Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Best ‘readme’ File Ever!!! | Tech Pedia

I got to confess! I never read readme files, ever. Even for hardware or software installations, I prefer to figure it out by myself. But, things might just change for me in the future. A readme file from gnome-cups-manager had me in a fix over the things I could have missed earlier. If you’re not aware, the readme file is for a Gnome graphical front-end for a tool used to manage print queues and adding printers/etc.

Once upon a time there was a printer who lived in the woods. He was a lonely printer, because nobody knew how to configure him. He hoped and hoped for someone to play with.
One day, the wind passed by the printer’s cottage. “Whoosh,” said the wind. The printer became excited. Maybe the wind would be his friend!
“Will you be my friend?” the printer asked.
“Whoosh,” said the wind.
“What does that mean?” asked the printer.
“Whoosh,” said the wind, and with that it was gone.
The printer was confused. He spent the rest of the day thinking and jamming paper (for that is what little printers do when they are confused).
The next day a storm came. The rain came pouring down, darkening the morning sky and destroying the printer’s garden. The little printer was upset. “Why are you being so mean to me?” he asked.
“Pitter Patter, Pitter Patter,” said the rain.
“Will you be my friend?” the printer asked shyly.
“Pitter Patter, Pitter Patter,” said the rain, and then it left and the sun came out.
The printer was sad. He spent the rest of the day inside, sobbing and blinking lights cryptically (for that is what little printers do when they are sad).
Then one day, a little girl stumbled into the printer’s clearing in the woods. The printer looked at this curious sight. He didn’t know what to think.
The little girl looked up at him. “Will you be my friend?” she asked.
“Yes,” said the printer.
“What is your name?” asked the little girl.
“HP 4100TN”, replied the printer.
“My name is gnome-cups-manager” said the little girl.
The printer was happy. He spent the rest of the day playing games and printing documents, for that is what little printers do when they are happy.


Best ‘readme’ File Ever!!! | Tech Pedia

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Faces behind Popular Linux Distros | yabBLOG

Faces behind Popular Linux Distros

Have you ever wondered who are the people behind Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware,..? Stop wondering and have a look at faces behind popular Linux Distros.

Ubuntu:


Mark Richard Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African entrepreneur who was the second self-funded space tourist and first African in space. Shuttleworth founded Canonical Ltd. and as of 2008, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system.


Faces behind Popular Linux Distros | yabBLOG

Monday, June 22, 2009

10 Special Purpose Linux Distributions | LinuxHaxor.net

One of the several advantages of having many Linux distributions is that there is always one distribution that meets specific needs for a group of users with similar interests. Whether you are a student or a scientist or someone who believes in some religion; you could use one of these special purpose distribution and share with people with similar interest instead of creating and customizing something from scratch.

Today we will share with you 10 such distribution (among many) that are fairly popular for specialized task or interest: 10 Special Purpose Linux Distributions | LinuxHaxor.net

Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FOSS, or FLOSS)? Look at the Numbers!

This paper provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using open source software / free software (abbreviated as OSS/FS, FLOSS, or FOSS) is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures. This paper’s goal is to show that you should consider using OSS/FS when acquiring software.

This paper examines market share, reliability, performance, scalability, security, and total cost of ownership. It also has sections on non-quantitative issues, unnecessary fears, OSS/FS on the desktop, usage reports, governments and OSS/FS, other sites providing related information, and ends with some conclusions. An appendix gives more background information about OSS/FS. You can view this paper at http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html (HTML format).

A short presentation (briefing) based on this paper is also available. Palm PDA users may wish to use Plucker to view this longer report. Old archived copies and a list of changes are also available.


Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FOSS, or FLOSS)? Look at the Numbers!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Firefox CAN be faster - 4 easy tricks

firefoxlogoa
Now that we all know the hidden pages in Firefox, it’s time to go a bit deeper into tweaking your browser for optimal use. All of the operations will be made in the about:config page, so save your important stuff, open up a new tab, write about:config in the address bar and be prepared. I have gathered four tricks that will improve your Firefox experience, and here they are.

