Tag Archives: Linux

Happy birthday GNU Linux!

Today August 27 2018 it’s been 27 years ago Gnu/Linux was born.

Parts of this article have been taken over from wikipedia.

Happy birthday Linux
Happy birthday Linux

The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The underlying source code may be used, modified and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.

GPL
GPL

Some of the most popular and mainstream Linux distributions are Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian and Raspbian, Fedora, Gentoo Linux, Linux Mint, Mageia, openSUSE and Ubuntu, together with commercial distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting utilities and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project, and usually a large amount of application software to fulfil the distribution’s intended use. Desktop Linux distributions include a windowing system, such as X11, Mir or a Wayland implementation, and an accompanying desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE Plasma; some distributions may also include a less resource-intensive desktop, such as LXDE or Xfce. Distributions intended to run on servers may omit all graphical environments from the standard install, and instead include other software to set up and operate a solution stack such as LAMP. Because Linux is freely redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any intended use.

The server which is hosting this website is a Debian 8 Jessie Server. I know it very well because I installed it myself together with all it’s Software (Apache2 webserver, MySQL Database Server, Oracle Java 10, PHP 7.2 and WordPress 4.9.8 (Currently the latest version).

Linux was originally developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system. Because of the dominance of the Linux kernel-based Android OS on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems.

Linux is also the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, and the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers (since November 2017, having before gradually eliminated all competitors).

It is used by around 2.3% of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20% of the sub-$300 notebook sales in the US. Linux also runs on embedded systems, i.e. devices whose operating system is typically built into the firmware and is highly tailored to the system. This includes TiVo and similar DVR devices, network routers, facility automation controls, televisions, video game consoles and smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run Android and other Linux derivatives.

History

The Unix operating system was conceived and implemented in 1969, at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories in the United States by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna. First released in 1971, Unix was written entirely in assembly language, as was common practice at the time. Later, in a key pioneering approach in 1973, it was rewritten in the C programming language by Dennis Ritchie (with the exception of some hardware and I/O routines). The availability of a high-level language implementation of Unix made its porting to different computer platforms easier.

Due to an earlier antitrust case forbidding it from entering the computer business, AT&T was required to license the operating system’s source code to anyone who asked. As a result, Unix grew quickly and became widely adopted by academic institutions and businesses. In 1984, AT&T divested itself of Bell Labs; freed of the legal obligation requiring free licensing, Bell Labs began selling Unix as a proprietary product, where users weren’t legally allowed to modify Unix. The GNU Project, started in 1983 by Richard Stallman, had the goal of creating a “complete Unix-compatible software system” composed entirely of free software. Work began in 1984. Later, in 1985, Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and wrote the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) in 1989. By the early 1990s, many of the programs required in an operating system (such as libraries, compilers, text editors, a Unix shell, and a windowing system) were completed, although low-level elements such as device drivers, daemons, and the kernel, called GNU/Hurd, were stalled and incomplete.

Linus Torvalds has stated that if the GNU kernel had been available at the time (1991), he would not have decided to write his own.

Although not released until 1992, due to legal complications, development of 386BSD, from which NetBSD, OpenBSD and FreeBSD descended, predated that of Linux. Torvalds has also stated that if 386BSD had been available at the time, he probably would not have created Linux.

MINIX was created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer science professor, and released in 1987 as a minimal Unix-like operating system targeted at students and others who wanted to learn the operating system principles. Although the complete source code of MINIX was freely available, the licensing terms prevented it from being free software until the licensing changed in April 2000.

In 1991, while attending the University of Helsinki, Torvalds became curious about operating systems. Frustrated by the licensing of MINIX, which at the time limited it to educational use only, he began to work on his own operating system kernel, which eventually became the Linux kernel.

The creation of Linux

Torvalds began the development of the Linux kernel on MINIX and applications written for MINIX were also used on Linux. Later, Linux matured and further Linux kernel development took place on Linux systems. GNU applications also replaced all MINIX components, because it was advantageous to use the freely available code from the GNU Project with the fledgling operating system; code licensed under the GNU GPL can be reused in other computer programs as long as they also are released under the same or a compatible license. Torvalds initiated a switch from his original license, which prohibited commercial redistribution, to the GNU GPL. Developers worked to integrate GNU components with the Linux kernel, making a fully functional and free operating system.

