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gfranken's blog

Switch to KDE 4.2.2

Filed under
Linux

I've always been a diehard KDE user. When I first tried Linux several years ago, I experimented with both Gnome and KDE, and, for me, KDE just seemed to be a better fit. So, I've been trying to decide when to switch my home production machine from the KDE 3 series to KDE 4. Finally, last week, I made the switch...

My New Laptop and Linux

Filed under
Linux

I got my first laptop as an early Christmas present. It's an Acer Aspire 6930. Since it has Intel 5100 wifi built in, I needed a Linux version that would support that.

Mandriva 2009/KDE 4.1 Revisited

Filed under
Linux

As Mandriva prepares for its 2009 release, I've been updating Mandriva 2009 daily from their "cooker" (development) repository ever since I installed a beta version a few weeks ago. Last night's update was massive, with an update of over 350 packages.

Mandriva 2009 Beta 1 & KDE 4.1 - A Brief Report

Mandriva released the 2009 Beta 1 iso's on July 29th. I downloaded the i586 version then. Since then, hundreds of software updates, patches, and fixes have been placed into Mandriva's "Cooker" repositories, Cooker being Mandriva's name for it's development branch.

How are things shaping up for the Mandriva 2009 release? And how's KDE 4.1 working on this new release?

Openoffice.org mailing labels solution

My daughter is getting married this Summer, and she purchased some weird Avery return address labels for invitees to RSVP whether they plan to attend. The labels have an Avery number of 18195. I have no MS-Windows workstations at home, and I couldn't find an Openoffice.org Writer template for this particular label stock. What to do?

Run iexplore.exe under wine

Filed under
Linux

I hate having to use Microsoft Tools. At work, however, we have a web page that we have to update each week--and, it only works with Internet Explorer.

Since I'm now running my work workstation full-time under Linux instead of Windows XP, I've need to get MS iexplore.exe running under wine. It was simple--here's how I did it.

Motherboard Fails

Filed under
Just talk

Hardware is getting reasonably reliable if you are careful to buy components of decent quality. Recently, a bargain motherboard/CPU purchase at Fry's Electronics came back to bite me in the fanny.

From a PCLinuxOS user: Kubuntu Gutsy doesn't totally reek.

Filed under
Linux

I'm a confirmed PCLinuxOS and KDE user. But, I've given a brief trial on my test box of Kubuntu Gutsy-X86_64. Aside from the whole sudo vs su issue (I hate sudo), Kubuntu Gutsy doesn't totally reek. Actually it's usable. Either I have changed as a Linux user, or Kubuntu has gotten better.

ogg theora videos to avi

Filed under
Howtos

I've been writing a Ruby computer programming textbook (the going is slow). Along with the book will be a series of instructional videos on CD showing video computer screen clips with audio narration.

Wine is Getting Good

Filed under
Linux

Anyone else notice lately how good Wine is getting? No, of course I'm not talking about the beverage. Last year, Wine would only "sorta" work with the ClassXP software. This school year is a different story.

Sidux 2007-03 'Gaia' -- a quick look

Filed under
Linux

I come from a Mandriva/Mandrake/PCLinuxOS background. I'm a KDE guy who also installs gnome apps. I've not ever installed Debian, and I've used Debian derived distros very little. So, how does Sidux measure up for me?

Mandriva 2008 Beta 1, "Cassini" -- A few thoughts

Filed under
Linux

I can recall when a new impending release from Mandrake/Mandriva was great cause for excitement. In the last few years, Mandriva has been on the decline. Could the upcoming 2008 release start to turn things around?

Best I/O computer equipment

Everyone uses a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. What are the best choices of equipment for these?

Confession: I'm installing MS Windows

Filed under
Just talk

Yes, it's heresy, and I have a lot of guilt over it. Installing MS-Windows on any of my home machines is an anathema to me.

The Intrepid Investigator Report -- Sniffing Powdered Ubuntu CDs Cures Cancer!

Filed under
Humor

The Intrepid Investigator

Ubuntu Cures Cancer
by reporter Ursula Upton
filed: 16 March 2007 at 13:52.

