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today's leftovers

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Leftovers: Software

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Software

35 Great Android Apps for Road Warriors

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Software

So you’re a road warrior – that means you need to move fast and seamlessly across vast distances totally hassle-free. Gotcha. Here are the Android apps you’ll need to make your travels as fast and trouble-free as a “Beam me up, Scotty” command. No, there’s no transporter yet, but these apps are definitely the next best thing. And yes, there are Android apps here to help you get work done while you’re on the move too!

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Tux Paint: Doing FOSS Right

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Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking highly of the software, if this page of testimonials is any indication. In fact, the publication “This Old Schoolhouse” recently echoed many other reviews in their article in the June 2012 edition. In the article, Andy Harris, the Tech Homeschooler, wrote, “Tux Paint is just about the most kid-friendly program I’ve ever seen. It’s designed so the adult can set it up, and even very young children can enjoy it thoroughly. It also has sophisticated enough features for siblings and parents to enjoy.”

Tux Paint is a project that does FOSS right: A wide-ranging team labors for the good of the program and consistently puts out quality software without fanfare or self-congratulation. The proof, as they say, is in the software itself: high-quality software which enjoys a high degree of acceptance with teachers and parents, to say nothing of holding the interest – and unlocking the creativity – of children.

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Enlightenment E19 Lands Its New Wayland Compositor Code

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Enlightenment fans can celebrate today that the big Enlightenment compositor work has been merged to mainline Enlightenment ahead of the upcoming E19 release.

Prolific Enlightenment developer Chris Michael (a.k.a. "devilhorns") at Samsung merged his "e_comp_wl" branch into mainline Enlightenment (enlightenment.git). This "e_comp_wl" branch contains the rewritten Wayland compositor for Enlightenment. The rewritten version has reduced memory usage and improvements to handling of pixmaps and pointer images, among other improvements. Enlightenment's wl_desktop_shell module also now has XDG_Shell support.

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Powerful Command-line File Transfer Programs

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File Transfer Protocol (FTP) used to be a popular and time-honored method of transferring files to and from a remote network site. The need for FTP has declined significantly; many consider FTP to be an unfriendly protocol when it comes to accessing data. Further, it is an insecure protocol as it sends your credentials in plain text to the server. However, there are still occasions where transferring files via this protocol has been useful; the time to put FTP to bed has not yet come.

This article provides my pick of the best open source command line file transfer programs. The software featured here supports a number of different protocols, not just FTP. They offer shell-like command syntax, and are great for scripting purposes.

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Leftovers: Software

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Experimenting with Panamax

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Software

Panamax taught me a lot about Docker, and caused me to publish my first two images to the Docker registry, which is more than I expected to gain from trying it out. I’m not sure I’m the target audience – I don’t think I’d want to run production Docker apps under it on a headless server (at least until it’s more stable), which suggests that its main use is as an easy way to experiment with the development of containerized systems. But the friction introduced by the extra CoreOS host seems too great for it to be an awesome development platform for me. I think it’s a solvable problem – if the team can find a way to make the network port forwarding and the filesystem NFS sharing be automatic, rather than manual, and to work with ecryptfs on Ubuntu, it would make a massive difference.

I am impressed with the newfound ability to help someone launch a database-backed Django app without using any terminal commands, even if they’re on Windows and have no kind of dev environment, and would consider recommending Panamax for someone in that situation. Ultimately, maybe what I’ll get out of Panamax is a demystification of Docker’s orchestration concepts. That’s still a pretty useful experience to have.

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RAW Sharpening and Noise Reduction With Raw Therapee on Linux

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The full power of digital photography lies in knowing how to manipulate RAW images. When you shoot RAW you get the highest-quality images, and the most editing headroom for repairs and enhancements. Raw Therapee is a wonderful cross-platform RAW image processor. Use it for noise reduction, pulling details out of shadows, fine-grained sharpening, color adjustment, color management, contrast, luminance, brightness, gamma, and hue corrections, convert to black and white, exposure corrections, distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting repairs, apply lens correction profiles, and about a skillion more features.

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Python 3 Support Added To The GNOME Shell

The GNOME Shell 3.15.2 release fixes some visual glitching, improves the layout of the extension installation dialog, supports the CSS margin property, and offers other bug fixes and minor enhancements. Most notable to GNOME Shell 3.15.2 though is there's finally Python 3 support. Many GNOME components have long ported their Python 2 code to Python 3 while GNOME Shell's Python support has just received the Py3 treatment. Details on GNOME's overall Python 3 porting work can be found via this Wiki page. Read more

Clonezilla Live 2.3.1-15 Now Available with Check for 32-bit Libraries

Clonezilla Live is a Linux distribution based on DRBL, Partclone, and udpcast that lets users perform bare metal backup and recovery with ease. The developers have just upgraded the system and it's now at version 2.3.1-15. Read more

Workaround Found for Annoying Workspace Switcher Bug in Ubuntu 14.10

The virtual desktops on Ubuntu systems have been working very well in the last few editions, but it looks like there is a problem in Ubuntu 14.10, at least for the system I'm running. The desktop locks up with the workspace switcher activated. Read more

Inside Cisco's OpenStack Cloud Strategy

Cisco first got involved with the open-source OpenStack cloud platform in 2011 with the Bexar release and initially was focused mostly on networking. Over the last several years, Cisco's OpenStack involvement and product portfolio have grown beyond just networking. Read more