Links 06/04/2009: IBM Withdraws Sun Offer, Linux Gets FS-Cache

Posted in News Roundup at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Enquiring minds want to know – why no Linux for NSW high school laptops?

    It doesn’t surprise me that Microsoft would have pursued this tender with aggressive pricing and negotiating. However, unless the software is being given away at no cost whatsoever it involves a necessary sacrifice on hardware to cover the Windows bar tab.

    Even if Microsoft is giving its goodies away (which I doubt) the decision to use a Microsoft platform still hampers students. They will by necessity require resource-stealing anti-virus software. They will be confronted with expenses if they wish to upgrade to newer versions of Microsoft’s products.

  • Linux Format wallpapers

    We’ve had a number of reader requests to make available some of the imagery we use on the covers of Linux Format magazine. Naturally we’re happy to share with you all, so we’ve put this page online where we’ll upload cover artwork as it’s requested, starting with three of the most recent for now.

  • Top 5 Ways to Help Linux Virgins Make the Switch

    Hey guys, this is a weekly series we are trying out. Niki was kind enough to let us publish one of her old video here and she will make more videos in the coming weeks for LH.

  • The Unique Feature Of My Linux Box

    What unique thing does my Linux box do that makes other OS jealous? The biggest feature that my Linux box offers is choice, and that helps me grab many more. This choice is not limited to desktop applications like editors or browsers or media players or email clients, it also works for desktop environments, window managers, sound daemons, firewalls, right down to a specific kernel version, even my own.

  • “The Cloud” is coming. Is your house next?

    Is it even worth looking at the notion that people might connect Linux to people using their netbooks to connect to street view and eyeball someones house for pillaging purposes?

    I personally think it would be ludicrous to suggest that, yet, look at what proprietary proponents have tried to drum up about Linux and it’s users in the press up to this point.

    Netbooks are poised to facilitate the oncoming rush of web based or ‘cloud’ services. They, for the first real time, has MS getting the sweats about it’s installed market.

  • QOTD: Do You Use Linux/BSD With a GUI?

    Free, powerful, highly customizable, fast, diverse, and constantly developing–what more can you want in an operating system? Linux is definitely the operating of choice for power users and administrators alike.

    The biggest factors that affect Linux’s adoption rate is hardware support, and user experience. Granted, many distributions now ship with incredibly good GUIs, the core of the operating system still remains very much like it has always been. Although more and more devices ship with Linux as the OS of choice, Linux’s market share remains tiny compared to that of Windows and even OS X (based on BSD).

  • 20 of the Best Free Linux Books

    Individuals wanting to learn about the Linux operating system have a large selection of books to choose from. There are many thousands of informative Linux books which are in-print and available to download or buy at reasonable cost. However, as many users are attracted to Linux for the very reason that it is available under a freely distributable license, some will also want this to extend to the documentation they read.

  • Google uncloaks once-secret server

    Google has an obsessive focus on energy efficiency and now is sharing more of its experience with the world. With the recession pressuring operations budgets, environmental concerns waxing, and energy prices and constraints increasing, the time is ripe for Google to do more efficiency evangelism, said Urs Hoelzle, Google’s vice president of operations.

  • 10 Uses For Your Old Linux Box

    I have three old Socket 7 computers in my closet, and one old laptop under my bed, so I have come up with ten things I can use them for. I still haven’t decided, but I really want to play some NES games.
    Classic Video Game Console Emulation

    Install as many old console emulators as you can find, get some ROMs, buy some Linux-compatible game controllers, connect the computer to your TV, and then play your favorite games from the past.

    Home Automation

  • FLOSS Weekly 63: Wubi

    Wubi, the easy and completely safe way to install Linux to dual boot on your Windows machine.

  • IBM/Sun

  • Kernel Space

    • FS-Cache merged in Kernel 2.6.30

      FS-Cache has been merged into the upcoming kernel 2.6.30. This allows for a generic caching interface in the kernel for other file systems. For example, you can use local hard disks to cache data accessed via NFS, AFS, or CD-Rom. Since these tend to be high-latency while the disks are low latency, it should provide for a nice speedup.

  • Applications

    • 7 Interesting Apps for Command-Line

      aaxine – watch movies in the shell
      aaxine is included in the xine-console package and can be used to watch video files in a shell, without the need of the X Window System, with the help of ASCII characters.

    • 5 Essential Add-ons for Firefox 3

      1. Video DownloadHelper – download media files (including YouTube Flash videos)

      Video DownloadHelper is maybe the most popular and powerful Firefox add-on for downloading Flash videos from various websites. Along with that, Video DownloadHelper also supports a wide range of video and audio files, including RAM, WMV, ASF, AVI and MP3, and you can add custom extensions too.

