Linux/Open-Source

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Mike Harman
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Joined: 7-02-06
Jun 26 2004 13:30
Linux/Open-Source

Did a search and couldn't find any of discussion of linux on here, so figured I'd start some. I don't yet use it (sorting it out at the moment, and tried about five years ago when it was too complicated for me), but I do use a fair bit of open-source software and would be interested in what potential other people see in this kind of software and the methods of organisation used to produce it. I think it's worth pointing out that most file-sharing software is shareware/freeware not open-source - i.e. it's often supported by spyware, adware, very restricted licenses etc. for starters. I view filesharing as fundamentally different to open-source - in short, bottom-feeding, and although I'm not against it, I don't think it has much potential to change anything in the long run, open-source could be far more potentially damaging to Microsoft etc. since it doesn't encourage dependency on them.

The Iraqi Linux User Group:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3830545.stm

>>... are firm believers in open source software. Unlike expensive proprietary software, open-source software can be freely distributed and modified, as long as the modifications are shared with other users.

They are particularly fans of Linux operating system.<<

>>To Nabil Suleiman, a member of the Iraqi Linux User Group living in Canada, Linux could mean significant cost savings.

"There is a shortage in power and water supplies, and sewage systems, so the last thing Iraq needs is spending billions of dollars on very expensive and overpriced products, especially software products," he said.

>>"Currently, most software in use in Iraq is illegal copies of proprietary software," explained Don Marti editor of the US-based Linux Journal.

Software giants like Microsoft, he said, are happy to hook Iraqis on their software.

"Proprietary software companies are using these illegal copies as a free sample program, and a marketing tool, as they have in other countries."

"When the crackdown comes, and the people in Iraq start having to comply with the licenses for this software, then they're going to be in trouble."<<

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JDMF
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Jun 28 2004 19:23

too right mate. OSS and linux among them represents a great cooperative way of knowledge and innovation build up. Imagine if, for instance, the medical companies actually cared for people and worked in the same way than Open Source Software/GNU Public Licence (Copyleft) does?

When people say that medical companies need the secrecy to encourage commercial competition, i always point out the great example of OSS/GNU movement.

Good luck with getting in grips with linux mate. It's getting easier by the day.

star green black JDMF, Debian user red n black star

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Jacques Roux
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Joined: 17-07-06
Jun 30 2004 23:52

Well i just got Mandrake 10 working on my old computer so i thought i better read this thread. I think there is very exciting potential in open source software but i dont think we are there yet. Its far to techy for people being brought up on Windows XP and is pretty hard to get to grips with IMHO. Its not exactly running well for me, and im putting effort in... most ppl wouldnt bother.

Thats why i think filesharing has more potential at the moment, because its very very easy to get to grips with, which is why loads of people use it and is capable of getting round all sorts of different barrier in regards to shifting content.

The record industry definetly think its a threat to their type of capitalism and i think, not just talking about peer 2 peer (soulseek etc.) websites sharing texts, books, images whatever can be very very usefull.

But yeah ultimately i think open software is the way to go, i just dont think right now thats its worth the effort for most ppl and wont grow until it is!

We have a pretty smalll tech section at: http://www.enrager.net/culture/computer/index.htm

smile

LiveFastDiarrea
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Joined: 19-09-03
Jul 1 2004 23:22

I think there have been huge advancements in non techy people being able to use linux, my mum runs her machine with suse and allthough she can't upkeep it and I wont let her run as root, she can use it for everything she needs and just gets me or my dad to sort out the little bits.

And you dont have to look far to see that open source software is coming out of the woodworks in a lot more places, a lot of major companies and organisations are starting to use linux as they discover the potential it can give an organisation and even novice home users are sticking it on their PCs even just as dual boot because they either want to just play around with it or think it can help them in some way.

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Jacques Roux
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Joined: 17-07-06
Jul 8 2004 00:18

I agree that its got way easier tho i dont think its too easy to go 100% open source from windows. Its quite hard i find to understand most of the support stuff out there which is pretty techy.

But little by little i think.... with people using open source programs on windows like Mozilla Firefox (Browser which i have started using - really good) and file sharing programs like Emule, i think if people work on changing their environments bit by bit we will slowly crawl towards a more open source world.

Until of course capitalism finds some way to assimilate it.

LiveFastDiarrea
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Jul 8 2004 08:51

Yeah, it is a big step, I know the first time I started using linux really scared me and I didn't have a clue what to do, luckily my dad was there to help me or I'd probably have given up.

