New vector (SVG) wallpapers in KDE 3.4
Another improvement that will come with KDE 3.4 is support for vector wallpapers in SVG format (again, based on XML). An important property of vector graphics is that no matter how much you resize it picture always looks nice, without being blocky or blury (unless it becomes very small). And this is just perfect for wallpaper images.
KDE SVG Wallpaper contest started in December 2004 and the winners are now known. All the winning SVG wallpapers are already in KDE 3.4 CVS and they have also added some of the highest ranking ones. You can see all off the wallpapers here:
[SLO] Akregator v slovenščini
Danes ponoči sem zaključil s prevajanjem programa Akregator v slovenščino. Akregator je nov program, ki bo prišel skupaj s KDE 3.4 in je namenjem zbiranju sestavkov prek dovodov (feedov) RSS ali Atom. Tak program še posebaj prav pride tisitim, ki ste radi na tekočem z novicami na raznih spletnih straneh ali pa spremljate razne bloge oziroma spletne dnevnke. Za zaslonski posnetek Akregatorja v slovenščini kliknite tule.
Flickr - Upload and share your photos
As a blogger I sometimes find myself asking where to upload a photo or a screenshot that I would like to show on my blog. So today I have started looking for a service that would allow me to upload and share my images.
I found out Flickr and it looks really nice. It is a free service and it allows you to upload up to 10 MiB of images each month. The largest possible size is 5 MiB per image and they are resized to a maximum of 1024 x 1024 pixels (if they are larger). Flickr even has a special tool to easily post blog articles to several blog systems. Blogger is supported. If you need larger images and more of them, you can upgrade to a Pro account, which will cost you some money.
If you have any other suggestion for a similar service, please add a comment. Oh, you will be able to find a gallery of my pictures here.
10 GMail Invitations to give away
For quite some time now I have 10 invitations for GMail waiting to give away. So if you need 1 gigabyte of space for e-mail contact me with Jabber (JLP@jabber.org) or send me e-mail (email@example.com). Jabber users have priority.
Some of you probably already know that all OpenOffice.org (a very good open source office suite) documents are actually XML files. Just take any utility that supports zip archives and, well, unzip the OpenOffice.org document of your choice. XML is an open and very flexible standard. Many web pages are written in it for example and it is also used by instant messaging system Jabber (or XMPP if you like it). If you would like to do more with OpenOffice.org XML dialect, like easily converting it to web pages (or other forms using XSLT) and using all the power of styles, then I highly recommend you take a look at article Hacking Open Office at XML.com. Thanks goes to Peter Sefton for writing it.
Blogs for Firefox
As you may have noticed I have just added a new link to the section Other Blogs on the left. Blogs for Firefox is a special blog that lists all the blogs that promote and talk about Mozilla Firefox. If you have such a blog consider joining.
We must not forget Auschwitz
60 years have passed since the liberation of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. At this time we must all remember the victims of Holocaust and war crimes that happened there. It is our duty to prevent anything like this to happen in the future. There must not be any more preemptive wars and wars based on lies. They can all quickly lead to great human suffering. May all, who had to die to tell us this, rest in peace.
We have a new TV
We just got a new TV today: Panasonic TX-29PM11P. It has a flat screen, 100 Hz refresh rate (very good for my eyes which are used to high refresh rate computer displays) and it has a visible diagonal of 68 cm (quite a lot bigger then our previous TV which only had 48 cm). What can I say... The picture is great, the sound is great and all of us are very satisfied with it. It also works very nicely with our KiSS DP-1000 media player. For example: as soon as we turn KiSS on the TV switches to it and when we turn KiSS off the TV switches back to the last TV channel.
KDE 3.4 from CVS finally compiling
I haven't slept much today. Over night I was preparing my sister's computer with MandrakeLinux 10.1 to compile KDE 3.4 from CVS sources. I had to do quite a lot of hunting and installing of all the required devel packages, which are not installed by default as they are on Gentoo Linux. But I managed to get all set up and Qt and arts are already installed.
You may wonder why I am not compiling KDE on my faster AMD Athlon 64 machine with Gentoo Linux installed. Well it looks like there is some bug in Gentoo's GCC which is preventing compilation of arts. So until this bug is fixed I'll have to do the bug hunting and translation on my sister's computer.
OpenSolaris is coming
Sun is preparing to release the source code of their operating system Solaris under the name of OpenSolaris. The license is CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License) and it is approved by OSI (Open Source Initiative). The center of all activity is OpenSolaris.org webpage. Currently the source code is available only for DTrace. But some people (screenshot is there too) already have access to the source code and they managed to build OpenSolaris on AMD64 platform. Can't wait to try this out and see how it compares to Gentoo Linux on my AMD Athlon 64.
