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(LinuxWorld) — If you've kept one eye open watching industry news the past week or two, you've seen the stories about Bruce Perens and his open-source licensed book series with Prentice Hall. I'll get in a few words on that book series later in the column, but first I'll try to put things in context. Bruce Perens is a fascinating individual, and he probably knows his way around the suit side of the house better than any other leading figure in the free/open-source software movements. I had the chance to visit with Perens for nearly an hour last week. I couldn't help but get off-topic. In addition to the books, I was supposed to be talking to him about his consulting work, grants and donations — you know, the things he has been doing to try to keep food on the table since his departure from HP. However, as I mentioned, Perens is very interesting. The more... (more)

Meet the Perens (Part 2): Secret preloads, Bitkeeper and TCO

(LinuxWorld) — Here it is, just as promised. This is the conclusion of the Perens extravaganza begun last week. This week's column is made up of excerpts from my conversation with Perens two weeks ago. The conversation followed no set course. My questions were not pre-ordained; they wandered over the Linux terrain like it was a cow-path in Texas. But Perens' responses were lucid, well-informed and very interesting. I have trimmed and edited the conversation a bit in order to pack as much of it as I could into this week's space. Lobbying for change LW: Let's say that I, as a hot-h... (more)

Trail of tears: MySQL, ODBC & OpenOffice 1.0

My friend Milt recently told me that he was having problems getting MySQL and OpenOffice.org 1.0 to play together nicely. Actually, "having problems" is something of an understatement. Milt is not a newbie. He's been using personal computers since before IBM's entry in the market. He does his own networking. Through the years, he has made DOS and various flavors of Windows do everything but make coffee. But when it came to getting MySQL and OpenOffice connected with Linux (running SuSE), he was getting nowhere fast. I started looking around for resources on the Internet that might... (more)

Installing Linux on a laptop still tricky

(LinuxWorld) -- I bought my first laptop two years ago in preparation for my first (and the event's second) Linux World Conference and Expo (LWCE). It was a used ChemBook I purchased from a friend in the local Linux User Group. It had two easily removable hard drives, one of which contained a working installation of Red Hat. Back in 1999, it was still a bit unusual to run Linux on a laptop. A couple of weeks ago, after four LWCEs, one USENIX, and an ALS, my trusty traveling companion gave up the ghost while I tried to install a new distribution of Linux. I bought a new laptop t... (more)

Making MySQL, ODBC & OpenOffice 1.0 work together, Part 2

(LinuxWorld) — The forum postings on last week's column about the installation of MySQL and ODBC to gain access to the secret power of OpenOffice.org 1.0 were a mixed bag: some good, some bad, some "so what." I was variously described as an stupid, foolish, an incompetent sysadmin and a writer of more fiction than fact. I'll come clean about one thing: I am an incompetent sysadmin, and I have a failing score on the first LPI exam to prove it. But then so are most small businesspeople in the SOHO market. That makes my experiences a more-valuable litmus test for SOHO users t... (more)