Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Archive for the month “January, 2008”

LinuxHaxor list of books no longer available. This list is ;)

A few days ago I linked back to a LinuxHaxor list of links to free Linux related free e-books. Unfortunately, that list is no longer accessible. Thanks to a reference to the page in Google cache it was easy to retrieve that list. Enjoy reading and studying.

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PCLinuxOS Day 5 – Alternative graphical work environments

One of the nicer things about *nix systems is that even your graphical work environment, the GUI, is a matter of choice. True, you can change the look and feel of your Windows desktop (Bricopacks, thank you), but that’s about it. I think it’s safe to say that under Linux you can choose between three major desktop environments (KDE, GNOME and Xfce) with Enlightenment rapidly rising in popularity and a ton of other possibilities like Fluxbox, Blackbox etc. etc. Or you can decide for forego on the graphical stuff and stick to the commandline, but that’s for another series.

In this article I will explore how easy it is to add both GNOME and Xfce to PCLinuxOS.
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The Linux Foundation: Open Voices podcasts

The Linux Foundation has plans to create a series of podcasts with interviews with various key people in the world of Linux. The first podcast is the first part of an interview with Linus Torvalds. Future Open Voices podcasts will also include discussions with Ron Hovsepian (Novell), Marin Mickos (MySQL) and Mark Shuttleworth. The podcasts are available in MP3 and Ogg format.

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Bentham Publishers launches 200 peer-reviewed open access journals

The fundamental principles behind free and open source development have branched out into other areas. One of those areas is called Open Access. What is Open Access about?

Open access (OA) is free, immediate, permanent, full-text, online access, for any user, web-wide, to digital scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals. An open-access article has limited copyright and licensing restrictions which means anyone, anywhere, with access to the Internet may read, download, copy, and distribute that article.

For 2008 Bentham Publishers will launch 200 open access journals. That’s a staggering amount of information and the list of already published articles reveals a list of titles I even have a hard time understanding. Each magazine appears to have an editorial board. In the case of the The Open Infectious Diseases Journal that board is very large. The list of requirements for the manuscripts are well worked out with a preference to open source formats 😉 . The whole setup breaths an atmosphere of not only bringing free and open content to readers, but to bring high quaility open access content to the world.

Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Home Page

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PCLinuxOS Day 4 – Extending the system

PCLinuxOS comes with a decent set of basic applications. OpenOffice.org, Thunderbird and Firefox are all there, GIMP for graphics, K3b for burning your cd/dvd’s, Amarok and MPlayer in the multimedia department. Synaptic is the tool to extend the range of applications and graphical environments. To start with the latter. You should be able to install GNOME, Xfce and Metisse from the software repositories and I will try that later in the series.

For now I simply want to add my the extra software I want. That means the software that is part of so-called GNOME office, some financial software, I want Pidgin as a chat client. I also want at least KOffice.
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HomeLinux: Free Linux eBooks

HomeLinux has compiled a list a free and downloadable ebooks on Linux. There is some overlap with the list at LinuxHaxor, but still a nice resource to keep close at hand. Due to massive downloads, you are restricted to downloading 10 books a day.

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LinuxHaxor: 68 Linux Related Free e-Books

LinuxHaxor compiled a good list of free e-books dealing with topics like programming, management of you Linux box, *BSD and security. One for the bookmarks I would say. Maybe it’s not all the latest of the latest, but some fundamental skills don’t age that quickly.

PCLinuxOS Day 3 – Exploring the desktop

I have used the GNOME desktop for most of the time in the last year and a half, but the series about PC-BSD and DesktopBSD did a lot to build up appreciation for the KDE desktop. PCLinuxOS is running the KDE 3.5.8 desktop (after updates) and let’s see how it is organized and what applications are delivered by default.

PCLinuxOS-01-day3.png
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PCLinuxOS Day 2 – Bringing the system up to date

Any linux distribution is part of a continuous proces of development, updates and upgrades. When you install a freshly downloaded distribution you can expect at least a few updates waiting for you. For that reason I decided to run a full update before taking a closer look at the system as a whole.
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A real life "granny" test – The Ubuntu Experiment

Maybe it is one of the most used arguments to convince people from “the other distribution” to wake up, shape up, get a life and move your behind over to “this distribution”: the “my granny uses it daily without a problem” argument. It is used so often that you wonder why Microsoft still has a 95% or more market share on the desktop.

The good thing is that right now there is a real life experiment going on where a young man is getting his mother to move away from Windows and over to Ubuntu. Why his mother and not his granny?

Why my mother?

My mother has recently been complaining about her Windows XP computer becoming too slow. To my great surprise and delight, when I jokingly suggested installing Ubuntu on her computer next to Windows, she agreed. She is the perfect test candidate as she is quite the average adult computer user, not a gamer and, well, my mother! This means I’m there to help her (I’m still in high school, so I live with my mother) whenever she encounters problems. Furthermore, I’m there to write down her experiences and problems so we can finally really see whether Ubuntu has become as good as or better than Windows.

Yes, Vincent is really involved in Xubuntu and definitely has a bias for open source software, but I know him as an honest and balanced writer with a clear eye for what is good and what is not. You can expect an honest account of his mother’s journey into Ubuntu.

Great initiative!

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