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Recognizing the value of the IT performance review

An often neglected aspect of IT management is the performance review. Many IT mangers seem to find preparing and delivering performance reviews an onerous task, and therefore doing reviews often becomes a perfunctory exercise, or they are skipped altogether. Managers who do not take performance reviews seriously, or worse yet, fail to deliver any, are remiss. Here's why it's important.

Datastor Releases NAS-1000 For Linux

DataStor Technology, a professional PC peripheral ODM/OEM provider located in Taiwan, has announced a series of storage related Consumer Electronics product lines for the upcoming 2006 CES (Consumer Electronics Show), focusing on the home user market, the solutions varies from networking storage (NAS) to portable media storage gadgets (Hard disk external enclosure with MP3 function).

Methods for running Linux on a Windows PC

  • Linuxblogger; By larrydag (Posted by bstadil on Dec 25, 2005 3:38 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
There can be many methods getting Linux to run on a Windows box. I would always encourage to make the total switch to Linux but there can be good reasons to keep your Windows box intact. An employer may give you a laptop loaded with Windows to use for work. You may really enjoy PC gaming and all of the latest good games still require Windows. Maybe you need to perform data recovery for someone on their Windows PC that will not boot.

An Unsung Hero: The Hardworking ELF

  • IBM Developerworks; By Peter Seebach (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 25, 2005 11:28 AM EDT)
The Executable and Linking Format is a standard for object modules, libraries, executables, and core files. Many UNIX and UNIX-like systems use ELF, and the ELF standard has contributed substantially to the development of compiler toolchains and debugging tools for a variety of systems. Peter Seebach looks at the history of the ELF specification and why it's been so useful.

Ho ho ho.. Linux 2.6.15-rc7

A Christmas message from the Linux Kernel Mailing List, by Linus Torvalds) -- Now, most of you are probably going to be totally bored out of your minds on Christmas day, and here's the perfect distraction. Test 2.6.15-rc7. All the stores will be closed, and there's really nothing better to do in between meals.

Amarok 1.3 Reviews

It seems to be review time for Amarok. The Amarok team is thrilled to see Amarok way ahead of the pack in a recent Grumpy Editor review on, in which the author describes the best and worst features of four popular Free Software audio players.

Mozilla Foundation wants you to make a Firefox advertisement

The Mozilla Foundation has initiated phase two of its user-created advertising campaign. When Firefox 1.5 was released last month, the Mozilla Foundation started a contest, promising nifty prizes to the Firefox users that submit the best homemade 30-second Firefox advertisements. In addition to the advertising contest, the Firefox Flicks campaign also promised gift certificates and cool Firefox swag from the Mozilla store to users and developers that submit the most creative testimonial videos. The Mozilla foundation invites enthusiasts to participate:

Quoting: Last year at Spread Firefox we launched community marketing into the mainstream with written testimonials. This year we're taking it "live" with video testimonials and ads. From the casual user to the creative professional, Firefox Flicks is your opportunity to speak out for Firefox and express yourself in front of a worldwide audience.

[ED: I know it's probably a near duplicate, but I always liked ars technica and on a day when even the 24 hour grocery chains are closed the question becomes: "What are you doing here?". In any case, the best to all whatever you are celebrating this time of year - HC]

Open-source alternative to iTunes?

If digital-music veteran Rob Lord wanted to court controversy with his new open-source start-up, he probably couldn't have done much better than to compare Apple Computer's iTunes software to Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser.

Lord's new five-person company, the ambitiously named Pioneers of the Inevitable, is building a piece of digital-music software called "Songbird," based on much of the same underlying open-source technology as the Firefox Web browser.

[ED: Personally I am not a fan of mp3 nor of Apple iPods or music offerings. However, I have three kids running around carrying one version or another. Let's see if a bit of real competition makes Jobs compete harder - HC]

Nessus 3.0 Closes the Book on Open Source

Though this has been mentioned several times recently, Nessus 3.0 is out and its closed source.

Tenable's Nessus license flip flop has raised the ire of many in the open source community and has even led to a fork of the project that is backed by an influential community based open source organization, Software in the Public Interest (SPI).

