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Hotwire blends the command line with the GUI

Try to describe Hotwire, and you'll eventually wind up saying something that sounds like an oxymoron, like "command-line GUI," "graphical shell" or "GUI xterm." Well, that's pretty much what Hotwire is: something halfway between a text-based shell and a modern graphical user interface. In part, the confusion stems from the fuzzy definition the typical desktop user has of the Unix shell. For the most part, it is transparent to us. We probably know that some commands (like ls and chown) are separate binaries, while others (like cd and umask) are actually internal functions provided by the shell. But unless we do a lot of scripting, it can be hard to remember which is which; we type whichever we need at the prompt and get back to business.

Ten things you can do to help open source

Open source has at its heart a big idea, which some find uncomfortable and others find liberating: it's about collaboration. It's about getting involved. It's all about having lots of people working at making useful things: you pay with your time, and you get paid with the time of thousands of others. If you're happy just using open source, then no problem. But if you want to contribute, because you have a problem that nobody else is fixing — or simply because you want to do your bit in exchange — it can be difficult to know where to start. The following suggestions might just inspire you to join in.

Tiny PCs use pico-ITX main board

The U.K.-based company Sharp and Tappin Technology (STTech) is readying two PCs based on Via's recently introduced pico-ITX motherboard. The picoPC1 and picoPC2 measure as little as 5 x 3.4 x 1.5 inches, and feature separately available cases fashioned from billet aluminum, according to the company. The systems will be available with STTech's own "customized, optimized version of Gentoo Linux," according to spokesman Ben Sharp. Sharp added, "We are considering/evaluating a few other distros as possibilities to ship with the PicoPC range, including gOS"

Novell Ships First Real-Time SUSE Linux

Novell is shipping the first real-time SUSE Linux enterprise data center operating system, SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10. SLERT is the high-end—and significantly higher-priced—version of Novell's open-source real-time operating system for running high-performance, time-sensitive data center applications. A key difference between SLERT and the regular SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 is that SLERT allows pre-designated mission-critical business applications full I/O priority at all times, something regular SLES can't do.

Nigerian Patent Infringement Lawsuit: Scam or Shame?

Now I'm not quite sure what to make of this at the moment but a United States-based Nigerian-owned company has sued OLPC for an alleged patent infringement about multilingual keyboard technology. As MarketWire.com puts it: "The patent infringement lawsuit was filed on November 22nd, 2007 as a result of OLPC's willful infringement of LANCOR's Nigeria Registered Design Patent # RD8489 and illegal reverse engineering of its keyboard driver source codes for use in the XO Laptops."

Desktop Linux trio offers look at what's to come

With Windows Vista turning fewer heads than XP SP3, and Apple's Leopard exhibiting spotty security, companies and individuals would do well to ask themselves whether 'tis the season of desktop Linux. With the fall release of three of the most popular leading-edge Linux-based operating systems—OpenSUSE 10.3, Ubuntu 7.10 and Fedora 8—behind us, the case for running Linux on mainstream desktops is stronger than ever. However, plenty of integration work remains to be done.

Open Source ERP Grows Up

  • internet.com; By Sean Michael Kerner (Posted by Sander_Marechal on Nov 29, 2007 12:50 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups:
For Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to be accepted by IT, it needs to be very stable and reliable -- after all, in a very literal sense, ERP software runs businesses. After eight years of development and over a million downloads, the open source Compiere ERP has proven that it fits the bill for many. Next week, Compiere is set to release a major update to its namesake ERP software as well as a reorganization of its commercial support offerings. All told, the effort amounts to a new push from the open source vendor to capture a bigger slice of the multi-billion dollar ERP market.

