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June 26, 2007

OpenSuSE to Release Linux Distro for Educators

by @ 9:00 am. Filed under education, SUSE News

OpenSUSE Logo

The OpenSUSE distro will include another CD with its releases which will contain Educational software. It will include software which will make it easier for educators to use OpenSUSE in schools.


“At first blush, the new offering, with a proposed release this fall, appears to have the makings of a serious competitor. Designed as an add-on “EDU-CDâ€? to accompany the upcoming 10.3 release of openSUSE, the so-called “SLEducatorâ€? is designed to “[ease] the installation and configuration of an educational network and student desktop.â€? More specifically, the Education group of the openSUSE community defined some extremely ambitious goals for themselves.”:

Read the entire article here.

June 25, 2007

The Top 10 Best Themes for Thunderbird 2.0

by @ 6:44 am. Filed under General Linux, My Opinion, review, Thunderbird

Eyecandy is one of my favorite things. Ask Steve or Jason. I love for stuff to look just really slick. So I’m going through this Thunderbird article called “10 must-have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 more) because I also like wicked-sick plugins with all the coolest stuff because I get extremely bored very quickly. After getting all the totally rocking extensions, I came back to the sexiness of the whole thing. If I could make my Thunderbird look like the Viper that I’ve always wanted, I’d be totally set. Pulling up the theme page on, lots and lots of themes jumped out at me. Granted, not all of them are compatible with Thunderbird 2.0, which is what I’m using. Nevertheless, I decided to download the most popular themes that are compatible with T-Bird 2 and give ’em a spin on my desktop here.

After a few moments, it became apparent to me that I could just as easily rush through it and quickly pick something on an impulse that appealed to me and call ‘er good. On the other hand, the possibility existed that we could go through them one by one, make a little spreadsheet with some criteria on it, and grade them on the things that are important to me, in the way that I perceive them. Because it is so subjective and highly personalized, it would come as a surprise to me if this information were useful to anyone but me. Nevertheless, the possibility that one person may find it useful and beneficial is enough for me to pour my heart out. Thus, I leave it in your hands to be exceedingly thankful for my generosity.

The criteria of my most excellent grading scale (of 1 to 10) are outlined, in detail, with full weights, explanation, footnotes, cross-references, and bibliography as follows:

The score for each category will be multiplied by the weight for that category. Each of these values will then be added all together for a total overall “Weighted Score.” With all of this deeply explanatory psychological underlying subliminally entrenched childhood tragedy now thoroughly worked out of my system, it may very well be possible to jump right into the cool stuff. With that, here we go.

#10 – Vista Mail

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Vista Mail Theme

click image for larger version
#9 – miniBird

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the miniBird Theme

click image for larger version
#8 – Aquabird Redone

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Aquabird Redone Theme

click image for larger version
#7 – Outlook 2003 SilverTB

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the  Theme

click image for larger version
#6 – Modern Modoki

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Modern Modoki Theme

click image for larger version
#5 – Noia

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Noia Theme

click image for larger version
#4 – Outlook 2003 BlueTB

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Outlook 2003 BlueTB Theme

click image for larger version
#3 – Bible Blue-bird

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the  Theme

click image for larger version
#2 – Phoenity

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Phoenity Theme

click image for larger version
#1 – Cobalt

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Cobalt Theme

click image for larger version

All in all, these top 10 themes all have their strengths. Some of them have some more obvious flaws than others, but overall, they provide a collection of 10 great themes to have. Again, this evaluation was made solely according to my tastes. Take a look at the link to the themes I provided above. There are quite a bit more than the ones I covered here, but these are the 10 best according to my criteria, grading, and weights. Hopefully, this has been a somewhat insightful demonstration of a perfect way to waste 3 hours of your day.

June 21, 2007

Why I Dog Windows Every Chance I Get

by @ 2:58 pm. Filed under computer tips, War

🙂 Whelpsie, it’s time for another M$ jab. You know I can’t resist, so don’t bother telling me to grow up. I hereby refuse to do so.

This type of thing is precisely why Win32 platforms should all just disappear. 🙂

Windows 98 crashes during Gates’ Comdex demo – April 20, 1998

Use Linux. For the love of all that is holy. Please.

