GNU’s not Unix? If not then why not?

The GNU/Linux family of operating systems (e.g. Debian, Fedora, KDE Neon, Kubuntu, LinuxMint, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Xubuntu et al) are not permitted to use the UNIX trademark. Instead, they are described as "unix-like". In fact, the "GNU" in GNU/Linux (c/w the "G" in GIMP) is a recursive acronym meaning GNU's not Unix. In a nutshell, the GNU/Llinux family of operating systems do all sorts of clever unixy stuff, but they cannot legally call themselves UNIX. Whereas Apple's OSX is  UNIX. In fact, most releases of OSX are amongst the few OS's that are actually certified as Unix. Which means it… Read More ►

What is a WebP image file, and how do I open one?

Seems there is quite a lot of buzz about a "new" image format called "WebP"  that is seeing increasing use on-line recently. Although it is attributed to Google, WebP was not strictly a Google invention. It was originally developed by On2 of New York as part of its VP* series "Truemotion" video codecs. Google acquired these technologies when it took over On2. VP8 went on to be the core of Google's WebM video format. WebP is not particularly new either. It was originally released in back in 2010. Whilst the libwebp code library has been freely available under a BSD… Read More ►

Using VirtualBox to run Windows apps that will not run on WINE

I'm a big fan of WINE and an even bigger fan of CrossoverLinux. This is the commercial implementation of WINE by CodeWeavers. For many Windows apps it works very well indeed. In many ways I prefer it to using a virtual machine (VM) because firstly one does not have to start a VM just to run an application and secondly, Windows apps behave exactly as if they were Linux apps - thus integrating seamlessly into Linux. Here's a list of all the Windows apps I have made run using Crossover:- In fact, I am one of Codeweavers so-called advocates… Read More ►

My camera cards keep getting corrupted. Can I prevent this?

I've had cheapo cards that I dropped, kicked, trod on, used a squillion times, paid the proverbial tuppence ha'penny for and they are still going. Others, even the expensive ones have failed or become flaky within a few months - or worse, clapped out just outside the warranty. Similarly hard disks can fail in the first five minutes or go the full five years. Media failure is pretty random and can happen at the most embarrassing time. My strategy... Get your data downloaded onto your PC and backed up asap. As soon as any data recording medium, mechanical or solid-state,… Read More ►

Windows can’t read from my camera’s memory card

Editor's note: since writing this article, I have had huge problems with RTools spamming me. I have asked them many times to stop, yet still they persist. My advice is do not use any RTools product. Or that if you must use RTools, do NOT register, otherwise they will pester you forever. Using the free Linux alternatives is cheaper and much better for your privacy! This is more a basic "how it works" rather than a comprehensive "how-to", though I have provided links to some of the resources I use when confronted with flaky camera chips or flaky hard drives. … Read More ►

Marriage of minds or just a shotgun wedding

Microsoft has been in trouble for some time - but has taken its executives quite a while to realise it. Vista has been a massive flop. And M$ is becoming increasingly perceived as a company that has ruthlessly exploited its monopoly - fleecing its customers for vast sums of money whilst providing poor quality, insecure products. Reading around the web there seems to be a growing feeling afoot that Microsoft has somehow "missed the boat"and is clinging to Yahoo in order to compete with its new arch-rival, Google. Indeed, BBC's Website Business Editor, Tim Weber describes itas, "Microsoft and Yahoo's… Read More ►
Icom R-20

How to install CS-R20 software for Icom IC-R20 on Linux

It seems that with a little determination, the CS-R20 for the Icom IC-R20 software can be persuaded to run on Linux. I eventually made the CS-R20 software load under Kubuntu Linux using Crossover (a commercial implementation of WINE). The method in this article should work with many other Debian-derived Linuxes too, perhaps with a little tweak here and there! The IC-R20's USB to RS232 chipset is automatically detected and a module is loaded for it in modern Linuxes - so no need for a driver. The only issue, at time of writing, is that whilst the CS-R20 software can write… Read More ►

What computer should I buy?

Editor's note: this was written back in 2006, and it is rather out-of-date. Trouble is that today one is spoilt for choice, manufacturers claims are often difficult to understand or substantiate and prices are tumbling so quickly that no sooner than you take your PC home, you see the same model, with more extras, selling for twenty quid less than you just paid for yours! For most users, there are two basic choices: a "desktop" or a "laptop" PC. Laptops are smaller, more portable and more convenient for people on the move. The downside is that you pay roughly half… Read More ►