From the Editor - Cleaning Up the Desktop
When big companies deploy hundreds or thousands of managed systems or thin clients, they report spending a fraction of the administrator time needed to keep up with a legacy desktop OS. Big projects can yield big Linux desktop savings.
But getting the time-sucking monster of desktop computers under control is even more important for small businesses. At many companies, the front-line IT support person is the business owner. IBM's Board of Directors doesn't cancel a meeting because of a virus or spyware crisis. But a small company's decision-maker can fall victim to one.
When a company van becomes unreliable, business owners trade it in for a good one. It isn't worth wasting an entrepreneur's limited time and energy on a product that doesn't pull its weight.
This issue, Chip Coldwell covers how to convert existing or low-cost PC hardware into easily manageable thin clients, on page 46. Although you might plan to buy real thin clients for future expansion, a PC conversion lets you use a common set of hardware spares for your servers, full desktops and lightweight desktops.
Caleb Tennis highlights a useful feature of today's Linux desktops on page 60. You can centrally manage the configuration items that don't need to change from user to user. Now, you'll be able to solve the “I can't print” support question in a fraction of the time, because you won't have to put back all the configuration options that the user tweaked trying to print.
Linux Journal manages our article flow using DocBook, but there are other ways to handle documents efficiently. On page 56, Cezary M. Kruk, our colleague at Poland's number one Linux magazine, explains how OpenOffice.org fills the bill.
If you're developing desktop software, we have plenty to think about in this issue too. Get the facts on D-BUS from Robert Love on page 52, and learn how to keep desktop applications aware of each other and the other events on the system. And, give users a versatile search tool for all the different file formats on your system using libferris, which Ben Martin covers on page 78.
Put your IT time, or your employees' time, to better use. Deploy and develop software that really helps with the business process, instead of just fighting fires to keep a glorified typewriter and fax machine going. We'll cover some examples next issue. Getting the desktop under control is step one.
Don Marti is editor in chief of Linux Journal.
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.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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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.
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