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Links 29/03/2009: GNU/Linux at DreamWorks, Bubba

Posted in News Roundup at 10:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • iGod, the Linux-loving Cyber God

    God: OK Thanks for trying to explain that to me.
    Me: So, do you know what’s the best operating system?
    God: Linux is the best operating system.
    Me: Why is Linux the best operating system?
    God: Some people say it’s because of the developers and their personalities.
    Me: Really?
    God: For real.
    Me: If you really love Linux, who created it?
    God: I think I do.
    Me: I thought it was Linus Torvalds
    God: Is that your opinion?
    Me: No, it’s a fact.
    God: Are you serious? Is it a logical fact or something you know from the senses?
    Me: Then who is Linus Torvalds?
    God: He is the inventor of Linux.
    Me: I see

  • Small Linux a great system for old machines with little space

    You can download your own copy at http://damnsmalllinux.org/. You can burn it to a CD and run it from that, or run it from a USB drive, or install it on your hard drive. Of course, if you have no computer yet, you’ll have to do that at a friend’s. Once you’ve got it running, you can surf the Web, get your e-mail, play music, burn a CD, write a book and a hundred other things.

    Be prepared to take some time to get used to the new way of working. As I always say, using a new operating system is like driving a different car: You still know how to drive; it just takes a while to learn where all the controls are. Give yourself some time, and before you know it, you’ll be zipping around.

    The big benefit, of course, is that you’re running Linux. While you can’t let your guard down, you’ll be much safer from viruses and other problems when you’re wandering around the Internet.

  • Microsoft is cheaper than Apple but it is hard to beat Linux

    If Lauren had been really smart she would have taken the money, purchased a Dell Mini 9 running Ubuntu for $249.00 ($8.00 shipping to California and no taxes) and then went over to Bestbuy for a 42″ flat screen TV to give her that “big screen” she wanted.

  • Monsters vs. Aliens: DreamWorks’ Katzenberg shows DVICE 3D filmmaking has arrived

    Although the DreamWorks Animation artists get their work done on a vast campus that we toured today, the data processing for the film was done in a 3,500-square-foot data center (which they wouldn’t let us photograph), packed with hundreds of blade computers running the Unix-based Linux operating system. Keeping it all cool and running 24/7 is an achievement in itself, for which DreamWorks engineers say the U.S. Department of Energy commended them for their uncanny efficiency.

  • Take a Quiz to Help You Choose a Linux Distribution

    For people who are new to Linux, deciding on what distribution to use their system can be a very confusing affair. There are a large number of distributions available, based on different desktops, system requirements, purpose of installing Linux, etc.

    One way of deciding which version of Linux is right for you is to take a quiz that is designed to find the best match, not only for your computer, but also for your level of skill. One such quiz has been developed by Zegenie Studios.

  • Linux hosting is cheaper than Microsoft

    Linux server hosting is an open source operating system, which is very cheap compared to other servers. IWI Hosting is adopting Linux web hosting, because it is known for its open source community development. Linux hosting can successfully run on popular web technologies, including HTML, DHTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, JAVA, JAVA script, Perl and CGI. Apart from these popular categories, Linux also adds Email, FTP and reporting like many more services.

  • 10 Cool Cursor Themes for Linux

    If you are looking for a beautiful, cool, lovely cursor theme for Linux, I recommend the following cursor themes.

  • The World Beyond Microsoft

    It is hard to say, what would really happen, if Microsoft vanished. It would pose a giant problem, induce a crisis, recession maybe, maybe even deep cleansing – almost alike greek catharsis. Maybe a return to the roots, or total collapse of civilization. Or maybe the life would anyway go on ? The software creators would have to revisit their approach to work they do. There is life beyond Visual Studio, MSDN and DirectX, you know.

  • Old Fools Journal: Geek Stuff or Switching to Linux

    My machine boots in 93 seconds and is fully ready to go. It turns off in about 15 seconds. Machines are starting to come on the market with this system preinstalled.