Automate Installation of Web Server in openSUSE 10.2 (installs Apache, MySQL, and PHP) – bash script

by @ 11:05 am. Filed under bash, freebies, SUSE Tips & Tricks

We have a special treat for anyone who manages or installs multiple machines running Linux, Apache, Mysql, and PHP. This would also be known as the LAMP stack. I got sick of having to install all that by hand every time I was putting another LAMP server together. What I have done is put together a small bash script that will automate the process of installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It also adds them to the init scripts, and actually starts up the MySQL and Apache services. All you have to do is set up your MySQL root password, and you are set to go. This script is available here for anyone who may find it useful. It should be easily modifiable to install perl or python for users of those tools.

Download the script here. Extract with command: “tar -jxvf”

Generally, when installing a new machine, I actually use this script I put together to automate the insertion of YAST Installation Sources as well. Run the Installation Sources script first, and then the LAMP stack script, and you’ll be 90% of the way to having yourself a web server.

June 18, 2007

Linux Validates as Genuine Windows – and other suseblog news

by @ 7:50 pm. Filed under General Linux, SUSE Blog News

OK, this time it’s all worked out. For those who have been trying to download the ebook unsuccessfully, I have figured out what was going on. I am going to resend the final class to everyone who has already had the 6th class. For everyone who isn’t quite there, it will get sent to you automatically after the 6th class. Alrighty, then. I’m quite excited about this ebook, because I think it really explains a good, solid foundation for software management using YAST. If you are interested in getting it, sign up for the free course available from the left nav on my blog.

Several people have asked me to make it available without having to take the course. Makes sense, not everyone is just startin’ out. I might just do that a little later on when I have a free minute. Right now, I’m working on some more cool stuff for you all. Stay tuned. Anyway, everyone have a marvelous day.

Oh, did you hear about the Ubuntu user who found out that Wine was indeed a Genuine version of Windows?

June 16, 2007

Good Morning

by @ 8:32 am. Filed under SUSE Blog News

We’re back online….. we had a small power outage last night apparently. But we are back at it. 🙂 Everyone have a great weekend.

June 14, 2007

Mi Paiz Venezuela y Linux

by @ 10:56 pm. Filed under General Linux, Linux migrations

Venezuela Embraces Linux

Alrighty, then. Here’s one that’s cool to me for several reasons. I lived in Venezuela for two years as a missionary for my church. I really learned to love and appreciate the Venezuelan people. It is great to see that they are embracing Open Source Software. Linux is really sweet, and so it is all just really cool to see cool people using cool software. Cool.


“The Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez announced the launch of their ‘Bolivarian Computers’ last week, consisting of four different models produced in Venezuela with Chinese technology. The new computers will run the open-source Linux operating system and will first be used inside the government ‘missions’ and state companies and institutions but eventually are expected to be sold across Venezuela and Latin America.”

“Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez presented the new machines to the public last week at an event in the state of Falcon as he donated them to a school there. The new computers are produced by the joint venture VIT (Venezuela de Industria Tecnologica), which is owned by the Chinese company Lang Chao and the Venezuelan Ministry of Light Industry and Commerce.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Specsavers opens eyes to open source

by @ 4:06 pm. Filed under Linux migrations

Another great migration story comes to us this time from Specsavers, a chain of opticians. They are migrating a third of their systems to Linux.


“Specsavers, the retail chain of opticians, is putting the finishing touches to an IT refit of its UK operation that has seen it move a third of its applications to open source software.”

“The group is making the same transition across all eight countries in which it operates in order to save money and hassle. Key to the move is the adoption of open standards so it can avoid being trapped into using any single vendor’s software.”

“Michel Khan, IT director for the Specsavers Group, said it had already saved a ‘mid-quartile’ six figure sum from licence fees alone and another ‘lower quartile’ six figure sum from the operational benefits of wresting control back from proprietary vendors.”

Read the whole story here.

SA’s first Linux training academy

by @ 12:23 pm. Filed under Linux News

Now THIS is way cool. South Africa has its own Linux training school. That is super neat. Students will get a bunch of hands-on training and will emerge with an LPI certification.


“In a first for South Africa, Linux Holdings have launched a full-time Linux Training Academy.”

“Kin Le Roux, MD of Linux Holdings explained that the Linux curriculum consists of four months full time Linux training and then a six months internship at an open source related company.”

“The four months training will consist of 35% lectures and 65% practicals, after which the students will write their Linux Professsional Institute (LPI) level one exams.”

Read the entire article here.

openSUSE 10.3 Alpha5 Released

by @ 10:15 am. Filed under General SUSE, SUSE News, SUSE releases

openSUSE 10.3 Alpha5 Released

From the bros in Germany:

I’m glad to announce openSUSE 10.3 Alpha5.

