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Living without a Windows key

I live in the UK where it is nigh on impossible to buy a PC keyboard without a "Windows" key on it.  Cherry Linux used to provide one called CyMotion Linux, which had a "Tux" key on it, but this is no longer available.  There are lots of matches to other Cherry keyboards which are "also available in Linux model", but they aren't.  No-one sells it.  My Acer Aspire One netbook has a "Home" key, because I bought the Linux version.  I've seen other netbooks which come with Linux instead of Windows, but they've actually had a Windows key.

 Why is it too much to ask to just get a keyboard with a generic meta/home key?  The Windows branding is pretty much burned into every keyboard, even if it won't be used with Windows.  There are, of course, Apple Mac keyboards, which are no better.

Given that there are thousands of models of keyboard out there, I just can't see why not one manufacturer will step forward and produce an alternative.  Even the cost of adding a replaceable key and providing a couple replacement alternatives wouldn't be a big deal!

And now it appears that Dell Europe have completely abandoned Ubuntu, as it's no longer available as an option on any of their systems, laptop or desktop.  Linux starts to make inroads, but clearly some "deals" have taken place to stymie  any progress of alternatives.  The options aren't there.  Users can no longer be represented or counted on which operating system they really want.  They have to build systems from scratch which doesn't even appear in any user-base statistics.  The same problem existed with Asus, who had a huge success with Linux with the EeePC, but suddenly, and mysteriously, suddenly started marketing against Linux with the "It's Better With Windows" campaign on their own website.  After their netbook was made a triumph by lowering the cost of computers, they turn round and strike it down as it's not needed anymore.  And Microsoft were forced into prolonging the life of Windows XP in an effort to keep Linux from gaining another foothold, and hopefully knocking away the foot that was already in place.

So it starts with something as trivial as a key, but that key represents how ingrained Windows is in the world of PCs.  In fact the term "PC" was used by Microsoft in their Windows adverts to mean a computer with Windows on it, where it actually covers any system with any operating system on, including Apple Macs.  Those are PCs too, but of course they want the term "PC" to be part of their branding too now.

Unfortunately, suppliers only gain from special deals with Microsoft, and little to gain from supporting alternatives.  The potential alternative user-base never grows because it isn't given the opportunity.  It's not about what's best for users, it's about what's best for big companies.


Development Release: Pardus Linux 2009.1 Beta

Pardus 2009.1 Beta Is Ready

Pardus 2009.1 Beta Is Ready

Onur Küçük has announced the availability of the beta release of Pardus Linux 2009.1:

“The first testing release of Pardus Linux 2009.1 is ready. Like always, you can download it from the Pardus FTP servers. Pardus Linux 2009.1 beta comes with the latest stable KDE release, enhanced hardware support, and bigger software archive with up-to-date packages such as KDE 4.3.4, Linux kernel, 3.1.1, Mozilla Firefox 3.5.6, GIMP 2.6.7, X.Org Server 1.6.5, Python 2.6.4 and many more in just one CD. We remind you that this is the first testing release and not all of the features and optimizations of the final release are ready. As this release is within the fast development cycle, there will be lots of package updates towards the stable release.”

Read the rest of the release announcement for additional information. Download: Pardus_2009.1_Beta.iso(696MB, SHA1).



[Pardus-announce] Pardus 2009.1 Beta is ready

Hello,   First testing release of Pardus 2009.1 is ready ! Like always you can download this release from Pardus FTP servers;   * Multilanguage CD image   * Turkish and English CD image   Pardus 2009.1 Beta comes with the latest stable KDE release, enhanced hardware support, bigger software archive with up to date packages such as;   KDE 4.3.4  Linux kernel  OpenOffice.Org  Mozilla Firefox 3.5.6  Gimp 2.6.7  Xorg 1.6.5  Python 2.6.4   and many more in just one CD.   We remind you that this is the first testing release for Pardus 2009.1. Not all of the features and optimizations of the final release are ready in the beta release. As this release is within the fast developement cycle, there will be lots of package updates towards the stable release.   We welcome you to report us the bugs you encounter and feature requests in our bug tracker [1] for a better Pardus.  [1]  --  Onur Küçük                                      Knowledge speaks,  <>                       but wisdom listens

upgrading experience...

