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Links 14/01/2009: School’s Migration to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • Dump Windows, save millions

    XAVIER School is demonstrating what most of us have long believed: an organization can safely dump Microsoft Windows and save millions of pesos by replacing it with Linux, a free and open source operating system.

  • Red Hat CEO: priorities and apologies part of managing

    Today he’s CEO of Red Hat, the open-source Linux software company, where he’s flying high. The Raleigh company’s software is cheaper than proprietary products from rivals such as Sun Microsystems, which helped it post a 22 percent jump in revenue in the quarter that ended in November despite the recession.

  • Join the Linux revolution

    Netbooks are now frequently sold with Linux installed, but it is otherwise still relatively unusual to find Linux pre-installed on a PC or laptop, and so most people will have to install it themselves. As a result, a lot of work has gone into making this a simple process.

    The distributions themselves are normally a vailable to install from CD or DVD. It is often possible to buy boxed distributions or pressed CDs, but the majority of people usually download the CD image from the internet. With a fast broadband connection you can download a typical image in less than half an hour.

    For those without a good internet connection, the downloads are also regularly available on the PCW cover DVD.

  • 5 Linux Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

    Contributing to Linux and the Open Source movement can come in many guises. Programming, filing bugs, translating, blogging, and of course podcasting! In this day and age, jumping behind a mic and speaking isn’t really hard, whats hard is actually sticking out of the clutter. Here are 5 podcasts that made an unknown blogger from Saudi Arabia jump out of bed at 4 in the morning to write about them!

  • Linux Guy and Windows Guy Walk a Mile in Each Other’s Shoes

    What would happen if a Linux user switched to Windows. How about if a Windows enthusiast tried Linux? The results were surprising to both, and they illustrate just what needs to happen in order for Linux to finally break into the mainstream PC market.

  • Games

    • 7 Great Free/Open-source Platform Games for Linux

      A platform game (also known as platformer) is a video game genre distinguished by jumping to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles. A very famous example of a platform game is the best selling video game of all time, which is the Super Mario Bros.

    • Linux games – First Person Shooters – Part Three

      Welcome to the third installment in the First Person Shooters saga. Today, we will talk about two more solid choices for meeting people online – and then shooting them.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: main development phase for 2.6.29 ends, new X.org drivers

      With the release of 2.6.29-rc1 on Saturday night, Linus Torvalds has closed the 2.6.29 merge window and brought to a close the development phase, during which the major new features for the next version of Linux are adopted. All significant changes in 2.6.29 should now be in the Linux source code management system, including new features previously discussed on heise open such as WiMAX, access point support and the Btrfs and Squashfs file systems.

    • Btrfs v0.17 released

      Btrfs v0.17 is now available. For download locations you can visit:


      The main purpose of this release was to package up a btrfs-progs.tar.gz
      that corresponds to the current code in the kernel.

  • Editors

    • Bluefish top Linux HTML editor

      Bluefish, long-favored among DesktopLinux editors, has come out tops in a “shoot-out” between seven different text editing software packages for Linux. Evaluated in the context of HTML authoring, Bluefish is praised for its broad multi-language support, built-in reference material, and ease of use.

    • Flipping the Linux switch: Linux web tools, Pt. 5 – Readers love editing

      Seriously guys, we love you. Okay, fine, maybe not in the way your mom loves you, or your dog loves you, or your significant other loves you. But we definitely love you in that totally uncomfortable, care-free, “Hey, let us buy you a Red Bull and Pop Rocks next time we’re at the convenience store” sort of way.

      We don’t just love you for your looks, or your superior intelligence, or because you can totally creep out little kids with that thing you do with your left eye. We will even go so far as to say the fact that you use Linux doesn’t play into it one bit.

  • Dell

    • Dell Inspiron 1525 Notebook

      As we shared last month, at Phoronix we will begin delivering reviews of retail netbooks and notebooks with all testing (of course) being done under Linux. Earlier this month we looked at the Samsung NC10 Netbook and are in the process of working on a few other reviews currently, but in this review we are looking at Dell’s Inspiron 1525 notebook.


      The Linux compatibility of the Dell Inspiron 1525 was also great aside from the web-camera with a uvcvideo driver issue we experienced with Cheese, but that is not specific to this Dell notebook. However, all core functionality of the notebook worked as expected with Ubuntu 8.10.

