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Links 22/03/2009: $200 GNU/Linux Sub-notebooks, Metapad Becomes Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 9:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • TuxRadar by the numbers

    Linux users make up 34.47% and Mac users are 9.19%. Here’s the full list:

    1. Windows: 55.11%
    2. Linux: 34.47%
    3. Macintosh: 9.19%
    4. iPhone: 0.45%
    5. Unknown: 0.35%
    6. iPod: 0.14%
    7. FreeBSD: 0.08%
    8. SunOS: 0.07%
    9. Android: 0.05%
    10. SymbianOS: 0.03%
    11. OpenBSD: 0.01%

  • Linux will never rule the desktop, and here’s why:

    If you draw a line giving the rate at which Linux is taking over the desktop you’ll see it’ll take several years from now to become the biggest operating system on desktops.

    This is never going to happen, because the desktop as it is will die long before we reach this point.
    The good thing is Microsoft will probably die with it!


    As hardware will keep getting cheaper and cheaper and smaller and smaller in the coming years, I don’t see any application left for PC’s so the desktop will probably die. And guess what will be running on 90% of the dedicated devices? Most probably it’s a version of a certain free and flexible open source operating system.

    I can’t wait for the year the desktop dies!

  • The Sun Sets

    Sun’s share in the EDA space has been steadily declining since the hey days of the 80’s. It appears that Linux is the eventual winner for EDA operating systems. I wish IBM well in their pursuit of Sun.

  • Linux

    And yesterday I realised another thing. My Gentoo machine is complete its feel almost of I am going to get bored. I got a chill because what is there next after Gentoo “Linux from scratch” , luckily I am busy with B.Sc Computer Science, so there is a new field to keep me busy programming.

  • Installing Linux on my girfriend’s laptop: an overview

    I could go on and on like this, because there’s still some tweaking and configuring to be done, but the main things are installed and are working just fine. She already used it a couple of times, telling me she didn’t notice the difference with Windows.

  • Why Linux is Better

    In contrast, OpenSource software is designed, built, and deployed in an entirely different manner. Yes, there are committees, or small groups that actually are making most of the decisions, but these groups are generally open in their communication and anyone can get involved. The decision making process is fundamentally different for OpenSource than it is for Commercial software.

  • Applications

    • Synapse Brings Elegant Jabber/Google Talk to Linux

      Linux only: It will only ever truly support Jabber/XMPP/Google Talk, but Synapse, a new alpha-level IM app, is a pretty—and pretty efficient—way to chat if you’re all about open-source communication.

    • Calibre: iTunes for e-books?

      Calibre is a cross-platform, open-source library for your e-books that can also sync them to your e-book reader. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it offers a massive range of individual book customizations, as well format conversion and newspaper-style RSS feed grabbing, but lacks a slick interface that would go a long way towards convincing skeptics that it’s a powerful tool.

    • Six Latest Firefox Addons You Should Check Out

      We all love Firefox for the sheer number of extensions that can be added to it. There are plenty of brilliant yet unpopular extensions that have been written about before.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Working X Input 2 Implementation

      This morning, however, Peter Hutterer (of MPX fame) has his first working X Input 2 implementation.

    • ATI Linux Drivers Gain Support For Unreleased RS880

      AMD’s current flagship offering when it comes to integrated ATI graphics is the Radeon HD 3300 / 790GX. This IGP was introduced last fall as a minor refresh to the Radeon HD 3200 / 780G Chipset. As something new for consumers to consider, soon it looks like AMD will be introducing the RS880. The RS880 will likely have a marketing name within the Radeon HD 4000 series and will be their fastest integrated graphics solution, well, for now.

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux Review

      Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution, meaning there is no specific dates for new releases, it is continously developing, it is almost always at the bleeding edge, with the most updated versions of packages.
      This means you only have to install once, and then just keep updating arch, and you will always have the most “recent release”, this is one of the aspects I like the most about Arch Linux


      Arch Linux is a great distro, it has almost always the latest package versions available, it is optimized to run on modern computers, and is a great option for the Desktop user, it may requiere a little of work to make it work, but do not be afraid it is actually easy to make it, you just need some time.

