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ClearHealth 2.2 PR1 Released

ClearHealth is happy to announce the release of ClearHealth 2.2-PR1 which is the first preview of the final 2.2 release. The real highlight of this release is support for PDF templates. Easily create fully custom forms and reports in Office or even on paper and load them into Adobe LiveCycle Designer, upload to ClearHealth and you're done (ClearHealth automatically creates the DB for forms with no programming necessary). There are several other new features and fixes in this release as well with the full release notes.

Extensions for OpenOffice.org Impress

Extensions have long been written for OpenOffice.org Writer. However, the fact that attention is finally being paid to other applications seems a sign that OpenOffice.org is finally starting to develop an active extension-writing community. A case in point is the recent availability of extensions for Impress, OpenOffice.org's slide show program. Extensions for Impress are still outnumbered four or five to one by those for Writer, but at least they are now being written. Just as importantly, they are filling important gaps in functionality, and encouraging uses for slide shows other than the standard presentation in work or education.

Hands on: What you need to run Linux

Some people who are new to Linux want to install the operating system on an older, second computer, to try it out and see how they get on. Others have older computers with obsolete operating systems (such as Windows 98 or Me), and don’t want to pay for a newer version of Windows, but would still like to make a use of the machine. Some may simply want a separate backup machine, one for a member of their family, or maybe just a file server. Consequently, the question of the minimum specifications to run Linux frequently comes up. So what type of hardware do you need? The answer depends on what you want to use the computer for, and which applications you intend to run. That being said, there are a few general guidelines for the most common cases.

Whatever Happened to Standards?

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has always been one of those iconic central points of reference in British life – a kind of Big Ben for standards. But it's a little hard to square that image – perhaps hopelessly outdated – with the BSI's recent decision to vote in favour of Microsoft's OOXML document standard.

BRM Blowback

Now that the OOXML vote is over, what can we learn, and what should happen next? It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the credibility and integrity of the formal standards development process has suffered serious damage as a result of what has just transpired. While that process may serve perfectly well under less contentious circumstances, reforms are obviously needed to address those exceptional circumstances in which greater protections are needed.

Lights Out 2008

Earth Hour aside, 2008 may mark the year of "lights out" for power hungry computers. The gPC sold at Wal*mart and the Asus Eee PC led the way, both running Linux of course. The trend began in 2007 when we were introduced to the Koolu PC: I test drove a Koolu at the Ontario Linux fest last year and I was impressed with its speed and graphics capability.

2.6.25-rc8,"No Cute April 1st Shenanigans"

"No cute April 1st shenanigans, just a regular -rc release that happened to come up today because I was waiting for the input layer oops-fixes to be ready and tested," began Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.25-rc8 kernel on April 1st. "The big thing that is actually *noticeable* to most people is that this should fix the two top regressions. The other thing that bit a number of people and is now fixed (and that also probably often showed up as a suspend/resume regression) was some 'struct device' lifetime changes that broke the input layer. Thanks to people who debugged that one."

Mozilla Weave Adds a Few Stitches

  • InternetNews.com; By Sean Michael Kerner (Posted by red5 on Apr 2, 2008 3:27 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Mozilla; Story Type: News Story
There is a new release of Mozilla Weave out this week, offering the promise of improved core synchronization and responsiveness. Mozilla Weave is an open source Mozilla Labs effort that debuted back in December of 2007 as an attempt to make Mozilla a platform play utilizing a Mozilla online services backend to store and synchronize data.

OOo Basic crash course: Creating a simple game using strings in a database

Just because OpenOffice.org Basic is designed to automate mundane tasks doesn't mean that you must use it only for serious work. It's a programming language after all, and nothing stops you from using it to write something fun. Today we'll use it write a simple game where you have to guess a word, a letter at a time, from among words you've stored in a Base database. Although this is not a particularly sophisticated game, it contains a couple of string manipulation techniques and a clever trick for picking a random record from a database, which you might find useful when writing your own macros.

PC deal could save public sector billions

A deal struck by government CIO John Suffolk and the Cabinet Office could save the public sector billions of pounds by supplying networked, supported PCs for around half the typical price. Suffolk said the Cabinet Office had cut the total cost of ownership for PCs by half, compared with the Gartner benchmark price of £2,000 per PC. The Gartner benchmark is widely used in the public and private sectors for pricing PCs. If just £100 a year were saved on every PC used by the UK's three to four million public servants, the annual savings would be at least £3bn over 10 years.

[Note that these PC's come with OpenOffice.org and not MS-Office. - Sander]

Time is right for Linux PCs to emerge

Prognosticators perennially say Linux is on the verge of gaining desktop traction, yet Linux PCs still represent less than 2 percent of the market. This time, though, there's actually evidence of momentum. While the best features in Vista require expensive top-notch configurations, one of the hottest segments of the industry involves inexpensive computers.