1. Fetch only pages that you click
Firefox mostly resembles to Google from this point of view. It has a built-in feature (enabled by default) that will pre-download the pages behind the links it thinks you MIGHT click. Google anticipates you might click the first result from the page, but how in the world can Firefox anticipate the link you’re going to click? Anyway, in my opinion this is just useless bandwidth usage, CPU power and HDD space. You’re practically downloading and storing pages you are not viewing. Here’s how you stop that in three simple steps.

In the about:config list, filter up your search after ‘network’ so it would be easier for you. Then, find through the remaining list options the key that says network.prefetch-next. It should be set to TRUE. Double click it, and it will turn to false. There we go, now Firefox will stop acting creepy and will only fetch what you click ;)

2. Limit the RAM usage
Although it’s not taking up THAT much memory as other browser, shortly, it still does. But you have a way to control that. It’s just a simple configuration setting and you’ll get the numbers to be more comfortable. Filter up your search after “browser.cache” and select browser.cache.memory.capacity from the remaining options. I believe the default setting goes all the way up to 50000, but there’s no need for that. You have to adjust the value depending on the amount of RAM memory you have installed. For RAM sizes between 512MB and 1GB, start with 15000. For RAM sizes between 128MB and 512M, try 5000, and you will be happy of the result.

3. Reducing the RAM usage even more when Firefox gets minimized
I got an extremely low usage on this one. Somewhere around 10MB, so it’s definitely a must-do. Basically, this will move Firefox to your hard drive when you minimize it, and as a result it will take up much less memory. It won’t even go back to the same high usage after you restore it. Even if Firefox will be located in your HDD instead of your RAM, I can assure you the restoration speed will be the same, with no delays.
All you have to do is right click your about:config page, select New and click Boolean. A box will appear and you will have to enter config.trim_on_minimize as value. The boolean value should be set to TRUE in the next screen, and that’s it. Test it after restarting Firefox.

4. Make pages load faster
Most browsers are configured for dial-up users. Tweak the settings for your optimal use. Filter out the list after “network” then search for the key that says network.http.pipelining and set it to TRUE. You may alter the key below (network.http.pipelining.maxrequests) and change it into a higher value - 10 for example. Voila, your pages will load much faster now.

This is just about it, and if you guys have any other tricks for improving the Firefox experience, we’ll be glad to hear them.
Firefox CAN be faster - 4 easy tricks

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FreeNetworks.org

FreeNetworks.org is a volunteer cooperative association dedicated to education, collaboration, and advocacy for the creation of FreeNetworks. You can show solidarity and support the cause by building a network that follows our peering guidelines, and identify it to your users as a FreeNetwork.

FreeNetworks.org

Linux Links - The Linux Portal

Comprehensive links to information and resources about the Linux Operating System.

Linux Links - The Linux Portal

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

10 ways Linux can breath life into your old PCs

Yesterday, I was trying to figure out what to do with a spare Athlon XP 1600+ box that I have. I wrote down some of my ideas and threw in some others I’ve used in the past. If you’re looking for ways to reuse that old PC, just peruse this list.

(Great stuff here and how can you NOT like the site name: I Can Has Linux?)

I Can Has Linux? » Blog Archive » 10 ways Linux can breath life into your old PCs

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Facebook | Username

Starting NOW, you can choose a username for your Facebook account to easily direct friends, family, and coworkers to your profile.

To select your username, visit the link NOW:
http://www.facebook.com/username/

To learn more about usernames, visit the Help Center:
http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=89

Welcome to Open Source Educational Software for Linux

This is a compilation of Free and Open Source Educational software for Linux and is available on CD at http://os.cqu.edu.au/pub/iso/oslinux. These Free and Open Source programs can also be downloaded from the latest copy of this document at http://os.cqu.edu.au/oslinux. Files can be accessed using the category index below or accessed via the file tree structure of the CD image using a file or web browser. Many of the applications are self extracting archives which then install the software. Several applications are packaged into archives which have to be opened first before installation proceeds. Tools to create archives and extract files are located in the misc tools folder.

