The editorial duo of Robert Aiello and Leslie Sachs joined forces to pen a new Addison-Wesley title, Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods that Work in the Real World. The book is a guide to effective configuration management (CM)—that is, establishing and maintaining consistency in the performance of a system, as well as its functional and physical attributes throughout its lifetime. The bulk of the book's content comes from lead author Bob Aiello's 25 years of experience implementing and supporting CM. The result is a practical and actionable guide to best practices that will enable the reader to implement CM effectively in realistic business, engineering and government environments. The thorough coverage outlines six main tenets of CM: source code management, build engineering, environment configuration, change control, release engineering and deployment.
The goal of the new book FreeSWITCH 1.0.6 by Anthony Minessale, Michael S. Collins and Darren Schreiber is to get you up and running with the FreeSWITCH telephony system quickly and easily. FreeSWITCH is an open-source telephony platform designed to facilitate the creation of voice and chat-driven products, including everything from a soft phone to a PBX to an enterprise-class soft-switch. The authors begin by introducing the architecture and workings of FreeSWITCH before detailing how to plan a telephone system and moving on to the installation, configuration and management of a feature-packed PBX. They also cover maintaining a user directory, XML dial plan and advanced dial plan concepts, call routing, and the powerful Event Socket.
The Germans are bringing their flair for mixing tech and design to American shores in the form of docking stations. The firm Art in the City has launched its Charge 'n' Fruits line of überfunky charging devices on this side of the pond, led by a special limited-edition “Big Apple”, which is covered with 22,000 Swarovski elements. If you are not one of the 50 people lucky enough to get your hands on a Big Apple, you can choose from a number of other fruit-shaped designs, such as an apple, pear, banana or raspberry. Both basic colors and hand-painted designs are available.
Linux and schools are natural allies, which is the rationale behind Userful Corporation's new Linux MultiSeat 2010—a complete Linux-based K–12 classroom software solution on a single install DVD. The product is essentially a bundle of Userful's flagship product, Userful Multiplier, which turns one computer into ten, and hundreds of free end-user and education-specific applications. Schools can equip classrooms or computer labs with a single computer while offering users their own monitor, keyboard and mouse. Userful says that Linux MultiSeat 2010 provides superior video performance to Microsoft Windows Multipoint Server and calls it “the lowest cost shared resource computing solution on the market”. The product is based on the Edubuntu distribution.
Real-life CSI types will want to have paper and pencil (and browser) ready to note details of Skout Forensics' Data Collection Kit, a solution that allows one to acquire electronic data in a forensically sound manner from any standard PC. The kit is targeted at companies, law firms, governmental entities and individuals who need help with internal and external investigations and court-ready reporting of digital evidence, as well as electronic discovery, data recovery, preservation and analysis. The approach involves the enumeration of all attached devices and imaging them separately just as a trained examiner would. Furthermore, the kit integrates all required forensic standards in a manner that can be executed by anyone. It has the ability to collect data from a computer seamlessly, both while powered on and while powered off. Skout Forensics says that its innovative approach to computer forensics provides its customers with faster, less intrusive and more cost-effective and user-friendly electronic evidence collections and analysis than solutions currently on the market.
Visualization Sciences Group (VSG) calls the new version 8.1 of its popular object-oriented 3-D graphics development toolkit, Open Inventor, an “essential release”. VSG says that v.8.1 brings “even greater performance, more high-quality graphics, more interactivity and more robustness to interactive applications”. Thanks to numerous optimizations, generalized use of the latest OpenGL techniques and finely tuned memory consumption, Open Inventor 8.1 delivers a display rate that is now nearly equivalent to the peak performance of graphics hardware. This new release also introduces a dynamic display resolution mechanism, whereby advanced rendering effects are progressively applied during interaction, refining image quality on the fly, without sacrificing interactivity. Open Inventor 8.1 is now available for C++ and .NET, on Linux and Windows 32- and 64-bit platforms.
Fulfilling its mission to expand access to cross-platform systems through Active Directory, Centrify Corporation has released Centrify Express, a “free and easy on-ramp” for establishing a single sign-on experience for Linux and Mac users based on their existing Active Directory credentials. The concept is to leverage existing infrastructure that many firms already have deployed—that is, Microsoft Active Directory—to secure their heterogeneous computing environment. The product, a subset of the company's Centrify Suite of identity and access management solutions, is a set of free software applications and tools, content resources and community forums designed to help organizations improve security and compliance of data center and desktop systems. Centrify Express is currently available for free download from Centrify's Web site.
Selling your widget to every corner of the planet will be a snap with the new version 1.3 of PrestaShop, a popular open-source e-commerce solution for Linux, UNIX and Windows. Now with more than 40,000 active sites in 50 countries and a community of more than 85,000 members, PrestaShop offers more than 200 functions that cover all the needs of e-commerce sites in all business sectors. The developers tout PrestaShop's flexible and simple code, as well as its light server footprint. The freshly baked version 1.3 offers a 30% performance upgrade following an advanced SQL optimization and 15 new functions. For instance, retailers now can accept payments in more than 200 countries via 42 currencies and 100 payment options. Other features include enhanced cross-selling capabilities for improving per-customer sales.
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