Desktop

Fast Is Hot

Last month, we reported here about Splashtop, which starts a laptop in only a few seconds. Since then, Splashtop reportedly has found its way into the Lenovo IdeaPad S10e and the ASUS Eee PC.

OpenOffice.org Base: Creating basic databases and tables

When databases became available for the personal computer in the mid-1980s, they quickly gained a mystique as the ultimate productivity applications. Despite their widespread use, in some ways they have never lost that mystique -- so much so that many desktop users will stretch the use of spreadsheets to cumbersome lengths rather than consider setting up a database.

Kuklomenos—Weird Space Shooter?

Kuklomenos has to be one of the weirdest games I've ever come across. I'm not doing a full review here, because I simply can't figure it out! If you want to compile it, go right ahead; it's easy with the usual ./configure, make, make install routine. But, once you get into the game, be prepared to be puzzled.

OpenOffice.org: Knowing when to use Impress

With Labour Day past, we back in the season of slide shows -- million of them daily in both academia and business. For over a decade now, slide shows have become an accepted prop for public speaking, regardless of whether they are useful or well-designed, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. You can, of course, just acquiesce and accept that as soon as you click to the first slide, most of your audience will sigh deeply and sit back low in their chairs. But, if you really want to make slide shows work for you, you'll think before opening up the Impress wizard.

OpenOffice.org Impress: Using Master Slides

The Master view in Impress is the equivalent of page styles in Writer. It's the view where you can set elements of design that appear throughout your presentation, such as the slide background and foreground colors, any reoccurring elements, and the fonts. By creating the master slides you need before you add content, you can automate your work and free yourself to focus on content.

Google Gadgets for Linux

Google Gadgets for Linux are simple HTML and JavaScript applications that can be embedded in web pages and other applications. By all accounts, Gadget support for Linux was a major undertaking for the Google team as it is an entire platform for mini applications.

Exploring Space with Celestia

I, as well as my 4 year old son, have always had an interest in Astronomy. My son puts planet puzzles together and looks at picture books. I'm proud to say that he can name all the planets in order, and astonished to realize that he knows that Pluto isn't considered a planet anymore. I've read books on Astronomy; I've been to planetariums and observatories.

Automating the creation of slide shows in OpenOffice.org

Why do you need an article on building slide shows in Impress? You don't, in one sense, because the application is simple enough for anyone who has ever seen a slide show to figure out. If you want, you can just plunge in and learn by doing. However, if you take the time to learn, you'll find that OpenOffice.org has two tools to help you organize and automate the process -- and, ultimately, to help you save time.

OpenOffice.org Template Collections

Stubbornly, OpenOffice.org continues to ship with only a handful of templates. Despite the efforts of several sub-projects and individuals to change the situation, the standard OpenOffice.org download includes only a couple of slide show presentations and a few templates to accompany the wizards available in the file menu. This lack of templates is a serious handicap for many users, and often leaves a poor impression on new users who are accustomed to the selection of templates found in other office suites.

It's Not About the Distro

This summer, I'm changing our entire 250+ workstation infrastructure from Fedora to Edubuntu. Under the hood, our computers will be very, very different. Not a single one of my users, however, will notice.

Linux On The Desktop: Who Cares!

Every so often, you read on Slashdot, Digg, or some other techie news site that Linux is finally ready for the desktop. It's finally to the point that any end user could sit down at a computer and happily compute away. The applications are sufficiently sanitized and Windows-like that even Grandma can use them.

LTSP 5 - Making Thin Clients Phat

Last year, I wrote about our school district's implementation of LTSP. In the article, I pointed out the significant limitations a thin client environment gives you. While I don't think my article was the reason the issues were addressed, less than a year later just about every limitation I highlighted has been eradicated.