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gfranken's blog

With the latest Kubuntu 15.10 (Wily)

Filed under
Just talk

I love the KDE desktop—I really do. However… here are some grumbles.

Issues with Kubuntu 14.10

Filed under
Linux

I installed Kubuntu 14.10 a couple of weeks ago. Here's two issues I've discovered, the first one is solved, but the 2nd one isn't.

1) Kdenlive will play videos from the Clip Monitor, and in the Project Monitor. However, after rendering the video, audio is lost.

2) It's not possible to mount an nfs share automatically in /etc/fstab. You have to use
sudo mount -a and enter the root password.

Computer Equipment and Screen Recording Revisited

It has been about 3 years since my primary hardware machine has been upgraded. I already had 16GB of RAM, two 1920 x 1200 monitors, a Filco mechanical keyboard, and a graphics tablet. OK, I admit that the CPU is showing a little age, but it was an AMD Phenom II X4 965 quad-core processor, and that still has some life left in it.

So I decided to update my graphics card, which was an Nvidia GeForce 440.

Mandrake Derived Distros

Filed under
Linux

Todays special is about Mandrake derived distributions, namely,
OpenMandriva Lx 2014 alpha vs Mageia 4 final vs ROSA 2012 R2 final vs PCLinuxOS 2013.12 final.

In (my limited) testing, I've used the X86_64 versions favoring the KDE desktop, and I've used the NVidia binary drivers provided with each distro.

Here's my experience with each one:

PCLinuxOS 2013--An Old Friend Revisited

Filed under
Linux

I first heard about Bill Reynolds (AKA "Texstar") when I was using Mandrake Linux 7 (later called "Mandriva") many years ago. Back then, Texstar was putting together updated KDE releases for Mandrake Linux, as Mandrake would only typically update their KDE release once or twice a year.

Windows 8.1 "The Worst Ever"

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Just talk

I've taught High School Computer Science for 25 years--Computer Programming, Web Page Design, Word Processing, Database Processing, and Spreadsheet processing. I have Linux on all my home computers with a dual boot into MS Windows 7 on my main computer. I don't use Windows 7 very often--but, I can find my way around in Windows 7. Since I have no experience with Win 8, I've thought all the recent hoopla about Microsoft's Windows 8 and 8.1 was just inexperienced grousing.

Casual Programming and Linux Screen-Recorders

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Linux

After being retired (for four years) from teaching high school Computer Science, I decided to get back into programming again. I once taught a beginning programming class using the Ruby language, and I thought that would be a good way to get back into programming. So, I decided I needed a “Ruby refresher”, and I wanted to learn more about that language than I taught in the classroom.

Lost mime types under kde

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Linux

I downloaded the source to the (video editing) application "kdenlive" (version 0.9 just released), and following the instructions on the kdenlive web site, compiled it, and installed it on my Linux Mageia Cauldron laptop. Maybe I did something wrong, maybe not. Anyway, disaster ensued.

LibreOffice 3.5.0beta2--one person's experience

I've been working on a complex document for the last year or so. This document is now 25 pages long, and includes a dozen images in frames with captions, with text running around the images, a table of contents, Gradient backgrounds on major headings, 2 drawings, varying headers and footers (with borders and shadows), lists, varying page styles, footnotes, and font styles.

I've been working on this document long enough that I started it with openoffice. I then switched to LibreOffice with its first release. And now I'm editing it with the LibreOffice Christmas Eve (2011-12-24) 3.5.0beta2 release.

Invariably, up to now, in a 2 hour work session, openoffice/libreoffice would crash at least once. Sometimes more.

Interestingly enough, this latest LibreOffice beta has not crashed once in three 1 hour work sessions. It may only be a beta, but I'm a believer.

Gook work LibreOffice folk.

Nook Ebook Reader & DRM

I'm 62 years old, and I've always been a reader. So, a few months ago, I finally coughed up the money to purchase a Barnes and Noble Nook ebook reader. Despite being a Linux user and occasionally enjoying tinkering with the innards of things, I haven't rooted my Nook, or installed any other OS variant—it is completely stock.

