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Etch-based MEPIS 7.0 beta ISOs arrive

MEPIS founder Warren Woodford today launched "the first official beta" of the upcoming v7.0 release of SimplyMEPIS Linux. According to Woodford, "version 6.9.60beta1" is based on a Debian Etch core combined with up-to-date user applications that are recompiled by MEPIS from upstream Debian and Ubuntu sources. Although this Beta 1 release is based on the KDE 3.5.7 desktop environment, Woodford plans to eventually incorporate KDE 4.0 into MEPIS 7, and released test ISOs for a KDE 4.0-based MEPIS 7 on Aug. 10.

Microsoft aims for single-sign on, again

Microsoft is pushing for other developers to use its Windows Live ID system in the hopes of making Live ID a single sign on for multiple Web sites. To that end, it published a software development kit for Windows Live ID. The SDK is available for programming in an assortment of languages, includes sample programs. The resulting code and the SDK runs on Linux, in addition to various flavors of Windows.

[So, Microsoft is giving up on platform lock-in and aiming for SaaS lock-in?—Sander]

Maybe I’m a geek

For the past couple of weeks, I have been setting up my new laptop. It’s a challenge, since a number of items – the wireless card, the LightScribe capacity on the DVD drive, the webcam and the modem – are not supported straight off the CD with GNU/Linux. I’m frustrated that I don’t have the time to sit down and focus on each of these puzzles. However, I find that after eight years of using GNU/Linux, my attitude to these puzzles has changed.

The subtle stories behind piracy

Dave Gutteridge just wrote a rather nerdy, rambling but interesting article called Windows Is Free in which he explains that the choice between Linux and Windows is effectively a choice between two free products. I have noticed the same thing with other software companies. There is a phase in the life of any piece of software where piracy threatens its existence. It’s not during the earlier stages when a program needs, above all, to be taken up by as many people as possible. Once a program is dominating the market, piracy helps again; this time it works to suppress any competition. It’s in the middle stages, when a company needs extra revenue to grow and develop its product and support new users, that piracy can do the most damage.

Euro embedded Linux devcon solicits papers

Prospective speakers and presenters at the first-ever Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) European Conference now have until Aug. 31 to submit proposals. Set for Nov. 2-3 in Linz, Austria, the event will be held in conjunction with the 9th Real-Time Linux Workshop. The deadline for proposing presentations, demos, and birds-of-a-feather (BOF) sessions is Aug. 31.

Dead CMOS battery? Network Time Protocol to the rescue

Every time I boot the $15 Laptop, I want to party like it's 1999, because that's the year it reverts to each and every time. I could set the system clock at the command line every session, but who wants to do that? I'd replace the battery, if I only knew how. I'd be $10 poorer, too. But there's really no need: Enter the Network Time Protocol.

Book review: bash Cookbook

One of the reasons I love cookbooks, of all kinds, is because cookbooks have a clarity and simplicity of purpose. Whether it’s a cookbook for code geeks or for food geeks, its raison d’etre is the same: the “cook” has a job to do, and not a lot of time to do it. If a home chef wants to whip up a nice dinner for guests, he don’t want to have to understand the entire history of French cooking; he just wants a simple, well-written recipe for coq au vin. Similarly, if a sysadmin wants to receive an hourly email with a list of zombie processes on the new test server down the hall, she probably wants to hack together a quick bash script, and she doesn’t want to read the collected works of Grady Booch to do it.

Google Health Prototype Speculations

eHealthNews.EU Portal made an attempt to underline the current Google Health Prototype speculations. In the recently published article you will be able to access the related web links to some official and non-official blogs. Google Health Product discussions have been again refreshed after several official and non-official Google Health Prototype related news articles.

Turn Apache into a collaborative authoring platform with mod_dav

Ever thought about how nice it would be if you could edit the files stored on your Web server directly without the cumbersome download-edit-upload routine? Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) is the way to do it. A WebDAV server works like a file server that uses HTTP as the underlying protocol. It facilitates collaborative editing and versioning. If you manage a Web server or an enterprise document management system, where different authors need to edit resources, WebDAV is a useful way of providing write access to them. You can use the Apache modules mod_dav and mod_dav_fs for basic WebDAV functionality, while a Subversion module for Apache, mod_dav_svn, provides versioning support.

Why 'Windows Is Free' doesn't cut it for me

One of the great, liberating things that comes with using GNU/Linux and other free, open-source software is the moral high ground. I don't think what Microsoft is doing is right -- abandoning old products so we'll all buy new ones every other year or so. Most respond by using pirated software, but it's better to reject the Microsoft model outright and use free, open-source applications as much as you can.

