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News and Events / GNOME 3 Released
« on: April 06, 2011, 10:26:27 pm »

After around five years of planning and development, the GNOME developers have released the third generation of their Linux and Unix desktop, GNOME 3. GNOME 3 brings new operating concepts and a new look; the GNOME Shell reduces the visual complexity of the user interface to allow users to better focus on the applications that they use. Virtual desktops are also now an integral part of how users work with GNOME, with simple workspace navigation and a single keypress (or mouse gesture) able to bring an overview of all the windows and workspaces.

The GNOME developers have also, as is traditional, reduced the number of configuration options; the changes usually help users who are new to the desktop work with it but also usually run into strong criticism from experienced GNOME users. In general, GNOME 2 users will need to retrain themselves for the new environment of GNOME 3.

For more information about the changes in GNOME 3 and how to adapt to them see The H feature "First Look:GNOME 3.0".


News and Events / Ubuntu: Canonical Focuses on Wall Street
« on: April 06, 2010, 10:58:28 pm »
Call it a small but strategic step in the right direction. Following in the footsteps of Red Hat and Novell, the folks at Canonical are positioning Ubuntu for use by Wall Street firms. Some details about the effort could surface on April 19, during the HPC (High Performance Computing) Linux Financial Markets conference in New York. Here are some details.

Canonical won’t take center stage at the conference. But the software company does plan to exhibit Ubuntu at the show.

Smart move. Wall Street has been especially good to the Linux movement. In recent years, many financial services firms made the leap of faith from Sun’s SPARC/Solaris combo to Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Novell SUSE Linux in order to gain low-cost application freedom on industry standard hardware.

Now, Canonical hopes to begin the discussion with Wall Street firms as well. True believers include Equitec, a financial services firm that moved its proprietary trading software from 100 Windows-based servers to 30 Ubuntu-based servers, according to Canonical. (Side note: I’m having difficulty getting an update from Equitec regarding the Ubuntu deployment as well as the company’s business status.) Somewhat similarly, Linux Box — a solutions provider in Ann Arbor, Michigan — has started promoting Ubuntu to financial services firms.

Meanwhile, Dell has announced plans to embrace Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud — which could position Canonical for some private cloud momentum on Wall Street.

Admittedly, those are small signs of progress within Canonical’s broader Ubuntu business strategy. As Ubuntu 10.04 nears release in late April 2010, Canonical hopes to engage more ISVs (independent software vendors), cloud partners, OEMs and customers with the operating system. We’ll be watching to see how those strategies play out.


Puredyne is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution  aimed at creative people. It provides a number of creative applications, alongside a solid set of graphic, audio and video tools in a fast, minimal package. It includes software  for everything an artist might need - from sound art to innovative film-making. Puredyne is optimised for use in real-time audio and video processing and it distinguishes itself by offering a low latency kernel and high responsiveness needed by artists working in this field.

Puredyne is aimed at creative people, looking for tools outside the standard. It provides the best experimental creative applications alongside a solid set of graphic, audio and video tools in a fast, minimal package. For everything from sound art to innovative filmmaking.

Puredyne is optimised for use in realtime audio and video processing. It distinguishes itself by offering a low latency kernel and the high responsiveness needed by artists working in this field.

Puredyne is based on Ubuntu and Debian Live. All packages provided by Puredyne can be used if you are running this flavour of GNU/Linux. Use, share, copy, modify, join the development team or fork :)

Puredyne development has been made possible by Arts Council England. Thanks to the University of Huddersfield, LABoral - Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial and Pixelache for additional support.

Used as a Live CD, puredyne is a complete Linux multimedia desktop environment that can run from virtually any x86 machine. The system can be booted from a CD, DVD, or USB stick.[10] Thanks to AuFS and the Debian Live system, it is possible to combine the CD and save all system changes, including new drivers and software, in any storage device (from hard-disk to USB sticks and other flash memory). Installing puredyne can be done in several ways. The fastest is just a matter of copying a folder from the CD to the Hard-Drive (liveHD) or to a flash key (liveUSB). The system is truly a live distribution as it remains unchanged no matter which medium it is booted from. The system also comes with GCC and special SDK tools to facilitate the modification of the distribution, the addition of new software and the creation of new ISO images.