    Did I mention that it’s free? How do they do that? Probably some kind of communist plot. I’m pretty sure it’s not Satanic as no one has been around asking me to trade my soul but I would think about it if they did.

  • Audio

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD Releases R700 Instruction Set Architecture

      Back in January there was the release of the R600/700 3D documentation that is being used along with some open-source code to begin powering up the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 hardware with OpenGL acceleration support in Mesa. Some of this code should be out soon, but this past week AMD has released some more NDA-free documentation. This time the documentation concerns the R700 Instruction Set Architecture (ISA).

    • Kernel Log: Development of 2.6.30 is under way

      Shortly after the release of Linux 2.6.29 last Tuesday, the kernel subsystem developers began to prepare the first changes to be merged into the main development branch for Linux 2.6.30. This is usually done by sending a “Git pull request” – an email which includes the URL to a Git tree with the proposed changes as well as a diffstat and a list of individual patches – not only to Linus Torvalds, but usually also to the LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing List). Often, the maintainer of the subsystem starts the email with a short summary of the proposed changes, highlighting the most important ones, or putting the changes into context.

    • Comparing boot performance of Ext3, Ext4, and XFS on Ubuntu Jaunty

      Boot Time:

      1. Tie between Ext4 and XFS.

      2. Ext3

      3. JFS

      4. ReiserFS (Reiserfsck makes the boot chart look like an EKG…..We’re losing him! CLEAR!!!)

      Disk Throughput:

      1. XFS (by a mile)

      2. ReiserFS

      3. Ext3

      4. Ext4

      5. JFS (Again, ouch!)

  • Applications

    • Desktop Linux: I’m Here for the Apps

      The best and the worst attributes of Linux as a desktop operating system involve acquiring and maintaining software applications. For me, the positives outweigh the negatives, making Linux the best desktop operating system option I’ve encountered, and the one I choose at work and at home.

      If Linux is to pile up more desktop adherents, the vendors and communities that back the open-source platform need to work together to accentuate those positives and shrink down the negative aspects of getting and managing software on Linux.

    • 10 Essential Applications Included in Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

      While I agree that there are applications for KDE 4.2 which still lack several important features (like for example the equalizer and ability to go to the previous/next song using the tag editor in Amarok), I must say that it also improved very much since the last time I had a look at it. It is definitely faster, the desktop looks nicer, it does not seem a beta environment any more.

    • Nixstaller 0.5: Installation Assistant for Linux and Co.

      The new dependency manager establishes the installation configuration and installs said configurations according to the user’s wish. With the new UTF-8 support, the project has expanded software localization. At the user’s specification, Nixstaller is capable of incorporating the user’s given application software language. Among the new additions is the current option to incorporate an autonomous installation process that does not require user interaction.

    • Adobe Reader 9.1 for Linux

      The new version 9.1 of Adobe Reader brings some improvements regarding the command line interface and printing features.

      Adobe now provides its PDF reader in a Linux version for 9.1. The release plugs some security holes and provides a few new features. Among them is tabbed viewing of multiple PDFs and detaching them to separate windows. The software also has a faster launch and performance and more intuitive user interfaces.

    • Scribus and Linux and Comic Strips!

      Enter Scribus! Scribus is a terrific open source desktop publishing program that can do any kind of page layout. Scribus has a nice selection of vector drawing tools (rectangles, circles, etc.) I simply design the comic strip using Scribus’ drawing tools. I use rectangles to create comic panels, text tools to lay in the title and copyright, and other rectangular drawing tools to create light blue lettering guides.

    • I just had an Epiphany

      So yeah, if you’re using Firefox with a dozen extensions, stick with it. But if you don’t, and you wish your favourite browser would boot faster, look better, or use less memory…don’t look any further. You’ll love Epiphany.

    • Games

      • My teenager top 8 Linux games

        His current favorite. Urban Terror is a free FPS, Counter Strike looking, with many different game mods. It has very good 3D rendering and graphics, making it very realistic. They kept the Quake3 3D engine, allowing jumping and running matrix-style. Many servers are available, and he plays on survivor or death match-type servers. The injuries are very well handled.

