Products, Projects and Previews

Here's a glimpse at just a few of the products and projects Linux Journal editors are buzzing about this month:

Zonbu PC 1.0 (upgrade)
Zonbu - an interesting new, Gentoo-based, mini desktop Linux PC - has reached Version 1.0 on its package of OS and fixed set of 20+ applications. The default concept for Zonbu is to buy the machine for a discount and subscribe to a service plan, which includes gigs of online storage (no HD included, just 4 GB of flash), automatic upgrades of the OS and apps, full backup and tech support. It is a great solution for converting your less-enlightened loved ones to Linux. LJ folks may be more inclined to unlock the developer edition, which allows one to add more apps and customize the OS. Another advantage of Zonbu involves its green credentials - it is fanless and uses only 10W of power vs. up to 125W on a typical desktop, is produced with fewer toxic chemicals and will be recycled for free by the company.

Likewise Software's Likewise Open (new product/project)
In yet another sign of how the non-Windows world does heterogeneity so much better, Likewise Software (formerly Centeris) just released Likewise Open - an open source community project that enables core Active Directory authentication for Linux systems. Among other things, the application enables authentication with a single user name and password on both Windows and Linux systems. Several distributions already plan on including Likewise Open in their future releases.

db4objects db4o Database is Android-Ready (upgrade)
Google's Android platform for mobile devices has unleashed a flurry of activity. One example is db4objects making its open source object database for Java and .NET run on Android. db4o states that while Java programmers are "delighted with Android's full object-oriented platform, they are frustrated by it bundling with a relational database". Thus db4o's role is to provide "a fast and secure, native Java object database that makes storing objects and sharing of data between applications simple and easy."

Pentaho's Data Integration 3.0 (upgrade)
Business intelligence is maturing in Linux, thanks in part to Pentaho, whose upgraded open source Data Integration 3.0 just became available. Version 3.0 adds support for dynamic cluster schemas designed for grid computing environments. These allow large data loads to be deployed onto clusters of slave machines, easily adding or removing slaves based on load volumes. Other improvements include: optimized processing of flat files; a meta-data driven solution to the limitations of traditional 'code generator' integration tools; an integrated debugger to improve ETL developer productivity; a statistical transformation plug-in; and new data sources, such as Sybase IQ, BMC Remedy AR System, LDAP directories and MS-Access.

Open Source Technology and Policy by Fadi P. Deek and James A. McHugh (book by Cambridge University Press)
Just before the holidays roll around, you'll be able to pick up the new book Open Source Technology and Policy by Fadi P. Deek and James A. McHugh, published by Cambridge University Press. The book, says Cambridge, "examines open source from multiple perspectives to give the reader a broad view of the field." Divided into three sections, the book first gives an overview of open source technologies, then offers insights on their societal impact, and finally looks at the future and prospects of open source.

Knoppix Hacks, 2nd Edition by Kyle Rankin (book by O'Reilly)
The Knoppix live Linux CD was one of the groundbreaking innovations for Linux, and it remains one of the best options for installation-free Linux on nearly any PC. The second edition of Kyle Rankin's Knoppix Hacks, published by O'Reilly Media, is designed to show readers how to fully exploit all of Knoppix's major features. Since the first edition, Knoppix has added features such as UnionFS/AuFS for writing to the live CD and remastering to customize Knoppix and include software favorites. The book also covers the DVD-based "Maxi" version, which is on the companion DVD. Other topics include saving settings and files between reboots, using Knoppix as a sysadmin tool and rescue disk and much more.

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