Software highlights.

  • puredata
  • supercollider
  • csound
  • chuck
  • ladspa plugins
  • ardour
  • audacity
  • ecasound

  • gimp
  • inkscape
  • fluxus
  • freej
  • processing + extras
  • imagemagick
  • gthumb
  • gphoto2

  • mplayer
  • vlc
  • avidemux
  • kino
  • mencoder
  • transcode
  • luvcview
  • xawtv
  • recordmydesktop

  • icecast2
  • ices2
  • ffmpeg2theora
  • oggfwd
  • darkice
  • darksnow
  • gstreamer
  • dvswitch

  • firefox
  • links2
  • network-manager
  • wireless-tools
  • ssh
  • telnet
  • gftp
  • irssi
  • nfs

  • gcc
  • make
  • patchutils
  • subversion
  • mercurial
  • bzr
  • emacs-goodies-el
  • java jdk
  • python

...and much more.


News and Events / IBM Breaks Open Source Patent Pledge
« on: April 06, 2010, 10:00:00 pm »
"IBM has broken the pledge it made in 2005 not to assert 500 patents against open source software. In a letter sent to Roger Bowler, president of TurboHercules SA, IBM's Mark Anzani, head of their mainframe business, claimed that the Hercules open-source emulator (disclaimer: I manage the open source project) infringes on at least 106 issued patents and 67 more applied for. Included in that list is two that it pledged not to assert in 2005. In a blog entry, the NoSoftwarePatents campaign's Florian Mueller said that 'IBM is using patent warfare in order to protect its highly lucrative mainframe monopoly against Free and Open Source Software.' I have to agree: from where I sit, IBM likes Open Source only as long as they don't have to compete with it."


News and Events / Stallman On the UK Digital Economy Bill
« on: April 06, 2010, 09:55:24 pm »
"When I read about Gordon Brown's plan to give the UK more broadband, I couldn't restrain my laughter. Isn't this the same clown now busy circumventing democracy to take away broadband from Britons who already have it? And what good would broadband do them if they're punished for using it (or even being suspected of using it)? Laying cables would be a waste of resources if people are not allowed to use them. Brown did suggest another possible use for broadband. He said that it would enable MPs to better communicate with their constituents and keep track of what they want."


News and Events / Ubuntu One Gets iPhone App For Contact Sync
« on: April 06, 2010, 02:49:37 am »
Canonical is bringing its Ubuntu One cloud service to handheld devices with a new mobile contact synchronization feature that is powered by Funambol.

Canonical's Ubuntu One application for the iPhone is now available from the iTunes Music Store. Android and other mobile operating systems will be supported with Funambol's standard client application.

The mobile sync feature is currently in the beta testing stage but will be generally available to Ubuntu One subscribers when Ubuntu 10.04 is released later this month. Canonical says that it is boosting its Ubuntu One server infrastructure in order to support what it anticipates will be record loads.


A lot of people complained about the iPad’s closed-off software. But no one did anything about it — until now, apparently.

A well-known hacker of the iPhone, who previously defeated Apple’s restrictions on developers, has
to have hacked the iPad. Just a day after release, the hacker, who goes by “MuscleNerd” online, said that he has gained root access to the iPad, a process known as “ jailbreaking.”

“Jailbreaking” is a technical term which refers literally to  limits on software placed on an operating system and more figuratively to the feelings developers have about such restrictions. An Apple device that’s been “jailbroken” can run any code, not just company-approved software available through its online stores. But such jailbreaking is a violation of Apple’s terms of service, which may mean Apple Stores will refuse to fix broken devices.