Amd I agree that even if people dont make the trip to completly puritan open sourceness and use nothing but it, its good to use it on a windows box, as you say fire fox is a very good browser and I find OpenOffice is a good office suite. You can normally find open source alternatives to most windows applications.

Mike Harman
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Joined: 7-02-06
Jul 8 2004 23:06

Well, I got SuSe installed first time after Mandrake crashed 25 times during the install process (friendly, ha, didn't support my CDRW drive from what I could work out). I'd like to use Debian, but seem to have made some very bad hardware choices for compatibility, so fear another aborted installation if I try to run it.

The one-stop application installers like apt-get seem great - really emphasise that's it's offered and distributed for free. And yes, FireFox is working great, I'll probably switch to it from bog-standard Mozilla on windows as well.

LiveFastDiarrea
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Jul 9 2004 12:26

Yeah, i think the hardware compatibility is an issue that affects a lot of people, the reason I'm not running SuSe at the moment is because it didn't like my graphics card, and although I still had a fully functioning operating system, I'm not too hot on the command line and prefer my nice GUIs.

petrichenko
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Joined: 7-07-04
Jul 9 2004 20:37

I think it's interesting to note on this topic, that open source software, especially some of the linux OS are bog standard for many Government departments, here and around the world, because it is more secure than Windows. This has promoted Microsoft to respond with a their 'shared source' initiative, which offers Government bodies and big business users limited access to the Windows source code, so their own techy folk can debug it.

Whatever open source may mean for those of us who believe in free information, it is certainly having a big impact on those corporations that dominate the IT world. Linux is getting more popular and easier to use, and as a few people have already said, Firefox is becoming a serious challenger to IE (which wouldn't be hard as IE is shite).

phoebe
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Joined: 20-09-03
Jul 16 2004 16:17

Mandrake's a funny one. I've heard recent versions have a lot of "branding" (ie, a lot of how it works is specific to mandrake alone and getting used to mandrake may make it harder to transfer that knowledge and general comfortability with how it works to other types of linux).

I run Slackware which gets made out to be amazingly hard and techy but after you've used other linuxes it's actually a bit easier (possibly because they claim to have a philosophy of keeping true to the linux way of doing things and most of the setting up your system stuff being generic to most linuxes). But then that's if you've already used other linuxes before.

I think the main problem for people migrating from Windows to Linux is actually understanding quite how much of a change it is, and that things don't work the same. Windows has never really had a proper file ownership system for instance, where Linux does so a windows user may be confused when they find that when they switch user accounts they can't open a file that they created five minutes ago. Another one is the whole /folder/folder file structure with partitions being mounted into folders instead of being called "drives". It's little conceptual jumps like that which will always make it hard switching from one to another. The fact that Linux and Windows look at your computer differently, and that requires changes in the way the user thinks about how the computer is structured.

HOWTO files are your friends.

One of these days I'm going to get my dad to actually start using gentoo (which I put on his machine). It's got a graphical login and his user is pretty much set up so he can point-and-click his way around the computer to his heart's content without getting involved in anything too geeky.

<Insert all the obvious stuff about how technology developed and information shared for free by a community for the sake of mutual benefit is a whole lot better than having it all run by private corporate bastards with lots of money here>

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Jul 16 2004 18:54

Hmmm, soooo any suggestions as to what type Linux would be best for a normal home computer? Im know nothing about programming and i just want a system that i can have Kazaa on, play music, watch vids and most importantly, be next to/or nothing in cost! Im currently just using XP, i started to try learn Linux at college but i just couldnt figure it out! Any suggestions? Oh, and the link would be nice if anyone knows?! thanks smile

phoebe
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Joined: 20-09-03
Jul 16 2004 21:02

You won't be able to use Kazaa, but you will be able to use safer software like the edonkey network. You don't have to be a programmer.

A good one to start on will probably be Fedora (downloadable for free from fedora.redhat.com). It's what used to be called RedHat and it's a standard user friendly version of linux. Also you'll be able to download plenty of pre-compiled applications for it so you won't have to fiddle around with that stuff if you don't want to.

