You’ve probably heard about a particularly nasty trojan horse attack recently which exploited several vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Information Services. While viruses and trojans have been taking advantage of known vulnerabilities for years, this particular attack is new because it uses several vulnerabilities at once, one of them being unpatched by Microsoft at the time of infection, and it doesn’t require the user to download or install any programs or visit any malicious websites. Even if you have the latest patches from Microsoft and only visit trusted websites your system is still vulnerable and you’re risking your credit card numbers, bank account information, passwords and other sensitive data if you use Internet Explorer. Due to ongoing security concerns, it’s time to say goodbye to Internet Explorer forever — here’s how to do it along with a brief explanation of why Internet Explorer is such an abomination before all mankind.
At some point in your GNU/Linux or BSD adventures, you’re going to have to use a command-line text editor. Some of them are pretty easy to use but have few features. Others are powerful but require a study session with the tutorial file to learn how to operate them. Most often you just need a text editor to edit a couple of config files and don’t want to spend 45 minutes working through a tutorial. How about a crash course to get you going?
Linspire 5.0 (Five-0) is a Debian GNU/Linux-based distribution with a pretty interface, proprietary video drivers and browser plug-ins, and a pricey desktop software subscription model. If you like Linspire but hate the company’s Click N Run pay-as-you-go software service, here’s how to disable and circumvent CNR and switch to using standard Debian packages and the Synaptic package manager. I’ll also show you how to set up your system for watching DVDs without Linspire’s proprietary DVD player software.
Whether you’re moving from Windows to GNU/Linux, or just from the proprietary Microsoft Office to the free software OpenOffice.org suite, one of the challenges you’ll face is learning how to use OpenOffice.org Writer effectively if you’re used to Microsoft Word. In this article I’ll show you around OpenOffice.org Writer, where to find familiar Word tools, and how to customize the interface and preferences to make it a little more Word-friendly.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 represents a significant step forward for GUI-based enterprise server operating systems. While others are still fiddling with the 2.4 kernel, Novell has jumped up to 2.6, adding several exclusive features that make SLES9 stand above its competition. On its surface SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 looks like a somewhat reduced version of SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional, but its most exciting features are hidden beneath the familiar green and blue GUI. Slackware or BSD servers are unlikely to be replaced by SUSE and its fancy interface, but Windows Server 2003 has no prayer against this production-quality server OS.
A scalable, stable, secure software stack for small and medium-sized business network services is hard to develop in-house or integrate from piecemeal components. To integrate it all with a single sign-on for users requires even more work. Enter Novell’s new SUSE Linux-based OpenExchange, a packaged, full-featured, secure, all-encompassing operating environment.
The corporate desktop GNU/Linux distribution is a relatively new invention, having begun with SUSE Desktop, then followed by Sun’s Java Desktop System and Red Hat Desktop. But with much less fanfare, Mandrivasoft released a Corporate Desktop product last January. It’s cheaper, has no minimum purchase requirement, and has support options of from one to five years. Compared to the alternatives, Mandriva Corporate Desktop is suited more for smaller shops that need a cost-effective and reliable desktop platform with corporate support.
Linspire (formerly known as LindowsOS) has consistently made an attractive, easy-to-install and easy-to-use GNU/Linux distribution. With the 2.6.10 Linux kernel and a recent build of X.org, Linspire has fixed some of the video driver problems I had with the 4.0 and 4.5 versions. As in previous releases, Linspire includes many proprietary add-ons “mainstream” desktop users enjoy, but in return it comes with proprietary strings attached.
Mandrakesoft released its Corporate Server 3.0 product in February. It’s a significant upgrade to the older 2.1 edition. With a newer kernel and a competent GUI management utility for its services, Corporate Server 3.0 is a good, inexpensive choice for businesses that need a powerful and secure server operating system with as little overhead as possible.
On October 6, Novell officially released SUSE Linux 10, the latest edition of its heavily armed desktop operating system. It offers a choice of great-looking desktop environments, a gigantic selection of desktop software that can do practically anything you could want, and the much-acclaimed YaST setup and configuration program. It’s easy to install, easy to use, and it’s definitely in the running for the best desktop operating system currently in production.
It’s not often that you see a desktop operating system aimed at power users. Usually an experienced user is expected to build the operating system from the command line ala FreeBSD, Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, or Linux From Scratch; or to spend hours customizing one of the totally GUI-controlled distros like SUSE or Xandros. Either of those options can take hours of research, config file hacking, and software downloading and installing. Mandriva Linux PowerPack Edition is quite a departure from both of those scenarios — it allows the experienced user to easily make the OS into exactly what he wants without all the extra “new user” stuff.
