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9 Improvements Needed in GNOME

Although I regularly use KDE, Xfce, and other desktops for GNU/Linux, I keep returning to GNOME. Sometimes I use the default Metacity window manager, and other times the quicker Sawfish, but, with either choice, GNOME has an uncluttered look that allows me to focus on my work rather than my software. It also contains enough customization that I can easily set my increasingly long list of preferences with a minimum of effort.

OpenOffice 3.0 Promises to Bash Office

Microsoft's Office suite could have plausible challenger on the desktop for the first time since Lotus gave up trying to take on Redmond a decade ago. With developers struggling to get OpenOffice 2.4 out the door, details are emerging of the features users have to look forward to in the upcoming bullet point release, version 3.0.

Evidence mounting: Windows 7 going modular, subscription

When Windows 7 launches sometime after the start of 2010, the desktop OS will be Microsoft's most "modular" yet. Having never really been comfortable with the idea of a single, monolithic desktop OS offering, Microsoft has offered multiple desktop OSes in the marketplace ever since the days of Windows NT 3.1, with completely different code bases until they were unified in Windows 2000. Unification isn't necessarily a good thing, however; Windows Vista is a sprawling, complex OS.

[I thought this might be of interest to our readers even though it is not FOSS related. - Scott]

KDE and Amarok Present at the OpenExpo in Bern

On the 12th and 13th of March the 4th OpenExpo took place in Bern. /ch/open oranises the fair every 6 months alternating in Bern and Zurich. A wide variety of talks grouped into three different tracks accompanied the fair. This year more than 30 OpenSource Projects took the opportunity to present themselves and their work to a wide audience. KDE and the Amarok team was among them.

The Ultimate CSS Reference

  • Linux-Tutorial.info; By James Pyles (Posted by tripwire45 on Mar 23, 2008 11:37 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: Mozilla

According to the Book Description blurb: "Stop wasting time doing Internet searches only to find inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete information. CSS: The Ultimate Reference includes all the ins-and-outs you need to know including compatibility information for all major browsers, lists of useful hacks, known bugs in CSS, and much more - all presented in a beautiful, full color layout that will have you coming back over and over again". Ok. I know plenty of folks who want to learn more about CSS and are indeed frustrated by online resources. The Olsson and O'Brien book promises what a many CSS books promise...to the the "end-all-and-be-all" of CSS resources. Let's have a look and see if it can live up to this claim.

Install OpenWRT, Chillispot, FreeRadius Based Managed Hotspot(s) Including PayPal Payment Gateway

  • HowtoForge; By Hanno Schupp (Posted by falko on Mar 23, 2008 10:33 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux
If you have ever tried to implement one of the hotspot HowTos on this and other sites, it might have dawned on you that this is not an easy feat to accomplish. Amazingly most solutions also leave out the most important part – how to get paid by the punters using the hotspot. Some will offer prepaid solution or access tickets that need to be printed, but this will require staff being involved on the premises. And in particular, once you want to offer a professional service and not just a toy concept it gets tricky – and expensive. Just imagine all the servers you need to provide redundant and load balanced freeradius, mysql and web servers. It is generally not worth the effort and expense for just one hotspot – unless of course you are willing to accept outages, unhappy customers etc.

LXer Weekly Roundup for 23-Mar-2008


LXer Feature: 23-Mar-2008

In this week's roundup we have an early look at KDE 4.1, the Supreme Court rejects Microsoft's Novell appeal - 12 years later! 25 Simple Games for Linux, CodeWeavers to release CrossOver Games, A Wine 1.0 release in our lifetime and reviews of Spicebird and Clonezilla. To wrap things up we have two FUD articles, an old argument about Linux viruses and Apple fixes some Open Source Vulnerabilities.

DirectX 9.0c March 2008 redistributable on Linux with Wine

  • Wine-Review; By Thomas Wickline (Posted by twickline on Mar 23, 2008 6:33 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux
A guide with screenshots and code samples to show you how to install and run most of the DirectX 9.0c March 2008 redistributable on Linux using Wine.

Tux meets Amiga, part 2: Porting AmiKit to Linux

During my article on Amiga emulation on the Linux platform I had deliberately neglected to mention AmiKit as there appeared to be only MS Windows based executable installers and zip archives on the AmiKit web site. After the article went live, Mike kindly informed us there was indeed a Linux friendly archive of AmiKit. I emailed the AmiKit author, Jan Zahurancik, requesting a link to it as there was no link to be found on the AmiKit web site, only MS centric archives. He duly replied with 3 links, which Jan has requested I do not show here as they were not and are not public versions, to AmiKit in zip and lzx format as well as a link to a PDF file showing how to get AmiKit working on the Linux platform.

