01.25.09

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Links 25/01/2009: Links 25/01/2009: More GNU/Linux-based Devices, Sub-notebooks

Posted in News Roundup at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Not Linux’ Quietest Couple of Weeks

    The US has a new president this week (perhaps you heard), though still faces some serious economic challenges. Those challenges seem to have caught up with a major Linux competitor, as Microsoft announced an immediate layoff of 1,400 employees and up to 5,000 total in the weeks ahead.

    In an interview with LinuxDevices, LF Executive Director Jim Zemlin made note of the fact that Microsoft admitted it had underestimated the size of the netbooks market: “It’s a combination of Linux, missteps by Microsoft, and not enabling Vista for a low-power, long battery-life device.”

    Definitely not a slow couple of weeks. Looking forward to next week, that’s for sure.

  • Pleasant Linux Surprises

    It is still nice when I get an occasional pleasant surprise from Linux…

    We have quite a few old DEC/Compaq/HP AlphaServer systems sitting around here, mostly just gathering dust or generating heat. Yesterday I decided to try loading a current Linux distribution on one of them, an AlphaServer DS10.

  • Linux users to woo teachers

    The discussion will help open up avenues that familiarise students with ‘behind the scene’ functioning of applications.

    Kochi: The Indian Linux Users’ Group (I-LUG), Kochi chapter, in its monthly meeting on Sunday will dwell upon the power of command line interface.

  • Editor’s Note: Joe Sixpack Must Die

    A fair bit of so-called advocacy seems to be taking its cues from the poor quality of most Linux news reporting. I indulged in an enjoyable and cathartic rant against shoddy tech journalism, and one thing I left out, since I tend to ramble on excessively, was why do so many tech journalists pretend to be some mythical average dimwit user when they’re writing about Linux? And not just the pros, but all kinds of bloggers and commenters in forums and mailing lists do this too. This mythical average user, this “Joe Sixpack”, is too stupid to figure out which shoe goes on which foot, let alone run a computer. And yet this is the target user for whatever Linux version or device they are talking about:

    “Ubuntu and OpenSUSE…provide much if not all of what “Joe Sixpack” wants to do with their personal computer, but the reality is there are significant obstacles that must be overcome….”

    “…unwashed masses…”

    “…the best Linux distribution for the mythical Mr. Joe Sixpack I’ve seen yet.”

    “Linux will never be ready for the desktop until Joe and Jane Sixpack can use it without ever having to go anywhere near the command line interface, or edit a configuration file”

    “Joe Sixpack probably couldn’t find a need for those kind of applications anyway.”

  • Review: Sabayon Linux 4.0

    Overall, I really enjoyed Sabayon 4. It’s a nice improvement from 3.5 in that it fixes many of the issues that existed (what few there were) and noticeably increased speed and performance. The entire distro is standing by and ready to perform for you in whatever way you want.

  • The best five books for Linux beginners

    In a recent story, I wrote about the best three ways to pick up desktop Linux. These are: buying a PC with pre-installed Linux; Live Linux CD/USB-sticks; and installing an easy-to-use Linux distribution like Mint or MEPIS. That’s all well and good, but a recent reader note reminded that many users need more than just a running Linux distribution to get up to speed. What these users need is a good introduction to Linux. So, for all of you to whom “root” is something that trees have but operating system don’t, these books are for you.

  • Virtual Machines, Put To The Developer Test

    The other tests were run on combinations of hosts and guests:

    * Ubuntu Linux (guest) on Ubuntu Linux.
    * Windows (guest) on Ubuntu Linux.
    * Windows (guest) on Windows
    * Ubuntu Linux (guest) on Windows.

    Each test was run 100 times and the results were averaged to get more accurate measurements. All of the tests were run on clean installs of the operating systems with only the default settings to get the most unaffected and comparable results.

  • Techs Challenge WaPo on White House and Tech

    The other major point many of the comments made is this: before you get the government to buy all new Macs for the Mac-centric Obama-ites, consider Linux!

  • Interview with Liam Bennett: creating a SMS service in Australia using GNU/Linux

    I am always interested when a company uses GNU/Linux to create really, really useful services. When that company is in your own town, and I get to spend time with the person who created it and made it successful, I get even more excited! Liam Bennett manages eConfirm Inc, an Australian company that offers SMS sending — and responding — services, based on GNU/Linux.

