Issue 7

Book review: Computers & Typesetting Millennium edition by Donald E. Knuth

Professor Donald E. Knuth doesn’t need an introduction: he created TeX (a powerful typesetting system) and METAFONT (a program to design fonts). He also designed a font family, called Computer Modern, which is the default choice of TeX.

The boxed setThe boxed set

Mr. Knuth is known to write sharp and enlightening books. His books about typesetting are no exception: he wrote five books dedicated to these topics, and Addison-Wesley now sells them all in one box, entitled “Computers & Typesetting Millennium edition".

The contents

The five books are:

  • “The TeXbook"

Book review: Linux Server Security by Michael D Bauer

While developed and supported with the best of intentions, Linux is still based on a widerange of different applications and systems working together. From the free softwareperspective this is its power; many people working together to produce a top qualityoperating system.

The book’s cover The book’s cover

Book review: Regular Expression Recipes by Nathan A. Good

I’ll admit right up front that I am something of a regular expression junkie.Years before I even knew such a system existed (before the days of the internet) I wrotemy own regular expression system to handle the needs of a free-text database managementpackage. Today, we are all familiar with regular expressions in Perl, sed, awk/gawk andeven in “user" applications like email and word processors.

The book’s cover The book’s cover

Creating Free Software Magazine

When I received the first email from Tony asking me to set up the typesetting subsystem for Free Software Magazine (FSM), I was proud... and terrified. I have spent the last six years of my life using LaTeX and, ultimately, TeX, to typeset single articles, songbooks, my thesis, CV’s, flyers, and letters.

Linux on the desktop: are we nearly there yet?

Alright, I admit it, up ‘til a couple of weeks ago I was still running Windows 2000 Professional. In my defence, I have been using all the free software I could on Windows—primarily Open Office, Firefox and Thunderbird. I was a bit reluctant to go through all the trouble of migrating across to a GNU/Linux distribution for two reasons. First, because my PDA and stereo bluetooth headset require software which doesn’t run on Linux. Secondly, I was a little intimidated by having to go back to using a command line after so long just using a GUI.

Switching to free software—system administrators

You are a system administrator for a small company—the captain of the firm’s computers. Doing your job well means that you may sail through the seas of information technologies unhindered, in short, the company’s IT infrastructure will stay in place. Should you mess up you will find that the email has stopped working, the web surfers are stranded and you have pinned your ship on the reefs and rocks that scatter the virtual world, or in other words, the company will not be functioning well and you be burning its money.


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?

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

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.

Interview with Donald E. Knuth

We all know that the typesetting of Free Software Magazine is entirely TeX-based. Maybe somebody don’t know yet that Prof. Donald Knuth designed TeX, and did it about 30 years ago. Since then the TeX project has generated a lot of related tools (i.e., LaTeX, ConTeXt, , and others).

This year I had the chance and the honor of interviewing Professor Knuth. I’m proud, as a journalist and FSM’s TeX-nician, to see it published in what I consider “my magazine".

The LaTeX Project Public License

In a world where people wish to protect their work in any way, there are plenty of licenses [5] that protect the rights of their work, while still allowing it to be shared.

One of these licenses is the LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL) [3], mainly used to distribute and protect TeX-related works, but suitable, with small modifications, for works not related to TeX. This license only covers distribution and modifications of a work, while its execution is not restricted. No requirements are made concerning any offers of support for the work, as stated in the clause 1 of the LPPL.

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.

How to recover from a broken RAID5

In this article I will describe an experience I had that began with the failure of some RAID5 disks at the Hospital of Pediatric Especialties, where I work. While I wouldn’t wish such an event on my worst enemy, it was something that made me learn about the power of knowledge—a deep knowledge, which is so important in the hacking culture.

Friday, April 29, 2005

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