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Book review: Linux Administration Handbook Second Edition by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein, et al

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.

Yudit: edit your multi-language text easily

In this article I will show you how to write multi-language texts without the cumbersome Back in 1999, the Hungarian Gáspár Sinai needed to edit Hungarian and Japanese texts. So he decided to write an editor that was Unicode [1] compliant. Once he had done the basic work, it was a straightforward task to include other languages, and Yudit [2] was born.

Yudit was built for Unix, but Sinai did do a version for Windows.

Book review: Bounty Hunters (Metaphors for Fair Intellectual Property Laws) by Greg London

Greg London is an author and a frequent contributor to the Creative Commons licensing mailing list. In Bounty Hunters, he attempts to reinvent the metaphors we use to talk about the ethics and law of copyright.

Bounty HuntersBounty Hunters

Book review: Design Concepts with Code: An Approach for Developers by Stanko Blatnik and Kelly Carey

A bit of a departure from our usual fare, Design Concepts with Code is an artistically focused book which talks about the problem of designing the look and feel of websites (or web applications). It’s free software friendly in that it focuses on code and standards rather than specific design applications.

Design Concepts with CodeDesign Concepts with Code

One message that came through very strongly was that if you rely too closely on the tools, they will stunt your creativity

The contents

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!


Firefox extensions: fun and games

Firefox is more than just a web browser. It’s also a cross-platform arcade machine. No quarters necessary.

An ode to Ralph H. Baer

I owe much of my life to Ralph H. Baer. Oh, he doesn’t know it. He doesn’t even know me. But that’s how it goes in these days. Much of life is owed to strangers.

If you want a measure of success, I will give you a yardstick: wasted time. Or rather, leisure time. Ralph H. Baer has given many of us a legacy of time spent in front of a television, twiddling white squares around with a paddle. So it is Ralph H. Baer is a very successful man.

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!

Baby steps with The GIMP

Have you been planning on getting around to learning how to use the GIMP someday? Well now that the GIMP has had its tenth anniversary, it’s about time to start. In this article, I will walk you step by step through the process of making a web banner using the GIMP. Hopefully this kickstart will encourage you to do more playing on your own.

Security bulletins, computers, and cars

If you’re connected to the internet, you are vulnerable to attacks. I don’t care what operating system, which browser, what firewall, anti-virus, or anti-spyware you have installed—there’s a vulnerability on your system somewhere. Even the tools security researchers use to analyze attacks can be used against their owners as a way of breaking into their machines.

Towards a free matter economy—part 7

If you had a matter economy based on free-licensed design, what would you do with it? Why does this apply to space settlements? Are there practical projects? Who would need them? Why is free-design the right way to go? This final installment in the free matter economy series will attempt to answer these questions by taking a brief tour of the kinds of roadblocks that lead to the concept of applying free software methods to space.

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.

Book review: Learning Perl by Randal L Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, and brian d foy

The book Learning Perl will teach the reader how to begin writing code using the Perl language. The authors are not new to this subject matter. Randal L. Schwartz wrote Programming Perl with Larry Wall in 1991. Larry Wall being the father of Perl. Tom Phoenix has worked for years as a lead trainer on this subject; brian d foy is referred to as a fellow instructor and the lead writer for this fourth edition of the book. It would be hard to find a more qualified group to learn from. O’Reilly publishes this work in their familiar style and format.

A beginner’s introduction to the GNU/Linux command line

So you have decided to try a free software operating system such as GNU/Linux, congratulations. GNU/Linux is not that different from other operating systems on the surface. You point and click using the mouse and call down menus to get programs to work.

However, these icons and windows are just the sweet candy coating on top of a much older system, a system of programs designed to be accessed by the command line.

Towards a free matter economy (Part 6)

This article explores the legal problems that will be faced by free-design communities developing hardware for space.

I have learned that distributed problems require distributed solutions—that centralization of power, the first resort of politicians who feed on crisis, is actually worse than useless, because centralizers regard the more effective coping strategies as threats and act to thwart them.—Eric Raymond

Book review: The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source by Martin Fink

An introduction to the open source community targeted at business managers, this book by Martin Fink offers members of the free software and business communities glimpses of each other’s world view. It also includes a lot of practical advice for businesses interested in cashing in on the success of free software.

An older book, but still very relevantAn older book, but still very relevant

The day my father blew himself up

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the visible front of the current standards battle royale: in this corner, at 220 pounds, Open Document Format (ODF)! In the other corner, the 800 pound gorilla, Microsoft Office 12 XML format! Hopefully, we won’t get caught in the explosion.

The day my father blew himself up


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