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Interviews

Why my public library chooses Linux and open source

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Linux
Interviews
OSS

The Crawford County Federated Library System has been using Linux and open source software in its IT operations since 1999. They realized early on the potential of open source and integrated it into their enterprise. They were a part of my own Linux journey as I built a content filtering system for our school district. Twenty years ago, there were few models for the use of open source in libraries and education. Meadville Public Library and the Crawford County Federated Library System were the leaders then and now. Recently I had some questions about how to help libraries in our own library system, and I called Meadville. They referred me to Cindy Murdock Ames, their IT Director. I asked her what they were using for patron desktop computers. Cindy sent a brief email that piqued my interest, and I asked her if she would agree to an email interview. She graciously accepted.

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A conversation about open source design and ethical funding

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Interviews
OSS

Penpot does exist because at some point—six or seven years ago—Kaleidos was a very developer-centric company and didn't have UX or UI in-house. We saw the potential for multi-functional teams where you would have design—UX/UI design, in general—and code working together, but we needed to use open source because that's our ethos. Kaleidos would use open source as an end in itself but also as a means to an end.

We started by creating Taiga, which is a project management platform. We're all about processes and how to do stuff, not just what, but how we achieve things and team management and all that. We were happy to have that agile mindset built in a tool for teams like ourselves. But as you can imagine, at some point, designers at Kaleidos, being open source proponents, said: Look, we are not first-class citizens in open source. We are happy with Inkscape, GIMP, and some tools, but you developers have everything to choose from. You can choose the best of the best. You live in this paradise world where you don't know how privileged you are. We agree with you. We are all about open source, absolutely, but you have to understand that we are frustrated with the professional quality of some tools. We want to achieve parity with you developers.

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Stuart D Gathman: How do you Fedora?

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Red Hat
Interviews

For 35 years, Stuart worked as a System programmer for a small company where his projects included database servers, device drivers, protocol stacks, expert systems, accounting systems, aged AR/AP reports, and EDI. Currently, he is doing hourly consulting work for small businesses.

Stuart’s childhood heroes were his Dad and George Müller. His favorite movies are “The Gods must be crazy” and “The mission”. He grew up in a pacifist denomination, so feels “The mission” movie is very relevant to him. He loves over roasted vegetables.

Composing and performing music, Mesh networking, and refurbishing discarded computers to run Fedora Linux are some of his spare time interests as well as history, especially ancient Western and 19th century English/American.

“Love/charity, Hope, Faith, Virtue, and knowledge” are the five qualities someone should possess, according to Stuart.

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Also: Fedora Community Blog: Contribute at Fedora Linux 35 GNOME 41 Test Day

Steam Deck: “The start of a golden age for Linux Gaming”

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Interviews
Gaming

After the release of the podcast released with James Ramey from Codeweavers a few days ago where we talked at length about the Steam Deck, here is full transcript as promised! Have a good read, you will learn quite a few things.

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Zorin OS 16 Pro

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GNU
Linux
Interviews
  • Zorin OS 16 Pro arrives complete with optional 'Windows 11' desktop

    Zorin Pro 16 will be released next week, along with a free Lite edition, complete with an optional "Windows 11" desktop theme.

    Zorin OS is one of a few commercial Linux distributions which aim to be user-friendly alternatives to Windows and Mac. The OS is open source and pricing is based on a freemium model, with free Core, Lite and Education editions, and a paid for Pro edition (formerly called Ultimate).

    The Pro edition adds "premium desktop layouts," based on macOS, Gnome and Ubuntu, whereas the other editions are Windows-like. The Pro edition also includes additional business and media applications, games, and perhaps more significantly, Zorin installation support.

    Aware that users can install what they like even on the free editions, Zorin has a "why pay" article that pitches the payment as a means of supporting the project. The new Pro edition will cost the same as Ultimate, £39 plus VAT, and will be available from 17 August.

  • Zorin OS 16 Pro brings Microsoft's Windows 11 interface to Linux

    Windows 11 looks quite beautiful, but let's be honest... it is pretty much just Windows 10 with a fresh coat of paint. Sadly, Microsoft is requiring some pretty strict hardware requirements for the upcoming operating system, meaning many people could find themselves unable to upgrade. Even worse, the company has provided confusing communications regarding TPM requirements.

    Thankfully, even if Microsoft thinks your perfectly fine computer is obsolete, the Linux community doesn't think that. In other words, if your computer is incompatible with Windows 11 due to a lack of a TPM chip or other hardware issue, it can still run a modern Linux distro just fine. In fact, thanks to the upcoming Zorin OS 16 Pro, you can experience the all-new Windows 11 interface on Linux! Wow!