Important Changes Since Alpha4

The following are some highlights of Alpha5 compared to Alpha4:

* Linux 2.6.22 rc4
* Reduced size and cleaned up dependencies of some packages

* glibc 2.6
* Emacs 22.1
* OpenOffice.Org 2.2.1 rc3
* Lots of package renames and splits to create smaller systems and allow

  a one CD installation.
* Two one CD installation media: A GNOME CD and a KDE CD.  Both contain

  a small desktop.  Please review the media and tell us changes.  This
  is our very first version – I would call it pre-Alpha 😉

* If openSUSE is installed from CDs, user is offered to bring up
  network connection in order to be able to install a remote add-on

  product together with openSUSE.

A more detailed list of changes is available via .

Most Annoying Bugs
So far the following critical bugs have been found, please read before

you install:

* YaST do not accept the default gpg key by default and asks for import

  during registration. (Bug 283738)
* grub config completely broken on update (Bug 283709)
* No remote repository gets added during installation (Bug 283740)

* ifup/getcfg are broken, so the traditional network scripts will not
  work – workaround: Use NetworkManager (Bug 283724).

* No NIS offered during installation (Bug 270899) 

The list of annoying bugs is found here as well, please update it if

you find more:

Call for Testing

* Please test the new 1 CD GNOME and KDE installation media and tell

  us how to improve them.  Please keep in mind the space constraints.

* Please test the network setup at the beginning and that you can add

  remote installation sources even if installing from CD.

* Live DVD

  A live DVD is not part of this release, but it can be create by

  anyone using the kiwi config for current Factory.

  1) Add the openSUSE:Tools project repository, if you do not have it yet:

  sa -r ‘

  Please note that you may need a different repo, if you do not use openSUSE 

  10.2 on your workstation.
  2) install or update the kiwi live system description:
  zypper install kiwi-desc-livesystem

  3) Create a Live image, be sure that no /tmp/mydvd directory does exist 

  Kiwi will create an image for that architecture what you run as host system.

  4) Burn the image and boot it 🙂

* Instlux

  Please test InstLux, to start a Linux installation under Windows.

  Thanks a lot for Jordi for his great work!  Our first tests showed
  that this might not work under Vista since the binary is not signed.

  Take care about the uninstaller of the openSUSE installer which gets
  blocked by Vista Popup Blocker after login.

  Network installation with InstLux is now available and needs some
  further testing. InstLux Network Installer needs no special media

  only a working internet connection. The InstLux Network Installer
  can be found at:

* OpenOffice.Org 2.2.1 RC3

  Please test the new version!

* libata for IDE devices

   We’re using the libata stack now also for IDE controllers.  Please
   do test that an update works and all files are changed

   automatically (libata uses /dev/sda for the first harddisk instead
   of /dev/hda).  Disks with more than 15 partitions are not handled

   right now, we’re still evaluating whether there is a good solution.
   to use the old scheme, boot with "hwprobe=-modules.pata".

Media and Download

openSUSE 10.3 Alpha4 for i386, x86-64 and ppc comes as different media

* 1 GNOME Installation CD for i386 (NEW!)
* 1 KDE Installation CD for i386 (NEW!)

* 6 CDs (CD 6 was needed due to the increase space of TeXLive)
* 1 AddOn CD with only NonOSS packages on it

* 1 AddOn CD with language packages that are used for extra
  languages (the 6 CDs contain support for english, french, italian, spanish,

  german, chinese, japanese, czech, danish, norwegian, khmer,
  hungarian, polish) (the 6 CDs have support for installation in all

  languages, just extra packages are only on this extra media)
* 1 DVD containing the contents of the 6 CDs and the NonOSS AddOn CD

* CDs/DVDs containing the sources corresponding to the media

We have created Delta ISOs from openSUSE 10.3 Alpha4.  Please use them

for download.

The DVDs and the source media are only available via bittorrent.

Please report all bugs you find on in our bugzilla as explained in, discussion is most appropriate on the

opensuse-factory@xxxxxxxxxxxx mailing list.

To download media, please use the links provided at:

The next Alphas are:

* Thu, Jul  6   openSUSE 10.3 Alpha5+ release (internal)

* Thu, Jul 19   openSUSE 10.3 Alpha6 release

Have a lot of fun,

 Andreas Jaeger, Director Platform / openSUSE, aj@xxxxxxx
  SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, GF: Markus Rex, HRB 16746 (AG Nürnberg)

   Maxfeldstr. 5, 90409 Nürnberg, Germany
    GPG fingerprint = 93A3 365E CE47 B889 DF7F  FED1 389A 563C C272 A126

June 13, 2007

my bad

by @ 10:52 am. Filed under SUSE Blog News

Hey, everyone. I accidentally sent out bunches more email this morning than I wanted to, clogging my server. If you tried to download your book and got errors, or couldn’t do it, or got lots of extra email, that is because I am a bonehead. Just try it again using the link you got in your email (remember, you must be subscribed to the course to get it, so sign up!), and it should work now! Thanks everyone, and enjoy!

