The company Blackmagic Design recently announced a wholesale move to the Linux platform of its formerly Windows- and Mac OS-only products. Linux support was added to the new Media Express 2.0, a video capture and playback software application compatible with all Blackmagic Design DeckLink, Multibridge and Intensity products. This new version is a major update that adds support for direct capture and playback of DPX, AVI and QuickTime files, as well as list-based batch capture and playback, plus a major UI overhaul. Also adding Linux support are the DeckLinux (video cards), Intensity (HDMI/analog editing component) and Multibridge (external capture and playback solution) products. A free, cross-platform SDK is included. Finally, the DeckLink Optical Fiber, which Blackmagic calls “the world's first 10-bit SD/HD broadcast capture card with both optical fiber SDI and regular SDI”, now has a Linux driver and SDK. The card is designed for high-end broadcast and post-production customers who work in large facilities needing lots of creative workstation seats and seek to use both types of cabling.
Software development companies should take note of the new PureCM 2009-1, a Software Configuration Management (SCM) solution that controls, tracks and visualizes changes to digital assets. PureCM facilitates software development in team environments, accommodating best practices, such as task-based version control, parallel development and build automation. One key new feature involves greater advance insight into and control of changes that need merging. Merge conflicts also can be resolved pre-integration using a visual resolve tool. A second key feature is a new and simplified cross-platform GUI, allowing developers to see on which files their colleagues are currently working within their private workspace. They also can preview their completed changes before integrating them automatically into the workspace. PureCM is cross-platform for Linux, Mac OS and Windows, and it offers native integration with Eclipse and Visual Studio.
Greening your computing experience keeps getting easier, thanks to the efforts of companies like ASUS, whose new VH Series LCD monitors garnered a Gold rating under the EPEAT environmental standard. The VH series offers five models with screen sizes ranging from 20"–24". Each model has been certified by the EPEAT organization, which evaluates PCs based on their environmental attributes. EPEAT's standards demand exceptional performance in areas such as reduction or elimination of hazardous materials, design for end of life, product longevity, resource conservation, end-of-life management, corporate performance and packaging. Gold is EPEAT's highest rating. ASUS says that with the VH monitor series, it perfected new manufacturing techniques to reduce mercury and utilize post-consumer recycled plastic without affecting product performance and reliability.
If you're laid off or stuck in a dead-end career, Andy Lester's new book Land the Tech Job You Love from Pragmatic Bookshelf may land you a gig that springs you out of bed each morning. The book will help techies learn the job-search techniques that work for finding an fulfilling career. Lester claims that we techies have a tougher time finding and winning the right job, because companies are ever-more demanding and our competition is smart, tech-savvy and resourceful. The reader will learn skills such as how to uncover hidden jobs that never get publicized, perform effective social networking, craft an effective résumé, understand the mindset of hiring managers and perform well in interviews. The book is further peppered with real-life stories about what works and hilarious tales of what doesn't.
If your dream job means saying adiós to your boss and running your own show, pick up Aaron Erickson's new book The Nomadic Developer: Surviving and Thriving in the World of Technology Consulting, published by Addison-Wesley. Making a living as a technology consultant has its pros and cons, and author Erickson first helps readers assess whether it's their ideal career path. Should readers decide to choose to become (or continue as) consultants, Erickson presents a guide to success in the field. He explains issues such as how to break into the business and build a career path, understand the mechanics of consultancies and avoid the traps of unscrupulous ones, master secret consulting success tips, add more value than competitors, enhance professional development and build a personal brand. Erickson and other battle-worn consultants also offer the lessons they learned from years in the trenches.
The Linux community's favorite office suite, OpenOffice.org, continues its forward progress with the latest 3.1 release. New overall features include improved screen appearance due to anti-aliasing, easier dragging and placement of graphics and improved file locking. New features in Writer include overlining (and not just underlining) and better comment functionality. New to Calc are a zoom slider, formula hints and improved sorting. New to Base are SQL syntax highlighting and the ability to a complete database application by including macros and scripts within a Base document. OpenOffice.org's supported platforms are Linux, Solaris, Mac OS and Windows.
Virident recently released a new class of servers, which the firm says “is the first to be designed with the Internet in mind”. The GreenCloud Server Family is optimized to deliver high-performance, as well as energy- and cost-efficient computing for data-centric, query-rich applications that predominate in the Internet data center. The first two members of the product line are GreenCloud Server for MySQL and for Memcached. Each server is based on the GreenCloud Architecture, which, says Virident, transforms an industry-standard server into a data-centric “in-memory server platform”. The architecture allows applications to “directly interact with large volumes of data hosted in memory tightly integrated into the CPU complex, which ensures optimal utilization of all server elements—compute, memory and I/O”. The resulting “Storage Class Memory”, a new memory tier that bridges the performance and persistence gap between main memory and mass storage in traditional server architectures, works in tandem with a co-optimized software stack within an industry-standard x86 server platform. The result, says Virident, is “orders of magnitude higher performance and previously unattainable capabilities to data-centric applications”.
And the award for most visually stimulating company name goes to JetBrains, who recently released version 4.5 of TeamCity, a distributed build management and continuous integration tool. JetBrains says that with TeamCity, one can set up a build server within minutes and enjoy out-of-the-box continuous unit testing, code-quality analysis and early reporting on build problems—all without leaving the IDE. Furthermore, TeamCity is “the place to find all kinds of information about your projects—from their current status and health, to the detailed change history with metrics and statistical trends”. The company also cites TeamCity's gentle learning curve that allows users to improve release management practices quickly by gradually adopting its advanced features and capabilities. New in version 4.5 are improved integration with Visual Studio and Eclipse with added support for VCS systems, and enterprise-level features, such as user groups and LDAP support, and multiple UI improvements.
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