Getting Stuff Done on Linux [Part 1]

One thing you hear often about Linux is that there’s no software for it. This is simply not true. There may not be much proprietary software for it, but there is some, and there are plenty of free alternatives to what most offices use every day.

Building a highly functional desktop with lightweight software

When my girlfriend visits me, she has to work on a mini PC while I use my laptop to finish whatever I postponed at the office. Her PC has a 1GHz VIA processor and 128 MB of RAM and runs Ubuntu. You can imagine how slowly it boots, even with Linux installed, and GNOME runs so slowly that it's quite irritating. I didn't want to reformat and install a lightweight Linux distribution like Fluxbuntu because the mini PC doesn't have a CD-ROM drive, and I already had 10GB of data that would have taken a long time to back up. Instead, I found and installed some lightweight software to improve her computing experience.

Booting another Grub from Grub

Chainloading an operating system allows grub to boot an opearating system's boot loader. This is commonly used to boot Windows for instance. I personnaly use it to be able to have my "production" system's grub on the MBR, and address other distros'grub install on their root partition. The advantage is that kernel updates are real easy to handle. Each testing distro modifying their own grub won't interfere with my main OS bootloader.

Having a Hardy day - Ten steps helping you not to have a hard time upgrading

So just before the first beta I finally updated my production machine to Hardy after feeling bad about not giving enough effort in testing for the last weeks. In one short sentence: It worked! In a longer sentence: It worked quite well, but…

Remember to FLOSS Daily

In my last post I mentioned Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). Many people don’t know what FLOSS is, but it’s really quite simple. FLOSS is software that anybody can see and that they are free to change to suit their needs. FLOSS is programs that that don’t cost an arm and a leg and a first born son. Examples are Linux, OpenOffice.org, GIMP, Apache Web Server, MySQL, and many more.

Top 10 Responses to Why Should I Use Linux? - A Linux Evangelists’ Reference

If you’re a Linux enthusiast like me, you’ve probably tried to convert a few people over to Linux from another operating system. Even though you succeed many times, there are always a few ‘geniuses’ out there who need some real persuading to switch over to Linux. So here are some quick and simple things about Linux you can point out to your potential convert.

How To Get Ubuntu System Facts With Facter

Facter is a cross-platform Ruby library for retrieving facts from operating systems. It supports multiple resolution mechanisms, any of which can be restricted to working only on certain operating systems or environments. Facter is especially useful for retrieving things like operating system names, IP addresses, MAC addresses, and SSH keys. It is easy to extend Facter to include your own custom facts or to include additional mechanisms for retrieving facts.

Creating a Linux Terminal Media Server for Your Home PC’s

It seems we always need to update our PC hardware at one point or another, to keep abreast of the increasing demands that current software makes of our computers. If like me, you hate to lose the use of older PC’s, you may store them away for “later” projects.

Synergy: the Software KVM (or just KM) Switch

Having multiple computers can be a blessing when trying to multi-task, but trying to control them all at once can take a lot of room. Hardware options are available. They are called KVMs, which is short for keyboard, video, and mouse switches. However these hardware options require a constant hardware connection. This makes it impractical for laptops, or when substituting the KVM for the real keyboard/mouse/screen set up is not desired.

Monitor Web page changes with Specto

There's no dearth of Web feed readers for Linux that allow you to keep tabs on new postings on a Web site. But what if the Web site or page you're interested in doesn't provide a feed? Specto is a nifty little Python application that lets you monitor changes to static or dynamic pages. You can configure Specto to monitor changes to wiki pages, blog posts, forum threads, your email inbox, and even files and folders on your own system. An unobtrusive pop-up from its system tray icon informs you of all changes, so you don't have to hop around looking for updates.

