LXer Weekly Roundup for 23-Sept-2007
Some of the big stories this week include: A non-profit that refurbishes computers with FOSS get hassled by the EPA, Microsoft wants in on the OLPC, SCO blames Linux for having to file for Chapter 11 and IBM joins up with OpenOffice.org and then releases its own free office suite. All this and more in the LXer Weekly Roundup.
Local Recycle & Reuse Hits A Bureaucratic Roadblock: Let's imagine that you set up a non-profit to recycle electronics and divert computers from going directly into landfills or otherwise being destroyed by a grinder. You look for ways to refurbish these components and possibly recombine them into functional computers that go out to areas and institutions that have difficulty obtaining computers. You might even collect some of the vintage electronics that comes through the door and hang on to this stuff because you think it's cool and somebody may want it someday.
The Open Source Challenge. How to replace Windows completely with Ubuntu.: We all know how far open source software has progressed, but has it come so far to not only challenge Windows, but replace it? Can you really install Linux and open source software in place of Windows, and want for nothing? In the first of this multi-part series we send in Ashton Mills to take on the challenge of using nothing but Linux and open source software... for absolutely everything. Will he find nirvana in the process, or lose all his hair in frustration? Follow him in and find out.
Windows wants in on the $200 laptop: This laptop was meant for the people who need it the most. Those who are disadvantaged in the technological field could use this laptop as a means to grow and better themselves. I was reminded of a small snippet of information which made me at first chuckle then think. This snippet was that Microsoft was testing the laptop to see if windows would run on it. My first thought was HA! Here is an example where Open Source technology is clearly a better solution than Proprietary. Then a second and darker thought crossed my mind. Why is Microsoft testing the laptop?
Linux Freedom Never Cries: Our own Paul Ferris writes, "I get to use Linux a lot these days. It's ingrained in my professional and personal life so much that it's easy to forget just how much territory the Free Software movement has gained. That realization made me aware that possibly we've taken a lot for granted."
Is Linux still too geeky?: The word for today is disappointment. The New York Times says Apple is blowing its desktop opportunity, ignoring the channel, despite its incredible awesomeness. As to Linux, it’s still too geeky. This final verdict, issued by Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal concerning a Dell laptop he reviewed with Ubuntu, has been spreading like wildfire on the Internets, even hitting some political blogs. Trouble is, Mossberg admits in his story that he talked to Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth who admits the current version of the software is not really aimed at mainstream users. He found it’s not something it admits it’s not, and somehow that’s a headline.
Are You Serious? (Sun Partnering with Microsoft): Last week, we signed a deal with Microsoft. Remain calm. The good news is everyone paid attention. The bad news is it spawned a lot of questions - which I thought I'd answer here. The announcement was this: Microsoft will be supporting Project Virginia, Sun's soon-to-be-announced hypervisor platform - meaning we can consolidate and manage Windows (alongside Linux and Solaris). Secondly, Sun will support Windows virtualization - allowing Windows to do the same for Solaris. And finally, Sun agreed to package and support (or 'OEM') Windows for customers and partners that want to buy direct from Sun.
Motorola leaves Linux users in the lurch with its Linux smartphone: When Motorola released its smartphone running linux, I thought that it was a great match for my requirements. I later found that the synch. options were Microsoft only, so I contacted Motorola...
Libre vs Non-Libre: It All Comes Down To Trust: In the wake of the Windows Update fiasco, LinuxInsider quoted Stephen O'Grady's explanation of why users trust GNU/Linux more than Windows where the auto-update features are concerned. His explanation is important, as it hits the nail on the head as to why many users are finding it easier to switch over to libre software. It all comes down to trust.
IBM to release free office suite?: Watch out, here comes IBM with its Microsoft Office killer. The company is expected to announce a free set of downloadable office applications later today. Slashdot speculates that the suite will be called Loutus Symphony and will be based on OpenOffice.org. IBM's Lotus Notes 8 runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, so there is a good chance this suite will be available for Linux.
Don't fork Linux because of Linus: I recently read a blog entry on InfoWorld.com that urged the Linux community to fork the kernel into desktop and server versions because, according to the author, all Linus Torvalds cares about is big iron. Sorry, but that's both wrong and stupid.
Experts: SCO is going down for the count: Predicting SCO's demise is a popular hobby in open-source circles. Now, however, with SCO recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the experts believe that SCO's end is near.
Dear EPA, GO F$ YOURSELVES!: My apologies for the rough title. However, if you have read about James Burgett and how the EPA is trying to prevent him from recycling older computers to give to the needy, then it is my hope you will understand. Kudos to ZaReason for raising awareness of this.
The LXer Interview: Benedikt Meurer of Xfce: Benedikt Meurer was kind enough to agree to an Interview with yours truly. As one of the lead developers of the Xfce desktop environment his knowledge of the goings on concerning Xfce are second to none.
A first run with IBM's free office suite: Computer giant IBM yesterday released a free office suite for Windows and Linux machines called Lotus Symphony. Symphony is available from the Symphony website which requires users to register and be logged on to download the software.
Intel: Why Open-Source Drivers Work: This afternoon Intel's Chief Linux and Open-Source Technologist, Dirk Hohndel, talked about why Intel's commitment to open-source drivers creates a difference and advantage for Intel's architecture platforms. Nothing groud-breaking or too special was presented, but we have included some of Dirk's slides from this open-source driver presentation. Intel had also mentioned that AMD's (well, referenced as a "major graphics card vendor") open-source driver efforts as "good news."
Oh So That’s Why OpenOffice Isn’t As Good As MS Office: Those of you who have ever tried OpenOffice (and Linux folks probably make up the majority) have to admit that it’s nice, but not nearly as feature rich as it’s market leading cousin Microsoft Office. Not only that, it’s damn ugly in comparison (it reminds me of the old Office 6.x, the one you used to install from 30 floppies back in 1994). Well after reading an article in Computer World, I now “know why:”
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