    • SAM-Linux, PCLinuxOS’ Ugly Duckling?

      Running SAM2008-claw-rc1 is still a very enjoyable experience proving once more that SAM-Linux is definitely not an ugly duckling.

    • PCLinuxOS 2009.1 userbar
    • My Distro is Better Than Yours…. Not!

      The way to strengthen Linux is to work for the developers of the distro that you like, to strengthen the community and to help others. The way to strengthen the position of your favourite distribution is to promote it with good public relations and to advertise its merits. Stay positive and we all get better.

    • Debian/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 134

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #134 for the week March 15th – March 21st, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 9.04 Beta Freeze in effect, LoCo Team information request, Ubuntu Server: KVM call for testing, MOTU Release Charter, QA Team next testing day, Ubuntu Drupal 6.3.0 released, Ubuntu India re-launches User Forums, Ubuntu Honduras begins to work, FossConf 2009 – Madurai and Ubuntu Tamil Team, Announcing Eucalyptus, Ubuntu Forums nuts and bolts, Daniel Holbach: Time to Party, Soren Hansen: gtk-vnc and virt-viewer mozilla plug-in, Thierry Carrez: What I want Ubuntu Server to be, What is Qimo?, Ubuntu Podcast #22, Server Team Minutes: March 17th, QA Team Minutes: March 18th, Behind MOTU Interview: Roderick Greening, and much, much more!

      • Debian 5.0 ScreenShots

        Now Debian does not include all of those extra packages that you are use too. But Debian does a great job of keeping it lean and simple, and if you want you can use the handy apt-get util to get the extra’s that you need.

        Please enjoy the ScreenShots below…

      • Distro Review: Debian Lenny

        Ok it’s time for another distro review and I’m a bit overdue with this one but I’m a big fan of Debian and the dedicated community who develop it I make no secret of that. When I reviewed Etch (4.0) last year I declared that if I were to finally grow up and settle down with just one distro this would be the one. I like the fact that it’s not backed by any commercial entity and sticks closely to it’s Free Software principals. After some delay version 5.0 Lenny was finally released this Valentine’s Day, how appropriate but would it still be true love? There was only one way to find out…

    • New Releases

      • Scientific Linux 5.3

        Troy Dawson has announced the release of ScientificLinux 5.3, a distribution built from source software packages for RedHat Enterprise Linux, but enhanced with additional applications andtools: “Scientific Linux 5.3 has been released forboth the i386 and x86_64 architectures.

      • Absolute Linux 12.2.2 Was Released

        Paul Sherman, the creator of Absolute Linux, a Slackware-based Linux distribution, has announced yesterday, March 19th, the release of Absolute Linux 12.2.2. Among others things, changes were made to the Linux kernel that is now at version and to the installation that now uses ext4 as the default filesystem. Ext3 and ReiserFS are of course still available for those who don’t yet trust the hype surrounding ext4.

      • Denix v.0.5 Full

        Denix v.0.5 Full

      • Welcome to the Incognito Forum

        Another distribution has joined LinuxQuestions.org. Please welcome Incognito. I’d like to thank anonym for working to get the forum setup and for participating here at LQ.

      • LinuxKidX – An educational Linux Distribution to children

        LinuxKidX is a LiveCD with possibility to install on hard disk based on Slackware Linux. The distribution has few games suite to kids from 2 to 12 years old.

      • Clonezilla 1.2.1-47
      • Igelle PC/Desktop v0.6.0

        Igelle PC/Desktop is a graphical desktop operating system for Intel (x86) compatible personal computers, including desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, etc. It features the usual features and applications found in modern desktop operating systems/environments, in an attractive and lightweight configuration.

