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Interviews

2016 LiFT Scholarship Winner Lorien Smyer: Bookkeeper Turned Technologist

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

I was a bookkeeper for many years. Long ago, I had to hand-enter all data to a paper spreadsheet with a pencil.

When my clients started getting computers, I was fascinated by everything about these amazing tools: the hardware, the software, how customizable it all was. In my spare time, I started taking occasional computer-related classes at my local community college, and doing many IT-related tasks for my clients, in addition to the bookkeeping I was already doing for them.

In 1995, I met the man who became my husband. He got a personal computer that same year, and happily allowed me to become our home IT expert.

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The Open Source Era: A Q&A With Canonical CEO Jane Silber

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Interviews
Ubuntu

Canonical, a 750-person company with employees in more than 42 countries around the world, is the driving force behind Ubuntu open-source software. Although Canonical and Ubuntu are well-known and well-respected among hardcore technologists, most consumers have probably never heard of either.

This is an unfortunate reality of open-source software. Products and projects dedicated to democratizing technology by making computer use free and fair for everyone often fly under the radar. Whether Canonical and Ubuntu become synonymous with the general consumer is largely dependent on whether or not consumers move away from traditional device usage. Can Canonical's vision for a converged computing experience across a spectrum devices make the Canonical name as synonymous with desktop users as it is with users of its enterprise cloud and application performance management (APM) solutions?

I chatted with Canonical CEO Jane Silber, a remarkable executive with a rich technological background, over email about the challenges Canonical faces in consumer computing and even television, as well as how the company plans to maintain its status in the enterprise cloud and software markets.

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Chatting with Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer about Pixel, Android OEMs, and more

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Android
Interviews

There were big changes announced at Google this week as the company's "Google Hardware" team came out of hiding and announced a slew of products. The star of the show was definitely the Google Pixel, Google's new pair of smartphones that the company is saying it designed while using HTC as a manufacturer. The advent of Pixel phones means Google is an Android OEM again, harkening back to the days when it owned Motorola. This time, though, the company is serious about hardware and software integration.

Android, however, is the world's most popular operating system because of OEM partners like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and LG. And if Google wants Android to continue to deliver Google services to billions of people, it will still need all those partners. Google once again has a delicate balancing act to pull off. The company must do its best to deliver a Google-y Android phone while not stealing the thunder from other OEMs or putting them at a serious competitive disadvantage.

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Solving the Linux kernel code reviewer shortage

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

Operating system security is top of mind right now, and Linux is a big part of that discussion. One of the questions to be solved is: How do we ensure that patches going upstream are properly reviewed?

Wolfram Sang has been a Linux kernel developer since 2008, and frequently talks at Linux conferences around the world, like LinuxCon Berlin 2016, about ways to improve kernel development practices.

Let's get his point of view.

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Keeping Linux containers safe and secure

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

Linux containers are helping to change the way that IT operates. In place of large, monolithic virtual machines, organizations are finding effective ways to deploy their applications inside Linux containers, providing for faster speeds, greater density, and increased agility in their operations.

While containers can bring a number of advantages from a security perspective, they come with their own set of security challenges as well. Just as with traditional infrastructure, it is critical to ensure that the system libraries and components running within a container are regularly updated in order to avoid vulnerabilities. But how do you know what is running inside of your containers? To help manage the full set of security challenges facing container technologies, a startup named Anchore is developing an open source project of the same name to bring visibility inside of Linux containers.

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Legends of Linux Part 1: Linus Torvalds

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

AS PART of our visit to LinuxCon this week we’re going to ask five key players in the Linux story the same 10 questions to get an idea of where Linux has been, where it is and where it’s going.

And who better to start with than Linus Torvalds, the often outspoken creator of Linux itself. Torvalds isn’t actually attending the celebrations this year, but was kind enough to chat to the INQUIRER by email.

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Also: Linux Kernel 4.8 Released By Linus Torvalds — Here Are The 10 Best Features

How I Use Android: Android Central Editor Emeritus Phil Nickinson

Filed under
Android
Interviews

In the meantime, I was able to convince Phil to step out of his metaphorical kitchen for a few minutes to chat about how he uses Android in his day-to-day life. This is a man who has seen and used practically every Android device over the past several years, after all -- and a fair number of apps and customization tools, to boot.

