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The Splashtop instant-on Linux environment is included in the new Lenovo IdeaPad S10e netbook, marking the product's first appearance in that form factor. That news should come as no surprise, since netbooks' ultra-portability is a natural match for Splashtop's instant-on.
If you want to turn your netbook or conventional laptop into a nifty open source navigation system, you need two things: a USB receiver and a GPS-enabled navigation application. You can buy a GPS receiver cheaply at virtually any gadget store or on eBay. And there are actually several GPS-enabled navigation applications out there, including Navit, GPSdrive, and Roadnav. These are fine applications, but if you are looking for GPS software that offers the right amount of features wrapped in a sleek and user-friendly interface, try tangoGPS. This lightweight GPS-enabled navigation application can pull maps from different sources and has a few clever features up its sleeve.
When Levolor, a maker of window coverings, was looking for a better way to manage floods of data more quickly and efficiently, it ended up swapping its homegrown application for an open source tool.
Many academics and students share a dirty secret: They hate the drudgery of assembling bibliographies. The cb2bib utility attempts to remove some of the drudgery, at least so far as online references go. Designed primarily for use with BibTeX, cb2bib can also be used with other formats once you export the results. However, whether the application actually makes bibliographical tasks easier seems questionable.
You probably rely on the services on your own private network -- wikis, mail servers, Web sites, and other applications you've installed. What happens when you have to leave the friendly confines of your network? With minimum exposure and few simple tools, you can get all of the comforts of home anywhere you can find an Internet connection.
Dave Whiting, the principal at Red Newt Cellars winery in upstate New York, was tired of chasing vendors to try to get them to support clunky custom content management systems on his site at RedNewt.com. The independent winemaker decided to branch out and teach himself site development skills, with the help of some popular open source applications. The happy result is a full-featured interactive ecommerce site that Whiting says is flexible, scalable, and secure.
When you return from a trip and copy your digital pictures over to your file server, you might like to rename the image files or (losslessly) rotate them to their correct orientation to make finding and viewing them simpler. You might even want to embed comments right into the image files in such a way that all image viewing tools should be able to harvest and share this metadata. In this article we'll take a look at some command-line tools to help you with these tasks.
Currently in late beta, the Sun Presenter Console (SPC) is Sun Microsystems' latest extension for OpenOffice.org and StarOffice. Other extensions from Sun in the last year, such as the Sun PDF Import Extension, Sun Presentation Minimizer, and Sun Weblog Publisher, have sometimes been lacking in design and sometimes buggy, but all of them are so invaluable that you might wonder why they are extensions instead of new features. SPC is no exception. It gives slide show presenters a separate view of their presentation and some tools to help them organize and deliver their talks, but includes no indication of how to set it up or use it.
It's all about bipartisanship and unity in this week's roll call for the Linux.com forums. Old distro and new distro coming together, peripheral and computer learning how to work as one, and, just as the framers intended, a run-off between several distinguished "absentee answer" questions.
My employer, Warnbro Community Library in Western Australia, had a problem with wasted paper from printing. Library patrons often sent unnecessary print jobs to the printers, then refused to pay for them, leaving reams of unclaimed paper. The library needed a print queue to enable library staff to control patrons' print jobs. It needed to be easy to set up and maintain and cost nothing. We found the answer in using Linux as a print server.
There are many ways to share files with teams of people, but few require only a Web browser for access and let you choose from tens of different ways of authenticating user access to the files. Such lightweight and universal access is the promise of Gollem, a file manager that runs in your Web browser. With it you can connect to and manage your files on a WebDAV, FTP, or traditional filesystem or SQL database.
Many network-attached storage (NAS) devices, in addition to offering network storage, offer features such as VPN access, calendaring, wikis, and even an iTunes server. The open source Amahi Linux Home Server provides all of that and more in a complete NAS box integrated with a Fedora 9 base.
Open source multimedia specialist Collabora is hiring developers to work on the nonlinear video editor PiTiVi. The Cambridge, UK-based company contributes heavily to the GStreamer media framework and other GStreamer-dependent projects, so PiTiVi is a natural fit -- and it fills a sorely needed niche on the Linux desktop.
The pam_mount project lets you unlock an encrypted filesystem automatically when you log in. The same password used to log in is used as the key to unlock the encrypted filesystem, so you only need to type it once. Using this method, you can easily share a laptop and have only a single user's home directory unlocked and mounted when he logs in. And pam_mount can mount any filesystem, not just encrypted filesystems, so you can use it, for example, with an NFS share that you are interested in but which you might not like to leave mounted when you are not logged in.
If you're looking to run a serious open source collaboration server, Yahoo's Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) should be on your short list. This Web 2.0 email and groupware server offers AJAX Web-based administrator and user interfaces, a variety of useful groupware features, and email import functionality.
If your music library is tied to your CD collection or MP3 player, you can still hit the road without losing access to your tunes. Subsonic is a free, Web-based media streamer that lets you -- and your friends -- access your music collection over the Internet.
The lightweight Dillo Web browser, in development for eight years, has always been a contender for the fastest browser available on GNU/Linux -- so much so that the Google's Chrome will have to be pretty nimble to outpace it. With last month's release of version 2.0, Dillo is faster than ever. If performance is your main priority, you might find Dillo's minimalistic tools and functional limitations an acceptable tradeoff -- but probably not.
Scott Johnson of GNUveau Networks has developed a solar-powered Internet "hub" system (running Ubuntu GNU/Linux) that he builds to order in his Daytona Beach, Florida, home. His objective is to bring computers and the Internet to places that have no connectivity, no phone service, and no electricity. This is no pipe dream. There are real SolarNetOne installations running in Africa right now, providing wireless connectivity and "Internet Cafe" access to hundreds of people. The system uses off-the-shelf hardware that Scott modifies to run on 12V -- and to use a lot less power than the stock versions. As Scott says, in solar-powered computer installations, "The Watt is king."
Each new Ubuntu release has raised the standard by which other Linux distros are judged. With the new Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex, the focus is on mobility and 3G network support. I found Intrepid to be a fast and stable release, yet I experienced some minor issues that keep it from absolute perfection.