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Linux pilot a success

During a pilot project for Linux Simple Internet Server (SIS) for 20 companies conducted by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), SMEs found that they could save on software licensing costs by up to 50,000 baht.

The Linux SIS project ran for six months, from May to October 2006 with 20 participants who were system integrators (SIs) and SMEs.

According to Nectec deputy director Dr Kwan Siththani, the project evaluation found that most participants favoured Linux SIS for managing Intranet mail, for file sharing, and as a web proxy and they were likely to shift to Linux SIS implementation in their organisations.

Dr Kwan noted that success factors for the project included executives' policies in pushing open source utilisation in both SIs and SMEs. It also learned that SIs should select people who were interested and ready to learn about Linux server while SIs had concerns about after-sales service.

In terms of cost savings, it found that most SMEs who ran Linux SIS could really save from 5,000 to 50,000 baht on the cost of a software licence, but...

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By the time you read this you will be able to download Psiphon, software developed at the University of Toronto in Canada that will allow a user to jump over or tunnel under a government firewall, guaranteeing that it will immediately be banned in a number of countries.

It works by allowing one user in, say a country without any restrictions, to set up an account for someone in a country that has them. The target user can then surf the Internet without restrictions.

This raises the old issue of basic human rights versus the right of a nation state to impose restrictions on them. Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The biggest violators of this paragraph are typically listed as China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Egypt.

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today's howtos

Minimal Linux Live

Minimal Linux Live is, as the name suggests, a very minimal Linux distribution which can be run live from a CD, DVD or USB thumb drive. One of the things which set Minimal Linux Live (MLL) apart from other distributions is that, while the distribution is available through a 7MB ISO file download, the project is designed to be built from source code using a shell script. The idea is that we can download scripts that will build MLL on an existing Linux distribution. Assuming we have the proper compiler tools on our current distribution, simply running a single shell script and waiting a while will produce a bootable ISO featuring the MLL operating system. Yet another option the MLL project gives us is running the distribution inside a web browser using a JavaScript virtual machine. The browser-based virtual machine running MLL can be found on the project's website, under the Emulator tab. This gives us a chance to try out the operating system in our web browser without installing or building anything. I decided to try the MLL build process to see if it would work and how long it would take if everything went smoothly. I also wanted to find out just how much functionality such a small distribution could offer. The project's documentation mostly covers building MLL on Ubuntu and Linux Mint and so I decided to build MLL on a copy of Ubuntu 16.04 I had running in a virtual machine. The steps to build MLL are fairly straight forward. On Ubuntu, we first install six packages to make sure we have all the required dependencies. Then we download an archive containing MLL's build scripts. Then we unpack the archive and run the build script. We just need to type four commands in Ubuntu's virtual terminal to kick-start the build process. Read more

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