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Getting My Kicks On Route 64

Some months ago I started collecting the pieces I needed to build my own 64-bit computer. I'm not a complete stranger to building machines, I've put together a dozen or so during the past twenty years, but it's been quite a while since I started one from scratch, and my experience with this machine was more instructive than it was meant to be. Nevertheless, at long last Studio Dave has gone 64-bit crazy. Well, not really crazy, but certainly more than mildly enthusiastic. more>>

Who Else Gains from a GPL'd Java?

Sun's announcement that it would be releasing Java under the GNU GPL confounded many of its critics (including myself) who had feared that the company was incapable of making such a bold move.  Quite rightly, it has garnered praise from across the hacker world.  But Sun's relationship with free software has not always been so idyllic. more>>

Follow the lack of money

Jeff Jarvis is looking for better stewards of journalism's future. He explains,

I don’t see enough development going on in new news efforts — enough to save journalism from the sinking news business. And that’s what’s troubling me. The old players are proving to be quite ineffective stewards — we knew that — but there aren’t enough new stewards joining the church.

Problem is, you can't make a new business out of an old business that's turned into a church. Wall Street isn't up for that, and most of the big papers work for Wall Street. The word "stewardship" alone is a boat anchor on any company's stock price. more>>

A five year deal with Microsoft to dump Novell/SUSE

Wake up little SUSE, Wake up. No, that's not good enough. Wake up SUSE customers, wake up. Novell is jeopardizing the future of Linux for its own short-term rewards. If you want to see Linux flourish, let alone survive after Novell's five year deal with Microsoft expires, I suggest we make an alternative five year deal with Microsoft. In this case, our part of the deal is to spend the next five minutes, months, or years migrating away from every shred of Novell/SUSE software in our home, office, or enterprise. more>>

Ten ideas about Ideas

Which has more leverage in the marketplace — A) disclosure or B) secrecy? Which is more supportive of growing markets — A) public infrastructure or B) private platforms? Which is better for inventive entrepreneurs — A) sharing one's great ideas to drive development and adoption, or B) patenting and keeping secret one's "intellectual property"?

I'm sure most Linux Journal readers would answer "A" to each of those questions, plus other questions like them. Yet I suspect that most venture capitalists would rather fund the "B" choices. more>>

Of Macros And Drum Machines

This week in my random survey of activity on the mail-lists for Linux sound & music software I'll look at two very different software drum machines and a keystroke macro that enters LilyPond music notation into an Open Office text document. And if that isn't enough I've included four thrilling screenshots and links to three entertaining audio files to entice and maintain your interest. Read on for more... more>>

More on Ruby Implementations

"Rubinius is a project to watch", so says Charles Nutter in his post Rite, Rubinius, and Everything — I think he's right. Evan is hard at work making things work better in rubinius. He's now got continuations working (I think this makes him the first alternative implementation of Ruby to do so), and says he should have serializable continuations soon (see his post on it here). W00t! more>>

LDAP Series Part IV - Installing OpenLDAP on Debian Plus Some LDAP Commentary

I can imagine the comments we'll see on this article. What about X distribution? And so on... I'm not going to justify my reasons for choosing Debian. You can use whatever distro you want. It's just a matter of preference. more>>

Manipulating lists in OpenOffice.org Calc

When asked to explain the purpose of spreadsheets, most people think of calculations first. And it's true that spreadsheets like Calcs have hundreds of different functions for performing calculations. However, probably the most common tasks in spreadsheets is manipulating lists. more>>

LDAP Series Part III - The Historical Secrets

The origins of LDAP begin with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) based in Geneva. ITU began setting email standards which required a directory of names (and other information) that could be accessed across networks in a hierarchical fashion not dissimilar to DNS. The result of their work resulted in the X.500 series of standards which defined DAP (Directory Access Protocol), the protocol for accessing a networked directory service. more>>

A Snarly little graph of Ruby's Grammar

Nick Sieger, who attended the RubyConf 2007 implementers' summit has started exploring the seedy back alleys of Ruby, and is taking notes for the rest of us. After he spent some time with the yacc grammar, he came up with a nice little graph. Follow the link to see his travelogue, then you can do what I'm doing — waiting impatiently for the next iteration. more>>

GPLv3: What the Hackers Said (Update)

When I wrote about the wrangling over the GNU GPLv3 licence a month back, it provoked a lively conversation in the comments. Given this evident passion among readers, I thought it would be interesting to ask the top hackers - the ones actually involved in the discussions - for their thoughts on the matter. So I contacted Richard Stallman for the FSF angle, and a bunch of the top kernel hackers - Linus, Alan Cox, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Andrew Morton and Dave Miller - for their view. more>>

