Software

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For Open-Source Software, the Developers Are All of Us

"We are stronger together than on our own." This is a core principle that many people adhere to in their daily lives. Whether we are overcoming adversity, fighting the powers that be, protecting our livelihoods or advancing our business strategy, this mantra propels people and ideas to success.
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Heirloom Software: the Past as Adventure

Through the years, I've spent what might seem to some people an inordinate amount of time cleaning up and preserving ancient software. My Retrocomputing Museum page archives any number of computer languages and games that might seem utterly obsolete.
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SoftMaker FreeOffice

The bottom line on SoftMaker FreeOffice 2016—the updated, free, full-featured Office alternative to the expensive Microsoft Office suite—is this: no other free off
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The Usability of GNOME

I work at a university, and one of our faculty members often repeats to me, "Software needs to be like a rock; it needs to be that easy to use." And, she's right. Because if software is too hard to use, no one will want to use it.
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Designing Electronics with Linux

In many scientific disciplines, the research you may be doing is completely new. It may be so new that there isn't even any instrumentation available to make your experimental measurements. In those cases, you have no choice but to design and build your own measuring devices.
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Trying to Tame the Tablet

Like many folks, I received a shiny new Nexus 7 tablet for Christmas. This brought me great joy and excitement as I began to plot my future paperless life. For most of the evening and an hour or so the next day, I was sure the new Android tablet would change my life forever. Sadly, it wasn't that easy.
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Interfacing Disparate Systems

When hearing the word interface, most people probably think of a Graphical User Interface or a physical hardware interface (serial, USB). If you dabble in scripting or are a serious developer, you, no doubt, are familiar with the concept of software interfaces as well.
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Fade In Pro

When I switched from Windows to Linux, I found software to replace almost everything I had been doing in Windows. Most of the software I needed was in the repos, although I did pay for a couple commercial programs.
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Astronomy on the Desktop

Many people's initial exposure to science is through astronomy, and they are inspired by that first look through a telescope or their first glimpse of a Hubble image. Several software packages are available for the Linux desktop that allow users to enjoy their love of the stars. I look at several packages in this article that should be available for most distributions.
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You Need A Budget

This time of year is often rough on finances, and although there are many money-management tools available for Linux, none are quite like You Need A Budget, or YNAB for short. Unlike traditional budgeting programs, YNAB focuses on a few simple rules to help you get out of debt and, more important, to see where your money is going.
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Basic Chemistry on the GNOME Desktop

I've realized I've missed out on a huge area of computational science—chemistry. Many packages exist for doing chemistry on your desktop. This article looks at a general tool called avogadro. It can do computations of energy and gradient values. Additionally, it can do analysis of molecular systems, interface to GAMESS and import and export from and to several file formats.
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Short Notices: News In Linux Audio

I hope all my readers enjoyed the best of the holiday season. I've been busy with the predictable confusions and minor crises that attend this time of year, but I managed to find time to jot down some recommendations for my readers. Go on, you've been good, give yourself a few extra belated gifts and don't worry if your budget's busted - it's all free software, you can't beat these deals.
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Four Hidden Tools in Scribus

Scribus is a powerful tool, but its menus are poorly laid-out. While you can usually find the features you most frequently use without any trouble, others may be hidden almost anywhere. From the Extras, Script, and Windows menus to the Document Setup dialog, useful features can be positioned almost anywhere, with only the most token regard for logic.
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Exporting to PDF in Scribus

PDF format is essential to Scribus. Although Scribus can produce perfectly good content for the web, it is designed to produced high-quality printed material, and PDF is the standard format at most printing houses, aside from the occasional one that still prefers Postscript.
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ClearOS

All-in-one Linux-based network servers aren't a new concept. Distributions like Clark Connect have been around for many years and fit their niche quite well. Lately, however, there seems to be a new batch of all-in-one solutions that offer a similar business model.
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Computer-Aided Engineering in Linux

Engineers are some of the heaviest number-crunchers around. If you are a grad student, post doc or undergrad, you usually get whatever is lying around as your work machine. Also, depending on how inflexible your local IT department is, you may be forced to use one of the commercial operating systems around these days.
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An Arch Tale

Dave needs a new 64-bit Linux for his primary audio production machine. What shall he do ? Read on to learn how and why he decided upon the Arch Linux distribution.