My upgrade was from Ubuntu 8.10 to 9.10. It was done through the systems administration/ update app.  It took a couple hours to go through all the process, but it kept all the previous configurations that I had done. That saved alot of time and effort. I would only recommend it to those with a fast broadband connection and bandwidth. Otherwise, it would take forever and cost more, if you only have PSTN.  I chose to do this at an off time, late in the evening... when I didn't need the computer. I set it  to update and by the time I went to sleep, it was done.

Youtube works fine, as well as Skype. Though the sound is scratchy... will have to tweek that. I was afraid that it would be worse after reading about bugs in forums, but there are no other problems. Even my bookmarks were saved.  Recommend for those who don't want to have the hassle of starting from scratch, which would be true for a live CD.  Otherwise.... best to make a backup copy of files,etc. and install with live CD, or burned copy downloaded from website. It is much faster.. only about 3o min.



 I decided to treat myself to the new distribution(Ubuntu 9.10) for Christmas. My son helped me a bit. We had a problem with the audio and microphone but were able to fix it after playing with the mixer app.

It still isn't exactly what I want, but I think after playing around, I'll get it where I want it. It seems really great, though it'll take a while to get used to everything.  


Happy Holidays everyone...

Make someone happy.... give them Linux.


openSUSE Weekly News #102 is out!

Issue #102 of openSUSE Weekly News is now out!

  • Joe Brockmeier: openSUSE Build Service Integrates with to reach 150,000 contributors
  • Michal Seben: cronie daemon is openSUSE
  • Kashyap: 6 Different Ways To End Unresponsive Programs In Linux
  • Joe Brockmeier: Web Winners and Losers in 2009
  • Leemhuis: Kernel Log: Linux 2.6.33 to include Nvidia graphics driver nouveau

For a list of available translations see this page:


World's Largest Python Conference Comes to Atlanta

*ATLANTA - December 18, 2009*

The Django Pony made her sparkly public debut.  The infamous Beards of PyCon were captured on film.  Guido van Rossum announced the beginning of his gradual retirement as Python's Benevolent Dictator for life - then kidnapped the Django Pony.  Backseat language drivers were threatened with the terribl(y silly) fate of being Van Lindberg'd. 
PyCon 2009 drew nearly a thousand Python programmers from around the world, representing
projects on all seven continents - including Antarctica!  They gathered for serious learning, discussion, and strategizing... and for not-so-serious fun.  PyCon 2010, the eighth annual conference of the Python programming community, promises even more on all counts: more talks, more education, more creativity; more work *and* more play.

Interest in PyCon is growing along with the use of the Python language itself.
This year alone has seen a 50% increase in the number of talk proposals submitted by
community members, and the organizers have added an unprecedented fifth track to the
conference schedule.  The conference will include 95 regular talks and panels, covering
everything from language basics to deep-space astronomy to robotic submarines.  PyCon
also offers 32 half-day tutorials, Open Space sessions, special keynotes, Lightning Talks,
development sprints, an exhibit hall, and a hands-on lab - countless opportunities for
attendees to learn.  This year, PyCon also introduces poster sessions for detailed, personal examination of a variety of topics with subject matter experts.

Python's growth has been partially driven by an explosion in new implementations of the
language.  The IronPython and Jython implementations make Python a perfect tool for
.NET and Java environments, respectively, gaining full-scale use of those platforms' existing capabilities and libraries while retaining Python's ease, elegance, and dynamism.
Other implementations, like Stackless and Google's Unladen-Swallow, focus on improving Python execution speed.  Finally, the Pynie and PyPy implementations bring Python programs
to all-new experimental execution environments.  All these implementations will be examined
in several PyCon talks and in PyCon's Python Language Summit and Virtual Machine Summit.

PyCon 2010 will take place February 17 to 25 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia.  The
conference is organized and run by volunteer Python programmers; the users' perspective governs everything from talk selection to conference cost, making an exceptionally
worthwhile conference.  Registration is open now, and early-bird registration discounts
apply through January 6.