Yes, it's a genuine miracle. In a scientific study by reputable scientists Borg Benderle and Lamer DiDiot (both affiliated with Shuttlecock University), the study found that sniffing powdered Ubuntu CDs brings about a dramatic reduction in the size of cancer tumors.

PCLinuxOS, Distros, and 10 reasons to try PCLinuxOS.

Filed under
Linux

I wonder if there is a survey that has information on how many different distros a typical Linux user has used over that last 5 years? Of course, I mean more than just an install trial where you experiment with a distro for a few days, then wipe or replace that distro.

For me, that number is a fairly conservative two. And one of those two distros is the (grown up) child of another.

Another Sabayon Linux 3.2 Look (from a non-Gentoo user)

Filed under
Linux

Sabayon Linux is a Gentoo based distribution that is designed to be easy to install and configure. Savvy Linux users know that Gentoo is a "roll your own" distribution where you create your own distro from scratch--installing and compiling all your programs. They say you learn a lot of Linux by doing a Gentoo install, and that you end up with a very speedy system optimized to your specific needs.

What about those of us who want to try the Gentoo experience without taking several days to get it up and running?

Then Sabayon Linux is for you.

Another OpenSUSE 10.2 Beta 1 Review

At the high school where I teach Web Page Design, Computer Programming, and Computer Literacy, it is Novell Netware Servers that provide our primary network services. This is also true in our school district's two middle schools, 6 elementary schools, the alternative school, as well as at the district office administration building. So, a Linux distribution that operates well as a Novell Netware client is essential.

However, the large majority of our workstations are Windows XP, so good MS Windows/Samba networking is also required.

With Novell now owning SUSE, and the importance of good Novell clients workstations at my high school, the choice of OpenSUSE should be a no-brainer. And, with Jeremy Allison (who works for SUSE) being one of the core Samba developers from the beginning, OpenSUSE should have very good up to date MS Windows networking support.

Java on Linux vs MS-Win XP

Filed under
Just talk

The computer lab we were using at Western Oregon University had Windows XP on all the machines. The first day of class, I used Win-XP for a few minutes--but I just couldn't stand it anymore . . . I whipped-out my PCLinuxOS CD I'd brought along with me, and proceeded to install Linux on the machine . . .

