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Fedora Weekly News Issue 104

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 104 for the week of October 1st.

An in-depth look at Puppy Linux

Guest columnist Howard Fosdick has previously used Puppy Linux to successfully revive "mature" PCs. Now, he takes a broader, deeper look at the parsimonious distribution and its potential value on normal desktop PCs.

Google and IBM push cluster computing on colleges

Google and IBM want their future employees to have large-scale cluster computing chops, so they're investing several million to get them while their young. The companies are teaming up to promote the study in academia. Their ambition is to lower the cost and logistics of collegial research on parallel computing — a technique that spreads computational tasks across many computers. Google and IBM hope to advocate the cause by offering the considerable gear necessary to universities remotely.

[Not directly FOSS related but still of interest. - Scott]

A Death Threat From A Puppy Linux Supporter

I’ve just been informed by e-mail that not only are some defenders of Puppy Linux flaming me on the new DistroWatch Weekly comments but one actually issued a death threat against me for being “negative” about his or her favorite distribution in a recent post on O’ReillyNet.

Talking FOSS at the UN

Last year the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held a joint meeting to discuss the feasibility of using free and open source software (FOSS) as a means to bolster the growth of technology in developing countries. Delegates were intrigued by the information presented by such notables as the Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman, Intel's Danese Cooper, and IBM's Bob Sutor, and asked to hear more about the real-world practicality of FOSS. In response, event organizers at UNITAR put together a one-day seminar scheduled for October 16 that will present case studies of successful FOSS implementations in various environments.

Supporting More Partitions

"15 partitions (at least for sd_mod devices) are too few," Jan Engelhardt suggested along with a patch to try and make the mounting of an unlimited number of partitions possible. H. Peter Anvin proposed as an alternative, "now when we have 20-bit minors, can't we simply recycle some of the higher bits for additional partitions, across the board? 63 partitions seem to have been sufficient; at least I haven't heard anyone complain about that for 15 years."

Customize your Emacs world

  • IBM/developerWorks; By Michael Stutz (Posted by solrac on Oct 8, 2007 5:45 PM EDT)
  • Groups: IBM; Story Type: News Story
This tutorial walks you through some of the useful ways you can customize and configure the Emacs environment. Learn how to change everything about the Emacs environment to your liking, from the behavior of minor modes to the default key bindings.

Asus motherboard runs embedded linux

So you think your computer boots quickly? The newly-released Asus P5E3 motherboard includes an embedded Linux OS that can be booted in under five seconds and includes a browser and Skype application.

Tutorial: Basic Linux Tips and Tricks, Part 2

In Part 2 of this three-part series, you will learn what the best systematic approach should be to start solving any problems you might have in Linux.

ROX-Filer: A Lightweight File Manager that Simply Rocks

  • PolishLinux.org; By Pawel Lupkowski (Posted by michux on Oct 8, 2007 2:53 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: Linux
ROX is one of the genuinely interesting file managers available for the major platforms - GNU/Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows (under Cygwin). As can be inferred from the manager’s website, ROX-Filer is a project aimed to move the best features of RISC OS onto Linux and Unix platforms. Its small footprint and configurability are its unquestionable hallmarks.

Installing Lighttpd With PHP5 And MySQL Support On CentOS 5.0

  • HowtoForge; By Falko Timme (Posted by falko on Oct 8, 2007 2:32 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Red Hat
Lighttpd is a secure, fast, standards-compliant web server designed for speed-critical environments. This tutorial shows how you can install Lighttpd on a CentOS 5.0 server with PHP5 support (through FastCGI) and MySQL support.

"Novell is not forking OpenOffice"

From recent media reports, casual readers could easily believe that OpenOffice.org, the popular free office suite, is fragmenting. Slashdot reported last week that Novell is backing an official fork, while Ars Technica suggested that if what was happening fell short of a fork, then it was still "serious fragmentation" and "not a good thing for the OpenOffice.org community." However, a closer look at the situation shows that what is happening is less of a dramatic split than the airing of long-time grievances and the media's discovery of a long-established institution.

Firefox extensions for tab addicts

For Firefox users who are constantly referring to multiple pages, tabbed browsing is not a feature, but a way of life. There are enough of us that the Firefox addon page lists more than 110 extensions related to tabs. These extensions feature everything from simple add-ons to various means of saving tab addresses and sessions to thumbnails and collections of functions, as well as one or two uncategorizable ideas.

Secure your webserver using SSL and TinyCA

  • www.linux-tip.eu; By Frank Neugebauer (Posted by fneagle on Oct 8, 2007 11:21 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux, SUSE
SSL is especially suited for HTTP since it can provide some protection even if only one side of the communication is authenticated. In the case of HTTP transactions over the Internet, typically, only the server side is authenticated. This workshop explains how to setup a virtual host using OpenSSL and TinyCA on an OpenSuse 10.2 server.

Why the Unbundling Windows Sceptics are Wrong

The following are the key arguments they introduce against the unbundling of Microsoft Windows from consumer PCs, along with an explanation as to why these arguments from the 'unbundling sceptics' are invalid:

Locating Linux-loyal Laptops

A look through most department store catalogues reveals a bevy of alleged “deal” laptops; you know the type – cheap and cheerful, sub-$1,000 – but far from bleeding-edge specs. These may be naff at resource-hungry Windows apps but can be a great Linux machine for no extra cost. But can you check out any hardware gotchas prior to purchase, and be sure the Penguin will run?

Advantages of open source: Revisited

I feel that is important for me to further analyze the benefits of open source software. In a previous post, I highlighted the cost-savings of open source and did not mention any of the other advantages that it provides. This post should provide a more balanced view of open source and the intrinsic benefits that free software provides.

The Open-Source iPhone Alternative, OpenMoko for Consumers

This year, the iPhone has been all the rage. Rumors flew for years before its release, ads flew after. Everywhere you look you can spot the chic slic shine of the iPhone, from TV, to movies, to the streets of every major city (and everyday more and more outside the city). But AT&T and Apple’s decision to not only lock the phone but also actively discourage users from unlocking themselves, has left more than a bitter impression of the device’s parents in my mind. In light of this, I’d like to discuss, The Great Hope, the open-source alternative, the OpenMoko.

OpenOffice.org Tipping Point?

I've been engaged with the OpenOffice.org community for a number of years, and I'm as aware as anyone that it has had some historic issues with its contribution processes. However, all the signs I see suggest those have been or are being addressed - most notably via the Engineering Steering Committee, but with a number of other important changes (including huge improvements in responsiveness on patch integration in response to earlier complaints). I hear there's more to come, too - Jim Parkinson, the VP who employs all Sun's contributors to OpenOffice.org, has a blog on the blocks about a new OpenOffice.org Advisory Board.

GNU/Linux Vs Windows: Myths and Realities

After reading the feedback from our readers here and at various websites around the world in regards to my recently published article "How to Quit Windows & cope with Windows Withdrawal Syndrome", I have identified a few more fears which home users have when they quit Windows and switch to Linux. I believe that Microsoft has gained a strong hold in our minds based upon many myths and fears which I already discussed in my above mentioned article. These myths are fears will haunt us for ages until we openly accept and adopt the freedom of Open Source, even with some of its apparent shortcomings. Following are a few myths and facts which play a role in whether a home user shifts from Windows to GNU/Linux.

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