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Windows’ days may be numbered

Practical Technology - Mon, 11/08/2008 - 10:41pm
Could Microsoft be switching away from Windows? Some very interesting documents have been leaking out of Microsoft. They clearly indicate, believe it or not, that Microsoft is considering shifting its users from Windows to a new operating system: Midori. And, when I say “new,” I mean new. This isn’t the kind of lip-service change that we saw [...]

Giving an old Windows hand some Linux advice

Practical Technology - Mon, 11/08/2008 - 5:20pm
I see my colleague Preston Gralla is looking for the best Linux for a Windows pro. That’s a good question with several good answers. Preston’s son Gabe gave him some excellent advice when he recommended Wubi. This is the Windows’ world easiest Linux installer. With it, you install Ubuntu 8.04 just like it was any other [...]

Three things the Linux desktops needs to do to beat Windows

Practical Technology - Fri, 08/08/2008 - 5:41pm
San Francisco, Calif.–While at LinuxWorld at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, I chaired the panel on what the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that are pre-installing Linux on their PCs are up to and I attended another panel on what the Linux desktop architects have planned. One theme that showed up at both functions is: [...]

Linux Foundation launches killer development tool

Practical Technology - Thu, 07/08/2008 - 5:57pm
Ask any independent software vendor what he hates most about developing for Linux and he’ll tell you that it’s having to develop for SUSE and for Red Hat and for Ubuntu and … you get the idea. The Linux Foundation has just released a beta of a new program, Linux Application Checker (AppChecker), that’s going [...]

Ubuntu Goes Enterprise

Practical Technology - Wed, 06/08/2008 - 5:59pm
San Francisco, Calif.—Ubuntu is well known in user circles as the cool kids’ Linux. It’s available pre-installed on PCs and laptops from Dell and from numerous smaller computer vendors. What Ubuntu hasn’t been known as is a Linux distribution that matters to CIOs and IT managers. Things are changing. Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is finally taking [...]

Back to Debian: Freespire returns to Debian Roots

Practical Technology - Wed, 06/08/2008 - 5:52pm
When Linspire was bought by Xandros, everyone expected changes. No one expected Xandros to decide to switch Freespire back to Debian from Ubuntu but that’s exactly what’s happened. Xandros, the Linux desktop company that supplies Asus with its UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) Linux,, announced that the next generation of Xandros community-driven Linux Freespire 5 will [...]

Would you buy a Microsoft-less desktop?

Practical Technology - Wed, 06/08/2008 - 2:47am
IBM, in partnership with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu; Red Hat; and Novell are hoping that the answer is yes. For me, that’s a no-brainer. Windows has long been more trouble than its worth. Since Microsoft seems to be seriously considering dumping Windows, it seems they agree with me. So, IBM and Linux friends are suggesting [...]

Fedora on a stick

Practical Technology - Tue, 05/08/2008 - 9:08pm
Fedora 9 now lets you create a bootable Linux distribution on a flash drive with persistence. In other words, you can not only boot any PC that will accept USB drive booting into Linux, you can even boot into your own personal desktop. Now, that can be useful. Perhaps the easiest way to set up your [...]

What to expect in Debian 5: Lenny

Practical Technology - Tue, 05/08/2008 - 3:19pm
Debian took a giant step forward recently towards releasing the next version of Debian, Lenny, by freezing the codebase. Now, the only major things standing between the next release of the popular Linux distribution are “fixes for release critical bugs” and “fixes for severity.” There are several hundreds bugs left to smash before Lenny is released, [...]

Five Things Linus Torvalds Has Learned About Managing Software Projects

Practical Technology - Tue, 05/08/2008 - 2:17pm
Linus Torvalds needs no introduction in operating systems or open-source circles. He’s the creator, muse and chief developer of the Linux operating system. Torvalds started Linux while he was in college in 1991. Today, Linux is the foundation of multibillion-dollar companies including Oracle, Novell and Red Hat. It’s used on computers from small office [...]

Ballmer makes McCain look bright when it comes to technology

Practical Technology - Mon, 04/08/2008 - 3:51pm
It’s the fashion in some circles these days to make fun of John McCain because he can barely use the Internet. While he hasn’t described it as a bunch of “tubes,” that honor belongs to Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, McCain is an analog kind of guy in a digital world. Still, no one really [...]

New Linux Foundation Meeting for End-Users

Practical Technology - Fri, 01/08/2008 - 10:01pm
The Linux Foundation has had several public meetings before, but they were really only for Linux developers and their best friends. Now, the Foundation is holding one for end-users: the Linux Foundation End User Collaboration Summit. The meeting will be held on October 13 and 14th at the Desmond Tutu Center in New York City. [...]

Microsoft has serious plans to do away with Windows

Practical Technology - Fri, 01/08/2008 - 3:13pm
It’s one thing to have a skunkworks operating system project, Midori, that could conceivably replace Windows. It’s another to actually have plans on how to switch users from Windows to Midori. Guess what? Microsoft actually does have such plans. According to David Worthington, Microsoft isn’t only building a Windows replacement operating system, its “carefully conceptualizing a [...]