Naming

Linus Torvalds had wanted to call his invention “Freax”, a portmanteau of “free”, “freak”, and “x” (as an allusion to Unix). During the start of his work on the system, some of the project’s makefiles included the name “Freax” for about half a year. Torvalds had already considered the name “Linux”, but initially dismissed it as too egotistical.

In order to facilitate development, the files were uploaded to the FTP server (ftp.funet.fi) of FUNET in September 1991. Ari Lemmke, Torvalds’ coworker at the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), who was one of the volunteer administrators for the FTP server at the time, did not think that “Freax” was a good name. So, he named the project “Linux” on the server without consulting Torvalds. Later, however, Torvalds consented to “Linux”.

To demonstrate how the word “Linux” should be pronounced (/ˈlɪnəks/ ), Torvalds included an audio guide (About this sound listen (help·info)) with the kernel source code. Another variant of pronunciation is /ˈlaɪnəks/ LYN-əks.

Commercial and popular uptake
Main article: Linux adoption

Adoption of Linux in production environments, rather than being used only by hobbyists, started to take off first in the mid-1990s in the supercomputing community, where organizations such as NASA started to replace their increasingly expensive machines with clusters of inexpensive commodity computers running Linux. Commercial use followed when Dell and IBM, followed by Hewlett-Packard, started offering Linux support to escape Microsoft’s monopoly in the desktop operating system market.

Today, Linux systems are used throughout computing, from embedded systems to virtually all supercomputers and have secured a place in server installations such as the popular LAMP application stack. Use of Linux distributions in home and enterprise desktops has been growing. Linux distributions have also become popular in the netbook market, with many devices shipping with customized Linux distributions installed, and Google releasing their own Chrome OS designed for netbooks.

Linux’s greatest success in the consumer market is perhaps the mobile device market, with Android being one of the most dominant operating systems on smartphones and very popular on tablets and, more recently, on wearables. Linux gaming is also on the rise with Valve showing its support for Linux and rolling out its own gaming oriented Linux distribution. Linux distributions have also gained popularity with various local and national governments, such as the federal government of Brazil. Also countries in the European Union and adapting Linux in governmental organizations.

The Internet

Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) were the first adaptors of Linux since all Servers Software on Linux systems is (Just like the OS itself) free and Open Source. Without Linux the Internet as we know it would probably never existed. In stead it probably would be an (expensive) Micro$oft dominated network.

Current development

Torvalds continues to direct the development of the kernel. Stallman heads the Free Software Foundation, which in turn supports the GNU components. Finally, individuals and corporations develop third-party non-GNU components. These third-party components comprise a vast body of work and may include both kernel modules and user applications and libraries.

Linux vendors and communities combine and distribute the kernel, GNU components, and non-GNU components, with additional package management software in the form of Linux distributions.

Design

A Linux-based system is a modular Unix-like operating system, deriving much of its basic design from principles established in Unix during the 1970s and 1980s. Such a system uses a monolithic kernel, the Linux kernel, which handles process control, networking, access to the peripherals, and file systems. Device drivers are either integrated directly with the kernel, or added as modules that are loaded while the system is running.

The GNU userland is a key part of most systems based on the Linux kernel, with Android being the notable exception. The Project’s implementation of the C library functions as a wrapper for the system calls of the Linux kernel necessary to the kernel-userspace interface, the toolchain is a broad collection of programming tools vital to Linux development (including the compilers used to build the Linux kernel itself), and the coreutils implement many basic Unix tools. The project also develops a popular CLI shell. The graphical user interface (or GUI) used by most Linux systems is built on top of an implementation of the X Window System. More recently, the Linux community seeks to advance to Wayland as the new display server protocol in place of X11. Many other open-source software projects contribute to Linux systems.

Top Linux Applications of 2018

Introduction

As a Linux lover, I like to try the latest software now and then. These are my popular packages for 2018.

Browsers

Firefox

The Best Linux Software BestLinuxApps Firefox

With the new Quantum update, Mozilla has given people reason to check out Firefox again. Linux users, in particular, may be happy to see support for client-side decorations, which makes Firefox feel more at home in desktop environments such as GNOME and Elementary OS Pantheon.

Chrome/Chromium

BestLinuxSoftware-Google-Chrome

By some measures, Chrome is now the king of the hill. The browser has become so powerful that you can buy a Chromebook and do most of your computing without needing another app. All of this functionality is available on Linux. You need to download Chrome from Google’s website, but you can download Chromium directly from many Linux repos.