Unlike my wife's Amazon Kindle (with its E-Ink display), my Nook's battery doesn't last long. The other day I was reading a good short novel I had just downloaded from Barnes and Noble. I'm about half way through the novel when my Nook's battery level gets very low.

Here's the rub: my charger unit has an intermittent electrical short, and I can't immediately plug it in to continue reading while recharging my nook (a couple of days later, I fix this).

But I want to finish reading my novel now! I've got the time, and I'm really into the story.

Hard Drive Purchase and Thailand Flooding

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Just talk

My 2nd desktop is largely reserved for video editing. As it often the issue with video editing, storage space is getting scarce. The sata hard drive has 320 GB, and it's getting full. Time to purchase a new hard disk drive...

BIOS Flash update under linux.

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Linux

I figured it was time to do a BIOS update on one of my main Linux boxes. The MSI NF 980-G65 AMD motherboard came with an AMI BIOS dated September 2009. This MSI motherboard is based on the NVidia NForce 980a chipset, and has built-in NVidia Geforce 8300 video (which I do not use).

Powering up this system has always been a little flaky, requiring a couple of reset-button presses before it would boot into Linux (it would hang at the BIOS splash screen). After boot-up, the system always ran great.

Alright, so on to the BIOS update. MSI has the live update online program which requires, of course, Microsoft Windows, and the Internet Explorer browser. Well, I don't have these on this system, and don't want to put them on it.

In the AMI BIOS setup program, I see the M-Flash option. I try this, but can't get it to work. Some research on the Internet indicates that it's very likely you'll wreck your BIOS using M-Flash anyway, so that's out.

Mageia 1 Alpha2 -- A Status Report

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Linux

On September 18, 2010, in response to Mandriva's liquidation of its “Edge-IT” subsidiary and the attendant layoff of a substantial share of its developers, a group consisting of former Mandriva developers and Mandriva community contributers announced their intention to form a non-profit organization and release a fork of Mandriva Linux called Mageia Linux.

How is the Mageia 1 release shaping up? This status report takes a look at Mageia Linux 1 Alpha 2 release (updated daily), from a KDE-user perspective.

Mandriva Linux 2011TP (Tech Preview) - Quick Look

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Reviews

After laying-off a significant portion of its employees, is Mandriva going to remain a viable distribution? While many distros, including Mandriva, are furiously working on their Spring 2011 releases, Mandriva announced a two-week slip from their previously announced release dates. As a compensation, Mandriva gathered up its packages from its 2011 development repositories (called "Cooker"), and released a pre-alpha 2011 TP (Technology Preview) iso. The coming Alpha version is due to be released February 14 with Alpha2 slated to be released February 28. So, here's a quick report on the Technology Preview release, and how things are shaping up.

Printer Woes

Filed under
Just talk

The last day of this year in Southern Oregon is sunny, clear, and cold. Sitting here and basking in the morning sun streaming through the window mitigates my foul mood regarding the state of printers.

Screencasting Under Linux--A brief Story

Filed under
Linux

Since my recent retirement from 34 years of mathematics and computer science teaching, I've been working on creating creating screencasts for teaching how to use various kinds of computer software. So, I need to record my screen while narrating audio. What follows is my story of what it takes to do this under Linux.

Should Pulseaudio Die? What do you think?

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Linux

When I was installing and testing Mandriva 2010 Cooker (new development) releases this last Fall season, I kept having persistent problems with sound. Eventually, the advice in the Mandriva Cooker forum for KDE users became: "Disable Pulseaudio, and set Xine as the preferred back end over GStreamer (in the KDE multimedia settings).

Desktop Recording on my Laptop

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Linux

I bought this Acer Aspire 6930 laptop about a year ago. It is my first and only laptop--and came with Windows Vista pre-installed. Since I value good video performance, I selected a sub model of Acer laptop that has on board Nvidia GeForce 9600M GS video (confession time--yes, I use the proprietary NVidia driver). Since it came with Win Vista, I had 3GB of RAM, and a 320 GB hard disk drive. Plenty of horsepower for Linux, except for ...

