LXer Features

Libre Software Resources for Non-Profits
By D.C. Parris - Nov 16, 2005

LXer Feature

Let's face it. deploying computer technology in non-profit organizations can be a real challenge, especially if you don't have a bunch of tech geeks on staff. Well, meet the organizations that will show you how libre software can help you accomplish your mission without having to re-allocate your operational funds to your IT budget. These organizations can guide you from planning to implementation.

Diggable
Linux News Questions Microsoft's Need for a "Get the Facts" campaign?
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 16, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-16-2005

If Microsoft offers a superior product to Linux then why would they need a "Get the Facts" campaign? Over the years, the Redmond computer technology firm has learned that buyers make decisions based on who else uses a product. They know executives will say to themselves, if Rayovac uses it, then it must be good enough.

So what do you see? Just about any time a major publication runs a story about Linux, Microsoft gets them to place a "Get the Facts" advertisements nearby and often right in the middle of the story. That seems pretty suspect to me.

Do you ever wonder if publications run Linux stories just to garner Microsoft's ad money? Or have you considered that desperate times call for desperate measures? It makes me wonder.

Diggable
Comment of the Day - November 15, 2005 - What's not to like?
By Dinotrac - Nov 15, 2005
One of our editors, Don Parris asked : "I'm curious to know what brings you here? If you have recently made us your primary news site, perhaps you'd share your reasons?" Here's an interesting response.

Related to:
Survey: What Brings You to LXer?
Linux News Wary of Gartner Reporting on Microsoft Vista
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 15, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-15-2005

Not to suggest that Bill Gates and Michael Dell have any influence on famed Gartner Distinguished Analysts, I tend to look skeptically at their pronouncements. Once Silver Lake Partners, a Silicon Valley private equity-investment firm took an increasing stake in the Gartner, I started pondering the effect of having Bill and Michael as investors in Silver Lake limited partnerships. So, when Gartner said, hold off on Vista until 2008 I started looking for a catch.
Diggable
Comment of the Day - November 13, 2005 - Can't Win for Losing
By ahz - Nov 13, 2005
ahz says: "we use GNOME at our office, and I really like it". But, he has some other comments you should read.

Related to:
Gnome versus KDE on the Corporate Desktop
LXer Feature: We should celebrate Live.com
By Bjorn Stadil, Senior Editor - Nov 13, 2005
In this article, Bjorn suggests we offer Microsoft a laurel and hearty welcome to Live.com. He must know something about this Achilles heel.


How Microsoft's Enterprise Desktop Stifles Linux and How to Fix it
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 13, 2005
Every time I read an article suggesting that Linux cannot budge Microsoft off the Enterprise Desktop, I have a private laugh. If you knew what I did, you would laugh too. The only problem I can see: It's not a laughing matter.

Diggable

Comment of the Day - November 12, 2005 - Why People Switch to Linux
By cstura - Nov 12, 2005
Cstura writes about his experience with computers and why he chose Linux.

Related to the thread:
Why do people switch to Linux
LXer Feature: The Art of Learning New Interfaces (For the Technologically-Challenged)
By DC Parris - Nov 11, 2005
A great many people find new interfaces downright puzzling. However, most interfaces share common features. Having been there and done that, Don Parris shows the technologically challenged how to find their way around nearly any graphical interface, whether it's an operating system GUI or a new office suite.


Diggable
LXer Feature: Survival Guide For Women In FOSS: Striking Out On Your Own
By Carla Schroder - Nov 10, 2005
Most women, when they plan their careers, think in terms of having jobs. But why limit yourself? The computing world is a haven for the self-employed, and the FOSS world supplies tools and opportunities you won't find anywhere else...The whole idea is to do something that you find personally rewarding, get paid for it, and do it your way.
The Right to be a Charitable Community (II)
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Nov 09, 2005
As a Linux community member, I have the right to do charitable work centered around giving my time away for the cause of Free Software...The GPL guarantees that our gifts will have the longevity they deserve.
Understanding the Linux and open software Development Model
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 09, 2005
How do you try to explain a bad rap spread by interested parties that call their campaign, "Get the Facts"? How do you explain it when it isn't deserved? Open Source Software development suffers from widespread misunderstandings in the media from myths, false claims and disinformation. As someone who spent over a decade as a commercial software program and development manager, I view Open Source Software methods as simply a way to build applications. It happens to be the most efficient one.