 

Opera

BestLinuxSoftware-Opera

Opera isn’t open source, but it is free. You won’t find the web browser in your distro’s repos, but the website offers DEBs and RPMs for Linux. Opera isn’t nearly as popular as Chrome or Firefox, but it’s the third most mainstream browser you can install on your Linux desktop. And since Opera continues to need ways to differentiate itself, the latest version contains a built-in ad blocker and a VPN.

Web (Epiphany) Browser

BestLinuxSoftware-Web

There aren’t many browsers developed explicitly for Linux. GNOME Web browser, also still known by its original name — Epiphany — is one of the older ones around. Later versions offer the best integration you will find with GNOME Shell. It lacks the add-ons found in mainstream browsers, but some users will like the minimalism, the speed, and the tab isolation that prevents one misbehaving site from crashing the entire browser.

QupZilla

BestLinuxSoftware-Qupzilla

None of the above browsers look quite at home on the KDE Plasma desktop. If visual integration is important to you, then I would suggest QupZilla. Support may not be as solid as the above browsers, but it will get you across most of the web. In the past I would have recommended rekonq, but that browser hasn’t seen a major update in a few years. QupZilla remains under steady development.

Email

Thunderbird

BestLinuxSoftware-Thunderbird

Thunderbird is the email client from Mozilla. While it doesn’t have quite the name recognition as Firefox, it is perhaps second only to Outlook in the world of dedicated email clients. This cross-platform tool operates the same on Linux as it does elsewhere, so there’s a decent chance new Linux users will find it familiar.

Geary

BestLinuxSoftware-Geary

Geary isn’t the default GNOME email client, but it looks the part. This app comes from Yorba, a now defunct developer of open source apps that also brought us the Shotwell photo manager. The Elementary Project has since forked Geary and changed the name to Pantheon Mail, but it promises future updates will remain compatible with other distros.

Evolution

BestLinuxSoftware-Evolution

Evolution is the official email client of the GNOME project. It has grown long in the tooth, but in terms of features and stability, Geary doesn’t quite compare. Plus Evolution comes with a built-in calendar, address book, and to-do list.

KMail
BestLinuxSoftware-Kmail-KDE

Want a client that feels at home on the KDE desktop? This is the one. KMail is part of the larger Kontact suite, but you can use the application independently for a more lightweight experience.

Claws Mail

BestLinuxSoftware-ClawsMail

Claws Mail is a great choice for a lightweight app that doesn’t have the heavy dependencies required by most of the alternatives. This makes it a good fit on lean desktops such as XFCE and LXDE. With a lengthy list of features, you get to keep most of the functionality you expect.

Instant Messaging

Pidgin

BestLinuxSoftware-Pidgin

Pidgin is a cross-platform instant messenger that has been around for decades and attracted millions of users. The Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Pidgin a perfect score on its secure messaging scorecard in summer 2015, so you don’t need to have friends spread across numerous messaging services to have this app installed.

Empathy

BestLinuxSoftware-Empathy

Empathy is the default client for GNOME. As a result, it comes pre-installed on many distros that utilize that desktop environment. In addition to text, you can communicate using audio and video on protocols supported by the Telepathy framework.

KDE Telepathy

BestLinuxSoftware-KDE-Telepathy

This is the KDE community’s new approach to instant messaging. Compared to other options, KDE Telepathy offers better integration with the Plasma desktop. It replaces Kopete, KDE’s previous default instant messenger for many years.

Finances

GnuCash

As the name would suggest, GnuCash is part of the GNU Project. It’s a free and open source alternative to Intuit Quicken. The app can handle personal or small business accounting, with the ability to import a number of formats, keep track of your stocks, and present your information in reports and graphs.

KMyMoney

If you prefer the Plasma desktop, GnuCash won’t quite feel at home. In that case, check out KMyMoney. It’s a well-established app that similarly packed with features. The layout even brings a bit more color into what can be a very dry task.

Skrooge

Skrooge is an alternative option for KDE fans. If KMyMoney doesn’t import your existing files or you don’t like the way it presents information, give Skrooge a look. It may just be what you’re looking for.

HomeBank

HomeBank is a GTK-based tool that wasn’t designed with any particular desktop environment in mind. It offers perhaps the simplest presentation of any accounting app on this list. It’s also available on whichever operating system you want, so if you hop back and forth between PCs and MacBooks, this may be the way to go.