A Question of Choice

Choice: it's one of the key ideas at the heart of free software.  The right to choose how to use your software, the right to choose who you share it with.  Who could be against choice?  Certainly not the Initiative for Software Choice, except that it has a slightly different view of what choice implies:

To encourage continued software innovation and promote broad choice, governments are encouraged to consider the following neutral principles:

Procure software on its merits, not through categorical preferences

Promote broad availability of government funded research

Promote interoperability through platform-neutral standards

Maintain a choice of strong intellectual property protections more>>

At The Sounding Edge

Over the next two or three entries I'm going to provide summaries of activity represented on some of the mail-lists most relevant to the development and use of audio software for Linux (and other platforms). I'm subscribed to a variety of such lists, and it occurred to me that a summary of their traffic would be a good indicator of the breadth and depth of our corner of the larger Linux world. I'll proceed through my lists in loose alphabetical order, starting with news from the Ardour camp. more>>

Let's do for news what we did for software

There have always been problems with distributing urgent public safety information. These problems show up, over and over, with every hurricane, tornado, flood and wildfire. At this moment in history, problems fall in three areas of responsibility (and, for that matter, responsiveness):

The old official channels (radio, TV, newspapers) are scaling back on live news coverage (or on news coverage, period) The new official channels (web sites and services, "reverse 911") are still, as we've been saying since 1995, "under construction". The new unofficial channels (cell phones, blogs, RSS feeds, phone trees) are still no substitute for the Real Thing, whatever it will become.

Lately I've been thinking about some simple hacks we can do in #3 that will give some needed assistance to #s 1 and 2 as well. more>>

Blocking hardware accessibility through software: a printer's tale

What are you getting when you buy a printer to use under GNU/Linux? The LinuxPrinting.org site can tell you how well a printer will work with free software, but often that's only part of the story. I came face to face with this simple fact when I recently bought a Hewlett-Packard PhotoSmart C3100, a low end inkjet printer that includes scanning and copying features. Besides basic features, like many today, the printer includes features that run without a computer, if only with the specific Windows or OS X software that accompanies it. My experience is one data point for measuring the current state of hardware support for GNU/Linux -- as well as how companies, deliberately or otherwise, are withholding it. more>>

LDAP Series Part II - Netscape Directory Server

Two years ago today, Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik confirmed the purhase of two prized enterprise products from AOL - Netscape Directory Server and Netscape Certificate Management System. He also noted than Red Hat intended to open source the products within 12 months.

Red Hat paid $25 million for the assets. You could say that was pretty good considering that in 1998, AOL paid more than $4 billion for Netscape. Matthew's purchase represented the last divestiture of Netscape's assets by AOL.

If you wander on over to the Fedora Directory Server (FDS) site you can take a look at an enhanced version of the Netscape Directory Server. This isn't your older brother's directory server. Aside from open sourcing the Netscape server, you'll find an abundance of documentation to help you learn and operate a stellar product.

In the case you have little familiarity with FDS, it has features you will not find in other open source LDAP servers. These include: more>>

Multi-master replication Hot-backups and restores Integration utility for Microsoft Active Directory users and groups A graphical management console and web available administration

LDAP Series Part I - "Bulldozer"

I don’t like self-proclaimed prophets. So, you'll rarely see me quoting them. I guess my aversion originates in so many presentations where the next [insert application or company here] “killer

Going live, part 2: Introducing Musix and Studio To Go

In this week's entry we'll look at two more "live" CDs of Linux systems optimized for multimedia creation and performance. I've been having a great time with these systems, and I hope that my mini-profiles inspire you to try them all. They're a great way to introduce someone to Linux, they show off the system optimized for multimedia performance and they provide a wealth of high-quality sound and music software to exploit that system. They all include the standard cornucopia of applications for the mundane tasks, word processing, text editing, graphics, networking, and so on. All that, for the cost of a download and a disc. more>>

A New JRuby Interview and More

Okay, non-interview stuff first. I've recently picked up several 'shortcuts' from O'Reilly and Addison-Weseley. I love this format. For about 10 bucks, you can get a PDF only copy of a 50-100 page "book". The shortcuts (so far at least) have been very focused, which allows them to cover a reasonable topic in sufficient depth without creating a monstrous 600+ page tome. The shortcuts I've looked at so far have been timely, useful, and a great value. October marks the beginning of Apress' push into Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Apress also has Practical OCaml coming out soon to help soothe your inner functional programmer. Now, on to interview news! more>>

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