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gfranken's blog

Switch to KDE 4.2.2

Filed under
Linux

I've always been a diehard KDE user. When I first tried Linux several years ago, I experimented with both Gnome and KDE, and, for me, KDE just seemed to be a better fit. So, I've been trying to decide when to switch my home production machine from the KDE 3 series to KDE 4. Finally, last week, I made the switch...

My New Laptop and Linux

Filed under
Linux

I got my first laptop as an early Christmas present. It's an Acer Aspire 6930. Since it has Intel 5100 wifi built in, I needed a Linux version that would support that.

Mandriva 2009/KDE 4.1 Revisited

Filed under
Linux

As Mandriva prepares for its 2009 release, I've been updating Mandriva 2009 daily from their "cooker" (development) repository ever since I installed a beta version a few weeks ago. Last night's update was massive, with an update of over 350 packages.

Mandriva 2009 Beta 1 & KDE 4.1 - A Brief Report

Mandriva released the 2009 Beta 1 iso's on July 29th. I downloaded the i586 version then. Since then, hundreds of software updates, patches, and fixes have been placed into Mandriva's "Cooker" repositories, Cooker being Mandriva's name for it's development branch.

How are things shaping up for the Mandriva 2009 release? And how's KDE 4.1 working on this new release?

Openoffice.org mailing labels solution

My daughter is getting married this Summer, and she purchased some weird Avery return address labels for invitees to RSVP whether they plan to attend. The labels have an Avery number of 18195. I have no MS-Windows workstations at home, and I couldn't find an Openoffice.org Writer template for this particular label stock. What to do?

Run iexplore.exe under wine

Filed under
Linux

I hate having to use Microsoft Tools. At work, however, we have a web page that we have to update each week--and, it only works with Internet Explorer.

Since I'm now running my work workstation full-time under Linux instead of Windows XP, I've need to get MS iexplore.exe running under wine. It was simple--here's how I did it.

Motherboard Fails

Filed under
Just talk

Hardware is getting reasonably reliable if you are careful to buy components of decent quality. Recently, a bargain motherboard/CPU purchase at Fry's Electronics came back to bite me in the fanny.

From a PCLinuxOS user: Kubuntu Gutsy doesn't totally reek.

Filed under
Linux

I'm a confirmed PCLinuxOS and KDE user. But, I've given a brief trial on my test box of Kubuntu Gutsy-X86_64. Aside from the whole sudo vs su issue (I hate sudo), Kubuntu Gutsy doesn't totally reek. Actually it's usable. Either I have changed as a Linux user, or Kubuntu has gotten better.

ogg theora videos to avi

Filed under
Howtos

I've been writing a Ruby computer programming textbook (the going is slow). Along with the book will be a series of instructional videos on CD showing video computer screen clips with audio narration.

Wine is Getting Good

Filed under
Linux

Anyone else notice lately how good Wine is getting? No, of course I'm not talking about the beverage. Last year, Wine would only "sorta" work with the ClassXP software. This school year is a different story.

Sidux 2007-03 'Gaia' -- a quick look

Filed under
Linux

I come from a Mandriva/Mandrake/PCLinuxOS background. I'm a KDE guy who also installs gnome apps. I've not ever installed Debian, and I've used Debian derived distros very little. So, how does Sidux measure up for me?

Mandriva 2008 Beta 1, "Cassini" -- A few thoughts

Filed under
Linux

I can recall when a new impending release from Mandrake/Mandriva was great cause for excitement. In the last few years, Mandriva has been on the decline. Could the upcoming 2008 release start to turn things around?

Best I/O computer equipment

Everyone uses a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. What are the best choices of equipment for these?

Confession: I'm installing MS Windows

Filed under
Just talk

Yes, it's heresy, and I have a lot of guilt over it. Installing MS-Windows on any of my home machines is an anathema to me.

The Intrepid Investigator Report -- Sniffing Powdered Ubuntu CDs Cures Cancer!

Filed under
Humor

The Intrepid Investigator

Ubuntu Cures Cancer
by reporter Ursula Upton
filed: 16 March 2007 at 13:52.

Yes, it's a genuine miracle. In a scientific study by reputable scientists Borg Benderle and Lamer DiDiot (both affiliated with Shuttlecock University), the study found that sniffing powdered Ubuntu CDs brings about a dramatic reduction in the size of cancer tumors.

PCLinuxOS, Distros, and 10 reasons to try PCLinuxOS.

Filed under
Linux

I wonder if there is a survey that has information on how many different distros a typical Linux user has used over that last 5 years? Of course, I mean more than just an install trial where you experiment with a distro for a few days, then wipe or replace that distro.

For me, that number is a fairly conservative two. And one of those two distros is the (grown up) child of another.

Another Sabayon Linux 3.2 Look (from a non-Gentoo user)

Filed under
Linux

Sabayon Linux is a Gentoo based distribution that is designed to be easy to install and configure. Savvy Linux users know that Gentoo is a "roll your own" distribution where you create your own distro from scratch--installing and compiling all your programs. They say you learn a lot of Linux by doing a Gentoo install, and that you end up with a very speedy system optimized to your specific needs.

What about those of us who want to try the Gentoo experience without taking several days to get it up and running?

Then Sabayon Linux is for you.

Another OpenSUSE 10.2 Beta 1 Review

At the high school where I teach Web Page Design, Computer Programming, and Computer Literacy, it is Novell Netware Servers that provide our primary network services. This is also true in our school district's two middle schools, 6 elementary schools, the alternative school, as well as at the district office administration building. So, a Linux distribution that operates well as a Novell Netware client is essential.

