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Explore the Universe from your Desktop with Celestia

  • (Posted by nemilar on Feb 22, 2008 12:04 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews
While it may not let you go where no man has gone before, Celestia is an amazing desktop application that lets you go anywhere in the known Universe.You can view any object in the Solar System, travel to distant stars, and even leave the Galaxy, traveling faster than the speed of light, viewing high-res images of objects millions of miles away.

[My Sister who is a teacher in L.A. uses this program in her classroom and turned me on to it, very cool. - Scott]

If you cannot go to FOSDEM

If you can't go to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting next weekend in Brussels, Belgium, you can still watch live video streams from the Debian Developer Room, thanks to their video team.

How to Switch Office Suites from Microsoft Office to

How to set up to work how you want it with templates and clip art, configurations, shortcuts, and more. You’ve been thinking about it for a while. You’ve seen the PDF converter and sighed longingly; you’ve blushed before the skeptical glances of your open-source and anti-Microsoft friends who say “You’re still using Microsoft Office?” you’re looking at your budget and wondering why you would pay to get Microsoft Office 2007. And you’ve received Word 2007 files and haven’t been able to open them, so you know there’s going to be some file format issues no matter what you do. But you haven’t switched over to Quite yet. I’m here to help.

Porticus brings point-and-click free software installs to Mac OS X

One undeniable sign of progress among Linux distributions is the proliferation of easy-to-use, graphical package management applications. Tools like yum, Synaptic, and CNR are the rule these days rather than the exception. Mac OS X has free software fans, and a well-maintained collection of software at MacPorts, but for a long time those fans have been limited to the command line for finding, installing, and updating the offerings. Now a new utility called Porticus has arrived to present a slick GUI interface to the MacPorts collection, and it could make some converts.

SugarCRM goes folksy with Mickos philosophy

MySQL chief executive Marten Mickos is surely regarded as a rainmaker among the entrepreneurial wing of the open source movement. Not only did his company pick wisely when it came to endorsing an open source technology, it also convinced a major, publicly traded entity to part with $1bn for no discernable return - despite its own challenges in making money.

Free software menus reinvented

Free software programmers are fond of saying that they'd prefer not to reinvent the wheel. Apparently that attitude no longer applies to desktop menus, considering all the new options springing up. A few years ago, just about the only menu choices on the main desktop environments were the ones that shipped with them, or the exhaustive Debian ones. For five years, GNOME didn't even have a menu editor.

Microsoft Pretends to Become Open with Interoperability

Steve Ballmer, in a recent conference call, explained how Microsoft would be providing over 30,000 pages of documentation concerning the Windows API. Open source users are skeptical when it comes to Microsoft's willingness to play nice.

Just what makes Linux tick

Last time, we spoke about the Linux process scheduler and how it runs in the shadows swapping processes in and out of a running state so everyone gets a stab at the CPU. Today we’ll go over how the kernel keeps track of time and just what it means to do something in a jiffy.

How do I love KDE? Let me count the ways.

  • The Mental Proctologist; By Phred Zed (Posted by menpro on Feb 21, 2008 5:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial, Humor; Groups: Linux
No, I'm not actually going to count, but it was the first title that popped into my head and if I've learned anything about the creative process, it's that your first instinct is usually the best.

Why wait?

An article arguing the reasons why people shouldn't just wait for Windows 7 before switching from XP, and how they should be focused on switching to Linux now.

EC to Microsoft: We're still looking

Microsoft today flung open its software APIs and protocols to all comers. Is it enough to persuade the European Commission to drop anti-trust investigations of the company? In a word, no. The Commission today noted that Microsoft has issued four statements in the past promoting interoperability, and it wants to see if a) the new pledge conforms with EC competition law and b) if Microsoft actually walks it like it talks it.

Make Your Application Accessible with Accerciser

You might think you need to be familiar with assistive technologies like the Orca screen reader to determine whether your application is accessible. The truth is that with just a couple simple rules and an open-source tool called Accerciser, the task at hand is fairly simple. Before you start diagnosing your application with specialized tools like Accerciser, you should ask yourself a few straightforward questions about your application.

Pygrub & install Solaris (build >75) DomU at Fedora 8 Dom0 (64-bit)

  •; By Boris Derzhavets (Posted by dba477 on Feb 21, 2008 1:53 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Red Hat, Sun
Procedure descibed bellow attaches Solaris DomU to libvirtd's daemon subnet (netmask utilizing interface virbr0 and dnsmasq service as DHCP server. It doesn't require DHCP bridge and external DHCP Server to turn on old fashion xen-bridging on F8 Dom0.

What's Next for Open Source and Public Media?