    • DELL, we want a free software computerDELL, vogliamo un computer libero

      Our ideal computer (desktop, laptop, subnotebook) has:

      1. an Atheros wireless chip because it uses free (as in freedom) drivers and so it can function perfectly in every GNU/Linux distribution.
      2. the coreboot free BIOS.
      3. a fully free GNU/Linux distribution preinstalled like gNewSense

      No other company offers something like that and the request for such a product is high, as demonstrated by the famous Mark Shuttlework post about a free software laptop.

  • Campaigns

    • Support Open Media

      Are you tired of constantly being prompted to download proprietary software and plugins to play the videos and listen to the music you want? Are you fed up with seeing new gadgets that only use incompatible and restrictive audio and video formats? Did you know that it’s not a lack of technological know-how that causes this, but software patents and other legal restrictions?

      Increasingly proprietary software companies like Microsoft, Apple and Adobe are pushing video and audio formats that restrict access and restrict software developers, but there is an alternative that can be played on all computers without restriction—Ogg.

    • “I’m Linux” contest open for video entries

      The Linux Foundation (LF) is now accepting 60-second video entries for its “I’m Linux” contest, which spoofs recent Apple and Microsoft commercials. The winner will receive a free trip to Tokyo to participate in the LF’s Japan Linux Symposium in October 2009, says the nonprofit group.

  • KDE

    • KDE 4.2 Progress, New NetworkManager Plasmoid Coming

      When KDE 4.0 was first released, it was met with quite some criticism. Even though people saw the huge potential, the lack of functionality and stability, as well as quite a few bugs detracted from the experience. The KDE developers continued to work on implementing their relatively radical vision, and with the release of KDE 4.2 creeping ever closer, it seems they’re well on their way.

    • KDE NetworkManager interface gets a shiny plasma overhaul

      In most modern Linux distributions, network configuration is handled by NetworkManager, a desktop-neutral service that seamlessly manages connections. It leverages D-Bus and HAL to provide a standardized programming interface through which higher-level applications can interact with network configuration and expose networking functionality to the end user. NetworkManager has largely eliminated the need for managing network configuration through text files or the command line in all but a few corner cases.

    • First Amarok 2 point update brings back lots of features

      The developers of the open source Amarok audio player launched version 2.0 last month with a completely new user interface and a lot of really impressive new features. Although the 2.0 release delivered some great stuff, it was missing some important features from the 1.4 series.

    • Crystal desktop search applet.

      Over new year, I’ve been playing around with Strigi and Nepomuk, which are the two technologies around desktop search and “making sense of your data”. Strigi is the underlying library that is used to analyze all sorts of files and index those results. Nepomuk provides a semantic layer on top of this information, and a nice KDE API for easy integration in applications. While Nepomuk is only lately maturing, it shows some nice ways to interact with information on your desktop. Nepomuk uses RDF and ontologies to make sense of your data. It has the concept of types of data (think of a photo being an an image), and how those types relate to each other. It also stores metadata (for the photo example, that’d be size, camera model, and so on.

  • Distributions

    • Two years with PCLinuxOS as main OS

      I have PCLinuxOS2009 TR5 running with the full updated testing repo on my testbox and I am very impressed with the TR, Tex and the Ripper Gang have created.

      I am eagerly looking to the final 2009 release so that we can show the world how a good, user centric distro must look like.

    • Releases

      • Bio-Linux goes global

        The NERC Environmental Bioinformatics Centre (NEBC), based at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, has released the latest version of NEBC Bio-Linux, a specialised computing system designed for the environmental genomics research community.

      • Portable Linux is now available

        I’ve written a small application to create bootable, multi-purpose USB drives out of Ubuntu images.

    • Ubuntu and Debian

      • Kubuntu on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

        In mid-March HP are coming out with the HP 2140 Mini-Note with an Atom processor and screen resolution of 1330X768m, and everything else pretty much identical to the 2133. That should be a stunning machine, although I bet it will end up costing a fair bit more than the 300 Euros I paid. Still it will still be only about a third the cost of a MacBook Air, which is about the only small machine I know of with better finish and industrial design. Most of the other netbooks now look like something out of a Christmas cracker compared with the sleek metal and black HP..

