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(LinuxWorld) — I discovered recently I cannot yet commit to being 100 percent Microsoft free. When Evans Data contracted with me to do the Linux developer survey report, they sent me a Microsoft Word document with the statistics and graphs. None of the word processors I use on Linux could import this document properly. I had to use Microsoft Word. Like it or not, this is going to remain a problem for the foreseeable future, and may even get a lot worse if the open source community cannot sufficiently penetrate the Microsoft Office installed base with an alternative like In the meantime, it is fairly easy to get Microsoft Word 97 and Word 2000 to run under Linux. It is not as easy to get Office XP to run under Linux, and complications will simply increase as Microsoft releases new versions of Office. Microsoft is also making Office executables more d... (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)

Linux & Games: Installing TransGaming's Latest Release, Cedega 4.0

When the possibility of becoming the Gaming Industry editor for LinuxWorld Magazine came up, I jumped. I love games! Part of it's the championship procrastinator in me, I have to admit. Another part's that I was born a daydreamer and games are a fun way of at least having shared daydreams. I also just like to have fun. I tend to be an overly serious person, and so learning to kick back and just relax takes a lot of time and effort. That's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it. Stepping aside from the issue of whether adding software that lets us run Windows games under Linux is ultimately healthy for Linux or not (a topic I addressed with my gaming roundtable back in the April issue of LinuxWorld Magazine), when TransGaming ( announced their latest WineX release (now renamed Cedega), I thought it might be fun to see how their product is shapin... (more)

Sailing the Wine Dark Sea With Macromedia Fireworks MX

Sailing, sailing over the bounding sea... Or in our case, inside a wine glass. We've all seen the ship-in-a-bottle knick-knack. Well, I'm here to show you how to set a sailboat afloat in a wine glass, using Fireworks MX or MX 2004, vector AND bitmap masks. Heave ho, matey, and don't forget to buckle your swash! Combining images is part of the fun with programs like Fireworks. Making those images look like they belong together - to fool the eye, as they say - is challenging and rewarding. Take this unlikely pair of images, for example: a studio beauty shot of a wine bottle with a glass and a sailboat. Wouldn't it be neat to make the sailboat seem as if it were floating inside the wine glass? If you answered "yes," continue on. If you answered "no," re-read the previous paragraph and answer, "yes," this time. Now that we're all in agreement, let's set sail - errr - g... (more)

In Defence of Joel Spolsky

Joel Spolsky doesn't need my help in defending himself. But since he's my favorite blogger and a person I highly respect, I fill obligated to speak up. Mr. Curt Monash has written an article implying that Joel overestimates his importance while not achieving that much since he was able to grow his company to "only" 25 people. This article is written based on the wrong assumption that the number of employees is an indicator of success of the founders of the company. Joel's company has about twenty five employees, which is the border number when the company remains agile, manageable and doesn't require an overhead in the form of mid-tier management. Besides, every founder of a company has his/her goals and priorities that may include (surprise, surprise!) having some spare time for  personal life too. I have no doubts, if Joel will ever decide to open a consulting arm at... (more)

Design-thinking at IBM | @CloudExpo #Bluemix #BigData #IoT #Microservices

The Sunday New York Times published this article on IBM’s new way of thinking that is worth reading. The article states – The company is well on its way to hiring more than 1,000 professional designers, and much of its management work force is being trained in design thinking. “I’ve never seen any company implement it on the scale of IBM,” said William Burnett, executive director of the design program at Stanford University. “To try to change a culture in a company that size is a daunting task.” If you ask people inside IBM for a design-thinking success story, they are likely to mention Bluemix, a software tool kit for making cloud applications. In just one year, Bluemix went from an idea to a software platform that has attracted many developers, who are making apps used in industries as varied as consumer banking and wine retailing. In the past, building that kind... (more)

SuSE's Windows Rival Due

SuSE is supposed to announce the availability of its promised $129 Linux Office Desktop on Monday, January 20. The stuff, whose arrival was heralded back in November and positioned as a Windows rival, is bundled with CodeWeavers WINE-based CrossOver 1.3.1 code so it can run Office 98 and 2000 and a few other Windows programs like Notes albeit imperfectly by CodeWeavers' own admission (CSN No 474). It's for the SME-retail market. ... (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)

Interview With Larry Freeman

As readers of JDJ know, J2EE is a standard platform for developing enterprise applications using reusable components, standard APIs, and popular software design patterns. The J2EE Blueprints is a Sun initiative that's meant to aid developers trying to get their arms around the wide gamut of J2EE technologies and APIs, and the Pet Store Demo is a part of this initiative. They provide a combination of J2EE design guidelines and a sample application for building distributed applications on the Java platform. This month JDJ brings you an exclusive interview with Lawrence Freeman, the manager of the J2EE Blueprints team. JDJ: The last year has seen some major developments in the J2EE Platform. Were there any targets Sun wanted to achieve in this time? Freeman: There are four deliverables for J2EE: the specification, the reference implementation (RI), the Compatibility Tes... (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)

First Look at New Long - Range Wi-Fi Technology

My first encounter with a microcomputer was thrilling. I didn't know about "disruptive technology" yet (it was 1979), but it certainly changed my life. I dreamed of carrying a computer around with me all the time. The same thing happened the first time I saw a Web browser.More recently, the day I finally got a Wi-Fi connection to work, I wandered around yelling, "Look at this!" Then I wandered too far and the Internet stopped. "Aw, look at that!" I cried. But I am now dreaming the dream. You know the one. High-speed Internet, all the time. But there are big-time challenges locating a hotspot, and finding the signal inside that hotspot. I've always thought there was something just a little wrong with the plan to bring Wi-Fi to the world though, and it's all about the size of the wireless network. The 300-foot range is just too small. When I hear 802.11 fans talk abou... (more)