Fresno Unified officials buy 1,000 wireless laptops that will fit on students' desktops

For nearly a year, Fresno Unified school officials searched for a laptop that wouldn't clutter a student's desk. Thursday, school officials said they purchased 1,000 wireless laptops that fit on a desk alongside textbooks and notebooks, as well as give students the opportunity to build a digital portfolio of essays, drawings and other creations. Fresno Unified hopes the laptops will help students increase test scores through the ability to research information on the Internet, as well as halt five years of declining enrollment by enticing parents to send their children to the district's schools.

eCos real-time OS makes short work of building a SAN appliance

Compellent has been shipping its SAN appliances to small to medium-sized companies for three years, growing from $4 million in annual sales to more than $23 million last year. Part of the reason for that growth, says cofounder John Guider, is that Compellent executives have recognized the value of making an open source operating system one of the building blocks of the company's SAN offerings.

Microsoft FUDwatch: Windows vs. Linux security

It's been at least a week since the last bout of Microsoft FUD hit the wires, so I guess it was time for a new wave. Today's FUD comes from an article Microsoft released on how its security compares with that of Linux. It should come as no surprise that Windows comes off as the Second Coming while Linux is left on the wrong side of Acheron. It's amusing to watch Microsoft attempt to claim the moral high ground with security.

OLPC XO vs. Asus Eee PC 701

  • Laptop Magazine; By Michael A. Prospero (Posted by Sander_Marechal on Nov 28, 2007 9:01 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups:
Two highly touted, kid-friendly, low-priced laptops slug it out to become king of the ultraportables. While it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison (the XO and the Eee PC are intended for two different markets, after all), there's enough similarities between the two to merit a head-to-head comparison. Here's how these two cheap but innovative portables stack up in seven categories.

What editor do you use?

Tim Bray recently posted the results of his Developer Tool Survey (although, I think it was really an editor/IDE survey). He asked Ruby and Rails developers about what kind of development they do (primarily Ruby or primarily Rails), and which editor/IDE they use.

Google's open source contest for youths

Building on the success of the its last three Summer of Code programmes, Google has announced the Google Highly Open Participation Contest geared for pre-university students.

Writer's Café: An IDE for writers

Legend has it that a Moleskine notebook and a pen were the tools of choice for Chatwin and Hemingway -- but that's because they didn't have Writer’s Café. Designed specifically for writing professionals, this application suite includes a few clever features that make it a must-have tool, whether you write for a living or for fun. Although the Writer's Café developers state that it's most suited for writing fiction, novels, and short stories, you can easily use it for all kinds of writing activities.

Kenyan anti-piracy drive boosts OSS use

Recent crackdowns in pirated software among Kenya internet cafes has seen a number of cafe owners opting for open source software to keep on the right side of the law and to avoid what are often prohibitively costly licence fees.

Linux Networking Cookbook at last!

Well here we go with book #2, the Linux Networking Cookbook. Hot off the presses, fresh from the oven, the baby is born!

Hash Suffix Array Delta Compression on Linux

  • IBM/alphaWorks (Posted by IdaAshley on Nov 28, 2007 4:15 PM EDT)
  • Groups: IBM, Linux
Previous differential compressions have the following drawback: They do not find the best matches for every offset of the version file. IBM Hash Suffix Array Delta Compression combines hash value and suffix array techniques to find the best match with respect to a certain level of detail and above a certain length threshold.

Finding the right distro for my ThinkPad T61

I am a long time Linux user (almost 10 years), but I do not consider myself an expert by any means. I guess I would consider myself a power user. I started with a floppy disk install of Slackware. From there I moved to RedHat, Mandrake, Vector, and SUSE.

Develop with Eclipse STP and Apache Tuscany

The Eclipse STP plug-in and Apache Tuscany simplify services development through the use of the popular Eclipse development environment. In this tutorial, you will see STP and Apache Tuscany in action, through the creation of an SCA Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) service. Also learn how to configure an Eclipse RCP application to consume a Web service hosted in IBM WAS v6.0.2.

Putting Linux in Perspective

While I was cleaning up my office I ran into the March 1986 issue of UNIX/WORLD, a long-since deceased magazine. I had saved this particular magazine because I am the author of the article featured on the cover: The Unix System on the IBM PC.

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