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2-10-05

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Im still having some printer, network printer and usb issues with pclinuxos updates. I've been digging into hotplug and udev and have gotten a few more printers functional now. Usbkeys are still dead and I know it is related to udev and hotplug. Im hoping these issues will clear out in the next few days and I am able to cut an updated iso.

I also found xorg 6.8.2 released today so I built a set of binaries and uploaded them to the premuim server and ibiblio.org. Tonight I noticed in the forums a person who has the unichrome video card that will only go 800x600 so I downloaded the r30 unichrome driver release and added to my next build of xorg 6.8.2-2tex which I will post tomorrow. Hopefully his video will be able to go to a higher resolution.

There was a posting on one of the kde mailing lists about adding export KDE_NO_IPV6=1 to /usr/bin/startkde that might improve the performance of KDE. I tried it and had Sal give it a try on his machine but neither of us could see any difference.

Tom sent a few emails about some good updates to the mklivecd scripts. He has done a tremendous job of getting these scripts updated. Ivan and Tom almost have unionfs working with the livecd making the cdr appear writable like a hard drive. It seems to be working with fluxbox but not yet with KDE.

I finally got around to jrangels new logo graphic for pclinux. I think is looks pretty good and I posted a poll to get some user feedback. I'd like to get away from the little blue penquin due to some possible future problems using it.

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The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming

In this article the NVIDIA hardware is being benchmarked to a similar stack from earlier this week with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and then upgrading to the Linux 3.17 Git kernel and employing the Oibaf PPA for the upgraded xf86-video-nouveaui DDX and Mesa/Gallium3D drivers. Compared to the Radeon tests, the Nouveau driver was bumped slightly ahead to address a Nouveau driver problem that otherwise was a show-stopper. So even though it shows Mesa 10.3-devel vs. Mesa 10.4-devel, it's just a few days difference of Mesa Git due to the recent branching of Mesa 10.3. The rest of the stack was maintained the same for this Nouveau Linux gaming tests. The tested NVIDIA hardware included both old and new graphics processors: Read more

VMware, Nvidia Look to Bring Chromebooks to Enterprises

The vendors are leveraging their respective technologies to enable the popular notebook to better handle graphics-rich applications. VMware, Nvidia and Google want to take the Chromebook, which is increasingly popular among consumers and in such areas as education, and make it more attractive to the enterprise. At the VMworld 2014 show this week, the three companies demonstrated how the combination of VMware's Blast Performance software and Nvidia's Grid vGPU technology will enable Chromebooks to handle graphically intensive applications, such as Adobe Illustrator CC, AutoDesk's AutoCAD and Microsoft Office, in desktop virtualization environments. Read more

Peach OSI Is Fresh and Juicy

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Scrivener Writing Software has a Linux Version

In some ways, Scrivener is the very embodiment of anti-Linux, philosophically. Scrivener is a writing program, used by authors. In Linux, one strings together well developed and intensely tested tools on data streams to produce a result. So, to author a complex project, create files and edit them in a simple text editor, using some markdown. Keep the files organized in the file system and use file names carefully chosen to keep them in order in their respective directories. when it comes time to make project-wide modifications, use grep and sed to process all of the files at once or selected files. Eventually, run the files through LaTeX to produce beautiful output. Then, put the final product in a directory where people can find it on Gopher.

Gopher? Anyway …

On the other hand, emacs is the ultimate linux program. Emacs is a text editor that is so powerful and has so many community-contributed “modes” (like add-ins) that it can be used as a word processor, an email client, a calendar, a PIM, a web browser, an operating system, to make coffee, or to stop that table with the short leg from rocking back and forth. So, in this sense, a piece of software that does everything is also linux, philosophically.

And so, Scrivener, despite what I said above, is in a way the very embodiment of Linux, philosophically.

I’ve been using Scrivener on a Mac for some time now, and a while back I tried it on Linux. Scrivener for the Mac is a commercial product you must pay money for, though it is not expensive, but the Linux version, being highly experimental and probably unsafe, is free. But then again, this is Linux. We eat unsafe experimental free software for breakfast. So much that we usually skip lunch. Because we’re still fixing breakfast. As it were.

Details with Screen Shots Here

Anyway, here’s what Scrivener does. It does everything. The full blown Mac version has more features than the Linux version, but both are feature rich. To me, the most important things are: A document is organised in “scenes” which can be willy nilly moved around in relation to each other in a linear or hierarchical system. The documents are recursive, so a document can hold other documents, and the default is to have only the text in the lower level document as part of the final product (though this is entirely optional). A document can be defined as a “folder” which is really just a document that has a file folder icon representing it to make you feel like it is a folder.

Associated with the project, and with each separate document, is a note taking area. So, you can jot notes project-wide as you work, like “Don’t forget to write the chapter where everyone dies at the end,” or you can write notes on a given document like “Is this where I should use the joke about the slushy in the bathroom at Target?” Each scene also has a number of attributes such as a “label” and a “status” and keywords. I think keywords may not be implemented in the Linux version yet.

Typically a project has one major folder that has all the actual writing distributed among scenes in it, and one or more additional folders in which you put stuff that is not in the product you are working on, but could be, or was but you pulled it out, or that includes research material.

You can work on one scene at a time. Scenes have meta-data and document notes.

The scenes, folders, and everything are all held together with a binder typically displayed on the left side of the Scrivener application window, showing the hierarchy. A number of templates come with the program to create pre-organized binder paradigms, or you can just create one from scratch. You can change the icons on the folders/scenes to remind you of what they are. When a scene is active in the central editing window, you can display an “inspector” on the right side, showing the card (I’ll get to that later) on top the meta data, and the document or project notes. In the Mac version you can create additional meta-data categories.

An individual scene can be displayed in the editing window. Or, scenes can be shown as a collection of scenes in what is known as “Scrivenings mode.” Scrivenings mode is more or less standard word processing mode where all the text is simply there to scroll through, though scene titles may or may not be shown (optional). A lot of people love the corkboard option. I remember when PZ Myers discovered Scrivener he raved about it. The corkboard is a corkboard (as you may have guessed) with 3 x 5 inch virtual index cards, one per scene, that you can move around and organize as though that was going to help you get your thoughts together. The corkboard has the scene title and some notes on what the scene is, which is yet another form of meta-data. I like the corkboard mode, but really, I don’t think it is the most useful features. Come for the corkboard, stay for the binder and the document and project notes!