      • Top 10 Free Linux Games in 2009

        I have seen a lot of gamers who feel that there aren’t good games to play on Linux. It might be that they love to play those pirated games, don’t know why, when there are bounteous open source games available for free. The Linux games are hugely popular and that’s not just because they are free, its also because a developer can take a great game and make it even better. There’s an array of free open source games waiting to run on the Linux platform. So I got the top linux games in 2009. And here I come.

    • Microblogging

      • 5 Linux Identi.ca Clients – Screw Twitter

        At the moment there is a lot of talk on the Internet about the micro-blogging site Twitter, but I see less love for its open source counterpart, Identi.ca.

        The laconi.ca micro-blogging platform, created by Evan Prodromou, is free as in freedom. There is the “original” laconi.ca installation on identi.ca, but you can also download laconi.ca, install it on your own server and your users can talk with every site where a laconi.ca install is present.

      • TwickerTape – new ticker-tape style Twitter client for Windows & Linux released

        New side-scrolling ticker-tape Twitter client scrolls your tweets in a minimal display so you can work and not miss anything at the same time.

        Twitter has become a must-have tool for business and personal use but now, you can enjoy a new way of Twittering with the latest Twitter client called TwickerTape.

      • Linux version of TwickerTape now available

        TwickerTape is a ticker-tape-style side-scrolling Twitter client that sits quietly at the bottom of your screen and scrolls the 20 latest friends tweets. You can set the scroll speed to your choosing and if you see a weblink inside a tweet, just click on that tweet and the weblink will appear in your web browser (Firefox only for now). You can set the auto tweet update time and even set the scroll speed by just swiping your mouse across the tweet scroll at the speed you want it to scroll at.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME vs. KDE: Which Has the Evolutionary Advantage?

      In all the controversies — both the real ones and those imagined by journalists — what has been lost is the exact nature of what KDE has been doing. When the free desktop quietly came to match the functionality of its rivals, the GNOME team decided to be content with maintenance and minor additions. However, the KDE team decided to try to take the lead in desktop development. KDE became a project with vision — a vision that has gone largely unnoticed, but one that GNOME so far has been unable to match.

  • Distributions

    • Linux is about choice (pt 2)

      Could you not forsee that parts of your application may be highly desired, and other parts not so? Given the large “roll your own” background of so many Linux users, why would that mantra not continue as far as possible? Why does Evolution (and Claws and Thunderbird), Firefox, and so on have a plugin framework? Or an external editor option?

      Precisely because different people use Linux in different ways. And this is why Linux is about choice!

    • Lights….A Review of SimplyMEPIS 8.0

      Depressed, and almost giving up, I came across MEPIS and since I didn’t yet know how to burn an iso image to a CD, I simply mailed off $10 and MEPIS sent me a Live CD. Certainly, this cheap ten buck distro couldn’t out perform the hundred dollar super distros. I gave it one more shot….and I was hooked!

    • Some Distros Need and Deserve a Higher Profile …

      I hope that other distributions learn from what Canonical has done. They need to develop the community first and to pay attention to the needs of users. You can be true to your principles and attract new users. In fact, I would think that a distribution such as Debian has more to gain than to lose. People want to hear about free software. It is the notion of freedom that draws people in. They won’t necessarily buy into the whole package right away, but they will be attracted to you. You can be your own worst enemy by prostheletizing. You need to integrate and educate instead.

      I am convinced that there is enough room for growth that we don’t need to raid each other’s base and engage in FUD against our own kind. I think that the place to start is with improving the image of the distribution that you use by ceaselessly promoting it in whatever way that you can. This can only benefit Linux at large and make us all stronger in the end.

    • Dreamlinux 3.5 Review – Desktop Emphasis

      It is a distro well done. There are problems here and there, and some unfinished business. But overall, I like th distro. It is not there to take over my favourite openSUSE, which I still find the most complete Linux of all, but it is not bad.

