Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Ghost in the machine

Brent Northcutt is something of a ghost in the machine. For I-Land Internet Services' 18,000 customers, his work would go unnoticed much of the time.

But, there, lurking in the digital background of ones and zeroes, are his programming scripts making sure that things run smoothly. As a system programmer for I-Land, the 32-year-old Warrensburg resident works his magic in languages with names such as PHP, Perl, and C++.

A dedicated adherent to what is known in the virtual realm as the open source movement, Mr. Northcutt is most at home in the Unix-based Linux operating system.

For most computer users, there is little more to using the Internet than starting up the system and hoping online. A Windows or Mac system comes pre-packed and ready to go. Linux systems require the owner to have some proficiency in Unix programming, but provide a greater versatility that allows systems to be configured to an individual's needs.

A battle of philosophical wills has simmered for years between those, like Mr. Northcutt, who advocate open source code, and business interests like Microsoft, who favor a closed system.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

digiKam Software Collection 4.3.0 released...

After a long bugs triage, we have worked hard also to close your reported issues.. A long list of the issues closed in digiKam 4.3.0 is available through the KDE Bugtracking System. Read more

Seneca College realizes value of open source

Red Hat has done a lot of work with CDOT, lately specializing in Fedora for ARM processors. Pidora, the Fedora Linux Remix specifically targeted to the Rasberry Pi, was primarily developed at CDOT. Another company that we have been working with lately is Blindside Networks. They do a lot of work with CDOT on the BigBlueButton project, which is a web conferencing tool for online education. NexJ is a Toronto-based software development firm that has worked with CDOT on various aspects of open health tools on the server side and integration of medical devices with smart phones. We have recently started working on the edX platform, where developers around the globe are working to create a next-generation online learning platform. Read more

Today in Techrights

Initial impressions of PCLinuxOS 2014.08

I spend more time looking at the family trees of Linux distributions than I do looking at my own family tree. I find it interesting to see how distributions grow from their parent distribution, either acting as an extra layer of features which regularly re-bases itself or as a separate fork. New distributions usually tend to remain similar in most ways to their parent distro, using the same package manager and maintaining similar philosophies. When I look at the family trees of Linux distributions one project stands out more than others: PCLinuxOS. Read more