“Windows tax?” I Don’t Think So…

Here’s the scenario, a friend of mine just bought a new laptop. When he was buying it, he indicated that he did not want windows on it (which should make it cheaper). The response from the vendor: “We can’t do that, it comes with Windows”. When he became a bit more aggressive, they indicated they could give him one without Windows (Vista SP1), but it would cost an extra $70!

Free Open Source Software Could Help African Development

In many African countries, few people have access to computers and the Internet. Experts say this is hindering development and preventing students from being able to compete for jobs. At a conference in Dakar this week, software experts, government officials and students came together to look at how open-source software, which is free for anyone to use, could make technology available to more people. Kari Barber has this report from Dakar.

No consensus over OOXML in Poland, yet

  • PolishLinux.org; By Borys Musielak (Posted by michux on Mar 22, 2008 5:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Microsoft
Last Thursday PKN (Polish Normalization Committee) had a meeting on which it was supposed to come up with the decision concerning Polish recommendation for ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (OOXML) proposed standard. The common stance has not been acheived.

An Early Look At Mythbuntu 8.04

Last November we had looked at Mythbuntu 7.10 and found it to be an excellent MythTV distribution. With its LiveCD MythTV front-end capabilities and intuitive Mythbuntu Control Center, this distribution is far more than just a re-branded edition of Ubuntu with a couple MythTV packages. Being released in tandem with Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" next month will be Mythbuntu 8.04 and today we are taking an early look at this spring refresh using the recently released beta.

Install Xen 3.2 on Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop (amd64)

  • bderzhavets.blogspot.com; By Boris Derzhavets (Posted by dba477 on Mar 22, 2008 1:43 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Sun, Ubuntu
This posting is targeting cloning Mercurial Repository for Xen 3.2 on Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop (64-bit) and creating 64-bit Xen 3.2 Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Dom0. To verify Dom0 functionality Solaris (Nevada Build 84) has been installed and tested as DomU. Looks like same procedure at Ubuntu 7.10 Server (amd64) differs from described above.

Open Source Soft-Switch FreeSWITCH 1.0 Release Candidate 1

After nearly 2 years of non-stop development, FreeSWITCH has evolved from an idea and an empty directory into a fully operational soft-switch capable of withstanding the loads 8-10 times as large as anything else they were able to deploy in the past with other software according to the reports from our early adopters.

Rescuing Collectible Sun Equipment with Debin Linux

  • BeginLinux.com; By Donnie Tevault (Posted by dtevault on Mar 22, 2008 11:44 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Debian, Sun
A while back, we bought a Sun Ultra 5 workstation with a winning bid of about $20.00 or so. It has a 360 MHz SPARC processor, 128 Meg of RAM, and an eight gigabyte harddrive. Most computers from Ebay are sold without operating systems, and this machine was no exception. Installing an operating system on Sun equipment isn't hard, once you know how to do it.

Apple Fixes Open Source Vulnerabilities

At first blush, Microsoft hounds might want to pounce on Apple's release of over 80 vulnerability fixes this week. But before anyone bears that red M tattooed on their chest, you should take another look at Apple's updates.

[How's this for a loaded article title? Interesting how updates became vulnerabilities - Scott]

Open-source efforts derailed by 'loud minority'

Efforts to increase the adoption of open-source software are being derailed by the efforts of a "loud minority" within the community who have made personal attacks on individuals who have expressed doubts about the software, according to one of the open-source movement's main advocates.

Startup Of The Week: Pentaho Offers Opens Source BI Alternative

Consolidation in the business intelligence market has pushed Business Objects into the arms of SAP and Cognos into IBM's fold,but there are other options. Pentaho is gaining traction with its open source alternative, a BI suite that includes reporting and analysis tools, data mining, and dashboards. Service subscriptions tripled last quarter.

Spicebird: More Open Source Competition For Outlook

There's been a lot of discussion about which open source application works best as a replacement for Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Outlook: Evolution, Ximian, Thunderbird, and so on. Let's add another contender to that list, shall we? Meet Spicebird, currently in beta 0.4 form.

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