Reviews

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

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.

When Choice Matters: VectorLinux SOHO 5.1 rc2

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Linux
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"VectorLinux is a small, fast, Linux operating system for Intel, AMD and x86 compatible systems, based on one of the original Linux distributions, Slackware." The developers put out released candidate 2 of the small office - home office edition on Jan. 4, 2006, and since we've never tested any Vector, we thought it was time. The soho edition, "as its name implies, is a distro aimed at Small Office and Home Office users."

THAT OLD MANDRIVA...

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This is a Linux operating system with a tried, tested and trusted history - so what does the 2006 offering bring to the party?

Reviewer finds Ubuntu good, but not good enough

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Still, when I get down to it, I find other Linux distributions like SUSE Linux 10 and Xandros 3.0 to be better desktops. As an experienced Linux user, I appreciate that they give me easy access to the kind of control I want to have over any of my systems.

Book Review: Just Say No to Microsoft

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The gist of Just Say No to Microsoft is to switch to Apple, or if you are "brave," to switch to GNU/Linux; and to switch from MS Office to OpenOffice.org or AbiWord. There are other books by No Starch Press and competing publishers that better accomplish the task of helping readers migrate data and program settings from Windows to either GNU/Linux or OS X.

Ubuntu Meets Gentoo: Ututo Linux

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Linux
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A new project has come to my attention and it sounds really interesting. Well, I say new, but I actually mean "new to me." Apparently the UTUTO project has been around since 2000. The site states, "Its first version, massively distributed in October of year 2000 in Argentina by Diego Saravia of the National University of Salta, was very simple to use. It worked from CD-ROM with no need of installation. It was one of the first "lives" of the planet." Distrowatch tells us, "Ututo GNU/Linux is a CD-based Linux distribution developed by Diego Saravia at the Universidad Nacional de Salta in Argentina, based on Gentoo Linux, and designed to be used by home/office users, developers, organisations and government users." What's more, it appears they develop versions for several architectures, install or livecd, available thru ftp, http, or bittorent. Their community consists of forums, irc channels, and a mailing list. Their site and irc channels are available for IPv4 or IPv6 and the site is available in five languages. They even have radio and tv broadcasts. This is either a large project or these guys never sleep! They released test version 2 of 2006 for the i686 on January 1 and we thought it'd be a good time to take a look-see at this exciting project.

Sandals and all: A review of "Point & Click OpenOffice.org"

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Robin Miller is after your granny. Again. He's trying to entice her with the delights of free open source software. He's trying to make it look easy and fun to play around with open source. First, there was his Point & Click Linux book. Now he's out trying to tempt the uninitiated with an alternative office productivity via his new book, Point & Click OpenOffice.org. When is someone going to put a stop to it?

Simpledrive Mini: 4GB microdrive for the masses

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Hardware
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I was able to plug it into a system running Linspire linux and the unit showed up just fine. So a bit of thumbs down to Simpletech for having a device that works with linux but not advertising it as such.

A little Linux can revive a pokey PC

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Now that you've unwrapped and fired up that new Christmas PC (is it your third or fourth?), have I got a project for you: We're going to fix your old PC. I can almost guarantee you it will run appreciably faster than your new unit. It won't ever get clogged up with spyware. It will never crash. We're going to accomplish all this by installing a new operating system, Damn Small Linux.

OCZ EL PC-4000 2GB Gold GX XTC

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Hardware
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Over the past year, we have seen numerous advancements by the engineers at OCZ Technology when it comes to system memory as well as flash memory. Today we are investigating these new modules as we put them up against past OCZ's Platinum part as well as dissecting the XTC heatspreaders.

Stx 1.0rc3 - An update

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Linux
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Stx released a new release candidate a few days back and just in time for my dying harddrive. Fortunately I received a new bigger harddrive for Christmas. ...unfortunately, I hadn't copied all of my partitions/installs to it before it completely gave up the ghost last night. Another good thing tho, I already had stx-1.0-rc3.iso sitting on my gentoo desktop (that I did ghost over the first day of installing said new hardware). So, this morning I installed stx-1.0-rc3 and figured why waste the experience. Here's a little update since our last look.

Ubuntu for AMD64 not 'there' yet

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I sadly have to report that I'm not pleased with what I've seen. I'm not a linux expert, just a techie that has run several linux flavours over the years, and I know that there must be plenty of happy Ubuntu users out there, but I can't imagine how one of the most popular linux distros, in its latest release, is unable to get Mozilla Suite, or the Adobe Reader 7.01 for Linux installed...

Mandriva 2006.1-0.3 Maybe better than 2006!

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MDV
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MANDRIVA 2006.1-0.3 Beta is here. The new snapshot is available in your choice of 3 700MB isos for either the i586 or x86-64 or one i586 Live CD. Here's what we found.

Gaming on Linux - Darwinia

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Sporting a seriously retro look while rendering in OpenGL Darwini has style and some gorgeous graphics. We've got a full review with accompanying screen shots for your perusal.

Review: Zenwalk Linux 2.0.1

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I was interested to see how Zenwalk differs from Slackware, and after reading on their web site that version 2.01 is 'the biggest jump in Zenwalk evolution since the beginning of the project', I wanted to see how far Zenwalk has come since it was reviewed here as MiniSlack.

The Arnold Robbins Book Series: A Review

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This new series, which targets open-source developers and offers examples pulled from real code, looks like it's going to be a winner. Talking with Arnold about his new book series that targets open-source programmers of all varieties.

Mandriva Linux 2006.1-0.3

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MDV
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With all the changes in Mandrivaland this year, it was nice that one thing remained the same, Mandriva's tradition of releasing a Christmas Cooker Snapshot. We had heard rumors of a release for club members, so Tuxmachines is particularly thrilled Mandriva released something for the general public too. Glancing through the changelog we see a lot of bug fixes and software updates. Should you upgrade? This is what we found when we booted up our sparking new 2006.1-0.3 install.

PCLinuxOS - A distribution tailor made for New Linux Users

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When ever I have reviewed a Linux distribution I have used, I get one or two comments on PCLinuxOS. And when I wrote an article called "The best Linux distribution of them all", among the 75 or so comments, I got no less than 10 comments talking favorably about PCLinuxOS. Having piqued my curiosity, I decided to download and give PCLinuxOS a test drive.

Return to Na Pali ...er ...Nepalinux

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Linux
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A brand new distro has been released and Tuxmachines is on the case. NepaLinux is a Debian-based live and installation CD localised into the Nepali language, complete with Nepali fonts, input method, spell and grammar checker, dictionary, and GNOME theme. It was said, "With the launching of the software, Nepali people who are using pirated software can use Nepali software free of cost." Well, any purpose that produces a new linux distro is good enough for me. But can NepaLinux persuade windows pirates to switch?

Linux XP 2006

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Linux
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An updated version of Linux XP was released on December 21 and since then I had been waiting for an English release. There was an English directory on the mirror, so I thought one would be forthcoming. I gave up. I downloaded the Russian version and was able to get it to display in English with a few mouse clicks. So don't let the fact it's a Russian distro throw you off. Test it out anyway... if you want a distro that is based on Fedora/Redhat, comes with a 2.6.10 kernel, Xorg 6.8.1, and gnome 2.12, yet looks remarkably like KDE meets Windows.

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