kw907 : Fossdem 2015.

We visit Fossdem 2015 in Brussels and interview several open source initiatives communities and projects. We talk to the OpenSuse guys AND the Debian foundation on what they have been up to and ask the people from Jitsy why their cross platform secure chatclient is the cats Meow. The CentOS project tells us why they are the favorite distro for system admins and we learn that Diaspora is the open source privacy aware alternative to Facebook. Furthermore we learn how TOR works (and how it can help you get more content on Netflix) and what tool to use if you need to deploy 50 High capacity streaming videoservers (For My little Pony video’s or your own Porn empire) with Puppet. So get  your propeller hat on and strap in for the Fossdem2015 interviews.

Links

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kw804 : The Cross Platform Startup.

What does it take to start up a company ?  What does it take to make that company cross platform compatible ? What hardware do you choose , what software do you choose ? What services do you go for ? What are the challenges, the easy bits and where does it all make you want to pull your hair out  ? We answer those questions in this weeks podcast as we take a deep dive into the technology we selected and used to start up our own IT Consultancy company. Listen up ! You might learn something 🙂 

Shownotes.

 

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Switch Week : Export your iWorks documents.

You might not know it, but one of the greatest ways to sell an application is not only by making it a very good application, but also by using an enclosed file format. Its funny, but the majority of decisions in small businesses of whether to migrate to a newer version of office, is fuelled by the argument that “other people use office an its needs to be compatible”. That way a commonly present, closed file format used by a certain number of users ..ensures long time sales of your product.

iWork

With Pages Numbers and Keynote, Apple chose their own file formats to use. That also creates kind of a “legacy” problem. Part of that problem is that you need to be able to open / share your documents with other iWork suite users and part of that is that you need the iWorks suite to be able to open your own documents. Being able to break free from that locked in loop gives you the flexibility not only to exchange documents with others who do NOT have the iWorks suite, but also to make sure you can open those documents on your other computers that aren’t macs.

How to do it.
iWorks documents don’t ‘slide’ very well across operating systems. iWorks suite is capable of opening .doc .xls .ppt .rtf and .txt formats from other programs like the Microsoft Office suite and Openoffice (beware : Open document format is NOT supported). The other way around is a lot harder : No applications outside the iWorks suite are capable of opening and editing Apples closed iWork suite file formats.

What is the workaround.

Luckily there are the EXPORT options that allow you to ‘export’ your iWorks spreadsheet, document or presentation to a more open file format so you can open them up with non-iWorks applications.
supported formats – suggested formats

Pages documents can be exported to.

  • PDF
  • DOC
  • RTF
  • TXT (not all versions of iWorks support this)

Depending on the file format you export to you will loose more functionalities and layout options. The PDF export gives you a document with all the layout but without the ability to edit, the other file formats have less and less of the .pages layout and markup options in favor of being able to edit the text.

Numbers spreadsheets can be exported to : 

  • PDF
  • XLS
  • CSV

The same is true here, the farther you go down the list the less functionalities you can export. PDF gives you a read only document, XLS gives you the ability to open and edit the document in applications like Excel, Google Drive and Open Office. You might still have your graphs and pie charts but they won’t look as nice. With CSV you export your spreadsheet to a flat file with all your data separated by comma’s.

Keynote presentations can be exported to : 

  • PDF
  • PPT
  • Quicktime
  • HTML (not all versions of Keynote support this)
  • Images

With Keynote you can export your presentation to static images, or a pdf document or to a Quicktime movie giving your viewers the total presentation experience. Only when you export to .ppt will you be able to edit your presentation slides. When you do the latter you will loose some of the mark-up or effects of your presentation.

You win some you loose some.
With an “export” you go down to the lowest common denominator of functionalities between the different applications. Whatever .pages can do with a document that Word cannot .. Will be lost. Most of the times your documents will still be editable but they need “touching up” after the exports. Other times you might find that certain transitions or effects that are unique to the iWorks suite are completely gone or do not work.

Be open in the choice of your applications.
So if you don’t want to go live in proprietary-file format-purgatory we suggest using “open” applications as much as possible. Openoffice and Google Docs are largely geared towards cross platform availability AND the ability to be compatible with many other ‘office like’ applications. If you have to share your documents with others, be polite and use “open” file formats like .pdf .doc .odf and even .rtf .html or .txt. This way you assure that the other party can read (and if needed, edit) your document without having to run to the store to buy iWorks (and quite possibly a new Mac). Using open filestandards shows “digital maturity” and ensures that you can still open that essay that you wrote on your old mac .. on your brand new Chromebook, Windows Tablet or Linux PC.

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Switch week : Moving mail from iCloud to Gmail.

