? Unless you run business-class servers, Linux isn’t really something consumers really need to hear about, right? Well, if that’s what you think Linux is, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Look around you. Linux is everywhere, but you may not know it.

Richard Stallman looks back at 25 years of the GNU project: On September 27, 1983, Richard M. Stallman announced his intention to found the GNU project in order to build a free operating system. Now, 25 years later, the Free Software Foundation is marking the anniversary of the announcement with a month-long celebration. Looking back at the last quarter century, Stallman expresses some guarded satisfaction with the growth of the free software movement, but also some bemusement about how it has grown more complex as it has faced new challenges from within and without, and an awareness of how far it still has to go to reach its goals.

5 Things That Make Linux Great: Linux is all that and a bag o’ chips. Find out why. 5 good reasons why you should consider Linux for yourself.

The five best desktop Linuxes you haven’t tried: One of the pleasures of Linux is that you can try out different distributions to see which one works best for you. You like Ubuntu, but you want to fine tune the desktop engine? OK, try Kubuntu with its KDE desktop then. Some worthwhile distributions, however, don’t get as much attention as they deserve. So, here’s my list of five great distributions that you might want to try.

10 amazingly alternative operating systems and what they could mean for the future: This post is about the desktop operating systems that fly under the radar of most people. We are definitely not talking about Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, or even BSD or Solaris. There are much less mainstream options out there for the OS-curious. These alternative operating systems are usually developed either by enthusiasts or small companies (or both), and there are more of them than you might expect. There are even more than we have included in this article, though we think this is a good selection of the more interesting ones and we have focused specifically on desktop operating systems.

Sundown On Solaris?: Netcraft — er, Jim Zemlin, confirms it: Solaris is dying. Customers are leaving it and legacy Unix behind for Linux, in his purview. Open sourcing the platform was too little, too late. Well, maybe not sundown, but it’s getting mighty dark out. These are actually not new sentiments; I picked them up from Jim when I talked to him back at OSCON — a place where, ironically enough, I had also talked to folks from Sun. They were and are smart guys, deeply proud of the work they’re doing, but I hope they all understand they are never going to steal any of Linux’s thunder. (The refrain I’ve heard from many different quarters about this issue has been expressed in almost the same exact words by all concerned: “If only they had done this [open sourced Solaris] three/five/ten years earlier…”)

Even When Linux Fans Win, They Lose: I’m writing this from Ubuntu 8.04 in a live session (booted from USB stick). This *nix distribution runs well, does what I want it to do and runs just fine without complaint. Let’s forget the fact that it’s super-awesome-cool I can just pop in a USB stick, boot Ubuntu, run it, connect to a wireless network with no problems at all and do my work. You can’t do that with Windows or OS X. Let’s also forget the fact for a moment I’ve been using *nix distros off and on since Red Hat 5 (Apollo).

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LXer Article

In this weeks Roundup we have, The Large Hadron Collider survives its first attacks from hackers, 5 Useful Tips to Customize Firefox 3, Android gets closer to being released, Carls Schroder opines on what it means to be a “geek” and University of Santa Barbara researchers show incredibly easy it is to compromise the security on a Sequoia Systems voting machine. Also, 10 things Linux does better than Windows, a Richard Stallman interview, VLC gets a new look and Google Chrome for Linux?

What is happening in the world of Ubuntu?: I have been talking about Ubuntu for a number of articles now and how easy it is to use. In this article I will look at the next two upcoming versions and investigate what they have to offer. Ubuntu, unlike other Operating Systems which could be mentioned, strive for a predictable release schedule. They have only missed it once in eight releases and then only by two months. A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months in April and October. The naming convention is associated with the year and the month that it is released. 8.04 was released in 2008 in the 4th month, April. The previous release was 7.10 in October 2007.

5 Useful Tips to Customize Firefox 3: Firefox is the most popular browser on Linux, being the browser of choice for over 70% of the Linux users. I this article I explained 5 of the most useful and used tips in Firefox, together with screenshots where I considered necessary. Most of them are related with the about:config variables, but I also provided a graphical way of doing things where it was possible.