      Rating: 8/10

    • Wolvix 2 – Hungry like the wolf

      If you’re thinking about starting with Linux with one of Slackware-based distros, if you care about stability and security first and foremost, I can’t think of a better choice than Wolvix.

    • Red Hat

      • Testing Out The Nouveau Driver On Fedora 11

        With the forthcoming release of Fedora 11, Red Hat has made the bold (but wise) decision of replacing xf86-video-nv as the default open-source NVIDIA driver with the Nouveau driver instead. The xf86-video-nv driver is officially maintained by NVIDIA, but it’s their half-assed attempt at being open-source friendly. The X.Org driver’s code is obfuscated, its 2D support is limited, there is no 3D acceleration at all, and it barely receives new features and support these days. Meanwhile, a group of open-source developers have been reverse-engineering NVIDIA’s binary Linux driver to write the Nouveau driver that will offer 2D, 3D, and video acceleration and aims to be feature-complete. The Nouveau project has been around for a few years, but their code is starting to come to maturation with kernel mode-setting and a Gallium3D driver hopefully being stable by year’s end.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Wallpaper: No Jackalope

        The last few Ubuntu Linux released featured background and artwork that depicted the versions codename. For example when Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron was released we enjoyed the abstract bird-like background and then Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex brought us the Ibex background which wasn’t too bad. As Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope Alpha version rolled out users enjoyed new login screen, themes and the new boot splash theme. I was sure we’d be commenting about a new Jackalope background any day now. Now as I preview the release of Ubuntu 9.04 Beta codenamed Jaunty Jackalope, I see no Jackalope background. Instead it looks like Ubuntu has added a stylish background that favors the same theme colors as previous versions but gives off a professional vibe. I’m both excited for the new look but disappointed in the lack of a Jackalope background.

      • Yet another Jaunty beta screenshot

        All in all I give it the same endorsement I give to any other Gnome Ubuntu beta release, which is to say, “Use it if you prefer it.” I’m more interested in Kubuntu really, because I prefer KDE over Gnome if I’m forced to suffer through a heavyweight desktop. Maybe I’ll download that next.

      • Awesome Ubuntu

        Wow! The machine now boots in less than a minute. I have almost everything I had in Vista.. gmail notification, firefox, open office, flash, Java development, oracle, and with vastly improved performance and memory use. Wireless networking works fine. I may need to look around for some replacement for iTunes, but I believe there are reasonable alternatives. No longer is Linux having to catch up with Windows for ease of use and hardware support. It is now the other way around. Windows 7 will have to justify itself as competitive with Ubuntu, for me at least.

      • Mother and Ubuntu

        Most importantly – the quote from Day 2: “This is bloody brilliant. Much faster than that other s**t!”

        One happy mother. Check.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 135

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #135 for the week March 22nd – March 28th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 9.04 Beta Released, Jaunty Countdown Banners, Ubuntu 7.10 reaches EOL April 18th, Ubuntu Server dedicated course, QA Team Testing Day: Ubuntu Installers, Ubuntu Makassar, Ubuntu Tunisia, Ubuntu New York, Ubuntu LoCo Drupal 6.3.1 released, Launchpad Maintenance April 1st, Linking project releases in Launchpad to Milestones, LinkedIn for Ubuntu Members, Ubuntu 9.04 Free Culture Showcase Winners, The Fridge needs a new theme, LWN subscription for Ubuntu Members, Ubuntu Podcast #23 and an interview with John Pugh(Canonical Technical Partner Mgr.), Full Circle Magazine #23, March 2009 Team Reports, and much, much more!

      • Full Circle Magazine: Issue 23

        This month:
        * Command and Conquer – Troubleshooting.
        * How-To : Program in C – Part 7, Web Development – Part 4, and Spreading Ubuntu – Part 2.
        * My Story – Becoming An Ubuntu User
        * Book Review – How To Be A Geek Goddess
        * MOTU Interview – Steve Stalcup
        * Top 5 – Task Managers
        * PLUS: all the usual goodness…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hardware Review: Bubba|Two – Return of the Linux-Based Mini Server

      If you have a need for a near silent, massively energy efficient mini server that offers a dizzying amount of functionality and excellent expandability, delivered by a great team of enthusiastic developers, then Bubba|Two needs to be on your radar.