Open Source has won. We've moved into Gandhicon 4. Now what? That's the question that occurred to me yesterday, while sitting in the audience of a tech session at Public Media 2008 in Los Angeles — the big annual conference for what most of us still call public broadcasting. I sat there hearing panelists tell story after story about what stations can do with piles of open code, tools and standards. In cases where the nature or provenance of recommended code was in doubt, questions from the audience went, "Is the source code for that available?" or "Is that open code, or just an open service?"

Tutorial: Webcams in Linux, Part 1

Webcams are everywhere these days: they're standard on a lot of laptops, LCD monitors are starting to incorporate them, and decent standalone USB webcams can be had for less than $40. In this two-part series we'll set up a Webcam on Linux, and then use it to perform a number of amazing and fun tasks.

Microsoft Makes Strategic Changes in Technology and Business Practices to Expand Interoperability

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 21, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a set of broad-reaching changes to its technology and business practices to increase the openness of its products and drive greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for developers, partners, customers and competitors. Specifically, Microsoft is implementing four new interoperability principles and corresponding actions across its high-volume business products: (1) ensuring open connections; (2) promoting data portability; (3) enhancing support for industry standards; and (4) fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.

[ In short: Microsoft closedness is backfiring, causing them troubles and they admit it. They are finally going to specify which patents come along with which of their protocols, and going to grant cheap commercial / gratis for non commercial use RAND licenses for those patents. I think this announcement could have a very big impact on Linux & free / open source software, that's why I'm posting this Microsoft news. If you believe it it's up to you; last time I posted a MS press release about their 'openness' it turned out to be all lies (called OOXML), so be aware, you are warned! - hkwint ]

Abyss: a small, sweet Web server

If you need to set up a secure, easily configurable Web server in as short a time as possible, then Abyss Web Server might just be the product for you. In development since 2002, its current version (2.5) runs on Linux, BSD, Windows, and Mac OS X. Its simple installation and setup (no obscure text configuration files) allows you to code your site with PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, and even ASP.Net, if you're using the Windows version.

2007 Members Choice Award Winners

The polls are closed and the results are in for the 2007 Members Choice Awards. Among the winners are Ubuntu, Firefox, MySQL, KDE, Compiz, Nagios and The Members Choice Awards allow members of the Linux community to choose their favorite products in a variety of categories including Server Distribution of the Year, Desktop Distribution of the Year, Office Suite of the Year and Web Browser of the Year. The total number of categories this year was 27.
The complete list of the winners is as follows (percentage of votes received in parentheses):

Desktop Distribution of the Year - Ubuntu (30.83%)
Server Distribution of the Year - Debian (30.30%)
Live Distribution of the Year - KNOPPIX (22.88%)
Database of the Year - MySQL (54.36%)
Office Suite of the Year - (89.50%)
Browser of the Year - Firefox (74.03%)
Desktop Environment of the Year - KDE (52.08%)
Window Manager of the Year - Compiz (33.65%)
Messaging App of the Year - Pidgin (53.90%)
Mail Client of the Year - Thunderbird (53.72%)
Virtualization Product of the Year - VirtualBox (41.58%)
Audio Media Player Application of the Year - Amarok (57.37%)
Audio Authoring Application of the Year - Audacity (68.24%)
Video Media Player Application of the Year - mplayer (41.78%)
Video Authoring Application of the Year - mencoder (24.21%)
Multimedia Utility of the Year - K3b (63.34%)
Graphics Application of the Year - GIMP (69.15%)
Network Security Application of the Year - nmap (24.95%)
Host Security Application of the Year - SELinux (30.69%)
Monitoring Application of the Year - Nagios (38.58%)
Windows on Linux App of the Year - Wine (84.76%)
IDE/Web Development Editor of the Year - Eclipse (22.29%)
Shell of the Year - bash (87.33%)
Text Editor of the Year - vi/vim (36.37%)
File Manager of the Year - Konqueror (38.00%)
Open Source Game of the Year - Battle for Wesnoth (21.74%)
Programming Language of the Year - Python (21.78%)

A full list of nominees along with detailed results can be found at A record number of votes were cast in what was the seventh annual Members Choice Awards. Past winners include Red Hat, PostgreSQL and Mozilla.

Microsoft launches student Java and LAMP challenge

University computer science departments are rapidly becoming Microsoft-free zones, as Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) combine with Java to become the de-facto standard environment for students of programming. Microsoft knows from history that this will be fatal in the long term, hence its decision to extend free availability of core development tools to students. Most of my generation of computer science students quite literally never touched any IBM kit, even though - back then - it had a bigger share of the IT market than today is enjoyed by Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett-Packard put together.

Opera CEO on Open Standards vs Open Source

Opera Software's CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner explains why they will not release the Opera browser as open source, arguing that open standards are more important than open source: "I'm not convinced that it would help us as a company to go open source. We have not seen any way that would allow us to do that and at the same time continue to increase investment."

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