    • 8 Power Docks For Your Linux Machine

      To have or not to have a dock in Linux is really dependent on individual preferences. While popular Linux distros such as Ubuntu and Fedora do not come with a dock by default, there are plenty of dock applications around that one can easily install and create a dock for their desktop.

    • 8 Image Viewers for Ubuntu


      Gwenview is by far the most popular image viewer for KDE, and it comes with all the features a well-thought image viewing application should have: it provides a file browser, previews, resizeable thumbnails, and a wealth of plug-ins for basic image manipulation. The sidebar will display image information, together with shortcuts to several useful file operations, like left/right rotation, resize or red eye reduction. You can also insert ratings for your images, up to five stars (handled the same way Amarok 2.0.2 handles ratings for audio files).

    • ManiaDrive – an arcade car game for Ubuntu

      Today I will show you a nice game for Ubuntu, it’s called ManiaDrive and it’s based on the great game of Nadeo Studio. Let me tell you in a few words what the game is about…

    • Handy Tweaks To Make GIMP Replace Photoshop

      GIMP is the favorite graphics editing program of many designers and graphic artists. It is free and compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux (the two big reasons for its popularity). It has a wide array of features, as well as plug-ins, filters and brushes. Documentation is primarily available in online communities, as well as through extensive add-ons.

  • KDE

    • Fun with Krita: Spray

      I coded some funny stuff for a paintop called spray. The idea behind it was that I wanted to add a “killer” feature to krita — spray that behaves like MS Paint spray. But then I added support for anti-aliased pixels, then I added support for shapes and it started to be fun, so I added more features.

    • Kalzium – Video play feature

      This is a cool feature that I have added to Kalzium. It will be really attractive in schools. I call it the play feature. You can basically play the periodic table like a video where you can see the temperature increase from 0 K to 6000 K gradually and see all the elements melt and eventually boil.

    • WebKit + D-Bus -] Instant Chrome-like browser [continued]

      The next step will be to implement more advanced, but still standard browsing features. The smart address bar will be one of the first. It could probably end up in Konqueror and Rekonq eventually.

    • Two KDE SVN Branches and Git
    • Amarok 2.1: Mini Update

      I don’t like to tease too much — so to save you asking, Amarok 2.1 beta 1 should be available for widespread testing within a fortnight. Lap it up when it arrives!

    • Mini overview: Rekonq

      KDE 4.x default web browser is Konqueror, I’m not sure, but I think it used to be the only web browser for KDE (if there were others, I apologize with you for the omission), until now. Rekonq is based on Arora (which is a pure Qt application), Arora itself is quite good and fast, Rekonq is as good, as fast but more integrated.

  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic 4.0 Has Exciting New Features

      Patrick Verner announced today the immediate availability of Parted Magic 4.0, a Slackware-based
      Linux distribution designed to help users with hard disk partitioning and recovery tasks.

    • PCLinuxOS

      • Computing on Gnome Desktop was never so easy before PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Gnome

        PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Gnome is the only Gnome Desktop that has such handy system tools such as PCLinuxOS Control Center. In addition to these, it seems me to be a pure Gnome Desktop, i.e., it does not have much stuff such as libraries and stuff of other desktop environments like KDE, Xfce. With the main KDE PCLinuxOS you have got some gnome stuff alongwith a customized and fine-tuned KDE desktop, but this gnome remaster has a somewhat pure gnome appeal.

      • A great new theme for PCLinuxOS 2009.1

        For those who wish a new theme for their PCLinuxOS 2009.1 desktops, a nice one just showed up in repositories. It features a much softer look than the shipped theme and I’ll show you the steps to install it.

    • Fedora

      • Supplying the horns.

        Anyone who’s seen or heard me talk about the many magnificent teams in Fedora has heard me specifically mention the Fedora Infrastructure team, which runs everything that keeps our project running. From a worldwide mirror system to our account system, to our wiki, to our package database, to our builders, and so on… Whew! That’s a lot of stuff.

      • Hero Factory: The Fedora!
    • Ubuntu

      • My First Impression Of Ubuntu Jaunty

        I just couldn’t wait for the 24th of April and decided to upgrade Intrepid to the present Alpha version of Jaunty yesterday. After downloading some 1300 mb’s and then taking up another hour to complete all the modifications, my computer restarted.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Release Schedule

        Ubuntu team is already planning for 9.10, which will see the light of day in October 2009. The desktop side will focus on beautification and an improved boot-up experience; the server side will target cloud computing.

      • UBUNTU article ‘El Pais’ Newspaper
      • Switch to linux

        I’ve got to tell you, I’m never going back to Windows, and it looks like Microsoft has more than just me and the Ubuntu developers to worry about now.


