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Information wars

We live in the information age – yes, I just used a silly bit of hyperbole – but with many of us now living with so much of our live stored online the threat of information loss through theft or vandalism grows greater each year.

Escape Windows 10

It’s that perennial question: how do you get your friends, family and companies to switch from Windows to Linux? The best way is usually to wait for Microsoft to launch a new improved edition of its operating system – like Windows 10 – that causes so much disruption and issues that people are dying to escape Windows.

Hack your home!

Smart homes, smart TVs, smart watches, smart phones, smart fridges: is there anything that isn’t smart these days? Smart humans, might be a useful start. The startling thing is that behind that huge list of smart things is Linux (and perhaps a bit of BSD). The open source nature of Linux; its lightweight footprint and robust security (though nothing is foolproof) makes it perfect for use in tiny, deployable, internet-connected smart things.

A happy home

An entertained home is a happy home, with the digital dream a real one, most homes have turned into a digital entertainment heaven. My home’s daily routine often revolves around keeping the tiny humans entertained streaming music, video and photos from a home Linux server (plus online services) around the home to a variety of devices. From the traditional TV with a Raspberry Pi media centre to Android tablets and Chromebooks, or through the Pi-powered projector for cinema-style fun.

Open Source Learning

You get an education! You get an education! You get an education! It’s not something Oprah Winfrey would give away, as I guess to some a free car would seem more valuable, but how much is an education worth? I’d suggest on a purely practical level a huge amount, and we all know it’s something that’s truly invaluable. It’s one part of FOSS that we almost take for granted, but by providing the tools and documentation it’s assumed that people can and do educate themselves in everything they need to know.

Next-gen Linux

Next-gen GNU/Linux, what does that even mean? The FOSS world is so unlike the proprietary world. In that closed universe, new releases are considered so important that secrecy becomes paramount. So the next-gen release of Windows becomes so crucial. With FOSS and Linux development everything is laid bare. Sensible folk stick with the stable release but the brave-hearted can jump into an unstable, development branch and compile where angels fear to tread.

A year in FOSS

The time has flown by but it seems I’ve been in the hot FOSS seat for twelve months; more commonly known as one of your Earth years. It’s rare to talk directly about the magazine, but the good news is we’re still here and doing better than ever. We’re continuing to bring onboard new writers to expand our areas of expertise and we’re planning, what we hope you will find, fascinating new features and tutorials for the year ahead.

Linux evolution

We’re picking our best Linux distributions for 2014. It’s always an odd task and this year we’ve decided to take the chance to delve into the genus behind the distros that we use every day. We’ve been inspired by the GNU/Linux Distribution Timeline at http://futurist.se/gldt which we’ve mentioned before, and decided that we’d explore why the major families in the GNU/Linux world sprang up and how they’ve evolved over the years.

Supercomputer speed

Linux is a fast operating system. In fact, we feel pretty safe saying it’s the fastest operating system. OK, so there are different metrics, but considering the world’s fastest supercomputer with a mere 3.1 million Intel Xeon
processors runs Linux, we feel on very safe ground for at least one of those metrics. Almost as impressive is that 97% (Source: http://bit.ly/LXFsuper) of the world’s top-500 supercomputers happen to run Linux. Check out the statistics yourself at www.top500.org, they’re really impressive.

Growing pains

“This is the year of Linux on the desktop” is the oft used battle cry from parts of the Linux community. A dive into comp.os.linux – or if you dare into advocacy
(http://bit.ly/LXFusenet) – and you can trawl all the way back to 2002 and see the same old cry hoisted high. But with Linux desktop use at around 1.5 percent (www.netmarketshare.com) and with the Steam Hardware Survey (http://bit.ly/LXFsteam) showing it at 1.1 percent, what happened?



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