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Recently I've been trying to 'minimize' some big 'legacy' MS Word files. When using MS Office to export to HTML (unfiltered), I've found out they're so big because they have EMZ (gzipped EMF) and WMZ (gzipped WMF) files in them, accompanied by large "msoledata-thingies". These WMZ's / EMZ's are (zipped) "container" formats, and some of them contain vector graphics, a bit like SVG - but sadly Microsoft doesn't seem to support SVG in MS Office. These EMF / WMG-graphics may contain vector images: That's text, fonts and lines - which has to remain readable of course. I found out replacing this EMZ / WMZ files by PNG files in the Word-documents dramatically reduces size.
For everybody who understands less about the current Apple/ Samsung battle in EU than I do, here is my attempt to share the few things I understand with you. I'll briefly discuss the situation in both Germany and the Netherlands. The article should be especially suited for those who cannot read Dutch / German and are not up to date with what has been happening the last few days.
Lately there has been some uproar about the 'dumbing down of interfaces'..KDE4 didn't offer the settings 3 did, Gnome dumbs everything down, and maybe Apple did the same the last decade. I couldn't tell because I never touch anything Apple, and the only time I did the software crashed and all this dumbing down for the sake of usability! However in my opinion, they are wrong. They confuse 'usability' with 'approachability'. Which leads to software which many times is not user friendly.
[ English version just became available it seems, sometimes it takes over a month for AT Internet Institute to provide an English version, but this time they did it within a week -hk].
Lately Flash became very unstable and crashed both Firefox and Opera time and time again. I had the latest version, so I thought the problem might be outdated dependencies. When finding all the dependencies, I used some of my limited bash-scripting skills, this time also using my first 'intermediate' regular expression. Nothing fancy but on the other hand I thought I might share them with anyone interested; maybe it's of any help to anyone! Because some of the commands may also be useful for doing other work while dealing with file and text streams.
[For those of you asking what this has to do with open source: Most times ARM prototype SoC's are developed using Linux, like currently at NuFront (MS-partner), TI (think BeagleBord) and FreeScale. Only _after_ these prototypes run on Linux, they're going to receive Windows compatibility, meaning Windows will be some kind of 'afterthought' for some time. Of course, we don't know how long MS has been developing for ARM, but I'm pretty sure they're behind in ARM SoC support compared to Linux - also thanks to the Linaro initiative. And if not, at least we'll see a level playing field in which hardware doesn't work better with Windows than with Linux! - hkwint]
So far, Microsoft is saying little about its role in the deal.
LXer Feature: 19-Nov-2010
Ever since I installed Kontact 4.5, it has been showing an MySQL warning when starting. The exact error in the logs is:
Can't open and lock time zone table: Table 'mysql.time_zone_leap_second' doesn't exist trying to live without them
While it's only a warning, I don't like to have my logs filled with warnings. Hence, I went on a hunt to prevent this warning. Lots of posts said this issue is fixed in newer versions (certainly not for me!), or it doesn't matter. But that wasn't good enough for me so I felt relieved when I found a workaround yesterday, which I shall explain below.
LXer Feature: 29-Sept-2010
A while ago, Graham Morrison wrote: "The trouble with Linux: there's too much choice". Implicitly, the article refers to "more choice than with Windows". The article led to reactions from Carla Schroeder , Caitlyn Martin , Alastair Otter  and Ron Miller . While the articles provided for an interesting discussion, none of them addressed the fundamentals of Linux distributions and choice of desktop software in my opinion. Because from an objective point of view, Windows users face as many choices as Linux users do. But most Windows users are just not aware of all the choices they're making.
When discussing 'migration' costs from one platform or piece of software to another, I noted many people fail to understand the idea of 'exit costs'. In this article, I present my explanation of exit costs, and I hope this article may serve as a reference to exit costs in the future. Especially people involved with decision-taking in IT are encouraged to read this article!
[CNews has an interesting article on the Russian investment in Mandriva which became known last week. Google translation here - hkwint].
According to Google cache, at 17 June 2010 05:08:28 GMT, Dell's website stated:
"Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows®
The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux. (screenshot)
"Ubuntu is secure -- According to industry reports, Ubuntu is unaffected by the vast majority of viruses and spyware."
I asked Dell for comments using their "website feedback function", will keep you updated. If you think Dell bent to pressure from Microsoft again, please raise your hand!
Update: The VarGuy has already noticed this bold Dell-statement eight days ago, and they made a screenshot - now available in PDF - to prove this was on the Dell-website. Tom's Hardware also wrote about this Dell statement four days ago, and they included their own PDF (time-stamped) showing the 'old' statement on the page. A hand full of other websites also wrote about the 'original' statement.