Richard Stallman, Live and Unplugged

It’s almost 8 PM on a Tuesday night, and the lecture hall here at Virginia Tech University is filled nearly to capacity. The students – many of them computer science majors – have come to hear Richard Stallman, the grand forefather of GNU/Linux. The crowd is chatty and seems in a good mood. The Web page advertising this event referred to Stallman as a “legend,” and surely he’s influenced software development. He launched the Free Software Foundation way back in 1985, and led the drafting of the most recent GPL. He tends to provoke strong opinions among admirers and detractors alike, but no matter: Stallman is a tireless Free Software promoter, and he always makes his opinion known.

Study predicts strong growth for mobile Linux

Linux represents 15 percent of the smartphone market, but that figure should grow considerably, says a market research report. The study, from Strategy Analytics, found that Motorola will continue to drive the growth for mobile Linux, along with Google. More than 25 million Linux-based cellphones have shipped to date, says Strategy Analytics. That figure represents 15 percent of the smartphone market, compared to Symbian's 50 percent and Windows Mobile's 18 percent.

Is Google Oppressing the AGPL?

Some people are suspicious about the growing power of Google - and some are downright upset. In the latter category we have bloggers Fabrizio Capobianco and Russell Beattie. They claim that Google is deliberately trying to slow the adoption of the Affero General Public License (AGPL) through not making it a choice for open source projects hosted by the Google Code public repository. Google in turn says they're just trying to combat license proliferation. Who's right in this he-said she-said argument?

One step forward: a review of GNOME 2.22

The latest release of the GNOME desktop environment includes a number of significant architectural enhancements and new applications that offer increased power and usability. Released after six months of intensive development, GNOME 2.22 will be included in Ubuntu 8.04 and Fedora 9, which are scheduled for release in April. This article will examine many of the new features and programs included in GNOME 2.22 and illuminate how the changes and improvements impact the overall user experience. We will also provide some insight into some of the new architectural features and demonstrate how they can be leveraged by third-party software developers.

Amanda 2.6 - A major new release of the Open Source Backup Software

Amanda is the most popular open source backup and recovery software in the world, protecting more than half a million servers and desktops running various versions of Linux, UNIX, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Amanda allows system administrators to set up a centralized backup server to back up multiple hosts to a tape- or disk-based storage system. Amanda development community espouses a relatively conservative development philosophy, which is a must-have feature for backup software! Amanda 2.6.0 was released on April 1st 2008 (no this is not a joke!). Amanda 2.6.0 represents a huge step forward in Amanda's evolution - improving ease of installation and configuration, security, and scalability. Furthermore, this release makes Amanda a platform to develop advanced backup and archiving applications and makes it easier for developers to contribute significant functionality.

Aastra XML, unleash the power of Asterisk and Aastra phones (includes video)

So you got a brand spanking new Aastra 5xi phone that you want to connect to your Asterisk PBX. Implementing XML on your phones opens up a whole world of possibilities. I'll show you how to do it. These have all been tested on my Aastra 57i phone. It should work on the 55i as well. I am not sure what will work on other phones. Some things will and some things won't. This should work on trixbox and pbxinaflash as well but I haven't tested it. I may create my own RPM but for now I will show you how to set it up manually so you can get a better idea what is going on.

Twitter Clients for Linux

I would venture to say that I’m enjoying my time spent on Twitter. I’ve been using it as sort of a micro-blog that lets me connect with friends I’ve made on this site and keep my pulse on the collective tech industry. One of the things I noticed when looking at the website was that some people were posting updates from desktop clients, instead of the usual channels of web, IM, or txt message. I found the Twitter “Fan Application” website and sure enough, there’s 12 different Linux apps for me to try out. I can send tweets from inside emacs? Sounds geeky enough for me to investigate! Let’s take a look at what we have available for Linux:

The World Sighs as ISO Becomes Irrelevant

From this point onwards, it is worth starting to argue in favour of ODF because of its merits rather than its ISO rubber stamp. Microsoft has single-handedly redefined the meaning and significance of ISO. It rendered ISO moot. The aggressive lobbying (and at times even well-documented bribery) has not gone unnoticed. It has gone well over the fine line and even involved bullying, smear campaigns, and libel.

School districts serve up lessons in Linux

Windows may boast the lion's share of the desktop education market, but the economic and technical benefits of open source software has seen many schools and education institutions implement various flavours of Linux across their desktops and server back-ends. In a two-part series, Computerworld investigates the role of Linux and open source software in education institutions in Australia and North America. In this, Part 1, the technology co-ordinator and network support technician from two large school districts in Canada and the US explain why Linux and other open source software is the plat du jour on their education menu. The institutions Computerworld spoke to are linked through School Forge, an open forum that unifies independent organisations that advocate, use, and develop open resources for education.

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