      • K-DEMar 4.8
      • OpenGEU 8.10 Luna Serena

        The power and flexibility of Ubuntu and Gnome.
        The magnificence and beauty of E17.
        Perfect and fast even for a Virtual Machine.
        Finally a fully functional Enlightenment Desktop.
        OpenGEU: when a Gnome reaches Enlightenment.

      • Ututo 2009
      • GParted 0.4.3-4
      • Parsix GNU/Linux 2.0r0 `Boss Skua` is out! Happy Spring!

        Happy Spring! Happy Nowruz! After several months of testing and development, the final version of Parsix GNU/Linux 2.0 code name `Boss Skua` is out. Parsix 2.0 ships a brand new kernel based on Linux with extra patches and drivers, the live CD compression system has been upgraded to version 3.4 which brings higher compression rate, UnionFS is default for live CD mode, several bugs have been fixed and several packages updated.

      • Zenwalk Gnome 6.0 has been released !

        Zenwalk Gnome 6.0 is out!

        We are proud to announce the release of Zenwalk 6.0 Gnome Edition! As always, Zenwalk features the latest Linux technology, featuring Linux kernel and the Gnome 2.26.0 Desktop Environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded Linux Training Event to be Held on May 6 – 8 in Maynard Massachusetts
    • Arduino hardware hacking: Part 1

      Arduino is cool. It’s cool because it’s a tiny device – about three inches by two inches – that comes with a USB port and a programmable chip. It’s cool because you can program it using a very simple programming language known as Wiring.


      The Arduino programming IDE is available under the GPL for Mac OS X, Windows and, of course, Linux, so the only things standing between you and your own pet hardware project are an Arduino board, a cool idea, and of course a Box O’ Tricks – some neat little parts you can plug into the Arduino to make it do more interesting things.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • TomTop sells 7″ Xburst Netbooks for USD209

        CPU: XBurst 400 MHz CPU 32
        Operation system: LINUX
        Memory: 128M RAM

      • Linux Netbooks – Cheap is good

        It is shortly that netbooks have taken consumer-level Linux for both personal and professional reasons. With the increase in demand for these ultra-small netbook computers, Linux has a fair chance to attract its consumers. Linux is offered as a standard on many netbooks. They are a paradigm changer and their USP is the price and openness which the user experiences. Netbooks provide a real opportunity for Linux to market and gain the mind-share.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Xchange to Launch Open Data Cloud

    Data and personal content exists in many different silos across the Internet, amd getting them all into a single interface and sharing them is no easy task. One potential solution to the problem is set to be demonstrated next week by open source software vendor Open-Xchange with an approach that uses semantic microformats as a mechanism for sharing and publishing data in a collaborative manner.

  • Open source middleware: the time may be ripe

    Another advantage to the open source approach is that products get designed and tested based on the input of a broad community. “FUSE and ServiceMix are developed in a very diverse community,” Debbie says. “Because of that, you see a lot of requirements come in from people that are in different types of environments. So, inherently, you’re going to be able to support a lot of different technologies. It really does require you use open standards, and align by the standards.”

  • FLOSS Weekly 61: Arduino

    Guests: Massimo Banzi for Arduino.

    Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of Arduino with partners David Cuartielles, Gianluca Martino, Tom Igoe, and David Mellis. Banzi is the CTO of Tinker.it!. He has worked in Milan and London on projects for companies such as Prada, Artemide, and Adidas. For four years he functioned as an associate professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivera. Beyond his private endeavors, he has been a guest speaker and teacher of workshops throughout Europe.

  • Applications

  • OpenOffice.org

    • THREE reasons to upgrade to openoffice.org3

      If you’re still using openoffice.org 2.X… oh, waitaminute, you don’t know what openoffice.org is? It’s a free (free as in “free beer” and also free as in freedom!) office suite: writer for letters, theses, etc (think “Word”); impress for presentations (think “powerpoint®”); calc for spreadsheets (think “Excel®” or “1-2-3®”); draw for, uh, drawings…

    • Writer’s Tools extension for OpenOffice.org

      Writer’s Tools is a set of utilities designed to help OpenOffice.org users perform a wide range of tasks. Using Writer’s Tools, you can back up documents, look up and translate words and phrases, manage text snippets, and keep tabs on document statistics.

