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The Gifts of Christmas: the Procrastinator's Guide to Smartphones

By Timothy Butler | Dec 21, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Trying to pick out a smartphone for someone for Christmas is a difficult task. There are now dozens of potential contenders, priced from free to hundreds of dollars. How can you pick out one that will delight your recipient and serve him or her well for years to come? OFB Labs has thoroughly tested ten of the most recent smartphone offerings from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to help you sort out which are best for your gift giving this year – or for picking up as a gift to yourself with some Christmas money.

RHEL 6 for the Clueless: Samba File Sharing

By Ed Hurst | Nov 26, 2011 at 1:53 AM

In my explorations with RHEL 6, we have come a long way towards a useful computing environment. One piece we have not taken time to explore much, however, is one of the most important for many users: file sharing. If you intend using your RHEL machine to serve files amongst Windows machines, one of the first things you should consider is using Samba.

The Gifts of Christmas 2011: The Tablet Guide

By Timothy Butler | Nov 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM

With the Kindle Fire’s impending release adding yet another interesting dimension to the tablet market, selecting a tablet to give as a gift this season has become all the more complicated. More than likely, Amazon’s entry will dramatically change the playing field, but other tablets continue to have significant merits that make them worthy of gifting consideration this year. We look at the cream of the crop of those other tablets in light of the new Kindle, below.

The View from Mudsock Heights: The Wonderful, Tiny, Quirky Tablet Computer that Has Won My Heart

By Dennis Powell | Oct 21, 2011 at 9:57 AM

If one were to do a survey of the next tablet computer from a major manufacturer likely to disappear — the HP TouchPad now being gone — the near-unanimous choice would very likely be Research In Motion's Blackberry Playbook. And that's too bad. The little 7-inch Playbook is a really cool machine, a Mercedes to HP's Ford F-150.

Freedom, Apple and Richard Stallman

By Timothy Butler | Oct 14, 2011 at 11:36 PM

When news broke of Steve Jobs’s death, their was an outpouring of sadness from both those who knew the man and those of us who knew only the products his farsighted perfectionism had helped to mold. Amidst the mourning over a technology pioneer and visionary, there was a contrary opinion from another technology pioneer and visionary known for his nearly 30 year long campaign against proprietary software. Richard Stallman was glad Jobs would not be able to create any more “jails” to lock people in.

The View from Mudsock Heights: The Bargain-Basement HP TouchPad and How to Make It Better Even Now

By Dennis Powell | Oct 05, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Don’t it always seem to go: you don’t know what you want until it’s marked down to a fraction of its retail price and there is a brief but vast buying frenzy. Yes, I was drawn to think of what Joni Mitchell ought to have written when, a few weeks ago, I discovered that my life would never be complete until I had one of the discontinued Hewlett Packard TouchPad tablet machines.

Java on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

By Ed Hurst | Sep 28, 2011 at 12:56 AM

The bundled Open Java on RHEL is okay. It's also painfully slow, particularly compared to the competition. Most people still call it Sun Java, though it's now owned by Oracle. Because we have installed the development packages, we have the Open JDK (Java Development Kit) so we'll have to replace it with Oracle's JDK for Linux. This is so much faster, there simply is no comparison, at least on desktop applications. That would be things like Jedit (a java-based text editor), the Bible Desktop or "JSword" (java version of Crosswire's Sword Project) and any number of java games.

The View from Mudsock Heights: It’s Not Nice -- or Smart -- to Fool With the Market

By Dennis Powell | Sep 11, 2011 at 12:47 AM

A few years ago there was an advertising campaign on television, the punchline of which was, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” Like so many commercials, I remember the joke but not the product — I believe it was margarine, but I do not know or care which brand.

RHEL 6 for the Clueless: Generic Software Build

By Ed Hurst | Sep 09, 2011 at 1:23 AM

For our last desktop oriented article, I promised we would build one item using the generic Open Source scripted building process. For this project, I chose something only slightly complicated, and likely to be favored by most users: PySolFC, the Python Solitaire Fan Club Edition. It's not just a collection of card games, but more card games than you've ever seen, along with a wide array of Mahjongg based games. It also comes with background music.

Getting More RPM's Out of Linux

By Ed Hurst | Aug 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM

In my last column, we learned the basics of RPM, the software management tool of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and numerous other distributions). With a little less hand-holding this time, I am going to outline for you building a bigger SRPM project which has lots of dependencies. As scary as that may sound, it is really fairly simple in practice.

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