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bigbearomaha's blog

Exploring Strange New Worlds...

Filed under
Just talk

I've seen it discussed before, but it sometimes doesn't really hit me until I see where someone who is talking around it, completely misses it.

Of course, I'm talking about the Star Trek influence. How close are we to realizing Star Trek Technology?

Personal Computing on the fly

Filed under
Linux

The cloud. It's the talk of the town and has been growing for awhile now.

Linux Can Take Over If It Sticks To What It Does Best. Appliances

Filed under
Linux

Everyone is always so fixated on desktop Linux and why it can't get decent numbers in the desktop market.

The answer is obvious. You can't come late into the game when someone has a huge installed base and expect to win based on free over easy.

Looking at the computer experience

Filed under
Linux

Just a bit of rambling about Linux, as well as reflections and meanderings about computer history in general

A Year Into Linux Mint Debian Edition

Filed under
Reviews

LMDE is a mixed bag. On one hand, you get a Debian install with the Mint specific user software that makes the end user a very nice experience. On the other hand, it's still being tweaked and played with. This can lead to some frustration with apps that haven't had all the kinks worked out yet.

Tabletop RPG's in a Linux World

Everyone knows about video games and the issues facing them in Linux. Not as many people are aware though that tabletop role Playing Games are experiencing a bit of a surge in popularity and that Linux and other open source software are able to assist in that growth.

What Does Linux and Role Playing Games Have in Common?

As a recently revived Game Master/DM going back to my RPG roots in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st Edition after about a 20 year absence, I find that computer technology has impacted Role Playing Games far beyond being able to play online.

Big Bear's Helpful Hints-Google Docs Spreadsheets

Filed under
Howtos

I like to jot down things that I learn how to do on the spur of the moment so that I can find it later.

I admit, in the 80's there was quite of bit of "herbal remedy" usage and my short term memory isn't what it could be. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I've decided that I might as well potentially help some other folks who might want to know about some of the things I discover, so I thought why not here?

For my very first post, I wanted to figure out how to sum cells across multiple pages in Google Docs spreadsheets.

Tomboy and Dropbox, the Dynamic Duo

Filed under
Linux

I just saw an article headline about Tomboy and it's strengths. It made me think about all the reasons I use Tomboy and perhaps my favorite reason for using it.

I use Dropbox because I like having access to files regardless of what computer I'm using or where I'm at. It is extremely helpful to me.

Looking for help to bring a new app to the world

Aloha folks,

For those programmers, packagers, etc... who might be looking to help on a new project, maybe you will find this interesting.

Cloud computing on Linux can help small business

Big companies like RedHat are getting into Software as a Service, otherwise known as "cloud computing".

School computer introductions

Filed under
Just talk

After reading an article recently on a similar topic, I got to thinking about what I was introduced to relating to computers when I was in school.

I was in high school when I got my first real introduction to computers.

Paranoia and criticism, how it was meant and how it is taken

Filed under
Linux

It's interesting to see how many people automatically associate criticism with "Anti-X distro".

One Linux to rule them all

There is a whole lot of noise being made about Googles OS announcement.

Most of it being made by raving distro fanboys who believe that by pledging their allegiance to one distro will make part of the 'cool crowd'

"No thanks Google, we have Ubuntu/Debian/Gentoo/pick one"

OpenSource Software Bounty Hunters

Wanted!

OpenSource developers to make software people actually want and need.

Bounty offered

See Sheriff for details

One computers' Linux experience

I suppose , in answer to the question "When will Linux be ready for the user desktop?"

It was ready almost two years ago in this house. Children use it daily, as well as computer phobic wives and memory challenged mad computer geniuses. (The 'genius' part is up for speculation.)

HackMy...phase II

For those of you who don't know, Hackmy... forums started out as a "advanced" forum for users of PCLinuxOS.

HackMy has moved to a new host and has a whole new look and goal though. Hackmy is now open to users of Linux, ANY distro.

How about "just using" instead of "migrating"?

Filed under
Linux

Take a big, deep breath and repeat after me, "There is no perfect OS, there is no perfect OS".

OK, fine, now read this.

The worlds best Linux Distro is now available.

Filed under
Humor

Here it is, the earth shaking, mind breaking, hip shaking est Linux distro ever. It will do "all dat" and more.

Want to know more about it? Knock on the big green emerald doors and ask to see the wizard.

Some Reasons NOT to use Linux. Ever. At all.

Filed under
Just talk

Reasons to not even bother trying Linux, ever : ( cue drum roll... )

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Python: Security and NumPy 1.20 Release

  • Python Package Index nukes 3,653 malicious libraries uploaded soon after security shortcoming highlighted

    The Python Package Index, also known as PyPI, has removed 3,653 malicious packages uploaded days after a security weakness in the use of private and public registries was highlighted. Python developers use PyPI to add software libraries written by other developers in their own projects. Other programming languages implement similar package management systems, all of which demand some level of trust. Developers are often advised to review any code they import from an external library though that advice isn't always followed. Package management systems like npm, PyPI, and RubyGems have all had to remove subverted packages in recent years. Malware authors have found that if they can get their code included in popular libraries or applications, they get free distribution and trust they haven't earned. Last month, security researcher Alex Birsan demonstrated how easy it is to take advantage of these systems through a form of typosquatting that exploited the interplay between public and private package registries.