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • metapad turns ten

      Today marks the 10th aniversary of the first public release of metapad (see the history page if you don’t believe me). To celebrate I have finally, after long promise, released the source code for metapad. That’s right, now metapad is officially open source and available on GitHub. Not just freeware but truly “free software”, as is defined by the FSF.

  • Education

    • MIT OpenCourseWare: Teaching the world for free

      By any measure, MIT’s OpenCourseWare initiative, which seeks to “open source” education by making course ware from premier institutions available online to all for free, is a success.

    • U. of Manitoba Researchers Publish Open-Source Handbook on Educational Technology

      Technology is changing the way students learn. Is it changing the way colleges teach?

      Not enough, says George Siemens, associate director of research and development at the University of Manitoba’s Learning Technologies Centre.

      While colleges and universities have been “fairly aggressive” in adapting their curricula to the changing world, Mr. Siemens told The Chronicle, “What we haven’t done very well in the last few decades is altering our pedagogy.”

    • Foster plan for open source education

      The bill, H.R. 1164, is now before the House Education and Labor Committee, chaired by California Democrat George Miller. Its full name is The Learning Opportunities with Creation of Open Source Textbooks Act of 2009.

  • Programming

    • CollabNet-Sponsored Subversion Open Source Community Releases Subversion 1.6

      The CollabNet-sponsored Subversion open source community today announced the general availability of Subversion 1.6, the world’s leading software configuration management (SCM) tool for distributed teams. Major new features in the latest release include the ability to detect tree conflicts, improved management of credentials, and reduced repository space requirements. The new software is available immediately as a free download at subversion.tigris.org, and more information is available at www.open.collab.net/products/subversion/whatsnew.html.

    • Google Summer of Code Announces Mentor Projects

      As everyone should already know, Google is running the Summer of Code again this year. For those who don’t know, GSoC is where Google funds student’s to participate in Open Source projects and has been running for 5 years, bringing together over 2600 students and 2500 mentors from nearly 100 countries worldwide.

    • Community Live: Newcastle Maker Faire, March 14-15, 2009

      The chaps from BBC backstage were showing off some cool bits and pieces from the BBC’s R&D department, including an open source multi-touch sensor which makes cunning use of a web-cam and can just about manage to track 10 fingers (though not so easily on the prototype they were showing because the surface was so small). They also showed a _very_ clever software image stabilisation system which worked with the picture stream from dumb, but high definition cameras.

    • Programming for Kids with Basic-256 on Ubuntu

      My first introduction to computers and the world of programming was through languages like GW-BASIC, QuickBASIC, and ANSI C. As a kid, I inherited an 8086-based PC from my father, along with a few operating system manuals and programming references. Later on, I spend endless hours playing with Apple II computers in elementary school. This was probably the single biggest influence on my future professional life, as it taught me that I could easily make a computer do exactly what I wanted.


  • Lawmakers Clueless About BitTorrent and P2P

    The entertainment industry managed to convince the French government to draft a law that will make it possible to disconnect people from the Internet, if they receive more than two copyright infringement warnings. Sadly, most of the politicians who plan to sign the law into action have no clue what they’re dealing with.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bhaskar Chakravorti, business theory visionary (SF) 06 (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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A Single Comment

  1. David Gerard said,

    March 23, 2009 at 3:33 am


    Is that TomTop thing another of the LittleLinuxLaptops? http://littlelinuxlaptop.com/ Sure looks like it from the spec. If they’re reaching the US, then good!

    (Still waiting for the hacked-up firmware to get out of promising-alpha :-D )

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