Billed as the open-source competitor to Microsoft Access, Kexi provides a rapid application development tool for database systems. Reprinted from TUX Magazine issue number 15.
Although for many the OpenOffice.org Base application is an obvious choice for building a desktop database application, it's not the only game in town. Kexi (http://www.kexi-project.org), a relatively new member of the KOffice family, allows you to create simple databases without learning all the intricacies of database development.
How a Database Works
Although you don't have to be a database guru to create databases with Kexi, you must have some basic knowledge of how databases work. This will help you not only to build better applications, but also will save you from spending hours fixing poorly designed databases.
Declare your independence from proprietary software (Or how to break the habit of proprietary software)
As we celebrate Independence Day here in the United States, it is a perfect time to ponder on the importance of words such as freedom and liberty. I find the passion and emotion most people feel about their computers (and the software they use) very interesting and confusing. We develop close relationships with our computers. He become accustomed to their idiosyncrasies as we would with any other person we might have in our lives. And once we get comfortable with them, we find it very difficult to let go of the habits we form with them.
So it is quite easy to get into the habit of using proprietary software and not realize how attached we become to that software. Some might feel we are fortunate and privileged when it comes to our computers. However, what some might feel is fortune and comfort, others might seem as control and abuse. Just as some back in 1770, might have seen the taxes enacted by the British as just and acceptable. For many I'm sure their lives were very comfortable and based on the easy way things were. However, thanks to leaders in the American revolution, they had the foresight to see where these habits and customs were leading and decided to revolt against the powers to be.
In my previous article I examined the first of two options available to people who currently use Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, or Windows Millennium and face a potentially tough decision following Microsoft's decision to retire these operating systems. In this continuation I set the stage for purchasing your new machine and encourage your consideration of buying a Linux computer when buying a newer more powerful machine.
Now before you rush off and order the hottest new model featured in all of the Dell advertisements, let me tell you why you should buy a new machine with Linux pre-installed at the supplier. We have covered many of the technical reasons why you should choose Linux, and I won't repeat them here. I'd like to focus instead on some reasons that are pertinent to Windows users that are considering the switch to Linux. One perspective you should seriously consider is committing completely to Linux with your new machine. Instead of considering a double boot configuration, consider switching completely and ordering a machine with Linux pre-installed.
Issue number 15, July 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!
In addition to my interest in Linux and all things Free and Open Source Software, I'm also interested in entrepreneurship. Over the last year I've been involved with a couple of failed start-ups. A start-up is a business that is in the initial planning, early development, or build-up phase to significant revenues. It is a time which is very stressful for the principals involved with the new business, and it is usually a time when the company typically doesn't have a lot of money laying around. This means that the few people involved in the business have to fill multiple hats. So while they might be the web master for the company web site, they might also maintain the web site, as well as provide support to all of the computers and networks in the company. It also means that there are many demands on the funds the company does have. So spending those funds wisely is often the difference between the fledgling company failing in bankruptcy or beating the odds and becoming a successful company. One area that I know could benefit more companies is by using free and open source software instead of purchasing proprietary software. Many entrepreneurship experts are already starting to recognize the significant reduction in cost for starting a business today as opposed to past eras, especially during the Internet boom. Linux and FOSS are at the core of the reasons why this significant reduction took place. Let's explore three ways Linux and FOSS make this possible.
When I received a comment on my last article "An evolution of my advice for getting started with Linux" saying why virtualization was not an option for people still running Windows 98, I wasn't sure what to think. However, when I found this article on Bruce Perens' "Slashdot for Grown-Ups", Technocrat.net, while writing my editorial this month I couldn't stop thinking about the connection between the two incidents.
As I have said before in my column, one of the biggest misconceptions in the Information Technology (IT) industry is that technology is replaceable. When a company like Dell or Microsoft makes a new product, they are hoping for many existing customers to replace perfectly good products with new ones. Within corporate IT a purchasing manager will hear a constant stream of promises that this technology or that technology will make some other technology obsolete. Within software development shops there is always a lot of debate and discussion about changing tools and languages, and the primary point of discussion is that the new tool or language will provide significant improvements and ultimately replace the previous technology.
This article explains in detail how to utilize the extensive Help resources found in SUSE Linux, as well as how to use many standard commands. It is a actually a book chapter, entitled "Getting Help" from a new book called Linux Starter Kit: Everything you need to start using Linux today.. The book's author is Emmett Dulaney; its publisher is Sams Publishing. It consists of a full DVD version of SUSE Linux 10.1 and a Quick Start guide. The Linux Starter Kit is available at booksellers now.
Those who are new to the operating system often complain of the legions of commands that exist and how you must know when to use this one or that one and what options/parameters to use with it. The truth of the matter is that it is extremely rare to find a utility or feature that is not well documented in at least one location.
Today I decided to install Kubuntu Dapper Drake from scratch. While I have been running versions for months this is my first full install of the final release.
I downloaded and burned the DVD version. I booted it up on my old IBM T20 ThinkPad. My first surprise was that it was taking a long time to start up. Eventually, I understood why. It is really a live CD that gets itself up and running with no user questions. That surprised me but what surprised me more was the Install icon on the desktop. Ok, I get it now.
An announcement about the Venezuelan government offering free software classes was posted a mailing list I am on. It was reproduced from a government web site and said that Open Source Software courses were to begin on Monday.
Issue number 14, June 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!