42 of the Best Free Linux Graphics Software: Linux is a very strong platform for budding artists, photographers, animators, and designers. With inexpensive hardware, free software, and a modicum of talent and inspiration, anyone can create professional-looking computer graphics.

Battle Brews Over Firefox In Ubuntu 8.10:
Firefox, what’s not to love about this open-source web browser? Well, a number of users following the development work on Ubuntu 8.10 (the Intrepid Ibex) are feeling rather outraged over Mozilla Firefox 3.0.2 and later. In the latest Ubuntu packages, Firefox requires an EULA (End-User License Agreement) be accepted the first time you launch the browser. The EULA mostly deals with agreeing to Mozilla’s trademark policies for Firefox.

The Large Hadron Collider switches on. If it’s the end of the world, it will be powered by GNU/Linux: You know a science story is big when an experiment gets first or second billing on the main evening news—and it’s not even a slow news day. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is up and running as I write and as far as I can tell I’m still here, so it looks like the doomsayers were a little premature. Unless I’m writing this piece from the far side of the singularity of a black hole in a parallel universe. The LHC is an huge experiment (a snip at $10 billion) to explore the very small and very energetic sub-atomic world to verify, amongst other things, if the Higgs Boson really exists. That will be a monumental triumph for science and the human spirit. I have always been fascinated by particle physics, despite by academic background in the Humanities and I will be following the progress at CERN with great interest.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 is robust and ready: Sun has been getting serious about opening up its software for a few years now. OpenSolaris, an open source Unix operating system like Linux and BSD, released in May, is its latest foray into the open source arena. I found OpenSolaris to be a production-ready OS that works equally well on desktops and servers. OpenSolaris is released under Sun’s Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), which isn’t compatible with the GNU Public License (GPL) used by Linux. This means that lots of the technology in OpenSolaris won’t be making its way into Linux any day soon. Also, OpenSolaris isn’t 100% free, as some components are available only in binary form under the OpenSolaris Binary License.

Everything You Wanted to Know about the New Android Cell Phone: I spoke to Rob Jackson, who started the Phandroid blog and the AndroidForums.com discussion groups and asked him about the impact of the release of the first Android-powered (open source) cell phone, the HTC Dream, which is due for release by T-Mobile on Oct. 20th.

Opinion: The Road to Geekdom: Don’t get into IT because you want an air-conditioned office. Get into it because it’s your passion. Not sure it’s your passion? There are a lot of free tools that’ll help you explore.

Not Worried Enough Yet?: Researchers at UCSB have demonstrated how ridiculously easy it is to compromise voting machines from Sequoia Voting Systems, which are currently used in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Linux devotee tries to spread the word: Larry Cafiero is sitting in his cluttered office in the Santa Cruz Mountains looking nothing like a revolutionary. Friendly bearded face. Casual blue jeans. Comfy work shirt with the little penguin logo. Yeah, penguin logo. See, Cafiero is a Linux guy. Maybe you know one — or a Linux woman. Maybe you know that to love Linux is to live Linux — that you don’t just use free and open-source software, you embrace it and evangelize it. Some more than others.

OpenGL 3 & DirectX 11: The War Is Over: Given the prevalence of DirectX nowadays, we tend to forget that 10 years ago an all-out war was being waged between Microsoft and Silicon Graphics in the field of 3D APIs. The two companies were both trying to win over developers, with Microsoft using its financial muscle and SGI relying on its experience and its reputation in the field of real-time 3D.

10 things Linux does better than Windows: If you tallied up the strengths and weaknesses of Linux and Windows, which OS would come out ahead? According to Jack Wallen, superiority in security, flexibility, interoperability, community, and command-line power (among other things) put Linux well ahead. See if you agree with his assessment.

Meet 120 Companies Running Ubuntu Linux Servers and Desktops: The next time somebody tells you that Ubuntu isn’t for business, check out this list of more than 120 businesses and organizations across the globe running Ubuntu on servers, desktops and mobile systems. The companies are part of the fast-growing Works With U 1000 list, which will eventually track 1,000 Ubuntu-focused companies across the globe. Take a look or add your company to the list.

Richard Stallman Interview: Richard Stallman talks about GNU’s 25th anniversary, Google Chrome, sharing non-free software, preinstalled GNU/Linux on pc, NDA, OLPC XO.

