End users

End users

A free software win32 may be closer than you think

Imagine this picture...you turn on your PC, use Google Desktop to find a document, open it in Word 2003 and then print it to your Windows-only printer. A normal Windows users day right? Did I mention this person's OS is free software, is developed by a community and is in active development now?

That's right, there is a Windows replacement in the works (and now partially working!) that plans binary compatibility with Windows XP. That means you can use the same applications, the same drivers and have an easy UI. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

COMPLETELY LOST in Blender - The untutorial (part 3 the final mix-up)

Last time, I had found a quiet resting place in the OOP menu which is, alas, not an undo menu. But one cannot hide forever. Time to reenter the dragon-filled wasteland called Blender.

After taking a few minutes to calm down, I decide to continue on my way. I’ve got to go back to the 3D interface. I steel myself, and click the grid icon to change back to 3D. I remember that the pictures in the tutorials had more than one 3D screen, so I decide that I am going to try to make the current screen into two screens.

One tutorial says...

COMPLETELY LOST in Blender - The Untutorial Part 2

Last time, my mind had become completely blank in the face of the Blender interface. Now, we shall dive on into the murky depths of the abyss known as Blender.

First, I do a search on Google and I find a tutorial with a reassuring sounding title.

Going 3D with Blender: Very first steps

That's a very reassuring title. It says to me, DON'T PANIC! I like that, so I switch screens and begin reading.

COMPLETELY LOST in Blender - The untutorial part 1

WARNING: The author of this tutorial takes no responsibility for you breaking your computer, initializing your harddrive, making a dumb-ugly image, or anything else that may happen if you take this blog too seriously. Remember what your mom said. “If everyone else jumped off of a cliff, would you?” If your answer was “Yes!”, then you deserve what you get.

Completely lost in Mozilla Composer

In serious need of a word processor, I have finally looked at Mozilla Composer after ignoring it for years. Although it does have its problems, I am feeling the first blush of love.

So getting here was a long journey. I switched from Netscape to Mozilla long ago, and I remember that I was a bit annoyed by all the bells and whistles. The newsreader I didn’t like, though I did use Mozilla for my mail. Composer was there, I suppose, but I never used it.

Anonymous telephony and the internet

I had an interesting conversation with Daniel Olivera from Ututo last week, although he perhaps didn’t perceive it as that. Mostly it involved trying to get some video feeds working from here and Italy on the radio ututo server in Argentina. But from that process I have come to think about how worthwhile it would be to have fully open and anonymous telephone servers.

Digital image resizing with the GIMP

Processing digital images is a very common task today. Image processing tools are so common that users often process images by trial and error, without really knowing what they are doing. One of the operations people fail most commonly is resizing an image.

In this article I will explain how to resize images. This is a way for me to celebrate 10 years since I started studying digital image processing!


Keep your private documents private

Digg it!

Nowadays, with more and more governmental censorship (and with it getting worse by the day, just look at Slashdot’s privacy section) and reports of hacking into major servers becoming almost a daily occurrence, we all want the maximum security and privacy possible online. Thankfully, some great free software projects have risen to the challenge! Here are some simple steps to keep your "stuff" safe:

2000 was the “year of the GNU/Linux Desktop” for me

I still see people arguing about whether GNU/Linux is “ready for the desktop”. The truth is, it really depends...

For me, I switched almost “cold turkey” from Microsoft Windows 3.1 to Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 “Slink” in about 1999 or 2000 (at the time, I liked to say I “upgraded from Win 3.1 to Linux”).

Wengophone: VoIP done right

A new, full-featured free software application pops its head into the VoIP world, and it nominates itself as the most serious competitor of Skype. Its name is Wengophone.

What is Wengophone?

Figure 1: Wengophone “NG” 2.0 beta running on a Debian testingFigure 1: Wengophone “NG” 2.0 beta running on a Debian testing

In short: Wengophone is a communication-over-IP application. With Wengophone you can:

  • place voice calls to other Wengophone users
  • create audio conferences with up to three users
  • place video calls to other Wengophone users

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.

Play and touch-type with TypeFaster

In this fast and over active world of computers, there is only one thing that seems to remain slow and underrated. I see it at school, with my fellow students; I see it with my friends. At home, I spot the same thing with my mom, and my dad and even my younger brother. It is the keyboard! In this article you will learn how to use TypeFaster to yes type faster!


Google Calendar—Yes!

Wow. I logged in to Slashdot today and the first thing I saw was that Google has released its new calendar. I noticed right away that this calendar allows imports from MS Outlook—one less excuse for people to cling to MS. I've tried various calendar apps within Firefox and Thunderbird, but this one appears as intuitive as Google's great Reader app. I wonder if any of this is making MS nervous?

Flying high with FlightGear

FlightGear is a top notch and highly accurate free software flight simulator. The software has no kill or be killed situations. Don’t expect arcade like dogfights and precision bombing. Such features are not included. However, with a large range of planes to choose from and with most of the world covered by accurate maps expect a realistic experience as near to a holodeck as software only can allow.

MIT OpenCourseWare Turns 5

Ah, MIT. I don’t know what it takes to get into this school, but, damn, they have some good people there. I learned about their Open Course Ware project a few years ago, and am so glad to see it’s still thriving. The concept is simple: Make all the course materials freely available online, so that even folks like me (who are denied the chance to go to MIT), still get to reap some of the benefits of an MIT education. I’m timidly suggesting to my own dept that we start thinking in this direction.

Spiff up your website with KImageMapEditor

One of the things I love about using a large free software distribution, especially on a suitably large harddrive, is that you can sometimes just go exploring in your applications menu. It seems like there’s always something there I haven’t looked at yet. Jan Schäfer’s KImageMapEditor was one of these discoveries—and what a gem it turned out to be!


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