If there were a Linux distribution which appealed to the most common type of computers users, they would be using it already. Some barriers to adoption we can't remove; the fix relates to things we can't control. Yet, in my rant on “rolling release” I tried to point out there is at least one thing we could do differently, if we would — make some effort to support fixing previous releases still in heavy use. That way we can offer something to the one part of the world's computer users we have neglected. T
The basic purpose of a word processor is to format text for printing. If you aren't going to put it on paper, you really have no need for a word processor. However, I find a huge portion of the computer using population don't make a distinction between documents for printing and webpages. That is, not consciously. They may know instinctively if they want to print the contents of a webpage the way they want it to print, they'll have to copy from the page, then paste into a word processor, format, then print. They focus on the presentation, and the information is a separate issue. Indeed, the former often takes precedence.
In an act affecting owners of 2G cell phones on AT&T Mobility’s network, including the highly visible, and originally highly expensive first generation iPhone, Open for Business has learned that AT&T has been quietly sacrificing 2G signal strength in an effort to speed up the build out of its next generation 3G network. The first generation iPhone was trumpeted by the company as recently as seven months ago; many 2G phones continue to be sold by the Dallas-based company today.
I’ve always enjoyed exploring. Every time I’ve moved from one residence to another, I’ve always wandered around my new neighborhood, simply to see what was there. It’s the same with computer technology. I love poking around operating systems. Lately, one aspect of this has gotten tiring in every Open Source operating system: the rolling release. The phrase refers to the sometimes feverish effort to add new features, long before the old ones even work properly. Thus, every day sees sometimes radical changes in various projects, new features and new bloat.
Have you put off your Christmas shopping just a little too long and now you are panicking what to get those still on your shopping list? Never fear; the editorial team at OFB has gathered some of our favorite gift ideas, starting at under $5, and have even noted a few that you can still get shipped online if you'd rather avoid the holiday bustle of brick-and-mortar stores.
When it comes to enthusiast and professional digital photography, everyone knows and talks about Canon and Nikon. Sony has recently become extremely aggressive and Pentax occasionally rouses some interest, but all of them have taken relatively similar design paths. That leaves Olympus as the innovator in many important ways that make them worth another look.
Apple’s App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch is proving interesting in large part because it has suddenly mainstreamed the idea of downloading third party applications for a mobile phone. With the prominent storefront, developers seem anxious to get their fifteen minutes of fame. TouchTerm’s developers, however, are now trying for a second fifteen minutes — can they get it?
Few things in Unix match the importance of the terminal emulator. Having a nice GUI is fine, but nothing beats the command line, which some have said is the "front line" of computing. As an official member of the Brotherhood of the Commandline, I have always kept at least one terminal window open at all times, and often three or more.
Take a deep breath and repeat after me: A computer is just a tool. It is only so good as it serves to make life better for users. A "better" life is obviously not the same thing for everyone. For me, it means making my Mac more like Linux, as I began to discuss in my last article.
Sometimes you stumble across a decent system, still working fine, but getting old. If the price is right, you might take it anyway. For most people in non-profit work, which is like running a business on a very poor budget, this is about the only way to get enough computers to get the job done. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon an eMac running Panther. It cost almost nothing, so I took it.