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Minutes of the Staff Meeting of Monday 9th January 2006

The minutes of the staff meeting held on Monday 9th January 2006 are now online. Issues discussed include Firefox release schedule, Thunderbird 1.5 release and Marketing.

CyberLink PowerCinema Linux Delivers Home Entertainment Experience

CyberLink launched PowerCinema Linux, providing an easy means of converting the Linux PC into a feature-rich TV entertainment center ideally suited for PC vendors targeting the CE market.

Microsoft Lures Notes Users

Microsoft last week unveiled new and updated tools for migrating from IBM Lotus Notes/Domino collaboration applications to Microsoft Exchange. With IBM's Lotusphere 2006 conference in Orlando, Fla., this week, the timing seems more than coincidental.

Making move from Windows to Linux

With the recent security issues facing Windows users, it's time to start seriously considering alternatives to Microsoft's software.

Setting Up a Portable Office on USB

  •; By anonymous (Posted by VISITOR on Jan 22, 2006 11:30 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
Whether you like Windows or not, sometimes it is just the only option available. When a situation like this arises, it pays to be prepared. This guide goes over setting up a USB flash drive with a number of programs which can run directly from the drive. This means you can access programs like Firefox, OpenOffice, and Thunderbird, with your settings and favorites, and feel right at home on any system in a matter of seconds.

Free for all

How do you react when database majors put profits on the back burner and start giving away their flagship RDBMS for free? Kumar Dawada goes behind the scenes and attempts to find method to the seeming madness.

[Ed: I disagree with the final analysis - "However, the open source industry does not have the finance or resources to sustain a prolonged and aggressive competition." The author has a limited and/or skewed understanding of the libre software development model. MySQL AB may go out of business, while the MySQL database continues to flourish. - dcparris]

Is there an open source community?

  • Builder AU; By Dana Blankenhorn (a psuedonymn) (Posted by tadelste on Jan 22, 2006 10:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Community
Over at O'Reilly John Mark Walker has produced a lovely history of the open source movement, one it's hard to take issue with, and which I encourage anyone not familiar with software history to read right away.

But his headline is deliberately provocative, and slightly misleading. The headline reads, There Is No Open Source Community.By this he means there is no single group or cabal driving open source. Bruce Perens, Linus Torvalds, and Richard Stallman don't hover over some kettle casting magic spells. The open source movement has no central point of direction at all. It's an economic movement, driven mainly by the Internet, which has pushed the value of programming down toward zero, and which continues to transform the world around us.

Bmc Software Virtualizer

  • CMPnetAsia; By Sean Doherty (Posted by tadelste on Jan 22, 2006 9:05 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: MySQL
Virtualizing servers with VMware or Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 in the enterprise can reduce hardware costs, but does little to decrease the time and labor needed to set up redundant, scalable systems. In short, virtualization lacks automation. BMC Software aims to remedy that with Virtualizer 2.4, a policy-based automation tool that provisions servers, applications and storage on demand.

I tested Virtualizer in our Syracuse University Real-World Labs®, installing it on a Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server 4. I also implemented Virtualizer Service Agents on virtual machines (VMs) running on VMware ESX Server 2.5.2 and a conventional Intel PIII server (dual 1,400-MHz processors) with 1,024 MB of RAM running Microsoft Windows 2003. Virtualizer scaled out new servers and other enterprise resources on demand. However, it didn't create new virtual machines on the fly. I'll have to wait for the next version for that.

RPM Rollback in Fedora Core 4/5

Fedora's yum/rpm system includes a little-known capability: it can rollback a system to a previously-installed state.

IT Professionals Don't Buy Microsoft Research & Development Hype

  LXer Feature: 16-Jan-06

Experienced IT professionals don't buy the Microsoft hype about their R&D investments. GNU/Linux vendors can use Microsoft's questionable selling point to contrast Microsoft's investment in solving perceived problems with the libre software world's investment in solving actual problems.

Dell in Jeopardy with their Red Hat and Oracle Partnership

Ed Scannell of VarBusiness published an scathing article called Cracking Dell's Code last week. He wrote: "Shifting market conditions, poor business decisions and lagging technology are creating fissures in the direct-sales giant--and creating opportunities for solution providers." Two days later Oracle and Sun announced the renewal of their partnership. We believe Dell's luke warm commitment to Linux may make them the first casualty of the open source wave.

Also consider that Dell sold a total of 5 servers priced over $25,000 in the third quarter while HP and IBM sold thousands.