20,000,000+ downloads of Firefox
Ever since the release of Mozilla Firefox 1.0 about 76 days ago there were more then 20,000,000 downloads of this secure, modern and fast web browser. Sites all over the world are seeing how users are switching from insecure and old Internet Explorer to better browsers like Firefox and Opera. If you still haven't switched, then download a copy of Firefox and see how the true modern browsing looks and feels like. Firefox is completely free. And if you are already browsing with full speed then don't forget to tell all your friends and co-workers about the browser of the future. Spread Firefox can help you with that and you can join here.
[SLO] Psi 0.9.3 v slovenščini
Ravnokar sem zaključil s prevodom različice 0.9.3 programa Psi v slovenščino. Psi je program namenjen hitremu sporočanju (instant messaging) prek protokola Jabber oziroma XMPP, kot se uradno imenuje standard. Dokler prevod skupaj z navodili za namestitev ne bo na voljo na uradni strani, me za prevod in pomoč lahko prosite po e-pošti in seveda na Jabberju: JLP@jabber.org. Pohvale in pripombe glede prevodov so zaželene.
Windows for AMD64 in April
The word is out that some sources close to Micro$oft are reporting that 64-bit Windows version for processors supporting AMD64 instructions (like AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron) will be out in April. Release to manufacturing version is expected sometime in March. We will see how it compares to Gentoo Linux and other Linux distributions that have official AMD64 support for quite some time now. Not only that. Thanks to open source nature of Linux apps, almost all can already be compiled into 64-bits. I guess Windows people will have to wait for the good will of software companies for that. At least with Windows for AMD64 available to users, they will have less excuses not to.
Mandrakelinux 10.2 Beta 1
First beta version of Mandrakelinux 10.2 distribution is out. Three 700 MiB ISO images are available for download with BitTorrent (I recommend Azureus for BitTorrent downloads) and on FTP mirrors listed at the end of Mandrakelinux 10.2 Beta page.
And what is new in this version of one of the most simple to use Linux distro (even my sister uses it on her computer :))? The Linux kernel is at version 2.6.10, KDE is at 3.3.2 (and with some compiler optimizations for faster applications startup) and GNOME is at 2.8.1. They have also moved Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and Nvu into main package selection. Moreover there is also the latest version of GIMP 2.2 and OpenOffice.org 1.1.4. CDRecord now has support for DVD+R Dual Layers.
So, whoever is in the mood for some beta testing and bug hunting, go get it and file as many bug reports as possible.
Einstein@Home - First test release
First some words about Einstein@Home:
Einstein@home is a program that uses your computer's idle time to search for spinning compact stars (such as pulsars) using data from the LIGO and GEO gravitational wave detectors. While we are still testing, we are close to deploying a production version of Einstein@home, as part of the American Physical Society's World Year of Physics 2005 activities.So if you registered to be notified when more testers are needed, now is the time to check your inbox for e-mail. Let us help to advance science!
Software patents danger still here
During the meeting of the Council of Ministers next Monday, the agreement on the directive "On the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions" is scheduled to be officially adopted. The Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of each EU member state will represent their country there.
The directive in its current form would pave the way for software patents. The EU parliament, which would have to deal with the directive next, would have considerable problems to prevent this.
Help us to draw your minister's attention to what they have to account for on Monday. Sign the open letter and place it on the home page of your web-site. If that appears too drastic for you, just link to the letter with a banner. When your minister uses the web, she or he should not miss what is of importance to many people. Also, complaining directly, e.g. by sending sending a fax, can be very helpful.
Similar net campaigns have, in the past, successfully caught public attention and gained influence. For further coordination of activities (e.g. translations/traductions/Übersetzugen/traduzioni), the Wiki page FishDemo0501En is a valuable resource.
Don't forget to register your support.
So this is why you see the big Something fishy going on at the fishery meeting? at the top of my blog. I call all other bloggers to participate in this net campaign. Afterall, it is your freedom and rights that are at stake!
Started learning PHP
I decided that during these winter holidays I will also try to learn some PHP basics. I already know HTML and CSS quite well. But I guess it would be nice to know at least some basics of PHP scripting to be able to make web pages more dynamic. I started with PHP tutorial on PHP homepage and I will also take a look at PHP tutorial at W3Schools. PHP is very useful if you also know some SQL to use it with databases like MySQL, But learning SQL will have to wait. I have more then enough work with teaching myself C++ and PHP (which are quite similar in many ways). And I must not forget about exams at university and translation and beta testing of KDE 3.4.
