LXer Features

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."

The Butterfly Effect: Microsoft, Security, and the Developing World
By Charles Spencer - Oct 17, 2005
Much has been made of the argument in Open Source circles about the benefits that Open Source offers developing countries, as opposed to expensive or pirated versions of Microsoft. Some of the more common arguments run, contra-Microsoft, that the expensive and proprietary software that runs on Windows is holding back the developing world. Most imply, directly or indirectly, that somehow Microsoft is haggling with poverty. That is, school kids in China, Pakistan, and Guatemala are being denied access to modern education and technology via the proprietary licensing schemes of MS and the Software that runs on it. So it might be. However, what seems to escape such poverty calculations is the true impact of network security and viruses on developing countries and the impact on the World in general. Specifically, the impact that computer security has on development when networks are based on pirated, outdated, or generally insecure software. The largest and most obvious case would be China.
FOSS: The Savior of Democracy
By Tuxchick - Oct 16, 2005
I'm afraid I do not have an optimistic view of the future. People throw away their rights as heedlessly as pieces of litter. The one ray of hope just may be the FOSS world, because it puts powerful tools into the hands of anyone who wants them. Television, radio, and print media are lost to us, and that is deliberate, because the most powerful tool of all for liberty is free speech. The first act of any tyrant is to control broadcast and print media. "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one."
Comment of the Day - October 14, 2005 Responding to the Ugly Penguin
By NoDough & tadelste - Oct 14, 2005
NoDough writes: "Follow the above link, pull up the full story, scroll down toward the bottom and look at the photo of the ugly penguin. This penguin shows up on hundreds of eWeek pages, and is it ugly!"

"There are other examples of this, and I wonder how we as a community should react."

Since I've only been on the job a month, I needed time to learn the intracacies of this site. We're seeing a response to the quality of Lxer by increasing statistics. Soon, we should seize the moment and become a voice of reason and influence. -Tom Adelstein Editor in Chief
Comment of the Day - October 12, 2005 Linux Viruses Exist
By phsolide - Oct 12, 2005
This comment refers to the article "Grisoft predicts Linux virus plague"
Cutting Through Multiple Linux Distribution Concerns
By Dean Pannell and Paul Ferris - Oct 09, 2005
Over the course of the Linux emergence into corporate America, one fear has repeatedly emerged -- that Linux would fragment, that there are too many distributions -- that customers and corporate managers would be confused by the myriad of choices on the Linux distribution landscape. Paul Ferris and Dean Pannell have taken sides on this issue. People need clarification. They need to understand the issues at hand. They need clear, concise, professional sources of information where decisions of this magnitude are at stake.

Are they likely not to get that kind of information here? You'll have to find out, as here comes another Penguin Counter Penguin.

Sun Wah Pushes Debian based Linux in China - Why Debian?
By Tom Adelstein - Editor-in-Chief - Oct 06, 2005
Now, 142,000 Linux PCs should make some news. But, of course, Sun Wah isn't Red Hat or SUSE based.
Comment of the Day October 5, 2005 - Do for Linux what you did for Mac
By Tuxchick - Oct 05, 2005
From the story: "Microsoft: No Office on Linux 'at this time'"
Comment of the Day
By Paul Ferris - Oct 04, 2005
Comment of the Day from the story "Dell Says There Are Too Darned Many Linuxes, Too"
Freely Activist Responds to Fox News Article
By DC Parris - Oct 03, 2005
If Fox News offers an opportunity for an opposition viewpoint to James Prendergasts' article, "Massachusetts Should Close Down OpenDocument" this would be one response.
I want my DVD, your honor
By Dean Pannell - Oct 02, 2005
Originally published at OSopinion, Dean granted permission to Lxer to republish this humorous but insightful article for Linux enthusiasts who might wonder about playing DVD's on their computers. Perhaps the issue isn't as clear cut as some want us to believe. Theoretically this is a wonderful argument. Consult your own legal professional and please do not construe this as legal advice.
Foxnews: You may have lost Linux users as an audience
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 30, 2005
When you published your article, "Massachusetts Should Close Down OpenDocument", you made an error. You let someone from the Americans for Technology Leadership influence your fair and balanced reporting. Well, the story is unfair and unbalanced. Get Bill O'Reilly on the phone and have him talk to Tim.