The open source software categories on the OSLINUX CD are:


Welcome to Open Source Educational Software for Linux

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New cool list of Linux must-have programs

It's been approximately two years since I've written the first article, A (cool) list of Linux tools. The article proved quite popular with my audience, as it allowed Linux users, new converts in particular, a quick taste of some of the more useful programs available for Linux platforms, across a range of categories.

Teaser

Since, a lot has changed. Two years is a long time. I have decided to write a new article, from scratch, cataloging an up-to-date collection of must-have programs. To make it even more interesting and useful, I decided to add screenshots wherever I can and link to tutorials explaining the use of these programs.

So, not only will you have a nice list compiled, you will also have a preview of what they look like and detailed instructions how to configure them!

Like the last time, the programs will be sorted by categories. The list won't be too short, but it won't be too long, either. It will contain just enough great stuff to get you started, without being scarce or overwhelming. Considering the fact that almost anything in Linux can be done in fifteen different ways, it is very easy to get lost in the ocean of choices. I will try to maintain a right balance between quality and quantity.

Furthermore, it is important to add that I am using or have at least thoroughly tested all and any application listed here. There will be no random entries.

See the list here: New cool list of Linux must-have programs

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beginners FAQ - LinuxLinks News

Why should I use Linux?
Here are lots of reasons why Linux might be the perfect operating system to meet your requirements. Here are a few:
  • A Linux Distribution has thousands of dollars worth of software for no cost (or a couple of dollars if purchased on DVD).
  • Linux is a complete operating system that is: stable - the crash of an application is much less likely to bring down the operating system under Linux; reliable - Linux servers are often up for hundreds of days compared with the regular reboots required with a Windows system; extremely powerful.
  • Comes with a complete development environment, including C, C++, Fortran compilers, toolkits such as Qt and scripting languages such as Perl, Awk and sed. A C compiler for Windows alone would set you back hundreds of dollars.
  • Excellent networking facilities
  • The ideal environment to run servers such as a web server (e.g. Apache), or an FTP server.
  • A wide variety of commercial software is available if your needs aren't satisifed by the free software.
  • An operating system that is easily upgradeable. After any length of time a typical installation of Windows and software gets into a complete mess. Often the only way to clear out all the debris is to reformat the hard disk and start again. Linux, however, is much better for maintaining the system.
  • True multi-tasking; the ability to run more than one program at the same time. This releases the power of the modern PC to sparkle by serving multiple users over the network.
  • An excellent window system called X; the equivalent of Windows but much more flexible. You can even open a window on another computer with security and work or display remotely.
  • Learning Linux is fun, profitable and liberating.
  • Much less prone to virus, trojans than XP/Vista
Can my Windows applications run under Linux?
There are a number of choices that are available. One popular commercial program is VMware, which lets you run multiple operating systems on an individual machine. A wide number of operating systems are supported including Windows 95, Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, and FreeBSD. Their website is www.vmware.com.

If you want to run Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer (why?), Access, Project, Photoshop, Visio, Notes, iTunes, FrameMaker and others, you might be interested in CrossOver Office, a project that has built upon the success of Wine.

The downside of both VMWare and CrossOver Office is that both applications are proprietary. However, there is a no cost alternative. Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and Unix. Wine makes it possible to take advantage of all the Unix strong points (stability, flexibility, remote administration) while still using the Windows applications you depend on.

Which Linux Distribution should I install?
LinuxLinks.com currently lists over 800 Linux distributions, although some of these distributions rely heavily on others.

There are a number of factors that need to be considered:
  • Installation and configuration of Linux can be non-trivial. Although email and telephone support can resolve most newbie problems, there's nothing that can replace face to face support. For home users, having a friend guiding you through the initial stages is invaluable, so it's recommended you try a distribution which (s)he regularly uses.
  • Choice of the distribution can be dictated by the hardware in your machine.
  • Some distributions are considered to be more 'technical'; for example Debian and Slackware, excellent in their own right, don't rely so much on fancy Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools.
Beginners FAQ - LinuxLinks News

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Linux Newbie Guide: Shortcuts And Commands

Linux Shortcuts and Commands:
 
Linux Newbie Administrator Guide

by Stan and Peter Klimas

This is a practical selection of the commands we use most often. Press to see the listing of all available command (on your PATH). On my small home system, it says there are 2595 executables on my PATH. Many of these "commands" can be accessed from your favourite GUI front-end (probably KDE or Gnome) by clicking on the right menu or button. They can all be run from the command line. Programs that require GUI have to be run from a terminal opened under a GUI.


