Mitch Meyran's articles

Book review: Using Samba, Third Edition by Gerald Carter, Jay Ts and Robert Eckstein

Dedicated to UNIX system managers, the book covers all there is to know about Samba (as of version 3.0.22), how it relates to Microsoft’s Active Directory networking (shares, accounts, printing) and to UNIX’s networking.

Samba itself started in 1991 as a reimplementation of SMB by Andrew Tridgell. The project is under the GNU GPL and now allows any POSIX system out there to behave as a Windows machine in pretty much any role it would play on a network: from Active Directory domain controller to simple client, with all kinds of shares: per user, per group, files, printers...

Of virtual machines and gained productivity - and hardware

I spend most of my time doing Web programming - basically, tinkering and cleaning up some professional websites that require maximum accessibility, and efficient coding while remaining very simple. This needs XHTML+CSS+ECMAscript and some PHP glue; and while I have no problem running a LAMP test server on my main machine, up until now I needed a spare machine just to do testing under Windows.

Not anymore.

(Revised: some typos, missing brackets, and an 'extra' on kqemu configuration)

Of video encoding and changing methods

I guess my previous post was a bit premature; for shorts, I was saying then that some Free softwares for video editing on Windows were good, but had no equivalent in the Free software world. While I was not wrong stricto sensus, I hammered a few of them during the last few weeks.

Thus, I’ll now write about the various free video treatment softwares I know and the slight shift in method this entails.

You'll see that there are strengths and weaknesses on both sides.

Graphics drivers: where they are, where they come from, where they are going

I appreciate NVIDIA’s existing support for free software operating systems: their drivers are various, quite full featured, and they do upgrade the source of their minimalist free “nv” driver for those platforms they don’t support fully.

But where do the others stand?

_The matrix in this article has been superceded by the one in _this article.

Graphics creation on GNU/Linux: nice stuff and big hurdles

A great deal of the web is GNU/Linux based: most of it runs on LAMP servers, and some content is created with great tools such as the GIMP, Inkscape and a fancy notepad (or Vi, or Emacs—don’t start). Pen tablets are recognised and used, you have access to effects plug-ins, you can work on bitmaps or vectors (thanks Mr Pierre Bézier! Your name will remain in history). On the other hand, as soon as you want to have your work printed, it’s another matter.

Creating graphics

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

Of movie making and control

I discovered Virtualdub back in the days when DivX was a ripped-off Microsoft experimental beta codec. Since then, I have used it to do some small captures, but also to recover some bad quality films that could gain major improvement through a carefully weighted application of filters.

Free software isn’t found on *NIX systems alone

The useful free software you can’t do without

And now, on to something different... Copyright!

As you may know, Debian 4.0 stable 'Etch' is almost out. As expected from the Debian project, it will be a very stable, feature-ladden if slightly outdated OS.

What you may not know, is that it will come without Firefox. Nope, no fox trailing fire on your Debian desktop, no sir.

Instead you'll get Iceweasel.

Getting bored with 3D desktops? I'm definitely not!

Well, while I haven’t posted anything new in a while, I’m (AGAIN) updating my 3D desktop article.

This time, I’ll answer some comments I have seen appear in response to the two previous incarnations of this very same article, as well as revise (further) some of the content.

This revised version brings some confirmations from users, and adds a preliminary Matrox product line support description.

_The matrix in this article has been superceded by the one in _this article.

A “what is” guide to 3D desktops - put in a bowl, mix, add chips for topping

I’ve been talking about them, complaining about what you CAN’T do, about the troubles with 3D cards... Personally I’m getting a bit lost with all this. So, I’ve decided to compile all the information I could find out about those pesky 3D desktops.

Since last week, comments, accounts from other websites, personal experiments, further readings and general nosiness allowed me to update my article. Still, further comments are welcome.

A glimpse into 3D desktops...

I’ve been talking about them, complaining about what you CAN’T do, about the troubles with 3D cards... Personally I’m getting a bit lost with all this. So, I’ve decided to compile all the information I could find out about those pesky 3D desktops.

Comments required.

_The matrix in this article has been superceded by the one in _this article.

The new platform maze

I own an old, quite customised Thinkpad a21m laptop, which I still use intensively when I’m out of town: with 256 Mb of RAM, a 750 MHz Pentium 3 chip and a 1024x768 screen running off an ATI chip, I can run pretty much all recent GNU/Linux distros around. I also have built a nice living-room warmer based off an Athlon64 X2 3800+ with a big, fat hard disk and more RAM than you can shake a stick at (well, almost). Is there a problem here?

If I tell you that I need to download ten (10) different CD images to install both according to their specificities, maybe you’ll get it.

Should we limit the terms of free software operating systems to GNU/Linux, GNU/Hurd, xBSD, OpenSolaris and the likes?

These days, when one talks about free software, the first word that comes to mind is Linux—be it the kernel or a distribution based on it (which would then be a GNU/Linux operating system, and its flavour marked by a brand name: Red Hat, SuSE, Mandriva, Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware...)

At one time, there was another project worthy of note: BeOS. It wasn’t POSIX-compatible, but it was neat. But now, only free *NIX prevail... really?

Enter ReactOS.

The trouble of writing a standards compliant website

One of my tasks at work is to write, enhance and maintain a small website for my boss. Having been given free reign, I—of course—decided to host it on a LAMP server. No trouble here. Not wanting to use outdated technology that would require extensive rewriting after a few years, I decided to stick to standards—and I learnt XHTML 1.1.

Break a leg, or break a page.

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