Eulogy for Groklaw
Apr 11, 2011 GMT
When I got up this morning, the news was all over Facebook and the free software news sites: Groklaw, the site that was influential in the SCO legal cases, will stop publication on May 16. It's news that I hear with decidedly mixed feelings.
Pamela Jones, the site's owner and chief writer, announced the decision in a post on April 9. "The reason is this: the crisis SCO initiated over Linux is over, and... more »
GNOME 3 and Its Fallback Desktop
Apr 06, 2011 GMT
Okay, that was unexpected.
I like the GNOME 3 fallback desktop better than GNOME 3 itself.
Amid all the attention given to the new GNOME 3 with its overview page, you don't hear much about the fallback. Nor are you likely to stumble across it on your own, since it's buried in Applications -> System Settings -> System Info -> Graphics -> Forced Fallback -> On, a location that's both obscure and deep.
However, you might want to search out the setting if your computer lacks the hardware acceleration needed to run GNOME 3. Set it to On, and the... more »
Bodhi Linux sticks with design principles
Mar 29, 2011 GMT
After your first fifty distribution reviews, a certain ennui creeps in. Most have the same selection of software, and GNOME or KDE for a desktop, and, if they are new, are derived from Ubuntu. Under these circumstances, features worth writing about tend to be rare. That is why Bodhi Linux has been attracting attention from reviewers -- because it has actually done a few things differently.
Not that Bodhi is revolutionary. You can find other distributions with small footprints, such as Puppy Linux or Damn... more »
Documentation and free software
Mar 25, 2011 GMT
As a former technical writer and a sometime reviewer of software, I don't need anyone to tell me how important documentation is -- nor how often it is the last part of a project if it is considered at all. But recently, I had a frustrating reminder.
The reminder came when I was setting up my new computer. All went smoothly through my backup, installation, and restore, during which I suffered nothing worse than boredom. I was just wrapping up the final touches, indulging in the obligatory musings about how, these days, I hardly had to worry about GNU/Linux hardware... more »
Mar 18, 2011 GMT
Almost always, command line tools are more efficient than desktop ones, especially for file management. Recently, however, I found myself needing to clean up the file names from six hundred ripped CDs, removing illegal characters, replacing spaces with hyphens, and half a dozen other minor adjustments. To my surprise, the most convenient tools for the task were on the desktop: The Thunar Bulk Rename utility, KRename, GPRename, and pyRenamer.
The trouble was, I needed more options that the mv command supports. Working on a Debian system, I could have used the rename command, if I... more »
Kajongg: True Mahjong at last
Feb 28, 2011 GMT
For as long as I've owned a computer, I've been looking for Mahjong game. Not a decent Mahjong game, but any at all. Years ago, I found a monochrome shareware game for DOS, and later I found a Windows game, but both were soon rendered unusable by developments in hardware and software. Nor did I ever find a Mahjong game that ran natively in GNU/Linux -- not, that is, until KDE released Kajongg a couple of versions ago.
I am not talking, you understand, about the matching game that masquerades as... more »
Feb 17, 2011 GMT
"The first thing is, we're not fanboys," senior editor Robin Miller told me when I first started writing for Linux.com in 2004. He meant that, although that incarnation of the site was obviously about free and open source software (FOSS), its purpose was not to uncritically support it. He wanted the site to have some journalistic standards -- a difficult and frequently unpopular goal, considering how many parts of FOSS seem given over to fans. I found the comment reassuring, because I have always been of two minds about fan-like behavior wherever I've found it.
Take, for example, the... more »