        I am quite astounded at how poorly Windows is coming out against ubuntu. I am also amazed that Windows remains the world standard, a position it can’t keep for much longer as more people like me make the break.

      • Will Your Next Wireless Router Run Ubuntu?

        Granted, only experienced Linux geeks are likely to be able to enjoy master mode for the time being, since putting it into action requires intimate familiarity with the ‘iwconfig’ command, the ‘hostap’ utility and most likely dhcp servers, not to mention bridging network interfaces together.

        Nonetheless, the day has at least become conceivable when setting up an Ubuntu computer as a wireless router is as easy to clicking a button in NetworkManager, allowing even the most technologically inept Linux users to create local wireless networks effortlessly–and not just ad-hoc networks like those supported by ‘Internet Connection Sharing’ in Windows, but true access point-based networks.

      • Evaluating Ubuntu Backup Solutions — the FOSS Way

        Within 20 minutes of starting my search I had a complete backup solution installed and configured and all thanks to the power of having thousands of packages available from the Ubuntu software repositories. I was able to quickly and easily test out different solutions until I found one that worked with me.

        This is the FOSS way. I urge you to try it and find your own solutions that work with you

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New Overo Computer On Module!

      Gumstix has come out with the Overo Fire COM – Gumstix now is calling them “Computer on Module” to differentiate what is the motherboard and what is the daughterboard – must have been some confusion between the computer board and expansion boards.

    • Phones

      • Palm Pre to kill the iPhone?

        The Palm Pre (slideshow), unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, has been widely discussed as a possible iPhone killer. While it’s received a wealth of attention, is it truly a phone packing as much punch as the claims? Could it really give the iPhone a run for its money, affording Palm the chance to mount a comeback? Palm Pre, Palm Pre, oh what does the future see?

      • Samsung Plans Three Android Phones This Year

        The company said its first Android device would be released this summer in the European markets, and two handsets would come to the U.S. market later this year on two carriers. While it did not say which carriers would pick up Samsung’s Android handset, it will likely be T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel because the mobile operators are both part of the Open Handset Alliance.

      • T-Mobile to Use Google Software in Devices for Home

        T-Mobile is planning an aggressive push deep into the home with a variety of communications devices that will use Google’s new Android operating software that already runs one of its cellphones.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenOffice.org 3.1 Release Candidate 1 available

    OpenOffice.org 3.1 Release Candidate 1 is available from our extended mirrors at http://distribution.openoffice.org/mirrors/#extmirrors

  • Openness

    • Top 10 Measurements for Transparency

      Here’s a quick outline of the 10 measurements:

      1. Open data: The federal government should make all data searchable, findable and accessible.
      2. Disclose spending data: The government should disclose how it is spending taxpayer dollars, who is spending it and how it’s being spent.
      3. Procurement data: How does the government decide where the money is getting spent, who gets it, how they are spending it and how can we measure success.

    • Who Can Put the “Open” in Open Science?

      However, it’s easy to think of circumstances where *new* code is being written to run on proprietary engines where it is simply not possible to check the logic hidden in the black boxes. In these circumstances, it is critical that open source be used at all levels so that others can see what was done and how.


  • The Scariest Monster of All Sues for Trademark Infringement

    The couple then launched an Internet-based guerrilla campaign to generate public support. “We blogged nonstop, around the clock, for weeks, and enlisted much of our staff to do the same,” she says. The couple offered to sell symbolic slices of “Justice” for $1 on eBay and raised about $4,400 for their legal defense. Two days before Christmas, she sent Mr. Lee a DVD of the film, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

    Monster Cable’s Mr. Lee says the company also received at least 200 angry consumer complaints. After speaking with the Vitaglianos, he decided to drop the lawsuit, withdraw his company’s opposition to Monster Mini Golf’s trademark applications and pay up to $200,000 of their legal expenses.

  • A note about the word “founder”

    I have largely bit my tongue in the four or five years since Jimmy Wales stopped credited me as co-founder of Wikipedia. There are many things I have not said, or that I could say more pointedly, but which I did not. This is partly because I don’t like a scandal, but mostly it’s because I was raised to be modest, and to press my advantage always seemed in bad taste to me (even if it’s de rigeur for so many). But I will no longer mince words when Jimmy Wales continues to lie and misrepresent to the media — as he has done in a recent Hot Press interview the contents of which I’ve seen — about my role. It is deeply disappointing that Wales continues on shamelessly as he has been doing, after this long, and in spite of the shockingly poor match between his claims and the living record available online. The interview I mentioned, along with the recent rediscovery of a comment in which Wales called himself “co-founder” of Wikipedia in 2002, are really the straw that broke this camel’s back.

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