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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Import and Export CSV Files in LibreOffice Calc

Historical weather data is a fascinating topic and someone once told me that 1955 was a memorable summer in the West of Scotland so I checked on-line and found that Glasgow City Council has made it's weather data available under the open government licence.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Debian Administrators Handbook

This free reference book will be invaluable for anyone learning and working with Debian based systems. It can be viewed online, you can download the e-book version for free or buy a paperback edition for reading offline.

The book is written by two Debian developers Raphael Hertzog and Roland Mas and was updated in 2013. The material is distributed under a creative commons license meaning it can be studied, modify and redistributed. It is meant to be shared and enjoyed.

The e-book is available in three formats - pdf, epub or mobipocket. Here is a screenshot of the epub version opened with Calibre. Click to enlarge the image:

Calibre reader

 
The index goes three levels deep making this much more usable than the online version and calibre is a very nice reader. So share and enjoy.

Friday, June 6, 2014

How to use Encrypted Email

NSA KL-7 (1950s)
The Free Software Foundation has published an excellent email self defence infographic explaining how to add an encryption facility to your Email reader using the tools used by Edward Snowden and investigative journalists around the world.

The tools run on Linux, Windows, Mac and I chose Thunderbird as the Email reader as it is cross platform making this post relevent to a wider audience. It will reinforce the instinct that in this day and age and as matter of principle we should only be using devices and software we can pretend to trust

Monday, June 2, 2014

Xubuntu 14.04 - Highly Usable and Simply Brilliant

Xubuntu 14.04 looks and behaves like a solid GNU/Linux based personal computer system and this Long Term Service (LTS) release will become a favourite productive workhorse for many with it's 5 years worth of updates and support.

Xubuntu desktop makes an ideal environment for research and productivity and the pleasingly clean desktop with it's uncluttered menu and productivity tools pinned to the top panel makes it feel almost zen like. It all comes to life when you start using applications in which the open source fonts look stunning when reading text in applications such as web browsers and ebook readers.  

When reading the internal help system and the external information and community pages at the xubuntu and xfce web sites I discovered usability tweaks for improving font sizes and window handling and believe Xfce has potential for users of assistive technologies.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tuning Netbeans IDE for Building Java GUI Apps

This article is about tuning Netbeans for speed without editing configuration files. This solution works for small projects and has not been tested on large ones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Install Oracle Java 8 on Ubuntu

Summary. Remove Oracle Java 7 and OpenJDK 7 then install Oracle JDK 8 Standard Edition. Get java working in Firefox and configure how FF handles java web start jnlp files. Point Netbeans IDE to Java 8.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Get Years Extra Service From Your iBook G4

Summary. Upgraded girlfriends iBook G4 from MAC OS X Tiger 10.4.11 to Lubuntu 12.04 and upgraded the memory from 256MB to 1GB. Can't use Adobe Flash browser plugin so installed open source alternative called Gnash and it works good in Firefox when viewing YouTube.

The cooling fans come on a lot but interestingly enough, with Tiger the fans never came on yet the machine would get so hot you could not sit with it in your lap. It is not a problem per se, just a concern and I am always looking to tweak this machines performance.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Linux Drives Hiring Priorities in 2014

The Linux Foundation has released a report titled 'Linux Jobs Report 2014' with data collated from 1100 hiring managers and 4000 Linux Professionals worldwide.

Software Development (45%) and Sys Admin (58%) are the skills most sought after in 2014 and hiring managers are having difficulty finding and recruiting suitable Linux Talent.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Why MySQL Workbench Compliments phpMyAdmin


Summary - An Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) is an essential visual communication tool at project planning stages and developers and clients love diagrams. Here I explain how to set up MySQL Workbench 6.1 beta on Ubuntu 12.04 and then create an ERD from the schema of the sakila  MySQL sample database.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Easily Install Wordpress as a BitNami Module on XAMPP

After Installing XAMPP for Linux on Ubuntu 12.04 my next task was to install Wordpress and it was real easy because the new setup wizard hides all the gory technical details and sets everything up for you automatically.  

In the past you had to get down and dirty using the command line to modify configuration files and permissions but now you don't have to. The BitNami for XAMPP setup wizard does all the hard work and makes child's play of installing web applications like Wordpress and Drupal.