New Free e-book Available!

by @ 6:41 am. Filed under ebook, freebies, How-To, SUSE Tips & Tricks

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to another wonderful Wednesday morning. I just wanted to let you know that I have completed another free ebook. It is 25 pages and covers the basics of managing software with YAST. It goes over what Installation Sources are, how to get a full list of them, and how to put them in. I also cover the basics of adding and removing software via YAST. The goal of such a book is to give people who have not yet had a chance the ability to get started quickly learning the basics of YAST so they can jump right in and be immediately productive in openSUSE, one of the best distributions of Linux available today.

A short table of contents includes:

Open YAST……………………………………………6
Installation Sources………………………………….8
Finding YAST Installation Sources………………………9
Registering Installation Sources in YAST……………….10
Installing Software in YAST…………………………..17
Uninstalling Software in YAST…………………………21

To get this book, you just sign up for the free “Introduction to Linux” course available from the left nav of my site: After the last class comes to you, a few days later, the free ebook arrives as a special bonus.

For anyone who has signed up previously, you will get a link in an email that you can use to download the ebook. If you are interested in the ebook, go ahead and enroll in the free Introduction to Linux course (available from my site). The course covers:

For anyone who may just be getting started using Linux, this course is for you!

June 8, 2007

Kamloops school district gets an education in free software

by @ 5:10 pm. Filed under General Linux, Linux migrations, Linux News

I love it when I see schools get involved with Linux…

“The Kamloops/Thompson School District in British Columbia, Canada, is a free software success story. Gregg Ferrie, manager of information technology for the district, believes its infrastructure may be “the largest Linux on-the-desktop implementation in Western Canada” in public education. According to Ferrie, hardly a week goes by without another of British Columbia’s more than 60 school districts consulting Kamloops. Currently, five other districts are considering or planning to implement the Kamloops district’s custom-built thin client solution, and the department of education at the University of British Columbia is also investigating the possibility.”

“Kamloops’ success did not come overnight. It represents a culmination of almost a decade of effort that includes resistance from both instructors and unionized technical staff. Ferrie’s account of how he and his small team of system analysts managed to introduce free software to the district provides a case study of the challenges that others might face in making similar efforts.”

Read the entire story here.

UPHPU Lunch at Thanksgiving Point

by @ 2:58 pm. Filed under events

Just got back from the UPHPU lunch… here are some pics (click for bigger image):

This is my brother Brett (eating sandwich), Victor Villa(behind Brett), Lonnie Olson(in the middle), Brandon Stout (far right).

This is Jason Jones (far left), Cole Joplin, and Sheri Bigelow.

This is Steve Dibb (far left), Michael Geary, and Jason.

This is Brandon Stout, Brett, and Steve.

A marvelous time was had by all.

Everyone have a fantastic weekend.

June 7, 2007

Job announcement for True North Academy

by @ 9:21 am. Filed under Work-Related

True North Academy, an American Fork-based financial coaching company, seeks a qualified LAMP programmer. This is a full time position with a fast growing, well established local company. The position is responsible for PHP systems analysis, systems design, coding, testing, debugging, documenting, as well as MYSQL database design and management. The candidate will also be responsible for implementing internal and external web software solutions. The person filling this position will be expected to work closely with other members of the IT team to create, maintain, and enhance client-server and web-based systems.

Key Qualifications:

• 4 year degree in Information Systems, Computer Science or related field
• 3-4 year experience in working with PHP and MySQL in an enterprise-class environment.
• Experience working with large OOP-based PHP applications.
• HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML experience required
• Experience with AJAX is preferred
• Knowledge of object-oriented design and implementation principles required
• Knowledge of Linux system administration, especially openSUSE Linux, is a plus
• Postgres experience is preferred

Candidate must have excellent written and communication skills, be willing to work in a team environment, possess strong interpersonal skills along with problem-solving skills and creativity. Candidate must also have the ability to manage multiple projects and set priorities appropriately, and be highly motivated and willing to go the extra mile to ensure quality, functionality, and scalability.

Salary offered begins at 65k. A candidate with greater experience will receieve greater compensation.

Send all applications to smorris –nospam– at

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