Installing VirtualBox 2.0.0 On Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop: This tutorial shows how you can install Sun xVM VirtualBox on an Ubuntu 8.04 desktop. With VirtualBox you can create and run guest operating systems (virtual machines) such as Linux and Windows under a host operating system. There are two ways of installing VirtualBox: from precompiled binaries that are available for some distributions and come under the PUEL license, and from the sources that are released under the GPL. This article will show how to set up VirtualBox 2.0.0 from the precompiled binaries.

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Promises New Life for Office Software: OpenOffice.org is in an unenviable place. Office suites — word processors, spreadsheets, presentations and the ilk — are utilitarian, complex bundles of software. They are a necessity of modern life, used daily by individuals and businesses all over the world. It isn’t that people take them for granted. People don’t consider them much at all. It has been a long time since I’ve had any feelings whatsoever about an office suite. There have been developments in office software that have been innovative, such as online document creation.

VLC gets a new look on Windows and Linux: After two years in development, VLC, the universal media player, has moved from the 0.8.x versions to version 0.9.2. The release, named “Grishenko”, is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and other operating systems, is available to download from the Videolan web site. The most visible new feature in the Windows and Linux versions is a new user interface. The new interface uses Qt4, replacing the previous wxWidgets-based interface as the default interface and allowing for better internationalisation and a richer set of graphical controls.

Google Chrome . . . for Linux?!: As some of you know, Google released a new browser recently, something calledChrome. The idea is/was to fix everything that is wrong with browsers and make the Web browsers a tool to run applications. As opposed to just viewing Web pages. I’m being a bit silly here, but Chrome is built to be more like an operating system than a plain old browser. There’s more but it’s all only for Windows users since a Linux version doesn’t yet exist. Wait . . . What? Check out this screenhost (click it for a full screen view).

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LXer Article

This week’s LXer Roundup is full of all kinds of good stuff, but not if your Microsoft. HP is attempting to work around the Vista GUI, an ad campaign that doesn’t seem to be about anything and to top it off The London Stock Exchange went down because of a .NET crash. Also, Mark Shuttleworth says that the Linux Desktop needs a facelift, a very funny article on why you should switch from Linux to Vista. Did you know that the largest and most complex scientific instrument ever built, called the “Large Hadron Collider”, which when powered up could theoretically create a black hole and suck the entire Earth into it?, it runs Linux.

HP: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Vista: Hewlett-Packard is working on a simplified user interface for Windows Vista easier, and on its own Linux-based operating system. It’s a resurgence of an anti-Windows movement that started in the 1990s but was crushed by the strong arm of Microsoft. Would Redmond dare such tactics today?

Internet traffic begins to bypass the U.S: Invented by American computer scientists during the 1970s, the Internet has been embraced around the globe. During the network’s first three decades, most Internet traffic flowed through the United States. In many cases, data sent between two locations within a given country also passed through the United States. Engineers who help run the Internet said that it would have been impossible for the United States to maintain its hegemony over the long run because of the very nature of the Internet; it has no central point of control.

Windows Vista: The OS About Nothing: Microsoft’s new Windows ad, featuring Jerry Seinfeld, is outdated and not very funny — but it’s highly revealing of all that’s wrong out there in Redmond. The background: Windows is losing market share to Apple’s Mac OS and even Linux. And Vista, the latest version, has been a big fat dud. Businesses have shunned it outright, and many consumers find it unintuitive and difficult to use. So, Microsoft hired “award winning” agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky — at a reported cost of $300 million — to give Vista, and the Windows franchise in general, an image makeover. The Seinfeld ad debuted Thursday and it’s the first piece of an integrated marketing campaign covering TV, the Web, and point-of-sale outlets.

London Stock Exchange suffers .NET Crash: So what really happened? I doubt we’ll ever get a detailed, nitty-gritty explanation, but I have friends in London and… Well, let me just make the following points about TradElec. First, TradElec runs on more than a 100 HP ProLiant servers in several locations in London. These servers are running Windows Server 2003. On top of this runs the TradElec software itself. This is a custom set of C# and .NET programs, which was created by Microsoft and Accenture, the global consulting firm. Its back-end databases, believe it or not, run on Microsoft SQL Server 2000. The goal was to maintain sub-ten millisecond response times. In short, it’s meant to be a real-time system.