Recommended: Rosewill Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter 802.11b/g

After teaching high school computer science for 33 years, I had never owned a laptop computer. I'd always wanted one, but they were just too expensive. Finally, last year, after saving up for a long time, I bought a laptop for me, and 6 months later, a laptop for my wife.

The built-in wireless on my wife's laptop has little range, and isn't very reliable.

Which KDE 4 Distro for my Laptop?

Filed under
Linux

I have a Mandriva Spring 2009.1 RC 2 install on my main production box. I have Kubuntu Jaunty on my experimental box. Which to install on my Acer Laptop?

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More in Tux Machines

OSS and Sharing Leftovers

  • Best open source cloud-storage services

    Worried about storing your private files with data-hungry tech giants such as Google and Microsoft? Here are three open source alternatives

  • New Open-Source Software SHARPy Launched

    The Aeroelastics Research Group has launched an open-source software tool – SHARPy The tool offers dynamic simulation for everything from wind turbines to solar-powered aircraft. SHARPy (which stands for Simulation of High-Aspect Ratio aeroplanes in Python) is a dynamic aeroelasticity simulation package. It offers structural, aerodynamic and coupled aeroelastic/flight dynamics analysis, and has particular application for low-speed and very flexible aircraft, and for wind turbines.

  • Iowa Caucus App Fiasco Shows Need for Open Source Transparency

    The Iowa caucuses were thrown into disarray as reports surfaced an opaque app used to tabulate the results and report them to Democratic Party officials was reporting only part of the required data. Although the app had been developed to improve efficiency in communicating the final caucus tallies, it ended up causing significant delays. According to security experts, the incident served to highlight the risks of relying on digital systems and the centralization of information, and a lack of transparency regarding these systems.

  • How to Vet the Engineering Chops of Your Software Vendors

    After witnessing the debacle in Iowa, campaign decision-makers across the country are wondering just how good is the engineering behind the software they purchase for their campaigns? And for good reason: the stakes couldn’t be higher.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: OWASP SAMM

    The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has announced version 2 of the Software Assurance Maturity Model (SAMM). SAMM is an open-source framework that enables teams and developers to assess, formulate and implement better security strategies that can be integrated into the software development life cycle.

  • Austin Alexander Burridge of Rosemount Compares Open-Source and Proprietary Software Security

    When open-source software developers are made aware of a specific security vulnerability or bug in their software products, they often publish the vulnerability to the community. If there's a developer who wants to offer a fix, he can build one and publish it as a particular version. If there's no funding to develop an upgrade, an IT professional is still aware of the problem so that he can create a custom workaround for his company's unique system until an updated version of the software becomes available.

  • Robust security crucial for adoption of open source

    New Delhi [India], Feb 11 (ANI/NewsVoir): While speaking at the inaugural session of the "3rd Open Source Summit 2020" recently in New Delhi, Vivek Banzal, Director (CFA), Bharat Sachar Nigam Limited (BSNL) said that it is a challenge to keep pace with the technology, more so when security of data has to be quite robust. [...] "The Government of India has encouraged the adoption of this technology in the Digital India initiative and this has further encouraged the CIO's of enterprises and other government organizations to make a move towards Open source technology. The rise of digital transformation in India has pushed the adoption of open source both by enterprises and government," said Sunil Kumar, Deputy Director-General, National Informatics Centre (NIC), while commenting on the adoption of Open source by the Government to India.

  • Leaders share how agencies bring agility into application development

    Additionally, tapping into open source development communities allows them to overcome some of chronic IT skills gaps many agencies continue to face. [...] Open source is being used both in civilian and defense agencies. Even though open source code is used for unclassified applications, it does not mean it’s unsecure, assures Michael Kanaan, co-chair of artificial intelligence and machine learning for the U.S. Air Force.

  • The Top 13 Free and Open Source RPA Tools

    Searching for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software can be a daunting (and expensive) process, one that requires long hours of research and deep pockets. The most popular RPA tools often provide more than what’s necessary for non-enterprise organizations, with advanced functionality relevant to only the most technically savvy users. Thankfully, there are a number of free and open source RPA tools out there. Some of these solutions are offered by vendors looking to eventually sell you on their enterprise product, and others are maintained and operated by a community of developers looking to democratize robotic process automation. In this article, we will examine free and open source RPA tools, first by providing a brief overview of what to expect and also with short blurbs of the options currently available in the space. This is the most complete and up-to-date directory on the web.

