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SQLite 3.28.0 and Gnuastro 0.9 Released

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GNU
OSS
Sci/Tech
  • SQLite Release 3.28.0
  • SQLite 3.28 Released With More Feature Additions, Performance Enhancements

    SQLite 3.28 is now the latest version of this widely-used, embed-friendly cross-platform database library.

    As is the case for most SQLite releases, new features and performance enhancements are the principle changes. SQLite 3.28 presents enhanced window functions, enhancements to its TCL interface, various CLI improvements, new API additions, security improvements to its tokenizer, more robust handling against corrupt database files, and various fixes.

  • Gnuastro 0.9 released

    I am happy to announce the 9th stable release of GNU Astronomy
    Utilities (Gnuastro).

    Gnuastro is an official GNU package consisting of various command-line
    programs and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of
    (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic
    command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full
    list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general
    tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the
    links below respectively:

    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-library.html
    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-programs-list.html
    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/General-program-usage-tutorial.html

    Many features have been added and Gnuastro has become much more stable
    with the many bugs that were found and fixed (see [1], below). The most
    interesting new feature may be that Gnuastro now also installs scripts
    (with this naming convention: `astscript-*'). Since Gnuastro's
    programs are designed to be highly modular, they are relatively
    low-level. With this new feature, it is now very easy to include
    common higher-level operations within Gnuastro also, for example to
    call multiple programs together, or use a single program's outputs in
    a special way. With version 0.9, only one script is installed (as
    described in [1]), but because of their high-level nature, we expect
    many more to be added soon. If you commonly run several Gnuastro
    programs together for a certain operation, please share it with us so
    we add it as a script for everyone to use.

GNU GPLv3 At The Center Of The Black Hole Image

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GNU
OSS
Sci/Tech

Scientists have finally seen what could not have been seen – a black hole. As fascinating is the fact that we can now ‘see’ a black hole, the story behind this achievement is even more fascinating.

It’s a story of victory of science in the political era of science denials. It’s a victory of diversity in the era of homophobia and sexism. It’s a victory of free software in the era of…well, we live in the era of free software.

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KDE Cantor - Sing me some math

Filed under
KDE
Software
Sci/Tech

It's a song, but it needs refinement. Cantor seems like a clever piece of software, but it lacks refinement and sophistication to match its own goals. I did only test Octave, but I think my findings are pretty indicative. After all, if there were issues with one backend, whatever they are, they need to be fixed. And these weren't trivial issues, either. Slow performance, memory and CPU noise, frozen interface, bad-looking figures.

The configuration also needs to be improved. All in all, it's very difficult doing what Cantor tries, so the idea is really cool. But it seems to be a complex task, and at the moment, it brings more woes than benefits. I'd like to see a smoother integration, and a clever wizard that lets you add backends. Maybe a smart clipboard to share code with other programs. I'd expect a fully HW-accelerated graphics module, so everything responds fast and looks peachy. Finally, Cantor mustn't work any worse than the native engines it represents, because it invalidates its own purpose by doing that (or rather not doing that, hi hi). At the moment, it's a raw product, and it needs a lot of fixes. But me likey, so I will be testing in the future. Unique software, here I go.

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Stellarium v0.19.0 has been released!

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

The major changes of this version:

5 new sky cultures
Refactoring the code: many improvements and fixes
Added many DSO textures
Many improvements for Scripting Engine
Thank you very much to community for bug reports, feature requests and contributions!

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Also: Free Software Planetarium Stellarium 0.19.0 Released (How to Install)

The Raspberry Pi Cluster from Outer Space

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Sci/Tech

We see a lot of weird and esoteric stuff here at Hackaday, but even by our standards, Bell Lab’s Plan 9 operating system is an oddball. Named after the science fiction film Plan 9 from Outer Space, it was designed to extend the UNIX “everything is a file” mentality to the network. It envisioned a future where utilizing the resources of another computer would be as easy as copying a file. But as desktop computers got more powerful the idea seemed less appealing, and ultimately traditional operating systems won out. Of course, that doesn’t mean you still can’t play around with it.

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Astronomy Software by Any Other Name

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

In this article, I introduce another option available for the astronomers out there—specifically, Cartes du Ciel, also known as SkyChart. Similar to other larger astronomy programs, you can use SkyChart from the desktop to the observatory.

SkyChart probably won't be available in your distribution's package management system, so you'll need to go to the main website to download it. DEB, RPM and TAR files are available, so you should be able to use it for just about any distribution. Downloads also are available for other operating systems and for other hardware. You even can download a version to run on a Raspberry Pi.

When you first start Cartes du Ciel, you'll be asked where on the globe your observatory is located.

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GNU Octave 5.1.0 Release

Filed under
GNU
Sci/Tech

GNU Octave version 5.1.0 has been released and is now available for download. An official Windows binary installer is available. For macOS see the installation instructions in the wiki.

This major release improves compatibility with Matlab and contains many new and improved functions. A list of important user-visible changes is available by selecting the Release Notes item in the News menu of the GUI or by typing news at the Octave command prompt.

