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Why Windows Power Users Break Linux

As more people come to Linux, those of us who help the Windows refugees make the switch will need to be very patient with them. The more someone knows about Windows, the more likely it is that they will break Linux. Handing them a Linux laptop and saying, “Here ya go…” is not enough if they are going to succeed. You’re going to have to hold their hand for a while and telling them to “RTFM” will just drive them back to Windows. Understanding why they struggle as much as they do will help you to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls. I specialize in helping people get started with Linux. I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years and I can pretty much spot the ones who are going to do well and those who are going to be frustrated. If a client approaches me and they start the conversation with “I’ve been using Windows for 20 years…” I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride. The pattern is always the same: I walk them through an install and all is well for about two weeks and then I get a frustrated message from them about how Linux is stupid and doesn’t work. I know without asking that they’ve broken something major or borked up the whole system. I usually can fix the problem and make a good lesson out of it for them. I have gone so far as to walk them through a second installation from scratch. If the system is totally hosed, that’s the best way to go. Give them a clean slate to work with and hope they learned something. On the other hand, if a client tells me that they know nothing about computers but they need one to get things done like writing documents, spreadsheets, web surfing and email then they usually have zero issues. I get them setup and I don’t hear from them again. I usually contact then after a month or two and they invariably tell me everything is working perfectly. I got a call from a gentleman I hadn’t heard from in a year and a half recently. He said everything was working nicely but he wanted some advice about upgrading his Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.1 and could I help him get it right. No problem. Wonderful to hear that all is well! Read more

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Making compliance scalable in a container world

    Software is increasingly being distributed as container images. Container images include the many software components needed to support the featured software in the container. Thus, distribution of a container image involves distribution of many software components, which typically include GPL-licensed components. We can't expect every company that distributes container images to become an open source compliance expert, so we need to build compliance into container technology. [...] Package maintainers and package management tools have played an underappreciated role in source availability for over two decades. The focused nature of a package, the role of a package maintainer, and the tooling that has been built to support package management systems results in the expectation that someone (the package maintainer) will take responsibility for seeing that the sources are available. Tools that build binaries also collect the corresponding sources into an archive that can be delivered alongside the binaries. The result is that most people don't need to think about source code availability. The sources are available in the same unit as the delivery of the executable software and via the same distribution mechanism; for software delivered as an RPM, the corresponding source is available in a source RPM. In contrast, there is no convention for providing the source code that corresponds to a container image. The many software components in a container image often include GPL-licensed software. Companies that may not have much experience with distribution of FOSS software may begin distributing GPL-licensed software when they start offering their software in the form of container images. Let's make it straightforward for everyone, including companies who may be new to FOSS, to provide source code in a consistent way.

  • Relive summer of OSCON: Fight COVID-19 with Node-RED and Call for Code

    The first round of the Summer of OSCON may be over, but you can still answer the Call for Code and explore how you can use Node-RED and other open source technologies to create solutions that fight COVID-19. Join IBMer John Walicki in a replay of his OSCON live-coding session. He shows you how to use Node-RED and APIs from the Weather Channel related to Covid-19 to quickly build out a tracking application.

  • Behavior is easy, state is hard: Tame inconsistent state in your Java code

    DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn the root cause of common inconsistent state-related bugs in your production Java code—and how to solve them—from Edson Yanaga and Burr Sutter. NullPointerException on a field that was never supposed to be null? A negative value on an “always positive” field? Ever wondered why these bugs happen? You’re not alone. Watch this session to learn the root cause of these common bugs in production Java code, and how to solve them by applying some interesting techniques in your business code.

  • Culture of Innovation: Using AI to Solve Problems at Red Hat

    Red Hat is continually innovating and part of that innovation includes researching and striving to solve the problems our customers face. That innovation is driven in part through the Office of the CTO and includes Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and use cases such as the Open Hybrid Cloud, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We recently interviewed Michael Clifford, Data Scientist in the office of the CTO, here at Red Hat about these very topics.

  • Fedora documentation is now multilingual

    The Fedora project documentation website provides a lot of end-users content. All of this content is now translateable, providing a powerful tool for our multilingual communication. Writers will continue to work as usual. The publishing tools automatically convert content and push it to the translation platform. Then, translated content is automatically published.