Linux Newbie Guide: Shortcuts And Commands

Monday, June 08, 2009

MythTV, Open Source DVR

MythTV is a Free Open Source digital video recorder (DVR) project distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL. It has been under heavy development since 2002, and now contains most features one would expect from a good DVR (and many new ones that you soon won't be able to live without).

If you are interested in learning more about MythTV (or just want to check out some screenshots), please take a look at MythTV In Detail.


MythTV, Open Source DVR

Acer will use Moblin Linux across its products

The world's third-largest PC vendor plans to roll out the Moblin Linux operating system, championed by Intel, in its products, a top executive said Wednesday.

"Acer is in the process of putting Moblin in the range of its products," said R.C. Chang, chief technology officer at Acer, at a news conference in Taipei. Acer products that will soon run with Moblin Linux include Aspire One nettops, as well as regular laptop and desktop PCs, he said.

Aspire One netbooks already running Moblin were on display at the news conference. Moblin was developed for netbooks, which are mini-laptops built for mobility with low-power microprocessors, 10-inch screens and six-cell batteries for long run times. An updated version of the operating system, Moblin 2.0, was released last month, and it has proven popular at Computex Taipei 2009.

A number of netbooks were on display at the news conference, running several different versions of Moblin on various netbooks, including Suse Moblin, Xandros Moblin, Linpus Moblin, Red Flag Moblin and Ubuntu Moblin running on netbooks from Hewlett-Packard, Asustek Computer, Micro-Star International and Hasee Computer.

There were also a few handheld computers, which Intel calls mobile Internet devices, running Moblin 2.0. BenQ displayed its new S6 MID running on Moblin, while Compal Electronics showed off an MID with a slide-out QWERTY keypad.

Ellis Wang, software product marketing director at Asustek Computer, showed off an Eee Keyboard, which is a keyboard with a built-in LCD screen and computer, with a Moblin OS at the conference.

Moblin 2.0 has met with some controversy since its launch. The easy use and nice look of the software has prompted several reports to call chip giant Intel an OS company, and Moblin 2.0 a rival to Windows in netbooks. Moblin 2.0 offers a number of improvements over the previous version, including an improved user interface, quick boot-up and easy connections to messaging and social networking sites such as Facebook.

Doug Fisher, vice president of the software and services group at Intel, said his team is aiming for a 5-second bootup for Moblin because mobile users are accustomed to quick boot-up times. The company also continues to optimize Moblin to squeeze the most power savings possible out of its Atom microprocessors, he said.

Acer will use Moblin Linux across its products - LinuxWorld

Saturday, June 06, 2009

What is Linux? | www.getgnulinux.org

What is GNU/Linux?

When you hear the word Linux, you may think of programmers with a beard typing obscure code on a black screen. Good news! things have changed.

The picture

a view of a Fedora Linux desktop

Linux is an operating system, a large piece of software that manages a computer. It is similar to Microsoft Windows, but it is entirely free. The accurate name is GNU/Linux but "Linux" is used more often.
Linux is not one company's product, but a number of companies and groups of people contribute to it. In fact, the GNU/Linux system is a core component, which is branched off into many different products. They are called distributions.
Distributions change the appearance and function of Linux completely. They range from large, fully supported complete systems (endorsed by companies) to lightweight ones that fit on a USB memory stick or run on old computers (often developed by volunteers).
A prominent, complete and friendly distribution to step into GNU/Linux is Ubuntu.

