Focus on Software
Since the debut of this column, I have received several e-mails with suggestions for software packages to review. Last month, I looked at a few packages built with GTK+. While these still seem to be the large majority of start-up packages, ones written in other languages are also available. I will highlight one or two that use Tcl/Tk. It is also true that not all the good programs are graphical.
TkZip is a very well done program that can handle just about any compression utility available on Linux, including tar, bzip, bzip2, gzip, compress, cpio, zip and more. It will search your system for the utilities it needs. The interface is intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. If you are uncomfortable with archiving or compression utilities, either creating or extracting them, this program should be high on your list of “must haves”. It requires Tcl/Tk 4.2 or higher.
I have looked at several very nice GTK utilities, such as gtkfind, that did an excellent job and were intuitive to use. The one shortcoming I noted was that the command which actually does the work could not be captured. tkWorld allows you to see the command line and capture it for use in a script, as well as see the results in a window. tkWorld also allows you to create complex “scripts” by selecting a pipe and continuing with other commands. Currently, you can pipe find through grep. While I don't consider the interface quite as appealing as the interface in gtkfind, this program shows a good deal of promise, particularly when the “Registry”, the list of utilities tkWorld recognizes, is better filled out. It requires Tcl/Tk 8.0.
Just migrated from Windows to Linux? Still use Windows and its note pad? Well, tknotepad will have you feeling at home. Apart from the grey background, it looks and feels exactly like the note pad from Windows, complete with a selection for turning “Word Wrap” on or off. This gives all those who fear vi, but don't want the complexity of Emacs, reason to rejoice. It requires Tcl/Tk 8.0.
The premise for dut is that novice users should not be confronted with a command line while in a GUI. Buttons present the user with choices for selecting the file to work with, highlighting the file and editing it, removing, executing, etc. Not all buttons are functional at this time. According to the author, the goal is eventually to be able to replace an xterm for those doing rather vanilla things like creating, editing and executing files. The only problem I encountered was the same one most new users who don't read English encounter: I was not always sure what the button was supposed to do. A good initiative to keep the Linux momentum alive would be to allow users to set a language preference so that buttons, boxes and dialogs would be understandable to them. It requires libc5, xforms-0.88, X11 and libm.
compjuga provides a complete conjugation of whatever Spanish verb you specify. Currently, it is a command-line-only program. Writing a GUI wrapper should be trivial, although I don't know if the author is considering that as an option. A good compromise would be a GUI interface if the DISPLAY environment variable is set, otherwise output as it does now. The author does promise a move away from gdbm. It requires glibc and gdbm.
Pilot LogBook is a full-feature, functional log book for aircraft pilots. Just about any field you might need is here. You can view totals and make notes. One area that has not yet been implemented, but is planned (if you believe in labeled buttons), is Medical Info. For me, not much is missing. I would prefer the totals included categories for 90 days and six months back, common FAR prerequisites for certain flights. The database is a flat-file database; I would have preferred MySQL. It requires GTK-1.0.6, Xext, X11, libm and glibc.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide