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NewsVac: News from around the Web

  • Adobe Breathes AIR into Linux 5 years, 4 months ago
    Adobe has launched its AIR 1.5 software for Linux. Supported distributions include Fedora 8, Ubuntu 7.10, and openSUSE 10.3. This enables companies and developers to easily target users using all three major OS -- Windows, Linux and Mac -- with a single code base.
  • IBM Lotus Strategist Sees Linux on Netbooks Making Inroads Vs. Windows in 2009 5 years, 4 months ago
    Linux and open source will start to chip away at Microsoft Windows desktop software thanks to their popularity on netbooks, those ultralight, low-cost laptops. IBM Lotus strategy director predicts this as a major trend in 2009, as well as the proliferation of messaging and collaboration technologies asa function of UCC, SAAS, cloud computing, enterprise social networks and Web services.
  • The Range of Linux Distributions 5 years, 4 months ago
    A comment from Tezzer to my recent blog post about Two New Linux Beta Distributions got me thinking. Tezzer mentions using Debian, but looking at PCLinuxOS and others for systems that have "issues" with some Linux distributions. I have heard the same comments on other blog posts, and in fact I have seen the same sort of "issues" with my Lifebook S2110 (often because of the ATI display adapter).
  • Indian Express Switches to Red Hat Solutions 5 years, 4 months ago
    Red Hat , a provider of open source solutions, announced that The Indian Express Group, a media firm in India, has switched to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 from Novell (News - Alert) Netware, to provide a cost-effective scale with accelerated company growth.
  • TI adds ARM9, Linux to sound chip 5 years, 4 months ago
    Texas Instruments (TI) is shipping a third-generation "Aureus" digital audio processor platform with a Linux software developer's kit (SDK). Available with an evaluation module (EVM) from Spectrum Digital, the DA830 and DA828 system-on-chips (SoCs) combine an ARM9 core with a digital signal processor (DSP).
  • AMD Linux 2008 Year in Review 5 years, 4 months ago
    Last year when publishing our AMD Year in Review article there were numerous new features to account for, including but not limited to the new OpenGL driver, support for Compiz, and the AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition. This year has been another interesting year for AMD's Linux efforts on both the open and closed fronts. We are focusing on their Catalyst driver efforts in this article, which has picked up support for CrossFire, is now capable of being overclocked with OverDrive, and AMD is now delivering same-day Linux product support. In this article we will recap some of the highlights from the Catalyst driver releases this year as well as set out on a benchmarking extravaganza.
  • Teacher claims Linux 'holding back the kids' 5 years, 4 months ago
    A US student has landed in hot water with an irate - and apparently ill-informed - teacher for handing out discs of Linux.
  • How is Microsoft with Vista like the Big Three automakers? 5 years, 4 months ago
    For more than a decade, if you owned a PC, you ran Windows and, far more often than not, Internet Explorer was your Web browser. In fact, for a while, the only three things you could be sure of were death, taxes and Microsoft. Things have changed.
  • The EE Gender Gap Is Widening 5 years, 4 months ago
    Walk into a classroom of environmental engineering students and, odds are, nearly half of them will be women. Now head next door to an electrical engineering class: you’ll likely find eight men for every woman.
  • Windows needs a Linux package manager 5 years, 4 months ago
    Windows users have a real problem when it comes to updates. Sure they have Microsoft Update and certainly many applications include their own update mechanisms. Yet despite that, there seems to be a problem with Windows users actually updating.
  • Slackware 12.2 Release Announcement 5 years, 4 months ago
    Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.2! Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware 12.2 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.1) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user.
  • "Ubuntu has the strongest chance to take Linux mainstream" 5 years, 4 months ago
    Jeremy Allison's contributions to the free software world are legion, and yet the project he's best known for continues to be Samba, the open implementation of some of Microsoft's most important networking protocols.
  • Hey Karen, welcome to (hell control W) the community. 5 years, 4 months ago
    So, after listening to people gripe about this story today, and yesterday, on IRC in email, on various blogs, where Mr Starks was talking about an email he received, I got to thinking. Just to give you context if you don't know what I am on about, click here.
  • Eight Crazy Nights of Hanukkah and Linux 5 years, 4 months ago
    Trying to find something for your gelibte this year? Look no further, my Linux Geek's Guide to Hanukkah will help you make the right decisions.
  • OpenSolaris now on Toshiba laptops 5 years, 4 months ago
    Sun has reached an agreement with Toshiba to pre-install the OpenSolaris operating system on Toshiba laptops.
  • More News : Features

Four winning ways to monitor machines through Web interfaces

By Ben Martin on November 04, 2008 (9:00:00 AM)

System administrators need to keep an eye on their servers to make sure things are running smoothly. If they find a problem, they need to see when it started, so investigations can focus on what happened at that time. That means logging information at regular intervals and having a quick way to analyse this data. Here's a look at several tools that let you monitor one or more servers from a Web interface.

