Archive for March, 2009

LXer Article

It looks like Google’s Chrome browser came out on the winning end of browser hacking contest, so I figured why not back it up with 11 Free Ways to Beef Up Your Web Browser. Eric S. Raymond speaks heresy at a LUG meeting, RMS doesn’t want us to fall into “The Javascript Trap” and by the way, your distro sucks.;-)

Ken Starks takes ars technica to task with his piece “Windows DRM? We’re ok with that“, MIT has come out in favor of opening up access to scientific papers and in a couple of computer history related articles from Computerworld, we have a timeline of 40 years of OS milestones and a list of 10 operating systems the world left behind. Novell’s boss offers an apology over their Microsoft pact and a collection of 21 free Linux DVD tools.

In an article by the BBC about a major cyber spy network being uncovered there is not one single mention of what OS they were running. It must be because its that obvious what OS it must be right? Hans Bezemer tells us to beware of so-called Linux proponents and to close things up something that is not directly FOSS related but of interest in regards to news organizations in general, LXer included in an article entitled “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable


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LXer Article

Extra Repositories for Ubuntu 8.10 You Might Want: The repository system is a great strength of open-source operating systems, but some people want the latest-and-greatest of a particular application while keeping the core system unchanged. There is also the situation where non-free applications aren’t available from within the standard repositories. In these two cases, adding outside repos can help you get the functionality you want.

Why I prefer KDE over GNOME: I see many people using GNOME these days. Many of them are new Linux users and are happy to be free from the Microsoft clutches. However, I feel a bit guilty for not being able to rejoice about it. Sure, they are not running Windows, but they have fallen in the clutches of the lack of options Nazis.

How the Linux kernel works: My trusty Oxford Dictionary defines a kernel as “a softer, usually edible part of a nut” but offers as a second meaning: “The central or most important part of something.” (Incidentally, it’s this first definition that gives rise to the contrasting name ‘shell’, meaning, in Linux-speak, a command interpreter.) In case you’re a bit hazy on what a kernel actually does, we’ll start with a bit of theory. The kernel is a piece of software that, roughly speaking, provides a layer between the hardware and the application programs running on a computer. In a strict, computer-science sense, the term ‘Linux’ refers only to the kernel – the bit that Linus Torvalds wrote in the early 90s.

Will the Microsoft Crowd Ever Accept OpenOffice?: Fact is, OpenOffice is good enough for the vast majority of businesses seeking a productivity suite. The bigger problem facing OpenOffice involves bloggers who grew up deploying and troubleshooting Microsoft Office.

Linux Gaining Strength In Downturn: A February survey of IT managers by IDC indicated that hard times are accelerating the adoption of Linux. The open source operating system will emerge from the recession in a stronger data center position than before, concluded an IDC white paper. Sixty-five percent of the 330 respondents said they plan to increase Linux server workloads by 10% or more this year. Sixty-three percent said they will increase their use of Linux on the desktop by more than 10% this year, although such an increase would still probably represent a miniscule share of all desktops. Forty-nine percent said they expect Linux will be their primary server platform within five years.

Linux Usage to Rise: It’s an ill Recession Wind that Blows no one Good: So begins a new white paper from research analyst IDC. History supports the logic of the statement, but applying the same logic to predict the future is a dangerous game. Having good starting data can help considerably in that regard, though, and that’s what makes this report interesting. It’s title is Linux Adoption in a Global Recession, and it marshalls some impressive data to predict that Linux will be a significant gainer, while others are punished by the current global meltdown.

Study : IT turning to Linux in economic downturn: A new report out today from IDC, sponsored by Linux vendor Novell indicates that the current economic downturn is a good thing for Linux adoption. with more than half of the IT executives surveyed planning to accelerate Linux adoption in 2009. This is definitely something we’ve heard before from multiple open source and Linux vendors, but the IDC report puts some numbers to the premise.

Economic plight boosts Linux adoption: In Tux Radar’s second podcast we pondered whether the dodgy economic outlook could actually bring more users to Linux and free software. With everyone afraid to open their wallets, surely software that has an initial zero cost is much more attractive for businesses looking to move on from legacy software, right? And home desktop users — how many of those will really want to splash out on the much-hyped Windows 7 when it comes out, if things get worse?

10 Linux and open source developer tools you should not overlook: To take advantage of the excellent Linux development environment, you need to have the right tools. Here’s a rundown of some of the best ones out there and the features they have to offer. Linux is a great development environment. But without sound development tools, that environment won’t do you any good. Fortunately, plenty of Linux and/or open source development tools are available. If you’re a new user you might not know which tools are there, but worry not. Here are 10 outstanding tools that will help you take your development to another level.

