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Archive for June, 2009

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Sphinx: Search Outside the Box: Looking for ways to overcome indexing bottlenecks at Craigslist lead to an investigation of Sphinx, a powerful, free full-text search engine that works extremely well with MySQL.

Linux Mint 7 ScreenShots: Here we bring you yet another set of Screen Shots, but this time it is of Linux Mint 7 ( Gloria ). Let me start off by saying this… I’ve been using/managing Linux for almost 11 years now and I want a desktop that just works.. I am so out of that phase on making things work together ( Unless it is programming ). Linux Mint has done that for me, so I really want to say THANK YOU to Linux Mint Staff and Users for all the work you guys have done and for taking the time to make my life easier.

SCO vs. Linux: New investor rescues SCO from bankruptcy: In yet another bizarre twist in the interminable legal dispute over source code allegedly illegally copied from UNIX System V into Linux, the SCO Group, which claims ownership of the disputed code, has secured a last-gasp reprieve from the threat of liquidation. Immediately before the crucial liquidation hearing in the bankruptcy court, SCO CEO Darl McBride signed an agreement with a company by the name of Gulf Capital Partners, backed by well-known investor Stephen Norris. Caught out by the surprise development, all parties have agreed to postpone the liquidation hearing until the 16th or the 27th of July.

Coming home to Puppy Linux: It’s been many months since I last used Puppy Linux. I bet more than a year has passed since I seriously ran Puppy, still one of the best Unix-like distributions/projects for older, underpowered computers. I decided tonight to break out the 1999 Compaq Armada 7770dmt (233 MHz Pentium II MMX processor, 144 MB RAM), which has OpenBSD 4.2 on the 3 GB hard drive (yes, I know 4.5 is out, and yes I do have the CD set, and yes, I’ll probably reinstall) and two pup_save files in its 0.5 GB Linux partition.

Report: Good-Bye Ubuntu, Hello PCLinuxOS: After almost two years of relying on Kubuntu and Ubuntu, your editor has had enough. Farewell faithful *buntus, hello and welcome PCLinuxOS. Will PCLinuxOS work out better? Will I pine for the good old alliterative animal days? Will I become dissatisfied with PCLinuxOS and swap it out for something else? Is any Linux good enough?

Announcing A New Linux Distro: BaitNSwitch Linux: Today, I’m announcing my new Linux company, HookLineNSinker, Inc. (HLNS) which will produce a new commercial Linux distribution: Pricey Linux. HLNS products include Pricey Linux Enterprise, Pricey Linux Small Business Server and The Pricey Linux Desktop. There are also Pricey Linux Support options for those of you who need 24×7 support for your Pricey Systems. And to comply with Linux licensing, we’ll also offer a free, community edition of our Pricey Linux known as BaitNSwitch Linux.

Linux Against Poverty – It Is a GO: Linux Against Poverty is much more than an installfest. It is an effort between the Free Software Community in any given place and the greater community that holds it. Lynn Bender’s people will now begin soliciting companies and corporations in the Austin area for physical donations. He has secured the swank and popular nightspot known as Union Park for both the actual event and the party afterwards. The Park will be full of volunteer Austin Geeks, ready to accept the incoming machines, triage them and place them into different staging areas. One of the brightest tech guys I know, Andy Krell from nFusion will be there in person to lend a hand.

Microsoft Buries $10,000 For People With IE8’s User-Agent String: Microsoft is burying $10,000 somewhere on the web for Australians with IE8’s user agent string (*cough* User-Agent Swticher plugin for Firefox).

What is the best Linux distribution for beginners: One of the questions I see the most in forums and sites like Yahoo Answers is : “What is the best Linux distribution for beginners?” or “What is the easiest Linux distribution?” Well, unlike what you may think these questions are not that easy to answer, as the easiest Linux distribution is not necessarily the best for all beginners because other factors like the availability of support and commercial applications availability have to be taken into account.

The Three Faces of Fedora 11: Larry the Free Software Guy has strapped himself into the driver’s seat in test-driving Fedora 11 on three different desktops — GNOME, KDE and Xfce — and the results range from reuniting with an old friend to receiving divine intervention.

Microsoft’s Secret Weapon isn’t FUD, it’s Inertia: This is a story of hubris, nemesis and very bad language. Mine. We all like to have our egos flattered and I’m no exception, so when two old acquaintances told me their Windows laptops were infected with viruses I knew they were about to put the bite on me. They did. Could I fix them? Well, my vanity was flattered of course but it was to be a salutary experience that got me to thinking about whether it will ever be possible to wean users off Microsoft products. Read the full story Free Software Magazine.