40 reasons to lose Linux and vote Vista!:
Challenged by my iTWire colleague and Linux lover Sam Varghese to come up with 40 reasons to lose Linux and vote Vista, I’ve done just that. It all started quietly enough with iTWire colleague David M Williams writing an article entitled “5 reasons to upgrade from Windows Vista to Linux”, with David being a strong and well respected proponent of Linux.

ONE reason why OS X is better than Vista and Linux: The iTWire Vista Vs. Linux battle has been great fun to watch unfold, however it does seem to have missed the point that Apple Mac OS X is better than them both…Forget 10 reasons why Vista is better than Linux, or 20 reasons why Linux is better than Vista. All you really need to know is that there is one single reason why Apple Mac OS X is better than them both.

Switching From Windows To Linux In 3 Easy Steps: In my ongoing quest to take over the world with Linux as my OS of choice, I’ve noticed that simply handing someone an install CD doesn’t really do the trick. I’ve also noticed that formatting their Windows 95 install with a fresh version of Linux tends to make angry faces as well. The more tech savvy the user is, the more resistant to change they tend to be. As with most worthwhile endeavors, it takes time and patience for a person to learn to love Linux. The problem is that hating Windows isn’t enough. Most people hate Windows, but feel trapped into using it. That’s where my 3 step approach comes in.

Firefox vs. Chrome: Is It a Fight if Everyone Wins?: A new high-tech soap opera kicked off last week in Silicon Valley as Google, long a supporter of the Mozilla Foundation and its open source browser Firefox, jumped into Mozilla’s turf with its own browser, Chrome. Will the sexy new Chrome catch the eye of those early adopters who helped Firefox get started and eventually grab nearly 20 percent of the browser market once dominated by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer?

Large Hadron Collider – powered by Linux: The most powerful physics projects in the history of known universe – The $10 Billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC)- shot its first light speed beam this morning around its 27 km circuit. Beyond the 20 years it took to build and half of all the world’s astrophysicists it also takes another key ingredient to make LHC work — Linux.

Grumpy Gnome-Hater Almost Changes Mind: I used to think that Gnome 1.4 was the Last Good Gnome. Because when Gnome 2.0 came along, everything I liked was gone. It was dumbed-down to the point of unusability, and the roadmap called for yet more dumbing-down. So I switched to KDE for my main workstation, and IceWM, XFCE, and Blackbox for lower-powered PCs. For all these years I haven’t seen much to like in Gnome. Not until Ubuntu Hardy Heron, that is.

Ohio Linux Fest Looms!: Don’t forget to pre-register for the coolest Linux event in the MidWest!

10 Tips for Lazy Linux Admins: A lazy sysadmin is a good sysadmin. Time spent in finding more-efficient shortcuts is time saved later on for that ongoing project of “reading the whole of the internet”, so try Linux Format’s 10 handy tips to make your admin life easier. Includes shortcuts for SSH and screen, along with ways to roll out admin commands across multiple boxes.

Shuttleworth: Open source desktops need a facelift: Canonical, the leading backer of the Ubuntu version of Linux, is hiring a team to help make open source software on the desktop more appealing and easier to use. The company plans to sign up designers and specialists in user experience and interaction to lead Canonical’s work on usability and to contribute to other free and open source desktop-environment projects, including Gnome and KDE, Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical chief executive and founder of the Ubuntu project, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Lancelot reaches Holy Grail of KDE menu:
KDE 4 is barely eight months old, and already it has three options for a main menu. Until now, users have either used the default Kickoff, which makes for awkward navigation of the menu tree, or reverted to the familiar but unwieldy classic menu. Now, with the first full release of Lancelot, users have another option that overcomes the shortcomings of both other alternatives and gives KDE 4 a thoroughly modern menu. According to comments on the project Web page by main developer Ivan ?uki?, Lancelot started life as a SuperKaramba applet for organizing desktop icons. Its name is a homage to Monty Python and the Holy Grail — as evidenced by the default grail icon — as well as a pun on “launch-a-lot.”