  • Top 10 Linux Games (FPS)

    Being an avid Linux user I hear lots of people complain that there are no good games for our operating system, so I have put together a top 10 list of the best FPS games in the spirit of proving them wrong. Most of these wonderful games are even free, so without further delay…

  • Gaming on my Linux

    For most people, Linux is a geeky machine that is only used for servers and for research. They don’t think of it as a gaming platform because most games almost always come as Windows and Mac only version. The truth is, there are actually lots of games available for Linux. I’m not talking Linux-wine-games but those games that run natively on the platform.

  • Top 50 Linux Alternatives to Popular Apps

    Linux is quickly gaining popularity, but there are still many users afraid to convert as they are not familiar with the applications. Today our Linux guru Blair Mathis is back to introduce fifty of the most popular applications on this OS

  • Open Season for Linux Contests

    The four contests all involve creativity, judges, and significant prizes including a trip to France for one, and a trip to Japan for another. So, whether you look at these contests as a chance to show off your video skills, go after real prize money, or just a fun way to participate in the big, online discussion that is Linux, there’s room for all.

  • Linux & Teachers – Part II

    This is the second part to the Linux & Teachers written by my friend Ankur who blogs here:
    This piece might come across as one intended to bad mouth my own college, but I have a sneaking suspicion that things aren’t all rosy in other parts of the country either.

    [...]

    Today I decided to make a list of all the atrocities committed by my Introduction to Programming professor. I wasn’t expecting much because, even though he sounded like a complete knucklehead to the geek inside me, I was sure he at least knew the textbook inside-out. I was, as one would expect, wrong. So, hackers, get ready to cringe. Here’s my list.

    * … Linux is basically a DOS based OS.
    * These days we are using 128 and 256 bit processors.
    * A compiler is a software that converts code written in a particular programming language to machine code. To compile a program, you must hit ALT+F9. (It took me a while to realize he was talking about the Borland Turbo C++ IDE from 1992, a prehistoric compiler Indian colleges use for all C and C++ courses.)

  • Usability

    • What is so bad about the command line?

      Graphical interfaces serve a purpose and so does the command line. It doesn’t matter which operating system you use. So I will not accept any arguments that the command line is bad. The command line is good in my humble opinion and those who shy away from it are missing out on a large piece of the computing experience.

    • Is Linux Easy to Use?

      Today’s Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Suse and Fedora can be installed very easily. In Ubuntu the user required actions are just 4-5 clicks. The installer is clever enough to partition the hard disc without loss of data and co-living with other operating systems installed prior. I love this feature a lot.

  • Audio

  • LCA

    • Now, you too can shave Bdale’s beard

      Given that the great shave of the century took place on January 23, Andrew Bennett has worked at a pretty quick pace to come up with the Flash game Shaving Bdale.

    • mv linux.conf.au linux.conf.nz?

      “What’s in a name?” asks Shakespeare’s Juliet, and by all accounts, it expresses a sentiment that has been on the minds of the Australasian Linux community assembled in Hobart, Tasmania this week for linux.conf.au. In a Romeoesque move, conference organizers have vowed the annual event will deny its TLD and surmount its name, announcing that the 2010 conference will trade koalas for kiwis as it convenes in Wellington, New Zealand.

  • KDE

    • Straight from KDE 4.2.60 (KDE 4.3 trunk)

      I guess this is everything for this week, as you can see KMail is pretty useful, easy to set up (if you use the first run wizard) and, with some tweaks here and there, you can get a impressively clean, uncluttered, yet, useful interface :-)

    • Amarok2 and redefinition of awesomeness

      Fully aware of the fact that this post will bring no change to Amarok or KDE, I am setting out to write this nonetheless. I know I should have been more constructive, but this is all I got to spare right now.

      With the disclaimer out of the way, I used to be a KDE user and devoted Amarok user. Even when fancy took me to run Gnome, I used to run Amarok faithfully. Nothing unique, many Gnome users do the same.

      [...]

      UI : We programmers sometimes get so blinded by our creation that we see nothing past it. The plasma widget in center is exact case of that.

  • Distributions

    • Review: Granular 1.0

      While I am very pleasantly surprised by Granular 1.0, I’m not sufficiently impressed to have it replace my current distributions of choice – CrunchBang Linux and Linux Mint.

      If, however, you have never tried a Linux distribution – and therefore have nothing to compare Granular with apart from, perhaps, Microsoft Windows – then this distribution will fit your needs extremely well.