21 Great Open Source Apps For Your Netbook: Low-cost and lower-power don’t mean you have to settle for second-best; open source and netbooks go together like milk and cookies. Cynthia Harvey has 21 open-source ways to turn a netbook into a tiny, productive powerhouse.

7 Excellent Linux Apps You May Not Know About: Everyone is writing “Foo Best Linux Application” lists all full of good Linux apps, so here are my own 7 Best Excellent Linux Apps You May Not Have Been Introduced To Yet. They are presented in no particular order or categorization, they’re just good applications I’ve been using and enjoying, all 100% genuine Free/Open Source software and not crusted with any proprietary baggage.

World’s greenest PC?: CompuLabs is a month from shipping what may be the smallest, most energy-efficient PC ever. The Fit-PC2 is based on an Atom processor up to 1.6GHz, and can be ordered with Ubuntu 8.04 pre-installed on a 160GB SATA drive or SSD.

Why Use Linux?: A simple question, “Why do you use Linux?” got the attention of more than a few people on the Linux-related blogs this week. Even PC Magazine’s John Dvorak, a noted detractor of Linux, weighed in with his reasons why “everyone should try Ubuntu.” Now that’s high praise.

Tiny Core Linux — A Minimal Distro with Big Possibilities: Why are there so many Linuxes? Because one size does not fit all. Paul Ferrill introduces us to Tiny Linux, a complete distribution in ten (count ’em, 10!) megabytes that lets you add just the pieces you need to get your job done.

The rise of the Blue Sun, IBM and Sun: The news broke this morning, March 18th, that IBM is talking to Sun about buying the company. Sources from both companies tell me that such a deal is in the works and it may be completed as early as this week. Sun’s pricetag may be as high as $6.5-billion with a large part of the deal being made with IBM stock. Sources indicated that what IBM wants is Sun’s software businesses, not its x86 and SPARC server lines.

IBM’s potential purchase of Sun: Here’s why it makes sense: IBM is reportedly in talks to buy Sun Microsystems for $6.5 billion and the deal is long overdue. The companies mesh on the open source software front, Sun is struggling and IBM can consolidate some server market share. First, the headlines. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that IBM could acquire Sun as early as this week (Techmeme). IBM would pay all cash for Sun. The Journal also reported that Sun has approached a number of large companies about an acquisition; a move that throws cold water on CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s everything is fine video.

IBM Sun acquisition : Good for Unix. Good for Linux. Bad for HP: IBM is reportedly in talks to acquire Sun for a whopping $6.5 billion. At this early stage, its not known whether this is a rumor or just a fact. But just for the sake of argument let’s consider what a powerhouse IBM Sun would be. In my opinion it would be a boon to both the Unix and Linux markets.

Novell: No SUSE Linux for ARM-based netbooks: Novell’s SUSE Linux appears to be one of the more popular versions of the open-source OS for netbooks, but it does not work on ARM-based devices and Novell said it did not have plans to support the chips.

IE8 is here, IE8 is hacked: Well that didn’t take long. No sooner had Microsoft officially launched Internet Explorer 8 to the waiting masses and talked up how new security features will ensure hackers will find it more difficult to exploit the new browser that guess what? Yep, a hacker exploits the new browser.

TomTom sues Microsoft for patent infringement: GPS device maker TomTom has shot back at Microsoft with a claim of patent infringement, after the software giant raised concerns in the Linux community with a recent lawsuit against TomTom.

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LXer Article

I figured I would start the Roundup this week with a good play on words with Michael Tiemann’s, From the End of the Beginning to the Beginning of the End. Caitlyn Martin gives us a review the very different results in testing the performance of different Linux distributions. Mozilla starts to contemplate a future without Google and Derek Knowlton shows us The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the The EeePC and Aspire One. Oh and by the way Happy 15th Birthday, Linux!

Longtime Linux critic John C. Dvorak not only, finally admits to the world that he likes Linux but then states that Microsoft’s business model is done. Sounds like someone has turned over a new leaf, No? And in what has caused a couple of big discussions in our forums it seems Windows 7 may not be the solution for the troubled Microsoft. It seems that the OLPC set to Dump X86 for Arm Chips in XO-2 and Nicholas Negroponte is all but begging Microsoft to port Windows to it but Eric Lai states his three reasons Microsoft shouldn’t port Windows to the ARM processor at all.

