Reviews

Reviews of software and GNU/Linux distributions for the most part

Review: MediaReady Flyboy

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The MediaReady Flyboy is a Linux-based portable media player. It handles video, MP3s, pictures, and doubles as a portable data story device. On paper, it sounds pretty good. In practice, after a few weeks of playing with the Flyboy, I'm not convinced that it's worth the price tag.

SuSE 10.1 Beta 1 Report

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SUSE
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Woohoo, Suse 10.1 Beta 1 is here, one of the milestones in the development of a new release. It came a bit later than expected, at least for me. I had picked out a coupla fast mirrors before hand and began my download before announcements were made. As soon as OSNews and Distrowatch reported its release, the mirrors slowed to a crawl. It took the better part of the 20th to download SUSE 10.1 beta1. All this to say, SUSE, even in beta, has got to be one of the most popular distros available. And with good reason. I've been following the development of SUSE since the formation of OpenSuse and I have acquired quite a liking to its polish and completeness, its great tools and little extras, and its fast performance and stability. As has become the norm here at Tuxmachines, we installed the new beta to look around and see what we see. This is our report.

VLOS 1.2.1 Tested

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Linux
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VLOS 1.2.1 was released yesterday with lots of changes and upgrades. Most notable for me was the new Anaconda version updated to FC5 Test1. In addition, other versions include GCC 4.0.1, glibc 2.3.5, GNOME 2.12.1. Their announcement claimed version 7.0 of Xorg, but I got 6.8.2. Anyway, with all these great sounding updates, how can we go wrong? We installed VLOS today and this is our report.

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Little looksee at sam-2006-1-preview

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Linux
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Sam is an installable livecd based on Mandriva Cooker and uses xfce4 as its desktop. I tested Sam about a year ago back when it was still a mini distro of approximately 200mb. At that time it wouldn't stay running long enough to permit us taking some screenshots. They released a full 700 mb preview of their upcoming 2006 release and we at Tuxmachines thought we'd check it out. How did Sam do this time?

LGP X2 The Threat v1.4

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Gaming

Reaching the closed testing environment just hours ago has been the third BETA candidate for X2 - The Threat, which is presently being ported to Linux by the developers at Linux Game Publishing. This third candidate delivers many performance improvements and is the focus of our benchmarking today to see how the second and third BETA updates fair, after we had tampered with the initial build late last year.

O'Reilly Releases "Understanding the Linux Kernel, Third Edition"

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The book is not specifically for system administrators or programmers, but for anyone who wants to understand how things really work inside the machine. "It explains the theoretical underpinnings for why Linux, and many other operating systems, do things the way they do," Cesati explains. "We try to go beyond superficial features and offer a background, such as the history of major features and why they were used."

Play it again anywhere, Sam: MP3tunes Oboe

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Taking music along with you can be a hassle, even in the iPod age. You have to bring along either CDs or your MP3 player with you everywhere you go; and then you have to spend time sorting your music manually at each location, which I find to be a huge time waster. Even though the iPod Nanos and other similar MP3 players are very small, it still is a bit of a bother to have yet one more device in my brief case. The Oboe service from MP3tunes.com has helped me address these issues.

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Looking Forward: Fedora Core 5

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I usually like to wait for a Linux distribution to officially be released before I review it, but I thought it would be interesting to see where it was at exactly one release later. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Book Review : Linux Quick Fix Notebook

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I am always on the lookout for good books on Linux which covers system and network administration topics. So when I came across one of the Bruce Perens' Open Source Series books on Linux called "Linux Quick Fix Notebook" authored by Peter Harrison, I gave it a shot.

A glimpse at SimplyMEPIS_3.4-3.rc1

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Linux
Reviews
-s

SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3rc1 was offered for consumption recently and it was asked if it was soup yet? It'd been quite a few years since I had looked at Mepis, and I thought this was the perfect time to get reacquainted. The announcement used such enticements as a 2.6.15 kernel, Firefox 1.5, and udev. We downloaded and burnt said distro in record time and was off to the races with great hast. What did we find?

Realm Systems BlackDog

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Hardware
Reviews

The world's smallest Linux server has entered our labs, and consisting of the package are a mini biometric reader, MMC slot, and USB interface. Powering the system is a 400MHz PowerPC processor, 64MB of RAM, and 256/512MB of flash memory while running up the software side of things is Debian Linux with the 2.6.10 kernel. The server chewing its way into our labs is the BlackDog, which was developed by Realm Systems.

UltimaLinux LiveCD

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Linux
Reviews
-s

With the release of the new Ultima LiveCD, Tuxmachines felt this distro deserved a second chance (third actually, I just didn't write about the 2nd failed test a while back). Since its hard drive install didn't fair real well here, we'd hoped some updates and bug fixes would show vast improvement for this slack-based distro. How did Ultima Linux do this time?

Review: Grafpup Linux live CD for graphic designers

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What would you get if you were to combine good graphic programs such as the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), Inkscape, and CinePaint with other open source biggies such as Scribus and Nvu? The answer: Grafpup Linux, a live CD heaven for all graphic designers.

Xfce 4.2 - A light weight window manager heavy in features.

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The first time I used Xfce was when I tried out the Belenix Live CD. Xfce was the only window manager bundled with it so I had no choice but to use it though my personal preference was Fluxbox. But after playing around in it for some time, I just couldn't stop admiring the usability and design of Xfce as well as the responsiveness of the applications when run in it.

Stx Linux 1.0 Final Look

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Linux
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Stx Linux is a small lightweight operating system for the x86 arch. It is based on Slackware and slackware derivatives. One of the key features of Stx is it's ability to perform admirably on older hardware, and it's minimum requirements are a pentium 1 with 32 mb ram. Tuxmachines has covered some of the developmental releases, RC2 and RC3, but since final was released today, we felt it deserved yet another look. Today we'll look at an upgrade as well as a fresh install.

What's all the FUSS?

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Linux
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Free Upgrade Southtyrol's Schools (FUSS) is a project aimed at providing a system of only free software to it's teachers, students, and parents. It may emphasize educational programs, but it is also a full distro based on morphix and featuring the gnome desktop environment. Soledad-live-1.0, was released on Dec. 22, 2005 and is currently on Distrowatch's waiting list. Today Tuxmachines took Soledad 1.0 for a spin and here is a summary of what we found.

Switching to Windows: Not as easy as you think

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It was Red Hat Linux all the way, until Ubuntu walked itself onto my desktop nearly a year ago... and there things should have ended.

I noticed the Windows XP OEM license key stuck to the side of a nearly empty chassis, and had a better idea! "Oh ho!" I thought to myself, "Why not use this opportunity to try a fresh install of this 'Windows XP' I keep hearing so much about." I rooted through the trash pile until I found a Windows XP OEM CD, and we were all set for this grand electronic experiment!

Open Source for the Enterprise

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For managers faced with the task of coming up with a corporate policy on open source – and then being faced with a welter of different licenses, competing products and different business models – this book might just be the guidebook to help. It aims to make sense of the different types of products, levels of maturity, support options and licenses that are essential factors in any kind of software policy.

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