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Debian Etch: first impressions

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Linux
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Debian deserves some extra attention. The latest release is being distributed and I have no doubt that it will be installed on quite a few machines over the coming days and weeks. Personally I want to try it on the iMac Indigo and on a virtual machine under VMware. The netinstal images were a breeze to download and that was enough for now. I did not feel like downloading three DVD images or 22 CD images at the moment.

Who should give Debian a try? Besides all the geeks and nerds I think it would be a good idea for the Ubuntu, Mepis, Linspire, Xandros, Knoppix crowds to at least take a good look at the ditribution that makes their userfriendly distributions possible. Without the enormous work done by the Debian project their favorite distro’s mind not have existed. You might compare it to various large see and land animals that swim or move around very lowly with little fish or birds picking the scraps from their skins or teeth. Debian is moving slowly (though it did have five or six intermediate updates of Debian Sarge), but the best pieces are picked away by the fast moving smaller distributions. Anyway, when such a hue animal crosses your path it is a grand and beautiful sight to behold. Maybe there is talk of extinction, but for now it still moves with grace and power and it deserves some quiet attention.

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today's leftovers

Leftovers: Software

  • The Linux Deepin File Manager Is a Thing of Beauty
    China-based Linux distro Deepin has shown off its all-new desktop file manager. And to say it's pretty is an understatement.
  • GRadio Lets You Find, Listen to Radio Stations from the Ubuntu Desktop
    Love to listen to the radio? My ol’ pal Lolly did. But let’s say you want to listen to the radio on Ubuntu. How do you do it? Well, the Ubuntu Software centre should always be the first dial you try, but you’ll need to sift through a load of static to find a decent app.
  • Reprotest 0.2 released, with virtualization support
    reprotest 0.2 is available in PyPi and should hit Debian soon. I have tested null (no container, build on the host system), schroot, and qemu, but it's likely that chroot, Linux containers (lxc/lxd), and quite possibly ssh are also working. I haven't tested the autopkgtest code on a non-Debian system, but again, it probably works. At this point, reprotest is not quite a replacement for the prebuilder script because I haven't implemented all the variations yet, but it offers better virtualization because it supports qemu, and it can build non-Debian software because it doesn't rely on pbuilder.
  • Calibre 2.63.0 eBook Converter and Viewer Adds Unicode 9.0 Support, Bugfixes
    Kovid Goyal has released yet another maintenance update for his popular, open-source, free, and cross-platform Calibre ebook library management software, version 2.63.0. Calibre 2.63.0 arrives two weeks after the release of the previous maintenance update, Calibre 2.62.0, which introduced support for the new Kindle Oasis ebook reader from Amazon, as well as reading and writing of EPUB 3 metadata. Unfortunately, there aren't many interesting features added in the Calibre 2.63.0 release, except for the implementation of Unicode 9.0 support in the regex engine of the Edit Book feature that lets users edit books that contain characters encoded with the recently released Unicode 9.0 standard.
  • Mozilla Delivers Improved User Experience in Firefox for iOS
    When we rolled out Firefox for iOS late last year, we got a tremendous response and millions of downloads. Lots of Firefox users were ecstatic they could use the browser they love on the iPhone or iPad they had chosen. Today, we’re thrilled to release some big improvements to Firefox for iOS. These improvements will give users more speed, flexibility and choice, three things we care deeply about.
  • LibreOffice 5.2 Is Being Released Next Wednesday
    One week from today will mark the release of LibreOffice 5.2 as the open-source office suite's latest major update. LibreOffice 5.2 features a new (optional) single toolbar mode, bookmark improvements. new Calc spreadsheet functions (including forecasting functions), support for signature descriptions, support for OOXML signature import/export, and a wealth of other updates. There are also GTK3 user-interface improvements, OpenGL rendering improvements, multi-threaded 3D rendering, faster rendering, and more.
  • Blackmagic Design Finally Introduces Fusion 8 For Linux
  • Why Microsoft’s revival of Skype for Linux is a big deal [Ed: This article is nonsense right from the headline. Web client is not Linux support. And it's spyware (centralised too).]

today's howtos