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What keeps me from recommending the Linux desktop July 31, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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While I myself may be a proficient Linux user and technically savvy, most of my family and friends are not. They dont care what a hard drive is and if I say the word Java they say “Sure, two creams and a sugar please”. While I may like Linux and Sun Java Desktop System there are several factors that make me not recommend it. First, installation of software. Linux still isnt there with software installation. Most people dont know how to compile software nor do they want to. With Windows installation is pretty straight forward, double click on the install program and it does most of the work. Second, Hardware support. Hardware support is not the greatest and most common devices that are supplied to consumers with Cable Modems and DSL modems are not supported under Linux, some third party drivers are available but unless you know what you are doing you can screw up your system or the device by building the device driver. Hardware installation is still screwy too, most consumers do not know how to build modules, change runlevels, stop services drop into a command line and install the module and restart services. Try to get grandma to do that, she would have a stroke. So yes while Linux may be ready for some users, for most users its nowhere close to being ready.

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Windows Media Player 10 Beta upgrade July 31, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Windows Media Player — New Beta (Click to Enlarge) Posted by Hello

Microsoft released a new version of Windows Media Player 10 today. Version 3615 to be exact. I like it, I like the interface and in many ways superior to the competition (iTunes and RealPlayer). The only thing I dislike is the fact I cannot save to MP3 like I can with Apples iTunes, oh well I might start using a external ripper. Windows XP and Server 2003 only. Download here

IBM to make Java database open source July 31, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Whoop de fucking doo, like we really need another one.

Microsoft patches three critical browser flaws July 31, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Very good Microsoft keep up the good work. Ladies and gents, start your updating.

Is Real’s iPod “hacking” legal? July 31, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Well this article claims Apple doesnt have a foot to stand on in a DMCA case. Lawyers and Patent experst claim that reverse engineering to maintain compatibility is legal. Might be right but Apple will change the format to screw Real. My question is, How did Real reverse engineer and what type of information did they use? If its information from Playfair then Real is very screwed.

Thunderbird Whitepaper status July 31, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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I wrote a whitepaper about using Mozilla Thunderbird in a corporate environment. Its located here under the whitepaper section. It will be updated on a regular basis as new versions of Mozilla Thunderbird become available.

Stunned’ Apple attacks ‘hacker’ Real July 30, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Well its official, Apple is pissed at Real and has said that they will go ahead and sue Real under the DMCA and or “other laws” Real should have known that this was coming and should have tried harder to do the right thing and license the technology, oh well Linux users, I guess we are screwed from using the iPod with Linux.

No Defense for Linux – 7/19/2004 July 28, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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What to say,hmmmmmmmm should I even acknowledge this article or should I move on? While I agree with some of what he said, I disagree with some of it as well. Tell you what my readers, if you want me to make a statement e-mail me and let me know, otherwise Im just going to pass this one by.

UPDATE:

Ok, I have gotten 5 e-mails already to make a comment. This guy is the extremely paranoid sort, while yes it can happen you just haveto pray for the best. A guy named Big Bert made a comment to this story, he claims that he was a US Military Programmer, yet he lives in New Zealand , but I will bite. He says that the Military goes through code, line by line. For Linux that is impossible and furthermore it is almost impossible to be able to tell what source code is going to do without compiling it first, that is why th Military has the Security EAL (Evaluation Assurance Level) the levels are designed to tell the military and DoD what level of trust to have when dealing with software programs, so if Windows has EAL 4 it is more trusted than EAL 2 Linux. Someone just doesnt have to hijack the kernel, they can also hijack an Open Source peice of code that lies on top of the kernel and code it to shut down a process, reboot the system or otherwise cause Havok, I did that to a friend of mine, everytime he would boot the system the script I wrote changed his runlevel to 0 everytime which caused the system to continously reboot, it was hillarious. But the point is that someone could hide something like that in a top level program and then you got a mess. To recover from my script he had to boot into rescue mode, mount the root filesystem change the permissions and remove it. With that said I think O’doyd was talking more in lines of Open Source in general and not just Linux.

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8 July 27, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Thunderbird in WinXP (Click to Enlarge)Posted by Hello

Came accross this blog entry where the author asks the question “Thunderbird 0.8 is shipping soon (July, according to the roadmap) and test builds have just been announced. Here’s the rundown of the new features you can expect to see: RSS integration, Blocking remote images, Global inbox for POP3 Accounts, Get All Mail functionality, and Better quick search. Thunderbird 0.8 will also come with the usual bugfixes as well as Mozilla Suite Profile Migration and improved spell checker support. This is gearing up to be an excellent email client as more bugs get ironed out. I’ve switched. Have you?”

Oh hell yeah, I love Thunderbird. I used to use Outlook on Windows XP and Evolution for Linux as well as Entourage for Mac OS X. I have switched on all platforms over to Thunderbird. I like the calendar extension as well because I can then collaborate with my friends some of who are hopelessly stuck to the Mac. I look forward to the new features and I am releasing a whitepaper entitled “Using Mozilla Thunderbird in a corporate environment” I will post here when its done.

Open Source Myths July 26, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Neil Gunton has written the myths of Open Source article very neat read and I suggest it highly.

MY 2 COPPER PEICES:

I agree with most of what he says in here, and I would like to add my personal favorite myth. Open Source software is more secure than proprietary software. I personally challenge this myth because in order to ensure security there has to be constant checks and balances to be made. Most of the time, security teams dont even find vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are often not discovered until after they are exploited. This includes Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris and Windows. I have been in this industry log enough that you may be able to pull the “Open Source is more secure than proprietary software” crap with new clients, but don’t give me that song and dance because I do not buy it.

Secondly, Open Source advocates state that Open Source is better for mankind and that nobody can do anything malicious with Open Source software because its all out there in the open. This also is false example in point..BitTorrent. BitTorrent is a wonderful technology, I use it a lot. But some of these forks contain spyware and other types of malicious code.

Technology in general is a good thing. Any technolgy is good. Nuclear energy, firearms, explosives can benefit humanity and if used how they were inteded and to use them responsibly they are great tools. Its when you abuse them and use them irresponsibly that we are in deep shit.