Wasted Efforts in F/OSS – Office Suites

This is the first of at least a two part series. I say that because I hold a stronger opinion today than when I first began formulating this premise. Initially, I had'nt thought out all the implications and due to the interactive nature of this format, I expect further ideas to arise.

Oddly enough, for this one instance I see a modicum of truth in one insult Microsoft throws at Linux. And that's what we'll explore together. Please don't take the polite wording of this editorial as an indication of any uncertainty on my part regarding the premise I will present. The politeness exists only because those involved seem so talented. It caused me some difficulty understanding how they arrived at the point they did.

Read on and feel free to comment with vigor as this conclusion or its consequences is not one to take lightly. Furthermore, the next part may seem quite disturbing.

Linux not standing in wait as Microsoft sinks its own ship

  •; By Tom Adelstein, Editor in Chief (Posted by tadelste on Jan 22, 2006 10:11 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: LXer Features

With the traditional Microsoft news media turning their collective ear to the rest of the industry, you have to suspect a changing of the guard. But Linux companies don't seem to guage their efforts by what the industry says about Microsoft. Linux just keeps chugging along.

So what does the Industry have to say about Microsoft? They say that though many people will swear by the invincibility of Microsoft's ship, it hasn't maneuvered all the icebergs. Collectively, the competition has started ringing up wins. With alternatives in Linux, FireFox, and Apple the Microsoft floating casino has begun to list and sway. Here's how and some of it might surprise you.

What Technology Will Be Like in 2001

  • COMPUTE! ISSUE 113 / OCTOBER 1989 / PAGE 20; By Jeff Sloan (Posted by tadelste on Jan 22, 2006 8:19 AM EDT)
...according to a 1989 Compute! Magazine article: scan the custom newspaper that spills from your fax; capture segments of a show you like and put them in a video report for school for $1,000; ISDN will simultaneously transmit voice, video, and computer data. You'll talk to your TV set, and it'll customize itself...

[Ed.- Interesting reading. -tadelste]

Review: MediaReady Flyboy

The MediaReady Flyboy is a Linux-based portable media player. It handles video, MP3s, pictures, and doubles as a portable data story device. On paper, it sounds pretty good. In practice, after a few weeks of playing with the Flyboy, I'm not convinced that it's worth the price tag.

Stung by BSA: Council snubs Microsoft by switching to open-source software

Three years ago, the council paid Microsoft R3 million in an out-of-court settlement. The company had demanded R8 million from the metro for the council's computers to be granted full compliance status. As many as 1 000 of the council's computers had been found to be unlicenced. No licence fees will have to be paid for the new programmes.

Enlightenment DR17 on Fedora Core 4

The last time I gave Enlightenment a try was almost a year ago when I was using Fedora Core 3. Before that, I used Enlightenment sometime back in 1999 since Enlightenment was the desktop of choice for Linux. Today, I decided to give it a try and find out what has been done since then. All I can say is just wow! It has come a long way with major changes within the development release itself. Explaining what DR17 is about is beyond the scope of this post, this is like what you get when you put composite + gnome + fancy desktop on steroids.

Rolling your own Debian packages (part 1)

  • Debian Administration; By Bruno De Fraine (Posted by tadelste on Jan 22, 2006 5:12 AM EDT)
This two-part article explains how to make a Debian package of simple piece of software, presumably something you have written yourself. Although building a new package is more complex than rebuilding one or having one generated, the idea is that it is actually surprisingly simple to create basic Debian packages. In fact, if you can make software install into a temporary installation tree, you're already 90% done! This text provides a quick alternative to the more comprehensive Debian New Maintainers' Guide. Only knowledge of Makefiles and the basic Debian package tools is assumed.

MythTV 0.19 and Official Wiki

An official MythTV wiki has been created to form a central knowledgebase on all things Myth. P.S. Good news for the open source PVR based community. It looks like mythtv 0.19 will be released in the next few weeks:

Media Bridge for Gizmos powered by Linux

The first media bridge for gizmos such as PMPs, PSPs, Digital Cameras, Cell Phones and iPods that will free gizmo users from having to use computers to transfer media files is being released by Unicon Systems. Wired transfers can be made using MCopy and MBridge will allow users to transfer files wirelessly.

Both devices run off Unicon System’s Linux kernel and supports a variety of filesystems supporting USB devices. The platform’s windowing system uses Microwindows Nano-X server which includes a full-screen graphical filemanager, a web server, mysql, php, webdav and xml/rdf libraries.

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