StarOffice 8 Review – Office Killer?

LinuxPlanet have just recently published my very detailed StarOffice 8 review. To summarize, I like it, and with a few caveats, it gives Microsoft Office a run for its money. The article is spread over a number pages, with screenshots, a brief TOC is below:

  1. Alternatives to Microsoft Office
  2. Availability
  3. Installation
  4. StarOffice Writer
  5. StarOffice Calc
  6. StarOffice Impress
  7. StarOffice Draw
  8. StarOffice Base
  9. Office Killer?

You can read the full article at LinuxPlanet.

LinuxWorld Expo 2005 Report

I recently attended the LinuxWorld Expo 2005 here in London, UK on the 5th October. This was the first dedicated Linux show I’ve been to, and I have to say I was impressed. It was a lot smaller than I expected – about 60 stands – and some of the larger companies weren’t brilliantly represented (a virtually non-existent IBM presence, for example), but there were some gems of products and companies, and a few little surprises along the way. I’ve got a full report on Linux Today – some nuggets include the Sun stand, the Centrify software and the fun and games of the Gentoo stand.

MySQL Storage Engines

One of the key reasons why MySQL is so flexible is because of the support for different storage engines. Rather than supporting a single method for storing information you can choose the optimal method for your database and application. But how do you find out what is available, and how do you choose between MySQL Storage Engines. Are there storage engines that are better at some applications than others, and is there a handy guide that tells you? Well, I hope so, because that is exactly what my new article, MySQL Storage Engines, aims to do.

Solaris 10 Review

I have a new review up on LinuxToday about my experiences of using Solaris 10 over the last few months. As the article says at the start, I’ve been using Solaris since the original SunOS was redeveloped and rebranded as Solaris in the early 90s, and I’m still using it happily now. Solaris 10 adds a load of new features, including Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) and Solaris Containers (zones). The article also covers the other new features, desktop impressions, the issue of licensing of the new OpenSolaris and whether this could be a potential Linux killer, now that Solaris is available free. Please read the full article to find out if you should be trying Solaris 10.

Interview with Arnold Robbins, Maintainer of Gawk

I interview Arnold Robbins, maintainer of Gawk and author of Linux Programming by Example: The Fundamentals about his book, Gawk and how maintainers like me are kept in check. Here’s an extract:

LP: Do you think there’s a need for such low-level programming guides?Robbins: Yes, I do. It’s wonderful to program at a higher level of abstraction, such as what Java and Python give you, or in a different way, what the shell gives you.But there are times when you’ve got to get as close to the metal as you can, and that calls for C or C++ and direct system calls. Besides, I think it’s kind of neat to see the clear relationship between the way the Unix system calls work and the semantics made available at the shell level (I/O redirection, piping), and that in fact it’s not really such difficult dark magic after all.

Read the full article

Interview with Tom Jackiewicz, author of Deploying OpenLDAP

My first article for LinuxPlanet is an interview with the author of Deploying OpenLDAP, Tom Jackiewicz. The book is an excellent guide to using and abusing the OpenLDAP platform. As well as the contents of the book, I talked with Tom about the uses and best environments for LDAP solutions, as well as technical requirements for OpenLDAP. We also have a little discussion about the complexities of the LDAP system. You can read the full interview.