Fresh from the Labs
First up this month is a weight manager, Pondus. According to its Web site: “Pondus is a personal weight management program written in Python and Gtk+2 released under the GPL. It aims to be simple to use, lightweight and fast. The data can be plotted to get a quick overview of the history of your weight and is stored in XML files for easy access and modification with other programs.” Simple it is, indeed, and the installation isn't too shabby either. Pondus lets you track your weight over a period of time and displays your progress with a graph. It also switches between metric and imperial measurements.
In terms of dependencies, you need a few Python-related libraries installed before you can start. Whenever you compile something, the installer invariably asks for the development files, so make sure you install the python-dev files first. If you still run into problems, some Googling turned up a posting in a forum about some of the packages on which Pondus depends:
Once the dependencies are out of the way, download the source package from the project's Web site, extract the contents and open a terminal in the new folder.
As root, enter the command:
# python setup.py install
If all goes well, Pondus should compile and even install itself in your Applications menu. On my system, I found a new menu entry under Utilities→Pondus. If you can't find Pondus on your menu, you can start it by entering the command pondus.
Pondus is very minimalist, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Upon entering Pondus, you'll see a small window with five buttons. The first adds a line of data—that being your weight and the date for entry. The second removes a line, and the third edits a line of data. Once you have entered some weights and times, you then can display it as a graph by clicking the fourth button. If you want to switch between pounds and kilograms, the fifth button opens the settings window and lets you change that (this is one of only two options, the other is to remember the window size).
Tracking your progress is really what Pondus is about though, so you will want to jump over to the graph section—the fourth button, or Plot data. Click the button, and a window titled Plot Weight appears with a neat line graph representing your weight over a period of time. If you look at the bottom right, there's a drop-down box with All Time written in it. This allows you to filter out the rest of the information to what you've had over the past year, or just the past month. If you want to filter your time to something more specific, on the bottom left are two fields called Select Date Range. Enter the start date you want to see in the first field and the end date in the second field, click Update on the far right, and the graph will update with the selected information. For those of you who want to save a copy of what your progress has been, clicking the Save Plot button at the bottom lets you save your graph as a .png file. I'm a weedy little runt myself, so I'm not trying to lose weight, but rather gain it, so check my screenshot for an example (which is in kilograms by the way, I don't way 72 pounds).
Overall, Pondus is a very simple and clean application that will appeal to many new PC users, as it sits in a nice and small window and doesn't baffle you with a zillion options. I'm guessing that Pondus probably will add more features over time, but hopefully not too many, as doing so might alienate its target audience. It's a lovely, neat little program.
BeeDiff (beediff) is a GUI program for comparing text differences between two files, and any differences will be highlighted in different colors depending on the type of difference. Any differences found then can be deleted or copied between files. BeeDiff is developed with new Qt4 libraries, and as such, it's very quick and lightweight. It also happens to be quite easy to install, which is another bonus.
For installation purposes, you have two choices: an i586 binary or a source tarball.
If you choose the binary, first download the provided tarball and extract the contents to a folder of your choice.
Then, as root or using sudo, copy the binary to /usr/bin or your preferred binary directory to run BeeDiff system-wide.
Next, copy the included icon, beediff.png, to /usr/share/icons or whichever icon directory you prefer.
If you would rather run BeeDiff locally, you can run it by entering:
John Knight is the New Projects columnist for 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.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
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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