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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in December 2007
A common question I hear when people want to make the jump to open source software as a standard -- either to step away from Microsoft or from proprietary software as a whole -- is this: "OK, what do I use now?" Sites like Open Source Living were built to answer that question.
From time to time I've mentioned Linux distributions specifically designed for low-end systems -- some of which I've used to save machines from the dumpster. This week I've got a new release of one such Linux distro: VectorLinux version 5.9.
It's been a landmark year for open source, and in so many different ways that even a casual survey of the year's events will range far and wide. Here's a quick rundown of what to me were the top five open source events of the year -- not an exhaustive list, of course, but the things that best reflected how important and widely entrenched open source software (especially Linux) has become.
And so Microsoft has finally agreed to give the Samba Team the protocol information it needs to allow systems that use Samba to interoperate as completely as possible with Windows Server machines. Based on the information Groklaw has provided about the agreement, it looks like this might be the first of many solutions to Micros
After my blog post about the revamp of the OSVDB, I was contacted directly by Jake Kouns, one of the OSVDB's project leaders. He wanted to clarify some of the project's goals and respond to some of the criticisms sent his way, and it turned into a deeply involving discussion.
After hearing about the developers of BusyBox reaching a settlement with a vendor that violated the GPL, and reading colleague Paul McDougall's post about a possible need for an open source compliance officer in IT departments, I couldn't help but think: Is the open source moment head
"I can't live without my radio," LL Cool J once declaimed. Me, I can't live without my music library: there isn't a day that goes by when I don't have Miles Davis or Brian Eno (or, when I'm feeling more ruminative, Merzbow) on the speakers. To that end I tried out Songbird, a Mozilla-derived open-source music player and web-sharing platform. In time it could be to WMP a
There are a lot of open source initiatives out there that aren't just software, but ways to get information into people's hands. Today an open source supplier of security vulnerability information, the OSVDB, just went live with a whole new revision to its service. The information it provides is free, albeit with some strings attached that have raised a few hackles.
Talk about a blast from the past! The folks at OS2 World, led by Kim Haverblad, in conjunction with Adrian Gschwend's Netlabs, have petitioned IBM to release its venerable OS/2 operating system as an open source product. But there's more at work here than simple nostalgia.
As of yesterday, the content-management and blogging solution Movable Type officially went open source -- in other words, free for everyone to use for any purpose, business or personal. SixApart, the maker of MT, calls it "a milestone." I couldn't agree more.
The recent news about Symantec offering an antivirus suite for Mac OS X Leopard made me wonder: If Linux becomes at least as popular on the desktop as the Mac, would an antivirus solution be marketed for Linux, too?
My new PC arrived over the weekend -- a Dell XPS Studio 420. Sadly, one of the things I bought it for forces me to use Windows: the Blu-ray Disc drive. Right now, as far as I know, there is no legal way to play a commercially recorded Blu-ray disc -- or for that matter, a commercially recorded HD DVD disc -- in Linux. I really hope it doesn't stay that way.
And now Verizon seems to have run afoul of the requirements of the GPL, although I'm betting this won't play out anywhere nearly as smoothly as Asus's kerfuffle with the Eee PC's source code.
This Christmas I decided to give a few gifts to people in the open source community. I'm making donations to the maintainers of some of my favorite and most widely used software projects. They've earned some payback!
After the flood of comments on my original post about Microsoft's radical changes to Windows Vista's copy protection, I thought I'd clarify my points. Let's get one thing out of the way first: I'm not advocating that anyone run Vista without buying a license key. No, not even if you have it in for Microsoft.
After hearing that Microsoft has decided to finally do away with Windows Genuine Advantage, I realized there was one enormous repercussion: It puts Windows Vista and Linux on a far more even footing than ever before. And it essentially makes Vista into freeware, but that's just a handy side effect.
If you create a piece of open source software and discover that it has been put to use in a way you find personally distasteful or immoral, what would you do about it?
There's been more than a bit of buzz circulating in the Linux community about the upcoming release of KDE version 4, and there's also more than one way to try out the release candidate -- such as a live CD.