In the growing tradition of -women groups, Ubuntu-Women now joins the ranks with the annoucement of the launch of their official website this week.
Officially founded by Vid Ayer, the group has similar aims to other F/OSS -women projects, with perhaps a greater weight put on getting more women using linux (specifically Ubuntu) and feeling more comfortable in the F/OSS world in general.
The Ubuntu-Women mailing list was started in February 2006, and a related Ubuntu-Women Forum and IRC channel (#ubuntu-women on irc.freenode.net) have been around since mid 2005.
My Kubuntu system is working out great as a digital photo editing workstation. Originally it had a 80gig SATA drive, but I decided to get a bigger drive and swap the old one into my main workstation-for-paying-work. Well now, Linux support for SATA is fine n dandy, you don’t have to install drivers like you do for poor antique Windowses. But in the computing world rule #1 is “there are always glitches.” My workstation-for-paying-work wouldn’t recognize the 80-gig SATA drive. It took awhile to get there, but the answer turned out to be a simple one…
Here’s a tip for Pacific Northwest free software fans; Linuxfest Northwest is this weekend. This is a free, community-organized showcase for open source in the area. The insider tip (from Brian Aker) is that you shouldn’t miss it.
There’s a Linuxfest Northwest talks schedule online, with plenty of subjects and several good speakers — including George Dyson, Dee-Ann LeBlanc, Danny O’Brien, Eric Wilhelm, Peter Scott, Keith Lofstrom, Chris Dawson, Tim Maher, Tim Bray, Eric Harrison.
If you’re in the area this Saturday, grab a friend or colleague you want to introduce to Linux and F/LOSS and go.
So there you are, dutifully wading through the documentation for whatever gnarly Linux application you’re rassling into submission. You’re running commands and editing configuration files and things are working and life is good. Until — yes, you knew the good times weren’t going to last — until you hit the dreaded “send the process a SIGHUP” instruction.
Killing With Linux: A Primer
Last week I installed Fedora Core 5 on two aging but serviceable systems: my eMachines desktop (2GHz Celeron, 768MB RAM) and a Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204 notebook (1GHz Celeron, 512MB PC100 RAM). The desktop had previously run Fedora Core 4 while the laptop had been running Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) for a few months and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4 Update 1 prior to that.
One of the claims made for Fedora Core 5 is that it was built to boot faster and run faster than the previous release. I’m very pleased to say that it’s true and the difference on my laptop is especially noticeable. Those of you who are running older, slower hardware or tend to heavily load you systems will definitely be happy with FC5. It is significantly crisper and more responsive than Ubuntu Breezy Badger and RHEL 4 as well.
I’ve never been happy with anaconda, the Red Hat installer. The new version of the graphical installation is certainly prettier but it still lacks the fine grained control of what software packages are to be installed that other distributions do offer as an option to experienced users. Also, as I quickly learned installing to my laptop, there is no “minimal” installation and, as with previous versions, no matter how much I strip down the installation anaconda will add cruft. Things that are not truly needed which I didn’t ask for do get installed. I still have to list my installed packages when I’m done and remove things. I know that corporate customers who build single purpose servers generally are unhappy about this and Red Hat may want to look at allowing a truly minimal build in the next release and/or in RHEL 5. The good news is that for the less experienced user building a typical desktop the anaconda installation is straightforward and downright easy. Hardware detection is certainly excellent and other than my printer (easily added) everything was correctly recognized and installed by anaconda.
The new Fedora offers two options for the desktop: Gnome and KDE. Gnome remains the default choice. The totally minimal twm is available as part of the X installation and you can just install that and then add other window managers or desktop environments from Fedora Extras after the initial installation. Note that anaconda will install significant parts of Gnome if you install any of the graphical system administration tools in any case, Choices in Extras are pretty limited too, but XFCE 4 and a handful of lightweight window managers are offered and will be recognized by gdm or kdm (the graphical login) session choices after they are installed.