My wife walked into the room while I was playing Mafia. It was past midnight — you know how it is when you’re really into a game — no sound in the house except for that of bullets flying all around the screen. “What game are you playing?” she asked — a normal question, nothing to get excited about. But this is not a normal game, so I slap her across the face and tell her I’m playing Mafia. “I told you before, never ask me about my games.”
The successful Unreal Tournament series continues with UT2004. In short, it’s much like UT2003 in terms of graphics and gameplay, but there are some very important additions that make UT2004 a must-have: player vehicles and two new game modes that bring a whole new dimension to the standard FPS.
Many computer gamers weren’t even born yet when the original Tron hit movie theaters in 1982, followed a short time later by a hit video game that offered a glimpse of an oddly prophetic computer-dominated future. On the other hand, maybe you’re old enough to remember but at the time couldn’t understand the high tech concepts used in the movie to fully appreciate the imagination of the creators.Now, twenty-two years later, Tron 2.0 gives us a second opportunity to immerse ourselves in a brand new adventure in a world that exists inside of a computer.
There are a lot of different great FPS games out there today, and at a glance the Hitman games could be taken as just another ordinary series. It wasn’t the first of its kind, and its not going to be the last, but the gameplay experience as well as the story and the appeal of the main character make it original, cool and different.
If you’re like me — a complete NFL junkie and a card-carrying member of Video Gamers Anonymous — you’ve longed for an accurate, highly detailed, engaging football sim game. I have played the Maddens and Game Days of the world for years but there was always something missing. I wanted complete control over all football operations, from draft day and managing the coaching staff to signing free agents and more. I think I’ve finally found my perfect game.
Sun has put a tremendous amount of effort into its Solaris 10 operating system with the intention of rebuilding both its Unix market share and its relationship with free software developers. This article looks at the impressive new features that make Solaris 10 an amazing operating system and also some flaws that prevent it from being perfect.
Spreadsheet development has more or less solidified over the past year, and that means that the door is open for smaller companies and Free Software projects to walk in and grab market share with capable, inexpensive competition. That’s probably the best way to describe PlanMaker for Linux: capable, inexpensive, cross-platform competition for Microsoft Excel 2003. You won’t find a more Excel-compatible spreadsheet on any operating system, but all that glitters is not Microsoft compatibility.
When you reach a point of data supersaturation — when the amount of data you have is so great that it has become unmanageable — you need a tool to sort through it. Most individual computer users will never reach this point because single user data tends to be replaced or deleted when it becomes irrelevant. Businesses, on the other hand, often need to keep every document, email, log file, and chat session on file for many years. Even when your company is well organized, you still will need software to index and search the data. That’s where dtSearch comes in — it’s a suite of desktop and network search tools that can end the hassle associated with managing large amounts of data.
With last month’s release of VMware Workstation 5, the virtual machine software is better than ever. VMware Workstation now has 64-bit host support, the ability to capture multiple snapshots for each virtual machine, easier sharing of virtual machines, and the ability to connect multiple virtual machines in a “team” setting. Perhaps most importantly, GNU/Linux support is improved in version 5.
CrossOver Office, the Windows API emulation framework for GNU/Linux, is finally at version 5.0 after some delay. While CrossOver has always been useful but never quite perfect, this new release is a breakthrough in Windows compatibility and GNU/Linux desktop integration. If you’ve been in “wait and see” mode with CrossOver Office, this is the release that should push you toward it.
After two years of development, OpenOffice.org (OO.org) 2.0 is finally here. I’ve been using the past several beta releases in SUSE 9.3 Professional, which is packaged with a pre-release development build of OO.org 2.0, and I have to say that I like it a lot. It still has its shortcomings — all programs do — but version 2.0 is a significant improvement over 1.1
The FreeBSD operating system is finally through it’s buggy 5.x series and into the more reliable 6.x series. Most of the problems of the old days — kernel panics on multi-CPU machines, AMD64 troubles galore, and shaky network drivers — are gone. FreeBSD still isn’t perfect, but at least with 6.0-RELEASE it’s more stable and functional than it has been in the recent past.
When you’re done installing SUSE Linux 10.0, your desktop system is not complete. If you installed the OSS version, you still need support for Java programs, MP3 audio files, and browser plugins for Macromedia Flash, Adobe Acrobat, RealPlayer, and Windows Media Video. If you installed the commercial edition you might have all of those things, but still not have support for playing DVD videos on your computer. Here’s how to effectively make SUSE Linux 10.0 into a desktop powerhouse. Using SUSE 10.1? Try this guide instead.