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The Year the GPL Went to War

For developers, the open source world of 2007 was all about updates and interesting new projects. From a new version of Eclipse to a new scheduler in Linux, developers around the world contributed their free time to make their lives and the lives of others collectively easier. But in hindsight, the significance of 2007 may well be that the GPL finally grew some teeth.

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 updated

The Debian project is pleased to announce the second update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (codename etch). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away 4.0 CDs or DVDs but only to update against http://ftp.debian.org after an installation, in order to incorporate those late changes.

SCO Delisted as of Today

All those Mesirow and legal hours working on the SEC delisting did not pay off. SCO announces today that Nasdaq has sent them a letter. SCO will be delisted as of December 27. They found out on the 21st, it seems, but they tell us today. Here's the press release, where they once again describe themselves as "a leading provider of UNIX software technology and mobile services".

More reasons gOS is nowhere near ready for use by just about anybody

Since Puppy Linux uses local time, I had reset my test box's clock for the now-aborted Thin Puppy Torture Test II (we've had even more power outages lately, and I'm glad to stop where I did but keep writing about Puppy just the same). But now that I'm back in gOS, I needed to reset the clock to UTC. I'm perfectly capable of opening a terminal and using the command line to set the clock, but I can't believe that the casual, new-to-Linux user with gOS has no other way to set the time. No GUI, big problem.

Radeon HD 3850/3870 Via OSS Driver

  • Phoronix; By Michael Larabel (Posted by phoronix on Dec 27, 2007 8:19 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Last week the RadeonHD v1.1 driver was released, which (among other changes) had introduced extended monitor detection, RS600 support, and preliminary support for the RV670-based ATI Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards. This v1.1 driver release combined with a recent git commit for adding additional TMDSA/B electrical values has led to quite a pleasant experience already with these new midrange graphics cards that have been on the market for less than two months.

Thin Puppy Torture Test II: Day 14

  • Click; By Steven Rosenberg (Posted by Steven_Rosenber on Dec 27, 2007 7:22 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups:
I continue to praise Geany, the GUI text editor in Puppy Linux. I'm not a programmer, but I use text editors just about every day. Especially for Web work, text editors are must-have tools for writers and editors. And for me, a text editor needs to do a few things -- and do them well.

Even Sales People Don't Like Vista

I was startled and amused to walk into a local Office Depot and hear a sales person bashing Vista.

Debian Etch with Xfce vs. Damn Small Linux with JWM/Fluxbox

I've had Debian Etch with the Xfce desktop on the $15 Laptop for a couple of weeks. It took up a lot less space than Slackware 12 with Xfce (and NOT KDE), so I left Debian on the computer, a Compaq Armada 7770dmt with 64 MB of RAM. I had a trick to get the ALSA sound working in Damn Small Linux, but it wouldn't work in Debian. I don't have the soundcore module installed, and that's the next step in getting the sound working. I also found out that doing a Google Docs session in Debian on this box is ... frustrating. The screen moves way too slow. So I went in a different direction. I popped in the Damn Small Linux 4.0 CD (I know they're up to 4.2, but I haven't downloaded and burned the new ISO yet ... I plan to soon).

OpenEMR Group Training Scheduled - Tulsa Oklahoma

OpenEMR HQ, an Oklahoma based firm focused on supporting, consulting, and expanding the popularOpenEMR software system, has scheduled the first OpenEMR Public Training for January 18th 2008. The training, to be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will focus on installing, customizing, and administering an OpenEMR system on Linux and will be held from 8:00am to 12:00pm CST. Due to effects of the recent mid-west ice storms, the company is only accepting registrations for the training by telephone and can be reached at 918.919.4624 and will cost $350 USD per person with group discounts available. More information can be obtained by emailing training@openemrhq.com or calling the OpenEMR HQ offices at the number above.

First Release of Perl in Five Years Arrives

Perl is a dynamic scripting language widely used in everything from Linux system utilities to Web servers to full-blown graphical enterprise applications. Just in time for Christmas, there's a new version of perl, the first in over five years. The first update since 2002 to the "practical extraction and report language," perl 5.10 adds both new language features and an improved perl interpreter, according to community site Perl Buzz.