      • Ubuntu’d HP Mini 1000 Mi Launched

        We don’t know if Verne Troyer’s into the whole netbook scene or the open source movement, but if he is, he can now order HP’s shagadelic Mini 1000 Mi. Sporting a 9-inch screen, the pint sized mobile PC gets randy with the Linux community by trading in Microsoft’s Windows XP for a customized version of Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu 8.10 magazine

        I wrote several articles, and co-wrote one with a friend, Ryan Troy, for the Ubuntu 8.10 edition of Linux Identity. I even got to write the editorial at the beginning of the issue.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Year of the Linux Everything Else

      A little digging will pull up some good online information. Doc Searls, Senior Editor at the Linux Journal, does a list each year. This year’s version covers 35 different devices. There is also some specific information around product announcements that (may or may not) include Linux, like Palm’s new WebOS reported by Ars Technica and others. But that’s the point exactly. Linux is now so widely deployed and ubiquitious as a technology choice for running devices and powering applications, it’s now not even news. It’s in practically “everything else” other than servers.

    • How Can Linux Fit in a Cellphone?

      But apparently it’s possible with some flavor of Linux as we’ve heard of Linux-powered cellphones and Linux-powered e-book readers. Now, since these devices have quite limited resources, i.e., smaller memory and smaller processors, compared to a typical desktop, it would be safe to assume that we could be talking about a stripped-down version of the Linux that we know of.

    • Subversion software appliance runs Linux

      WANdisco announced the availability of an embedded software appliance that runs Linux and incorporates the popular open source “Subversion” revision control system for distributed software development. The Subversion MultiSite Software Appliance combines Subversion, Apache server, rPath Linux, and WANdisco’s multi-site replication technology, says the company.

    • DPF design runs Linux

      Last week at CES, Chumby demonstrated a WiFi-enabled digital photo frame (DPF) hardware-software reference design developed with Marvell Semiconductor. The reference design combines Marvell’s recently announced PXA168 system-on-chip and 802.11 b/g WiFi chipset with Chumby’s Linux-based “push” info-tainment stack and website.

    • Open-source gaming: GP2X Wiz release slips

      We are looking forward to finally getting our mitts on Gamepark Holding’s latest does-it-all open source handheld console, the GP2X Wiz, which the company has now confirmed will be released in Europe in March.

      “The release date has been changed and fixed from 22 February 2009 to 5 March 2009,” the company informs TechRadar this week.

    • Sony DSC-G3 Camera Has Wi-Fi and Linux

      At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show Sony presented the new camera from its Cyber-shot product line. The DSC-G3 comes with a Zeiss lens with 4x zoom, a large 3.5″ touch display and 4 GBytes of internal memory. Most interesting is the camera’s software that includes, among other things, face and scene recognition, based on Busybox and Kernel 2.6.11 for the Access Linux Platform (ALP).

    • Linux is the Engine Under the Hood of Instant On

      Splashtop is a product from DeviceVM and was the first to really grab the attention of the laptop crowd. It comes pre-installed on laptops from Asus, Lenovo and VoodooPC. It’s also available on a large number of Asus motherboards and the Asus Eee Box B202. For the developer crowd there is a list of the components used in Splashtop on their website along with the statement that they are building an SDK to make development for the platform easier.

    • Simba Technologies Launches Linux-based MDX SDK for Building XMLA Data Connectivity to Multi-Dimensional Data Sources

      This latest SDK release provides greater options to developers by way of newly added support for Red Hat Linux and continued support for Microsoft Windows. While Windows dominates desktop computing, many data servers run on Linux and UNIX. Simba added components to easily build platform independent, Java-based XMLA Providers in Version 4.1 of the SDK. The addition of a Linux-based MDX engine in this latest release enables the company’s Linux-based customers to build a fully Linux solution to gain performance with their systems.

    • Sub-notebooks/Notebooks

      • The MIDs and netbooks of CES: Compal’s multiple designs

        Intel worked with both Compal and SFR to customize a Moblin-compliant Linux distro for the device.

      • “World’s Lightest” 8-inch Netbook is embedded with Linux

        Weighing in at exactly 1.4 pounds, there’s no doubt that the Sony VAIO P is currently the lightest 8-inch notebook computer on the planet. However, its Windows Vista operating system can be anything but light. Thankfully, the Sony VAIO P also comes with a super-fast Linux-based environment called Xross.