  • The Two Faces of Open Source: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 5

    The open source software movement has evolved dramatically over the past two decades. Many businesses that once considered open source a threat now recognize its value. On the other hand, in spite of increased enthusiasm among enterprises, consumer interest by and large has not materialized. With large companies increasingly embracing open source, what does it mean to be a part of the free and open source software, or FOSS, "community"?

  • Pimcore’s free, open source digital experience platform - a rock tossed into the CX pond?

    The retail and eCommerce landscapes have changed dramatically over the past decade as customer experience has risen to the forefront of enterprise marketing priorities. Marketers have turned their focus away from price as the key driver of sales to their ability to deliver the most convenient, streamlined and personalized experiences across channels whether online, in-store, or on mobile phones. [...] Their solution Pimcore, introduced in 2013, is a free open source software platform for managing digital data and customer experiences for any channel, device, or industry.

  • Chef Serves Up Partner Program to Push Open DevOps Model

    Aims to help channel sell 100% open-source portfolio

  • Chef Introduces New Global Partner Program Purpose-Built for 100 Percent Open Source Software

    Chef, the leader in DevOps, today announced a new channel program specifically designed to ensure that partners and customers are able to take maximum advantage of Chef’s 100 percent open source business model. The Chef Partner Program (CPP) creates three tiers of partners -- Principal, Senior and Junior -- with the highest benefits and incentives applied to those who drive the strongest results for themselves and their mutual enterprise customers using Chef Enterprise Automation Stack.

  • CableLabs, Altran team to take open source to the edge

    Altran and CableLabs have teamed up on "Project Adrenaline," an open source initiative that aims to help the cable industry build and manage edge networks and smooth the path for apps that can run on them. And while Adrenaline is initially focused on cable, the broader aim is to apply the resulting open source platform to multiple industries while still staying aligned with Kubernetes.

  • Building even more of LibreOffice with Meson, now with graphics

    Note that this contains only the main deliverables, i.e. the shared libraries and executables. Unit tests and the like are not converted apart from a few sample tests. It was mentioned in an earlier blog post that platform abstraction layers are the trickiest ones to build. This turns out to be the case here also. LO has at least three such frameworks (depending on how you count them). SAL is the very basic layer, UNO is a component model used to, for example, expose functionality to Java. Finally VCL is the GUI toolkit abstraction layer. Now that we have the GUI toolkit and its GTK plugin built we can build a VCL sample application and launch it. It looks like this:

  • XSS vulnerability patched in TinyMCE

    A security update has been released for the popular open source text editor TinyMCE after a researcher discovered a a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability impacting three of its plugins.

  • Should You Opt For An Open-Source LMS [Ed: The proprietary software LMS vendors badmouthing Free software as if that means "no support" (which is exactly the opposite of what's true, the support of the lifeline of the developers)]

    In the modern world, organizations are increasingly using learning management systems (LMS) for corporate training. However, with the availability of both open-source LMS and commercial LMS, choosing the more appropriate one for your organization can be challenging. Although leading open-source industry pioneers such as Moodle has dominated eLearning over the past few years, many organizations still prefer proprietary LMS over open-source LMS. In this article, we have assessed both these options and jotted down the factors you must consider before making a decision.

  • Open Source Community Responds to Rapid Adoption of Tech in Financial Services as FINOS Announces New Fintech Members

    The companies include: EPAM Systems, Inc., a product development, digital platform engineering, and digital and product design agency; NearForm, an open source solutions design and delivery company; and CloudBees, a provider of DevOps solutions.

  • Finos welcomes new members

    Finos (Fintech Open Source Foundation), a nonprofit whose mission is to foster adoption of open source, open standards, and collaborative software development practices in financial services, today announces the addition of three established fintechs to its already growing membership roster of prestigious financial institutions, technology companies and global consultancies.

