Besides the recent work to support OpenGL Geometry Shaders for Sandy Bridge in Mesa, users of Intel "Sandy Bridge" HD Graphics can also be thankful for the forthcoming Linux 3.17 kernel. Early testing of Linux 3.17 has revealed that for at least some Intel Sandy Bridge hardware are OpenGL performance improvements with the newer kernel code.
We can hear this heartbeat by listening to what the environment tells us through sensors and testing. I proposed that we build low cost sensors using open source hardware and software. In recent years there has been quite a disruption in computing ability as a result of the prevalence of smartphones. Increasingly small and powerful components and processors have created an opportunities that we would have never thought possible. One of the results of that is the single-board Raspberry Pi computer. Originally, the Raspberry Pi was created to enable students to learn hardware and software development. For the Okavango Wilderness Project, we are using them to take environmental readings and send those to us for inclusion into the Into The Okavango website. Jer will cover this more in his expedition post. We are using them to measure water temperature, pH, conductivity, total dissolved solids, salinity, and specific gravity.
HandyLinux is a newer operating system and its developers have tried to provide a clear and familiar desktop interface. It might feel like it has a Windows 8 vibe, which is probably an effect of the theme used, but the OS is actually quite interesting.
One of the most interesting aspects of the distribution is the menu launcher, which is quite odd. It opens a new window with all the applications and the user has to choose from there on. It's definitely something different from the norm.
Flashing pins are spinning tens of feet into the air on a pitch dark stage. It's a juggling performance. All of the pins are perfectly synchronized to flash different colors in time to the music. It's part of the magic of theater and a special night out with friends to enjoy a distraction from daily life. Part of the magic—and why it's called magic—is that the audience doesn't know how these secrets are made backstage.
Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation, talks about Linux a lot. During his keynote at the LinuxCon USA event here, Zemlin noted that it's often difficult for him to come up with new material for talking about the state of Linux at this point.
Every year at LinuxCon, Zemlin delivers his State of Linux address, but this time he took a different approach. Zemlin detailed what he actually does and how the Linux Foundation works to advance the state of Linux.
Fundamentally it's all about enabling the open source collaboration model for software development.
"We are seeing a shift now where the majority of code in any product or service is going to be open source," Zemlin said.
Zemlin added that open source is the new Pareto Principle for software development, where 80 percent of software code is open source. The nature of collaborative development itself has changed in recent years. For years the software collaboration was achieved mostly through standards organizations.
The Linux desktop community has reached a sad state. Ubuntu 14.04 was a disappointing release and Fedora is taking way too long between releases. Hell, OpenSUSE is an overall disaster. It is hard to recommend any Linux-based operating system beyond Mint. Even the popular KDE plasma environment and its associated programs are in a transition phase, moving from 4.x to 5.x. As exciting as KDE 5 may be, it is still not ready for prime-time; it is recommended to stay with 4 for now.
One problem with Linux has been its implementation of system calls. As Andy Lutomirski pointed out recently, it's very messy. Even identifying which system calls were implemented for which architectures, he said, was very difficult, as was identifying the mapping between a call's name and its number, and mapping between call argument registers and system call arguments.
Some user programs like strace and glibc needed to know this sort of information, but their way of gathering it together—although well accomplished—was very messy too.
4MLinux Game Edition, a special Linux distribution based on Busybox, Dropbear, OpenSSH, and PuTTY, which also happens to feature a large number of games, is now at version 9.1 Beta.
The 4MLinux distributions are among the smallest ones in the world, but that doesn't mean the developers can't add a ton of interesting games into the mix.
This SparkyLinux game edition builds in access to a large collection of popular games compiled for the Linux platform. It brings the latest game fare via the Steam and Desura platforms. It provides handy access from a quick launch bar to a dozen plus emulators to let you run top-line games from leading gaming boxes and platforms.
GameOver does not wimp out on providing all of the needed everyday computing tools found in other Linux distros, either. It provides nearly all of the standard Linux applications out-of-the-box, so you do not have to install them on your own.