Media Giddy over Linux Worm.
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 08, 2005
You might think that the sky is falling the way the media has gone on a feeding frenzy related to a Linux worm. Sorry to disappoint you, but the worm will hardly affect the user base. It's not like the "Code Red" worm which self-replicated malicious code that exploited a known vulnerability in Microsoft IIS servers (CA-2001-13). Rumor has it, Wal-Mart didn't cope with it very well.


Comment of the Day - November 8, 2005 - Microsoft's D.C. legal firm had lawyers working with UNISYS
By StepheWalli - Nov 08, 2005
Stephe writes: The entire case was just wrong. The protesting companies made claims that were simply incorrect. That's why they lost. The reporting was sensational and wrong. That's why I wrote the article for USENIX ;login: once I was out from under the embargo of the appeals time frame. (I was the USENIX representative to the IEEE POSIX working groups, as Shane and Jeff both were before me.

[Ed: Interesting to get a perspective from the author of the article ten years after he testified at the hearing. If you have a difficult time getting to Stephe's article in the archives, need we say more?]

Related to:
Did Bill Gates Invent Linux and Has He Erased the Evidence?

How Microsoft Got its OS Declared an "Open System" and wound up in Government
Comment of the Day - November 7, 2005 - Expertise Not Recognized
By Paul Ferris - Nov 07, 2005
Paul relates his experience with regard to different kinds of discrimination in the work place. The subject related to age discrimination.

Paul writes: "One guy might be able to log in and fix a problem (He's my hero) -- another guy might be the type that prevented this problem from ever rearing its ugly head in the first place -- how do you, as a middle manager, even see the latter value if it doesn't happen?"

Realted to:
Avoiding Oblivion in Your Tech Career

Rant Mode Equals One: Score: Digital Privacy 0, Digital Piracy 1.
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Nov 07, 2005
Without a doubt there's a ton of people swapping the latest No Doubt album via some illicit P2P program, but that's not the piracy I'm referring to here -- I'm talking about your Aunt who had her computer compromised because she clicked the wrong email, subscribed to the wrong broadband service, or simply left her computer on during the night. Oh, let's not forget: Maybe she slid the wrong CD in to listen to some music she bought, as well.
The Linux Sysadmin's Essential Bookshelf
By Carla Schroder - Nov 06, 2005
A system administrator pretty much has to be able to do anything- network voodoo, user education, pull cable, build servers, fix hardware, fend off clueless management, and myriad more tasks. With these in mind, here is my own Essential Bookshelf for the Hardworking, Underappreciated, Overworked, Conscientious Sysadmin.
Intel® Linux™ versus Microsoft® Windows
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 05, 2005
Recently, I had a chance to vet information from a leaked document. The process usually involves verification of the original source through a number of techniques. I often find vetting leads to more discoveries which lead to more and more.

I call this last adventure an eye-opener. You might see it the same way. But let's keep this a secret between us. We wouldn't want the press to find out about it because they would certainly bury it.
Comment of the Day- November 5, 2005 at work I support NetWare, Windows, Solaris, and linux servers...
By BrianS - Nov 05, 2005
"... at work I support NetWare, Windows, Solaris, and linux servers, in order by count. In order by time to support per server, Windows, Windows, Windows, Windows, Windows, NetWare, linux, Solaris."

From the Why do people switch to Linux? thread.