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • Budgie-Remix Makes Progress With Ubuntu 16.10 Base, Beta 2 Released
    Budgie-Remix, the unofficial Ubuntu spin making use of the Budgie Desktop, has released its 16.10 Beta 2 milestone following this week's Yakkety Yak Beta 2 release. Budgie-Remix is re-based to the latest Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety package changes. In addition, a number of the Budgie-0Remix packages have been working their way into Debian proper and thus are available to Ubuntu 16.10 users via the official channels. Now available this way is the budgie-desktop package, Moka icon theme, Faba icon theme, and the Arc theme. The Ubuntu repository has also pulled in the Budgie artwork and wallpaper packages too.
  • Yakkety Yak Final Beta Released
  • Canonical Launches Commercial Support for Kubernetes
    Canonical, the lead commercial vendor behind the open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system, is getting into the Kubernetes market. Canonical now offers a freely available implementation of Kubernetes as well as commercial-support options. "I have no doubt that Kubernetes will be one of the major container co-ordination systems," Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, told ServerWatch.
  • [How To] Build an Ubuntu Controlled Sous-Vide Cooker
    I’ll be honest with you from the off: I had zero idea what sous-vide cooking was before I started writing this post. Wikipedia dutifully informs me that’s Sous-Vide is a style of cooking that involves a vacuum, bags, and steam.
  • Mintbox Mini Pro Linux Mini PC Launches For $395
    This week a new version of the popular Mintbox Mini Linux PC has been launched for $395 in the form of the Mintbox Mini Pro which is now equipped with 120 GB of SSD mSATA together with 64-bit AMD A10-Micro6700T system-on-a-chip with Radeon R6 graphics and features 8GB of DDR3L. The latest Mintbox Mini Pro is shipped preloaded with the awesome Linux Mint 18 operating system and includes a microSD card slot a serial port, and a micro SIM card reader. The new Mintbox Mini Pro is the same size as the original and measures 4.3 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches in size and weighs in at around 255g. The Linux mini PC incorporates a fanless design and features an all-metal case made of aluminium and zinc.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Minijail: Running Untrusted Programs Safely by Jorge Lucangeli Obes, Google
  • Minijail: Google’s Tool To Safely Run Untrusted Programs
    Google’s Minijail sandboxing tool could be used by developers and sysadmins to run untrusted programs safely for debugging and security checks, according to Google Software Engineer Jorge Lucangeli Obes, who spoke last month at the Linux Security Summit. Obes is the platform security lead for Brillo, Google's Android-based operating system for Internet-connected devices. Minijail was designed for sandboxing on Chrome OS and Android, to handle “anything that the Linux kernels grew.” Obes shared that Google teams use it on the server side, for build farms, for fuzzing, and pretty much everywhere. Since “essentially one bug separates you and any random attacker,” Google wanted to create a reliable means to swiftly identify problems with privileges and exploits in app development and easily enable developers to “do the right thing.” The tool is designed to assist admins who struggle with deciding what permissions their software actually needs, and developers who are vexed with trying to second guess which environment the software is going to run in. In both cases, sandboxing and privilege dropping tends to be a hit or miss affair. Even when developers use the privilege dropping mechanisms provided by the Linux kernel, sometimes things go awry due to numerous pitfalls along that path. One common example Obes cited was trying to ride a switch user function that will drop-root and then forgetting to check the result of the situation relief, or setuid function, afterwards.
  • Intel and Cloudera Give Apache an Open Source Data/Security Tool
    For the past year, we've taken note of the many Big Data projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support. Recently, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. And, Apache Twill has graduated as well. Twill is an abstraction over Apache Hadoop YARN that reduces the complexity of developing distributed Hadoop applications, allowing developers to focus more on their application logic. In another Apache-related Big Data move, Cloudera and Intel have announced that they've contributed a new open-source project to the Apache Software Foundation targeted at using Big Data analytics and machine learning for cybersecurity.
  • Twitter Open Sources Stream Processing Engine Heron
    Twitter announced the open sourcing of Heron, a stream-processing engine that is a successor to Apache Storm. Heron is backwards compatible with Apache Storm, which eases its adoption amongst developers. Heron has replaced Apache Storm as the stream data processing engine inside Twitter due to its scalability, debug-ability, ability to work in a shared cluster infrastructure and better performance. A comprehensive list of features is listed in the documentation.
  • Tencent: Transforming Networks with SDN
    “SDN can really transform the way we do networks,” said Tom Bie, VP of Technology & Operation of Data Center, Networking and Server, Tencent, during his Wednesday keynote address at the Open Daylight Summit. The China telecom giant should know about the issues of massive scale networks: they have more than 200 million users for QQ instant messaging, 300 million users of their payment service, and more than 800 million users of their VChat service. Bie noted that Tencent also operates one of the largest gaming networks in the world, along with video services, audio services, online literature services, news portals, and a range other digital content services.
  • The Second Wave of Platforms, an Interview with Cloud Foundry’s Sam Ramji
    In today’s world of platforms, services are increasingly connected. In the past, PaaS offerings were pretty much isolated. It’s that new connected infrastructure that is driving the growth of Cloud Foundry, the open source, service-oriented platform technology. Sam Ramji is CEO of Cloud Foundry, which is holding its European event in Frankfurt this week. At the conference, we spoke with Ramji to discuss, among other topics:
  • How to Find Your First OpenStack Job
  • LibreOffice 5.2.2 Now Available to Download
  • EC approves Slovenia courts data exchange solution
    First CEF AS4-compliant b2b solution developed as open source by a public administration The European Commission has tested and approved Laurentius, an eDelivery court documents and case exchange solution compliant with the AS4 profile of the OASIS ebMS standard. In September, Laurentius passed all tests by the EC’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for its so-called “e-SENS AS4 conformant solutions”.
  • SDL 2.0.5 Is Readying For Release: Relative Mouse Mode For Wayland/Mir, Audio Capture
    SDL 2.0 point releases have ranged from being a few months apart to as much as two years apart. Fortunately, SDL 2.0.5 is now being put together for release just nine months after SDL 2.0.4. With the Mercurial repository, Sam Lantinga bumped the version in preparation for the SDL 2.0.5 release. The SDL 2.0.5 release hasn't officially happened yet, but it should be here soon.
  • Open standards default at Slovenia supreme court
    The use of open ICT standards is an IT requirement at Slovenia’s Supreme Court, responsible for the IT support of the entire court system in the country. The Supreme Court’s IT department has a strong preference for the development of modular, reusable software solutions. This strategy provides agility and flexibility, says Bojan Muršec, director of IT. The focus on open standards frees up the IT department to concentrate on the business, Muršec says. The IT department takes the modular approach serious: the first reusable module ever developed by the court - a court documents dispatch and delivery system - is re-used by all IT systems across the courts. “Making everything reusable prevents creation of silos in the organisation”, the IT director says. A positive side effect of the IT strategy is that the court uses mostly open source software solutions. This in turn helps to keep IT costs down, says the IT director, who estimates that the court saves EUR 400 to 500 thousand per year on licence fees: “The cost of proprietary licences always goes up.”
  • Why there is no CSS4 - explaining CSS Levels
    We had CSS1, and CSS2. We even had CSS2.1 and we then moved onto CSS3 – or did we? This post is a quick explanation of how CSS is versioned today. CSS versions 1 and 2 were monolithic specifications. All of CSS was included in one massive document. Selectors, positioning, colour – it was all in there. The problem with monolithic specifications is that in order to finish the spec, every component part also has to be finished. As CSS has grown in complexity, and new features are added, it doesn’t make sense to draw a line at which all work is stopped on all parts of CSS in order to declare that CSS version finished. Therefore, after CSS2.1 all the things that had been part of the 2.1 specification were broken down into modules. As the new CSS modules included all that had gone before plus any new features, they all came into being at Level 3. Hence CSS3, and people like me who understood CSS as a single specification referred to the group of Level 3 modules as “CSS3”.

