LXer Features

The Value of Free Software
By DC Parris - Jul 12, 2006

  LXer Feature: 12-Jul-2006

Evolution's usefulness has long been hampered by the lack of a single feature. Because it is free software, one organization knew the feature could be added, either by themselves, or by paying someone to do it for them. Find out what they did, why and how they did it, and how you can get the patch for yourself.

[Updated at 12:05 US Eastern Time - dcparris]
'GNU/Linux', 'Linux' -- What's the diff?
By Terry Vessels - Jun 29, 2006
  LXer Feature: 29-Jun-06

Why do Linux advocates argue over whether to call their operating system 'Linux' or 'GNU/Linux'? It's all open source, right? At this point there are blood pressures rising among free software advocates, while any casual software user reading this is simply thinking, "Yeah, so?"
Lyricue Gets Lifted to Higher Ground
By DC Parris - Jun 28, 2006
  LXer Feature: 28-Jun-06

With Lyricue, you can display song lyrics on the wall screens during worship. With Lyricue 1.9.3, you can easily add Bible verses, and manage the display across the network from the comfort of your pew, using a server and a tablet PC running GNU/Linux. Support for two more languages makes Lyricue usable by more people as well.
Week in review: 2006-06-18 through 2006-06-24
By Terry Vessels - Jun 25, 2006
Back by popular demand (6 people said they liked it), here is the list of links to all stories posted on LXer from Sunday, June 18, through Saturday, June 24, 2006. There were 251 stories posted to LXer during this past week. Wednesday and Saturday each had 43 stories, with Sunday being the slow day at 23.

(By the way, creating this list involved only free software and I am once again grateful to Ben Okopnik for his tutorial, The Deep, Dark Secrets of Bash.)

A Gentoo diary: Intro
By H.Kwint - Jun 22, 2006
LXer Feature: 22-June-06

Tired of normal distro reviews, I decided to write a review in the form of a diary. Written by an intermediate Gentoo user, this review offers some insight in administering a Gentoo desktop. So bear with me while I try to make my stuff work!
Week in review: 2006-06-11 through 2006-06-17
By Terry Vessels - Jun 18, 2006
There were 237 stories posted to LXer this week. Thursday was busiest, with 49 stories and Tuesday was slowest at 25. With news coming at you at that pace, it's easy to miss stories that interest you. For your convenience, here is a complete list of links to all the stories posted this week at LXer.
HI Researcher Continues OpenDocument FUD
By DC Parris - Jun 14, 2006
  LXer Feature: 14-Jun-06

Steven Titch, a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute, first drew my attention when I ran across an article he wrote, in which he made so many misleading statements, I called into question his abilities as a researcher. Two blog posts later, Titch still fails to address facts, to present any evidence in support of his arguments, to make any arguments relevant to the issue at hand, contradicts himself... Need I go on? One wonders if he is even in the same ball park.
What is a Kernel?
By Jason (Jay) R Fink - Jun 10, 2006
What is a kernel? A piece on defining a kernel from a very hueristic point of view. What does a kernel do and what does it have to deal with while it is doing ... exactly what it supposed to do-do?
Linux vs. Windows: Fight to the Death
By Carla Schroder - Jun 09, 2006
LXer Feature - 9-June-06

Every time someone boots up Windows, god kills a kitten. Bill Gates is the devil. Steve Ballmer is a sweaty gorilla. Linux is better than Windows, cures bad breath, and improves your love life. Linux advocates are foaming religious zealots who want to control everyone's lives.
Systhread wants your geek bunker pic
By Jason (Jay) R Fink - Jun 04, 2006
My friends and I in the Open Source community trade geek bunker photos. What I would like is fellow Open Source folks who have interesting setups to either email me a picture or link of your particular setup and I will link to and/or post it on systhread.net. Call it a fun geek time hole.
Linux News Urges Action on Net Neutrality
By DC Parris - Jun 02, 2006
  LXer Feature: 2-June-06

I would not be where I am today without a free and open Internet. The same could be said for many, if not most, Internet users. Whether you use the Internet to engage in business, education, politics or religion, or you just want your fill of sex, hacking and multi-media, a free and open Internet is an absolute must.
USENIX Auction To Help Establish UNIX Teaching Position
By Terry Vessels - Jun 01, 2006
Jon 'maddog' Hall and Ken Thompson

Yesterday, Jon 'maddog' Hall contacted LXer to announce the auction of a copy of John Lions' book, Lions' Commentary on UNIX, autographed by Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, Kirk McKusick, Eric Allman, Peter Salus, and Linus Torvalds. This is part of a drive to establish the John Lions Chair in Operating Systems at the University of New South Wales, but for the lucky bid-winner, it's a chance to own a bit of computing history.