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Fl_TeacherTool: Award-winning software with an uncertain future

By Bruce Byfield on November 03, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

Last month, when the National Center for Open Source and Education announced this year's FOSS and K-12 Education Awards, three of the five awards were given for software designed for the Linux Terminal Service Project (LTSP). Two were given to Eric Harrison and Paul Nelson, the founders of the K12LTSP distribution (now called K-12 Linux). The third was given to Robert Arkiletian, the developer of an administration application called Fl_TeacherTool that is designed specifically for K12LTSP. The award was only the latest acclaim for Fl_TeacherTool, which has a small but dedicated group of users in the classroom. Ironically, though, the award comes at a time when the tiny project faces significant challenges if it is to survive.

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TimeVault simplifies data backup for Ubuntu users

By Kurt Edelbrock on November 03, 2008 (4:00:00 PM)

Backing up data can be difficult, especially when you only want to copy files that changed since the last backup. It can be even more troublesome when you have to remember to start the process manually,or you have to delete old backups to make room for new ones. Because of these difficulties, some people decide not to back up data at all, and feel the pain when they accidentally delete the wrong file or their system crashes. TimeVault is a backup utility for Ubuntu that addresses these problems.

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Slow startup? Bootchart reveals all

By Nathan Willis on November 03, 2008 (9:00:00 AM)

Ever wondered what takes your Linux box so long to boot up? You can see for certain with the Bootchart package. Bootchart logs the entire startup process and produces a clean, graphical representation of its results suitable for everything from troubleshooting to good old-fashioned bragging rights.

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Using Calc to manage schedules

By Dmitri Popov on October 31, 2008 (6:00:00 PM)

If you want to keep tabs on your deadlines, you don't need a fancy project management application -- often, a simple spreadsheet can do the job. To see how, let's create a spreadsheet that tracks task deadlines, shows the current status of each task, and highlights scheduling conflicts. In the process we'll learn a few useful Calc techniques.

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Transparent compression of files on optical media

By Ben Martin on October 31, 2008 (3:00:00 PM)

Support for transparent decompression of files on optical media has been part of the Linux kernel since version 2.4.14. Here's how you can take advantage of this support when you burn your own optical media by using the mkzftree tool and the -z option to genisoimage. These commands compress files using zlib, which uses the same algorithm as gzip. Using the transparent compression Rock Ridge extension can allow you to fit much more data onto a DVD.

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VMware Server 2 shows some improvement

By Mayank Sharma on October 31, 2008 (8:00:00 AM)

In the early days of desktop virtualization, there were few low-priced alternatives to VMware Workstation that didn't involve a steep learning curve. Even the freely available VirtualBox didn't affect Workstation's market domination and instead faced competition from the newly rebranded VMware GSX server, which was offered for free as VMware Server. Despite being an entry-level server virtualization product, many people used VMware Server on the desktop. Taking that into consideration, you have to look at the recently released VMware Server 2, from two angles -- as an entry-level server virtualization platform and as an alternative to desktop virtualization products like VirtualBox. With its performance and other improvements, it does enough to keep existing customers happy, but probably not enough to get others to switch.

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Portrait: Metasploit godfather H.D. Moore

By Tina Gasperson on October 30, 2008 (6:00:00 PM)

The Metasploit Project develops a set of security tools to create and execute exploit code on remote computers. Some people say Metasploit makes the job easier for black hat hackers who attack networks looking for vulnerabilities to take advantage of; others says the tool helps network security administrators do a better job of finding and repairing weaknesses before the bad guys get to them. H.D. Moore, the 20-something creator of the Metasploit Project, says it all depends on your perspective.

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Hugin panoramic photo editor extends its reach

By Nathan Willis on October 30, 2008 (3:00:00 PM)

The developers of the free panoramic photo editor Hugin released version 0.7 this month, culminating a two-year development cycle. The new release incorporates key new technical abilities and usability improvements to help demystify the panorama creation process for the average shooter.

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Parallel SSH execution and a single shell to control them all

By Ben Martin on October 30, 2008 (8:00:00 AM)

Many people use SSH to log in to remote machines, copy files around, and perform general system administration. If you want to increase your productivity with SSH, you can try a tool that lets you run commands on more than one remote machine at the same time. Parallel ssh, Cluster SSH, and ClusterIt let you specify commands in a single terminal window and send them to a collection of remote machines where they can be executed.

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More tricks with BashDiff

By Ben Martin on October 29, 2008 (6:00:00 PM)

Yesterday we took a look at BashDiff, a patch for the bash shell that adds new capabilities. We've already looked at some of the additions that BashDiff makes to bash's commands and string parsing abilities. Today we'll look at modifying positional parameters, parsing XML, talking to ISAM and relational databases, creating GTK+2 GUIs, and a few other tricks and issues.

