GNU/Linux is bursting with information about the system on which it runs. The system's hardware and memory, its Internet link and current processes, the latest activity of each user -- all this information and more is available. And, despite such desktop tools as the KDE Control Center or GNOME's System Monitor, the easiest place to get all the system information available is still the command line.
I only had a little time today to play with Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 3, so here are a few of the new features and some thoughts:
RIG (Random Identity Generator) is a free replacement for a shareware program out there called ‘fake’. It generates random, yet real-looking, personal data. It is useful if you need to feed a name to a Web site, BBS, or real person, and are too lazy to think of one yourself.
Many Linux distributions try to be visually appealing. Some use Beryl-Compiz for cool 3-D effects on resource-laden boxes, while others turn to desktops like Enligtenment for a little bit of gloss at the expense of functionality. Geubuntu is a new distro that combines the best of those two worlds, equipping Enlightenment with bits from GNOME and Xfce on top of Ubuntu.
The KDE 4 series has begun with the release of 4.0. It is the start of something amazing. Kubuntu has packages for 7.10 and Hardy and there’s a Live CD for those wanting to try before installing.
Speaking Hangman is a cross-platform bilingual game that's both fun and educational, and suitable for the whole family. You'll need to have a Java 2 Java Runtime Environment installed on your system to play the game. If you're not sure if the version of Java you're running is adequate to the task, you can test it on the page you download the program from.
For years, discerning Windows users have relied on Tweak UI, a semi-official Microsoft program for system settings not available on the default desktop. Now, in the same tradition and with something of the same name, Ubuntu Tweak (UT) offers the same advantage to Ubuntu users.
Osmo, a compact yet feature-rich personal information organizer for Linux, separates itself from the pack of other calendar applications due to its light weight and easy-to-use design. The GPL-licensed Osmo includes a datebook calendar, a to-do organizer, and a contacts list, all with lots of intuitive options.
O’Reilly, the organisers of Ubuntu Live, have just issued the call for papers for Ubuntu Live 2008. The theme of the event is “Taking it Further”, which I think is perfect for Ubuntu this year!
In the photography world, a prominent proprietary file format is Kodak's Photo CD (.PCD). Once the premiere format for film scanning, it is now a difficult-to-work-around relic. Recently I set out to resurrect some old PCD images on a Linux system -- a challenge that serves as an object lesson in the importance of open standards in any kind of digital archive.
Google has released a public beta of its Picasa photo organizer for Linux. The new release adds some important features for image browsing, image searching, and creative image export. If you haven't tried it before, now is the time.
Do you have multiple computers on your desktop? If you’re anything like me this happens from time to time. Alongside my main computer for example, I occasionally need to have my laptop on my desk. If you’re a computer-nut in any way, shape or form then the odds are in favor that you know what I’m talking about.
Multiple computers, each with their own (or several) screens. Each requiring you to switch between confusing sets of keyboards and mice. If this is the case with you, then you need Synergy.
A DAM Server is a Digital Asset Management Server. In its purest form it is a central repository for your digital assets. This article will describe a Digital Image Asset Management Server and how to setup the Open Source alternative called Resourcespace.
Apparently, the only thing that stopped developers from creating useful OpenOffice.org extensions was the lack of a place to publish them. With the launch of the OpenOffice.org Extension Repository, the number of extensions listed there has shot up, and there are no signs of a slowdown. Although quantity doesn't always mean quality, the repository already offers a few nifty extensions that can expand the functionality of OpenOffice.org and make your work more efficient.
Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 72 for the week December 30th - January 5th, 2008 is now available. In this issue: Alpha 3 Freeze, Kubuntu Tutorials Day, Ubuntu Live Conference videos, a new Kubuntu member, the success of Inkscape with Launchpad, Ubuntu Forum News, Ubuntu Tutorial of the Week, and much, much more!
You might imagine that a utility as simple as a multiple clipboard would have become standard on the GNU/Linux desktop. All it needs is the ability to copy and paste text and some popular graphics formats, plus some basic controls to set the number of stored items and to clear the memory. Yet, although at least six multiple clipboards are available, choosing which to use is a matter of trade-offs that depends partly on your desktop environment and partly on which features you want.
PWSafe is a Command Line Interface (CLI) tool for managing and securely storing passwords. Using the public domain cipher Blowfish, PWSafe maintains an encrypted database of login account details and their associated passwords.
Compiz-Switch is a simple program to switch Compiz off and on easily. If you are looking for a simple yet effective way to switch between Compiz and the window manager of your desktop environment, then this is for you.
If there is a defining feature in Apple's Leopard, it's Time Machine. As cool as it may be, the fact is that we, as Linux users, are obviously not going to see much benefit from this is pitiful. So it's a good thing that open source developers have taken it upon themselves to create something similar, be it not a 'pretty' alternative.
This is the year I kiss Windows good-bye. Well, maybe not entirely, but the writing is on the wall for Microsoft's flagship operating system, and all other desktop bloatware: The future of PC software is open source. (I'll add that the future of PC applications is on the Web, which I'll cover once we've got Ubuntu in place.)