The iPad jailbreak technique is similar to an exploit of the iPhone operating system known as “Spirit.” Hackers have shown time after time that they can break into Apple’s security software for new iPhones, often within a day of release. One motivation: getting access to pirated software. It’s not known how much piracy happens as a result of jailbreaking, but it’s believed to be considerable.

Just in case you missed the video link: -


General Discussion / Put out of business :(
« on: April 04, 2010, 11:11:46 pm »
Ok so this is mainly a post to vent my frustration and anger so please be aware this is my personal feelings and no way endorsed by

Bit of a background before i start.

I'm in the middle of setting up a venture in the Web hosting industry, and was getting helped by business link in starting this venture.

So i was talking to a potential client today, and we got on to the pricing structure of my services, i was all to happy to oblige as i haven't yet managed to break into the market, so was hoping this would be my first client/business i will host, unfortunately said client found out about and then proceeded to ask me why i couldn't sell my services cheaper (wanted free domain etc), at current as a start-up i cant afford to offer these services and explained to the customer that it wasn't possible at this stage, but could offer a discount on the web hosting, which the customer then turned round and said ok sorry to waste your time but i think ill go with gbbo.

i wasn't aware of this website until today so decided to click and to my horror found out they give way the services i sell for free, and on top of that the company (business link) who is helping me set-up is actually backing this project.

This has forced me into a decision not to carry on my business venture in the web hosting market, there is no way i can compete with these guys especially backed by some pretty heavy names (google, BT), the market area i was going to be providing for was small business in and around my local area and eventually open the net to the rest of the UK, but this is now impossible for me to do, so in theory the company helping me start is the company shutting me down, i cant afford to carry on paying the fees i pay, every month when a site like gbbo exists, i have put and now lost alot of my own cash on this project, and i feel let down by my own country.

They are supposed to help start-ups like me but yet they have literally put me out of business.

Thanks to Google, Enterprise UK, & BT (and whoever else is backing the project), i am now forced to close my business.

OberonHosting Ceased Trading on 4th of April 2010

Nathan Smith

Printers and Scanners / Linux Supported Printers
« on: March 29, 2010, 06:58:12 pm »
If your unsure whether or not your current printer is supported by Linux, you can simple check out the link below to see if your printer has Linux support.

Check My Printer


- Works Perfectly.
- Works Mostly.
- Works Partially.
? ? ? - Unknown.
- No Support ("Paperweight").

News and Events / NVIDIA Drops Their Open-Source Driver
« on: March 29, 2010, 06:34:37 pm »
NVIDIA has announced that it is dropping the support for new GPUs, such as the forthcoming Fermi, from it's open source xf86-video-nv driver for X11. NVIDIA are recommending that users who want to use these new GPUs install the VESA driver at installation and then install the NVIDIA proprietary Linux drivers to make full use of the GPU. NVIDIA says it will continue to support the nv driver for existing functionality and current levels of acceleration for current and previous GPUs and says that "within reason" it will support future X server versions. New features, such as DisplayPort, will not be added to the nv driver on any GPU.

NVIDIA has actively supported the development of the free nv driver in addition to its proprietary Linux drivers. The xf86-video-nv driver only works to accelerate 2D graphics operations and does not assist modern desktops which often require 3D acceleration. NVIDIA therefore feels that the nv driver now offers no benefits beyond the VESA X driver.

The Nouveau driver, and its development, is independent of NVIDIA and provides an open source driver which experimentally supports 3D acceleration and xvideo, features that the nv driver lacks.


News and Events / Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 Beta released
« on: March 29, 2010, 06:29:21 pm »
Red Hat has announced the release of the first beta for version 2.2 of its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization product. The latest development release of its virtualisation solution adds several new features and capabilities, including support for both virtual server and virtual desktop environments from the same management platform.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 beta features the ability to import and export virtual machine (VM) images and templates using the Open Virtualisation Format (OVF) and a new V2V virtual machine conversion tool. With V2V, users can convert VMware or Xen VM images into an OVF file for use within Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. Currently V2V supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3, 4 or 5 VMs, however, Red Hat notes that a future beta release will also support conversion of Windows XP 2003 and Windows 2008 VM images.