  • A pair of Python vulnerabilities [LWN.net]

    Two separate vulnerabilities led to the fast-tracked release of Python 3.9.2 and 3.8.8 on February 19, though source-only releases of 3.7.10 and 3.6.13 came a few days earlier. The vulnerabilities may be problematic for some Python users and workloads; one could potentially lead to remote code execution. The other is, arguably, not exactly a flaw in the Python standard library—it simply also follows an older standard—but it can lead to web cache poisoning attacks. [...] [Update: As pointed out in an email from Moritz Muehlenhoff, Python 2.7 actually is affected by this bug. He notes that python2 on Debian 10 ("Buster") is affected and has been updated. Also, Fedora has a fix in progress for its python2.7 package.]

  • NumPy 1.20 has been released

    NumPy is a Python library that adds an array data type to the language, along with providing operators appropriate to working on arrays and matrices. By wrapping fast Fortran and C numerical routines, NumPy allows Python programmers to write performant code in what is normally a relatively slow language. NumPy 1.20.0 was announced on January 30, in what its developers describe as the largest release in the history of the project. That makes for a good opportunity to show a little bit about what NumPy is, how to use it, and to describe what's new in the release. [...] NumPy adds a new data type to Python: the multidimensional ndarray. This a container, like a Python list, but with some crucial differences. A NumPy array is usually homogeneous; while the elements of a list can be of various types, an ndarray will, typically, only contain a single, simple type, such as integers, strings, or floats. However, these arrays can instead contain arbitrary Python objects (i.e. descendants of object). This means that the elements will, for simple data types, all occupy the same amount of space in memory. The elements of an ndarray are laid out contiguously in memory, whereas there is no such guarantee for a list. In this way, they are similar to Fortran arrays. These properties of NumPy arrays are essential for efficiency because the location of each element can be directly calculated. Beyond just adding efficient arrays, NumPy also overloads arithmetic operators to act element-wise on the arrays. This allows the Python programmer to express computations concisely, operating on arrays as units, in many cases avoiding the need to use loops. This does not turn Python into a full-blown array language such as APL, but adds to it a syntax similar to that incorporated into Fortran 90 for array operations.

4 Best Free and Open Source Graphical MPD Clients

MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis. MPD runs in the background playing music from its playlist. Client programs communicate with MPD to manipulate playback, the playlist, and the database. The client–server model provides advantages over all-inclusive music players. Clients can communicate with the server remotely over an intranet or over the Internet. The server can be a headless computer located anywhere on a network. There’s graphical clients, console clients and web-based clients. To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 4 best graphical MPD clients. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to listen to their music collection via MPD. Here’s our recommendations. They are all free and open source goodness. Read more

LWN on Kernel: 5.12 Merge, Lockless Algorithms, and opy_file_range()

  • 5.12 Merge window, part 1 [LWN.net]

    The beginning of the 5.12 merge window was delayed as the result of severe weather in the US Pacific Northwest. Once Linus Torvalds got going, though, he wasted little time; as of this writing, just over 8,600 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.12 release — over a period of about two days. As one might imagine, that work contains a long list of significant changes.

  • An introduction to lockless algorithms [LWN.net]

    Low-level knowledge of the memory model is universally recognized as advanced material that can scare even the most seasoned kernel hackers; our editor wrote (in the July article) that "it takes a special kind of mind to really understand the memory model". It's been said that the Linux kernel memory model (and in particular Documentation/memory-barriers.txt) can be used to frighten small children, and the same is probably true of just the words "acquire" and "release". At the same time, mechanisms like RCU and seqlocks are in such widespread use in the kernel that almost every developer will sooner or later encounter fundamentally lockless programming interfaces. For this reason, it is a good idea to equip yourself with at least a basic understanding of lockless primitives. Throughout this series I will describe what acquire and release semantics are really about, and present five relatively simple patterns that alone can cover most uses of the primitives.

  • How useful should copy_file_range() be? [LWN.net]

    Its job is to copy len bytes of data from the file represented by fd_in to fd_out, observing the requested offsets at both ends. The flags argument must be zero. This call first appeared in the 4.5 release. Over time it turned out to have a number of unpleasant bugs, leading to a long series of fixes and some significant grumbling along the way. In 2019 Amir Goldstein fixed more issues and, in the process, removed a significant limitation: until then, copy_file_range() refused to copy between files that were not located on the same filesystem. After this patch was merged (for 5.3), it could copy between any two files, falling back on splice() for the cross-filesystem case. It appeared that copy_file_range() was finally settling into a solid and useful system call. Indeed, it seemed useful enough that the Go developers decided to use it for the io.Copy() function in their standard library. Then they ran into a problem: copy_file_range() will, when given a kernel-generated file as input, copy zero bytes of data and claim success. These files, which include files in /proc, tracefs, and a large range of other virtual filesystems, generally indicate a length of zero when queried with a system call like stat(). copy_file_range(), seeing that zero length, concludes that there is no data to copy and the job is already done; it then returns success. But there is actually data to be read from this kind of file, it just doesn't show in the advertised length of the file; the real length often cannot be known before the file is actually read. Before 5.3, the prohibition on cross-filesystem copies would have caused most such attempts to return an error code; afterward, they fail but appear to work. The kernel is happy, but some users can be surprisingly stubborn about actually wanting to copy the data they asked to be copied; they were rather less happy.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro is a compact Amlogic S905X3 SBC

Banana Pi has already designed an Amlogic S905X3 SBC with Banana Pi BPI-M5 that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, but they’ve now unveiled a more compact model with Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro that follow the design of the company’ earlier BPI-MP2+ SBC powered by the good old Allwinner H3 processor. BPI-M2 Pro comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, as well as two USB 3.0 ports. Read more