Tag Archive for 'FOSS'

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Sourceforging ahead

At work we develop two open source Java applications, Xena and DPR, both of which we host on Sourceforge under CVS. I’ve been pushing to move away from CVS for quite some time now, but it hasn’t gained much traction. This has been mostly due to the lack of a decent Eclipse plugin and partly because of developer apathy. The other day I noticed that Sourceforge enabled support for Git, my favourite SCM system. Today I came across an article saying that they will now provide support for Bazaar and Mercurial also. Sweet.


Truly happy Linux people couldn’t care less about Microsoft whatsoever. Instead, they just get down to business and make things work. Whether it’s for desktop, laptop, media center use or what-have-you, instead of bickering about Microsoft they’re getting things done, which of course is what matters the most…You can find happy Linux users that say nothing of Microsoft because it simply doesn’t matter.

I agree.

I think some of us are too busy trying to convert the world and unless we scream and shout about how bad Microsoft is, we feel we can’t change anything. But we can, just by doing what we do. You can still talk to people about Free Software, still compare it to Microsoft, but it’s the childish antics that no-one appreciates.

Linux as a New Year’s Resolution

Ash Pringle from zmogo has posted his final day and conclusion to his New Year Linux Resolution.

What I like:

* The speed: This is something I haven’t really mentioned before, but Linux is fast. I didn’t even notice until I went back and used my stupid Windows PC, which apparently confers to an international committee that must perform an arduous deliberation about whether to open Firefox every time I click the icon. Every operating system should run this fast.

* The comprehensive antivirus software: Which doesn’t exist because Linux doesn’t need it! Half the reason my Windows PC is so slow is because my antivirus software performs an unwarranted anal cavity search on every program I even think about running. It defeats the purpose of even having antivirus software, since it makes my computer run just as slow as if it were bogged down with all the junk it protects me from. With Linux there are no worries about that sort of thing, and it brings quite a peace of mind.

* The fire-writing desktop effect: How did I not notice this earlier? There is nothing more potent than the ability to write on your desktop in pure fire. Although I kind of half expect my computer to start sending me creepy messages about unsolved murders if I leave this effect on.

* The cost: Nothing! It’s, like, totally free! Like, free as hell, man. Its free-ness is akin to the freedom of not wearing pants when you’re home alone. If it were any free-er it would probably give you money.

* The clock: It lets you show you the calendar date, and even the weather! I could never understand why XP and the Mac OS never let you show the calendar date next to the time. It’s a little thing, but it’s those sorts of little details that make an operating system that much nicer. I mean, I don’t have to double click on the calendar hanging on my wall to check the date, do I Microsoft? Get with the times! (Pun totally intended, even though it’s really not very good.)

* File name-changes: When you change a file’s name Ubuntu doesn’t highlight the file’s extension. This is another detail that just shows the developers’ attention to usability. Give me one reason why I’d want to change the extension of a file every time I changed it’s name, XP. What’s that? That’s right, you can’t give me any reasons. Now go to your room!

* The pre-loaded software: Every operating system ought to come with basic office tools and programs. It just makes sense.

* The Add/Remove Programs application: Another feature that just makes sense. Hey other operating systems, why not include the option to quickly and easily obtain useful applications? Are you trying to hide something from us? Now go to your room!

* The soft purr of Sir Alphonso, my incredibly fat cat: As it eats three-day-old cheetos off my floor. Aw, you probabwy have diabwetes. Yes you do! Yes you do!



Crossover for FREE!

Wine’s pretty good these days. On its own it can install and run programs like Microsoft Office under Linux. This is thanks, in part, to contributions made to the Wine project from the Codeweavers gang.

Their flagship product, Crossover, is a commercial product based on Wine which lets you install many products from the Microsoft platform.

Mike sent me an email that for the next 24 hours or so, Codeweavers are offering Crossover Professional and Crossover Games for FREE.

Update: You don’t need to register your email, just download the version that you want.

Oh, and there’s an OS X version too.


Please forward..

UPDATE: No sooner had I finished publishing this post I got a message on the IRC channel saying this feature has been commited to the main trunk. Yay!

These days I mostly use GNOME as my desktop. My home computer has it, my work computer has it. It’s great.

The default mail client for GNOME is called Evolution and it’s pretty good too. It has lots of icons around the place for things like new mail, read mail, replied mail, etc, but wait.. there’s no icon for forwarded email. Huh?

I came across this when porting KDE’s Oxygen icon set to GNOME – my father actually mentioned it was missing. I dug around and searched here there and everywhere but I just couldn’t get an icon to show up. I ran strace and there were two opens on mail-forward.png but these only appear on the action, not the status.

Jumping on IRC (#evolution@irc.gimp.org) I was lead to Evolution’s bugzilla where I found this feature request from 2001:


Now, if only I was a programmer..

MythTV Down Under (finally, it’s not all upside down)

Every 6 months or so for the past number of years I have tried to install a dedicated PVR, and fail. I give up because I just can’t get all the Australian stuff working nicely, but finally I have succeeded!

The main problem is that the tv guide grabbers just don’t work nicely in Australia. Install mythtv in the States and you’ll be working in 5 minutes, but here it’s a whole lot of heartache and pain.

Sure, I can easily watch TV, but I can do that in 30 seconds under Linux with Me-TV or Kaffeine. I want to be able to see what’s coming up, schedule recordings and all that sweet stuff (OK, Me-TV can do that too, but it’s new, and I also like the idea of mythtv :))

For anyone else out there like me, here’s what I did!
Continue reading ‘MythTV Down Under (finally, it’s not all upside down)’

Wine 1.0 and Civ 4 = awesome

WINE (Wine Is Not An Emulator) is an open source implementation of the Windows API which lets you install many Windows applications natively on Linux. After 15 years they just released their first stable release, version 1.0.


Although most linux distros have been using versions just pre-1.0, I thought I’d give it a shot. I added the repository to my sources.lst and installed wine 1.0 on my Debian machine.

Although WINE has their own directx implementation which lets you play many Windows 3D games I thought I’d try with Civilization IV which required a few external dlls. So, after doing a little search I came across a post on how to install Microsoft’s DirectX and replace the one included with WINE.

I followed the howto, including some tips for installing Civ 4 and I have to say it was sweet! I just got a new computer, so it is hard to tell if it’s faster than it used to be under Cedega, but I can say that the game didn’t feel slow at all, even at a late stage in the game with dozens of cities. This was at 1280×1024 with all settings at the highest level.

Civ 4 under Wine

If you’re a Civ 4 fan, give this a shot and let me know how it went for you!