Other changes include a data warehouse and an updated hypervisor using the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 kernel. The maximum allowable memory for a VM has also been increased from 64 GB to 256 GB and disk I/O performance has been improved.

More details about the release can be found in the release announcement. Existing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization customers can download the 2.2 beta via the Red Hat Network.


News and Events / What You Should Expect For Ubuntu 10.04
« on: March 29, 2010, 03:37:46 am »

Ubuntu is set to release their next Long Term Support version at the end of April, and we now have a beta version to look at and see what we can expect. There are some pretty big changes coming in Lucid Lynx, many of which are partly or fully implemented in the current beta. There are the surprising changes, the controversial changes, and the just plain cool. Though the full release is still a month away, Ubuntu 10.04 is clearly shaping up to be an impressive release.

New Look

The most obvious change to many is the completely redesigned color scheme. The standard brown has been replaced with a purple, grey, and orange theme called Ambiance.

This also applies to things like the standard desktop icons.

Yahoo Becomes New Default Firefox Search

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, reached an agreement with Yahoo! to set the default search provider in Ubuntu’s version of Firefox to their search engine. This doesn’t prevent you from making the two clicks necessary to set it to whatever you like, so those who don’t like Yahoo! have a quick, simple fix.

Title Buttons Moved to the Left

Along with the new theme, the shift in Min/Max/Close buttons from the right corner to the left has caused quite a bit of grumbling from users. While Ubuntu does not currently (as of Beta 1) provide a simple way to reverse this, it can be done check out the link below to see how:

[Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid] Move the Minimize, Maximize, Close buttons to the Right.

New Open Source Nvidia Driver

It seems that Ubuntu decided the Nouveau driver was ready for prime time, and has now set it as Lucid’s default driver for Nvidia cards. If Nouveau doesn’t work out for you, you can still install the normal proprietary drivers easily.

New Social Networking Integration

Lucid now sports the MeMenu. This is intended to be somewhat of a one-stop messaging solution for various chat and social web services. In one panel applet, you’ve got Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Jabber, AIM, IRC, ICQ, and several more. Incoming messages are displayed using the notification system introduced in recent Ubuntu versions.

HAL Removal

HAL, the hardware abstraction layer, is not included in Lucid, in favor of DeviceKit. While many of the benefits of DeviceKit are for developers, users will notice a faster boot and faster resume from suspend mode.

Ubuntu One

The Ubuntu One cloud service has been creeping its way into the past few releases, and Lucid will have it fully integrated. Ubuntu allows you up to 2GB of free storage online, and that service can be used to share files between friends or others. This can be very useful if you find yourself installing Lucid over a previous release – you can sync the files in your /home into the cloud, and after reinstall just activate Ubuntu One and it’ll re-download your files for you.

Ubuntu One Music Store

While not technically a feature of 10.04 itself, the opening of Ubuntu One Music Store will coincide with Lucid’s release, and support for it is already built in. The simplest way to access it is by opening up Rhythmbox, the default audio player. In the panel on the left, you should see Ubuntu One. Clicking that will let you browse the available music.

There’s likely to be at least one more beta before release, and with the current state of Lucid Lynx, it looks like it will be worth the wait. This version is full of new features, performance improvements, and innovative changes.


If like me you just cant get on with the Minimize, Maximize, Close on the left hand side in Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) here is a neat little trick to move them.

Bare in mind Mark Shuttleworth has said he wants to use the right part for something else, but until then we can at least have some normality back to our beloved ubuntu :)

Launch Configuration Editor (Alt+F2 and type in gconf-editor then hit the run button)
Now navigate to apps>metacity>general.
Find button_layout in the right hand pane and double click on it to edit it
Change the value from




Click OK and Enjoy !!