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Three scripts for package management on Debian and Ubuntu systems

By Bruce Byfield on October 29, 2008 (3:00:00 PM)

Five of the top 10 most downloaded distributions on Distrowatch use the Debian package system. It has developed a rich infrastructure of utilities -- not just the core commands apt-get and dpkg, but also such less well-known commands as apt-cache, apt-spy, and apt-listbugs. In addition, an array of other scripts, some mashups of existing utilities, and some original, are regularly available on sites like Such scripts help to streamline the process of keeping a Debian-based package system in working order, and provide information to help you make better decisions about software installation.

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Secrets for controlling VirtualBox from the command line

By Mayank Sharma on October 29, 2008 (8:00:00 AM)

Sun's recently released VirtualBox 2 is one of the best virtualization applications for desktop users. It's available in two wallet-friendly flavors, with a few extra features in the closed-source variant. The software sports a nice graphical user interface, but few users realize that it can also be completely controlled via a powerful command-line interface.

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Ontario LinuxFest 2008

By David Graham on October 28, 2008 (6:00:00 PM)

They're back! John Van Ostrand and his gang of idealists put on another great money-losing all-volunteer effort to get Linux users and developers to connect in Toronto last weekend. An estimated 250 people attended the one-day Ontario Linux Fest at the Days Hotel near Toronto's major airport. Among the 27 sessions were keynotes from Jeremy Allison of Samba fame and numerous interesting sessions on everything from Nintendo Wiimote integration in X to an introduction to a group called Geekcorps that seeks to bring usable computers and the Internet to rural West Africa.

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Searching for package information on Debian and Ubuntu systems

By Bruce Byfield on October 28, 2008 (3:00:00 PM)

New Linux users may be content with automatic updates and the package information shown by desktop tools, but more experienced users are generally more cautious and demanding. Experienced users, for instance, may want to assess the risk of an upgrade by studying its dependencies before they begin, or to overcome a package conflict by using versions from an older repository. Because of Debian's long history of providing for advanced users, this sort of information is available from several different sources -- from the apt-cache command, from distribution Web sites, and, in Ubuntu, with the new Ubuntu Simple Package Crawler. Unfortunately, no single source has all the features you are likely to want.

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Manipulating CD/DVD images with AcetoneISO2

By Shashank Sharma on October 28, 2008 (8:00:00 AM)

Burning discs reliably ceased to be an area of concern for Linux a long time ago, thanks to tools such as K3b and GnomeBaker. Another tool, AcetoneISO2, aims to be the Swiss army knife at managing disc images. This utility can convert many different image formats, such as .nrg, .bin, and .img, to ISO, and can generate, compress, encrypt, extract, and mount ISO images. It can also mount Mac OS *.dmg files as images, rip DVDs to Xvid AVI files, split and merge images, and more.

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Alleged Israeli GPL violation settled out of court

By Bruce Byfield on October 27, 2008 (6:00:00 PM)

After two years of litigation, the parties involved in an Israeli law suit that centered on the validity of the GNU General Public License (GPL) have settled out of court. The result leaves the legal status of the GPL in Israel unresolved.

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Teach an old shell new tricks with BashDiff

By Ben Martin on October 27, 2008 (3:00:00 PM)

BashDiff is a patch for the bash shell that can do an amazing number of things. It extends existing bash features, brings a few of awk's tricks into the shell itself, exposes some common C functions to bash shell programming, adds an exception mechanism, provides features of functional programming such as list comprehension and the map function, lets you talk with GTK+2 and databases, and even adds a Web server right into the standard bash shell.

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Four layout extensions for Writer

By Bruce Byfield on October 27, 2008 (8:00:00 AM) Writer is as much a desktop publishing program as a word processor. That fact, however, has yet to have much influence on the extensions created for Writer -- perhaps because most users prefer manual formatting to organizing themselves with page styles, templates, and other elements of document design. Still, extensions for layout are starting to appear, as demonstrated by four extensions that help you automate layout: Alba, which manages page orientation; Pagination and Pager, which manage page numbering; and Template Changer, which allows you to change the template, and therefore the entire layout of documents, on the fly. And all but one of these extensions use styles and templates, the way that is built to work, which means that they are highly stable.

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Ask Missing memory, built-in webcams, and shared servers

By Staff on October 25, 2008 (6:56:28 PM)

This week in our whirlwind tour of the forums: demystifying your notebook's built-in webcam, demystifying the varying states of system RAM, and demystifying the ins and outs of running a shared server. Plus a country-sized portion of re-mystifying unanswered questions, and the debut of a new feature so strange and different from the usual Ask fare that we'd have to call it, well, mystifying.

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