Our site name was once a clever way of telling you we were promoting Open Source technology for use in business or the home office — “Open (Source) for Business.” Much has changed over the last ten years, but we remain here for the same reason: we are passionate about the topics that appear on these virtual pages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The bug bites, I think, were worth it. One of the advantages of living in the country is the absence of sensory overload, which allows us to take in the more subtle phenomena that we would otherwise miss.
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.
There is said to be a place hotter than it has been around here, but believers — I am among them — hold the view that if one is good, and repentant, it is possible to avoid ever going there. I’m speaking, of course, of Washington D.C.