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Updated: 5 hours 12 min ago

How to use cron in Linux

Monday 6th of November 2017 08:03:00 AM

One of the challenges (among the many advantages) of being a sysadmin is running tasks when you'd rather be sleeping. For example, some tasks (including regularly recurring tasks) need to run overnight or on weekends, when no one is expected to be using computer resources. I have no time to spare in the evenings to run commands and scripts that have to operate during off-hours. And I don't want to have to get up at oh-dark-hundred to start a backup or major update.


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7 tips for nailing your job interview

Monday 6th of November 2017 08:02:00 AM

So far in this job search tips series, we've covered resumes and cover letters, but naturally there's a lot more to the job hunt than just writing documents. Assuming you've wowed your potential employer with your skills, expertise, and contributions to free and open source software, now you get to start the interview process.


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Shedding light on foggy GPL licenses

Monday 6th of November 2017 08:01:00 AM

The GPL family of licenses is unique among open source licenses in how past, current, and future versions of the license may apply to the software program. By not fully understanding this unique license feature, open source software developers may inadvertently create ambiguity.


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Edge computing moves the open cloud beyond the data center

Monday 6th of November 2017 06:00:00 AM

When we think of cloud computing, most of us envision large-scale, centralized data centers running thousands of physical servers. As powerful as that vision sounds, it actually misses the biggest new opportunity: distributed cloud infrastructure.


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Top 5: Linux-based personal finance tools, a Piano-playing Go AI, and more

Friday 3rd of November 2017 07:05:00 AM

This week, we take a look at how the Go programming language is skyrocketing, using Go and Raspberry Pi to create music, and how your cat can be a model for open source community management.


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Product pitches aren't on the list of reasons why we attend conferences

Friday 3rd of November 2017 07:03:00 AM

Conferences are on my mind at the moment. Partially, it's because I recently attended the Open Source Summit and Linux Security Summit. I'm also in the process of submitting speaking proposals to various upcoming events and will be travelling to at least one more conference this year.*  There seem to be four main conference types:


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How to create a Hydrogen drumkit for fun and profit

Friday 3rd of November 2017 07:02:00 AM

Drum machines are fun. They can make some amazing beats, and they tend to have an easy interface.

The first drum machine I ever used was the Alesis HR-16. It had 49 16-bit patches and an inbuilt sequencer. That it wasn't rack-mountable annoyed me, but then again, it fit into a messenger bag, so I was able to take it to studio sessions easily.


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Why aren't you an OpenStack mentor yet?

Friday 3rd of November 2017 07:00:00 AM

With complex projects like OpenStack, it can be intimidating to jump straight in. Besides the scope of the project itself, there are lots of systems and processes to familiarize yourself with. It can be hard to know where to get started.


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Why Go is skyrocketing in popularity

Thursday 2nd of November 2017 07:02:00 AM

The Go programming language, sometimes referred to as Google's golang, is making strong gains in popularity. While languages such as Java and C continue to dominate programming, new models have emerged that are better suited to modern computing, particularly in the cloud. Go's increasing use is due, in part, to the fact that it is a lightweight, open source language suited for today's microservices architectures.


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3 open source alternatives to MATLAB

Thursday 2nd of November 2017 07:00:00 AM

Editor's note: This article was originally published in June 2016, and has been updated to provide some additional options which you may wish to consider.

For many students in mathematics, physical sciences, engineering, economics, and other fields with a heavy numeric component, MATLAB is their first introduction to programming or scientific computing in general.


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Making transparency work for Harvard's Dataverse Project

Thursday 2nd of November 2017 07:00:00 AM

A culture of transparency permeates the Dataverse project, contributing to its adoption in dozens of research institutions around the world. Headquartered at Harvard University, the Dataverse development team has more than a decade of experience operating as an open source project within an organization that values transparency: the Institute of Quantitative Social Science (IQSS). Working transparently helps the Dataverse team communicate changes to current development efforts, provides opportunities for the community to support each other, and facilitates contribution to the project.


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SpamAssassin, MIMEDefang, and Procmail: Best Trio of 2017

Wednesday 1st of November 2017 07:01:00 AM

In 2015 and 2016, I awarded "Best Couple" to two open source commands or program types that, combined, make my world a better place. This year, the "Best Couple" prize has turned into the "Best Trio," because resolving the problem I set out to fix—effective server-side email sorting—took three pieces of software working together.