Samba Project to provide Windows protocol access to all open source developers

Thanks to the Samba project, documentation about Windows networking protocols is now available to free software developers who want it. With the help of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Samba has hammered out an agreement for obtaining the documentation and has set up the new Protocol Freedom Information Foundation (PFIF) to make it accessible to other free software projects. The announcement marks the end of nearly a decade of litigation that began when Sun Microsystems requested documentation for the Microsoft Active Directory to build software interoperable with Windows. When Microsoft refused, Sun lodged a complaint with the European Commission, which launched a five year investigation into the issue.

Making an Illustrated Book

One of the things we plan to do different in the Geek Ranch (see What's New Down Here?) is build a lot of domes instead of conventional buildings. The reasoning behind this is that they are quicker to build, cost less and use mostly local materials and that which is not local (in particular, steel) is used in lower quantities than in conventional construction. Before you ask, while we will have storage buildings and other parts of the facility build as domes, if you are thinking about a trip to the Geek Ranch for your getaway, yes your casita will also be a dome. It seems like geeks are the least likely to have a problem with something non-conventional.

The Deprecated “Smoke Screen” of MS Office Open XML (OOXML)

In an effort to win quick converts to its bid to have Microsoft Open Office XML (MOOXML) accepted as an ISO standard, Microsoft is deprecating parts of its widely-criticized MOOXML. But whatever the new Microsoft OOXML file format with deprecated parts will eventually look like (if such a format ever appears in an actual application), these cosmetic changes don’t really make a difference for Microsoft or the world.

After torrents? Try Deluge!

Historians may argue whether it was Louis XV or his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, who famously said, "Après moi, le Déluge" ("After me, the deluge"), but what cannot be argued is that, today, Deluge is the name of an efficient BitTorrent client that you would do well to try. Unlike other BitTorrent clients that consume high levels of RAM and CPU usage, Deluge is lightweight and unobtrusive. To help cut down the bloat, most of its functionality is available as plugins, so you can streamline its runtime requirements. Deluge is free software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Windows, Macintosh, and Linux versions are available, and you can run Deluge in KDE, Xfce, GNOME, and a number of other desktop environments.

Book Review: Windows Vista Annoyances

To read all the buzz on the Internet, there are a lot of people who are annoyed with Windows Vista just now. My son is a Marine serving in Iraq and the last day he was home, we bought him a laptop with Windows Vista installed so he could have a means of communication once he was deployed. Since then, he's been calling periodically asking what he can do to "fix" it. His latest outcry was to ask for a copy of Windows XP so he could "repair" his problems. I thought about that this morning as I picked up my review copy of Karp's book and wondered if the answer to these sorts of problems, (and my son isn't the only one complaining) could be found between the covers of Windows Vista Annoyances. Let's find out.

My Debian Adventure - Part 2

  • ComputerBob.com; By ComputerBob - Intro by H.Kwint (Posted by hkwint on Dec 27, 2007 9:45 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Debian, GNU

"As a former MEPIS user, ComputerBob wanted to find out what was under the hood of his GNU/Linux system. Therefore, on December 3rd he decided to try Debian out and keep a diary about his adventures. The first part, which can also be found at LXer details his adventures in the first half of December. He sets up a working Debian GNU/Linux system and tackles some problems, but several networking issues remained. In this shorter but still worthwhile 'part 2', we find out why he had to re-install Debian four times (wow!) and what else happened in the second half of December." - H.Kwint

Tutorial: Building A Linux Music Studio

This is a great time to be your own recording and sound engineer. There are all kinds of great digital recording gear, from tiny portable recorders to multi-channel mixer-recorders with CD burners, and Linux has a wealth of good-quality audio recording and editing programs.

Perl 5.10 now available

Today the Perl Foundation announces the release of Perl 5.10, the first major upgrade to the wildly popular dynamic programming language in over five years. This latest version builds on the successful 5.8.x series by adding powerful new language features and improving the Perl interpreter itself.

Firebird it is Project of the Month for December 2007 on Source Forge

Each month, a project is chosen from the many thousands on SourceForge.net to be our Project of the Month.

Linux fanboys should feel the force, says Schneier

Feel the force, fanboy. That is the message to Linux developers from security guru and Blowfish legend Bruce Schneier in a new interview.

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