So, here are our talking points.

(Note: For those readers who have never seen the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox, this is a parody of how he opens his show.)
What Would We Do Without David Berlind?
By Sam Hiser - Sep 28, 2005
No journalist -- no real journalist -- has covered open standards with better quality than David Berlind for ZDNet. Try his RSS Feed "Between the Lines", for starters.

Among other issues, his coverage of the MassGov declaration for OpenDocument has been informative, his analysis penetrating. Among his insights is how cynically Microsoft has played the situation and how far-reaching its impact will be.

InformationWeek's Cover Story: Open Source Goes Corporate
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 27, 2005
With a big penguin dressed in a power suite and tie, pocketing a Blackberry and holding a cell phone to his ear, InformationWeek (Sept. 26, 2005) writes "Hey, Yahoo, Disney's on the other line. Call you back." And below that, the lead says, "Open-source software, led by Linux, is barreling into big business. P. 38"

Not bad for the print friendly Microsoft publication.
Citadel: open source groupware made easy
By Art Cancro - Sep 27, 2005
Read about a unique and powerful open source groupware server that's been around for years, but you might not have known about it.
10 Days as a Windows XP User: A GNU Perspective on Things
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 26, 2005
How difficult is it for a Linux user to migrate to Windows? Not bad if you're good at playing video games.
Hellooooooo Vietnam!
By Jon 'maddog' Hall - Sep 25, 2005
maddog announces two talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, and kicks off a couple of articles about Free and Open Source Software in that country which will continue over the next couple of days.
A Linux Business Model for VARS, Consultants and Start-ups That Works
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 22, 2005
Many people wonder how to make a living selling Open Source Software. If you feel slightly stuck, here's an explanation that might make sense to you.
LXer Formalizes Features Section with Articles, Reviews and HOWTOs
By Dave Whitinger - Sep 22, 2005
Less than two years after our initial launch, LXer has become a top news site in the Linux community. Continuing progress allows us to provide services to authors wishing to publish original material. Click to read more about the announcement.
Linux Users: Consider a free anti-virus program for your desktop
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 21, 2005
After I wound up stuck on a Windows computer for a week, I noticed my mind wondering about the possibility of a virus lurking on my Linux desktop. So I tried an anti-virus program for Linux and found a surprise.
Buy Your Linux Laptop Direct and By Pass Dell
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 19, 2005
The "Name" brands do not manufacture their own laptops. They buy them from Original Design Manufacturers (ODM). These ODMs sell their computers to DELL, Toshiba, IBM, HP, Compaq, Sony and others. They then put their label on it and market it. You can find the same laptops and buy yours without an operating system.
Happy Software Freedom Day, Comrade!
By Jon 'maddog' Hall - Sep 12, 2005
Free Software is good for Russia. Lowering their balance of payments, employing local programmers, creating opportunities for local service, allowing their students to see how major pieces of software work, reducing the issues of software piracy, allowing them to adopt software to their languages and culture and giving their country better security are all reasons why the Russians (as a lot of other countries) have embraced Linux.
As Microsoft Formats Fail the Test of Time - Doesn't Linux make More Sense?
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 07, 2005
Rumors abound about the US Nuclear arsenal lacking documentation of its software from twenty years ago. Someone even said the US consulted Russia for help. With new Government regulations in place, you have to have a long-term strategy to retrieve your old documentation. Those are the business drivers that spurred OASIS to create the open document format - compliance issues that will require people to maintain records for decades. Now, try and retrieve an archived document from Microsoft Word Version 5. Oops. You just can't change formats anymore to make people buy your new products, Bill.
Sam Hiser's Comment on the MassGov ETRM Document
By Sam Hiser - Sep 06, 2005
The following is Sam Hiser's comment on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Information Domain -- Enterprise Technical Reference Models draft document, version 3.5. (The Office of the Chief Information Officer requested that public comments be made by Friday, September 9, 2005.)
Laptop Linux
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 02, 2005
Using a Thinkpad T21, I wound up doing the engineering I expect the maker of my Thinkpad to do. All the tools exist, now let's see if Lenovo will take the hint.
Lxer Story on Massachusetts Move to Open Doc Format Scoops Major News Outlets
By Tom Adelstein - Sep 01, 2005
Yesterday, Sam Hiser called to let me know he placed an article in the pending queue at Lxer. "It's a scoop," he said. Turns out he was right. The article made the major media wires shortly after hitting Google News at 3 PM on Wednesdy.
MassGov Declares OpenDocument the Standard File Format for the Commonwealth
By Sam Hiser - Aug 31, 2005

First Reported on Lxer -ED

The State of Massachusetts -- home of The Boston Tea Party, The Battle of Dorchester Heights and other underdog victories -- today released the draft document (for review & comment up until September 9) which would be the basis of the State's policy on acceptable document file formats.

