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Tech Support, by Jeremy Garcia

Do you administer multiple distributions and find it frustrating that you can find packages for some distros and not others? Have you ever tried looking for a .rpm only to find a .deb (or vice versa)? Sometimes, Linux can be maddening. Luckily, there's a program that can help solve this problem: alien. alien is a script that converts between the Red Hat .rpm, Debian .dpkg, Stampede .slp, and Slackware .tgz file formats. alien can also handle Solaris' .pkg file format. alien lets you to take a package from a system with a different distribution than the one you are running, and makes it usable on your system.

Power Tools, by Jerry Peek

  • Linux Magazine (Posted by dave on Feb 2, 2005 6:46 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Linux often gives you lots of ways to do the same thing and file transfer is no exception. We covered file transfer in three columns from March to May 2003 (available online at This month let's look at yet another variation using gFTP and some not-so-obvious details that can help you navigate all of the file transfer protocols.

On The Docket, by Daniel Egger

  • Linux Magazine (Posted by dave on Feb 2, 2005 6:46 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The mayor of Munich, Germany, Christian Ude, recently found a creative way to focus worldwide attention on the unavoidable conflict between the current "business as usual" patent system, which favors large corporations, and the innovative business models and greater customer choices made possible by Linux and its open source licensing model. It may be surprising that a municipality, even one as large as Munich, finds itself at the forefront of a worldwide political and financial debate about open source software, but Ude understands what's at stake, and succeeded in translating the often confusing and ideologically charged conflict into something even non-developers can understand: taxpayers' money.

Booting Up, by Martin Streicher

  • Linux Magazine (Posted by dave on Feb 2, 2005 6:45 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
After almost two decades of working with computers, I want to give it up. Instead, I want to become a plumber. Plumbers have it made.

Fault Tolerant MPI

  • Linux Magazine (Posted by dave on Feb 2, 2005 6:45 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Clusters of every size experience failures: processors can die, hard disks often crash, and interface cards have been known to produce spurious errors. Of course, software can fail, too, for any number of reasons. Prevention is a necessity, but the next best option is to react and respond to faults as they occur. If you're a cluster developer, Fault Tolerant MPI (FT-MPI) can help keep your compute jobs humming.

One-Sided Communications with MPI-2

  • Linux Magazine (Posted by dave on Feb 2, 2005 6:45 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Traditional interprocess communication requires cooperation and synchronization between sender and receiver. MPI-2's new remote memory access features allow one process to update or interrogate the memory of another, hence the name one-sided communication. Here's a hands-on guide.

Why Linux on Clusters?

  • Linux Magazine (Posted by dave on Feb 2, 2005 6:45 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Linux on high-performance computing clusters seems an obvious choice now, but it wasn't a forgone conclusion when Thomas Sterling and Donald Becker used Linux to build the world's first Beowulf cluster in 1999. Linux has come a long way since then. Learn why Linux has put "super" back into supercomputers.

Open source helps Flickr share photos

Flickr, the online photo-sharing Web site, is a good case study on the benefits of open source. The technology that powers Flickr is a catalog of open source tools: Red Hat Linux, the Apache Web server, MySQL databases, PHP, Perl, Smarty templates, Postfix mail gateways, and even ImageMagick to handle the image manipulation.

Jeff Waugh discusses Gnome 3.0

Jeff Waugh, Gnome and Ubuntu big wig, discusses why the next version of Gnome won't be 3.0 and how Ubuntu's relationship with Debian works.

OOo Off the Wall: Fielding Questions, Part 1 - The Basics

  • Linux Journal (Posted by dave on Feb 1, 2005 4:22 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Fields aren't supposed to mess up your documents and make you pull out your hair--learn when fields are useful and how to use them.

Product of the Day: MPP - Message Processing Partners

  • Linux Journal (Posted by dave on Feb 1, 2005 2:46 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The following information has been provided by the product vendor and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Linux Journal.

Debian Weekly News - February 1st, 2005

  • Mailing list; By Martin Schulze <> (Posted by dave on Feb 1, 2005 2:03 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter; Groups: Debian
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Andreas Schuldei announced that the registration for this year's Debian conference has been opened. Og Maciel installed Debian for the first time and thought that the expert mode was appropriate, giving him the opportunity to answer all 27 questions of which only a fraction would be displayed during a normal installation.

Review: Linux Client Migration Cookbook

  • NewsForge (Posted by dave on Feb 1, 2005 1:17 PM EDT)
  • Groups: IBM; Story Type: News Story
Even the most hapless management automatons are aware of the licensing and maintenance costs associated with perpetuating a Windows workplace. As security concerns escalate and the reliability of Windows diminishes, the appeal of desktop Linux intensifies. Ready or not, businesses must heed the migratory instinct, or risk getting left behind. The Linux Client Migration Cookbook, an IBM Redbook written by a group of seasoned IT specialists and freely downloadable from IBM's Web site, is a balanced and informative guide to practical migration.

KDE tips and tricks

The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is incredibly popular in the world of GNU/Linux. Distributions such as SUSE and Mandrakelinux use it by default. KDE has some useful features that, while easily accessible, are less prominent. Just as a camera inexplicably makes a cell phone more fun to use, KDE's cool but unnoticed details may make it more attractive to prospective users. Read on to learn about a few such features may help you every day.

Is Sun subverting Linux from the inside?

  • ZDNet UK; By Catherine Everett (Posted by dave on Feb 1, 2005 12:15 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Sun
Industry watchers claim Sun Microsystems is playing a dangerous game with its decision to position Solaris as open source – a move which will see it go head to head with Linux

Red Hat CEO to visit India

In his second visit to the country in as many years, Matthew J Szulik is a keynote speaker at Nasscom and Linux Asia events

Nokia Launches Open Source Toolkit

  • (Posted by dave on Feb 1, 2005 11:16 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Developers now have a choice to use the open source Python language for mobile application development on Nokia Series 60 phones, the Finnish company announced.

Open Source Initiative (OSI) announces expanded programs, counsel, and board

the OSI anticipates expanding the board to nine people, drawing many new board members from outside the US. To lead these new initiatives, the board has elected new officers. Russ Nelson will become President of the OSI, and Michael Tiemann will become Vice President. Danese Cooper will continue as Secretary / Treasurer.

Software Patents - Jewels for the Rich

Technology collaboration and its expression as open source software could build long-term immunity against the practices of a global patent system running amok.

Eric Raymond to leave OSI presidency

  • CNET; By Martin LaMonica (Posted by dave on Feb 1, 2005 8:57 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The Open Source Initiative--the organization that certifies open-source licenses--says that it has reorganized in an effort to bring more structure to the open-source software movement and that co-founder Eric Raymond is stepping down from his position as president.

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