Book review: Write Portable Code by Brian Hook

How many times do programmers have to port software written to run on one particular architecture into another (or more than one) architecture? Does it always go smoothly? If you answered “yes”, you might not need this book. But if your answer was “no”, then this book is for you.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Brian Hook is a professional software developer, and has worked primarily in the gaming and entertainment industry. He collected his experiences in this book in order to advise us on how to write portable software.

Free Software Magazine—Call For Papers!

Thu, 2005-12-15 04:13 -- admin

In just under a year, Free Software Magazine has become one of the most prominent voices in the free software world.

The hard work is definitely paying off. The most important publishers in the computer world are sponsoring our magazine, and all of the major news sites keep a watchful eye on us. We have thousands of subscribers who receive our weekly newsletter, with dozens of new people signing up every day.

Code signing systems

This article looks at the management of the private key for the Software Publishing Certificate (SPC). SPCs are used to digitally sign binaries that are produced by software development vendors. Digitally signing executables proves the identity of the software vendor and guarantees that the code has not been altered or corrupted since it was created and signed. Signing the code requires access to the SPC and the Private Key (PVK) associated with the SPC.

Torvalds disses GNOME and recommends KDE

There’s some buzz on OS News and Slashdot today about Linus Torvalds’ comments on the Gnome Mailing List. Torvalds trashes GNOME and tells everyone just to use KDE instead. The reason is interesting: “This ‘users are idiots, and are confused by functionality’ mentality of Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.”

Free software sites review - December

In this newsletter I’m going to try to point out the paramount free software sites. Or at least try to point out a few that will make you think for a minute, and maybe get your older computer to do something new.

I’ve asked around a bit to try to see what others feel are the best free software sites around, and I’ve chosen 5 of the best to show you for this article. Don’t be afraid to explore for yourself and find your own favourites.

I’m going to try to point out the paramount free software sites


Win a copy of “Deploying OpenLDAP”

Mon, 2005-12-12 03:56 -- admin

This week we are giving away a copy of Deploying OpenLDAP by Tom Jackiewicz.

All you need to do to enter is:

1) read our terms and conditions

2) Answer this question:

What is the name of one of FSM’s sponsors?

3) Send your subscriber name (the email address you use to login), full name and your answer to .

Entries open on the 12th of December 2005 and close on the 16th of December 2005.


Interview with Kay Ramme of the UNO project

Universal Network Objects (UNO) is an interface-based component model that is part of UNO allows for interoperability among different programming languages, object models, processes, and machine architectures. UNO works over local networks or the internet.

Kay Ramme is the UDK project owner and Sun Senior Technical Architect for OOo and StarOffice. I recently asked Kay to tell us about new efforts to modularize the office suite and to make its component model available as an independent entity.

Book review: Deploying OpenLDAP by Tom Jackiewicz

For years I’ve had two to five computers around the house, with a variety of accounts for myself, my wife, and now my kids, not to mention a couple of special management accounts. Manually configuring these systems can be pretty tricky, because we’ve never installed any kind of central system for controlling users and passwords. We just try very hard to keep the UID numbers the same on all the different computers (which annoys my wife, because she’s the “second user” even on her own computer).

Does free software make sense for your enterprise?

“Dude, I can, like, totally do that way cheaper with Linux and stuff.” These were the words of a bearded geek running Linux on his digital watch. As he proceeded to cut and patch alpha code into the Linux kernel running on the production database system, the manager watched on in admiration. Six months later, long after the young hacker decided to move into a commune in the Santa Cruz hills, something broke. Was it really “way” cheaper?

Nostalgia and first impressions

Gaming with GNU

Mon, 2005-12-05 19:46 -- admin

I’ve often lamented the sad fact that there is not as much attention paid to GNU game development as there should be. It’s hard to be a diehard GNU/Linux user who is also into gaming. Though we look forward to days when more high profile games will be targeted at the GNU/Linux platform, it’s nice to know that there are folks out there trying to ease the transition. This blog from Joystiq discusses the options for the GNU gamer and introduces crossover technologies like Wine and Cedega.

Free software events for November 2005

After a hectic October in the free software world, in which we witnessed events including the launch of 2.0 and MySQL 5.0, I thought November would be quieter and that I’d be struggling to find material for this article. I couldn’t have been more wrong. If anything, even more has happened this month than in the last, so I have concentrated on the events I feel most are the most important and relevant. To start with, there have been new versions in five very major software packages. These are:

  1. Mozilla Firefox version 1.5

Win a copy of “Open Sources 2.0 The Continuing Evolution”

Mon, 2005-12-05 11:04 -- admin

This week we are giving away a copy of Open Sources 2.0 The Continuing Evolution.

All you need to do to enter is:

1) read our terms and conditions

2) Answer this question:

Which Free Software Magazine interview was your favourite and in 25-50 words why?

3) Send your subscriber name (the email address you use to login), full name and your answer to .

How to get people to work for free

As time marches on and our lives become more complicated, it seems we have less and less time to devote to that free software project we started back in our idealistic youth. Rather than abandoning a good project due to lack of time, consider seeking out the assistance of other members of the free software community. With a few simple steps you can make it easy to find volunteers to help you complete your project.

A roadmap to finding volunteers

The Grateful Dead and the Internet Archive debacle

The Grateful Dead are often held up as an example of what wonderful things can happen when a fan base comes to mean more to a band than a record exec. The band is famous for its long-lasting drug-induced “Wall of Sound” tours. The Dead Heads were often treated at these concerts to 20+ minute extended versions of their favorite songs. Some fans were upset that all this music was going unrecorded—even today, it’s hard to buy a “legitimate” copy of anything but the most “vanilla” Dead recordings.

Free software doesn't mean free people

A friend of mine is a core developer on a free software project that most people would consider one of the top ten in overall importance, especially in terms of getting mainstream users migrated to free software overall. He’s a known expert on this project, and very knowledgeable about free software in general, from both technical and business standpoints. I won’t say who it is, but he has plenty of publications to back up his expert status.

He’s getting frustrated with the free software world.

Book review: Open Sources 2.0

Few people take the time to truly consider just how free software concepts have affected, and continue to affect, the software industry, developers, corporations, organizations and the entire web community. The book Open Sources 2.0 takes many essays from free software and open source leaders that have shaped free software as a thought process and as an industry, and places them into a single compilation.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

The contents


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