ATI 64-bit Linux drivers for AMD64
After a very long wait ATI has finally released some 64-bit Linux drivers for people who are running Linux for AMD64. And some of use are running 64-bit Linux for AMD64 for about a year or even more now. Too bad I will not be able to test them out as I got fed up with all the wait and just bought myself a nVidia Geforce 6800 which has 64-bit drivers for AMD64 available for quite some time and they are working very well.
Gentoo Linux Installer screenshots
Although the installation instructions for Gentoo Linux are written very well, many would still like to use a graphical installer. In fact, for some people the missing point-and-click installer is also the reason why they are afraid to try Gentoo Linux in the first place. Developers of the source based Linux distribution know that very well and some time ago they started the Gentoo Linux Installer project. Work is still in progress and you can see some of the results on screenshots here.
Split KDE ebuilds for Gentoo
Developers of Gentoo Linux have started work on splitting monolithic KDE ebuilds in portage. This way you will not have to compile and install the entire, huge kdepim package while only needing only one application from it. So this can save a lot of hard drive space and compilation time. Updating also becomes easier and faster as bugs are usually only in one application. There will also be meta packages (like kde-meta, kdeedu-meta, ...) that will enable you to install all the ebuilds/applications belonging to them. For KDE 3.4 we will have both, monolithic and split, ebuilds. Starting with KDE 4.0 there will only be split ones.
More info about all this is here:
The KDE Split Ebuilds HOWTO
Huygens lands on Titan
About seven years ago ESA's Huygens probe, together with Cassini spacecraft, started its voyage towards planet Saturn. Two days ago Huygens successfully landed on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. This is the first landing of a man-made probe on a world in the outer Solar System. Images of the surface show ice blocks scattered around and drainage channels leading to a shoreline. You can view images here and here.
You can get more news and information about the Cassini-Huygens mission here.
Free Software Magazine
While reading FootNotes yesterday one news title caught my eye: Free Software Magazine - issue 1 is out! Free Software Magazine (or FSM) is dedicated to all free software. Not just for Linux but for Windows and other operating systems also. High quality articles are first published in printed version and then after some time they are also released to public under some free license, like GNU Free Documentation License for example. You can then download PDFs of the whole issue or read articles online in HTML format. Tony Mobily (editor in chief) and his team are determined to stay on the scene for a long time. I wish them all the luck. And don't forget, to support excellent articles and have early access to them, you can also subscribe to receive the printed magazine.
Issue 0 and 1 are already out for a free download. You can get them here or if you are using some ED2K compatible application (eMule, xMule, ...) you can download and share PDFs using links posted here.
KDE 3.4 Beta 1 "Krokodile"
A new development version of KDE 3.4 desktop for Linux is out. One month long holidays have also started at our university and all this means it is again time to search for bugs, report them to developers and translate KDE into slovenian language. Gentoo already has KDE 3.4 Beta 1 in portage. It is masked and for some reason it is not marked as ~amd64 :( I hope it will compile if not I will try to use the packages from Gentoo KDE CVS Project, as I did last year. I hope it still works. Using CVS is the best way as you can quickly test if patches for bugs you reported are OK.
Adobe Reader 7 for Linux - Beta
Just a few days after release of version 7.0 of Adobe Reader for Windows Adobe has also started a beta test program for Linux version of the application. A lot of people needed a new Linux version of this PDF reader for quite some time, version 5.0 is very old. Adobe decided to use GTK2 toolkit (I wished it would be QT since I use KDE). Rendering speed is reportedly quite a bit faster then in KPDF (which I use now). On bad thing I have read about it is that it is 110 MiB in size (no debug data and not statically linked)!!! Sounds like a huge bloat to me. It looks like I'll just be waiting for the next version of KPDF, with some cool new features, that just got merged into KDE CVS.
2005 is here, let us make it better
Happy new year to all people around the world. Especially to poor people in south-east Asia which have little to celebrate in current situation. I hope they get their homes back to normal as soon as possible and that they get as much help as possible.
Don't forget to help them by donating whatever you can to humanitarian organizations. People here in Slovenia (Mobitel GSM subscribers and Mobi users) can also help by sending an SMS message to number 1919 with a keyword CUNAMI. This way you give 230 SIT for those who need it.
Let us all do as much as we can to prevent more natural disasters and stupid wars like the one in Iraq. Let us make the year 2005 a better year!