Alternatively, this can also be done by executing the following command from the terminal

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout --type string menu:minimize,maximize,close

Ubuntu's future 10.10 operating system is going to make a small, but contentious change to how file sizes are represented. Like most other operating systems using binary prefixes, Ubuntu currently represents 1 kB (kilobyte) as 1024 bytes (base-2). But starting with 10.10, a switch to SI prefixes (base-10) will denote 1 kB as 1000 bytes, 1 MB as 1000 kB, 1 GB as 1000 MB, and so on.

It was first reported that 10.04 Lucid Lynx would make the switch to base-10, but it was eventually delayed to lucid+1 (10.10) as all applications didn't comply with the new units policy and were still using base-2.

The new units policy establishes two basic guidelines: applications should use the IEC/binary prefix for base-2 units and the SI prefix for base-10 units. The SI prefix should not be mixed with base-2 units. The exact policy from the wiki is outlined below:

Applications must use IEC standard for base-2 units:

    * 1 KiB (kibibyte) = 1,024 bytes (Note: big k)
    * 1 MiB (mebibyte) = 1,024 KiB = 1,048,576 bytes
    * 1 GiB (gibibyte) = 1,024 MiB = 1,048,576 KiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes
    * 1 TiB (tebibyte) = 1,024 GiB = 1,048,576 MiB = 1,073,741,824 KiB = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes

Applications must use SI standard for base-10 units:

    * 1 kB (kilobyte) = 1,000 bytes (Note: small k)
    * 1 MB (megabyte) = 1,000 kB = 1,000,000 bytes
    * 1 GB (gigabyte) = 1,000 MB = 1,000,000 kB = 1,000,000,000 bytes
    * 1 TB (terabyte) = 1,000 GB = 1,000,000 MB = 1,000,000,000 kB = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes

It is not allowed to use the SI standard for base-2 units:

    * 1 kB ≠ 1,024 bytes
    * KB (with a big k) does not exist

Additional implementation guidelines are also outlined: base-10 should be used to represent network bandwidth and disk sizes while RAM sizes should use base-2. File sizes can either be shown in both base-10 and base-2, only base-10, or a user option to choose between the two (but with base-10 set as the default).

This new counting will finally put them in line with the standard Greek meaning of "kilo" as 1000 and will seek to alleviate the confusion that regular consumers often have when buying a new hard drive. The pros are not exclusive of the cons though, as inconsistencies between different operating systems presents a troubling user experience dilemma. Other new confusions that this would bring are also outlined in the wiki:

    * CD-ROM sizes are specified in MiB, but the manufacturers label this "MB" (a "700 MB" CD-ROM contains approximately 700 MiB = 737 MB).
    * Memory (RAM, ROM) is specified in base 2, but labeled with SI prefixes. For example, a "512 MB" RAM contains 512 MiB = 536.9 MB.

Apple themselves moved over to base-10 counting with the release of 10.6 Snow Leopard. Previous Mac OS X operating systems from 10.0 to 10.5 measured file and drive sizes in base-2.


Linux Tips & Tricks / Importing IE bookmarks to Firefox 3.0
« on: March 27, 2010, 02:23:46 am »
Open Internet Explorer.

Go to File > Import and Export > then click Next.
Select Export Favorites, click Next, click Next again (unless you only want to export a subfolder of your Favorites, in which case, select that subfolder now).
Click Export to a File or Address, click Browse to choose a location such as the desktop, USB etc (or accept the default location) and save the file, which is named bookmark.htm by default.
Click Next, then Finish to complete the export.


Open up Firefox
Go to Bookmarks > Organise Bookmarks > Import and Backup > Import HTML...
Click Next
Go to the location you stored the bookmark.htm file then click Open

Congrats you have now imported your IE bookmarks to Firefox

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