The Case for OpenDocument Format in Non-Profits
By DC Parris - Nov 05, 2005
Although the OpenDocument format decision is under fire in Massachusetts, this article discusses how the logic applied to adopting OpenDocument in that state can be applied to faith-based and non-profit organizations. After all, these organizations have similar needs and requirements.
Comment of the Day - November 4, 2005 Linux Looks More Attractive than Windows
By Skapare - Nov 04, 2005
Skapare writes: "In the USA, computer manufacturers are not really selling you a computer so much as they are delivering your eyes to the multitudes of marketing offers that are integrated into the various sample programs installed in the system, or accessed through the default browser home page that is not easy to change (though telco and cable broadband providers manage to do so at times). It's a model not unlike how printers are sold (nearly give away the low end printer, and make obscene profits on cartridges ... e.g. the razor blade practice)."

Related to:
Chinese Halloween with Intel
The Real Cost of Retraining for OpenOffice.org
By DC Parris - Nov 03, 2005
One of the most frequently voiced objections when discussing a migration to OpenOffice.org is the cost of retraining the users. The argument is raised as a cost barrier, and essentially amounts to claiming that it would be cheaper to upgrade to the next version of Microsoft Office than to retrain users on OpenOffice.org. It's an attempt at the old "libre software isn't gratis" argument. Let's examine this argument closely to find out why it doesn't hold water.
Comment of the Day - November 3, 2005 NT Open System
By Paul Ferris - Nov 03, 2005
Paul remembers the migration of applications from UNIX to NT following the NT being declared an "Open System". He writes: " I was an engineer making a living installing CAD/CAM applications on Unix systems (joy). Anyway, the apps all fell to NT over the space of about a year or so, many of the vendors promised to continue support for Unix, only to have those promises fall through."

Related to the article: How Microsoft Got its OS Declared an "Open System" and wound up in Government
How Microsoft Got its OS Declared an "Open System" and wound up in Government
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 02, 2005
Six years ago, one of the most incriminating articles I had read about "dirty tricks" disappeared from the Internet. I made the article the center piece of an investigative piece I wrote concerning how I thought Microsoft attempted to destroy UNIX and would go after Linux.

By a stroke of luck, I saw a link to it while doing research in the Way Back Machine.

I found a link to the article on the cover of an archived front page of "ConsultingTimes.com" dated March 2, 2001. But the link didn't work. I keep searching and finally found Steve Walli's article entitled "Open Systems, POSIX and NT".

If you read this article, you will recognize the players even though ten years have passed. These games have not stopped and may never stop. History repeats itself. Monopolists are almost impossible to unseat without the will of Congress, the Administration and the Courts and ultimately each and every one of us.

Related Story: Did Bill Gates Invent Linux and Has He Erased the Evidence?
Sony's (Non-Existent) Corporate Conscience
By Carla Schroder - Nov 02, 2005
WHAT ON EARTH are the "fine" folks at Sony thinking? Are they insane? Morally bankrupt? How can any reasonable, thinking, moral person think that installing this sort of invasive junk on a customer's computer is OK? Yes, I am questioning both their intelligence and morality. This is beyond outrageous, it should be criminal.
Lycoris, Mandriva Fumble Source Code Release
By D.C. Parris - Nov 02, 2005
A recent post on OSNews.com raised questions about the availability of GPL'ed source code from the former Lycoris distribution. Accusations have flown both ways and much confusion has ensued, leaving many concerned about whether the source code will ever be made available.
Comment of the Day - November 2, 2005 Why People Switch to LXer
By AndyCooll - Nov 02, 2005
AndyCooll writes about his experience trying Firefox and OpenOffice.org. He writes: "I saw that the quality of these products were excellent. And I was hooked. It was only a small step then to trying Linux."