What is happening in the world of Ubuntu?: I have been talking about Ubuntu for a number of articles now and how easy it is to use. In this article I will look at the next two upcoming versions and investigate what they have to offer. Ubuntu, unlike other Operating Systems which could be mentioned, strive for a predictable release schedule. They have only missed it once in eight releases and then only by two months. A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months in April and October. The naming convention is associated with the year and the month that it is released. 8.04 was released in 2008 in the 4th month, April. The previous release was 7.10 in October 2007.

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LXer Article

The big news this week was the release of ‘Chrome’ the new browser from Google. It is only available on the Windows platform as of right now. I tried it and it has some cool features, it has some things that need a lot of work too. Also Microsoft’s new Vista ads start to show up on T.V., a self professed “Windows Guy” decides to takes Open SuSE 11 for a spin, some advice on mailing list etiquette and how to get the younger generation into Linux

How To Get The Younger Generation Into Linux: A while ago, Apple sold heavily discounted Macs to schools, hoping to get students to choose the Mac. Obviously, the same technique will not work for Linux, but it is important to get students interested in Linux.

Open Source Etiquette: I follow a lot of mailing lists…all of them either Linux or open source in nature. Some of these lists I have been following for years. And from those lists I have seen trends come and go. I have seen technologies blossom and die. I have met a lot of people, some wonderful some not so wonderful. But the one constant that I have noticed throughout this journey is that the Linux and open source community hold some common bonds. One of those common bonds is etiquette.

21 of the Best Free Linux Productivity Tools: One of the essential ingredients to running a successful business is maintaining an advantage over your competition. Many different types of computer software can significantly enhance performance at the workplace, or in the home. A polished office suite, a reliable backup system, an intuitive desktop environment, even a welcome break from reality with an immersive game all have their part to play in helping users achieve their maximum potential. However, this article focuses predominately on software that helps individuals organise their day, capture and retrieve information, assist them fulfilling their various roles in life (whether as a parent, employer, employee, good neighbor etc), as well as streamlining the desktop.

Six Nations “Just Say No” to ISO/IEC: In the latest twist in the OOXML – ODF document format story, ISO and IEC, two of the most venerable standards organizations In the world, have been dealt a slap by government IT agencies in six countries.

Why Google’s Chrome Isn’t a Threat to Firefox: Many people see Google’s new Chrome browser as big trouble for Firefox. Here’s why Mozilla needn’t be shaking in its boots – and why maybe Microsoft should.

First impressions: Google Chrome on Vista: With 90+ percent of my desktop computing conducted from within Firefox, and half the Internet services I use supplied by Google, the opportunity to test Google’s new ‘Chrome’ browser was irresistible. Here are my first impressions.

Google builds a better browser: The initial beta product is available in 122 countries and 40 languages but for Window (XP and Vista). Google says Mac and Linux versions are now high priority but these are still months away. However Google’s vice president product development, Sundar Pichai, said that, with the launch of the Windows beta, development resources had been redeployed to accelerate the Mac and Linux versions. Chrome is completely open source and Google says it will remain that way. Its rationale being that, because every one of Google’s services is delivered through a browser it is in its interest to engender competition and innovation in the browser market to ensure users’ experience of Google services is optimal.

Is Windows Vista really driving people to Linux?: Last year, curious over the hype that was flooding the internet in the wake of the release of Windows Vista, I decided to turn masochist and inflict a 14-day Vista trial on myself. I found the operating system much worse than even its worst critic. I earned some flak for the review I wrote but many people also agreed with my experience. Those were early days as far as Vista was concerned – since then there has been tons of criticism, some of it pure vitriol.

Windows Guy Tries Open Suse 11: I’m a Windows Guy. I work on a Windows network for a living. I’ve been a network engineer for over a decade. It’s not that I’m opposed to Linux or OSX, I’m just more familiar with XP and Vista so I tend to use it for everything. Some of you might be laughing already, but I like Windows. It gets the job done for me and for millions of other people. It’s fairly easy to use, fairly easy to upgrade with new hard ware, there is a plethora of software and I can do all the things I want to do on it. That said I have no loyalty to Microsoft either. I don’t like several things, like Vista. What the f*** was Microsoft thinking when they released it? I’ve wanted to see if I could walk on the Linux side for a while now. I wanted to see if I could really switch over and do all the things I need to do easily. So I decided to give it a try

Microsoft’s First Seinfeld Ad is a Total Dud: If this is the best Bogusky and his team can do to compete with the highly successful, and should I say, really funny, Get a Mac Campaign, Microsoft is truly throwing its $300M down the toilet because this is ad is pure crap.