However, the large majority of our workstations are Windows XP, so good MS Windows/Samba networking is also required.

With Novell now owning SUSE, and the importance of good Novell clients workstations at my high school, the choice of OpenSUSE should be a no-brainer. And, with Jeremy Allison (who works for SUSE) being one of the core Samba developers from the beginning, OpenSUSE should have very good up to date MS Windows networking support.

Java on Linux vs MS-Win XP

Filed under
Just talk

The computer lab we were using at Western Oregon University had Windows XP on all the machines. The first day of class, I used Win-XP for a few minutes--but I just couldn't stand it anymore . . . I whipped-out my PCLinuxOS CD I'd brought along with me, and proceeded to install Linux on the machine . . .

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Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (pillow, ruby-kramdown, wpa, and xrdp), Fedora (ark and rpki-client), Gentoo (apache, ark, global, gthumb, and iproute2), openSUSE (chromium, grub2, java-11-openjdk, libX11, and opera), Red Hat (bind, chromium-browser, java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, and libvncserver), SUSE (LibVNCServer, perl-XML-Twig, thunderbird, and xen), and Ubuntu (samba).

  • Have I Been Pwned to release code base to the open source community

    Members of the general public can submit their email addresses into the Have I Been Pwned search engine to find out if they have been "pwned," and if their emails have been linked to a data breach, each one and a summary of what happened is displayed -- as well as what information has been exposed. Since its launch in 2013, Hunt has poured more resources, including time and energy, into managing the search engine over time, expanding the service to include domain monitoring and breach alerts. At the heart, one main operator isn't enough to ensure future scalability or sustainability, and with this in mind, Hunt previously attempted to find a buyer to help expand his life's work. Unfortunately, the merger and/or acquisition process failed, and so Hunt has decided to pursue another alternative -- opening up the Have I Been Pwned code base to the open source community.

  • Researcher Demonstrates Several Zoom Vulnerabilities at DEF CON 28

    Popular video conferencing app Zoom has addressed several security vulnerabilities, two of which affect its Linux client that could have allowed an attacker with access to a compromised system to read and exfiltrate Zoom user data—and even run stealthy malware as a sub-process of a trusted application. According to cybersecurity researcher Mazin Ahmed, who presented his findings at DEF CON 2020 yesterday, the company also left a misconfigured development instance exposed that wasn't updated since September 2019, indicating the server could be susceptible to flaws that were left unpatched.

Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Fedora Nest 2020

    This year Flock did not happen due to COVID-19, and in its place, Fedora Nest happened. After many events I’ve seen going virtual in the last few months, I was skeptical. I was yet to see an acceptable online platform to run events. I was wrong on the platform. Fedora Nest used Hopin , which is by far the best platform for events I’ve seen so far. Don’t get your expectations too high, though, because when I say the best one I’ve seen so far, only means that it is usable, and it does not mean in any way that is on par of real conferences. I might be a weird being, but I find traveling relaxing, so I usually add to the joy of the conference the pleasure of traveling. In addition to this, at conferences, I find myself to connect with people - sometimes briefly, sometimes more deeply - and this does not occur in online events. For those reasons, I really hope we will be able to soon go back to in-person conferences.

  • Miroslav Suchý: Nest 2020 - my notes

    This year, we had Nest conference instead of traditional Flock, which has been canceled due to COVID. The conference happened purely remotely over the Hopin video conference. This was good and bad. The good is that we saved a lot on traveling and that it happened at all. It would be bad if it was canceled. The bad part was that I found it hard to focus on the conference. There are too many distractions at home. It was much harder to socialize. And a lot of people had issues either with microphone or internet upload. It was sometimes hard to follow. The conference was organized mostly for US folks, and therefore some sessions were very late in my timezone.

  • Btrfs by default status updates, 2020-08-09
  • Fedora Btrfs Activity Continues - New Options To Control Discard, Compression

    Fedora developers continue embracing the work on making the Btrfs file-system the default for F33 desktop variants. Their latest progress report indicates new installation options being wired up for the Btrfs support. A new Anaconda Kickstart install configuration knob is being added for setting the async discard behavior for solid-state drives. This configuration option will simply set the Btrfs DISCARD option to be enabled by default per the /etc/fstab options. They are still weighing whether to make it the default or more than likely that default transition would be next year for Fedora 34.

  • “To be, or not to be,” vulnerable… How customers and partners can understand and track Red Hat security vulnerabilities

    That is the question. Yes, I believe William Shakespeare was thinking about container security when he began Act 3 of Hamlet. He probably scanned his Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI) 8 container with multiple vulnerability scanners, and with "the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks", noticed each report told him something different. One report said his container had a vulnerability, another indicated the vulnerability was patched, and another didn’t even show the vulnerability. As Hamlet contemplates his fate, it’s no wonder he says: "With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action." In other words, he rips up the reports and does nothing! In many ways our customers are experiencing the same vulnerability inconsistencies as Hamlet. But unlike our hero’s tragic fate, there is some good news: Red Hat is working with independent software vendors (ISVs) to help drive vulnerability consistency for both Red Hat and our partners.

  • Kubernetes and the hybrid cloud with Skupper

    DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about Kubernetes and the hybrid cloud with Skupper from Ted Ross and Burr Sutter.

today's howtos