So what devices does someone with so much knowledge carry around in his own trousers, and how does he make the most of what they have to offer?

Enough with the suspense already. In his own words, this is how Phil Nickinson uses Android.

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Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Muneeb Kalathil

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

I started using Linux when I was in school. But at that point, I was limited to Installation and running a few commands. I really started learning and growing my interest in Linux while I was working on my degree in Computer Applications. My first distribution was Red Hat CentOS. I spent many hours learning Linux and enjoyed it.

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2016 LiFT Scholarship Winner Ksenija Stanojevic: Learning Linux Driver Development

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

A few years ago I decided to try Linux and it was surprisingly easy to install and use. Since I started with Ubuntu there were already lots of tutorials online for beginners. Initially I was interested in learning about the Linux kernel but using Linux led me to discovery of new tools such as vim, git, and bash shell.

I started experimenting with the kernel over a year ago when I wrote a simple hello module and loaded it into the kernel. After that I started making simple fixes using scripts such as checkpatch.pl and submitting patches. My confidence grew and eventually I joined the Eudyptula challenge to deepen my knowledge and I started making even bigger changes to the kernel tree. After being accepted into the Outreachy program, I had the opportunity to learn more about driver development and also got to work on embedded ARM devices running the Linux operating system.

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Ayoub Elyasir: How Do You Fedora?

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

Ayoub Elyasir was born and raised in Tripoli, Libya. He currently works as a data engineer at Almadar. He says he’s passionate about “humanity, technology, open source, literature and poetry,” and enjoys swimming, body building and reading. Ayoub includes Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as childhood heroes. His favorite food is grilled chicken and hummus.

Ayoub started using Linux years ago. In fact, he told us, “My migration to Linux dates back to 2008 with openSUSE 11.” Ayoub started to use Linux as a curiosity. However, today he uses Linux and open source products completely. He gradually shifted from KDE and openSUSE to Fedora with GNOME.

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Android Leftovers

FreeBSD-Based TrueOS 17.12 Released

The FreeBSD-based operating system TrueOS that's formerly known as PC-BSD has put out their last stable update of 2017. TrueOS 17.12 is now available as the latest six-month stable update for this desktop-focused FreeBSD distribution that also offers a server flavor. TrueOS continues using OpenRC as its init system and this cycle they have continued improving their Qt5-based Lumina desktop environment, the Bhyve hypervisor is now supported in the TrueOS server install, improved removable device support, and more. Read more

An introduction to Joplin, an open source Evernote alternative

Joplin is an open source cross-platform note-taking and to-do application. It can handle a large number of notes, organized into notebooks, and can synchronize them across multiple devices. The notes can be edited in Markdown, either from within the app or with your own text editor, and each application has an option to render Markdown with formatting, images, URLs, and more. Any number of files, such as images and PDFs, can be attached to a note, and notes can also be tagged. I started developing Joplin when Evernote changed its pricing model and because I wanted my 4,000+ notes to be stored in a more open format, free of any proprietary solution. To that end, I have developed three Joplin applications, all under the MIT License: for desktop (Windows, MacOS, and Linux), for mobile (Android and iOS), and for the terminal (Windows, MacOS, and Linux). All the applications have similar user interfaces and can synchronize with each other. They are based on open standards and technologies including SQLite and JavaScript for the backend, and Terminal Kit (Node.js), Electron, and React Native for the three front ends. Read more

Open Source OS Still supporting 32-bit Architecture and Why it’s Important

One after the other, Linux distributions are dropping 32-bit support. Or, to be accurate, they drop support for the Intel x86 32-bit architecture (IA-32). Indeed, computers based on x86_64 hardware (IA-64) are superior in every way to their 32-bits counterpart: they are more powerful, run faster, are more compact, and more energy efficient. Not mentioning their price has considerably decreased in just a few years. If you have the opportunity to switch to 64 bits, do it. But, to quote a mail I received recently from Peter Tribble, author of Tribblix: “[… ] in the developed world we assume that we can replace things; in some parts of the developing world older IA-32 systems are still the norm, with 64-bit being rare.” Read more