Think tanks like Heartland and their ties with Microsoft: What everybody should know
By H.Kwint - May 31, 2006
LXer Feature: 27-May-06

Recently, Mr. Steven Titch wrote an article about Open Document which contained Microsoft-style disinformation. At that moment, some of our readers suggested Heartland or Mr. Titch might have been funded by Microsoft. While I couldn't find any direct ties, there are lot of indirect ties between the Heartland Institute and Microsoft, and at a certain point in my research, even the name of Mr. Abramoff showed up. A summary of the things I found.
Comment of the Day - 24-May-06
By Dinotrac - May 24, 2006
Dinotrac writes: "We see the repeated assertion of ODF = OpenOffice and Microsoft != ODF to support a misrepresentation so blatant that we are forced to abandon polite labels like advocacy, exaggeration, and puffery for the naked truth: he's lying."
OpenDocument in Massachusetts: War of the Words
By DC Parris - May 22, 2006
  LXer Feature: 22-May-06

Linux News wonders if The Heartland Institute's Steven Titch is a fan of Orson Welles. Find out what his article, "The Dangers of Dictating Procurement" has in common with the 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds".
Linux News Discredits Heartland Institute's OpenDocument Report
By DC Parris - May 20, 2006
  LXer Feature: 20-May-06

LXer's Don Parris called into question the so-called "research" presented in an article by Steven Titch, a senior fellow at Heartland Institute, regarding the OpenDocument decision in Massachusetts. What follows is his letter to Titch, with the article referenced and linked.
Newbies and Magic
By Terry Vessels - May 17, 2006
LXer Feature: 17-May-06

New users of GNU/Linux must be handled with patience. Most come from years of a consistent user experience that trains them to consider computers to be magic boxes. They typically have strange beliefs, such as restarting the computer as a magic pill to cure the imbalance of software humours, which must be gently removed and replaced with logic.

[Contributing Editor, Terry Vessels, guides the experienced hacker through the sometimes patience-testing task of assisting GNU/Linux newbies. - dcparris]
From Freeloader to Free Software Advocate
By DC Parris - May 15, 2006
  LXer Feature: 15-May-06

When I first discovered GNU/Linux, all I knew was that I could have an operating system, office suite, and use the Internet - all for the cost of a book. I thought that everyone should know about this "Linux" stuff. I Initially found all this "free as in freedom, not free beer" stuff confusing. Eventually, though, I came to see how Free Software philosophy impacted my computing experience.
Kevin Carmony: Walking The Line of a Divided Community
By DC Parris - May 09, 2006
  LXer Feature: 9-May-06

Kevin Carmony has taken the heat from some in the FOSS community for offering non-free software in Linspire, and in particular, for attempting to lure the FOSS community into contributing to Linspire via Freespire. Don Parris spoke with Linspire's Kevin Carmony to learn more about his position. Are the community's accusations fair? What other options are there?
Microsoft exec calls for calm on OSS site
By Jack Loftus - May 02, 2006
Special to LXer: 2-May-06

Microsoft extended an olive branch to the open source community with the launch of Port 25, but visitors to the Web site have been treating the branch as if it were poison ivy.

[Lxer regulars will enjoy this one. Word of warning: Loftis is apparently confused about the Korea issue - that was very recent. Otherwise, he was dead on about what LXer's new Editor-in-Chief said. - dcparris]
Notes From the DLS
By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, USA) - Apr 25, 2006
  LXer Feature: 20-Apr-06
News from the Desktop Linux Summit in San Diego.
Microsoft Is Playing A Dangerous Game... One Which the United States Could Lose
By H. Kwint - Apr 25, 2006
LXer Feature: 25-Apr-06

This article is a response to "Microsoft Is Playing A Dangerous Game... One Which Linux Could Lose", which appeared on LXer a few days ago.
In his article, Ken Starks argues Linux could lose because of the anti-Linux tactics of Microsoft, including Port25 and DRM-technology. While Ken and I are both lobbying for Linux, and I think the same about DRM, I don't agree that Linux will lose. I feel obliged to inform US citizens about a bigger danger: The US as a country will lose because of Microsoft tactics, and not Linux. Most important, they will lose because of DRM.
How Google is pushing the Linux envelope.
By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, USA) - Apr 22, 2006
  LXer Feature: 20-Apr-06