Dude, I’m Wantin’ a Dell: A review of Dell’s new Inspirion Mini 9 with bells, whistles, and Ubuntu 8.04 to boot. Portable notebook goodness for under $350.

See Chrome’s inner workings–and an Easter egg: Google’s Chrome browser has as Spartan a user interface as possible, but the browser’s Omnibox also turns out to be a window into a much more elaborate view of the browser. That’s because Chrome users can type several commands into the browser’s address box to uncovers a wealth of nitty-gritty detail and an amusing Easter egg.

Another Ubuntu install bites the dust: I always seem to have trouble with Ubuntu. On the $0 Laptop — the Gateway Solo 1450 — there comes a time in every Ubuntu install when the thing either won’t boot or runs so slowly that I have to wipe the thing off the drive and start over. It could be something particular to this laptop, the hard drive in it, or my constant dual- and triple-booting of Linux and BSD operating systems in a constantly shifting array.

Why OLPC should be a for-profit business: The One Laptop per Child program is a nonprofit, philanthropic organization, so how can Intel, a 500-pound gorilla, compete against a philanthropic project like OLPC? This competition would barely be newsworthy if OLPC was a for-profit company… competition is just a standard part of doing business in the corporate world. As I said in Part 1 of my series exploring the ongoing “battle” between Nicholas Negroponte’s OLPC laptop project and Intel’s Classmate PC, my philosophy (shared with many Intel execs) was to embrace OLPC and win them over, and to not trash them in the press, especially given OLPC’s philanthropic mission.

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LXer Article

Happy Labor Day, hopefully you have an extra day off this weekend to relax and catch up on things, thus I present this week’s LXer Roundup for your reading pleasure. This week we have 5 unpopular desktop environments, 25 killer Linux applications, 10 must have cheat sheets for those of you who are low on mental “RAM” (I know, its a groaner, but its all mine), in a new twist to the Apple-Psystar saga, Psystar claims they are going to counter sue Apple claiming anticompetitive business practices. A computer on the International Space Station gets infected with a ‘worm’ (guess what OS it was running?), Carla Schroder asks the question “Does attracting hordes of Windows users to your FOSS project benefit your project, or help the advancement of FOSS?” and to wrap things up I have a couple pieces of FUD I came across.

5 Least Popular Desktop Environments for Linux: KDE, GNOME, and Xfce are without doubt the most well-known desktop environments for Linux at the moment. They are utilized by majority of Linux Distributions simply because they are very much stable and usable. But did you know that there are other capable Free and Open-source desktop environments that you probably haven’t heard of?

25 killer Linux apps: We all know that Linux is about choice. Everyone has the choice of what they use and how they use it, provided they have access to a tame hacker with suitable programming skills. A consequence of this is that there’s a huge range of software out there. If there’s a popular favourite for a given task, you can bet your bottom dollar there’ll be at least one alternative. You’ve only to look at the package selection options in most distro installers to see just how many choices you can make before you even start using your distribution.

10 must-have Linux (and not only) cheat-sheets: Need a quick reference card? Here you have a list with the best cheat-sheets for Linux, Screen, VIM, Firefox, Google and so on.

Moving LVM volumes to a different volume group: I recently ordered a brand new PowerEdge T105 server from Dell because my current home server, a HP ProLiant G3, is much too power hungry for my liking. The new server came with an 80 GB hard disk. I partitioned it with LVM, installed Debian Lenny and moved over the bulk of my things from the old server to the new server. Only one thing remained: my media collection, which is stored on a 500 GB RAID1 array on the old server. That RAID1 array is also partitioned using LVM in a single 500 GB volume group. I wanted to move the OS volumes from the 80 GB volume group to the 500 GB volume group. That way I could take out the 80 GB disk and save some power. Problem: There is no obvious way to move a logical volume from one volume group to another. Cue SytemRescueCD.