Using Linux

a view of a Ubuntu Linux desktop

GNU/Linux is no harder to use than Windows, and has many more capabilities. It just takes a dozen minutes to get familiar with a distribution like Ubuntu or Fedora, which come in with many programs installed.
If you need commercial-quality software to work with business documents, Internet/networking, or multimedia and graphics, it's there right out of the box. Want more than that? Linux can do – there are many hundreds of free, high quality applications you can find, install and uninstall neatly and easily.
You shouldn't assume however, that Linux is a clone of Windows. To know what to expect when stepping into it, we suggest you read our Making the switch page.

The larger picture

When you get a distribution of GNU/Linux, you also get the freedom to study, copy, change, and redistribute it – that's what makes it truly free software.
Many companies develop their own operating system based on the core GNU software: products they do not have exclusive rights on. How does the wheel turn?
  • Most companies make a profit by selling support and services around their GNU/Linux distribution. Corporate customers buy guaranteed security updates and assistance. Other services often include training and on-demand improvements to software.
  • Some companies, such as HP or IBM, contribute to Linux because they pre-install it on servers they sell.
  • An extremely wide community participates in the development and improvement of software, decreasing costs and improving efficiency.
In the end, individual end-users often get the software at zero cost, while corporate customers are often happy to pay for more support.


What is Linux? | www.getgnulinux.org

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Why not Windows | www.getgnulinux.org

Windows and Office work fine — Why worry about it?

Restrictions

Restrictions

A legal copy of Windows is expensive, but what do you get? Windows and Office are licensed, not sold.
By using these products, we have to agree to a number of harsh restrictions. For most Windows licenses, you can't keep the software when you change the hardware. You sometimes can't even give your software away. Who can run the software? On which computer? What can you do with it? The list of restrictions is long and some items are outrageous.
read our full article: Restrictions

What about choice?

What about choice?

Software should come without locks in it.
Why are Office documents difficult to export? Why are the formats continually changing? Why can you not even uninstall some programs? It might be that if you look for choice, Microsoft products aren't for you.
read our full article: What about choice?

No source code

No source code

The source codes of Windows and Office are hidden, so, no one is allowed to understand how these programs work.
If you can't get a right to inspect source code (the human-readable inner workings of a program), you can't have someone correct flaws or evaluate how your privacy is protected for you.
And guess what? On software that comes with source code, viruses and spyware aren't effective, and security isn't bought on extra. The antivirus software industry, in which Microsoft is now a significant player, prefers you to use Windows.
read our full article: No source code

Stand for a free society

Stand for a free society

A free society requires free software. Think of "free" as in freedom, not price: the freedoms to inspect, learn from, modify the software you use.
Computers are used to share ideas, culture and information. Without these freedoms over software, we risk losing control over what we share.
This is happening today. From plain annoying technologies such as Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to downright frightening ones like Trusted Computing, everyone's ability to participate in culture is threatened.
If you have to give up your freedoms to use software, maybe you should not be happy with it
Many people find that Windows, an otherwise decent piece of software, withdraws so many rights from them, that it is not worth them using it. Mac OS is not much better, either.
If you find free software attractive, you might want to give Linux a try.

Why not Windows | www.getgnulinux.org

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Shareaholic

If you use sites like Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Gmail, Twitter you'll want Shareaholic. Winner of the Extend Firefox contest, Shareaholic enables you to quickly, and very easily share, bookmark, and e-mail web pages via a wide array of your favorite web 2.0 social networking & bookmarking sites -- such as Digg, Facebook, Gmail, MySpace, StumbleUpon, and many many others. This is the ultimate add-on for the link sharing junkie.

Shareaholic currently supports posting to: bit.ly, connotea, digg, delicious, facebook, foxiewire, friendfeed, google bookmarks, google reader, gmail, healthranker, kaboodle, magnolia, meneame, mixx, myspace, plurk, reddit, simpy, soup.io, stumbleupon, streakr, tipjoy, truemors, tumblr, twine, twitter, weheartit, yahoo! buzz, ycombinator, bzzster, etc.

Shareaholic also lets you quickly evaluate web page popularity by telling you the number of times the web page you're on has been dugg or saved to del.icio.us.

It will show you if the item is dugg, how many diggs, and number of comments, clicking on it will either submit a new item (if it is new) or bring you to the page that already exists.

Works with both Windows and Mac.