Office Suites

LibreOffice

BestLinuxSoftware-LibreOffice

LibreOffice is the best office suite you can find on Linux. It’s so capable of taking on Microsoft Office that millions of people install it on Windows. Without spending a buck, you get most of the features you could want and great compatibility with Microsoft Office’s document formats.

 

GNOME Office

BestLinuxSoftware-AbiWord

LibreOffice is a massive suite, so it can feel heavy at times. GNOME offers a range of applications built explicitly for free desktops, and they take up fewer system resources. If you don’t need quite as many features and aren’t as concerned about maintaining compatibility with Microsoft Office, you may find you prefer AbiWord and Gnumeric to LibreOffice Writer and Calc.

 

Calligra Suite

BestLinuxSoftwrae-Calligra-Words-KDE

Calligra is an office suite that feels at home on KDE. The interface is designed with wide-screen monitors in mind, and like the Plasma desktop as a whole, it’s very customizable. Calligra isn’t as mature as LibreOffice or GNOME Office, but it’s worth using if you prefer to stick with QT applications.

WPS Office

Maybe you simply want something that looks and feels like Microsoft Office. WPS Office does, and it’s available for Linux. This isn’t open source software, but for many Linux users, that isn’t always a priority.

WPS Office For Looks As Good As MS Office, Performs Even Better WPS Office For Linux Looks As Good As MS Office, Performs Even BetterREAD MORE

Multimedia Editors

Ardour

Audacity is a great place to start, but if audio is your bread and butter, you may want to step up to Ardour. This is a full-blown digital audio workstation intended for professional use. Ardour isn’t the only tool of its kind for Linux, but it does happen to be the foundation other tools such as Mixbus are based on.

Audacity

BestLinuxSoftware-Audacity

Audacity is a popular tool for recording and editing audio. Want to record an album or make your own podcast? Audacity is an easy recommendation across Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X alike.

the GIMP

BestLinuxSoftware-GIMP

GIMP is the most mature and feature-rich image editor available for any open source desktop. It’s also the best free application of its kind across any operating system. GIMP is an alternative to PhotoShop, and more than capable of holding its own. Some people may prefer the Adobe interface, but with the addition of a single window view several years back, GIMP may feel more familiar than you think.

OpenShot

OpenShot is a great video editor for creating a home video to preparing a recording for YouTube. It first launched in 2008,but it became much better after version 2.0. While this isn’t the kind of tool you will find in production studios, with 3D animation, compositing, audio mixing, and more, there are plenty of advanced features at hand.

PiTiVi

Just want the basics, such as the ability to trim clips, insert transitions, and add a few effects? PiTiVi has you covered. It’s not very advanced, but for home use, it’s a capable tool.

Kdenlive

Again, the KDE project has an option of its own. Kdenlive is more powerful than PiTiVi, making it a great alternative to OpenShot. Start here if you use a QT-based desktop, though you may still want to try it even if you aren’t.

Lightworks

Ready to get serious? Lightworks is arguably the best video editor on the Linux desktop. It’s good enough that several Hollywood productions have used this app to produce feature films. But there’s a cost — a big one. The pro version of Lightworks will cost you hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, the free version gives you all of the same tools, as long as you’re fine with exporting to MPEG-4 at 720p.

Media Players

VLC

BestLinuxSoftware-VLC

If VLC can’t play the file you want to watch, there’s a good chance it can’t be played. This app is so good at it’s job that it’s one of the first installs you see on many Windows machines. The interface can feel cluttered or outdated, but you won’t be disappointed by the functionality.

Videos (Totem)

BestLinuxSoftware-Videos-Totem

The default video editor for the GNOME desktop is simple by design. It plays any media formats supported by GStreamer. The options aren’t the most thorough, but it does a great job of staying out of the way so you can focus on what you’re watching.

Vocal

BestLinuxSoftware-Vocal-Podcasts

Vocal is a podcast client developed for Elementary OS. That means it comes with all the simplicity and style common to that distro’s apps. The software is in an early stage, but this is one of the more exciting podcast-related developments Linux has seen since Miro, which hasn’t seen an update in three years.

Music Players

Rhythmbox

The Best Linux Software BestLinuxSoftware Rhythmbox

Rhythmbox is a classic. If you’ve used iTunes, you know how to navigate your way around this one-stop-shop of a music player. Access your library, listen to podcasts, and download new music from Creative Commons online stores. The app hasn’t changed much in the past decade, but it consistently gets the job done.