I am a member of the Phoenix Linux Users Group or PLUG, and at our last meeting Google gave a presentation on how Linux is used at Google. Vince and Pat explained what Linux is used for and many of the challenges they have faced in pushing the Linux envelope.
FOSS Community to Microsoft: Earn Our Trust
By DC Parris - Apr 22, 2006
  LXer Feature: 21-Jan-06

Last week, LXer Editor-in-Chief, Don Parris had strong words for Microsoft's Port 25 project. He suggested that Microsoft's appalling behavior has left a credibility gap that would hurt their Port 25 effort. The question remains whether Microsoft can or will change their behavior. Can Microsoft earn the trust of the FOSS Community? Will they even try?
Innovation in Linux: An extraordinary Linux review
By H. Kwint - Apr 16, 2006
There are plenty Linux reviews, though almost none of them are about Linux. You see, Linux is only a kernel, but most Linux reviews are about KDE, SuSE, the desktop and so on. Those reviews aren't about Linux, strictly speaking. In contrary, this review IS about Linux, made for the people who normally don't configure and compile their own kernel. In a previous LXer feature, my colleague Tom Adelstein said Linux is a me-too technology. That may be true for the desktop, but it is not fair to judge the whole Linux technology on its desktop. I hope to show, Linux (the kernel!) is full of innovation and peculiar features, which sometimes even sound like secret language, and is preceding its Big Competitor when it comes to features.
Solved! A New Way To Find Help
By DC Parris - Apr 16, 2006
  LXer Feature: 16-Mar-06

LXer launches Solved! feature to offer readers a different kind of help column. Instead of readers getting help from the publication, the editors and readers post solutions to problems already solved. Readers can scour the Solved! articles in order to see how someone else solved a similar problem.
FOSS Community Should Not Negotiate With Microsoft On Port 25
By D.C. Parris - Apr 15, 2006
  LXer Feature: 12-Apr-06

Linux News says don't negotiate with the economic terrorists of Microsoft via Port 25.
Running Linux, Version 5 Behind the Scenes
By Tom Adelstein - Apr 02, 2006

Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in Running Linux 5th Edition. Mae West once said, "Flattery will get you everywhere". So, I felt flattered when asked to re-write the first chapter and add a major section in Chapter 28. For aspiring writers and interested parties, you might benefit from my experience with what we called RL5.
Customizing Ubuntu
By Herschel Cohen - Apr 01, 2006

Notice of Intent: When Debian (desktop) fails you, what are you going to do? Panic, of course. Afterwards, try to set up Ubuntu to my liking, however, that requires modifying grub so that it once again knows about that Linux installation on hdb.
Boycotting "Get the Facts" Advertisements
By Tom Adelstein - Apr 01, 2006

Microsoft has engaged in a questionable practice of advertising on seemingly every Linux related article on the Internet. We may not have the ability to stop the advertisements, but we will look for alternate sources carrying similar story content. Because Microsoft crosses the line doesn't mean we have to fold our hand.
MyPostBirdSQL 2.0 RC1 released
By - Apr 01, 2006

Today first RC1 release is announced that many oss developers had been awaiting
MyFireGreSql 2.0 is based on code from mysql 6.0, firebird 3.0, postgresql 9.0.

Thinking About Upgrading to Crossover Office 5
By Tom Adelstein - Apr 01, 2006

If you have wondered about upgrading from an earlier version of Codeweavers Crossover Office, I wouldn't bother. Version 5 seems clumsy and doesn't support enough Windows applications to make it worth even it's modest price. If you have to hack your desktop to get Crossover Office to work, you might as well use WINE.
Customizing Ubuntu
By Herschel Cohen - Mar 31, 2006

Getting Ubuntu Back The first of a series that begins with the recovery methods employed to revise grub to show and boot Ubuntu Breezy that resided on a second disc.
Comment of the Day - March 31, 2006 Virtualization
By Skapare - Mar 31, 2006
Our man in Wheeling writes: This will become popular. Pretty soon, we'll have dozens, maybe even hundreds, of virtualization packages to choose from. Now we'll just need to make sure the software we want to run supports the virtualization package we are using.
DRM, 'Trusted Computing', and the future of our children
By Shane Martin Coughlan - Mar 30, 2006
Over 500 million people use the Internet, and over a billion computers are deployed around the world. It has become impossible to ignore the issue of content management and access. Call it Digital Rights Management if you will, or call it working out how to manage copying in the digital realm. We need to solve the problem of how digital information will be shared.
A Brief History of Microsoft FUD
By Glyn Moody - Mar 30, 2006
   This time it's patents that will ensure the downfall of GNU/Linux and with it, the entire world of open source. But before hanging up your certified geek propeller-hat and retraining as a dental hygienist, you might want to consider the following brief history of Microsoft's use of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) as a weapon against GNU/Linux.
Beware of Those Calling Themselves Open Source
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 30, 2006

