End users

End users

Printing with Ubuntu

Ubuntu makes printing reasonably easy and straightforward. This brief article is for those who need a specific and encouraging step-by-step guide. I hope that this article will not only ensure that you print with ease, but that you have every reason to enjoy a productive GNU/Linux desktop.

Before you begin the installation steps below, connect your printer/s. You need to do this prior to turning your system on. This helps to ensure Ubuntu recognizes how the printer is connected to the system, and it allows Ubuntu to identify the specific printer port.

Edubuntu, Linux Terminal Server and thin clients

You walk into the room. It’s cool and quiet. You see thirty new workstations giving great service. Your cost of hardware was CAD$350 for each workstation, CAD$10 to connect it to an existing 100Mbps LAN, and about CAD$60 for a share of a server in another room (CAD$1 = US$0.87). Your software costs were only some download and CD burn time and forty minutes for installation. Your operating costs are virtually nil. The server runs for months without a reboot. The workstations have nothing but network boot loaders. You back up only one machine, the server.

Changing the Ubuntu look

Follow along and watch while I take a stock Ubuntu desktop and transform it something really slick!

Introduction

Window borders, icons, splash images and other graphical user interface (GUI) preferences are largely a subjective thing. Still, it’s nice to have the tools available to transform the GUI into something that is more pleasing to your eye. Fortunately, GNU/Linux makes it relatively easy to mould your desktop environment into whatever suits your taste, and Ubuntu is no exception.

Structured writing with LyX

In the hubbub over the Open Document Format and competing “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) word processors, a long-standing alternative model of word processing systems, with much deeper roots in the free software world, has been mostly overlooked. The author of LyX, Matthias Ettrich, calls this approach “what you see is what you mean” (WYSIWYM). However, it’s a philosophy that you will find in many “native” free software text-processing systems everywhere, from online “content management systems” to book publishing.

Simple package management with Synaptic

If you don’t like using the command line, and you want to manage your program installations without typing a command, then read on: this article is for you!

Ladies and Gentlemen: Synaptic!

Synaptic is a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing software packages on Debian-based distributions. If you are using Debian or Ubuntu you will easily find Synaptic in the System Tools menu or in the Administration menu. Synaptic uses the GTK graphic libraries (GNOME’s ones) . So, if you are using GNOME on your debian-based distro you will probably have Synaptic installed as well.

The GP2x PDA

Games under GNU/Linux have usually been a lacklustre affair. For every Tux Racer, there are a hundred sub-standard Pac-man clones you’d be embarrassed to advocate. For every commercial version of Quake, there’s a hundred other worthy games the publisher elected not to port to GNU/Linux. Without good games, there’s no market, and without the market, no effort is spared. And so the cycle continues. In this article, I will look at two of the areas in which GNU/Linux games have succeeded, and a new device that combines them both, which could help expose GNU/Linux to the populous.

Getting started with Knoppix Linux

Getting started with Knoppix Linux doesn’t have to be costly. Chances are you already have everything you need. The requirements are simple. Any computer newer than 5 years old with a working bootable CD or DVD drive should be able to run Knoppix.

Many consider Knoppix to be the most popular live CD. Knoppix has at least one of everything, configures automatically, and is a great way to get your feet wet in Linux.

Jump to Debian GNU/Linux!

There are hundreds of GNU/Linux distributions around, each with its strengths and weaknesses. One that stands out from the masses is Debian. It is the only major distribution not developed (or even backed) by commercial vendors, but by a group of volunteers around the world. Its main features are robustness, great software package management, a huge software collection consisting of more than 15,000 pre-compiled packages ready to install and run, and a transparent and always helpful support system based on mailing lists and a bug tracking system.

Browsers for Mac OS X

When Apple migrated the Mac operating system platform to Mac OS X, one of the key components was an underpinning based on the FreeBSD operating system. The use of an open source operating system as the core has in turn led to an increase in the use and availability of free and open source software (FOSS). It is now much easier to develop software for the OS X platform (development software is included, instead of being an expensive addition) and this makes it both easier for people to get involved and more likely to take part in open source community projects.

64 Studio

Creative computer applications are a niche, and a relatively small one at that. Even brand-leading proprietary software companies like Steinberg, the developers of the long-established Cubase music sequencer, have been recently bought out. Consolidation in the creative application market has seen Adobe buy Syntrillium, who created Cool Edit, Avid buy Digidesign and Apple buy Logic—and there are plenty of other examples.

Games in captivity

For those of us who grew up in the 80s, playing games in arcades or on our computers and game consoles was a major part of our childhoods, and we often have the nostalgic desire to replay those beloved titles. Others not only want to play, but have dedicated their scholarly attention to the study and preservation of videogame history. Sometimes companies who own the copyright to these games are able to repackage them and make them available on the shelf; there are countless “Games in a Stick” mini-consoles and plenty of “Arcade Classic” compilations for the PC and modern consoles.

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.

What’s a Wiki?

If you haven’t paid attention, the World Wide Web has been changing dramatically over the past few years. It used to be that if you wanted to create a web site, you either had to learn the basics of HTML, or spend a few hundred dollars on a web development tool. Or hire a designer to put one together for you.

Every time you want to add new content to your web site, you’d have to go back to your tools, add a new page, update all of the site navigation, or pay another fee to your web designer.

OpenPuppets

In summer 2004, OrganicaDTM’s design team discussed a project in a typical production meeting when suddenly a new idea arose. Somebody said that as we used free software daily in our business, we should be involved in a deeper way with free software community and should find a way thank their members for their efforts. We all looked at each other, knowing that that person was right. But how?

Free IRC clients

In this article I’m going to look at a staple application of many user’s lives. No, not a web browser, but an IRC client. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a simple, but effective, way for multiple users to communicate with each other in an environment that most likely equates to your local bar.

In this article, I’m going to look at five IRC clients for the Unix/Linux terminal.

Switching to free software

Free software is fast becoming the standard in quality software. It’s now possible for anyone to find a quality, free replacement for almost any proprietary program. In many cases, the free program is better than its proprietary counterpart.

You may not realize it, but there’s probably a free software replacement for every software program you own: from your word processor to your photo editor to the actual operating system.

There’s probably a free software replacement for every software program you own

Who’s behind that web site?

Let’s talk about phishing. Phishing is just like fishing, only your identity is the fish and the bait is an email that looks like it came from your bank, or eBay, or Paypal, or any other legitimate place. The goal is to get you to follow a link to a site owned by the phisher, and trick you into divulging some private information, such as your bank account number, pin, passwords, or social security number.

net.labels

The traditional approach to releasing music, independent from what is called “the music industry”, follows a basic formula: record, print CD, promote, distribute, promote, lose money.

It is difficult to know why so many independent musicians follow this pattern, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they will almost certainly lose time and money. Thankfully there’s a new type of independent music label that is emerging on the internet. These entities call themselves net.labels and are in the process of defining an interesting new subculture of independent music distribution.

Graphic icons

There are a lot of important and exciting discussions currently taking place around issues concerning the ownership of ideas. The thoughts and the accompanying practices surrounding the subject have been formed through a diverse range of alliances, interests and motivations. The arguments are becoming increasingly polarised into distinct methods and approaches that already challenge and govern, not only our lives and working practices, but also, our ability to communicate.

Case study: Mythic Beasts

There is a company in the UK that provides Unix shells to their users: Mythic Beasts. They offer fantastic service to people who need a shell account on a very fast server, and don’t want to fork out silly amounts of money. Let’s talk to Chris Lightfoot, one of the company’s owners.

TM: Who is behind “Mythic Beasts”? How did everything start?

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