Ubuntu’s A Fading Memory, PCLinuxOS and 64 Studio Are Fab. So Far.: As I wrote a few days ago, I replaced Kubuntu and Ubuntu on several of my home PCs with PCLinuxOS and 64 Studio. I was intending to wait a couple of months to post a followup because long-term performance is what matters. But a few things have impressed me so much these two newcomers to my little computing empire deserve an extra mention.

Install more then 100 games in one command with Djl: Djl is an open-source (GPL licensed) game manager written in Python 2.5 for the GNU/Linux Operating Systems. It is inspired by Valve’s Steam software for Windows. Djl makes it possible (via a repository) to download, install and remove a reasonable number of games placed into a distrobution independent subdirectory (but without dealing with any dependencies). It can also execute ,desktop shortcuts located in another directory. Actually Djl have more that 105 game in his repository, games like Alien Arena, Blood Frontier……..,

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Running Windows in Linux: Everywhere you turn in computing circles nowadays you hear about Virtual computing, whether it is HyperV, Vmware, Xen, KVM or other solutions. In this guide we use Fedora 10 Linux and Qemu to run Windows XP sp3 inside a virtual machine, step by step with screenshots to show you how easy it is to run Windows inside of Linux.

A Kernel of all things!: Just finished watching “Revolution OS” again, after a year or more. I still can’t believe that with all the work the GNU Project put into the GNU operating system, that Linus Torvalds could come along, with a Kernel of all things, and take the credit away from the Free Software Foundation, and thus, also taking away the credit from the X.Org, Apache, etc. developers.

Underestimating the Mission Critical Role of Linux: To what extent is Linux serving in mission critical environments today? There are still IT leaders that consider Linux a non-contender in such environments. Despite a steady stream of research verifying the use of Linux in the enterprise, there are lingering doubts as to the prevalence of Linux in mission critical environments.

KDE On Windows Continues: After Christian Ehrlicher announced that he would step down from packaging and bug fixing for KDE on Windows, some articles were written which suggest that KDE on Windows is on hold now that the main developer has moved on. Even though KDE on Windows is only a small project and from the loss of one developer will be felt, we are far from dead. The Windows port has not been a one-man-project and many other people are still involved. KDE on Windows will continue to be developed and packages will continue to be made.

Linux and Windows battle for netbooks: The war between open source and Microsoft Windows to be the operating system of choice for netbooks is hotting up, with some major skirmishes last week. But who is winning? Netbooks running open source were the star of last week’s Computex show, which saw a flurry of demonstrations of Linux, Moblin and Android-based devices, noted Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation.

Netbook has 500GB drive, “eight hour” battery: BenQ is readying a netbook boasting an 11.6-inch display, optional HSPA, “eight hour” battery, and the largest (500GB) HDD (hard disk drive) we’ve heard of. In addition to offering the “Joybook Lite U121 Eco” for Linux and Windows XP, BenQ also announced an upcoming Android netbook.

First Driver for USB 3.0: After a year-and-a-half’s worth of work, Intel hacker Sarah Sharp announced that Linux will be the first operating system supporting USB 3.0.

Why Normal People Don’t Use Linux: A way back I blogged in a self-important and knowing way about Why People Don’t Use GNU/Linux. I’d like to update that now, and thus the appearance of The Four Eyes..

Microsoft’s Pyrrhic Victory in the Netbook War: The rise of the netbook has been an extraordinary saga. When the Asus Eee PC was first launched at the end of 2007, it seemed to come from nowhere: there was no real precedent for such a low-cost, small machine, using solid state storage and running GNU/Linux.

High Netbook Return Rate? Windows Is the Problem: Note that the quoted story wasn’t referring to netbooks running Linux. It was referring to all Intel Atom powered netbooks. I am assured over and over again by tech pundits like Mr. Weinberg that nowadays almost all those netbooks run Windows, not Linux. Did it ever occur to people that Windows might actually be the cause of the disappointment customers face and the high returns?

What Open Source shares with Science: One of the overlooked advantages that Open Source development affords, is that it imitates perhaps the most fruitful and beneficial of all human endeavours: Science. How has the scientific-method evolved, and what can it teach us about the future possibilities of software construction?

5 disadvantages of Linux: When someone want to switch from Windows to Linux, he or she has a tendency to only think about the advantages of Linux and not think about the disadvantages. Most people have very good reasons to switch from Windows to Linux, but before actually switching it is important to review the disadvantages of Linux as well as the advantages.

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Enabling DRM in the kernel?: Back in April, we looked at the Linux kernel patches for Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), a mechanism to verify the integrity of the kernel before booting it. Since that time, another version of the patchset has surfaced. The relatively few comments on the feature were largely concerned that there might be opposition to its inclusion—not because of technical considerations, but instead because of ethical concerns about what TXT could enable.

