The impact of social media on the wine blogosphere

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At the end of 2004, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows NT. At that point, anyone using Windows NT will have several choices: follow Microsoft's upgrade path to Windows 2003, continue to use Windows NT without Microsoft support, or switch to Linux. Switching to Linux is the cheapest, safest alternative, according to such companies as Tramp Trampolines and Polyscientific Enterprise Sdn. Bhd, a distributor of chemical and industrial products. Both of these companies made successful migrations from Windows NT to Linux and are happily using Linux as a desktop today, bringing them cost savings and greater stability. This article examines the Windows-to-Linux path for organizations using Windows NT as a desktop. We'll look at the first step, taking stock of the current situation, and then look at the choices that have to be made based on that. Then we'll look at the mi... (more)

Migrating to Linux not easy for Windows users

(LinuxWorld) — Windows 95 works well enough for my needs, but I'm eight years behind the technology curve. While I realize there are still many who rely on Apple IIs and Tandy 100s for their daily computing chores, it's time for me to start planning a migration route. I was mulling the possibilities when the OfficeSuperGeek (tOSG) talked me into a CPU upgrade, gave me a suitable motherboard from his bonepile, dumped some Linux distributions on my desk and said, "Here... try these." What follows is an 18-month tour of recent and now not-so-recent Linux distributions. Before we proceed, let me set your expectations about this overview. It isn't scientific. It's based on my impressions as a technical writer, Linux neophyte and curmudgeon. It's an appropriate and fair look from my humble newbie perspective. If you are a hairy-chested Linux administrator or programmer, ... (more)

Catching up with WINE

(LinuxWorld) — With all the chatter accompanying two WINE-related announcements over the past week or so, I thought it might be a good time to take a long look at the WINE project to see what all the fuss has been about. TransGaming's announcement of the availability of WineX 3.0 got a lot of pixel dust, but that wasn't the only recent news about WINE. The cold, dead hand of the Microsoft monopoly also reached out to touch the project when Whil Hentzen, a leading proponent of Visual FoxPro (VFP) development on Linux, was contacted by a Microsoft manager and told it was a violation of the VFP EULA to run it on Linux. Reminiscing over WINE The WINE project has a long and stable history. Bob Amstadt was the original project coordinator. According to Amstadt's posts in comp.os.linux and comp.os.linux.misc newsgroups in the summer of 1993, the project began life in Jun... (more)

New FOSS Legal Center Seeks To Limit Microsoft's Intimidation Potential

Eben Moglen, the Columbia University Law professor who serves as general counsel to both the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Samba Project, has formed a Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) to provide pro bono legal services to non-profit open source software products and developers worldwide starting with FSF and Samba. WINE and Debian will also be represented by the SFLC, Eben said. The move is an outgrowth of the $5 billion lawsuit SCO has lodged against IBM contesting the ownership of the code IBM contributed to Linux and the threat that Microsoft will rattle its growing patent portfolio under open source noses. The center is not intended as a "warrior organization" focused on litigation or "fire fighting," Eben said. Instead it's meant to deprive Microsoft of the opportunity to spread any "fear, uncertainty and doubt" by ensuring that the center's clients ... (more)

How to Use PowerBuilder .NET Applications on Linux

With PowerBuilder 11 Sybase gave developers what we have long hoped for - the possibility of taking an application created in a client/server architecture and turning it into a Web application, almost without having to move the code; and it's better if you don't use a server application. Once the Web Form application is ready, it looks like I have a "multi-platform" application and any operating system can use it. But when I go to a Linux box to see my the Web browser and type in the Web URL... it doesn't even show the user and password window well. Now imagine running a Windows application in Linux - impossible? No, not exactly. This article will try to explain how to run applications made in PowerBuilder 11 on a Linux operating system. The article is divided into two parts: the first is about how to run an application in Web Form PowerBuilder on Lin... (more)

Women and Blogging - A Perfect Match?