Learn how to build an Asterisk@Home test lab.This series is also a good howto for setting up a small production Asterisk iPBX on the cheap. This three-part series is aimed at both telephony and Linux noobs. If you understand computer networking basics, this is just the Asterisk howto you need to get up and running. Not only for a test lab, but also a small production system. The series covers installation, what hardware to use, how to set up local extensions and automatic call routing, how to connect to the outside world, and how to replace the Asterisk@Home logo with your own custom logo.
VoIPowering your Office with Asterisk - Building a Test Lab, Part 1
VoIPowering your Office with Asterisk-Building a Test Lab, Part 2
VoIPowering your Office with Asterisk-Building a Test Lab, Part 3
I enjoy x-windows as much as the next person, but I’ve found that text-based applications are the best way to work with information that is essentially text-based. Most direct communication, including E-Mail, Instant Messaging(IM) and Internet Relay Chat(IRC), fall into this category. I will touch upon these three communication methods in this article, and provide the text-based solution that I use.
But first, I will introduce screen.
From the introduction on the site:
“Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes, typically interactive shells … Programs continue to run when their window is currently not visible and even when the whole screen session is detached from the users terminal.”
Browsing through other blogs on here recently, I came across a piece explaining how to set Firefox to use vi key bindings. Which sounded great; unfortunately, the method as advertised no longer works (Firefox 18.104.22.168).
A bit more digging revealed a more up-to-date version. More complicated, as well - you have to unzip [firefox_dir]/chrome/toolkit.jar, edit the platformHTMLBindings.xml file to include the lines
<handler event=”keypress” key=”h” command=”cmd_scrollLeft”/>
<handler event=”keypress” key=”j” command=”cmd_scrollLineDown”/>
<handler event=”keypress” key=”k” command=”cmd_scrollLineUp”/>
<handler event=”keypress” key=”l” command=”cmd_scrollRight”/>
<handler event=”keypress” key=”u” command=”cmd_scrollPageUp” />
and then zip it back up again (keeping the old version for reference is probably wise).
Restarting Firefox and still no joy - any typing still went straight to the ‘find ahead’ toolbar. Final step, then: open about:config (type ‘about:config’ in the address bar) and set accessibility:typeaheadfind to false. This does mean you have to type / to start searching but personally my fingers do that automatically anyway so it’s not much of a disincentive; and scrolling without needing to move to either arrow keypad or mouse is a definite plus. Now I just need to retrain my hands to do so!
I was cruising through the Linux books in O’Reilly’s catalog and ran across this little gem:
Understanding Linux Network Internals, by Christian Benvenuti. I think I have to call this my all-time favorite networking book. At over 1000 pages it’s an amazing accomlishment for a single author. The writing is clear and lucid, and Mr. Benvenuti writes with a depth and clarity you just don’t find in networking books.
Windows network admins should study this book as well- you’ll get an education you won’t find anywhere else, and all of those mysterious Windows networking behaviors will actually make sense. Or at least be understandable, since Microsoft’s habit of borking standard protocols never makes sense.
There aren’t too many computing books that I get excited about; this one goes on my Top 5 list.
Related link: http://asteriskathome.sourceforge.net/
The name is misleading- Asterisk@Home is a dynamite prefab PBX/VoIP/messaging server on a single CD that is perfect for business use. It incorporates excellent graphical management tools, SugarCRM, fax support, home automation support, OpenSSH, Festival Speech engine, and bunch more good stuff.
Asterisk@Home considerably shortens the Asterisk learning curve. Asterisk is a great piece of software, but learning your way around its dozens of configuration files, then integrating other software as you need it is a bit of a job.
If you use and like Asterisk@Home, don’t forget to click the PayPal link and send them a few bucks!
If you’re brand-new to Asterisk and telephony, feel free to follow alone with my adventures as they unfold on voipplanet.com. Look in the “Solutions” section.