Guarddog Firewall Configuration

This article by Phil Barnett was published in TUX Magazine, issue 5.

While Linux is more secure against an invasion over the Internet, more is not necessarily enough. A firewall, software that allows you fine-grained control over your connection in and out of your computer, is the next step in increasing security. While Linux has had built-in firewalling software for many years, configuration of that software was a combination of a lot of research and some cryptic commands.

fyl - Thu, 2007-01-18 06:06.

Why Piracy Hurts Open Source

This article by John Knight first appeared in TUX Magazine Issue 4.

We all know someone who has stolen software. Ok, I guess we like to say "borrowed a copy" or "are using a copy that belongs to a friend". We commonly hear this justified by saying "Bill Gates has plenty of money" or "I don't really like the software anyway".

All that is one side of the piracy issue. In the attached article, John looks at this from a different direction.

fyl - Wed, 2007-01-17 07:47.

Which Linux Distribution?

One of the most asked questions is which Linux distribution should I use. Every time it is asked, we explain that there is no one correct answer. That is, what is best for one type of computer, one type of user, one set of uses and such is not necessarily the right answer for another.

The obvious questions are:

  • Which desktop environment do you want to use?
  • What type of computer do you have?
fyl - Mon, 2007-01-15 14:47.

Touring the GIMP

This article by Michael J. Hammel originally appeared in Issue 1 of TUX Magazine

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (the GIMP) has been called "Photoshop for Linux". While the GIMP is not just for Linux and is not an Adobe Photoshop clone, it is a very powerful image manipulation program. It is clearly on the other end of the spectrum from TuxPaint as far as capabilities.

In this first article, Micheal offers a tour of the cabilities. If you are like me, the GIMP seemed intimidating because it has so many capabilities. This article will help you get more comfortable with all the possible things you can do without getting buried in details. In subsequent articles we will explore some specific capabilities.

Download the attached PDF.

fyl - Mon, 2007-01-15 08:13.

Tux Paint for Kids

This article by William Kendrick and Melissa Hardenbrook was originally published in TUX Issue 3.

TuxPaint is a paint program for kids. That doesn't mean it has not capabilities but, rather, it is just very kid-friendly. A combination of visual prompts and sounds make it something that will both entertain kids for hours and actually allow them to create something they might want to save.

This article talks about installation and configuration and then shows you what TuxPaint can do for anyone not ready to try to understand the ins and outs of the GIMP.

Download the attached PDF.

fyl - Sat, 2007-01-13 18:17.

The Cuts and Pastes of Productivity

Written by Scott Stahl, this article originally appeared in Issue 2 of TUX Magazine. is probably the most popular office application for the Linux desktop. It also continues to become more and more popular on other platforms including Microsoft Windows.

In this basic article, Scott Stahl shows you how to increase your productivity by using cut, copy and paste plus the all-important undo. If you think cut and paste is limited to text, this article is a must read. Download the attached PDF file.

fyl - Fri, 2007-01-12 16:47.

Does Your Browser Work?

The World Wide Web and the HTML markup language have evolved, which has presented a challenge for people writing Web browser software.

Some Web sites offer a label that says, “optimized for Internet Explorer” or “optimized for Netscape Navigator”. Generally, what this label really means is that the Web site is not standards-compliant and may not work properly in other browsers.

fyl - Wed, 2007-01-10 20:17.

Samba for Windows File Sharing

While TUX is a HowTo magazine about Linux, we are not isolationist. That is, while you may have a Linux system it is typical that you will need to access files on other systems--the most typical being one running Microsoft Windows. A package called Samba is included in virtually every Linux distribution to make it possible for you to share files.

Linux systems now come with graphical tools to both access shares as Microsoft likes to call them and to configure file sharing in general. They are easy to use once you understand all the buzzwords and all the capabilities but seem a bit complicated because you have buzzwords of both your Linux system and your Microsoft system.

fyl - Tue, 2007-01-09 09:51.

Rip Your Audio Files Down to Size with KAudioCreator

Written by James Gray, this article originally appeared in TUX Issue 1.

Audio CDs were a great step up from the 12 inch LP. You get more audio of better quality in less space. The only reall loss is you no longer have the nice 12 inch album covers to look at. So, great but can you do better than a CD? Well, the answer is yes and James tells you how.

When CDs were initially created a simple format was chosen to keep the cost of CD players low. Since then, however, technology has advanced substantially. That means that a compressed format can be used to store the information and the player can decode that information. The three formats talked about are MP3, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC.

fyl - Sun, 2007-01-07 18:15.

My Password Manager

A while back I asked a question here about software to manage logins and passwords ( I appreciate all the answers and pretty much tried everything that was offered. Well, I now have a very different solution than I expected. Mainly, it taught me to better define the problem before looking for the solution.

fyl - Sat, 2007-01-06 15:51.