A conversation with Petteri Kivimäki on X-Road

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Interviews

X-Road is a decentralised data-exchange layer that provides a secure and unified way to exchange data between organisations. X-Road is published as open source under the MIT licence, so it is free for any individual or organisation. Originally, X-Road was developed in Estonia twenty years ago, in December this year it will be its 20th birthday. Since then, X-Road has spread all over the world. In Europe, Estonia, Finland and Iceland are using X-Road, whereas outside of Europe we have 20 additional countries using it. Currently, X-Road has been deployed in South America (e.g. Brazil, Mexico, Argentina) as well as in Asia (e.g. Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia). During the last 20 years X-Road has really grown from an Estonian solution to a truly international open source solution and open source community.

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lfs – list your filesystems

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Software
Interviews

The Command Line Interface (CLI) is a way of interacting with your computer. To harness all the power of Linux, it’s highly recommended mastering the interface. It’s true the CLI is often perceived as a barrier for users migrating to Linux, particularly if they’re grown up using GUI software exclusively. While Linux rarely forces anyone to use the CLI, some tasks are better suited to this method of interaction, offering inducements like superior scripting opportunities, remote access, and being far more frugal with a computer’s resources.

The part of the operating system responsible for managing files and directories is called the file system. It organizes our data into files, which hold information, and directories (also called ‘folders’), which hold files or other directories. We cover the basics of the file system in Linux for Starters – Part 12.

lfs is billed as a better df, a standard Unix command used to display the amount of available disk space for file systems on which the invoking user has appropriate read access.

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Community Member Monday: Jackson Cavalcanti Junior

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LibO
Interviews

I am Brazilian, from the city of Olinda, Pernambuco. I am 62 years old, and work as a public servant in the municipality of Olinda. I am one of the creators of the Municipal Public Archive of Olinda. I am also a human rights activist, especially for LGBT people. I am a proofreader and I also write for my blog.

In my work, in the city of Olinda, since 2001 I have been working with free office software, having started with OpenOffice.org, then with BrOffice and LibreOffice Writer, with which I created several models of documents to be used by the agencies that are part of the administrative structure of the Municipality of Olinda. These models remained on the City Hall’s intranet until 2016, when in that year’s elections another political party was elected, and that project was discontinued.

As a citizen, I am an activist in the LGBT movement, in which I have worked since 1980, when I helped found the Homosexual Action Group (GATHO), which was the first group in Pernambuco to fight in defense of citizenship for homosexual people. This group no longer exists, but I am a member of the LGBT Forum of Pernambuco, where I work as an independent activist, to which I was invited by my history as an activist for the LGBT cause in the state where I reside.

I also advertise LibreOffice among my friends, in the institutions where I work, and also in the WhatsApp and Telegram groups.

I like to photograph my city, my animals and nature.

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Community Member Monday: Tim Brennan Jr.

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LibO
Interviews

I am a son and grandson of American missionaries who moved to Brazil in 1952. Since my mother was born here (my father was a seven month old baby), I was born automatically a Brazilian citizen – even though I was born in the USA. Being brought up in Brazil, I learned both American English in the home, and learned Brazilian Portuguese in parallel. I am fluent in both languages. Computers came into my life as my dad saw the importance and value of them in the eighties. Watching him hack an Apple IIe and a daisy wheel printer to get the tilde accent over the letter “y” was an adventure in and of itself.

Since I was homeschooled, the value and importance of open source software became very clear to me as soon as I heard about it around 1999. As soon as I heard of Linux, I got hooked. Then, I heard of StarOffice which later became OpenOffice, which forked into LibreOffice and saw the birth of The Document Foundation.

I have been on a learning journey for most of my life. Everything I have learned is self-taught, including LibreOffice. My main activity in life is teaching in general. Teaching software to newbies such as the elderly, the underprivileged and young people is a passion I have. LibreOffice is an excellent starting point as it has virtually all the basic areas: text, images, markup languages, programming logic on a very simple scale with macros, databases etc., and much, much, more.

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How a college student founded a free and open source operating system

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Interviews
OSS

I think even a beginner can get started writing an operating system like FreeDOS, although it would take a more advanced programmer to write the kernel.

I am a self-taught programmer. I learned about programming from an early age by tinkering on our Apple II computer at home. Much later, I learned C programming—my brother was a computer science student when I was a physics student, and he introduced me to C. I picked up the rest by reading books and writing my own programs.

I wrote a lot of small utilities that enhanced my command line on MS-DOS or even replaced certain DOS commands. And you can write a lot of those programs even with a basic level of programming experience. You can write file utilities like FIND, FC, CHOICE, TYPE, MORE, or COPY—or user commands like ECHO or CLS—with only an introduction to C programming. With a bit of practice, you can write system-level programs like ATTRIB, or the COMMAND shell.

