Telemach - Cheaper and much faster cable internet
I've been with my current cable internet service provider UPC Telemach for a long time and it has had its share of ups and downs. As of late the upload speed (256 kb/s) was getting too slow for me and I was seriously considering switching to ADSL which, in addition to faster packages, also had quite a bit lower prices.
But yesterday evening my friend Davorin told me a really great news. Starting with 1st September Telemach is going to lower their prices and speed up their new packages considerably. For example, we were paying about 37,56 per month for 1024 kb/s download and 256 kb/s upload speed. The new, much faster, 5120/768 package costs only a bit more, about 41,96 , and you also get 20 MiB of free web hosting space. This space doesn't matter so much to me as I have my own Linux powered server here. But much higher transfer rates, especiallyly upload, will sure come in handy. I only hope they properly set up reverse DNS lookup. They don't have it now and this prevents me to connect to some servers.
What can I say. We're staying with Telemach and upgrading our package to the fastest one. I wonder how ADSL competition will answer as now they have lower speeds and higher prices. But in any case this can be only good for development of broadband internet in Slovenia and good for the people.
Google Talk based on Jabber
There were speculations for a long time that Google will release free instant messaging (IM) client of their own. It appears that rumors have become reality. They have just released a beta version of Google Talk. And what I find the best about it is that they smartly decided to use a free and open IM standard called XMPP, which is known to most of you as Jabber. This means that you will be free to use any Jabber client you like the most (for example Kopete, GAIM, Psi, Miranda IM and many more) with their service. And if you have GMail (or some other Google account) you can already do so. Check out these instructions. Moreover, you are also free to use any existing public Jabber server with Google Talk or even set up one yourself. The new client is also conveniently integrated with your GMail e-mail account. You can also actually talk with your buddies like you can do using the popular Skype. Google also promised to provide fully documented support for video conferencing in the future.
JLP's KDE 3.5 Previews - Part 2
Introduction to part 2
It looks like the first part of my KDE 3.5 previews was extremely popular. Much more than I could ever anticipated. I even got Slashdotted. Anyway, here is the second part of the look into the KDE's near future. Enjoy the tour!
More about Konqueror
Let me continue with Konqueror. Search bar (comes with kdeaddons package) now has the possibility to select the desired search engine from a dropdown menu similar to the one in Firefox. To select which engines are available in the menu you simply put a check mark before its name in the Web Shortcuts settings dialog.
During the past two weeks a new del.icio.us bookmarks panel made into KDE 3.5. del.icio.us is a special online social bookmarks managing system and now you can do many of the tasks directly from within Konqueror. If you would like to use it, first make sure you have Navigation Panel open (enable it under Window menu or press F9). Then right click on an empty spot under existing tabs and select the new panel from Add New submenu.
File properties dialog got a new Preview tab, which I don't find as handy as the preview in the tooltip you get when you hold the mouse over some file.
KSysGuard is a very nice and quite powerfull system monitoring utility. Process table used to take quite a long time to start up but now loads a lot faster (almost instantly). It also has a new search bar at the top so you can quickly filter out the desired processes. The Kill Process dialog now shows you the PIDs and names of the processes you are about to terminate.
While Plastik remains the default a new window decoration theme has been added to kdeartwork package. It's called Smooth Blend and what I like about it is that you can set the titlebar hight, frame width and button size. This is how it looks by default:
Another piece of software that got included into the official KDE package (kdeutils) is SuperKaramba. Those of you who like eyecandy probably know it already. It puts some really nice looking widgets (themes) on the desktop. Widgets can show various information like your local weather, system information and music you are currently playing.
I've discovered some problems while using it. It happens frequently that when you download a theme using the integrated Get New Stuff system the theme doesn't even get installed and doesn't show in the configuration window. Sometimes you also get several entries. One is named correctly and others are just names of the different languages in which the same theme you just downloaded is available in. This is mostly the problem of theme packaging. But normal users probably don't know this and will get confused and they will just think SuperKaramba is buggy and not polished enough. So it would be great if developers and theme authors could work together to solve this problem.
KDE calculator has improved display showing current angle mode and base. I guess the statusbar where the same information is duplicated can now be removed or used for some other info. A few new constants were added and some corrected. Arbitrary precision using GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library is under development.
End of part 2
This concludes the second part of KDE 3.5 previews. More words and pictures will come again in about two weeks. Until then you can also take a look at Artwork for KDE 3.5 forum at KDE-Artists.org where people from all around the world contribute to the looks of the next KDE version. The main theme is going to be a wave. And don't forget about aKademy 2005 in Málaga, Spain.
Translations and derivative works
[SLO] 1. Linux info dan v Sevnici
Ste naveličani Windowsov, virusov, črvov in dragih licenc? Potem je mogoče že srajni čas, da poskusite nekaj varnejšega, novega, drugačnega in povrhu vsega še brezplačnega. Pridružite se nam 12. avgusta 2005 na osnovni šoli Sava Kladnika v Sevnici, kjer boste lahko preizkusili operacijski sistem Linux in o njem izvedeli vse, kar vas bo zanimalo. Na vas bo čakalo 15 računalnikov in dva mentorja. Vstop je prost, za domov pa boste prejeli tudi brezplačno zgoščenko s prostim operacijskim sistemom Linux. Za dodatne informacije se obrnite na Martina Herwega.
TUX Magazine - Issue 5 - August 2005
Issue 5 of TUX Magazine is out. In August 2005 edition you can read these topics:
- Drawing Upon the Community
- An Evolution of Linux Distributions
- Q&A with Mango Parfait
- Suited Up
- How to Use the OpenOffice.org Calc Spreadsheet, Part II
- TUX Explains
- Guarddog Firewall Configuration
- Introduction to Quanta
- Dancing with Windows
- A Matter of Choice (or Selections, That Is)
- Linspire Is Filled with Linspiration
- Gadget Guy: Snap Snap!
64-bit 7-Zip 2.25 beta for Windows XP x64
7-Zip is a very nice free and open source utility for working with compressed files (archives). I just got an e-mail from its authors that version 3.25 beta is now available and that it is also available as a 64-bit binary for Windows XP x64. So, if you have AMD Athlon 64 (or some other AMD64 compatible processor) and 64-bit Windows, you can download 64-bit 7-Zip from its home page.