Lollypop

The Best Linux Software BestLinuxSoftware Lollypop

While Rhythmbox looks out of place on a default GNOME desktop, Lollypop feels right at home. It takes design cues from the simple GNOME Music player, but it doesn’t skimp on features — showing that following GNOME guidelines doesn’t require an app to be basic.

Amarok

The Best Linux Software BestLinuxSoftware Amarok

Amarok is the juggernaut of the KDE music scene. It also manages to pack the same features of Rhythmbox (and more) without looking like an iTunes clone. You can thoroughly tweak the interface and add plugins to make Amarok fit your tastes. If I could only recommend one music app on the Linux desktop, this would be it.

Clementine

Clementine takes its inspiration from the Amarok of old. In the many years since its debut, the app has grown into is own. These days you can stream music from a number of online sources and control the player using the Clementine Android app.

Photo Managers

digiKam

Not only is digiKam the best photo management application available for Linux, you could argue that it’s the best option on any desktop operating system, period. If you’re a professional photographer looking to switch to Linux, this is the place to start. DigiKam will import RAW files, manage metadata, apply tags, create labels, and turn your terabytes of photos into something manageable. All the while, it’s simple of enough for casual users to embrace, too.

Gwenview

The Best Linux Software BestLinuxSoftware Gwenview

Gwenview is the default image viewer on a KDE Plasma desktop, but it also makes for a great photo manager. You can browse folders and make simple edits to files without having to install any extra software. Thanks to the wide range of plugins, that’s hardly the limit to what you can do. Gwenview is compelling enough that you may want to use it even if you’re not a fan of KDE.

gThumb

The Best Linux Software BestLinuxSoftware gThumb

Like Gwenview, gThumb is an image viewer that can double as a photo manager. It also happens to be the most feature-rich option that looks at home on the GNOME desktop. It offers an ideal blend of functionality and simplicity that makes it great for casual use, but it’s probably not the kind of software you’d want to build a business with.

Shotwell

Shotwell is the most straightforward photo manager for GTK-based desktop environments. It imports your photos from a camera, gives you a number of ways to group them, can apply tags, open RAW files, and make edits. It loads more quickly than digiKam and provides much of the same core functionality.

Text Editors

Gedit

BestLinuxSoftware-Gedit

GNOME’s default text editor is one of the most feature-packed text editors for Linux. It’s also a great way to type up basic notes. However you want to use it, it gets our recommendation.

 

Kate

BestLinuxSoftware-Kate-KDE

Kate is the default text editor for the KDE desktop environment, and it’s no slouch either. Since this is KDE we’re talking about, much of the advanced functionality is easy to find in the many application menus. Plus you can tweak the interface until your heart’s content.

Sublime Text

Not all Linux applications are open source, and Sublime Text is one example. This proprietary text editor is cross-platform, having gained plenty of users on Windows and macOS. Distraction-free writing, the ability to edit two files side by side, and an expansive set of shortcuts all make the Linux version as compelling as those on other operating systems. Plus there’s a large pool of community-supported plug-ins that can make the experience your own.

Terminals

GNOME Terminal

GNOME Terminal comes with the GNOME desktop, so it’s the one you’re going to first encounter on Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. Fortunately, it happens to be a good tool for the job. You can hide the menubar, adjust font and background colors (including make the window transparent and rewrap text on resize.

Konsole

As the default terminal for KDE, Konsole makes an appearance in any KDE app that displays its own terminal window. This level of integration between apps is part of what makes the Plasma desktop so appealing. That also means there’s less reason to install Konsole if you’re not all that invested in the KDE ecosystem, though having split terminals is pretty nice.

Terminator

That said, if you really want to view multiple terminals in one window, you can do much better than two. Terminator can stick four terminals in a grid. If that’s not enough to give you a headache, try doubling that number to eight. Terminator doesn’t mind.

Guake

Don’t want your terminal occupying its own window? Or does launching a separate app simply slow you down? Either way, you may prefer Guake, a terminal that drops down from the top of your screen. Assign it a keyboard shortcut and you will always have a terminal handy. As for the name? It’s inspired by Quake, a video game that lets you access the terminal in this manner.

Yakuake

Yakuake does what Guake does, only for KDE. You know the drill by now. When you’re not using a GTK-based desktop, it’s nice to have an alternative option. Yakuake is a top-down terminal written in QT.

