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Making My Grandparents Leet Linux Users - Part 3

I use some common Linux tools to remotely support my Grandparents’ PC. These tools are SSH and X11vnc. X11vnc lets me take over the display, and the VNC traffic is tunneled with SSH. They can be a bit of work to set up, but work beautifully.

Lesser Known Applications for Linux — Screenwriting

This is the third article in a series highlighting lesser known applications for Linux. These articles will be a bit Ubuntu-centric, but these applications should run nicely on your distribution of choice. This installment will review applications that aid in writing screenplays, plays, and novels. It varies somewhat from the previous two articles in that it does reference a couple of better known applications for Linux, although it discusses some of the lesser known ways to use them.

OpenEMR HQ Launches total EMR Solution

September 1, 2007 will see the official launch ofOpenEMR HQ, a solutions provider offering several"enterprise level" EMR solutions to small to mid-sized clinics. The service will offer both hosted and on-site installations of theOpenEMR electronic medical records software package and a pre-configured, semi-managed appliance called"EMR-RACK" which promises to offer clinics an easy and affordable way to implement OpenEMR. They will also provide customization, development, installation, support, and training services to clinics worldwide.

Who needs Windows Home Server with Linux around?

Is this a joke? I only recently started paying attention to Windows Home Server, since I tend to focus more on desktop operating systems and enterprise server systems. So I didn't realize until now that WHS is really just a vanilla file server. There's nothing wrong with being an ordinary file server for the home. After all, with many home users having multiple computers and gigabytes of music, photos and movies, it's well past time for homes to start having simple-to-use file servers. But, why pay extra for it?

Building UNIX Software from Source Code

If your UNIX system lacks a tool you need, chances are you can find an apt solution in the enormous inventory of software available online. This month, learn how to build software from source code. There are instances where the software you need is available but is not (yet) part of any repository. Given the predominance of package management, most software comes bundled in a form you can download and install using the package manager. However, because any number of versions and flavors of UNIX are available, it can be difficult to offer every application in each package manager format for each particular variation. If your UNIX installation is mainstream and enjoys a large, popular following, chances are better that you'll find the software prebuilt and ready to use. Otherwise, it's time to roll up your sleeves and prepare to build the software yourself.

Portage Overlays for Gentoo

Gentoo uses a unique package manager to distribute source code that is "compatible" with Gentoo. That is, it's optimized to work with Gentoo's basic system and correctly installs any needed components in the system that a vanilla version may not offer. It tracks dependencies for the packages, and will install all the needed packages when installing a package. When this system works, it's great. Oh, and it's called Portage.

Open Source Products Just Are Not As Good?

I hear the argument everyday. That somehow, any open source project must not be very good because it does not cost anything to use it. Well, allow me to poke some holes into that theory, generally made by people who have yet to ween themselves from closed source dependency. First off, not everything in the open source world is without a profit making system. Google and Mozilla for instance, have manged to do fairly well using open source licenses. They ‘give away’ their product or service, yet seem to manage to pay the bills somehow…

Cheese brings Photobooth functionality to Linux

Cheese is a relatively new open source webcam application for Linux that supports image and video capture and allows users to apply visual effects. Created by Daniel Siegel for Google's Summer of Code program, Cheese closely resembles a Mac OS X program called Photobooth. Cheese 0.2.1 was released yesterday with some nice new features like a countdown timer and support for saving pictures to Flickr.

My Tongue-Lashing from Eben Moglen

It created a bit of a stir at the O'Reilly Radar Executive Briefing on Open Source a few weeks ago when Eben Moglen, who'd been invited to speak with me about free software licensing in the era of Web 2.0, chose instead to take me to task for talking about open source rather than free software for the past ten years, and for "wasting time promoting commercial products." A number of people asked to see the video from the session. Even though we hadn't planned to release the video from the executive briefing, we were able to get a copy.

Debian Lenny & initng

Yesterday I installed Debian Lenny on one of my workstations to give it a try. Ever since I tried Ubuntu I've been in love with it, but you all know how love can be blinding ;) So trying a new distribution every now and then is a good idea. Ubuntu is based on Debian, so I wanted to see where the latest version of Debian differed from the latest Ubuntu release. The second part of this posting is about initng, the next generation init system.

