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Free Software Magazine staff launches http://fsdaily.com

Fri, 2005-11-11 11:34 -- admin

In just over a year, Free Software Magazine has become an authority in the free software world.

Myself (Tony), Dave, Gianluca, Alan and others worked countless hours to create Free Software Magazine from scratch, without involving Venture Capitalists or investors.

We can only be happy with the result: a quality magazine on free software read by thousands of people each month.

Patents Kill

On the third of September 2005, I was diagnosed with cancer—testicular cancer. The pain started during a party (Dave Guard, our Senior Editor, was there as well). In just one night, I went through a sudden and unexpected change: from being a young healthy person, full of life, and enjoying hanging out with his friends, to the ER of Fremantle Hospital being told that I may have cancer and I needed to be operated on immediately.

I'm finally learning procmail

The truth is, I never learned much about email, nor really ever wanted to. I’ve been using it since the 1980s, and for most of that time, it just worked. So I took it for granted, just like the telephone. I spent lots of time learning how web pages work, for example, probably because that was new and exciting and visual. But not email.

Well, no longer.

A free software news summary: October

It has been quite a hectic month as far as major free software releases are concerned. Three major announcements that have occurred are:

  1. Production release of OpenOffice.org 2.0
  2. Production release of MySQL 5.0
  3. Beta release of Wine 0.9

Typical advocacy and discussions have also continued as normal.

A major production—OpenOffice.org 2.0

At times there’s too much freedom in free software...

November has come, the winter nights are drawing in (here in the UK), time for some indoor activities. One of these activities is a long overdue housekeeping exercise in the home directory of my GNU/Linux box. Let’s face it, in the day-to-day operating of my computer, I don’t always tidy up after myself. All sorts of unused rubbish clutter up name space and the various subdirectories of my home directory, and it uses up significant disc space, not to mention the extra resource for my (too infrequent) backups.

Time for a tidy up.

Secret standards

Is it an oxymoron, or just moronic?

In the free-wheeling world of free software, we are accustomed to free standards, published freely, defined by freely distributable (if not necessarily freely-modifiable) standards documents. So the idea that an industry group should get together behind closed doors, come up with a data interchange standard and then bury it by copyrighting the specification for that standard, making it available only from a single source, and charging outrageously high prices for the right to read it seems utterly mad to us!

Book review: Degunking Linux by Roderick W Smith

Over the course of a typical computer’s lifetime you will probably create all sorts of files, temporarily install software and generate lots of information and data that you don’t really want to keep. Unfortunately, computers tend to have a terrible habit of keeping these files and information about. In Degunking Linux by Roderick W Smith you’ll find hints on how to clean and, as the title suggests, degunk your Linux installation to help free up disk space, CPU time and help optimize your machine. You’d be amazed how much of a difference degunking your machine can make.

Replacing proprietary anti-virus software

One of the major software programs we should be using every day, is a virus scanner. This single piece of software can be found on almost every PC in the world.

It is also a major source of funding for companies like McAfee and Norton. So I was pleasantly surprised when I got a note about a new free software alternative to these costly proprietary anti-virus programs, ClamWin Free Antivirus.

Book review: Degunking Linux by Roderick W Smith

Over the course of a typical computer’s lifetime you will probably create all sorts of files, temporarily install software and generate lots of information and data that you don’t really want to keep. Unfortunately, computers tend to have a terrible habit of keeping these files and information about. In Degunking Linux by Roderick W Smith you’ll find hints on how to clean and, as the title suggests, degunk your Linux installation to help free up disk space, CPU time and help optimize your machine. You’d be amazed how much of a difference degunking your machine can make.

Free art and copyleft conflicts 2: The rationalizations strike back

To re-cap, the problem is that I have a project which (at least formerly) used the now-defunct “Design Science License”. I want to go forward with a more widely accepted license, probably a dual “GPL + CC By-SA” license for the game. This would allow the inclusion of game content in either GPL or By-SA projects.

Book review: Randal Schwartz’s Perls of Wisdom by Randal L Schwartz

Ask for some key figures in the world of Perl and it wont be long before the name Randal L Schwartz appears. Randal has, at one time or another, been a trainer of Perl, the Pumpking (responsible for managing the development of Perl), as well as a prolific writer and speaker on Perl techniques and materials. In Perls of Wisdom (Apress) he gathers together many of his talks and articles into a single book, expanding, correcting and extending them as necessary...

The cover of Randal Schwartz’s Perls of WisdomThe cover of Randal Schwartz’s Perls of Wisdom

Book review: A practical Guide to Linux. Commands, Editors and Shell Programming by Mark G. Sobell

Mark Sobell, a best-selling UNIX author, has done it again: he has delivered yet another fantastic book which makes GNU/Linux easier to approach.

The book’s cover The book’s cover

GNU/Linux (or “Linux”, if you want to be brief and get Mr. Stallman angry) is probably the most talked about operating system in the world right now. Even though GNU/Linux can be used without ever touching the infamous command line (thanks to distributions like Ubuntu or Suse), quite a few users out there are keen to learn how to get the most out of the Unix commands available.

Book review: Randal Schwartz’s Perls of Wisdom by Randal L Schwartz

Ask for some key figures in the world of Perl and it wont be long before the name Randal L Schwartz appears. Randal has, at one time or another, been a trainer of Perl, the Pumpking (responsible for managing the development of Perl), as well as a prolific writer and speaker on Perl techniques and materials. In Perls of Wisdom (Apress) he gathers together many of his talks and articles into a single book, expanding, correcting and extending them as necessary.

The book’s cover The book’s cover

Emulation

The term emulation means to either equal or exceed something or someone else. As computer jargon, however, emulation means recreating another computer or console’s operating system on another system; e.g., recreating a Nintendo Entertainment System on your Sega Dreamcast so you can boot up a _Super Metroid _ROM, or playing classic arcade games like _Ms. Pac-Man _or _Omega Race _on your Gameboy Advance SP. Certainly, neither Nintendo nor Sega ever meant for their systems to be used for such purposes.

The blind leading the blind in Massachusetts

For the moment, I will ignore the false statement of some that specifying ODF requires one to run OpenOffice. In fact, there are many products which already do so, including Koffice, AbiWord. Anyone that wishes to can produce OpenDocument compatible software, including proprietary software vendors, such as Corel, who have chosen to do so. Microsoft alone insists not that it is unable to do this, but rather that it is unwilling, and it alone demands the state choose its products and its document format instead.

Oracle is feeling the pressure

Oracle is expected today to announce a free (yes, free) limited version of its database called Oracle 10g Express Edition.

This is clearly a reaction to pressure from the open source databases MySQL and PostgreSQL. It shows that free software is good for IT purchasers even if they don't use it. Downward price pressure is a natural side effect of the commoditization of software that has occurred as the free software phenomenon gives us a freer market.

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