For a number of reasons, I was recently "forced" to work on an Apple machine for longer than I would have liked. Don't get me wrong: I like OS X, and I think there is a great deal the open source community can learn from it. However, it doesn't seem to be geared up for people like me: 11000 emails literally kill Apple Mail, for example; or, spotlight can be fine for a small home-user folder, but try it on my home directory...
What have I learned from my Apple experience? I learned the power of integration. It's clear that there is very, very little "code duplication" in OS X. For example, the text editor you get in pretty much every Apple program (Apple Mail, TextEditor, and pretty much everything else with an editor in it) is clearly always the same one. This could be considered an implementation detail, but I can tell you that users notice it, because everything is so consistent.
Back in the days of the Apple ][, Apple recognized the advantage of getting their systems into schools. Microsoft later ran with the idea as well. It's both a good idea for the companies and the grants and discounts are good for the schools. While there have been some progress made getting Linux into schools, tuXlab looks like it may be an important part of the future.
The project is to get Linux systems into primary schools in South Africa. You will likely not be surprised to find that Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Edubuntu fame is involved. The project is derived from the Xubuntu and Edubuntu projects and is now deployed in 200 primary schools in South Africa. Plans are to provide a complete distribution that can be installed in other locations in early 2007.
For anyone interested in the bleeding edge in Kubuntu and Ubuntu Linux systems, the first alpha release of Feisty Fawn is now available. This is far from ready for prime time on the average desktop but it is a chance to see what is happening.
You can see the details and, if you wish, download it here. The final release is due out in April 2007.
Cory Doctorow recently wrote this article. It is a bit of a scary read. Microsoft has been trying to prevent the world from reading and writing their documents for years now. In fact, maybe I could even say "decades" (!). The scary part, is that this time it looks like they are just about to manage.
Trusted computing has been slipping into our motherboards for quite a while. A lot of us felt that something nasty - really nasty - would eventually happen. File formats, and the ability to lock people in, is absolutely crucial to Microsoft. Now... here we are. some nasty could indeed be about to happen.
Generally my posts here are in the form of information or answers. This one is really a question. I have been thinking about this problem for quite some time and looking for a solution and finally realized it made perfect sense to ask here. If I don't get a good answer, I will have to build my own and I will share the results with you folks.
I have a few hundred logins for various things. They include different things for TUX-related stuff such as my login to our computers, root access information, database user information and even this web site. I then have multiple email accounts and logins on different computers at home. Add to that login information for web sites where I have accounts--from freshmeat.net to powells.com. While some of this is remembered by my KDE wallet, all can't be and I am not always accessing these sites from this machine.
In my past life (ok, about 34 years ago) I was a Systems Programmer. I worked for what was the world's largest independent software company, Computer Sciences Corporation. In 1972 I moved to Richland, Washington to do systems programming work for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation where CSC had the contract to run the computer center.
This was back in the time of card punches and multi-million dollar mainframe computers. One of my responsibilities was to upgrade and maintain what was called the "premium billed library". This was a set of programs running on a Univac 1108 mainframe where the users were charged a royalty to pay for the cost of the software.
Issue number 20, December 2006, of TUX now is available. Subscribers, you can download this issue here or simply follow the Download TUX button on the right to download the current issue. If you're not yet a TUX subscriber, consider subscribing today for instant access to this issue and many more!
I have been at least playing with computers for over 40 years and earning my living from them for over 35. Yeah, that statement scared me as much as it probably scared you but my point is that I have seen a lot of computing and a lot of changes over the years.
As for the *ix/*ux world, I have been using Unix-like systems for 25 years and Linux for half of that. So I guess I have a bit of Linux-specific experience. But, for most of my Linux life, Linux has been a programming environment, a tool to send and receive email, run applications used in my business or just generally do, pardon the four letter word, work.
Thunderbird beyond the Basics by Dmitri Popov was reprinted from TUX Magazine issue number 18
Thunderbird is so straightforward in use that most users never touch its more-advanced features. But, even if you don't consider yourself a Thunderbird power user, you might want to take a closer look at the tools it has to offer. Chances are you can dramatically improve your e-mailing habits.
Issue number 19, November 2006, of TUX now is available. Subscribers, you can download this issue here or simply follow the Download TUX button on the right to download the current issue. If you're not yet a TUX subscriber, consider subscribing today for instant access to this issue and many more!