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How to explain OpenStack to a complete newcomer

Wednesday 1st of November 2017 07:00:00 AM

I still remember when I was a beginner at OpenStack. I was at American Express and was rolling off a five-year data center migration project. I was looking for something else to get into. When I finally met with my executive leadership for a new project, I was told, "we're starting a new internal cloud using OpenStack and we'd like you to lead the architecture effort for the cloud infrastructure group." I figured I'd just Google "OpenStack" and I'd find all sorts of guides and tutorials. I thought "I'll have this built in no time." Boy was I wrong.


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20 questions DevOps hiring managers should be prepared to answer

Wednesday 1st of November 2017 07:00:00 AM

Making any team more inclusive doesn’t happen by default. You need to be intentional about it. Inclusivity is especially important if you’re building a DevOps team responsible for increasing communication and collaboration across the board to ensure quality for internal or external customers.


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How to get involved with open source if you're a cat

Tuesday 31st of October 2017 07:03:00 AM

We humans are social creatures, and we're really smart and advanced, so there's no need for us to read an article about how to get involved in open source. Cats, on the other hand, are socially awkward, sometimes aloof, sometimes overly sensitive, and a little jumpy. When a cat tries to get involved with open source, it often comes on too strong, or gets spooked by an unpleasant experience, or fails to communicate properly.


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How Go and Raspberry Pi power piano-playing AI

Tuesday 31st of October 2017 07:01:00 AM

Dan Tepfer's piano worlds on NPR inspired me to explore my own universe of augmented piano playing. Could I write a program that learns in real time to improvise with my style in the music breaks in my own playing?


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Beat the biggest threat to the open organization: Bias

Tuesday 31st of October 2017 07:00:00 AM

Bias is the single greatest threat to the open organization. This is no exaggeration. In traditional organizations, responsibilities for evaluating ideas, strategies, contributions—even people—typically fall on (presumably) trained managers. In open organizations, that responsibility rests with contributors of all sorts.


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5 open source personal finance tools for Linux

Monday 30th of October 2017 07:03:00 AM

Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated to add two great additional tools.

When asked about personal goals, getting a better handle on personal finances is high on most people's list. Whether this means making and sticking to a budget, reducing unnecessary expenses, or simply getting a better understanding of their financial situation, pretty much any approach to personal finance is dependent on having a good idea of the numbers inside a person's bank accounts, where they come from, and where they go.


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Why I love technical debt

Monday 30th of October 2017 07:02:00 AM

This is not necessarily the title you'd expect for an article, I guess,* but I'm a fan of technical debt. There are two reasons for this: a Bad Reason and a Good Reason. I'll be upfront about the Bad Reason first, then explain why even that isn't really a reason to love it. I'll then tackle the Good Reason, and you'll nod along in agreement.


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Why I love technical debt

Monday 30th of October 2017 07:02:00 AM

This is not necessarily the title you'd expect for an article, I guess,* but I'm a fan of technical debt. There are two reasons for this: a Bad Reason and a Good Reason. I'll be upfront about the Bad Reason first, then explain why even that isn't really a reason to love it. I'll then tackle the Good Reason, and you'll nod along in agreement.


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    Most people consider a college education the key to future success, but for many students, the cost is insurmountable. The growing open educational resource (OER) movement is attempting to address this problem by providing a high-quality, low-cost alternative to traditional textbooks, while at the same time empowering students and educators in innovative ways. One of the leaders in this movement is Robin DeRosa, a professor at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. I have been enthusiastically following her posts on Twitter and invited her to share her passion for open education with our readers. I am delighted to share our discussion with you.

Android Leftovers

Linux 4.10 To Linux 4.15 Kernel Benchmarks

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has been enjoying its time on Linux 4.15. In addition to the recent boot time tests and kernel power comparison, here are some raw performance benchmarks looking at the speed from Linux 4.10 through Linux 4.15 Git. With this Broadwell-era Core i7 5600U laptop with 8GB RAM, HD Graphics, and 128GB SATA 3.0 SSD with Ubuntu 17.10 x86_64, the Linux 4.10 through 4.15 Git mainline kernels were benchmarked. Each one was tested "out of the box" and the kernel builds were obtained from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel archive. Read more