Review

Book Review: "Beginning Ubuntu Server Administration: From Novice to Professional”

Apress was kind enough to send me a copy of their new book “Beginning Ubuntu Server Administration: From Novice to Professional” by Sander van Vugt. Overall, I was very impressed with this book — it was well written, filled with applicable examples, covered a wide range of topics, and provided background for people new to Ubuntu or Linux in general.

Free/Open-source Astronomy Software

Astronomy, considered as one of the oldest sciences, is the scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). With the aid of powerful telescopes, Astronomers were able to study our vast skies. Since accurate and reliable software related to Astronomy are plenty these days, anyone can now have an opportunity to learn more about Astronomy without the need for telescopes. I’ve collected here a list of well-recognized free/open-source Astronomy software. I hope this helps:

Frozen-Bubble - A Ridiculously Addictive Puzzle Game

Frozen-Bubble has blissfully stolen hours and hours of my life with its addictive gameplay and flippin' awesome soundtrack. It's an easy game with a simple premise: shoot colors bubbles onto the game board in an attempt to match up three or more similarly colored bubbles.

Media collection managers for Linux

There comes a time, right after you burn your 137th MP3 CD, when you start feeling the need to establish a system for finding all the songs you treasure so much. It's the same with movies, application kits, books, and music -- you need software that lets you index your media quickly and output detailed search results. Here's a selection of Linux applications you can use to ease your work.

Alpha spotting: Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 5

Ubuntu 8.04, a.k.a. Hardy Heron, Alpha 5 hit the wires late Friday evening. I downloaded my copy around 8pm Orlando local time (EST). After super and kitchen duty I sat down and ran the release around the four systems I have at home to see how it worked.

Quick and easy photo management with F-Spot

Photo management software for Windows makes us weep. For most people, photo management consists of loading the software (and drivers) that came from the camera manufacturer. So you've got a Nikon camera, and the photo management software is really different from your significant other's Kodak software.

Games for Linux: comparison of free software shooters

There have been many free software first-person shooters (FPS) projects over the years, from modded Doom and Quake engines to enhance the existing games (ezQuake, EGL, ZDoom), to free art packs such as OpenQuartz or OpenArena. In 2002, along came Cube, a single and multiplayer FPS based on its own engine, including artwork, maps, models and an ingame map editor.

Inside Firefox 3's Latest Beta Update, Part 2

"One of our developers calls this the 'awesome bar.' It brings the concept of search to your browser directly now. If you start typing it will go ahead and search through all the Web sites you've visited and bookmarked and try to figure out what Web site you're trying to go see," said Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering for Mozilla.

Inside Firefox 3's Latest Beta Update, Part 1

Based on Mozilla's Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, which has been under development for 30 months, Firefox 3 beta 3 contains some 2 million lines of code changes that correct more than 12,000 issues, according to Mozilla. While Gecko is designed to support open Internet standards, version 1.9 includes redesigns for a variety of improvements.

gedit: a powerful, underrated text editor for everybody

Most computer users spend their entire life looking for the Holy Grail. In other words, they spend all their life searching for the perfect editor that supports all their languages, is free as in speech, has spelling, has highlighting… you get the picture. Obviously, there isn’t a perfect editor out there. However, some come pretty close. Ironically, one of them is one that any Ubuntu (or in fact, any Gnome) user has installed, though they may not know it. It’s called gedit (also known as Text Editor).

FileZilla - FTP Client Software

FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.

Quick Review: Firefox 3 Beta 3

Mozilla has released the latest beta of Firefox 3 for testers and early adopters. This latest beta includes many useful features and improved user interface. There is expected to be a beta 4 coming out in end February:

Accounting Software for the Geek Ranch

I hate accounting. The one accounting class I took in college proved that to me. The fact that I could get an A in the class by doing one homework problem and copying all the others during class was only part of the reason. But, it's related. I hate doing the same thing over and over and, to me, that is exactly what accounting is.

Linux Got Game: Alien Arena 2007 Review

Alien Arena 2007 is a free/open-source first-person shooter game based on source code released by id Software. Started by COR Entertainment in 2004, the game combines a 1950s-era sci-fi atmosphere with gameplay similar to the Quake, Doom, and Unreal Tournament series. Alien Arena is primarily an online multiplayer action game, although single player campaigns are also available against bots.

Fluxbuntu: User-friendly Featherweight Linux?

From Techthrob.com:

Fluxbuntu's aim is to be a "lightweight, productive, agile, and efficient" operating system; this review takes a look at Fluxbuntu and whether it lives up to the challenge of creating a user-friendly experience on a tight resources budget. The review discusses included applications, the user interface and ease-of-use, as well as some limitations. 

A toolbar trinity

Firefox rocks because it acts like a Lego set -- you have your base module, and then you can stick extensions on it. Some of the most obvious extensions are toolbars. Unlike the embedded-application extensions like Chatzilla or FireFTP, toolbars actually modify your interface. A toolbar can contain search engine interfaces, bookmarks, RSS feeds, or extra tools for managing content. A lot of toolbars are very specialized -- tools for multimedia producers, musicians, and even Mormon theology students. Here are three more general toolbars that any net junkie will find useful.

Three photo mosaic apps compared

Photo mosaics are recreations of one large image composed of tiny tiles of other smaller images. They can be a fun project and make good use of the hundreds of less-than-extraordinary photos on your hard drive. We compared three easy-to-use Linux-based utilities for generating photo mosaics -- Pixelize, Metapixel, and Imosaic -- on speed, quality, and other factors.

[old] Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy” Quick Review - Uncomplicated Firewall

I installed Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy” Alpha 4 a day or two ago and I finally got some time to poke around with some of the new features. The new features that are of the most interest to me are the security related features such as firewalling, SELinux, etc.

Elisa 0.3.3 - Media Centre for Kids

Initially I was quite excited by the release of Elisa 0.3.3 from the team at Fluendo. In general, I like the work Fluendo does - amongst other initiatives they have codecs for sale that alleviate any legal qualms you may have about installing "non-free" video codecs from various locations, they have an interesting Java streaming video applet called Cortado and they provide a reasonably priced online streaming service. So, high hopes for Elisa 0.3.3. Unfortunately, it looks like I won't be using this software.

Office Software for Linux

Are you thinking about moving your computer to Linux, but worried about living without office software? Well don't be. You can run Microsoft Office, and many other native Windows programs on Linux using Wine, which is a Windows compatibility layer for Linux and similar operating systems. However, you do not need to do this, and the majority of Linux users do not, because Linux has bucket loads of its own high-quality office software.

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