Linux at the workplace: What users think

Several colleagues of mine now also use Linux as their primary work desktop. In fact, we now have about a 50/50 split between (K)Ubuntu and XP users in our office. I wanted to get their views on why they use Linux and if they are happy with it. Hopefully the answers will be useful to others considering Linux. I asked everyone the same set of questions. So without further ado, here are their thoughts.

Video Editing Options for Linux

We know our video editing applications for Windows (read Adobe Premiere, AVID, Ulead Video studio etc) and Mac (Final Cut Pro!), but what about video editing on a Linux powered system? Well here's a list of video editing applications for your Linux PC. A look at Kdenlive, Open Movie Editor, Blender, Cinelerra and PiTIVi.

PCLinuxOS gaining more popularity than Ubuntu?

This may not be as absurd a claim as you may think, especially when you take into consideration the minor backlash that Ubuntu has experienced. So is PCLinuxOS the next poster-child of usable Linux? It's only natural that something that gains a massive amount of popularity in a relatively short period of time receives some criticism.

Microsoft vs. Google – the open source shame

Somebody toss me a Che Guevara T-shirt. Google and Microsoft have gone to war over open source software. On Aug. 10, Redmond submitted the Microsoft Permissive License to the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Should the license be approved, Microsoft would receive the "open source" seal of approval that only the OSI – by self-proclamation – can okay. Of course, one could argue that Microsoft – once blessed with the open source label – will only abuse its status. The company could claim to be a huge open source supporter, derailing critics' arguments by displaying nothing more than the OSI logo when needed. Chris DiBona, Google's open source manager, seems to fall into this cynical camp.

Let your RSS feed speak to you

This article shows you VoiceXML applications, built on a number of different solutions to generate the VXML required to listen to an RSS feed. You'll start with a simple XSL transform and then move to more advanced Perl- and Java-based solutions to generate the output. Learn how to use the interactivity in the VXML and dynamic scripts together to produce quite complicated voice-based applications with relative ease.

Balancing simplicity with complexity

A top ten complaint that we have received is directed at our user interface. Many people feel like the current interface doesn’t address their exact needs. The organization is not “intuitive”; the colors are not pleasing; there is no simple way to navigate “exactly” where you want, exactly when you want. We went back to the drawing board with OpenedHand — lead by their vast experience with GTK+, Matchbox, and mobile user interfaces — and redesigned an incredibly promising new interface. Today I’m extremely excited to announce that everyone can find this, right now, in our subversion repository, under the name OM-2007.2.

GNOME 2.20.0 UI Preview

Last week marked the release of the first GNOME 2.20.0 beta, which also defined the user interface freeze for GNOME 2.20.0. With the UI freeze we have taken some screenshots from GNOME 2.19.90 for your viewing pleasure of the subtle changes. GNOME 2.20.0 Beta 2 (2.19.91) is due out at the end of this month with the release candidate falling in early September followed by the final release of GNOME 2.20.0 on September 19.

Why XSserver 1.4 won't make it into Ubuntu Gutsy

If everything goes well, Ubuntu 7.10, Gutsy Gibbon, the next community version of the popular Linux distribution, will appear in October. It will not, however, include the latest and greatest X window server and utilities: Xserver 1.4 and X.Org 7.3. The reason for this, as Bryce Harrington, a Canonical developer who works on Ubuntu's X windowing system, explained is that at a developer's meeting on August 16th, the Ubuntu programmers decided to "opt for leaving xserver 1.4 for Gutsy+1.

Tighter budgets mean more Open Source

I just read two really interesting articles (Giving proprietary vendors a run for their money & Could Linux become the dominant OS?). These articles and a discussion I had yesterday about budget constraints for the next calendar year makes me think that Open Source Software (OSS) is on the verge of becoming mainstream over the next few years. I have already seen the statistics where 51% of companies are using OSS in mission critical applications. This is starting to look very similar to the days where everyone was fleeing the mainframe for client server technology. The client server craze was driven by lower cost and greater flexibility. Does that sound familiar?

Pain-free disk space management with LVM

Managing disk space used to be a royal pain for admins and users. Running out of disk space often meant reinstalling Linux or spending a few hours with tools like Parted to resize partitions. However, using the Logical Volume Manager (LVM) tools, you can grow, shrink, and manage disk space with very little hassle.

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