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More in Tux Machines

9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: October 24th, 2021

This week has been really educational for Linux fans as we were able to install the UnityX desktop environment on Arch Linux, as well as the KDE Plasma 5.23 desktop environment on Kubuntu 21.10. In addition, we were able to test drive the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS distribution and Ubuntu’s new Desktop Installer. On top of that, this week we saw new releases of the lightweight and systemd-free MX Linux 21 distribution, Gentoo-based Redcore Linux, as well as the Porteus Kiosk distribution for public computers and kisoks. Read more

Programming Leftovers

  • GNU Toolchain Begins Landing LoongArch Support - Phoronix

    In addition to Loongson working on Linux kernel support for their MIPS-derived LoongArch CPU architecture, the first bits of the GNU toolchain support for this Chinese CPU architecture have been merged. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) LoongArch support hasn't yet been merged but the GNU Binutils archive saw the initial collection of LoongArch patches merged on Sunday morning.

  • Capacitive Touch Controller for FPGAs

    Most projects that interface with the real world need some sort of input device. Obviously this article is being written from a standardized “human interface device” but when the computers become smaller the problem can get more complicated. We can’t hook up a USB keyboard to every microcontroller since we often only need a few buttons, but even buttons can be a little bit too cumbersome for some applications. For something even simpler, we would like to turn your attention to capacitive touch controllers.

  • Meson v0.60 Build System Brings Numerous Improvements

    Meson 0.60 was released on Sunday as the newest version of this increasingly popular and widely-used cross-platform build system.

  • Josef Strzibny: You can in fact use schemas in migrations

    I saw well-intended recommendations not to use schemas in migrations lately. Although the advice of switching to raw SQL is a good one, we don’t have to give up on schemas entirely.

  • Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Automation

    Gone are the days when manual labor used to go through a rigorous time taking process in order to furnish quality products. Today, organizations have shifted their attention towards automated software. Each software goes through a development lifecycle to meet customer requirements of a high-quality product known as SDLC. In the growing software industry, developers compete to produce high-quality software while remaining within their range of cost and time limits. SDLC Automation helps achieve the above goals with minimum manual labor, time, and cost while maintaining a high level of productivity as well as efficiency. This article expounds upon the need for automation in the SDLC process and further sheds light on some of the aspects that software companies must start automating.

  • What is the Difference Between =, == and === in JavaScript?

    JavaScript is a programming language that allows us to create and develop web applications and web pages as well as make our websites more dynamic/interactive. Data can be calculated, manipulated, and validated using JavaScript. Like any other language, JavaScript has operators. An operator produces a result by performing some action on a single or multiple operands (data value). Let’s look at an example of 2+2 where the numbers are left and right side operands and the + is the operator. This + operator adds the two numbers together. With examples, we’ll examine and answer the question that what is the difference between the =,==, and === operators in JavaScript in this article.

  • Is JavaScript Object-Oriented?

    Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), is a programming approach that is used by every developer at some point in their life to organize software design around objects or data rather than logic or functions where an object is an entity that has some properties and some type. The benefits of using the OOP technique include modularity, reusability, security, productivity, flexibility, and is easily scalable and upgradeable.

  • TOAST.UI: Free, Open-source Interactive JavaScript application components

    While working on a project, I need a calendar library. As I do for every project, I tend to not use previously used libraries and try to learn and use something new. That's how I found Toast.ui, an open-source features-rich UI library for building production-ready apps.

  • YAML vs JSON – Which is better?

    Nowadays, almost every person is familiar with the standard format of JSON. Contrarily, individuals who use Docker are surely familiar with YAML. In simpler words, Docker is a toolkit which permits developers to run, build, deploy, modify as well as stop packages through a single API or commands. YAML is a new but popular language used to serialize data. First of all, we should perceive what data serialization is. Data serialization is the most common way of transforming data objects into byte streams used to store, transfer and distribute data on devices. However, they have similar objectives to store structures and data objects into files but distinctive ways to work. In this article, we first go through the features of JSON and YAML, then compare them in-depth to completely comprehend their advantages, and then briefly discuss which one is better.

  • Some Perl Code In Memory of a Great Scientist | martin [blogs.perl.org]

    On August 21, 2021, famous Polish mathematician Andrzej Schinzel passed away at the age of 84. He was one of the great minds behind modern number theory. May he rest in peace. I have extended one of my CPAN modules relating to his work and dedicated the release to his memory.

  • Remove None from the List Python

    In python, when a function returns nothing, it indirectly returns ‘None’. Due to the forthcoming ML (Machine Learning), our focus is now on understanding the None values. The goal behind this is that it is the crucial phase of data preprocessing. Hence, elimination of None values is crucial, so you must know how important it is. Let’s discuss certain techniques in which this is achieved. To replace none in python, we use different techniques such as DataFrame, fillna, or Series. No keyword in python declares the null objects and variables. In python, none refers to the class ‘NoneType’. We can allot None to many variables, and they all point toward a similar object. The interesting fact about none is that we can’t consider false as any. None is a blank string or a 0. Let’s demonstrate it with the help of examples. We use the Spyder compiler or different strategies to explain how python removes null values from the list.

