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Google unveiled the first Android-powered cell phone last week, a T-Mobile-branded device dubbed the G1. Comparisons to Apple's iPhone were immediate -- and that is a good thing for Android, when you consider what a raucous and contentious week it was for iPhone developers.
Converting an old PC into a home or office server may look like a good idea on paper, but in reality, the idea has a few serious drawbacks. For starters, old PCs tend to be noisy, power-guzzling monsters, and older components make them less reliable. Turning an old PC into a server also means installing and configuring all the necessary software, which can be a time-consuming and laborious process. If the drawbacks of this approach outweigh for you its possible advantages, consider instead Bubba Two, a nifty Debian-based device that can be used for a variety of tasks.
After marking the GNU Project's 25th anniversary with an endorsement by Stephen Fry and the relicensing of OpenGL, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is concluding the month-long celebration by relaunching its high priority list, which enumerates as-yet unwritten or incomplete software needed to run a completely free computer system. Instead of being simply a page on the FSF's Web site, the list will become a campaign, and be actively promoted and discussed, and given a new emphasis in the Foundation's activities.
Collabtive is a modern Web application that allows teams to collaborate on projects, manage tasks, milestones, and files, and send instant messages to each other.
No Linux distribution can bundle every package that users might want, so most distros host software repositories from which users can download and install additional applications. Since 2006 Slackbuilds.org has served as a high-quality repository for Slackware users, but using it requires several steps and switching between a Web browser and a virtual terminal. Sbopkg is a new ncurses-based utility that helps users build packages from SlackBuilds.org and seamlessly integrates the repository with the operating system.
Online office suites are attractive for organizations with modest document processing needs, especially due to their low cost (read: free). But if you don't like the idea of storing your documents outside your network, try OpenGoo. It's an online office suite that installs on your local network and allows users to collaborate with others both inside and outside the network. The open source software, still under active development, is an easy to install and use, and if it's not quite ready for real-world large-scale deployment, it's getting there fast.
The Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) is a new tool from Ubuntu whose goal is to make configuration of the built-in Linux packet filter less complicated and more secure for novice users.
The CC Network Filesystem (ccgfs) lets you mount filesystems over the network using either the push or pull model for connections. Most network filesystems use the pull model, where the client mounts a network share and all connections originate from the client. Using the push model for network shares means that all connections originate from the server. The push model has advantages when you want a machine on your network demilitarized zone (DMZ) to access a file server through a firewall.
Bluefish is a GUI-based text and code editor that runs on "most (maybe all?) POSIX compatible operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD, Ma cOS X, OpenBSD, and Solaris." It has an impressive feature list, and is both lightweight and speedy. It is not currently under heavy development primarily because it is a mature program that already does exactly what it is supposed to do with no fuss or complaint.
"Where does all my money go?" If you want to know the exact answer to that question, you need HomeBank, a personal finance manager that can help you keep track of your income and expenses with consummate ease.
Unless you have fully embraced the virtualization movement, you probably have more than one machine in your home or office, particularly if you run more than one operating system, and you probably have more than one keyboard and mouse on your desk. If you would like to regain some desk space without having to purchase a KVM switch, x2x may be the solution. Simply put, x2x takes advantage of the X Window System's ability to run a display over a TCP/IP network. In this case, you are not running a display as much as you are taking charge of another display's mouse and keyboard.
gnoMint is a desktop application that lets you easily manage your own certificate authority (CA). Many secure communications technologies use digital certificates to ensure that the party or service they are connecting with is not an impostor. For many people, the main exposure to digital certificates comes when they visit an HTTPS Web site and see a certificate to validate that they have contacted the right Web server.
Over the last decade, vector graphics have gone from being a revolutionary format to a standard method of rendering computer images -- so much so that they are standard in the KDE 4 desktops. This popularity is based on the fact that, because they represent images as mathematical equations -- usually in SVG format -- vector graphics open faster, render better on screen, and can be resized more readily than raster graphics, in which an image is created pixel by pixel. Free software includes a number of options for working with vector graphics, including several simple ones: OpenOffice.org's Draw, KOffice's Karbon14, and Inkscape, which is currently the premier vector graphic editor in free software.
A mail transport agent (MTA) provides the "plumbing" for your email system by taking mail from a client application such as Evolution or Mozilla Thunderbird and routing it to the correct location on the right machine. There are plenty of good MTAs, such as Postfix, Sendmail, and qmail, but these popular mail servers require a large amount of configuration, and may be overkill for users who merely want to set up an MTA to test a Web development project or need to move mail around locally. Smail is a better alternative for these scenarios because it generally requires no configuration, and its memory footprint is less than the more fully featured MTAs.
Last week marked the release of GNOME 2.24. Those who already use GNOME will appreciate the new additions, but there's nothing compelling enough in the new version to convince fans of other desktop environments to make a switch.
At first sight, the Read It Later (RIL) extension looks redundant -- after all, you can use Firefox's own bookmarking functionality to save Web pages for later reading. But dig deeper, and you'll discover that it offers enough nifty features to make it a must-have tool for most users.
This week in our regular update on Linux.com's forum activity, how to set up SIM-based mobile broadband, how to edit partitions on a bootable USB thumb drive, and more. Plus, you can smell the excitement in the air at the official start of the autumn unanswered questions season.
As November's national election looms in the United States, voters can expect increasing coverage of the hot-button issues through the mainstream media and campaign ads. On issues important to the open source and free software communities, however, information is harder to come by. Today we take a look at what the Democratic and Republican candidates say about questions close to the FOSS voter.
Sometimes I get the feeling that I only know about 5% of what VLC can do. Everyone knows it's a dependable, free, cross-platform media player. But read through the release notes for the latest version, 0.9.2, and you will see a dizzying array of server, network streaming, and conversion functions, most of which I have never even touched -- and the new VLC exposes a lot more of that functionality.
On September 27, 1983, Richard M. Stallman announced his intention to found the GNU project in order to build a free operating system. Now, 25 years later, the Free Software Foundation is marking the anniversary of the announcement with a month-long celebration. Looking back at the last quarter century, Stallman expresses some guarded satisfaction with the growth of the free software movement, but also some bemusement about how it has grown more complex as it has faced new challenges from within and without, and an awareness of how far it still has to go to reach its goals.