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Creating PDFs with PDFCreator

For many Windows users who want to create PDF files, Adobe Acrobat is overkill. Acrobat has more functions and features than they'll generally use, and with a price tag of $299 ($449 for the professional edition), Acrobat costs more than many people want to spend. Luckily, Windows users can create PDFs from any application using the GPL-licensed PDFCreator. Built on top of Ghostscript, a popular free PostScript interpreter, PDFCreator is fast and configurable. For most purposes, it's a great alternative to Acrobat.

[O.k., so it's for Windows. We all know many of you still have copies of Windows around. You've all 'fessed up before. So now you can at least use a Free Software program on your Windows box to create PDFs. ;-) - dcparris]

Open-source Guru Goes to Google

Novell’s Linux pact with Microsoft has cost it open-source guru Jeremy Allison, who left in protest to take a position at Google.

Pragmatic Questions about Binary-Only Drivers

The perpetual debate over the legality, practicality, and wisdom of using, distributing, producing, and supporting binary-only drivers flared up again recently, with a recent debate on the Linux Kernel Mailing List over the legality of binary-only drivers simmering down and Ubuntu company Canonical considering enabling binary drivers by default in the next release.

Wireless Wars Update

There's a comprehensive update of the long-raging Wireless Wars at the IEEE site right now, written by Greg Goth, and aptly titled This Little Standard Went to Market; This Little Standard Blew Up. Those wars, you may recall, have been raging for years. Most recently, attention has focused on a new and hotly-contested wireless personal area network standard intended not to replace WiFi, but to allow other types of devices - like stereo equipment - to be connected wirelessly.

LinuxBIOS: The Forgotten Hero

  •; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Dec 25, 2006 5:16 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Linux
Let's be honest here. When most of us think of open source and free software, we really aren’t thinking of something flashed to a BIOS ROM chip. And yet when it comes to the Linux BIOS project - that’s exactly what’s happening here.

Happy holidays from NewsForge

Many religions have some sort of holiday during this season, and many companies close down or work short hours until the current year ends and the next one begins. We, too, will be taking time off to spend with our families and friends, so NewsForge will be on a reduced posting schedule between now and January 1. We'll still cover breaking news, and you'll see a trickle of feature articles and NewsVac links, but not as many as you're used to.

Penguins and Fir Trees

LXer Feature: 25-Dec-2006

Here's hoping you find a penguin under your tree this year!

Mozilla Firefox Released

Mozilla Firefox, a security and stability update for Firefox 2, has been released.

Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird Released

Security and Stability updates for Mozilla products based on the Gecko 1.8.0 branch have been released.

The Cocotron: Open-source Cocoa for Windows

The Cocotron is an open source project which implements an Objective-C API very similar to that described by Apple Computer's Foundation and AppKit framework documentation.

Sales Surge Lifts Red Hat

Red Hat got back in the good graces of investors with a strong third-quarter financial report that featured a 2-cent-a-share upside surprise and a 45% jump in revenue. The news gave shares of the open source software provider a much-needed boost: In after-hours trading Thursday, the stock was up $2.54, or 14%, to $20.50.

Linux: 2.6.20-rc2, Debugging Rtorrent Hash Failures

Linux creator Linus Torvalds announced the second release candidate 2.6.20-rc2 kernel, "it's a couple of days delayed, because we've been trying to figure out what is up with the rtorrent hash failures since I don't think we've made any progress, but we've cleaned up a number of suspects in the meantime." He noted that he had been aiming to make the 2.6.20 kernel a quick, stable release, "I was really hoping to make 2.6.20 an easy release, and held back on merging some stuff during the merge window for that reason. And now we're battling something that was introduced much earlier.." He also noted that the bug in question isn't likely to affect many people, "but it's still a worrisome problem, and we've had 'top people' looking at it. And they'll continue, but xmas is coming." The bug is discussed inthis thread on the Linux Kernel Mailing List.Regarding changes in the current release candidate, Linus summarized that in addition to general stabilization, "this mainly does some driver updates (usb, sound, dri, pci hotplug) and ACPI updates (much of the latter syntactic cleanups). And arm and powerpc updates." A nice summary of what's gone into the upcoming 2.6.20 kernel can be found in theKernelNewbies Wiki which has a list including asynchronous SCSI scanning, multithreaded USB probing, HID Layer split: allows things other than USB to use the HID layer (Bluetooth), and I/O Accounting.

KDE Commit-Digest for 24th December 2006

  • KDE Dot News; By Danny Allen (Posted by dcparris on Dec 24, 2006 2:06 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: KDE
In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: A new game, KSquares, is imported into KDE SVN, with KLines starting on the (now familiar) path towards scalable graphics and general improvement.

Comment of the Day - Microsoft's Undisclosed Balance-Sheet Liability

Comment of the Day - 24-Dec-2006

LXer reader, schestowitz, points out that Microsoft has one or two balance-sheet liabilities of its own:

Opening the Pandora Box? I suspect not... IBM and others would rip them.

Microsoft's Undisclosed Balance-sheet Liability

NT influenced by Unix

,----[ Quote ] (Gates:) "And through Windows NT, you can see it throughout the design. In a weak sense, it is a form of Unix. There are so many of the design decisions that have been influenced by that environment. And that's no accident." In light of the recent saber rattling about Linux and patents, the "There are so many of the design decisions that have been influenced by that environment" sentence is particularly interesting if these patent threats include things that are prior Unix art. "In a weak sense, it is a form of Unix" is also telling. I said before that I don't think that's the case; I think the patent stuff is talking about things like Samba and Mono, but even there the "influenced by that environment" could be important in the court of public opinion if not in actual law. `----

Read the rest

Penguin in the Pew 2.0 Now a Gratis Download

Penguin in the Pew 2.0, available through, both in paperback and PDF formats, is now available as a free (gratis) download from Matheteuo Christian Fellowship

Vista security spec 'longest suicide note in history'

Vista's content protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history, claims a new and detailed report from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Give the Gift of Pre-Installed Linux This Year

LXer Feature: 24-Dec-2006

With Christmas around the corner, you'll be glad to know that you can check out over 100 vendors around the globe who offer desktop and notebook computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed. Put another way, LXer's Pre-Installed Linux Vendor database is now available!

Lxy lxy lxy Leapin' Linux! Here are predictions for 2007

Dear Propeller Heads: One of my New Year's resolutions is keep up with technology. What's going to happen in 2007 that I should be aware of? A: That's amazing! Your timing is perfect for the 3rd annual Propeller Head Predictions! Nostradamus, Jeane Dixon, Miss Cleo and the Propeller Heads we're in good company. So here goes.

Episode 1 of the_source released (ZFS,Cinelerra)

  • the_source; By Aaron Newcomb (Posted by dave on Dec 24, 2006 7:24 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Sun; Story Type: Interview
Episode 1 "The Filesystem Menace" of the open source video podcast the_source has been released just in time for Christmas.

Mozilla issues security updates

Firefox users have been urged to update their browser immediately after Mozilla, the organisation behind the popular browser, said it had fixed eight vulnerabilities in Firefox 2.0.

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