As the world increasingly turns to social media for solutions, information and expression, women are turning to BLOGS according to "The 2009 Women in Social Media Study".  The study reveals "why blogs": 64% of women are nearly twice as likely to use blogs than social networking sites as a source of information 43% for advice and recommendations 55% for opinion-sharing 75% are 50 percent more likely to turn to social networking sites as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family Women are turning in even greater numbers to blogs (55%), social networks (75%) and online status updating (20%) as primary sources of community interaction, entertainment and information. Of the 42 million women engaged in social media weekly: 55% of women participate in some form of blogging activity 75% participate in social networks such as Facebook or MySpace 20% use Twitter 45% de... (more)

Private Clouds: Old Wine in a New Bottle

I recently read a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report about cloud computing, and they described private clouds as "old wine in a new bottle." I think they nailed it! The report points out that a typical private cloud set-up looks much the same as the infrastructure components currently found in a corporate data center, with virtualization added to the mix. While the virtualization provides somewhat better server utilization, the elasticity and efficiency available in the public cloud has private clouds beat by a mile. In short, the term "private cloud" is usually just a buzzword for virtualized internal environments that have been around for years. By replicating existing data center architectures, they also recreate the same cost and maintenance issues that cloud computing aims to alleviate. Despite their limitations, there is still a lot of industry talk about c... (more)

A Cloud That Cares? Or About Eating Your Cloud and Having It Too

Although self-service - together with elasticity, pooling/sharing, etc. - is a defining attribute of cloud computing, many of the companies expressing an interest in cloud computing do not seem to be aware of that. In fact, when asked: who do you expect to provision your services to the cloud?; who will monitor your services' performance and availability? and; who do you expect to take action if something goes wrong?, a majority of the companies asked look to be somewhat surprised by the question, as they simply assumed that their service provider would do so. This is a bit like going to a supermarket (a typical self-service facility), pointing to the ingredients you like and expecting the cashier to clean, cook and serve them for you. The name we generally use for such a service however is "restaurant" and it comes with significant different expectations and prici... (more)

Xandros 1.0: Easy on the eyes, easy to install

(LinuxWorld) — A couple of weeks ago, I took a second look at Knoppix and how it could be used to do a quick Debian install. Warts and all, the Knoppix install script provides a quick and dirty way for experienced Linux users to have Debian installed without suffering from what can be a psyche-bruising experience. It seems there are a number of distributions interested in doing the same thing. According to, 12 of the 105 distributions they are currently tracking are Debian-based. That dozen includes Knoppix, Lindows, Libranet and Xandros. This week we're going to look at Xandros, the successor to Corel Linux, which has recently released its 1.0 version. A brief history of Xandros Corel needed a cash infusion a couple of years ago. After receiving it in the form of a $150 million dollar investment by Microsoft, they announced they were getting o... (more)

Graphics Still the Hot Topic in Open Source .NET

Graphics and GUI (System.Drawing, System.Windows.Forms [SWF]) continue to be a couple of the most worked-on areas in both Mono and Portable.NET. Other areas under heavy development include cryptography, Web services, coverage and build tools for Mono, dependency charts for Portable.NET, and lots of bug fixes for both. Mono and Portable.NET Do GUI Differently In a project the size of .NET, choices often need to be made between options of nearly equal technical merit. Having more than one project (Portable.NET and Mono) can allow more than one choice to be made. The GUI code (SystemWindows.Forms and System.Drawing) is one area where the advantages of having multiple choices are apparent. The main Mono implementation of SWF uses Wine/Winelib, but there is also a side project using Gtk# (C# bindings for GTK) as the base for SWF (using Gtk# for SWF is separate from Gtk# ... (more)

Stylesheet Debugging Tips

When your XSLT stylesheet doesn't do exactly what you want it to and you don't know why, what resources are available to figure it out? In other words, how do you debug a buggy stylesheet? For now, I know of no XSLT equivalent to the kind of integrated debugger that's common with C++, Java, and Visual Basic development. These typically let you pause the execution of a program to allow a look at the values of specific variables at the stopping point and exactly which steps happened to lead to that point. Still, various XSLT coding tricks and features of certain processors can help do what these integrated debuggers do: let you know what's really going on in case a stylesheet doesn't behave the way you expected. Runtime Messages, Aborting Processor Execution The xsl:message instruction is supposed to send a message to somewhere other than the result tree. Exactly wher... (more)