Free software is software that anybody can use, copy, modify and redistribute freely without having to ask for authorization from anyone. Some companies think that using the open source label will fool the unsuspecting into believing they're part of the community. Just try redistributing their software and see what happens.
Why I Stopped Promoting Linux in Government
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 29, 2006

I received an email from a close friend asking me to help educate the city manager in Tuttle, OK about Linux. I told him I prefer finishing a "hack" on securing SSH. Here's why I'm through orchestrating efforts for Linux in Government.
Microsoft Breakup Imminent? GNU/Linux Wins
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 26, 2006

Who will buy the pieces of Microsoft after the final breakup? No one would want the operating system. A leveraged buyout for the Office group seems likely. Oracle looks like the winner in the business services business and it's the auction block for the rest of the company. The DRM and codecs go to Real Networks.

Text of the CDC v IBM case in the article body.
Can you fix it?
By Terry Vessels - Mar 25, 2006
It is time to fix your distro. Distributors of GNU/Linux systems do an incredible amount of work. If you're not convinced of that, try putting together a complete system from parts gathered all over the Internet. The trouble is that these distributors must satisfy a very large range of users. They cannot narrowly target one group without discouraging all others. That's where you come in.
An Opposing Viewpoint -- Microsoft Can't Compete
By Terry Vessels - Mar 23, 2006
Mr. Adelstein's article titled " Microsoft Has Stopped Competing with Linux" presented several assertions with which I cannot agree. It also strikes a tone that makes me uncomfortable.
Pulling the Wool over Linux?
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 23, 2006

Companies that try to pull the wool over free software advocates, ultimately fool no one. As advocates, we should either make the OSI enforce their definition or disband.
Howto remove an user and improve security
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 22, 2006
Employee turnover in most organizations runs high. So unless you run a small shop with a stable user base, you need to learn how to clean up after an employee leaves. Too many so-called system administrators do not understand the stakes involved when they manage users. Disgruntled former employees can often cause significant trouble for a company by gaining access to the network.
Microsoft Has Stopped Competing with Linux
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 21, 2006

Microsoft has ceased its obsession with Linux. Someone finally convinced the boss that Linux poses little threat to Redmond. Someone came out of the Linux lab and said that It's about time that they starting focusing on their real threat: IBM.
Xara keeps promise, first GPL'd source code release for Xara LX
By Kurt Pfeifle - Mar 20, 2006

Back in October, when the Windows-only Xara company tooted their plans to port its vector graphics flagship product, Xara Xtreme to Linux, I didn't quite believe them. Now I stand corrected.

Ubuntu, Macintosh and Windows XP
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 19, 2006

If you think that a Linux advocate cannot make an objective analysis of desktop operating systems, then you need to read this report. You may find yourself surprised with some brutal honesty that leaves out the free software philosophy.
Comment of the Day -February 8, 2006 - OpenMFG isn't Open Source
By jkouyoumjian - Mar 18, 2006
jkouyoumjianwrites: "Perhaps "OpenMFG" uses some open source software to run its application, but the application itself is not open source". Relates to:
Openmfg Launches Hybrid Open Source ERP Suite
Parallel Worlds: Open Source and Open Access
By Glyn Moody - Mar 18, 2006
The parallels between open access – a movement to make research freely available online, rather than hidden in expensive journals - and open source are striking. For both, the ultimate wellspring is the Internet, and the new economics of sharing that it enabled.
Free Culture
By Libervis - Mar 18, 2006

Daniel writes in a comment to Parallel Worlds: Open Source and Open Access about the FOSS movement. Characteristically, his articulation of the subject demonstrates a deep understanding many of wish we had.
Cheapening Linux
By Tom Adelstein - Mar 18, 2006
Whoever thought up the myth that more open source software made sense, didn't consider with what editors would have to content. Perhaps open source software lacks goodness. You could make an argument that many people have abused the term.

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