Linux User Here

Practical Technology - Wed, 30/07/2008 - 10:00pm
Color me surprised. Dana Blankenhorn, a well-known writer about Linux and open source recently asked for someone—anyone–to send him a loaner Linux laptop to replace his now dead Windows laptop. What, he didn’t already have one? Now, you can write about stuff that you don’t actually do yourself. After all, how many sports writers could even [...]

Is Microsoft getting ready to kill Windows?

Practical Technology - Wed, 30/07/2008 - 4:38pm
No, I’m not talking about killing Vista. Microsoft is already burying that living dead operating system as fast it can. I’m talking about killing Windows itself. That’s the conclusion I’ve drawn from David Worthington’s story about Microsoft’s plans for Midori, a next generation operating system. According to Worthington, who managed to get his hands on Microsoft’s [...]

Integrating Linux into Active Directory keeps getting easier

Practical Technology - Tue, 29/07/2008 - 11:24pm
Likewise Software has released a new, open-source version of its eponymous AD (Active Directory) program for integrating Linux, Unix and Mac systems into AD. Likewise Fall includes two main features. The most important, LWIS (Likewise Identity Services) enables you to use Active Directory Authentication for your Linux, Unix and Mac PCs. Likewise states that LWIS [...]

KDE 4.1 still isn’t for me

Practical Technology - Tue, 29/07/2008 - 10:50pm
A new version of one of the two major Linux desktops, KDE and GNOME, came out today: KDE 4.1 While I don’t hate it, I don’t see myself switching over from KDE 3.5.9 either. That said, I will say KDE 4.1 is an improvement over the last 4.x version. I hated 4.04. I disliked it so [...]

Could Microsoft actually be getting an open-source clue?

Practical Technology - Mon, 28/07/2008 - 11:20pm
I couldn’t make it to OSCON last week in Portland, OR, but I have read the announcements that Sam Ramji, the director of Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab, made at this open-source software show. They were the friendliest things I’ve ever seen come out of Microsoft towards open source. The first announcement, that Microsoft was contributing [...]

Atheros becomes Linux friendlier

Practical Technology - Sun, 27/07/2008 - 11:13pm
Linux overcame most of its former driver woes years ago except for one noticeable exception: Wi-Fi drivers. While many Wi-Fi cards and chipsets were Linux friendly, two major Wi-Fi chipset vendors, Atheros and Broadcom, kept their drivers proprietary. Now, things are changing. Atheros has released a true open-source driver for its latest 802.11n chipsets. Madwifi.org, an [...]

Steve Jobs is healthy

Practical Technology - Sun, 27/07/2008 - 1:09am
Jobs is basically healthy. That’s good news. After weeks of rumors about his health going downhill or perhaps a reoccurrence of cancer, Jobs took the unusual step of calling a New York Times reporter to tell him ‘off the record’ that “While his health problems amounted to a good deal more than ‘a common bug,’ they [...]

Is OpenSolaris in hot water?

Practical Technology - Fri, 25/07/2008 - 9:36pm
Here’s how it works: Novell owns Unix’s IP (intellectual property). SCO sold Unix’s IP to Sun. Sun then included some Unix IP into Solaris. Finally, Sun open sourced Solaris as OpenSolaris. Sounds like trouble, doesn’t it? While Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps described the line of logic above as “sheer speculation,” others see a [...]

How Dell is making Ubuntu more attractive

Practical Technology - Fri, 25/07/2008 - 3:19pm
Dell was the first of the major computer manufacturers to support pre-installed Linux, but it’s not just pre-installing Linux. The Austin, Tex. company is also adding functionality to Ubuntu Linux on its desktops and laptops. Dell began adding extra features last December when it added DVD-playback to its systems shipping with Ubuntu 7.10. Ordinary Linux can [...]

DNS Patching Time Was Yesterday

Practical Technology - Thu, 24/07/2008 - 7:31pm
You did patch your Linux servers with the new DNS patch didn’t you? Well, if you haven’t, get on it. Now. The genie is out of the bottle. According to Robert McMillan in PC World, the creators of the Metasploit hacking toolkit have included a viable DNS server attack in their ‘penetration testing toolkit.” They can [...]

The two essential Firefox extensions

Practical Technology - Thu, 24/07/2008 - 7:16pm
Firefox 3 is good. Firefox 3, plus the right extensions, is great. Now, a lot of people publish lists of ‘best’ extensions. It’s quick and easy to make these lists. One difference between my list and some of those “99 Must Have, Best Firefox Extensions!” is that is the real list of the extensions that I [...]

Vista Adoption going no-where, IT considering Linux and Mac instead

Practical Technology - Wed, 23/07/2008 - 7:06pm
KACE, a systems management appliance company, announced that their recent survey of IT administrators showed that 60 percent of them have no plans to deploy Vista. That’s almost 10% more turning their backs on Vista then in KACE’s last survey in November 2007 . According to the company press release, “42 percent of them said [...]

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