From the article: Why People Switch to Linux
Linux in Action: Understanding Federated Identity Management Business Drivers
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 02, 2005
Aside from some obvious business benefits, some government regulations require Federal Identity Management
The Venture Capital Reluctance Toward Linux
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 01, 2005
Aside from the general unwillingness of VC's to invest in startups, Linux is a no go. Many factors come into play with the primary lack of an exit strategy topping the list. When will Linux companies see the light at the end of the tunel? Or will they?
Sun's JDS Linux Desktop: Author Calls it a Throw-away
By News Staff - Oct 31, 2005
People say, " Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." But what if the horse is long in the tooth? Sun wants to salvage something out of the money and ill-will it spent and created on the Java Desktop System build for Linux. But really, who wants Sun's leftovers?
A Firefox Extension called Fasterfox is a Must Have
By Tom Adelstein - Oct 31, 2005
Fasterfox by Tony Gentilcore was released on October 26, 2005. It provides real "performance and network tweaks for Firefox. Fasterfox allows you to tweak many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache, DNS cache, and initial paint delay. "


The Hercules System/370, ESA/390, and z/Architecture Emulator
By Tom Adelstein - Oct 31, 2005
The web site reads: "Hercules is an open source software implementation of the mainframe System/370 and ESA/390 architectures, in addition to the new 64-bit z/Architecture. Hercules runs under Linux, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Mac OS X 10.2 and later."

It runs best on Linux and it helps shops without mainframe access port their software to Linux on the S/390 and zSeries platforms.
Do not Buy a Laptop or Notebook Until January
By Tom Adelstein - Oct 30, 2005
You have your eye on that Media-Savvy Notebook for Christmas. You will even finance it if possible. It comes with Windows XP Media center software. Prices seem more reasonable than they have in years.

Abstinence is the best cure for your disease. Form a 12-step program if necessary or have an intervention: Notebooks Anonymous. Visit a mental health care professional. Otherwsie, in January, you'll experience buyer's remorse.
Ubuntu's Linux Wireless Utility Easier than Windows
By Tom Adelstein - Oct 29, 2005
If you try to find a Linux compatible wireless card, you might find that a challenge. I shop around frequently and haven't seen any "Linux Compatible" stickers on wireless card boxes. Recently, I bought one on eBay and it had an entry in a Linux compatibility list. It didn't work. The manufacturer kept the model number but changed the chipset.

In attempting to make it work, I discovered that in Ubuntu's new release 5.10, they've added a utility that makes it easy to get off-the-shelf wireless cards to work. Now, that's the way Linux innovation can trump other OSes. Here's a short article demonstrating this ingenious tool.
Getting Kids Into Computing
By Tuxchick - Oct 27, 2005
It's a given that children need at least basic computing skills. Should you encourage your kids to consider a computing career? What if they turn into fat, nearsighted, socially-impaired, tunnel-visioned geeks?
Comment of the Day - October 27, 2005 - Summary of Linux Distributions
By Abe - Oct 26, 2005
In responding to a reader's questions, Abe writes:"I think you made a good choice by starting with OpenSuse 10. Six years ago, I started using Red Hat Linux then I tried Suse. Today, Suse is still my main distro (distribution). It is complete good desktop/server that has everything and anything you can think of and available as part of FOSS (Free Open Source Software)."

Related to: An old hacker slaps up Slackware
Comment of the Day October 26, 2005 Microsoft admits it can no longer compete
By number6x - Oct 26, 2005
number6x writes: If I were an "un-biased" analyst I would write something like
Attention all investors! Microsoft admits it can no longer compete on technical merits.

From a comment on the article: Microsoft Lines Up Politician Support In Mass. Format Battle
Comment of the Day - October 25, 2005 Calculate the Optimal Size of a New Disk Drive
By Bjorn Stadil - Oct 25, 2005
In answering a question on the Linux metaforum here at Lxer, bstadil wrote a splendid comment about how to figure out the optimial size of a new disk drive. He wrote: the optimal replacement size of a disk drive is e = 2.7 times what you have.

Related to: http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/18462/">Why do people switch to Linux
LXer Feature: Strategic Alliance of MySQL AB and Oracle for Linux
By TxtEdMacs - Oct 25, 2005
Though not a prescription to destroy Microsoft, we could certainly level the field and return innovation and competition to Information Technology once again.
LXer Feature: Rant Mode Equals One: Microsoft Media Bias
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Oct 25, 2005
I'm a fan of GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software (FOSS). Most readers that write me, even ones that disagree with my perspective, count it toward the plus side. They understand my bias -- there's never been any question of it...