Getting back to the P2P networks thing, people really should be checking out P2P programs that run Kademlia networks because Kademlia runs without having centralised servers and is therefore less likely to be shut down by the shutting down of main servers connecting people on it.

emule currently runs a Kademlia network (http://www.emule-project.net) as well as connecting to the donkey network, and is really good and probably a lot safer than Kazaa, just because kazaa's always been so bloody dodgy. One day if someone gets a replacement to sharereactor up again there'll be better quality control so that you make sure you're not just downloading a program packaged with a virus (sharereactor gave emule and edonkey links which indexed safe versions of files as well as reviews of films available on the donkey network and a whole bunch of other cool stuff, and someone gotta do something similar eventually).

If you want to learn how linux works, "the slackware book" which can be found on slackware.com helps out quite a lot (I've got a friend who uses it as a reference for various other linux things).

the program you'll want for playing music and videos.. there' X11AMP which is a direct ripoff of winamp, and there's xmms which is the linux multimedia player.

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Jul 16 2004 23:36

Hahah! I love it grin Thanks!

phoebe
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Joined: 20-09-03
Jul 17 2004 18:09

oh another thing you'll want to do if you use emule is make sure you have an updated IP-filter list. IP filter lists exist all around the net and are lists of IPs commonly used by various spooks and recording industry bots which go around asking computers for their file lists on P2P networks so that they can then charge you for copyright infringement and stuff. So you block those and you're less likely to get hassle. And update your list regularly.

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Jul 18 2004 00:13

Isnt it rare for people to actually get charged for copyright offences by using software like Kazaa and stuff? What iv seen mainly seems to b media making a mountain out of a moles hill! One person gets charged and the worlds got to know that people like the RIAA are coming to get u! Right? But i know recently the EU courts managed to pass a law givin police the power to seize houses 'suspected' of copyrighting and selling! Well im pretty sure that law was passed. So i think their mayb a big crack down to come if it hasnt already!

phoebe
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Joined: 20-09-03
Jul 18 2004 07:16

Simply enough, they only have to be doing a big gathering mission right now for a massive hit later. It's worth trying to filter out bots which are just trying to catch people and if you have the know-how to contribute to the shitlists so that other people can be protected.

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Jul 19 2004 00:39

Hmm, is their anyway u can make MSN messenger work on Fedora? Can u set up a connection aswell?

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Jul 19 2004 15:03

OK! I got the messenger thing working but im having real trouble getting my ADSL modem up and running and making the internet connection work! Can someone help me? I have an external ADSL modem that connects to the PC by USB. The CD with the correct drives on it dont work in Linux Fedora for some reason and i just cant connect! It doesnt even say its found the modem installed :S Help please! I did look around but not much luck sad

roll eyes embarrassed

LiveFastDiarrea
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Joined: 19-09-03
Jul 19 2004 20:39

The drivers you have got on your CD are probably just windows drivers, you will have to search for linux specific drivers for your modem on the net. Most things now have linux drivers for them so you should be able to find them, possibly on the manafacturers page or just type the name and model and linux drivers into google or something like that.

phoebe
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Joined: 20-09-03
Jul 21 2004 20:20

What LFD said. Although if you're having driver problems with your CD from the outset then you could need to take a look at installing in some sort of "extra cd drivers" mode.

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Jul 21 2004 22:43

Yea, its deff the drivers now. I know that much! The whole Linux systems a little hard to pick up from seen as this is my first time im using this OS instead of crappy Windows XP! For some reason something called "Kernel" which im meant to be putting into a folder called USR doesnt move. It says i dont have permission confused Any ideas on that problem? I thought i would automatically be set to Admin because im the only user :S Thanks!

LiveFastDiarrea
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Jul 22 2004 17:45

If its saying you dont have permission to do something you will need to probably log on as root, however, you should be very careful when logging on as root as you can serverly bugger your computer. If you have any friends near you who have linux experience you may wish to ask them for help. And you dont automatically log in as root cos thats silly, the only OS that does that is Windows and its a major security flaw. You should get a prompt when you try and move it asking you to log in as root, when you installed linux one of the things you had to do was supply a root password, type this in.

You may be able to find some help on http://linmodems.org/ that has some information on different modems and how to find hte drivers you need for them.

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Sep 23 2004 19:47

Hey! Does anyone know how to recompile the Kernel in Linux Fedora 2? My ATM isnt enabled and apparently, I need to recompile my Kernel to fix it. Im not sure how ANY of it works or what the hell that means tongue.

ALSO, Fedora 3 is coming out! They have Fedora 3 Test at:

http://linuxiso.org/distro.php?distro=64

Just thought Id let people know who are interested!

smile