Among other information standards issues covered in the document, Massachusetts declares the following formats to be the targets of migration policies:

-OASIS OpenDocument for Text, Spreadsheet & Presentation files (.odt, .ods, .odp) Migration Target: January 1, 2005
-Plain Text Format for Text files (.txt)
-Hypertext Document Format for Web Pages (.html)
-Portable Document Format for Other Documents (.pdf)

Among the applications supporting OpenDocument are OpenOffice.org 1.1.5 and 2.0, StarOffice 8, KOffice 1.4, Workplace as well as, to some partial degree, AbiWord, eZ publish, Knomos, Scribus and TextMaker. Others will follow.

The State CIO requests our comments on the document by September 9, 2007.
Increased Media Chatter Targeting Linux Desktop
By Tom Adelstein - Aug 31, 2005
The media buzz about Linux's alleged failure on the desktop probably means Linux is continuing to take a significant share of Microsoft's market - maybe even more than we think. Why else would the big Redmond company's minions write such claims? Disinformation provides an insight into someone's fears. The noise level has gone up and that probably means Linux is creating trouble for Windows.
10 Days as a Linux User: A GNU Perspective on things - The Rebuttal
By Tom Adelstein - Aug 27, 2005
After carefully reading Clarence Ladson Jr.'s story of 18 August 2005, I realized Flexbeta and the author may have tricked me and other readers. Ladson's story had little, if anything to do with a GNU Perspective. So what exactly would you call it?
Want To Join the World Trade Organization? Dump Microsoft Go With Linux
By Tom Adelstein - Aug 24, 2005
When Mark Shuttleworth asked for help in putting together a list of Government Projects for the Go Open Source Task Team conference to be held on August 22 & 23 for South Africa, he faciliated an unique database of best practices and brought to light needs of developing countries.
SuSE 9.3, my desktop OS
By Venkata Avasarala - Jul 06, 2005
I have been using SuSE for quite sometime. I started out with Red Hat. However, the initial installations had problems with the graphics card of my notebook, resulting in poor stability and performance when using X. I switched over to SuSE at the suggestion of a friend and there was no looking back. I started out with SuSE 8.9 and with every release the distribution became more polished, and easy to use. I was running SuSE 9.2 and was eagerly waiting for 9.3 to be available for ftp installation. Detailed below are my experiences installing and configuring SuSE 9.3 on my HP Ze5155 notebook.
Announcing BatchLogin
By Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris - Jun 28, 2005
Have you ever found yourself logging into several servers, serial fashion, just to do the same repetitive task and found yourself wondering why the login process itself couldn't be automated? If so, this software may be for you...
Conflict of interests of political party president in softwarepatents issue in the EU
By Hans Kwint - Jun 26, 2005
25 June 2005 -- German web fora have been agitated by online discussions and news articles about apparent interest conflicts of Klaus Heiner Lehne MEP, who, as a coordinator of the European People's Party in the Legal Affairs Committee, strongly opposed all amendments that had any limiting effect on patentability or enforcability, and actively fought in JURI as well as in Berlin and elsewhere for widest possible patentability (which also means patentability of software). It now appears that Lehne works as a Brussels lobbying consultant for multinational corporations who are the main clients of one of the leading lawfirms for patent litigation in Europe, which is also itself involved in patent lobbying and closely connected to lobbying organisations. (Quoted from ffii.org)
Patent absurdity
By Richard Stallman - Jun 21, 2005
If patent law had been applied to novels in the 1880s, great books would not have been written. If the EU applies it to software, every computer user will be restricted, says Richard Stallman
Ubuntu Linux Desktop Reviewed
By Tom Adelstein - Jun 13, 2005
Tom Adelstein has written a thorough review of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

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