Encrypt volumes through a cross-platform GUI with TrueCrypt 5.0

Last month the TrueCrypt Foundation released TrueCrypt 5.0, which finally introduces a Linux GUI for the cross-platform encryption application. TrueCrypt 5.0's numerous other enhancements include a Mac OS X port, XTS operation mode, the ability to encrypt a system partition or drive under Windows, and the addition of the SHA-512 hash algorithm.

Users praise Firefox 3.0's speeds

Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 users are reporting that Mozilla's new browser is dramatically faster than its predecessor – as well as faster than the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.

Skype 2.0 for Linux released - Seeing is believing

Today we’re proud to announce the general release of video calls in Skype 2.0 for Linux. As you may already know, the best things in life are often free and now you can make (and receive) free, great quality video calls on Linux.

Making KDE look good

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” goes the old saying. What looks great to me, might not be very appealing to you. Most GNU/Linux distributions pick default images that are bland, inoffensive, and boring, all of which have their place, but we can do better. This article will look at making your GNU/Linux machine look beautiful.

Extend Amarok with useful scripts

Amarok is a popular audio player under Linux. It can manage external storage devices, transfer music to your iPod, display lyrics, and play various formats. Although Amarok supports scripts to extend its functionality, not many users know about the powerful features that these simple plugins can provide.

Latest Firefox 3 beta offers exciting features

Firefox 3 is in testing, with the latest build, beta 4, released Monday. Mozilla is aiming for a final release of its flagship product before the end of the first quarter of 2008. Let's take a look at the changes coming down the pike.

Play Windows games on Linux with PlayOnLinux

If you are an avid gamer, you probably dual-boot your favorite Linux distribution with Windows, because that's where you find most new cutting-edge games. But what if you could run your Windows games on Linux? PlayOnLinux is an open source Python-scripted front end that helps you install and play tons of Windows-only games -- and then some!

Installing The Amazon MP3 Downloader On Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon

This short guide explains how to install the Amazon MP3 Downloader on Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). The Amazon MP3 Downloader is required for album purchases on Amazon.com, and makes downloading songs fast and easy.

Answers to Linux Questions

Over the last few days I’ve received questions about Linux. So… This is a quick post that hopefully will answer most of the ones I thought were helpful.

Gaming on Linux: OpenArena 0.7.1

A while ago, Id Software released the source code for the Quake 3 engine. They did not, however, release all the maps and models under a free license, so at the time, you still had to buy the game to play it. No more! Thanks to the OpenArena project, there's a cross-platform Quake client with free models and maps.

Ubuntu Mobile On It’s Way?

Intel’s new Silverthorne and Diamondville processors are due to be released sometime during the second quarter of this year, according to this article on Computerworld. The chips are built and specialized to run Linux.Ubuntu Mobile Edition is made for this platform, and has been built in collaboration with both Nokia and Intel.

Gnome 2.2 now available, planned for Ubuntu 8.04

The GNOME Foundation announced the release of version 2.22 on Wednesday, an update that offers enhanced multimedia support, new file system, and enhanced e-mail, internationalization and accessibility features. GNOME is used in many popular Linux distributions from Ubuntu, Novell, Red Hat, Mandriva and Debian.

GNU/Linux World Domination for the Wrong Reasons

Whenever I hear people discussing GNU/Linux's prospects for becoming more popular, I'm reminded of a comment by Tommy Douglas, the social democrat who became a hero for introducing universal health care into Canada. If he could press a button and gain a million voters who did not understand his policies, he said, then he would not press that button. He meant that he was not in politics simply to be elected, but to gain supporters for his ideals -- and that he was determined not to lose sight of his long term goals while pursing short term ones.

Make Your Own Plug ‘N Play Zone Using Ubuntu Linux!

Here’s the scenario:

1) I wanted an easy way for friends to migrate to Linux (I’m using Ubuntu).
2) Personally, I needed a way that Ubuntu could install itself while I go do something else.

Wine: Improving Look And Feel

A lot of people complains about Wine looks. But not everyone realizes that one can make it look neat easily. This article preents a few simple tips to convert your default Wine to a special one.

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