Issue 8

Issue 8

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.

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.

Interview with Roberto Vacca

Roberto Vacca is a Doctor of Computer Science and an electrical engineer. He is very well known in Italy because of his forecasts, mathematical and provisional models, his books (which he sells through his site www.printandread.com) and articles. Since his forecasts, as well as his points of view, are always very sharp and are so clearly expressed, I decided to talk with him about his activity and free software world.

Working together and sharing code with TLA

If you ever worked on a free software project or if you have ever worked as a developer, you probably know that managing source code, patches, and software release cycles is not the easiest task to perform. Things get even worse if lots of people are working on the same project: more code to manage, more people to coordinate, more patches to integrate and mainstream. Even if you don’t write software or have never worked on such projects, I’m sure that as an addicted computer user sometimes you felt like “hey, why didn’t I make a backup of that document”, or “hell...

Disaster relief and free software

Technical needs in the immediate aftermath of the South Asian tsunami disaster of 2004 put software development and distribution methods into sharp focus for relief groups. When volunteers were immediately available to help coordinate relief efforts, access to software slowed them down. It was evident that traditional commercial software distribution had broken down. It was untenable.

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.

Let’s take care of our memory

It was late at night in Sydney. I was at John Paul’s house—the man behind MySource. We hadn’t seen each other for years, and we had spent the whole day helping his parents move house, so we did what old friends do: we talked about anything and everything. The conversation somehow turned to neural damage and freak accidents (our backs must have hurt).

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