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Carla Schroder blogs for the O'ReillyNet Linux Dev Center, as I do. Over the past three days she has posted twice. The first post told of and linked to details and a photo of a truly sexist and offensive ad which appeared in Linux Journal. The second post linked directly to a Linux Journal article from earlier this year filled with more gender stereotyping demonstrating that this is an ongoing issue at Linux Journal. The reactions to Carla's posts were entirely predictable.
Remember the good old days when to change a screen resolution or driver, you had to edit xorg.conf or reconfigure X.org? Those fine times are now over, or they will be, with the release of Ubuntu 7.10. As of an update from a few days ago, users are now able to access a graphical user interface for editing xorg.conf, though only for graphic and display settings. This tool has support for dual monitors at the moment, and with the release of X.org 7.3 it will be possible to add even more.
The current debate about whether the open source community should trust Microsoft as the Redmond company continues to make friendlier overtures towards open source practices is, to me, a very interesting discussion. So what is it I think the Linux and open source community should do regarding Microsoft.
A new update to the latest stable version of Debian 4.0 includes security updates and other important problem fixes. Historically, Debian is an extremely popular community-based Linux distribution. It's also known, however, for arriving later than expected. This time, though, the Debian Foundation has relatively quickly released a set of security and other patches to the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 4.0.
The OSI License-Discuss mailing list has been ablaze for the past few days since Microsoft submitted its Permissive License (MS-PL) to the OSI [Open Source Initiative] for official open source license approval. Jon Rosenberg, source program director for Microsoft, posted,"Microsoft believes that this license provides unique value to the open source community by delivering simplicity, brevity, and permissive terms combined with intellectual property protection."
Dell and Lenovo are the first two companies to recently offer pre-installed open source Linux distribution on PCs and notebooks, but I highly doubt they will be the last manufacturers to take the plunge. According to both Dell and Ubuntu, the customer response over Linux products has been "overwhelming." Maybe it is due to Dell being the first to take a chance, or maybe Ubuntu's popularity is translating to better interest in Ubuntu pre-loaded on Dell products. Although Lenovo and Novell SUSE aren't as popular as Dell and Ubuntu, I hope they see the same interest in their product line.
At last we reach the final installment of this series, the question & answer stage in which we'll consider some of the common problems encountered with audio and MIDI on Linux, along with some common and perhaps not-so-common solutions to those problems. We've looked at some indispensable items for your Linux system troubleshooting toolkit, now let's see how they are applied. We start with a list of some of the most often-heard laments, then we'll proceed to some extra tips and general advice. I'll end the series with some notes regarding the system configuration here at Studio Dave.
LXer Feature: 19-Aug-2007
Another big week in Open Source news including, 50 reasons to dump Windows, MySQL defends paid tarball decision, Part 3 of Carla Schroder's "Adventures in Digital Photography With Linux", Debian turns 14, The LXer Interview: Bob Sutor of IBM and Rob Enderle can't decide where Open Source is headed in the LXer Weekly Roundup.
The main concept the computer industry has tried to push on the public over the last few years is of the connected home, where all our PCs, TVs and other devices can talk to each other and share music, pictures and other documents. Sadly, it hasn't been borne out, largely because the industry can't agree on how exactly it should all fit together. That, and the fact that in order to watch downloaded films on a TV, for instance, it's necessary to have a computer on all the time. Which is where the Linux-powered Bubba home server comes in.
Sometimes, a little reminiscing is called for. Think back to March 7, 2003, when the SCO Group, once a Linux distributor named Caldera, filed its initial complaint against IBM:
"Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car. This re-design is not technologically feasible or even possible at the enterprise level without (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment."
Something I often hear from people that talk about Linux on the desktop is this: people want to be able to go to the store, buy hardware, and be confident that it will Just Work. I would like to point out that things are rarely this simple on Windows. And, in fact, things are often simpler on Linux these days. Here's the example that prompted this post.
How to install Tor with Vidalia GUI on Ubuntu
A little humor for the weekend.
I'm feeling confused so maybe Inquirer readers will be able to help me. In a week where much ink was expended over tumbling international markets and the parlous state of private equity, two funny things happened. One company, VMware reached a valuation of almost $20 billion within hours of it floating. Another, Xen Source, agreed a deal to sell out to Citrix for $500 million, despite being a minnow in commercial terms.
Sometimes events transpire in the software industry that, when tied with other events, take on a much bigger meaning. Such is the case with three different announcements in the last ten days. The first two got a good bit of press; IBM and Novell announced a new partnership on the desktop and in relation to IBM's Websphere Community Edition. And The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council sent out their invite for upcoming events this week. One of those events is entitled: Microsoft & Novell - Building Bridges. Let's see how they connect.
Microsoft has seemed to be flying high in the Peoples Republic of China lately. One story I've been following in China for some time is the development of China's own home-grown open document format standard, called UOF (for Unified Office Format). Now, two stories involving UOF, OOXML and ODF have appeared in the last ten days in the English language version of the state-owned Xinhua news service that provide an interesting temperature reading on the warmth of the Redmond-Beijing relationship.
Frustrated by the exorbitant cost of computer software and the painfully slow (not to mention expensive) bandwidth in South Africa? Fear not, for the Shuttleworth Foundation's Freedom Toaster is coming to your rescue. Conceptualised by Jason Hudson — the Technical Project Manager for the Shuttleworth Foundation — the Freedom Toasters are open source software 'vending machines'. More importantly, the merchandise is free. The self-contained 'bring and burn' facilities, which can be found in 16 major cities/towns around South Africa, are preloaded to dispense free digital products. These products range from Linux operating systems to open source software and free literature, photography or music.
The desktop Linux market got a big boost earlier this month at LinuxWorld, where Lenovo unveiled plans to soon begin selling ThinkPads preloaded with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. The deal makes Novell the second major vendor to support Linux on its consumer PCs, following the trail Dell blazed in May with its decision to offer machines loaded with Ubuntu Linux.
This will be an ongoing series of articles highlighting lesser known applications for Linux. These articles will be a bit Ubuntu-centric, but these applications should run nicely on your distribution of choice. Also, some of these applications may be a bit more than “lesser” known, but they are not part of the standard core of applications you see upon a few install of a desktop Linux distribution. This installment will review applications that serve as learning and hobby tools. It will range from beneath the surface of the Earth to orbiting the Earth: Happydigger, Alexandria, Tellico and GPredict.
Norway opened a national center for competence in Free Software in Drammen, near Oslo, on Wednesday. I gave a keynote speech, after the Minister of Government Reform and a local politician. I got to discuss OpenDocument vs. MS Office Open XML with the minister, she was up-to-speed on the issue and Norway casts its ISO vote on Monday . I don't think we have any worries there. I also got to talk with the ICT director from the ministry and other officials, and had a number of meetings with officials in Oslo on the previous day.
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