We, at LXer.com, don't have all of the answers. I'm not paid to give them to you and I certainly don't even begin to think that if I were, I would have them all. But I can speak about what I do know. I have some friends here that share the same opinions. They know that to speak the truth, to be true to your own beliefs -- to call them like they see them -- that is where the true power is.
LXer Feature: Survival Tactics For Women In FOSS, part 2
By Tuxchick - Oct 24, 2005
In Part 1 I offered some general advice and encouragement for women involved in FOSS, and women who want to be involved in FOSS. Part 2 is a partial resource guide, a list of women-oriented tech communities...These are great places to connect with other women in computing, to socialize, to get job and professional tips, and to get help and encouragement for everything from workplace and personal issues to technical help. For most of these groups the goal is not to provide a safe shelter to hide in and never come out, but to help women develop the skills and support to cope with everyday challenges, and achieve their goals.
Comment of the Day - October 24th, 2005
By Skapare - Oct 24, 2005
You could have called this "The Two (or more) Faces of Microsoft". It's obvious they will say whatever is convenient for a given inquiry. Where it is good for Microsoft to have a competitor, there's Linux. Where it is not good for Microsoft to have a competitor, there's poor little Linux that can't compete (if they are even forced to mention Linux at all).

Related to the article Did Bill Gates Invent Linux and Has He Erased the Evidence?
Google - What Have You Done For Us Lately?
By helios - Oct 24, 2005
Google may be taking the Internet by storm, but in the process they are raining on the Linux parade. Google has clearly presented The Community a middle finger salute. The technology that paved their streets with gold is now being cast away like a pock-marked leper.
Using Firefox 1.5 with Ubuntu 5.10 - Quick Howto
By Tom Adelstein - Oct 23, 2005
Why would you want to use a beta of Firefox when you an have a more stable release? The version that comes with Breezy Badger has a bad memory leak - and 1.5 runs faster.
Comment of the Day - October 22, 2005
By tuxchick - Oct 22, 2005
The bit about the Open Document plug-in for Microsoft Office users was absolutely great, a good lesson for many FOSS advocates.

Related to the article A Mile in Someone Else's Shoes.
Review: Ubuntu 5.10 "Breezy Badger"
By Nilayan Sharma - Oct 22, 2005
In the short time that I've spent using Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger), I've really come to like it. The installation was painless, all my hardware was detected and configured correctly, package management was easy, and the clean-cut GNOME desktop is terrific.
Defining a Turn-key Libre Software Solution for Ministries
By DC Parris - Oct 21, 2005
When faith-based organizations start looking for libre software alternatives, The Freely Project offers a turn-key solution that will serve their needs well. While aimed at Christians, this solution should work well, no matter what your organization's religious beliefs.
LXer Feature: Survival Tactics For Women In FOSS, part 1
By Tuxchick - Oct 21, 2005
In this two-part series I shall offer sage advice for women interested in becoming more involved with FOSS (part 1) and lists of excellent online communities and resources aimed at women in computing (part 2).
LXer Feature: Browser security: why an insecure browse-only account doesn't work
By H Kwint - Oct 19, 2005

One of the reasons why people switch to Firefox (also on the Linux platform) is the assumed security of the browser. Nonetheless, several vulnerabilities were found in Firefox the last few months, so the browser may be the weak spot in the security of your Linux-desktop.

Trying to address this problem, I researched two ways to make browsing under Firefox more secure: chrooting it, or making a seperate browse-only account. Both of them don't work. This article discusses why, and the possible solution.
The War (II)
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Oct 18, 2005

Paul writes: "People should care about these issues, and over time we've seen things like the Electronic Frontier Foundation emerge and other politically oriented groups, but I believe in the past decade we've only scratched the surface of what we have to do to ensure digital democracy, so to speak."


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