Development

Eclipse

BestLinuxSoftware-Eclipse

Eclipse is the go-to IDE on Linux, but it’s widely used on other operating systems too. It has a large community and plenty of plugins. As a result, there’s a good chance that Eclipse has the features you need.

Atom

BestLinuxSoftware-Atom

Atom is a text editor developed by GitHub. The goal was to design a hackable text editor for the 21st century. People have developed so many plugins that Atom makes for a great development tool. You can even use it as an IDE.

Geany

BestLinuxSoftware-Geany

Geany is neither a text editor nor a full-blown IDE; it’s a code editor. You can compile and run the software, view a list of defined functions in the current file, and more.

Geany – A Great Lightweight Code Editor For Linux Geany – A Great Lightweight Code Editor For LinuxSurprisingly, Linux doesn’t offer that many good IDE’s (Integrated Development Environments). I believe this is because back in the day most Linux programmers took out good old Notepad (or gedit in this case), and started.

Maintenance

GNOME Tweak Tool

BestLinuxSoftware-GNOME-Tweak-Tool

Despite GNOME’s focus on simplicity, the desktop is very customizable. With the right combination of extensions and a few extra apps, you can change many aspects of your computer’s interface. GNOME Tweak Tool is one of those extra apps. Want to change fonts or toggle the extensions you’ve installed? This is the place to be.

Unity Tweak Tool

BestLinuxSoftware-Unity-Tweak-Tool

Unity Tweak Tool is a similar app, but it’s designed with Ubuntu’s Unity interface in mind. The core concept is the same. Download this app to edit virtual desktops, adjust animations, and tweak other aspects that Ubuntu doesn’t let you do by default.

BleachBit

BestLinuxSoftware-BleachBit-Ubuntu

Linux doesn’t need the kind of regular system maintenance that Windows requires, but there are times when we might want to give parts of our machines a powerwash. BleachBit can do that. This tool securely deletes files and “cleans” a large list of applications.

Microsoft has released a new version of Skype for desktop, and this one looks and feels just like the mobile version of Skype. The only catch is that Microsoft is forcing everyone to upgrade to Skype 8.0 as all previous versions are set to stop working within weeks.

The new Skype arrived last year to mixed reviews. The new Skype, which was designed to appeal to the next generation of Skype users, landed first on Android and iOS. However, it’s now also available on other platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Skype Version 8.0

The new version of Skype for desktop, Skype 8.0, is designed to replace Skype 7.0 (also known as Skype Classic). Microsoft is recommending everyone upgrades at their earliest convenience, as, after September 1, 2018, only Skype 8.0 will function.

Microsoft claims this is to “ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience and that there are no quality or reliability issues resulting from old technology and new technology interoperating.” Which is the air reasoning?

Skype 8.0 offers free HD video and screen sharing calls, @mentions for more productive messaging, a chat media gallery to help you find files in conversations, and the option to share photos, videos, and other files up to 300MB just by dragging and dropping.

On the Skype Blog, Microsoft also shared what’s coming next, including reading receipts as standard in other messaging apps, private conversations, cloud-based call recording, and profile invite and group links to help you start conversations more quickly.

Free Skype Alternatives

Microsoft is doing the right thing in trying to make sure Skype users enjoy the same experience across multiple platforms. However, forcing people to upgrade to the latest version of the desktop within the next few weeks is bound to annoy some people.

Skype 8.0 is a vast improvement over previous versions of Skype for the desktop. And judging by the new features Microsoft has lined up for the future this is just the beginning. But if you really don’t like the new Skype, there are plenty of free Skype alternatives.

6 Free Skype Alternatives for the Windows Desktop 6 Free Skype Alternatives for the Windows DesktopHave you had enough of Skype? This group and video chat messenger has tough competition. Here are six free services that can replace Skype with you.

 

UNIX / Linux Support Services

My experience with UNIX

I started with UNIX in the late eighties, which makes my UNIX Career almost as old as UNIX itself.

I have been a Mac user for the largest part of my life. The first time I got in contact with UNIX was when I developed the e-mail system for R&W Bio-Research in 1988. We already had an e-mail and news feed from NLNet (currently UUNet).

The e-mail was scheduled retrieved from NLNet using a program named UUCP. An acronym for Unix to Unix Copy Program. When the mail arrived within our LAN, it was automatically routed to the recipients mailbox and the user automatically got a ‘you have mail’ audio message from Eudora. This was early nineties. We already had e-mail addresses on our business cards and Letterheads.