[ED: Here even in the worst case, GPL tops most OSS due to the certainty that if the interest exists the last free version with be the basis of a new product line - HC]

Free Christmas music for your MP3 player courtesy of NORAD

  • MacDevCenter; By Todd Ogasawara (Posted by tadelste on Dec 24, 2005 6:29 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Looking for some Christmas music to put on your iPod or MP3 player? Head over to NORAD Tracks Santa 2005 to download free MP3 music files performed by United States Air Force Academy Band and Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific of the Canadian Navy from Esquimalt, British Columbia. Happy Holi(Pod)days!

Use Your Photo Skills for Last Minute Gifts

  • MacDevCenter; By Derrick Story (Posted by tadelste on Dec 24, 2005 5:32 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Your skills as a digital photographer can pay off hours before a holiday event. I've just published five last minute gift ideas on The Digital Story site.

My favorite of the bunch? "Gift Certificate for Family Portrait" -- Here's a sure-fire way to score points with the relatives. Whip up a quick gift certificate for a family portrait taken by you. You can promise a few prints plus the images on CD. If you have an extra 8" x 10" picture frame around, you can mount the certificate in there with a note: Your Family Portrait Here!

Nvidia 1.0-8178 Linux Display Drivers Analysis

On December 5, a mere seventeen days ago, Linux gamers and enthusiasts were greeted by NVIDIA's Rel80 display driver launch for Linux. In the 1.0-8174 release was initial support for NVIDIA Scalable Link Interface (SLI) as well as the new nvidia-xconfig utility, similar to ATI's aticonfig tool they had unveiled months prior.

Start-ups Challenge Red Hat, Novell

Linux pundits see that, on the strength of revenues, Red Hat is clearly the leader in North America while SuSE has some strength in Europe. But this competition is not happening in a vacuum. Both are fighting in Asia where there are other competitors such as TurboLinux and Red Flag, which comes from China.

Ruby off the Rails

Get to know Ruby before you hop on (or off) the Rails bandwagon

Ruby on Rails is just one facet of what makes Ruby great, just like EJB is only part of the Java enterprise platform. Andrew Glover digs beneath the hype for a look at what Java developers can do with Ruby, all by itself. Ruby's syntax is quite different from that of the Java language, but it's amazingly easy to pick up. Moreover, some things are just plain easier to do in Ruby than they are in the Java language.

[ED: Title seems to be a misnomer, seems mostly positive take on Ruby from my quick scan - HC]

Do LUGs still matter?

Commentary -- There is no question that LUGs -- Linux User Groups -- have been important to the rapid growth and adoption of Linux. In the early years, a typical LUG brought together early adopters from every walk of life who had a missionary zeal for Linux. Today, most members are IT professionals. Given that, I wonder, do LUGs matter any longer?

Three mobile technologies you probably won't see in 2006

  • (Posted by tadelste on Dec 24, 2005 9:37 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
ABI Research has published a prediction of technologies it says are unlikely to achieve widespread adoption in 2006. Three key mobile technologies you probably won't see next year, according to ABI, are: broadcast mobile video, 100 Mbps WiFi, and high-speed cellular data transfer.

GR: Declassification of debian-private, Second call for votes

  • Mailing list; By Debian Project Secretary (Posted by tadelste on Dec 24, 2005 8:39 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter; Groups: Debian, GNU

Happy holidays, to those who are celebrating them.

Votinge period starts 00:00:01 UTC on December 18th, 2005. Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC on December 31st, 2005.

Editing WMA files with Audacity

Audacity is a fine open source audio editor, but it cannot currently edit Windows Media Audio (WMA) files. There's nothing open about either the API or the codec for the Windows Media Audio format, so the Audacity Developer Team is taking its time before attempting to incorporate direct import, editing, and export of these files. But if you have WMA files you need to edit with more precision than Microsoft's tools allow, Audacity can still help.

Mozilla: a development platform under the hood of your browser

  • Free Software Magazine; By Davide Carboni (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 24, 2005 5:58 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Mozilla
Should Java programmers migrate to it? This article compares two development platforms: Java and Mozilla. The object of this comparison is not to establish which one is best, but rather to measure the maturity, the advantages, and the disadvantages of Mozilla as a platform from the point of view of a Java programmer (as I am).

IBM gets closer to Linux partners, if that's possible

As if it were not committed to Linux enough already, IBM last week elevated its relationships with two key Linux vendors to the highest level of partnership status that Big Blue offers.

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