Splatter – July 2008

From discussions on Wednesday night’s TechNet and emails with Bob (WA7YNU), it appears that the difference between a virtual console and a virtual terminal deserves more discussion. While both allow you to enter commands, they are different.

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Splatter – June 2008

When you first start using Linux, it is hard to tell where applications are installed, and how to start them. To shed a little light on this topic, I am going to use unixcw, cw (command-line application), and cwcp (graphical application) as example packages (RPM distributions bundle all the application into a single UnixCW package). The environment for this discussion is a laptop running Linux Mint, an Ubuntu derivate, which is a Debian derivative. Since the laptop only has 256 MiB of memory, I am using the Xfce desktop. The eye-candy of KDE and Gnome is nice, but takes a heavy toll on memory resources.

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Splatter – April 2008

In an earlier article, I mentioned that each Linux distribution has software repositories. The major advantage of these software repositories is that the software has already been compiled for a particular version of a Linux distribution. You just need to use the package manager for the distribution to install the package. If you go to the Web site for the software, you may not find a RPM or DEB package for the specific version of Linux that you are using. Instead, you will find source code that needs to be compiled, and installed.

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Splatter – March 2008

Hardware issues are the greatest challenge you will face during Linux installation. It isn’t because Linux lacks in driver support from the open source community. Linux actually has more hardware drivers than any other operating system, including Microsoft Windows. This is in part due to the number of platforms for which Linux is available. The hardware manufactures that have proprietary drivers that only support Microsoft Windows are the real culprits. The worst offenders are the manufactures of WiFi cards, and video cards. What life really exciting are those manufactures that change the chipset on the card, but don’t change the model number. As the number of Linux users grows, the number of manufactures that support Linux grows.

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Splatter – Feburary 2008

For those interested in pursuing Linux amateur radio applications, there are a number of mailing lists that you can join. These lists fall into the following three categories:

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Splatter – December 2007

The number of applications for Linux numbers in the thousands. Consequently, most distributions of Linux now come on DVD disks (Mandriva is still available as a 3 CD set). If your computer doesn’t have a DVD drive, what are your options:

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Splatter – November 2007

How does one manage the installation and removal of thousands of software packages. In Linux, there are basically four ways to obtain software:

  • You can download packages from the repositories for your particular flavor of Linux
  • Some packages are available from various Web sites, such as Nvidia, which you can download and install
  • For those who want to hang out on the leading edge, you can always download the source for a package, and compile your own version
  • The latest way to get compiled packages is through OpenSuse’s build service, which compiles a package for a large number of distributions

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