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Some snippets: cron-apt and Openguides

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post, about Jabber servers. Quite a few of them seem to play nicely with LDAP; the trouble with the setup here is that we have LDAP + Kerberos, and it’s the Kerberos part that seems problematic.

Dzen: pop-up windows from the command-line

I stumbled across an interesting and useful tool recently called dzen, a"general purpose messaging and notification program" written by Rob Manea. Basically, dzen provides an instant-on/instant-off pop-up terminal window, along with a multitude of options that allow you to run just about any command.

Totally "free" Ubuntu? That's the plan for Gobuntu

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced a new"freedom-focused flavour of Ubuntu" devoid of any proprietary software, which may hold special appeal for open source purists. Meanwhile, some in the Ubuntu community are skeptical of the whole Gobuntu concept.

Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) Elections -- voting open

Voting is now open for the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee elections. All 13 seats are up for election. Anyone who has signed the Fedora CLA, and has an addition account (like ambassadors, art, cvs*, fedorabugs, l10n-commits, web, etc.) in the Fedora Account System is eligible to vote. Voting will end at July 22 23:59:59 UTC.

Open Tuesday addresses document standards

This week's Open Tuesday event in Joburg had enthusiasts chatting over drinks and snacks about all things open source. A talk by Dwayne Bailey of began on the issues of translation and culminated in a discussion on the upcoming meeting over Microsoft's attempt to have its OOXML accepted as an international standard. Bailey is on the committee that will be meeting with SABS to discuss and vote on whether or no Microsoft's OOXML document format should be accepted as a standard.

"The issue is their freedom to do things, not your freedom to police them."

I found this post over at Brand X. It's one of the best ever answers to "what exactly we are demanding to do with that freedom?" Which is a dopey question to even ask, but it's a common mindset.

A three-pronged attack on performance

A computer running Linux can outperform the same computer running Windows XP or Vista. Even so, you may be able to make your Linux system even faster. Here are three optimizations, at different levels, that can make your Linux system perform better. Getting better performance is always a good practical goal. The three suggestions in this article provide separate but related enhancements that can provide better overall speed for your Linux PC. It is always nice getting a bit more "oomph" out of your hardware!

Why Most Businesses Still Use Windows.

On paper, Linux seems to be the ideal workstation operating system for the corporate environment: highly configurable, free, secure, easily deployed in a network, extremely stable.... So why are medium and small businesses, the backbone of the US economy, not switching over to Linux? I have my own theories, working as an IT manager for a small company myself.

[Warning: FUD ahead. While the author doesn't say the points are valid, he doesn't disprove them either. -- Sander]

16,000 Linux computers delivered - for free

James Burgett is a great guy. He is collecting old computers from companies and individuals, checks and in some cases repairs them, and then gives them away to those who cannot afford to buy. He does it since 12 years, and each system is delivered with a free OS.

Virtual Hosting With PureFTPd And MySQL (Incl. Quota And Bandwidth Management) On Fedora 7

This document describes how to install a PureFTPd server that uses virtual users from a MySQL database instead of real system users. This is much more performant and allows to have thousands of ftp users on a single machine. In addition to that I will show the use of quota and upload/download bandwidth limits with this setup. Passwords will be stored encrypted as MD5 strings in the database. This tutorial is based on Fedora 7. You should already have set up a basic Fedora 7 system.

Linspire releases Open XML translator

Linux vendor Linspire on July 11 said that the new Open XML translator is now available for use in its latest Freespire and Linspire distributions. The Open XML translator enables bi-directional compatibility, so that files saved in the Microsoft-created Open XML format can be opened by users, and files created by OpenOffice can be saved in Open XML format. Using the translator, and Microsoft Office users will now be able to share files because documents will better maintain consistent formats, formulas and style templates across the two office productivity suites, a Linspire spokesperson said.

Linux reaches the Italian Parliament

After the French Parliament’s migration to Linux, the Italian Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati) chose to let "The Penguin" enter into the heart of the Italian Democracy. As reported by the Italian newspaper Repubblica on July 10th, 2007, a plan suggested by the left deputies Pietro Folena and Franco Grillini to migrate all the computers of the Parliament from Windows to Linux was approved by the Chamber.

Government of Japan Embraces Open Software Standards

  • Government Technology (Posted by henke54 on Jul 12, 2007 1:32 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups:
The OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF Alliance), the leading organization advocating for openness and accessibility to government documents and information, today congratulated Japan for adopting a policy under which government ministries and agencies will solicit bids from software vendors whose products support internationally recognized open standards. The new guidelines, available from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, were designed to be implemented by government ministries and agencies. The interoperability framework also suggests that the guidelines would also be useful for private industry.

Growing a Linux Software RAID 5 completely online

With 320GB SATA drives on sale with free shipping, I decided to increase my workstation’s RAID capacity for the last time. One nice things about SATA drives with Linux these days is you don’t ever need to shut the system down. In fact, with SATA, Linux software RAID, and the XFS filesystem I was able to add 320GB of capacity to the RAID filesystem without even unmounting it. During the entire time the system was completely usable, including all data on the RAID volume. Here is how I did it.

Windows Server Woos (BIG) Linux Customers?

I was reading a recent article in which the argument and proof is given for a number of Linux customers moving from Linux to Windows Server. To say so is a little misleading. What I see is, large companies like, Jelly Belly, and Unilever probably have something in common - a poor supporting IT staff to make Linux work, and work well!

Getting around Windows Activation when Virtualizing

When I first setup my VMware Server to run an existing Windows Install from a physical partition, I was asked to reactivate Windows XP before I could use it as a guest OS. I received a lot of complaints from people saying that they were then again asked to reactivate Windows again once they booted back into Windows natively, and then again under VMware and so on every time the OS was booted in a different environment. If you replace the WPA files prior to booting based on whether you’re using VMware or booting natively you won’t have to reactivate. Here's how to do it.

Episode 200 of The Linux Link Tech Show released

Episode 200 of The Linux Link Tech Show is available for download:
We're back after a 4 week vacation
We interview John Hull from Dell regarding their pre-installed Linux offerings
Dan updates his Linux podcast directory
Linc reviews the Apple mini-mouse and talks about setting up dual monitors
Linux distros and magazines that are now defunct
We discuss our plans for Ohio Linux Fest 2007
And much, much more

Audio Files available:

Microsoft OOXML spec 'dangerously flawed'

Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) document format specification is fatally flawed where it comes to spreadsheets, with many functions filled with careless errors, according to Rob Weir, a systems architect for IBM and a member of various ODF technical committees. Weir documented seven specific problems in a blog post, and said there are others.

Ultra-lite MEPIS spinoff goes gold

MEPIS on July 9 announced the "Spartacus" release of antiX, a community-built, ultralight derivative of the MEPIS Linux distribution. AntiX (pronounced "Antics") is the personal project of MEPIS community member "anticapitalista," who engineered it as a free version of MEPIS aimed at old 32-bit PC hardware. AntiX is built using the MEPIS Linux 6.5 core, but mostly it has a different set of default user applications.

Dell fixes Ubuntu laptop pricing

Dell Ubuntu Linux buyers were recently outraged when a price comparison between identical Inspiron 1420 laptops showed that instead of the Ubuntu system being cheaper, it actually ended up costing $225 more than the same laptop with Vista Home Basic Edition. "Bottom line this was an oversight, pure and simple," a Dell spokesperson told The prices have been reset to the appropriate prices.

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