Linux: Volatile Superstition

"People who think'volatile' really matters are just fooling themselves," Linus Torvalds quipped during a lengthy discussion on the Linux Kernel mailing list. The thread began with a series of patches to"makeatomic_read() behave consistently across all architectures" which included"removing thevolatile keyword from allatomic_t andatomic64_t definitions that currently have it, and instead explicitly [casting] the variable asvolatile inatomic_read()."Earlier in the discussion Linus had suggested that while it didn't actually fix any bugs it did help hide bugs and make them less likely to be triggered.

"You Know Linux? Marry Me!" Doesn't Fly

Three times so far, I've had that aimed at me. There was also the time when a man much more than twice my age asked me to dinner after a brief computer-related conversation in a book store (note that I was jailbait). It gets old, and it gets old fast. I've heard from plenty of women before about the annoyances of men at tech events who think it appropriate to have a come on be the first (or one of the first) things they say to any lady there. So, this is for all the obnoxious straight men (and lesbians too, I suppose) at tech events: STOP IT! We don't come to these things to be hit on, I swear.

[I thought this would be appropriate to post, especially given the row over the Linux Journal Ad.—Sander]

Linux: Moving 4K Stacks Forward

In a series of 5 patches, Jesper Juhl propsed moving 4K stacks from a debug feature to a non-debug feature, defaulting it to be enabled in the -mm tree. He referred back to a lengthy earlier discussion in which he had proposed making 4K stacks the default in the mainline kernel, then added: "Based on the comments in that thread I conclude that 4KSTACKS are not really considered a debug-only feature any longer, but the time is not right (yet) to make them the default - and it's certainly not yet the time to get rid of 8K stacks."

If I Had A Hammer...

I've ask you to come to do more than dig through the closet and dust off the old Birkenstocks. I don't want you to gaze longingly at the old tie-dyed tshirts and bell bottom jeans....the black arm bands. I have no intention of asking you to gently rummage through the old peace signs and Army Field Jackets. No, I ask you to do something more meaningful. I want you to put them back on.

Embedded Linux stack, tools support TI DaVinci

A small Canadian company specializing in hardware/software reference designs for handheld Linux devices has introduced a Linux OS stack and software development kit for Texas Instruments's (TI's) DaVinci processors. Empower Technologies claims that its LDK6446 (LEOs development kit) includes the first available LCD touchscreen support for TI's DM6446 development board. The LDK6446 includes Empower's LEOs (Linux embedded OS) Linux implementation, together with a toolchain and software development kit.

Linux and Video Game Trends

Recent developments in Linux video games shows a stunning improvement in support, not only by a better library of games for the operating system, but also for games not intended for Linux. Linux may finally gain some publicity if the developers continue to improve not just the video games, but also for the applications needed by the games.

Deploying an Embedded Application with Apache Derby

  • IBM/DeveloperWorks; By Robert J. Brunner (Posted by IdaAshley on Aug 18, 2007 2:18 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: IBM
Learn how to build a self-contained, deployable embedded Apache Derby database application. In this article, the last one in this series, you map database tables into Java classes, write Data Access Objects (DAOs), and combine them with your business logic classes into a complete database application.

Book Review: PC Technician Street Smarts

  • UNIX Review; By Emmett Dulaney (Posted by tripwire45 on Aug 18, 2007 1:50 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews

There are very few who will disagree that the best way to learn something is to do it. The concept behind the Street Smarts series is simply that if you perform a task related to a certification exam objective, you will be far more capable and knowledgeable than if you simply read about it.

Battle Tanks is a blast

Finding an addictive computer game on a Friday evening can be dangerous. Instead of doing things you have been promising your wife, you spend the weekend in front of your computer playing the game and trying to explain that "this is for work." This is exactly what happened to me when I discovered Battle Tanks. Battle Tanks is an arcade-style game, where you drive a tank, pick up weapons, and blast enemies. While this doesn't sound like a particularly original concept, it's the implementation that makes the game so much fun to play.

Making My Grandparents Leet Linux Users - Part 1

It was time for a new computer for my Grandparents. Their ancient Windows 98 PC had become so slow that it was unusable. The replacement, an inexpensive Acer PC, came with Windows Vista preinstalled. It was up to me to set up the new computer and support it. So I decided to wipe out Vista with a Debian 4 base install and set up an easy to use environment for my Grandparents. In this multi-part series I will tell you about how I did it, starting with my reasons for choosing Linux over Vista.

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