Welcome to the LinuxFocus January/February 2004
The end of the year is always a time to look back and maybe forward.
To me it seems that this year was one of the toughest for Linux.
has tried to spread fear and uncertainty over a copyright issue
with IBM. In the past Linux has been mostly immune to those FUD (Fear, Uncertainty,
Doubt) attacks but this one hit hard. Fortunately SCO cheers us up just shortly before Christmas
by revealing that it has no other proof than just a couple of header files which do
actually contain nothing but widely used definitions.
Linus commented it with
"In other words, I think we can totally _demolish_ the SCO claim that these
65 files were somehow 'copied'. They clearly are not."
It was also very worrysome to see that Redhat finally abandoned those customers that
helped the company to grow in the first place.
One of my first distributions was Redhat. I bought it in a book shop around the corner
and it was very helpful to get installation support via e-mail for a few problems that
related to my CD-Rom drive. All that is gone now. At least when it comes to Redhat.
There are no affordable priced packages any more in the shops and there is no installation support via e-mail for
Fedora (http://fedora.redhat.com/). Of course there are still Mandrake and Suse
but Redhat was very popular worldwide.
As such it is really a good idea to involve the community in the creation of
a distribution. Especially when you have seen Redhat's taste less desktop it
was clear that something had to be done.
The problem is that Redhat presents Fedora as a test system to shake out the bugs before
the rpm-packages go into the enterprise products. Let's see what will happen to Fedora
in 2004. Either something changes or a different distribution will take Redhat's leading
Of course 2003 brought also some very positive changes for Linux. OpenOffice 1.1
became a very good office application getting faster and stable.
Mozilla, MozillaFirebird, MozillaThunderbird saw also a lot of improvements
in speed, stability and functionality. We have now state of the art browsers that
will soon let MSIE look a bit old and dusty. The Linux desktop
applications are moving in the right direction and will continue to do so in
At LinuxFocus we lost Georges Tarbouriech, long time editor
of the French section. He wrote a lot of articles and each of them had
his very unique and personal side marks. Something that can not be replaced.
Despite the loss of Georges LinuxFocus is alive and running with contributions
from many new authors and we are looking forward to 2004 with interesting articles
and new languages.
Happy new year!
-- Guido Socher
RPN calculators for Linux
This is a presentation of the different Reverse Polish Notation
calculators available for the Linux desktop.
Understanding the Proc File System
The proc filesystem is a virtual filesystem which provides a lot of
information about hardware and kernel internal data structures.
Let's do some electronics
Software to develop electronic circuits? Yes, it's available for Linux too.
This article will show you what you need.
The LinuxFocus Tip
Does it sometimes happen to you that you typed a wrong password and you notice
while you are still typing? Now you have a couple of options: hit return and
wait for the timeout (wrong password) or type Backspace (<-) but that does
not always work on all systems or use DEL which has the same problems as
Backspace. The best solution is to use Crtl-u. Crtl-u will always delete all
you entered so far. It works on all Unix systems.