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Every year or so I like to see how Microsoft is doing in its attempt to make a desktop operating system as usable as Linux. Microsoft Windows XP, Home Edition, with Service Pack 2, is a tremendous improvement over previous Windows versions when it comes to stability and appearance, but it still has many glitches ...
The VectorLinux team last week released version 5.8 of its Slackware 11.0-based distribution, which includes a 2.6.18 kernel and the XFce desktop environment. The release features fully-working browser plugins -- including Flash 9, Java, mp3, Real and Windows media -- as well as DVD playback, the team said.
One of the virtues of Linux is that there's pretty much a version of it for everybody. From regular Ubuntu to Gentoo to Berry Linux to Fedora to Damn Small Linux, there's something out there for virtually all types of Linux users. So I was intrigued to discover that there is a Christian version of the extremely popular Ubuntu Linux distribution.
The name of Gaël Duval's new distro, Ulteo, with its hint of the word "ultimate", smacks of a certain ambition. But Duval probably means it in the sense that it is the last distribution you will ever need to install, because thereafter it will "self-upgrade automatically," as the announcement of the alpha release put it. Ease-of-use has been a constant theme in Duval's work. When he launched his first distro, Mandrake, in July 1998, one of his stated goals was "to provide a working and easy-to-install linux-distribution to people who don't want to spend too much time in installing and configuring their Linux system : just install it and USE IT."
LXer Feature: 27-Dec-2006
In February 2003, the program "Open Standards and Open Source Software (OSSOS) for the Dutch government" started, funded by the Dutch government. One of the main tasks was to make the government independent from single software suppliers, among which are Microsoft and SAP. After three years, the effort starts bearing fruit. Ten big municipalities - together 2,7 million inhabitants and including Amsterdam and The Hague - signed a manifest. I'll try to explain what's in the manifest, what that might mean for the future, and for the monopoly of Microsoft in the Dutch government.
"Today, I would like to tell you more about the conversation of the Internet. This conversation, as I explained before, has started around the eighties and has come to encompass hundreds of millions of human beings today. Well, I'd like to show you what many different people from all walks of life can do when they're having a conversation that is called OpenOffice.org ."
The upcoming 2.6.20 Linux kernel is bringing a nice virtualization framework for all virtualization fans out there. It's called KVM, short for Kernel-based Virtual Machine. This article tries to explain how it all works, in theory and practice, together with some simple benchmarks.
2006 was an important year for enterprise software and developer tools. The computing old guard trudged on with product updates, marketing hype, and the spinning of political schemes. New challengers, meanwhile, gained traction and credibility. We identify the big events and trends of 2006 that will reverberate for the next year, and look at how they will play out.
Just like a Hollywood blockbuster franchise, the browser wars will never end. The sequels just keep coming. Some people might think the battle for market share ended almost a decade ago. But, while it's true that mud may not be flying as in days of yore, 2006 was nevertheless a big year for web browsers.
The Google Toolbar 3 (GT3) beta for Firefox, released earlier this month, includes a slew of new features, including bookmarks, integration with Google Apps, and customizable buttons.
IBM counted noses and says there are now nearly 1,000 Linux applications that run on its mainframes, a 100% jump over this time last year, a fact it attributes to virtualization and basic mainframe performance.
A dictionary attack is a technique for defeating a cipher or authentication mechanism by trying to determine its decryption key or passphrase by searching a large number of possibilities. You can be configured to verify that passwords cannot be guessed easily using Linux PAM module called pam_cracklib.so. This article describes this configuration.
In the beginning, there was C and C++, as well as hosts of other computer programming languages. All are based on ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), which, as the name implies, is based on the English alphabet. This wouldn't be an issue except there are many humans in the world, and they don't all use the English alphabet.
When I first received Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design and took it out of the shipping box, I thought I had gotten a hold of a book on fine art by mistake. Actually, I wasn't far from the truth, and it's no mistake. Andy Clarke's book goes way beyond the traditional technical text on CSS for web designers and virtually redefines (at least for me) the term "web designer" to be equivalent to "artist".
The 'Expires' HTTP header can be a webmaster's secret weapon, potentially reducing bandwidth and increasing performance for content that changes infrequently. This article explains why 'Expires' is often better than 'Last-Modified' for caching.
The Executive Summary: The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history
[While the paper is obviously about Windows Vista, there are some important implications for the FOSS community, especially with respect to FOSS hardware drivers. - dcparris]
Linux in 2006: June is Busting Out All Over. I apologize for sounding like a typical lame pundit, but 2006 was the Year of Linux. I never said that before—I was waiting until it became true.
New Year's is traditionally a time of resolutions: maybe you're thinking that this year, you'll try Linux for the first time? If so, DesktopLinux.com editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has prepared a brief beginner's orientation for picking and trying a Linux distribution.
A hard to swallow conclusion from the table of cluster. In the first two installments of this series I have pushing a sales pitch of sorts. If you believe some of the things I talked about, large clusters will break, applications will need to tolerate failure and be easy to write, then you may agree that dynamic programming algorithms are one method to solve these problem. The next question is, how do implement these ideas?
I liked Fisher's Introduction to Java Phrasebook in that he very clearly explained what a phrasebook is and what it isn't. That's pretty much key when deciding to buy a phrasebook or not. He used the analogy of a foreign language phrasebook (from which the technical phrasebook gets its origins). Let's say you want to vacation in Germany but don't speak the language. With a German phrasebook, you could look up any number of common phrases to help you get by ("Where's the bathroom?" is a must). The phrasebook in no way shape or form is able to actually teach you the German language nor does it contain all of the phrases you might imagine wanting to say (such as "Do you come here often?"). Phrasebooks contain just enough to get you by. With that in mind, I proceeded through the pages of Fisher's text.
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