  • Python LDAP example

    LDAP is a LIGHTWEIGHT DIRECTORY ACCESS PROTOCOL. It is an internet protocol that works on TCP/IP, and it is used to access/fetch the information from the directories. All the directories are not preferable; it is usually used to access those directories that are active.

  • Python Multiply List by Scalar

    In Python, the most elementary data building is the sequence. Each sequence element allotted a number – its index or placement. The starting point of the index is ‘0’, the second point is ‘1’, and so forth. Python offers six in-built types of sequences, but the most important or commonly used are lists, which we would discuss in this guide. Python list is the most useful data type. It can be written within a square bracket, and a comma separates every item in the list.

Rocky Linux: An Enterprise-Ready CentOS Replacement

For a long time, CentOS was a reliable choice for a Linux-based servers, because it was effectively a free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). All the features that made RHEL the dominant enterprise-class Linux were included in CentOS. On December 8th, 2020, Red Hat, which had acquired the CentOS project, abruptly announced a change in its focus in the wake of Red Hat’s acquisition by IBM. They announced they would be shifting all of their investment in CentOS Linux from the popular downstream CentOS distribution. This move also meant that CentOS would be upstream of RHEL, rather than downstream, so CentOS users would be in effect beta testers for RHEL. Since there were so many users relying on a CentOS version that would be unsupported sooner than they planned for, the community sensed a need for a new project. In response, the original CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer is leading the effort to create a new version of the distro, to achieve the original goals of CentOS. Kurtzer told he was thinking about creating a new version of CentOS ever since Red Hat acquired it in 2014. Read more

Open Hardware/Modding With Components, Arduino

  • Automating Pool Monitoring And Chemical Dosing | Hackaday

    The project uses a TI SimpleLink wireless-enabled microcontroller to run the show, which allows data to be offloaded to a base station for graphing with Grafana. The system can monitor pH levels as well as ORP (oxidation/reduction potential) levels using probes attached via BNC connectors. Based on these readings, the device can dose chlorine into the pool as needed using a peristaltic pump driven by a TI DRV8426 stepper motor driver.

  • $99 Lepton FS module cuts the cost of FLIR thermal cameras by half - CNX Software

    Thermal cameras based on FLIR Lepton modules are pretty cool, but also quite expensive. Teledyne FLIR Lepton FS offers a much more cost-effective solution with the non-radiometric 160 x 120 resolution micro thermal camera module going for $99, or about 50% less than other FLIR thermal camera modules. The lower cost was achieved with some tradeoffs, notably a reduction of thermal sensitivity and scene dynamic range, as well as up to 3% inoperable pixels. But Ron Justin, GroupGets founder, told CNX Software that the lower specs are more than worth it for users only needing an imager, as opposed to a radiometric sensor.

  • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #374 - Raspberry Pi <3 LEGO Education

    The collaboration of your dreams launched this week. We worked with LEGO® Education to design the new Raspberry Pi Build HAT, a brand-new product that for the first time makes it easy to integrate LEGO® Technic™ motors and sensors with Raspberry Pi computers.

  • Bring That Old Hi-Fi Into The 2020s | Hackaday

    It’s a distressing moment for some of us, when a formerly prized piece of electronic equipment reaches a point of obsolescence that we consider jettisoning it. [Jon Robinson] ran into this dilemma by finding the Kenwood Hi-Fi amplifier his 17-year-old self had spent his savings on. It was a very good amp back in the day, but over two decades later, it’s no longer an object of desire in a world of soundbars and streaming music boxes. After a earlier upgrade involving an Arduino to auto-power it he’s now given it an ESP32 and an i2S codec which performs the task of digital audio streaming as well as a better job than the Arduino of controlling the power.

  • This Arduino Terminal Does All The Characters | Hackaday

    The job of a dumb terminal was originally to be a continuation of that performed by a paper teletype, to send text from its keyboard and display any it receives on its screen. But as the demands of computer systems extended beyond what mere ASCII could offer, their capabilities were extended with extra characters and graphical extensions whose descendants we see in today’s Unicode character sets and thus even in all those emojis on your mobile phone. Thus a fully-featured terminal has a host of semigraphics characters from which surprisingly non-textual output can be created. It’s something [Michael Rule] has done some work on, with his ILI9341TTY, a USB serial terminal monitor using an Arduino Uno and an ILI9341 LCD module that supports as many of the extended characters as possible.