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For the past month I've been bulding and playing with Leonard'paniq' Ritter'sAldrin, a music production system that combines a tracker-style composition interface with audio synthesis and processing modules called machines. Users of the famousBuzz music software will probably recognize Aldrin's design at once. In fact, it may be fair to describe Aldrin as Leonard Ritter's interpretation of the original Buzz.For my last blog entry in 2006 I'll take a brief look at the latest public version of Aldrin, then we'll discover just what makes its creator tick in a rather lengthy interview with Leonard Ritter himself. Leonard is a thoughtful and articulate fellow, I hope you enjoy his responses as much as I did.
The Ubuntu developers are in the process of deciding whether to enable binary-only drivers by default in their installation process, under certain limited circumstances. This decision process has prompted the latest wave in a conversation that's nearly as old as Linux itself. Some see this step as a compromise on the principles of freedom, and point out the numerous practical problems with binary drivers: lack of portability, dependence on the vendor to fix security flaws, dependence on the vendor to continue supporting your hardware, etc. Others take a pragmatic perspective, draw the line that Ubuntu will not cross, or point out that Ubuntu developers also care about the principles of freedom and intend to educate their users on the reasons for choosing open source drivers and hardware vendors that offer open source drivers.
Trolltech has released their “Greenphone” which is a phone that runs open source Linux. This phone includes developer tools to increase the phone’s capabilities, along with VMWare software. Using Mini SD and USB ports, this phone has huge potential, hardware wise.
An opinion about the current state of Microsoft Windows and the choices we may consider to have a better experience from the risen power of Free and Open Source Software.
German software vendor SoftMaker last week released SoftMaker Office 2006 for Linux and FreeBSD, an alternative office suite to OpenOffice.org, KOffice, and GNOME Office. SoftMaker Office 2006 is claimed to read and write all Microsoft Word and Excel files with a high level of compatibility.
[Not only is SoftMaker Office not gratis, it ain't even libre. I don't mind paying the $70 - but not if it isn't libre. - dcparris]
Windows Vista provides two entirely new features to manage windows using Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D. Linux is already using this technology. 3D-Desktop is an OpenGL program for switching virtual desktops in a seamless 3-dimensional manner on Linux. The current desktop is mapped into a full screen 3D environment where you may choose other screens.
A new stable release of B2D Linux, a Taiwanese live CD desktop distribution based on Knoppix, was released this week, featuring a 2.6.18 kernel and the KDE desktop environment. B2D is developed in Taiwan, with user environment and read/write support for traditional Chinese only.
Well, 2007 is nearly upon us, which means that a lot of people are looking back on last year. The Ruby community is no exception. Why the Luck Stiff has posted the grandaddy ofRuby 2006 retrospectives. But wait, there's more— there are a growing number of local retrospectives as well. I've posted the ones I know about here, and will add more as I find them:
Kochi, Dec 29: A three-day national workshop on Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in Science will be held at the Union Christian College at Aluva, near here, from January 4.
Imagine being able torelate to vendors -- productively, on mutually agreeable terms -- rather than just paying them money for whatever they're selling, and occasionally giving them"feedback" through surveys that aggregate our"input" inside some impersonal"customer relationship management" (CRM) system. That's the idea behind VRM, or Vendor Relationship Management. It's the reciprocal of CRM: a toolset for independence and engagement. That is, of independencefrom vendors and engagementwith vendors.VRM is also a development effort --ProjectVRM -- that we've started at theBerkman Center for Internet and Society. There are no VRM tools yet, so we're starting with a blank slate. We've begun filling that in with a wiki and a mailing list, both open. Find them throughProjectVRM.org.
Here's a nice howto
on using mod_rewrite under Apache and Lighttpd for temporary site outages. This tip will help you to disable a site for maintenance using mod_rewrite without redirecting url. Both Lighttpd and Apache webserver allows you to send this message to client using server side rewriting using mod_rewrite and php. This is useful if you are running popular database driven community or e-commerce website. Error 503 informs search engine that site is temporary out of service. A good idea if your websites is heavily depends upon search engine for selling products and services.
I was looking at my traffic log today and noticed Firefox showing up alot.
[Matheteuo.org (not a blog) has always had a strong Firefox and GNU/Linux showing, primarily because of the organization's involvement in the FOSS community. In fact, MSIE accounts for less than 15% of traffic in recent stats. What's happening at your blog? - dcparris]
Books are usually reviewed separately, however both of these publications are inexorably linked as study and lab texts for Cisco's Netacademy WAN Technologies course (part 4 of the CCNA Network Academy curriculum). Of course, they are meant to be used in concert with the online content but can also be independent of it and thus can be said to "stand alone". Still, there are two different authors involved and information is presented differently. What if one book is excellent but the other...well...isnt? Here's where we find out.
Mozilla, Adobe, and Novell made some major news in desktop Linux this year, and smaller developers introduced interesting innovations. But on the whole, 2006 was just about as memorable for what didn't happen on the Linux desktop as what did happen, with interoperability issues of various sorts playing big roles on both sides of that stage.
With Linux running on iPods for a few years now, it would seem that it was only a matter of time before someone got a version of the operating system up and running on Microsoft's Zune, especially given the fact that the player's Freescale iMX31L processor can already handle the OS.
I've seen spreadsheets that are basically interactive tutorials, and many more loaded with what Edward Tufte refers to as"chartjunk" -- embellishments that do nothing to make the presentation of information more effective. Yet, generally, spreadsheets are treated pragmatically. Certainly, few people worry about their layout than the layout of text documents. Still, even if you share this attitude, learning the basic formatting options for cells in OpenOffice.org Calc can be worth your time. Many of the options directly effect how you interact with spreadsheets, and even the purely visual ones can make your lists and calculations easier to read at a glance.
While I stand by my glowing review of Xubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft), I have yet to find any release of any Linux distribution which was free of bugs or quirky behavior. The latest releases of the Ubuntu family of distributions are no different.
I admit it. I've always discounted Red Hat a little bit-- like the kid down the street you have fixed in your mind as perpetually 10 years old. Until he looks you in the eye and says 'Hello' in a baritone.
Since SGI's bankruptcy and many changes for most Unix vendors, many media outfits have been playing the "Unix is dead" card pretty heavily.
The open-source movement isn't limited to computers. The "code" for a good brew is making the rounds. Marketplace strong-armed reporter Ethan Lindsey into tracking down the source.
[Boy, this really messes with the whole "it's not free as in free beer" thing. - dcparris]
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