UUCP was a great asset for our Research company since it also brought UseNet, a  global discussion platform where we could easily discuss the complicated issues which we encountered in our daily jobs with top-scientists from all over the world. In that time, the Internet was still a network exclusively for Academics and Scientists.

I also  had support by phone from a guy named “Ted Lindgreen“. A pioneer in TCP/IP and the early Internet. Sometimes I could see the names of the other customers of NLNet, all big companies, newspapers and magazines. R&W seemed unique.

During that time I also got a dial-up account which gave me access to the terminal. Unique at those days, few people  had ever seen a UNIX terminal before.

I was greatly inspired by a book I had read, The Cuckoo’s Egg (1989) by Clifford Stoll. It was the story of a system administrator in Berkely who tracked down a small group of hackers who had access to Telnet and tried to spy for the russians by telnetting to military hosts. Off course I was curious and tried to repeat what was in the book. And guess what… It was all true! I could Telnet into the systems of the FBI, CIA and a number of military sites. Just as the book described. Later on I had mail contact with the author. Very exciting! If you are interested, try to get a hand on the book, it’s really nice to read!

I liked to use CompuServe’s Knowledge Index (KI) because it gave free access to Dialog Information Services. The only problem was that it wasn’t available during business hours because CompuServe made it available for students only . A problem that was quickly solved by telnetting to a server in China (where there were different business hours and from there telnetting to CompuServe. I could now use Knowledge Index during normal Business hours.

When I attended a course in biomedical online research in Amsterdam, my teacher found out what trick I was using and she notified Dialog. Shortly after that, the party was over, which was not really a problem for me, except that I had to explain my boss why  he suddenly had to pay now for what he used to get for for free. (Dialog wasn’t cheap (10 US $ for each title displayed and 25 $ for every abstract and since It wasn’t my job to watch my Comppanies budget I quickly discovered I downloaded for thousands of dollars per week, only for Dialog). Furthermore I couldn’t care less  since the teachers were a bunch of arrogant lesbians and gays  who used to take coffee breaks which they called ‘Academic hours’ which actually took a full  hour and their conversations were absolutely uninteresting and off-topic. The teachers couldn’t teach me much anyway. I was already a better professional in their field than they were.

It was only after the year 2000 that spam became common and all SMTP servers had to be closed. Telnet was changed to SSH, a heavily protected and encrypted service.

When Mac OS X arrived I was already known with UNIX and started to use the more advanced UNIX tools (like opening X-Sessions to remote host.

Later on in my ICT carreer I worked with Java in Linux. Nutch required UNIX or Linux or Cygwin (with Windows) because it used Bash scripts for the crawler. DOS didn’t work since Nutch required the recursive commands available only in Bash or the C-shell. Mac OS still works fine with Nutch and Solr.

Most Apache developers prefer Linux however and still do. Linux contains (or ships) with loads of Development tools, which makes sense because Linux is an Open Source platform itself.

The Open source tools make it much more efficient to work together with a large community with members who are geographically spread around the globe. The most important tools used are:

  • Wikis are for  technical documentation. Apache uses MoinMoin.
  • Issue tracking was originally done with Bugzilla. Later on this was changed to Atlassian, which is a suite containing a Wiki, code coverage analyzer and an issue tracking system.
  • All development teams use a code repository. Apache uses SVN. And in some cases  git
  • When developing in (international) teams, communication is very important. Open Source development is a democratic process. Every time a new release candidate is ready, the team decides if it’s ready for release. This communication is done with email lists. Each email sent to the list is sent to all members. This allows quick voting.

How I can help you

  • If you decide to switch to Open Source and want to know what Linux can do for your organization, I would be most happy to help. Moving from Windows to (for example) Ubuntu Linux may seem a large and expensive traject but in the end you will earn your investment back.
  • I can help you with setting up migration plans, training & courses for your end users, as well as giving practical advice.
  • I can help you with all your Linux questions or Software installations.
Costs and rates

in most cases I can make a fixed price for your question(s). When I foresee problems or risks, I will work on an hourly rate of 50 €.

Other Top Consultants

If I cannot solve the problem myself I ask Dimitrios Anogiatis. A Linux Senior Consultant from Greece who has his own company. See  https://www.gnutechie.com/