Linux and the hungry Penguin

Memory madness

Category: Linux
Posted: 2005-03-23 05:21, Edited: 2005-03-23 11:21

I have set up my test machine to run Fedora Core 3 and in the coming days I will be writing a review... But before that I want to rant a bit about memory requirements. The FC3 release notes say that the minimum memory requirements for INSTALLATION are:

- Minimum for text-mode: 64MB
- Minimum for graphical: 192MB
- Recommended for graphical: 256MB

I just couldn't believe it!!! :(

We are talking about installation here, not even running the system... I deal with a lot of older hardware, PII and PIII type machines, and the FC people are telling me that just to have a graphic install I need 256MB of memory.

Early in my computer career, I workd for Digital Equipment Corp (DEC), those guys who made the VAX computers (later they went on to make the Alpha chip, a true 64 bit chip long before Intel and AMD where thinking about 64 bits :cool: ), I used to run a full multi-tasking OS with X Windows and Motif on a micro VAX with only 32MB...

Where has it all gone wrong?

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What is Open Source?

Category: Linux
Posted: 2005-03-21 09:16, Edited: 2005-03-21 15:16

Open Source is a concept and license for publishing software along with it's sourcecode. Under Open Source, software is licensed in a certain way which allows anyone to redistributable it at will and without cost. The source code is freely available, and it is modifiable by anyone sufficiently experienced in programming.

An example of a Open Source license is the GPL (General Public License). The GPL comes from the Free Software Foundation and is the main license of the GNU project which was Richard Stallman in the 1980's.

The GNU project provides many of the key tools and components for what we call the Linux operating system. For example the C compiler which is used to build Linux is itself a free software project. Linux is licensed under the GPL.

The Free Software Foundation say that "Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think offree as in ree speech not as in free beer."

Also they say "Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software."

Another important project is the Open Source Initiative (OSI). They say "the basic idea behind open source is very simple: When programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing."

I hope that helps!

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Microsoft files XML doc patent in NZ

Category: News
Posted: 2005-03-21 03:08, Edited: 2005-03-21 09:08

According to the New Zealand Herald Microsoft has applied for a patent where they claim they invented and own the process whereby a word-processing document stored in a single XML file may be manipulated by applications that understand XML.

The New Zealand Open Source Society president Peter Harrison said "It means if you write a document in Word and save it in an XML format, you have to have Microsoft's permission to read it or change it."

Errrmmmm... I thought the whole point of XML was interoperability. What next Microsoft invented e-mail!!! Obviously prior art should stop this patent being accepted.

I could make lots of comments now about Microsoft and their underhanded business tactics... I see today from the BBC that Microsoft seems to be falling short in its compliance with the EU anti-trust punishment.

For those of you familiar with Star Trek, one quote comes to mind "Resistance if futile".

We will see!

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What is Linux?

Category: Linux
Posted: 2005-03-20 02:27, Edited: 2005-03-20 08:27

Every computer needs a core piece of software which is called an "Operating System". Many computers today use Microsoft Windows as their operating system or if you are using an Apple machine, Mac OS X. Linux is an alternative operating system for both Personal Computers (PCs) and Apple Macs.

Linux is a free operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the help of many developers (hackers) around the world. Linux is developed and released under the GNU General Public License which makes the source code for Linux freely available to everyone.

A Linux distribution (a package of Linux and Linux related programs) comes with everything a modern computer user need including an advanced GUI (Graphical User Interface), full Internet capabilities including e-mail, web browsing and FTP. Office applications like word processors and spreadsheets (often with a high level of compatibility with other programs like Microsoft Office), photo editing, full development suites, games and much more.

Linux is also very apt at running on a server. Linux is often used as an email and web server. If fact the computer which sent you this page is running Linux.

Linux runs on many different hardware platforms including Intel, Sparc, PowerPC, and Alpha Processors.

I hope that helps!

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