Linux does not equal an unwashed foulmouthed rebel: This seems to be the popular stigma or stereotype that is floating around the internet. If you use Linux then you are automatically a geek, an unwashed, pizza eating, cola and coffee swilling, obnoxious and scruffy rebel who just wants to stick it to the man. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure there are people of that type who do use Linux. These same type of people also use and feel exactly the same way about other operating systems.

Qualcomm Shows Off Snapdragon Smartbooks: Qualcomm said Sunday night that it has persuaded a number of Taiwan ODMs to at least show off netbooks, which it calls “smartbooks,” that use its Snapdragon microprocessor. ASUS, Compal, Foxconn, High Tech Computer (HTC), Inventec, Toshiba and Wistron are among the ODMs showing off wares at the Computex Taipei show, the company said.

Is Windows killing the Netbook?: I suspect that Windows is slowly killing the netbook concept. I realized this when I walked into a big computer shop and saw the following sign beside the Netbooks aisle: please note that these computer have reduced functionality and will not run games. After investigation it seems that the sign was put there by the salesmen because…

Bing is not Google, but it is a spin engine: Christian Einfeldt Microsoft is at the beginning of a major product launch, called Bing, in an attempt to catch up to Google in search, following the collapse of Microsoft’s take-over attempt of Yahoo. While Bing is a re-branding of Microsoft’s clunky distant third place “Live Search” search service, Bing is also an attempt to add new features to search. Microsoft calls Bing a decision engine, in that it purports to offer more comparisons in its search results, rather than the simple blue links which have characterized search up to the recent arrival of Wolfram Alpha. But rather than a search engine or even a “decision engine”, Bing also appears to be a spin engine, in that it provides partisan answers to controversial topics, such as Steve Ballmer’s propensity to throw chairs to blow off stress.

Deceptive Pricing at CompUSA: On Friday my housemate and I went down to what used to be the Tiger Direct retail store in Raleigh. It turns out that Tiger Direct bought out what was left of CompUSA and has renamed their stores. I guess the CompUSA name is better known as a brick and mortar retail computer store. The main reasons for the visit were for my housemate to upgrade the RAM in her Dell laptop from 1GB to 2GB and for me to buy an SD card to use in my Sylvania netbook. Some of you may have already noticed that I am now writing regularly for DistroWatch Weekly which means I am trying out different Linux distributions on a regular basis. It might be nice (not to mention less risky and somewhat easier) to install to the SD card rather than my hard drive when first checking things out.

Microsoft strikes back at Linux netbook push: As expected, there’s a flood of Linux netbook announcements at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan. What wasn’t expected was for one of the top netbook companies, Asus, to turn its back on one of its own netbooks running Android Linux. I’m sorry I’m not in Taipei for the show. It must have been quite the sight.

Practical Exercise Tips For Busy Linux Geeks: We all know that healthy eating and moderate exercise are key to living long, healthy lives. Unfortunately the ability to type 90 words per minutes without errors, or to sit and work in deep concentration for hours at a time, while strenuous in their own ways, don’t do much for our physical fitness. But even the busiest Linux geek can painlessly fit pleasant, healthy exercise into a daily routine; so here are my best 5 fitness tips for busy geeks.

Why Android smartbooks will eventually be free: We have seen a lot of action at Computex around the Snapdragon based android eeepc and all the shenanigans around it. Despite this there are so many manufacturers preparing Android and Snapdragon Based devices that Asus can’t afford to miss the boat. I also think that the new Android smartbooks will not only be cheap, but that eventually they will be free and I’ll explain why below.

Don’t Get Me Wrong, Linux sucks as much as Windows: Here is the latest hot trend in anti-Linux baloney: supposed Linux fans and advocates who really really love Linux and have been using it for years, but can’t recommend it for anyone else because “It’s not ready.”

Judgement Day: Studio Dave Tests Ubuntu Studio 9.04: I need at least one i386 installation here at Studio Dave because some production software is not yet 64-bit ready, and I happen to need that software. SuperCollider3 can run on a 64-bit system, but only after some tricky maneuvers; the label printing programs for my Lightscribe drive are 32-bit only; and VST/VSTi audio plugins still work best in a pure 32-bit system. My main production machine runs a pure 64-bit distribution (64 Studio), but an i386 box is still required for the complete Studio Dave.

We don’t need you either Asus: After reading articles like this one today. It’s safe to say that this sucks. Linux MADE Asus the market leader it is. Xandros bent over backwards to tailor a UI specifically for the tiny 7inch screen that really did make the first netbooks fly. Now this crap. Some of the things that I’ve learned by asking (off the record) some local retailers of the Asus systems. These retailers tend to be more hands on than a “Best Buy”.

6 of the Best Free Linux CAD Software: Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer technology for the design of objects, real or virtual. ?It often refers to the drafting (technical drawing and engineering drawing) of a part or product, including entire buildings. However, CAD software is used in a wide variety of other fields such as electronics and woven fabrics.

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