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Also: GNU Octave 5.1 Released With HiDPI Support, Drops OSMesa Usage

Unix turns 40: The past, present and future of a revolutionary OS

Filed under
OS
Server
Sci/Tech

Forty years ago this summer, a programmer sat down and knocked out in one month what would become one of the most important pieces of software ever created.

In August 1969, Ken Thompson, a programmer at AT&T subsidiary Bell Laboratories, saw the month-long departure of his wife and young son as an opportunity to put his ideas for a new operating system into practice. He wrote the first version of Unix in assembly language for a wimpy Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) PDP-7 minicomputer, spending one week each on the operating system, a shell, an editor and an assembler.

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KStars v3.1.0 is released!

Filed under
KDE
Sci/Tech

I'm glad to announce KStars first release of 2019: v3.1.0 for MacOS, Linux, and Windows. This release focuses on improvements to stability & performance of KStars. In 3.0.0, we introduced quite a few features which resulted in a few regressions that we worked hard to iron out in this release.

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UNIX: Building The Most Important OS in the World

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OS
Sci/Tech

If you’ve ever used a smartphone, lost track of time browsing through website after website, or played a video game on a Next-Gen console, you have used the Unix operating system or one of its derivatives.

Linux is the spiritual successor to the original Unix system and Mac OSX is built off of Unix. Unix-based or derived systems are used in gigantic server farms, processing nearly all of the world’s Internet traffic. The Internet of Things and other embedded systems use Unix or its successors and Unix-based Linux has even been used in the International Space Station to run essential equipment.

All of this is possible because Kenneth Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and their colleagues couldn’t watch a beloved project fall victim to corporate cost-cutting.

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More in Tux Machines

Nebra Anybeam turns your Raspberry Pi into a pocket home cinema projector

TVs are available to buy in truly huge sizes these days, and with 4K (and upwards) resolution, movies and TV shows really come to life. But there’s something even more magical about watching a film projected onto a screen or a wall. With the right setup, it can be like having a cinema in your home. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on a projector though. Nebra Anybeam can turn your Raspberry Pi into a cinema projector that you can slip into your pocket and take anywhere. Read more Also: Nebra AnyBeam - world's smallest pocket cinema projectors

Back in the Day: UNIX, Minix and Linux

I don't remember my UCSD email address, but some years later, I was part of the admin team on the major UUCP hub hplabs, and my email address was simply hplabs!taylor. Somewhere along the way, networking leaped forward with TCP/IP (we had TCP/IP "Bake Offs" to test interoperability). Once we had many-to-many connectivity, it was clear that the "bang" notation was unusable and unnecessarily complicated. We didn't want to worry about routing, just destination. Enter the "@" sign. I became taylor@hplabs.com. Meanwhile, UNIX kept growing, and the X Window System from MIT gained popularity as a UI layer atop the UNIX command line. In fact, X is a public domain implementation of the windowing system my colleagues and I first saw at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. PARC had computers where multiple programs were on the screen simultaneously in "windows", and there was a pointer device used to control them—so cool. Doug Englebart was inspired too; he went back to Stanford Research Institute and invented the mouse to make control of those windows easier. At Apple, they also saw what was being created at PARC and were inspired to create the Macintosh with all its windowing goodness. Still, who doesn't love the command line, as Ritchie and Kernighan had originally designed it in the early days of UNIX? (UNIX, by the way, is a wordplay on a prior multiuser operating system called Multics, but that's another story.) Read more

Python Programming Leftovers

GNU/Linux Leftovers

  • USB Support In Chrome OS 75 Will Make Linux Incredibly Versatile
    Chrome OS Linux instances are on the cusp of becoming immensely more useful and versatile based on a recent change spotted by Keith I Myers in the beta-specific Developer Channel following an update to version 75.0.3759.4. That's because while the update inevitably introduced some new bugs that will need to be squashed before a final release, it also included full support for USB devices on the Crostini side of the equation.
  • Old computer? Linux can give it a new lease on life
    The operating system is called Linux and was created in 1991 by Finnish student Linus Torvalds. He released Linux as open source which meant that any good programmer could tinker with it and improve upon the original. Today Linux is a popular free alternative for Windows and Mac computers and used by millions of people. The beauty is that Linux requires much less processing power and memory than Windows and is perfect for older computers.
  • At Least 27% Of Gentoo's Portage Can Be Easily LTO Optimized For Better Performance
    entooLTO is a configuration overlay for Gentoo's overlay to make it easy to enable Link Time Optimizations (LTO) and other compiler optimizations for enabling better performance out of the Gentoo packages. GentooLTO appears to be inspired in part by the likes of Clear Linux who employ LTO and other compiler optimization techniques like AutoFDO for yielding better performance than what is conventionally shipped by Linux distributions. The GentooLTO developers and users have wrapped up their survey looking at how practical this overlay configuration is on the massive Portage collection.  The initial GentooLTO survey has been going on since last October and they have collected data from more than 30 users. The survey found that of the Gentoo Portage 18,765 packages as of writing, at least 5,146 of them are working with the GentooLTO configuration.