      • SMART Notebook 10 Available For Core Linux Distributions

        SMART Technologies has announced the availability of SMART Notebook 10 software for the latest core distributions of the Linux operating system. SMART Notebook 10 software now supports five core Linux distributions, including Ubuntu 8.04, openSUSE 10.03, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1, Fedora Core 9, and Debian 4.0 (Etch) r3.

      • Rival lays challenge to Intel over netbooks

        Mr Jacobs said Snap-dragon-powered devices would run a Linux open-source operating system rather than Microsoft Windows XP, which powers most Intel-based netbooks.

        However, he acknowledged that Qualcomm and its partners would have to ensure that Snapdragon/Linux-based netbooks were easy to use.

        “We are spending a lot of effort making sure that the Linux experience is a very good one,” he said.

      • The MIDs and netbooks of CES: BenQ TIM

        The BenQ TIM is a great-looking unit with a really nice, Linux-based interface that the rep told me had won some design awards. It’s sold by Telecom Italia… or, rather, it’s given away for “free” by the wireless provider, but you have to sign up for a two-year contract. (It comes with integrated HSDPA).


  • The Key

    I think writing BSD licensed code means helping the greedy business to establish the control over us. Don’ do that, if you love your freedom. I Love the Hacker’s ideals and from experience I can say that Hackers can become great politicians, and great Leaders who can turn the direction from where human lives are heading today to a better and prosperous future where the government will support people to help themselves and then will get put of their way to let them grow. Its the Free Society, where anyone can assume his responsibility for his countrymen then he will lead, GPL is the key in doing that, if you loose it, you loose the quality. you loose the peace that a man wants in his entire life. Accept the truth and truth will set you free.

  • Gallium3D To Enter Mainline Mesa Code

    As we shared late last week, Mesa 7.3 is getting ready for release with the first release candidate having arrived. Mesa 7.3 will feature improved GLSL 1.20 support, support for the Graphics Execution Manager, and Direct Rendering Infrastructure 2 integration. The stabilized version of Mesa 7.3 will then go to make Mesa 7.4.

  • How Open Source Will Save Education

    One of my favourite writers is John Robb; his book Brave New War is all about “open source warfare” – how the ideas behind open source software can, unfortunately, be applied with huge effectiveness to wreaking destruction.

  • Where is all the open-source EDA software?

    There is a big cultural difference between tools for IC design and tools for software design. A difference in the way they are developed, the way they are sold, the way they are deployed. I think there are two reasons.

  • Fonality, Tech Data Sign Open Source Unified Communications Deal

    Fonality, a small provider of open source unified communications software originally based on Asterisk (the IP PBX), has scored a distribution deal with Tech Data Corp. This is the latest in a growing list of channel wins for Fonality, and it reinforces Asterisks’ growing momentum among solutions providers.


    Now for another twist: Although Fonality, Digium and other open source IP PBX makers offer on-premise solutions, we’re starting to see a subtle shift to cloud-based Asterisk services. Fonality’s Hybrid-Hosted approach, as you may have guessed, involves a mix of on-premise and hosted solutions.

  • Google Creates Open-Source App Engine Project for Exporting Blog Content

    Google unveils the open-source Blog Converters project for federating the exchange of data between blogging platforms, including Blogger, MoveableType, WordPress and LiveJournal. Blog Converters is just one facet of a fundamental shift from siloed Web sites, which lock users in to their services, to a more boundless Web, where users can liberally migrate their data from one Web site to the next.

  • Adaptive Planning Announces Partnership With Companies in Okinawa to Promote Open Source Planning and Reporting Solutions in Japan and Asia

    A joint venture company will be located in an Open Source Software (OSS) Center in Shinryo Park, Okinawa, which the Okinawa Prefecture is building for the purposes of promoting the use of open source software in both local companies and businesses throughout Japan and Asia

  • Mozilla

    • Snowl 0.2 Takes Flight

      As you may have noticed, messaging is pretty popular these days. An obvious place to read and send messages is the browser, the obvious way to do that is with a Firefox extension.

    • Firebug 1.3.0 released

      Firebug is one of the most popular web development add-ons for the Firefox web browser. Its powerful web debugging capabilities and tight integration with the browser make it an indispensable tool for troubleshooting bugs in web applications. The developers officially released version 1.3.0 on Wednesday and it is available for download from the Mozilla add-ons web site.