About Python

Python is an open-source, dynamically typed, object-oriented programming language that can be used in nearly the entire range of technology applications.
It offers an easy learning curve and access to a vast array of libraries. With
implementations available for all common operating systems as well as the Java
and .NET platforms, Python can be used on virtually any system in existence.
Python's power and versatility have made it one of the world's most popular programming languages, currently ranked #7 in the TIOBE index.  Like other open-source, dynamic languages, it offers rapid productivity and a vigorous
developer community; at the same time, Python's clarity and reliability give confidence to enterprise users.

About PyCon

Presented by the Python Software Foundation and sponsored by Google, the world’s largest Python conference brings together a diverse group of developers, enthusiasts, and organizations to explore new challenges, launch new businesses and forge new connections within the Python community. PyCon provides attendees with the opportunity to delve into the dynamic programming language relied upon by institutions from MIT and NASA to Cisco and Walt
Disney.  PyCon helps people learn new tools and techniques, present their own projects, and meet other Python fans.  Press passes to the conference are available for members of the press who would like to witness PyCon in person.

Python language website:
Python Software Foundation:
TIOBE Index:

Media Contact

| Catherine Devlin
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
| (937)286-1795


Linux Security Tip-of-the-day: Keep it simple

When using a Linux based operating system and open source / free software you have several tools at your disposal to assist you to accomplish your goals with projects. However you must steady your hand and try to take a minimalistic approach for both management and security reasons. 
Here are some key points that you must remember when working on a your projects. 

  • Each application/tool you use has it's own management functions and security history
  • Each application/tool you use will increase your security exposure by adding it's own vulnerability potential to the whole of the project
  • In most cases each application has it's own configuration file and functions, the functions you disable or enable from one application may conflict with the functions you want from another application.
  • Research the vulnerability history of each application you wish to use to assess the vulnerability potential and to see what type of vulnerabilities are most constant so you can plan ahead.
  • Make sure to read the complete manuals for any application you use, be aware of any potential conflicts and additional options that may fortify or hurt your security 

I know this is basic, but everyone needs a reminder.


Slackware Linux Tip-of-the-day: Use your documentation

One great benefit of using Slackware is that documentation is provided by default for nearly every command and application that is installed on your system. If you run into an issue try looking in the following locations for assistance: 

  • The application manual pages (example.. man bash, in konqueror you can go to man:bash for a html presentation of the manual)
  • The application info pages (example.. info bash)
  • Your /usr/docs/ directory – this usually contains text and html based manuals to help you find your answers.   

If you still cannot find a resolution in those locations you can try the following communities/sites:  


Linux in Lebanon

I have been helping out at a computer lab in Neba, which is a small suburb of Beirut. The majority of the people that live there are foreigners from Syria, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries.

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15 Million Now Using Open-Xchange Open Source Collaboration

Company adds 7 million users, introduces social networks integration, mobility features


NUREMBERG, Germany, December 17, 2009 – Open-Xchange, the leading provider of business-class open source collaboration software, increased its number of users to more than 15 million people worldwide – an increase of 80 percent in 2009.


The results come from deals with software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers including Versatel (Germany's third-largest telecommunications provider with 1.3 million e-mail accounts), Dotster (among the world's largest domain name registrars servicing hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide), NameCheap (a leader in domain name registration and web hosting with 1 million domains), Nexen-Alterway Hosting (the French leader in open source web hosting) and NTS (a leading distributor in the Asian market). With the exception of NTS – the first distributor moving into the SaaS market in Asia – all the others have replaced their web mail with Open-Xchange and are selling additional groupware and mobility capabilities – providing additional benefits along with revenue opportunities for the SaaS providers.


“While we’ve made tremendous progress in sales and development in 2009, we expect to build on that momentum with a goal of reaching 26 million users in 2010,” said Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange. “There are very exciting deals in our sales pipeline and more social network features coming to our collaboration software. We’re really seeing the pace accelerating as we look ahead to next year.”


The company’s software is also used on-premise by some 3,500 companies and organizations worldwide -- including the addition in 2009 of a large Japanese retail bank and the University Hospital Cologne (in Germany).


