LXer Weekly Roundup for 09-Jan-2011

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jan 10, 2011 2:13 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)

LXer Feature: 09-Jan-2011

In the Roundup this week we have how to choose the best Distro for a laptop, Linux returns to Walmart, Andy Updegrove reveals more about Attachmate, The "LibreOffice" future of OpenOffice and our own Paul Ferris goes on a rant about the future of Linux. Enjoy!

Why waste money? Free software just as wonderful: I've shelled out a lot of money over the years on software -- Windows and Mac OS upgrades, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office -- the list goes on and on. Some of it was necessary, but more often than not there are free alternatives out there that do the job just as well or better than the paid software -- someone just has to point you in the right direction. That's what I'll attempt to do here today. Behold, some of my favorite free programs and utilities that I guarantee will make your life easier:

How to choose the best Linux distro for laptops: The smart mobile user shouldn't overlook Linux. The question is, which distro should you pick? You'll get a different answer depending who you ask. You'll probably be pointed in the direction of Arch for performance, Debian for stability and Ubuntu if you want easy access to the biggest collection of apps. If that's not enough choice to make your head spin, Slackware has its fans too – particularly among people who use older laptops.

Firefox Leads in Europe, Firm Says: For the first time in a decade, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is no longer the leading Web browser in Europe, ceding the top position to Mozilla’s Firefox, an Irish research firm that tracks Web-surfing activity said Tuesday. While three other research firms also active in the field disputed the finding, StatCounter, a company in Dublin, said Firefox surpassed Internet Explorer as the top European browser in December, with a 38.1 percent share, compared with Explorer’s 37.5 percent.

How to Tell When an Open Source Foundation Isn't About You: Stephen Walli, now technical director of the Outercurve Foundation, has written a guest post for OStatic, The Rise of Open Source Software Foundations. I guess he thinks Outercurve is one. He explains why Microsoft set up the foundation in the first place, which I have wondered about for quite a while. His article also reminded me that I promised to explain what bothered me so much about the recent OpenSUSE Project meeting on December 15th. We're still working on the Comes v. Microsoft exhibits, but I need to take a break. So here goes. I will use the OpenSUSE Foundation discussion to show you why it's so important, if you are setting up a foundation, to set it up right in the beginning, and why you absolutely must have a lawyer to protect your interests. It's not good if only the corporate entity's guys know what bylaws are and how to set up corporate structures, and the community is relying on them to explain it. Your interests are not identical. Not by a long shot.

GNU/Linux Returns to Walmart: Walmart lost interest in GNU/Linux on netbooks for some reason but welcomes it again on tablets. Funny how that works, eh? Small cheap computers and GNU/Linux go together well, that other OS does not fit and M$ cannot justify tinkering with the market. Chuckle.

Rant Mode Equals One: Linux on the Door Stop: Paul Ferris reviews the state of Linux over the past decade from multiple perspectives: cloud, desktop, tablet and finally infrastructure market. The most pressing question rises to the top: Will 2011 be the year of Linux on the Doorstop?

Attachmate and the SUSE Linux Project: What's Next?: Recently, the future of the SUSE Linux Project (as compared to the Novell commercial Linux distribution based on the work of that project) has become rather murky, as reported by Pamela Jones, at Groklaw. Apparently, Novell is facilitating some sort of spin out of the Project, which is good but peculiar news.

LibreOffice – The Likely Future of OpenOffice: For those of you who don’t follow tech news, here’s a brief summary: OpenOffice, supported by Sun, has long been known as a excellent free alternative to MS Office. When Oracle bought Sun, many feared that Oracle’s control might not necessarily be a good thing for the project. Some members of the OpenOffice team decided to create The Document Foundation as a central place for the work to continue in an open community fashion, and even invited Oracle along in the hopes that “we can all just get along”. Well Oracle declined, and the result is that The Document Foundation will soon release LibreOffice, a community-based fork of OpenOffice which has already received backing from the likes of Canonical, Red Hat, and Google. While the final release is not yet available, we can get our hands on the release candidate which should tell us what kind of changes we’re in for.

Mutt: An Introduction: It seems as though every time someone sees me at my desk reading my mail, they ask what it is I am doing. I tell them I am reading my mail, and they're shocked. They see me pull up image attachments, and office and all this, and they think I am some kind of wizard. "How is it that you can do that in command line?" they ask. "I use Mutt," I reply. I have done an article on Mutt before, and I will do it again for clarity's sake.

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