  • PHP version 7.2.32, 7.3.20 and 7.4.8

    RPMs of PHP version 7.4.8 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS). RPMs of PHP version 7.3.20 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30-31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS). RPMs of PHP version 7.2.32 are available in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

  • Stirring things up for Fedora 33

    The next release of the Fedora distribution — Fedora 33 — is currently scheduled for the end of October. Fedora's nature as a fast-moving distribution ensures that each release will contain a number of attention-getting changes, but Fedora 33 is starting to look like it may be a bit more volatile than its immediate predecessors. Several relatively controversial changes are currently under discussion on the project's mailing lists; read on for a summary.

Python Programming

  • The (non-)return of the Python print statement

    In what may have seemed like an April Fool's Day joke to some, Python creator Guido van Rossum recently floated the idea of bringing back the print statement—several months after Python 2, which had such a statement, reached its end of life. In fact, Van Rossum acknowledged that readers of his message to the python-ideas mailing list might be checking the date: "No, it's not April 1st." He was serious about the idea—at least if others were interested in having the feature—but he withdrew it fairly quickly when it became clear that there were few takers. The main reason he brought it up is interesting, though: the new parser for CPython makes it easy to bring back print from Python 2 (and before).

  • Release: PyCharm 2020.1.3

    PyCharm 2020.1.3 is out with some important bug fixes. Update from within PyCharm (Help | Check for Updates), using the JetBrains Toolbox, or by downloading the new version from our website. [...] If you’re on Ubuntu 16.04 or later, or any other Linux distribution that supports snap, you should not need to upgrade manually, you’ll automatically receive the new version.

  • Python Anywhere: Outage report 7 July 2020

    We had an unplanned outage the day before yesterday; it was our first big one since July 2017. It was caused by an extremely unlikely storage system failure, but despite that it should not have led to such a lengthy downtime, and should not have affected so many people. We have some plans on what our next steps should be, and will be implementing at least some of them over the coming months.

  • Using module __dir__ and __getattr__ for configuration
  • Enrolling Students - Building SaaS #64

    In this episode, we worked on a view to enroll students into a grade level for the school year. I added all the context data and used Tailwind to design the form layout to pick from a list of available grade levels. We added a variety of unit tests to prove the correctness. The enrollment page needed three pieces of data in the context to complete the form. We added the student, school_year, and grade_levels data to the context and wrote tests to show the data in there. We also protected that data from any erroneous access by another user. When the data was set, we worked on the template for the form. I set the header to make the enrollment action clear and created the radio input selectors to show the different grade level options. We cleaned up the design and user experience by including some Tailwind CSS classes which made the radio inputs much easier to select. At the end of the stream, we wrote the happy path test for the POST request to prove that the enrollment record exists after submission.

  • Top 8 Online Resources To Learn Anaconda In 2020
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Week 6: Begin the Phase 2

Managing tasks with todo.txt and Taskwarrior

One quote from Douglas Adams has always stayed with me: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by". We all lead busy lives and few ever see the bottom of our long to-do lists. One of the oldest items on my list, ironically, is to find a better system to manage all my tasks. Can task-management systems make us more productive while, at the same time, reducing the stress caused by the sheer number of outstanding tasks? This article looks at todo.txt and Taskwarrior. The management of tasks is rather personal and people have completely different approaches and philosophies. This is, of course, reflected in the requirements for, and expectations from, a task manager. Requirements can also change as our interaction with computers changes. For example, while I put a lot of emphasis on managing tasks via the command line in the past, these days I'm more interested in a good mobile app (to add tasks on the go and to receive reminders) and web support (to get an overview of all tasks). A good way to filter tasks is also essential for me. One of the reasons for using task-management software is so you can stop worrying about tasks until they become relevant. This requires a way to find relevant tasks when needed, such as when the due date is coming up soon or because you're in a relevant setting or place (often called a "context" in task-management systems). Going to the supermarket would be a good time to bring up a shopping list, for example. Task-management systems offer a number of ways to organize information that can be used in filters, such as tags, contexts (often stored as tags in the form of @tag, such as @home), and lists. In a series of two articles, we'll review four systems for managing tasks and to-do items around which open-source ecosystems have formed. Read more