Security Leftovers

  • Linux.Mirai Trojan causing mayhem with DDoS attacks
    A Trojan named Linux.Mirai has been found to be carrying out DDoS attacks. The malicious program first appeared in May 2016, detected by Doctor Web after being added to its virus database under the name Linux.DDoS.87. The Trojan can work with with the SPARC, ARM, MIPS, SH-4, M68K architectures and Intel x86 computers.
  • Don't Hide DRM in a Security Update
    Over 10,000 of you have joined EFF in calling on HP to make amends for its self-destructing printers in the past few days. Looks like we got the company’s attention: today, HP posted a response on its blog. Apparently recognizing that its customers are more likely to see an update that limits interoperability as a bug than as a feature, HP says that it will issue an optional firmware update rolling back the changes that it had made. We’re very glad to see HP making this step. But a number of questions remain. First, we’d like to know what HP’s plans are for informing users about the optional firmware update. Right now, the vast majority of people who use the affected printers likely do not know why their printers lost functionality, nor do they know that it’s possible to restore it. All of those customers should be able to use their printers free of artificial restrictions, not just the relatively few who have been closely following this story.
  • 6 Ways Driverless Cars Are Going To Kill Lots Of People
    You've probably read a few articles about driverless cars over the past couple of years. The technology is coming along quickly, with fleets of test cars already on the roads in some states. It seems like soon we'll achieve the American dream of stuffing our faces and texting all we want while still managing to avoid public transportation. But the reality is quite different. We're diving into this technology a little too quickly and ignoring all the warning signs about how we are going to screw up on the way to Driverless Car Utopia.

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”
  • Earnings Estimate Report: Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) , Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)
  • Switched to HTTPS
    Perhaps you already noticed it, I have switched all the sites for a secured browsing using HTTPS. So, new addresses are: https://blog.remirepo.net/ for this Blog (with an automatic and permanent redirection) https://forum.remirepo.net/ for the Forum (with an automatic and permanent redirection) https://rpms.remirepo.net/ for the Repository, but classical address stay available.
  • Fedora Hubs: Getting started
    Fedora Hubs provides a consistent contributor experience across all Fedora teams and will serve as an “intranet” page for the Fedora Project. There are many different projects in Fedora with different processes and workflows. Hubs will serve as a single place for contributors to learn about and contribute to them in a standardized format. Hubs will also be a social network for Fedora contributors. It is designed as one place to go to keep up with everything and everybody across the project in ways that aren’t currently possible.