  • Open source licence series - Cockroach Labs: Scaling a sustainable open source business model

    Big cloud vendors have preyed upon open source R&D by providing open source software (OSS) software as-a-service to edge out small competitors. Combine that with the platform benefits of economies of scale and greater opportunities for integration… and you can see how the big cloud providers can drown open source startups. That said, companies eclipsing growth-stage and legacy companies looking to store mission-critical data in the cloud are becoming wary of big vendors not investing in their R&D.

  • Open source licence series - OpenStack Foundation: Protecting open source freedoms

    Reduced to its essence, free and open source software is defining a set of freedoms, encoded into software licences. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) maintains an open source definition and a list of compatible licences, with the double goal of guaranteeing those essential freedoms and rights… and facilitating adoption by limiting licence proliferation.

  • Open source energy modelling tool shows how to decarbonise Australia

    The future of Australia’s energy mix has spawned innumerable heated arguments over how to balance secure electricity supply with economic and environmental needs, prompting energy consultants ITP to launch an open source modelling tool to settle arguments and provide clarity. Inspired by similar open source models in Europe and North America, ITP launched the openCEM model as a free, transparent tool to cut through the complexity of Australia’s energy mix and how it can securely transition away from carbon. “ITP felt, as many have felt, that public discussions around renewables were fraught with many assumptions and made with few facts and little expertise,” ITP strategy group manager Oliver Woldring said. [..] Once openCEM is being used widely by policy makers and investors across Australia, ITP and ThoughtWorks aims to engage other markets across APAC and further afield, about creating tools to model uptakes of renewables into the grids of other countries.

  • Self-driving car dataset missing labels for pedestrians, cyclists

    A popular self-driving car dataset for training machine-learning systems – one that’s used by thousands of students to build an open-source self-driving car – contains critical errors and omissions, including missing labels for hundreds of images of bicyclists and pedestrians. Machine learning models are only as good as the data on which they’re trained. But when researchers at Roboflow, a firm that writes boilerplate computer vision code, hand-checked the 15,000 images in Udacity Dataset 2, they found problems with 4,986 – that’s 33% – of those images.

  • New Project Eyes an Open Platform for Data From mHealth Wearables

    A Massachusetts-based partnership aims to create a common workplace for healthcare providers and researchers using mHealth sensors in wearables and other devices. The Open Wearables Initiative (OWEAR), launched last September by Nextbridge Health, Shimmer Research and Dr. Vincent van Hees, announced that it is now “actively soliciting” open-source software and datasets from wearable sensors and other connected health technologies. The group wants to create a platform from which researchers and care providers can share digital health source codes and algorithms.

  • Monash Uni, Red Cross & Red Crescent team up on open-source video program

    Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology (IT), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have announced that they have developed an innovative approach to empower communities around the world through development of a special video program. According to a joint statement from Monash, the Red Cross and Red Crescent some of the world’s most isolated and remote communities will now have the ability to share their stories and raise public awareness of the local issues they’re facing “through a unique open-source video program developed by Monash”.

Openwashing Leftovers

Security/Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering

  • HackIllinois 2020 introduces new software, workshops

    This hackathon has grown to become one of the largest and most well-regarded in the country, with attendees from around the country traveling to Illinois to test and build their hacking skills. According to Opensource.com, open-source software is “software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify and enhance,” thereby allowing participants to focus on open exchange and collaboration during the one-of-a-kind event.

  • Hacking Group Outlaw Upgrades Malware for Illicit Income Sources: Report

    Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has detected that hacking group Outlaw has been updating its toolkit for stealing enterprises’ data for nearly half a year at this point. Outlaw — who had ostensibly been silent since last June — became active again in December, with upgrades on their kits’ capabilities, which now target more systems, according to an analysis from Trend Micro published on Feb. 10. The kits in question are designed to steal data from the automotive and finance industries.

  • What happens when all the tiny satellites we’re shooting into space get hacked?
  • Hackers Could Shut Down Satellites—or Turn Them into Weapons

    Last month, SpaceX became the operator of the world’s largest active satellite constellation. As of the end of January, the company had 242 satellites orbiting the planet with plans to launch 42,000 over the next decade. This is part of its ambitious project to provide internet access across the globe. The race to put satellites in space is on, with Amazon, U.K.-based OneWeb and other companies chomping at the bit to place thousands of satellites in orbit in the coming months.