It what is as impressive a report on security specific to Red Hat as I have seen, they have published a Risk Report for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. Glyn Moody reports in his piece “Open Science, Closed Source” that Microsoft will be releasing, under an open source license, Word plugins that will allow scientists to mark up their papers with scientific entities directly, but they are all still tied to the .doc format so its all lip service anyway. On a humorous note, instead of another list of why you should switch to Linux we have 10 reasons you should not switch to Linux. Very funny stuff.

To finish things up I start with not quite a FUD piece, but another in a long line of articles by journalists that take neither the time or the effort to actually research what they write about in “Desktop Linux is ready for the mainstream“. But on to the FUD..Stan Beer proclaims the death of Linux with his review of the Asus Eee PC 1000HE in his “The Linux killer 10 inch netbook” and it what ranks up there with some of the best FUD I have seen in a while David Ramel tells us about Linux’s dirty little secret.

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LXer Article

In this week’s LXWR we have more news coming to light on the Microsoft vs. TomTom suit, fat free XFCE, going back to dial-up to save some cash, news and opinions on netbooks, Flock ditches Firefox for Chrome, Linux gets put to the Mom test and much much more.

It seems that even with the sever market in contraction mode, Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux is not making a dent in Red Hat sales. TuxRadar attempts lift the veil on the ‘mysterious’ Linux boot process and how fix problems that can arise. It seems that with everyone looking to lighten their load, that dial-up is making a comeback of sorts and Flock that up until now was a version of Firefox, has decided to move to Google’s Chrome as a base for their browser instead.

There was a fair amount of netbook related news this week, starting off with our Tracy Ann Barlow taking the BENQ netbook with EeeBuntu on it for a test drive. Linux Loop asks what their pixel density is on a 10 inch 1024×600 screen. Tech Radar compares a samsung netbook to a Macbook pro in their “Netbooks: proof the tech industry has gone nuts” and like Wayan Vota of the OLPC, I don’t think that just because netbooks are small that it means they are a good fit for children in developing countries.

Glyn Moody tells us the real reason for Microsoft’s TomTom lawsuit and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols tells why Microsoft likes those patent protection pacts it signs. Ryan Paul of ars technica has a great hands-on with Xfce 4.6 and reviews some of it’s new features. Make Tech Easier has a guide for managing your audio/video files in Linux, Rikki Kite puts Open Source to the Mom test and Steven Rosenberg doubles the amount of RAM on his Ubuntu machine and rants on Java too.

Now I usually save the FUD stuff for last but I am starting with an article on how Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier fights FOSS license FUD and then we are on too a good piece of non-research on Governments and Open Source. This next piece isn’t exactly FUD, its just really bad. Anyone who does a review of Linux networking with a Windows 98 machine and then complains about it, needs to start using Operating Systems that were made in this millennium. Windows 98′ was never meant to be networked in the first place so the fact that it is hard to get on a network shouldn’t come as any surprise. I end this week with Rob Enderle’s entertaining take on the Microsoft vs. Tom Tom suit, enjoy!

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LXer Article

In this week’s LXer Weekly Roundup DeviceGuru talks about how Lenny brightened up an old laptop, Linux has a marketing problem, how RMS may be looking at the internet the wrong way, Microsoft sues TomTom and all the rest of the previous week’s big stories.

To start off this week’s Roundup DeviceGuru talks about how Lenny brightened up an old laptop, Linux Loop thinks Linux has a marketing problem and in some filesystem news M.Tim Jones of IBM/developerWorks takes a look at the anatomy of ext4 and Phoronix asks when will Tux3 enter the mainline Kernel?.

In an opinion piece submitted to LXer written by James Cook, he states his case for How RMS May Be Looking The Wrong Way At The Internet and in what may be the greenest computer I have yet seen, Marvell has introduced their fully functional 5 watt Linux server. You gotta admit, 5 watts is pretty darn low on the power consumption whether it can do all the things you want a server to do or not.

Well, to say the least Microsoft was busy this week. On top of laying off employees and then asking for severance money back from those very same people to losing $435 Million in the netbook market in 2008, and Steve Ballmer’s admission that Linux is a bigger competitor than Apple, they decided to sue TomTom over Linux Kernel implementations of several of their FAT32 patents all the while Groklaw asking us to think “Think Bilski” about it.

To wrap things up, the Microsoft vs.TomTom story get its fair share of sensational titles and supposedly Mark Shuttleworth says Linux is a joke, why do I get the feeling that he was taken out of context? 😉

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