It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for free culture. Possibly my favorite development is that MusOpen has organized its planned symphony recordings for this January. In September, 2010, the free culture organization raised over $68,000 (several times their $11,000 goal) through a Kickstarter campaign, with the intent of commissioning a "internationally renowned orchestra" to perform the Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky symphonies.
Recently, I was directed toward an excellent analysis of commons-based peer production as a phenomenon which separates "entrepreneurs" (who want to get things done and create value in the world) from "capitalists" (who want to get a return on an investment of property without contributing any labor). An observer -- clearly outside of the community of free software developers -- expressed dismay at the example of Mozilla Foundation, which makes money from the open source Mozilla project, but does not pay for most voluntarily contributed code improvements to the Mozilla software. Is he right? Is this exploitation of those contributors?
Many people make the mistake of thinking of Linux as just another Unix. Though most system calls are indeed identical, some of them aren’t. Knowing the difference is important. The book Linux System Programming provides complete overview of Linux system calls.
Linux System Programming provides us with a complete overview of Linux system calls
The tools and techniques for creating hardware designs are very different from those used for software; and because of this, developing open hardware is a significantly different and greater challenge than creating free software. In the second part of my interview with the developers of the Open Graphics project, I wanted to explore these factors and the solutions this one open hardware project has found.
Thin client solutions bring together the display features of a personal computer and the low support requirements of dumb terminals. The client machine handles the user interface, while the servers provide the processing power for the applications. Thin clients offer considerable savings in staffing and capital costs. GNU/Linux lends itself to thin clients for reasons that are explored in this book. The book's author, David Richards, clearly has experience of explaining and implementing thin client solutions.
For reasons unknown to civilized (or uncivilized) man, all programming books are often immensely boring. Seriously. That is, until now. Today, Free Software Magazine presents (in conjunction with Andrew Min Writing Studios) Learning XHTML: Monty Python-Style.
Free software has much to offer non-profit organizations (NGOs). If you are reading this, you are probably a member or participant of an NGO, and I hope I can show you why free software and open standards are important for your organisation. Or maybe you are a free software supporter who’d like to see a change in a social organisation near you. In any case, I will try to give you a few arguments in favour of free software, along with some practical information on how to successfully face a migration process from proprietary software.
The first International Conference on Free Software, Technological Literacy and Solidarity Economy took place in Bogotá (Colombia) from 13th to 15th of November. More than 80 speakers and 600 assistants attended at the the Tequendama Hotel, a traditional meeting point in the city.
Today, terminal-based programs have almost disappeared. GUIs are taking over, whether we like it or not. However, there is still a place for the old command line. Take the internet as an example: everyone’s using Firefox, Thunderbird, and Pidgin for their internet activities. Even though these are great, quality, free software apps, they tend to be bloated. That’s where the terminal comes in.
Today, everyone uses a different instant messenger. Your boss may use Lotus Sametime, your colleague AIM, your friend Google Talk, and your kid Yahoo! Messenger. However, these all take up hard drive space, RAM, and CPU usage. In addition, many of these are proprietary and Windows-only (two big minuses for GNU/Linux users). Luckily, the free software world has several alternatives that enable users to chat with users of all of these programs (and many more). For KDE users, the answer is Kopete.
The 3D world just got a lot brighter with the birth of Compiz Fusion, a powerful compositing window manager for GNU/Linux operating systems. Originally there was one project, Compiz, but the project forked into Compiz, and the unstable and unofficial fork of Compiz known as Beryl. Now, the two projects have been reunited for one amazing compositing window manager. In a nutshell, it adds effects to your desktop like wobbly windows (the windows actually wobble when you move them), a cool virtual desktops manager via a cube, and much more. For proof of how cool it is, just do a Google Video/YouTube search for “compiz fusion”.
I recently went looking for a way to rotate JPG images from within Nautilus, and found a nice way to do this and more. It’s not difficult to customize the right-click popup menu in Nautilus to perform custom actions on files. Here are some instructions and scripts to get you started.
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Today, everyone uses a different instant messenger. Your boss may use Lotus Sametime, your colleague AIM, your friend Google Talk, and your kid Yahoo! Messenger. However, these all take up hard drive space, RAM, and CPU usage. In addition, many of these are proprietary and Windows-only (two big minuses for GNU/Linux users). Luckily, the free software world has an alternative that enables users to chat with users of all of these programs (and many more). It is called Pidgin.
Knoppix made live CDs popular—and with good reason too. Do you want to check whether a distribution works well with your hardware, or to show off the latest Compiz Fusion magic, or maybe you have a presentation to do and you want to make sure you have the same environment to show it in as you had to create it? A live CD can help with all of these scenarios. However, until recently you had to read through some pretty dense documentation to make any customisations. Now, Fedora 7 is out and Revisor is here to help you create any kind of live system you can imagine, in 7 easy steps.
A first draft of this article has been sitting for months in my hard disk. I decided to finish it after reading that Microsoft will offer its operating system and office suite for $3 per machine to developing countries. That made me think of the way the giant software company “helps” these countries by giving licenses of its proprietary software almost for free, and that in turn made me think of free milk. Let me tell you about it.
The Nestlé boycott
Tired of reading recipes the usual way? Frankly, I am. I find them more interesting, as well as easier and faster to read, by representing them as mind maps [3, 4]. In this article I have two goals: to demonstrate an alternative format for presenting recipes, and at the same time to provide a short users’ guide for Freemind [1, 2]. As I progress through the article I will also be describing a recipe that you can try for yourself—enjoy the meal!
There was a time when geeks were the only ones who used instant messengers. Not so now. Almost everyone, from high school students to Congressmen, have instant messaging accounts. Businesses use instant messengers like Lotus Sametime or Novell GroupWise within their companies. How did instant messengers get this far?
In the beginning...
Hello readers, and welcome once again to Free Software Magazine’s fortnightly newsletter, keeping you up to date with all things free software! Enjoy!
It is one big fortnight, ladies and gentlemen.
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For me there is nothing quite as relaxing as the sounds of the beach. The slow crashing of waves and the gentle lapping of water in the tide pools really helps me find my inner calm. Of course, I could do without the smell of rotting fish carcasses, the constantly screeching gulls and the looming threat of melanoma. So I decided to create my own virtual beach experience using some free sound clips from the internet and the free software package called Audacity. I’ve got all the relaxation without the annoying dead fish, dive bombing birds and sunburn.
In my geek career, I have been many things: DBA, programmer, help-desk, engineer, systems administrator. I have worked with VMS, MS-DOS, various flavors of UNIX, MS-Windows of all sorts, OS/2, and MPE/iX. I have had a wide and various and satisfying career.
I can tell you without reservation, systems administration was the hardest and most demanding of all those jobs.