    • Updates from Mozilla: Snowl, a New Firebug, and Extensions for Firefox 3.1

      While Mozilla had been targeting today for the code freeze on the third beta of the much-improved Firefox 3.1 browser, it doesn’t look like it will make that milestone. Meanwhile, though, there are quite a few updates from the company. Snowl, the company’s experiment focused on delivering an in-browser messaging client for Firefox, is out in a new version, there are also updates on the excellent Firebug Firefox extension, add-ons for Firefox 3.1 and more.

  • Programming

    • Healthcheck: Perl

      There are encouraging signs. The Perl Foundation recently received a $200,000 grant from Ian Hague to support Perl 6 development; key projects have well defined roadmaps and have been hitting their targets; and Patrick Michaud, who leads the development of Rakudo (Perl 6 on the Parrot virtual machine), has said that it is starting to ‘feel like Perl’ (and rakudo has been able to run a growing subset of Perl 6 for a long time).

      I think we’re unlikely to see a full Perl 6 before Christmas 2009, but there’s a history of announcing interesting developments at the Open Source Conference.

    • The Evolution of Python 3

      In December 2008, the Python developers released Python 3.0, a new version of the popular dynamic programming language. While Python creator Guido van Rossum had discussed ideas for Python 3000 (renamed Python 3.0) for several years, the community began to work on it in earnest in 2005. Guido generously agreed to discuss the development process and what this new release means for the future of the language.

    • The Roadmap To An Open-Source Launchpad

      On July 22nd of 2008 we shared that the source-code to Launchpad.net would be released by Canonical within the next twelve months. Mark Shuttleworth had made this announcement during OSCON 2008.

  • Sun

    • 5 Reasons VirtualBox Rocks My Socks

      Lately I’ve been interested in learning about a variety of the Operating Systems that are available today. I’m a big advocate of using the right tool for the job so experimenting with the latest OSes is a must in order to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each. While experimentation is a great way to learn it can be a bit of a pain to find an old machine, format the hard drive, and install an OS. Dual booting is an alternative option, but there is the inherent risk of messing up the current state of your machine.

    • Sun expanding MySQL Drizzle staffing – going cloud?

      Though Sun recently shed thousands of jobs, it’s actually now hiring – well for at least one key position. Sun is looking for a Software Senior Staff Engineer to work on the MySQL open source Drizzle project.

    • FreeBSD 7.1 Gets a Little Help from Sun

      The open source FreeBSD operating system is out with its first major update in nearly a year.

      FreeBSD 7.1 includes numerous improvements over its predecessor FreeBSD 7.0, including Sun Microsystem-developed Dtrace technology as well as new boot options and scalability improvements.

    • OpenOffice.org

      • [OpenOffice.org] Yet Another Great Community Contribution

        It is my pleasure to announce the integration of the new overlining feature. I like to thank Martin Whitaker for his outstanding work on this. Let’s have a look at what Martin did to get this feature done. First, he submitted a draft patch that implements this feature.

      • Mail Merge in Openoffice.org: Everything You Need to Know

        If you haven’t tried OpenOffice.org’s mail merge feature because you find it confusing or difficult to use, you are in luck. Mail Merges in OpenOffice.org and StarOffice provides a detailed description of the mail merge feature from start to finish. Among other things, it shows how you can use the mail merge to create letters, labels, and envelopes. Download the free PDF ebook for your persusal or read the article online.


  • Sita’s Distribution Plan

    “But Nina, how will you make money?” The way artists always make money: donations, commissions, grants, patrons, speaking fees. Indie distributors can’t pay anywhere near what it cost me to make the film ($80,000 + $50,000 to clear rights + $160,000 living expenses over the years I made the film + my TIME) but they do lock up the rights for 10+ years. In the Digital Age, distributors function primarily as a barrier between artists and audiences, prohibiting access rather than facilitating it.

  • Tor anonymous network now has zero known bugs

    Coverity received funding from the Department of Homeland Security in 2006 as part of a three year project to analyse open source software for vulnerabilities, though at the time the focus was on Linux, the Apache web server, the Bind DNS server and Firefox.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Not finished: LA geeks 003 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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