In 2009, the company introduced an innovative groupware concept called “Social OX,” which can aggregate e-mail from Google, Yahoo and many others into a folder in Open-Xchange, plus automatically add and incorporate contact details from social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Xing to the Open-Xchange address book.


With availability of the Open-Xchange OXtender for Business Mobility in 2009, users can receive push e-mail and synchronization of contacts, calendar and other information from their Open-Xchange account to their smartphones, including iphone ,BlackBerry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and others.


Other additions this year are OXtender for MacOS X, which enables end users to access and edit all information and documents stored on the Open-Xchange server with their familiar desktop Mac applications. Plus, availability was made this month of a free open source connector for Mozilla Thunderbird, the cross-platform e-mail and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation.


Official Open-Xchange support for Dutch and Spanish languages was added to English, French and German and the Open Source community contributed many other language packs.


Open-Xchange also announced important partner agreements. In the near future, the collaboration software will be extended with Rack-Soft’s leading Unified Communications software to give end users telephone, fax, instant messaging integrated with Open-Xchange e-mail, contacts, calendar and task information.


Also, SugarCRM, the world's leading provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software, announced cooperation with Open-Xchange to integrate data from SugarCRM and the Open-Xchange collaboration software as the first software to build on the social networking capabilities in Open-Xchange.


About Open-Xchange

Open-Xchange is the innovator of scalable and integrated open source e-mail and collaboration solutions for enterprises, academic institutions, and government authorities. The company provides on-premise versions called Open-Xchange Server Edition and Open-Xchange Appliance Edition, along with Open-Xchange Hosting Edition, which enables web hosting companies to provide an easy-to-use and feature-rich application delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS). The Open-Xchange Hosting Edition is architected to integrate into a hosting provider’s existing infrastructure, such as authentication, provisioning, billing, and e-mail storage and does not require that these systems be replaced.


Open-Xchange AG is a privately-held company headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany with offices in Olpe, Germany and Tarrytown, N.Y. For more information, visit

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10 Reasons Why Pardus is the Best Linux Distro !

  1. It has the fastest and easiest installation process !
  2. It has a unique user welcome,and first settings tool KAPTAN !
  3. After the first steps,the whole desktop environment is ready for your use,a great selection of various software,which are bundeled only in a 700 mb CD and there is no other match around other distros !
  4. All codecs are locked and loaded for your personal and professional use for media and ! No efforts needed,just enjoy !
  5. It has the fastest KDE4 environment,and comes with the best widgets and Google gadgets support are ready for use on your shiny plasma desktop !
  6. It has the revolutionary Package Management System called “Pisi”,it is clear,easy to use and installing packages has never been so easy. Package repos are fulfilled with the first class software with the best selection. And the best thing is you wont loose yourselves in strange junky and meaningless repos which have multiple pre-historic versions,clones and ignorant dependencies. Just browse the categories and understand what is the “Simple” in a sophisticated universe !
  7. Need cutting edge versions of software, just add the “test repo” and get into the front line of mighty open source software !
  8. Do you want to see some management tools,which are purely written by Pardus developers,see the “Managers” in your system settings ! Pardus has is own “Rock-Solid Firewall”,and a Solid “Firewall Manager” as it has the Network Manager,and also its Intelligent Display Manager which detects your graphic card and installs the drivers for you,and also History-Manager(a time machine for package management) and a Service Manager which has a shiny plasmoid for your plasma and many others with many “and also”…
  9. It has a great “Look&Feel”,which consist of splash screens for various software as Amarok,OpenOffice,Gimp,Digikam and others and it has its own themes for Grub&Grub Splashes, a various selection of wallpapers its own Icon Theme sorry themes; “Tulliana and Milky” both are unique,and various implementations on KDE visuals.
  10. It has the futures tech,which you will not imagine for decades,like Google’s future tech, you do not need an anti virus, Pardus has its own protection and destruction technology which prevents not only from possible attacks but also destroys the possibility of the purpose of the unwanted situations by its powerfull and secret weapon,KNAZAR !

Those are the only 10 reasons why you should use Pardus GNU/Linux !

Just Google it, or see the links below:

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