    • AarLogic C10/3 tiny Linux PC with GPS/GPRS

      Super-compact Linux computers will have to step up their game, with the launch of the Round Solutions AarLogic C10/3. Not only does the 104mm x 63mm board have dual ARM processors but a complete communications module with quadband GPRS and SiRF3 GPS.

    • The Year of the Linux-powered Robots

      In the very near future, robots will become an indispensable tool that man can’t live without. Just like computers, it will do complicated and challenging tasks thus making things a lot easier for all of us.

      We all know that majority of personal computers are still running Microsoft Windows operating system and that the year of the Linux desktop is still far from reality. However, many experts believe that in the field of Robotics, it’s going to be a whole different ball game. Soon, Linux-powered robots will dominate the market and will lead the new age of technology.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Branded Netbooks?

        This morning I heard a news blip about a Netbook offering later this year from Verizon. Verizon? The phone company? Yep. I had to do a double-take on it too. There’s talk that the Netbooks will be subsidized and cost about $100. I’m sure that price is a result of main-in rebates or vouchers for Verizon services. Are branded Netbooks the next big thing? Is this how companies will promote their services in the near future?

        Will virtual desktop cloud vendors also offer Netbooks to their customers if they sign a 3-year contract for their services? Could be.

        Will consumers go for this? Maybe.

      • Acer Aspire One D150 running Linux – part 2

        What all of this is leading up to is that I am going to install another Linux distro on this netbook. I downloaded a Jaunty daily from March 24th (I think the Jaunty Beta is out by now so you might want to try that), and proceeded to install it on Aspire One. The first thing I noticed was that the speakers work in the live session when I booted the USB drive, so that was promising. Installation went smoothly much like my earlier Jaunty install. This time too, I decided to reformat everything with ext4. In less than an hour from booting up the live USB, I’m presented with the login screen.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Introducing pointy-haired bosses to FOSS

    The plain truth is that although most managers may have heard of Open Source, they don’t have a clue what it is or how it works. Most of them think it is something like public domain software, stuff you can get for free, without warranty and without support. So the first thing you have to do is to tell them you can get support from reputable parties like Oracle, IBM, Novell and RedHat. If you’re not happy with their support, you can change with more ease than you could with closed source software.

    Some CIOs are completely unaware that these parties provide updates. They think you have to monitor a multitude of websites or CVSes, search for the newest versions, download a tarball and recompile it. I always tell them jokingly: “Well, I don’t know what I’ve been getting all these months, but it seemed like patches”.

  • Building on Richard Stallman’s Greatest Achievement

    What was Richard Stallman’s greatest achievement? Some might say it’s Emacs, one of the most powerful and adaptable pieces of software ever written. Others might plump for gcc, an indispensable tool used by probably millions of hackers to write yet more free software. And then there is the entire GNU project, astonishing in its ambition to create a Unix-like operating system from scratch. But for me, his single most important hack was the creation of the GNU General Public Licence.

    The GNU GPL did several things. First, it provided a kind of written constitution for free software, helping to define what exactly that meant, and providing a benchmark against which it could be measured. Secondly, it provided a legal framework for something quite new: an attempt to give users rights, rather than take them away. And thirdly, it did that in a totally radical way.

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A Single Comment

  1. David Gerard said,

    March 30, 2009 at 6:55 am


    Vodafone (which owns Verizon) has, of course, been doing the Dell Mini 9, Ubuntu model, for a while now. I know a couple of people who got this and they’re incredibly happy with both the netbook and the data plan. Is this such a radical idea for the US? Will Verizon be doing the Ubuntu version (though I’m sure they could get XP for $0 if they asked Microsoft nicely)? How much detail is really certain as yet?

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