    • Linux Distro Review – #! CrunchBang 8.10

      #!CrunchBang is a very interesting operating system, suitable for all those who want to easily install a Linux system, but they do not want to spend time with frills graphics. Definitely a “substantial” Linux distro!
      Once installed, CrunchBang is a system with a surprisingly fastness. Applications instantly run and the system isn’t stressed by heavy apps like movie player or music player or graphical editors.
      This operating system is very suitable for those thet want to rescue an old computer, but still be modern and up to date.

    • Mandriva One 2009… You made me say “WOW”

      So for those who are willing to kick Windows Vista away and also for those who are interested in trying out KDE 4.1 without the messy look, I think Mandriva One 2009 is a good distro to try out. It comes as a live user version and can be installed and make secure as a regular GNU/Linux distribution.

      Okay It’s time for me to get back to the work I was doing… Got to start playing with the Directory Server of it…

      Mandriva Team, Good Work fellas!!!

  • Screenshots

    • CrunchEee: CrunchBang Linux for the Eee PC

      Along with the 8.10.02 release of the CrunchBang Linux distribution, announced at the beginning of the week, Philip Newborough also baked and delivered an optimized version for the popular and tiny ASUS Eee PC. The new edition is called CrunchEee and has the same version number as its older brother. ASUS Eee PC users can test this very lightweight version of CrunchBang Linux using a USB flash drive and by following the installation instructions below. For those of you who don’t know yet what CrunchBang is, then you should know that it’s an Ubuntu-based distribution powered by the light Openbox window manager. But first, let’s take a closer look at the features brought by CrunchEee 8.10.02…

    • Jolicloud’s Beautifully Designed Netbook Linux OS

      I agree with designer Tariq Krim that we’ve yet to see an OS interface perfectly implemented to a netbook’s uniquely small hardware. Hence Jolicloud, and judging from this UI shot, he’s on to something.

  • Red Hat

    • Fedora video bonanza.

      The great thing about the Fedora community is that when there’s work to be done, people roll up their sleeves and pitch in. That’s exactly what happened at our most recent Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) in Boston a couple weeks ago, where volunteers banded together to provide audio streaming and video recording of some of the proceedings.

    • Red Hat Virtualization Webcast: Open Source Is Critical

      In this session from Virtualization Conference & Expo 2009 West, Red Hat’s Brian Stevens discussed what has been achieved and what is under development, and most important why open source is critical when building integrated infrastructure solutions.

  • Ubuntu

    • Big Ubuntu Jaunty promises

      In April the Ubuntu development team will release the latest version of its operating system, codenamed Jaunty Jackalope.

      This release, officially known as Ubuntu 9.04, is expected to consolidate many of the changes begun in the last release in October, called Intrepid.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Verizon Launches ‘Hub’ VOIP Phone

      Verizon Wireless launched a VOIP-based, Linux-powered home phone on Friday, the Verizon Hub. The Hub plugs into a home broadband line and acts as a family calendar, limited Web browser, messaging center, digital picture frame and, of course, a phone.

    • Verizon VoIP phone doubles as DPF

      Verizon Wireless announced a VoIP touchscreen phone that incorporates a digital picture frame (DPF) capability and can send navigation instructions to Verizon mobile phones. According to one report, the Verizon Hub (pictured) is based on OpenPeak’s OpenFrame phone, which is said to run Linux.

    • WNAMM09: Indamixx NetBook Linux Powered DAW

      The system runs on a Linux powered, dual core netbook, with various applications including multitrack DAW, DJ software and a VST host. Well worth checking out.

    • Datto launches Box 2 Box P2P NAS device

      Box 2 Box drives come with four USB ports for additional storage, and are powered by an Intel Atom 230 CPU running a Linux-based OS. It doesn’t come with any backup software, however.

F/OSS

  • 10 Ways to Make Your Open Source Database Project Float

    Commercial databases can be costly and restrictive, but companies large and small are increasingly looking to open source databases to increase flexibility and bring down costs. Here are 10 tips for IT professionals who are thinking about implementing an open source database solution.

  • New FSF microblogging communities New FSF microblogging communities

    identi.ca distributes the source code used to power the site under the Affero GNU General Public License, and is following the free network service principles that the autonomo.us working group has been developing.

  • IDEO goes open source with BUGbase project.

    Ever wonder what one of IDEO’s legendary “deep dives” looks like from the inside? The world-renowned innovation consultancy has gone open-source with their latest project, and Core readers are invited to observe and contribute, along with anyone else with an interest in design and prototyping.

  • Open Standards + Community Support = Healthy Wireless Networks

    OpenSAF is an open source community project developing a high availability base platform HA middleware under the LGPL.

