GFDL

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is available at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html.

Free software Easter eggs

It is grey a dull, overcast day here in downtown Amsterdam. The weather is rather oppressive, summer’s smile long gone and my wine cellar miraculously has grown to quiet emptiness. However, I know a not too-well guarded secret. Hidden in the cracks, just at the edge of your eyesight, is extra humorous functionality in your favourite free software applications. Silent professional Easter eggs are waiting stealthily to make you smile.

Free software is cheaper: case study while creating a podcast

I have a podcast—The Beer Crate, since you asked—which is written and produced using free software, and released under the CC by-nc-nd license. It's a fun little hobby that keeps me off the street, and gives me an excuse to drink and review beer. But had free software not existed, how much would it cost to produce and host a show using proprietary software? I set out to investigate...

Gaia Ajax Widgets: no-JavaScript Ajax

Imagine you need to create an Ajax application, and you’re scratching your head in frustration since you don’t understand prototype.js, you think using ASP.NET Ajax feels like building a car with scissors and paperclips and you don’t know enough Java to use GWT. If this is your problem, Gaia Ajax Widgets could solve your problem: Gaia abstracts away JavaScript, feels like normal ASP.NET, works on both ASP.NET and Mono—and it’s free software.

Book review: ImageMagick Tricks by Sohail Salehi

ImageMagick, as many would know, is a software suite for image manipulation and display, supporting a wide variety of formats. But, what is less widely known is the many facets it has, and the wide array of things that can be done with it. This book gives you more than a hint of all that’s possible.

The seven sins of programmers

Programmers. The system administrators worship their bit twiddling capabilities. The users exchange vast quantities of beer for new features and tools. And the project managers sell their souls when they make the magic work. But inside the average programmer’s psyche are several demons that need exorcising.

Pride

LinuxWorld Expo London 2006

The powers that be at Free Software Magazine decided to be a media sponsor of LinuxWorld Expo UK at Olympia, London held on the 25th and 26th of October. As I make a habit of going to that expo, and I also write for the magazine when I remember to hand articles in, I was contacted and discovered I was to be handed a “press” badge for the event. So, on the day, I set off early from Cambridge to enjoy the privileges of my new super-status.

Asterisk

Asterisk is a phone system in software. It can replace large and expensive business phone systems, powering thousands of extensions, or it can help home users save money on long distance. Because it’s implemented in software, it is extremely versatile, easy to customize, and easy to extend.

The need for Asterisk

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.

Free software events review June 2006

Summer has come. The crops in the fields are beginning to fill, the barbecues on the park are smoking away and, this being the UK, either the clouds in the sky are starting to thunder or the utility companies are announcing water shortages or both. Despite all this though, the free software flowers in the virtual garden are blooming like never before. Once again, I have limited my writings on the free software oriented events that have attracted my personal attention and fired my personal interests. During the past month, these consist of...

Hardening Linux Web Servers

Security is a process, not a result. It is a process which is difficult to adopt under normal conditions; the problem is compounded when it spans several job descriptions. All the system level security in the world is rendered useless by insecure web-applications. The converse is also true—programming best practices, such as always verifying user input, are useless when the code is running on a server which hasn’t been properly hardened.

Free software events review May 2006

May and June have always been my favorite months. The arrival of the wild flowers on the roadside and the warmer sunshine ensure the assignment of the last thaws of winter into history, also the earlier arrival of the sun in the morning, together with its later retirement, grant eager anticipation to the long lazy summer afternoons to come. Not so lazy, though, has been the work of the free software community, from which I have chosen a minuscule sample to report in this current issue of this newsletter. This sample, whose only attribute for inclusion here are that they grabbed my attention, consist of:

Secure your email communication with free software

Email is one of the most common activities we perform on the internet. However, email is also one of the most vulnerable internet services currently used. Email spam is common, but what most people are not aware of is that email identity theft is common as well. There is also continuous concern over the privacy and security issues surrounding the matter. However, most users dismiss security software as complex and still continue to send email messages with very little or no regard at all to security.

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.

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.

Free software events review April 2006

The showers of April have died away. As spring matures, the song birds greet the mornings of May with their music and I find that it is once again time to hand in my report on events regarding free software. This consists of the usual conglomeration of occurrences that I have noticed, think important, or which simply take my fancy.

For this last month, these consist of:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - GFDL