  • DevOps Alert: 12,000 Jenkins Servers Exposed to DoS Attacks [Ed: The ‘logic’ of this clickbait headline? Same as “1,000 MILLION browser users exposed to x, y, z…”]

    Security researchers are warning that 12,000 cloud automation servers around the world could be hijacked to launch denial of service (DoS) attacks.

IBM and Red Hat Leftovers

  • Can IBM’s New Duopoly Produce A Unifying Vision?
  • IBM Watson And The Value Of Open [Ed: Well, Watson is proprietary software. This is cheap, low-grade openwashing. See authors here. Forbes apparently takes IBM money for marketing/propaganda.]

    Not so long ago, back in 2011, IBM’s artificial intelligence technology (later packaged and sold as Watson) triumphed in the game of Jeopardy. Watson played against the two most successful contestants ever to appear on the show. This victory reflected the result of an enormous amount of work done by IBM and others to mine human language for the semantic meaning of words, and allow a machine to answer Jeopardy questions that would have been impossible for any computer just a few years earlier.

  • IBM CTO: Edge Will Implode Without Open Source [Ed: This guy is CTO of IBM proprietary software (Watson). Do as I say, not as I do...?]

    Edge computing devices are proliferating at an astonishing rate, jumping from about 15 billion devices today to about 55 billion by 2022, according to Rob High, VP and CTO of IBM Watson.

  • IBM on the first open source security platform
  • Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes 4.2 Receives Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification

    Crunchy Data, the leading provider of trusted open source PostgreSQL technology and support, is pleased to announce that Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes 4.2 has achieved the "auto pilot" capability level as part of Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification. The "auto pilot" capability level designates the highest level of automation associated with Operator technologies, including PostgreSQL cluster self-healing after a failover event and advanced high-availability configurations for workloads sensitive to transaction loss.

  • Minicomputers and The Soul of a New Machine

    The Command Line Heroes podcast is back, and this season it covers the machines that run all the programming languages I covered last season. As the podcast staff puts it: "This season, we'll look at what happens when idealistic teams come together to build visionary machines. Machines made with leaps of faith and a lot of hard, often unrecognized, work in basements and stifling cubicles. Machines that brought teams together and changed us as a society in ways we could only dream of." This first episode looks at the non-fiction book (and engineering classic), The Soul of a New Machine, to look at a critical moment in computing history. It covers the transition from large, hulking mainframes to the intermediate step of the minicomputer, which will eventually lead us to the PC revolution that we're still living in the wake of.

  • Fedora 31 : Can be better? part 006.

    I try to use the Selinux MLS with Fedora 31 and I wrote on my last article about Fedora 31 : Can be better? part 005.After relabeling the files and start the environment I get multiple errors and I ask an answer at fedoraproject lists: This is an example of the problem of implementing MLS in Fedora and can be remedied because MLS Selinux is old in implementing Selinux.

  • [Older] Red Hat fights for software freedom by filing a brief with the US Supreme Court

    The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court decision: Oracle v. Google. Red Hat, one of the leaders of the open source community, has emphasized to the USSC that software interfaces should not become subject to copyright protection and are not copyrightable by design. Read the complete amicus brief filed by Red Hat and IBM. [...] As we state clearly in the opening statement of our brief, Red Hat — as a leader in the open source community — emphasised to the USSC the critical importance of maintaining the long-standing view that software interfaces should not be subject to copyright protection. Because computer programs achieve compatibility and interoperability with each other through specifically defined interfaces, the concern is that if copyright protection were to exist in such interfaces, the open source community could face significant barriers in the creation and implementation of new software modules to replace existing modules. This consequence may chill the innovation that is generated by open source software community development. Our brief also recognises that computer interfaces being uncopyrightable does not jeopardise copyright protection in software programs generally. Red Hat fully supports software programmers developing value and differentiating themselves in the marketplace via implementation code. In fact, the more freely that computer interfaces are available, the more of a market may exist for particular implementations using an existing computer interface.