LXer Weekly Roundup for 23-Dec-2007

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Dec 23, 2007 8:10 PM EDT
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)
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LXer Feature: 23-Dec-2007

It looks like people are starting to get their hands on some OLPC's and the reviews have started coming in too. We also have a review of Carla Schroder's new book, KOffice takes a stand against OOXML, screenshots of the BBS's new iPlayer and Damn Small Linux 4.2, Open Source alternatives to Adobe, how to make a holiday slideshow and one of our readers has a Debian adventure of their own.

It looks like people are starting to get their hands on some OLPC's and the reviews have started coming in too. We also have a review of Carla Schroder's new book, KOffice takes a stand against OOXML, screenshots of the BBS's new iPlayer and Damn Small Linux 4.2, Open Source alternatives to Adobe, how to make a holiday slideshow and one of our readers has a Debian adventure of their own.

OLPC XO Review: The XO is the laptop produced by the One Laptop Per Child program (OLPC) headed by Mr. Nicholas Negroponte with a goal to provide every child a laptop. Colin Dean was one of the first to participate in G1G1, and this is his review of it.

Should the Linux community boycott newegg.com?: I'm beginning to wonder myself. My uncle bought a $1200.00 laptop that didn't work right brand new and wanted to return it for a refund in under 30 days. In the US its illegal not to refund someone's money for a defective product or a product that is not as described and everyone has the right to return something that is new.

Slim Down and Speed Up Linux: While Linux is pretty efficient with a computer's resources out of the box, there are still ways you can make it run leaner and meaner on your desktop. Using a little bit of know-how, a willingness to run a few terminal commands and a mind for efficiency, you can get every last bit of power from your Linux box, or get more life from an older system. Read on for a roundup of ways to slim down and speed up Linux that any level of user can implement.

My Debian Adventure: I had been very happily using Mepis Linux full-time instead of Windows since September, 2006. Mepis is an extremely user-friendly distro that's based on Debian. But a growing feeling inside me made me want to see if I could successfully install and configure "unfriendly" Debian itself. A few days ago, I finally got up the courage to install Debian Etch KDE. And I documented every step along the way...

BBC iPlayer Linux screenshots: BBC iPlayer after a lot of complains, petitions, talks and discussions is finally available for GNU/Linux as beta. I took a look at what BBC has prepared and in general I have to say: good job!

Linux Networking Cookbook: Tasty Linux Recipes: If you run Linux networks, you need a copy of Linux Networking Cookbook. Even before I picked up Unix, I worked on networks. While networking has gotten simpler, it's almost all TCP/IP now instead of Arcnet, Token-Ring and a half dozen dusty wiring and protocol schemes. The services that use networking have gotten ever more powerful and more complicated. That's why a book like Carla Schroder's Linux Networking Cookbook is so valuable.

Seller Beware - Hemorrhage of Customers Ahead: Jack heard about Linux through one of his employees. I had installed a Komputers4Kids machine next door to the employee ... Of course, the employee then told Jack just why it was Linux that should run his business.

Can We Avoid the Great Schism?: Choice is an important element of free software, so it's perhaps no surprise that even at the level of the desktop environment there is more than one offering. But the main alternatives – KDE and GNOME – represent more than just a way of placing icons on a screen. Nowhere is that more evident than in their respective views on Microsoft's OOXML document standard, which are very far apart – perhaps dangerously so.

Linux PDF editor for manipulating PDF documents: Adobe Acrobat is a commercial tool for manipulating PDF files. Earlier I was using CUPs - printing system, to export PDF files. I’ve also tried out gv for the same purpose. However, I needed complete editing of pdf documents. My search ended with PDFedit software, which is free and open source editor for manipulating PDF documents. The PDFEdit software available in both GUI and CLI (commandline) interface.

Still searching for the ultimate Linux distro? Virtualize!: So why does a person install one Linux, then another, and then yet another? Because a person can, of course! Such is the nature of choice, and Linux gives you a choice . . . and what a selection. The trouble, of course, comes when you have to backup, wipe a system, reinstall, over and over. The answer is virtualization. There are many virtual machine tools out there nowadays, but your system probably came with one and in this edition of "Cooking with Linux", I will show you how to work with the software.

KOffice's stance against OOXML more practical than political, developer says: In the recent accusations that the GNOME Foundation has been supporting Microsoft's OOXML format at the expense of ODF, KDE has been presented as a counter-example. Based on a KDE News article, Richard Stallman suggested that "major KDE developers" had announced "their rejection of OOXML" and urged GNOME to do the same. More recently, a widely linked story on ITWire used the same article to declare that KDE has taken a "principled stand" against OOXML. However, if you go the source, the story is more nuanced than these claims suggest.

Where Can Linux Leap Ahead Part 1: People often talk about getting average home users to use Linux, but that may not be the best group of people for Linux to market itself to. This multi-part story goes through the various groups of computer users and why they might or might not want to switch to Linux.

Screenshots Of Damn Small Linux 4.2: As far as the good old days of computing with x86 PCs is concerned, Robert Shingledecker and his team have been tirelessly evoking that nostalgic moments. Unsurprisingly, there is much more sweetness in this new version of Damn Small Linux 4.2. This timely-released version will definitely add more cheers to the New Year and Christmas festivities.

Install, Set up, and Run your own Email Server using Qmail: Packt has released a new book on Qmail. Written by experienced author Kyle Wheeler, Qmail Quickstarter is a fast-paced and easy-to-follow guide that gets a Qmail mail server up and running quickly.

Flipping the Linux switch: Desktop environments vs. window managers: Picture this: It's late at night. You've restarted your computer. The optical drive is whirring contentedly, but you have butterflies in your stomach. Tonight is the night you install Linux for the first time. You choose your language, and then your keyboard layout. This is pretty easy, so far. A partitioner works its magic on your hard disk, either resizing your Windows partition or wiping it completely. Suddenly you are blindsided by the question: Which default desktop environment would you like to install?

50+ open source/free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat is expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to live a life without portable documents. What many people don’t realize is that PDF is a Federal Information Processing Standard, which means the specifications behind the format are widely published. Numerous developers take advantage of this fact and create programs that offer effective alternatives to Acrobat. Check out our list of these programs and take advantage of these tools that are full of some of the best PDF features and functions.

Embracing PCLinuxOS and Open Source: As other countries embrace free, open source software (like Austrian schools learning how to use OpenOffice), especially GNU/Linux distributions on the desktop as alternatives to Windows/Mac, the burning question is, how long before the USA catches on? That said, consider how 10th and 11th grade Vietnamese and foreign students are learning...

The smartest and dumbest tech moves of 2007 - and why they matter: Overall, the industry did several things right and wrong this year. But here’s what Network World readers, columnists, bloggers and testers say are the absolute smartest and dumbest moves of 2007 -- and why they matter.

Holiday Slideshow: Being the geek that I am, I like to challenge myself with new ideas. A few weeks ago, I decided that my latest challenge should be to create a Christmas slideshow. I could put up a few strings of flashy lights, maybe even hang a wreath, but why should I be like my neighbors? I have the power of Linux and Free Software at my fingertips; I should show it to them, right?

» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features, Roundups; Groups: Community, Debian, GNU, KDE, Linux, Microsoft, OLPC

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