The paradox of FOSS projects supporting Windows: Does attracting hordes of Windows users to your FOSS project benefit your project, or help the advancement of FOSS? Or do you just get buried under complaints and demands? Should FOSS developers write applications for Windows?

One Less Windows User: As editor for LinuxInsider for more than a year now, I figured the time was right to start walking the walk with my personal machine. So I took my Dell Inspiron 1150 to this year’s LinuxWorld Conference& Expo with the intention of switching my operating system to one of the many Linux distros.

Psystar Wars: Attack of the Clones: In a new twist to the Psystar saga, the Mac cloning company is to counter sue Apple claiming anticompetitive business practices because the Mac Operating System is tied to Apple only hardware. Rudy Pedraza has become something of a love him or loathe him figure in the Applesphere. His company, Psystar, started selling Mac clones this year under the guise of the OpenMac which quickly became the OpenComputer and then added the OpenPro to its range

10 fundamental differences between Linux and Windows: I have been around the Linux community for more than 10 years now. From the very beginning, I have known that there are basic differences between Linux and Windows that will always set them apart. This is not, in the least, to say one is better than the other. It’s just to say that they are fundamentally different. Many people, looking from the view of one operating system or the other, don’t quite get the differences between these two powerhouses. So I decided it might serve the public well to list 10 of the primary differences between Linux and Windows.

Worms in space: NASA confirms International Space Station infected: NASA has confirmed that a laptop aboard the International Space Station has been infected with the W32.Gammima.AG worm, and admits this isn’t the first time it has happened… Well, what do you know, it seems that the latest International Space Station mission has an uninvited guest in the shape of a worm that managed to stowaway for the ride.

How to install KDE4 applications on Windows: This tutorial describes how to install and run KDE4 applications natively on Windows. Windows 2000, XP, and Vista are supported. KOffice, Kopete, Amarok, Ktorrent, Konquerror, KDevelop, K3b, Kmail, Dolphin are only some of them.

Why Switch To Linux: In an interesting post on Lifehacker, the editors ask the readers “Why did you switch to Linux?” The question drew quite a lot of interesting responses, including some very offbeat reasons for why people made the switch. If you’re under the impression that people switch solely for rebellious or “fight the man” reasons, here are some of the more interesting responses and trends that they point to.

5 ways you can draw a mind map in Linux: Brain mapping is a graphic way to identify different parts of an issue or to plan steps or consequences of an action. Experts say mind mapping makes information easier to remember and makes studying more enjoyable. If you are a fan of mind mapping, you could use specific software to create mind maps.

Could Linux’s Market Share Be 15%, 20%, or More?: The most frequently cited market share numbers for Linux are less than 1%, but those numbers are no better than any others, just better publicized. Other pieces of information show Linux’s share much higher.

Dumb and Dumber Proprietary Innovation Strikes Again: But to my way of thinking, Nominum didn’t fix a thing. The article describes combining four techniques for foiling what they are now calling the Kaminsky Attack. I guess “cache poisoning” isn’t glamorous enough. The techniques sound questionable, and the fixes only applies to their expensive, closed proprietary caching server. Nobody else benefits from this fix. So it’s not a fix at all- it’s as though they were claiming to have cleaned up a small volume of water in a large swimming pool.

Red Hat fesses up to Fedora FOSS security fiasco: Fedora has admitted Red Hat OpenSSH packages were compromised by two separate server intrusions. A week late and leaving the FOSS reputation for timely disclosure in tatters.

Why Netbooks are a bad intro to linux: It seems as if Netbooks are the newest craze. I may even sell more of these Linux-loaded bad boys, then I do regular laptops. Thats fine and dandy. They also do what they are meant to do, quite well. They also make me money because they come with no optical drive, which makes me responsible for setting them all up if I need to install something. Fine. The bad? Most of the people I have seen buy these are business people, who want something small to carry around. These people know nothing about Linux. These netbooks are the introduction to Linux that these users get, and in my opinion its a horrible first look, at what Linux truly is.

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