  • Preventing the New Dark Ages: Start Here

    Incidentally, that previous blog entry reminds me: people regularly ask me, “well, why don’t you use (Windows | Microsoft Office | [insert program here)? Everybody else does, and it would make your life so much easier.” Or they ask me “why bother using Linux? It’s so much easier to use Windows.” And so on.

    [...]

    Thirdly, they’re both open source projects and thus the developers have no incentive to lock me in so that they can charge me rent. I don’t mind paying for software; where an essential piece of free software has a tipjar on the developer’s website, I will on occasion use it. And I’m writing this screed on a Mac, running OS/X; itself a proprietary platform. But the software I use for my work is open — because these projects are technology driven rather than marketing driven, so they’ve got no motivation to lock me in and no reason to force me onto a compulsory (and expensive) upgrade treadmill.

    I’ll make exceptions to this personal policy if no tool exists for the job that meets my criteria — but given a choice between a second-rate tool that doesn’t try to steal my data and blackmail me into paying rent and a first-rate tool that locks me in, I’ll take the honest one every time. And I’ll make a big exception to it for activities that don’t involve acts of creation on my part. I see no reason not to use proprietary games consoles, or ebook readers that display files in a non-extractable format (as opposed to DRM, which is just plain evil all of the time). But if I created a work I damn well own it, and I’ll go back to using a manual typewriter if necessary, rather than let a large corporation pry it from my possession and charge me rent for access to it.

  • ‘Clouds’

    • What will be the cloud equivalent of the Linux distro?

      In 1993, you had to have a high degree of skill (and patience) to take advantage of the emerging Linux platform, because for the most part, you had to build it yourself. You had to download source code, compile it, install it, and make it all work together before you could really do much with it. It wasn’t until the Linux distributions came along and did that work for you that Linux, and open source along with it, was made accessible to the masses and began to fundamentally change the computing industry—and yes, the world.

    • Open-Source Cloud Tools Project Spawns Cloud Foundry

      The Cloud Tools project, hosted on Google Code, is a prime example of the emerging trend of open-source application developers targeting the cloud and looking at services such as Amazon Web Services solutions and Google App Engine to host their applications. Cloud Tools is a set of tools for deploying, managing and testing Java Enterprise Edition applications on Amazon.com’s Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud. And now the Cloud Tools project’s founder has launched a commercial service based on Cloud Tools known as Cloud Foundry.

  • Government

    • Transparency and Open Government

      One of the first documents our new President signed within his first day in office is this memorandum on Transparency and Open Government. It is a memo that I am personally very happy to see, not only because I agree so strongly with its content. For the last couple of months I have been a member of the Technology, Innovation & Government Reform (TIGR) transition policy group focusing on innovation and government. This Presidential memo covers precisely the area that we worked on.

    • National Word Processors?

      Other governments want to be able to switch to other products or actually do that. Most of them migrate to Staroffice or [OpenOffice.org] which support the ODF format and the old binary doc format out of the box. Government agencies understand that a creation of an international standard as ODF was crucial to reduce their switching costs, they understood that only strong economic pressure would force Microsoft into full ODF compliance. Some governments also understand that you have to invest into alternative products and migration studies to further reduce the dependencies and built up the market pressure for interoperability.

      I wonder if Russia will consider to develop its national word processor as well. A wise Russian will understand the danger to their national independence that a support for the Open XML format instead of ODF bears. If they have no opportunity but to chose Open XML it shows that their national independence is already compromised.

  • Songbird

    • Review : Songbird – Sleek , Simple and Feature rich cross-platform Music Player

      I had reviewed Songbird close to two years back , and at that time Songbird was impressive but was bug ridden, lacked important features and certain degree of polishing which was expected from an application intended to be used on Desktops. Songbird 1.0 is an entirely different story altogether, Songbird 1.0 is mature, has slick interface and most importantly is stable enough to be used by newbiess.

    • Songbird 1.0 Review – An Awesome Release!

      Well, Songbird definitely became a major player with this release. With plenty of features and a wonderful approach, I can say I warmly recommend Songbird as the primary audio player to anyone, and at least a try if you haven’t used it yet. It’s powerful and it practically acts like a music centre for an audiophile.

Leftovers

  • Broadband Tax for Brits?

    How would you tackle the problem of online movie and music piracy? The British Government is wondering if a broadband tax might be the answer.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

John William Templeton looks at Free Open Source Software and African American culture and innovation 03 (2004)

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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DecorWhat Else is New


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