We continue switch week on Knightwise.com where we help you to move your data from Apple’s closed ecosystem into something more ‘open’ and cross-platform-friendly. Today we look at iCloud. Apple’s free cloud service for mail, calendar and contacts. But what if you decide you want to quit that Apple ecosystem, or want to migrate your mail to a different account. We show you how.

You don’t need to quit your iCloud account.

First of all : You don’t HAVE to quit your iCloud account. As explained by guest blogger Kevin, there are plenty of applications on Android to access your iCloud contacts, mail and calendar data from a non-Apple phone our tablet. Read his blogpost here.

But what if you want to move out ? 

But if you do want to move out of your iCloud account into something like Gmail (or any other service) its not that hard. Apple sticks to some amazingly open standards like iMap for access to their email server from any client. It is exactly that what we are going to use to get your emails out of iCloud. Here is what you need.

  • Download your favorite cross-platform friendly mail client THUNDERBIRD.
  • Connect to your iCloud by adding a new mail account and selecting the IMAP mail protocol with the following settings.
      • (For the INCOMING server)
      • Server name: imap.mail.me.com
      • SSL Required: Yes
      • If you receive errors when using SSL, try using TLS instead.
      • Port: 993
      • Username: The name part of your iCloud email address (for example, emilyparker, not emilyparker@icloud.com)
      • Password: Your iCloud password
      • (For the OUTGOING/SMTP server)
      • Server name: smtp.mail.me.com
      • SSL Required: Yes
      • If you receive errors when using SSL, try using TLS instead.
      • Port: 587
      • SMTP Authentication Required: Yes
      • Username: Your full iCloud email address (for example, emilyparker@icloud.com, not emilyparker)
      • Password: Your iCloud password

This will give you the ability to download all your email messages into your Thunderbird client. You can “drag and drop” your precious emails into offline folders if you want to archive them on your local machine. But what if you want to push them back up to the cloud to Gmail ?  Easy peasy. First make sure you have a Gmail account and set that up on your Thunderbird email client.

  • Set up your Gmail account on Thunderbird.
  • This is actually quite easy in the latest versions of Thunderbird. Just add an existing email account and enter your Gmail address. Thunderbird is going to figure out the rest.

Now ‘Drag and drop’.

In Thunderbird you now have 2 email accounts set up. What you need to do now is surprisingly simple. Select one (or multiple) emails from your iCloud inbox and drag them over to your Gmail inbox. Its as easy as that. All the metadata (when the email was sent, who the sender was etc etc) is preserved and you now have those mails available in Gmail. (In your Thunderbird client AND on the web)

MultipleAccountsInThunderbird2WindowsXP

Closing up.

You can choose to keep your iCloud account and drag emails back and forth, or you can empty the “iCloud-Tank” and move out. In both cases , the open iMAP standard and Thunderbird will serve you well.

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GAME WEEK : Cross platform terraforming with Minecraft.

Today we focus on one of the more addictive cross plaform games : Minecraft. Telling us all about minecraft is guestblogger Matt ( better known as Turtles) We will stand back and let him do the explaining.
 
My first minecraft experience was amazing and I remember the day well. I was looking around for a new  game to play on the xbox 360 something creative, what I found was much more. Minecraft was at the time  on sale which was a bonus, however minecraft is a game I would pay full retail for and in Australia  that is close to $100. Its now 2 years into playing minecraft and the feeling has not changed. I still  enjoy being dropped into my own world where I can mine and craft to my hearts content. 
 
minecraft
 
Minecraft is a game where you start with just your character, the world loads around you in chunks of  grass and trees. After a few seconds you realise just how expansive the world you just seeded has become. In creative mode you can fly into the air to see your world, or you could simply explore for yourself. On these adventures you might come across some animals which provide to you raw meats anditems which you will need to keep yourself save and well fed. I would suggest to start building a house first as when night falls you will be in for a big surprise. Night time is when the monsters of minecraft come out to play.

I started off playing creative mode minecraft this is where you have access to every block and item that is currently in the version you are playing. With all these blocks available to you, you can craft anything and the only limit is your creative self. The first thing I did in minecraft was to build a house and a bed so I was nice and safe from those pesky little monsters. Little did I know in 
creative mode there are no monster mobs spawning at night and therefore is a nice mode if you just want to create a massive tower; a nice house or even create your own mini games. 

When you get used to minecraft on creative mode and looking for a tougher challenge the next step is  Survival mode, with 4 levels of difficulty which are peaceful no spawing monsters up to difficult. Unlike creative mode here is were the real game gets you hooked. You will start with no tools, blocks or information, you are however given a map which is empty. From this point on the game will only progress with the work you perform within the world. Sit back and wait for dark and monsters will keep attacking you. Get in early and start building your house and a bed and in no time you will be safe from the onslaught you will see when the sun sets.

Singleplayer minecraft is a lot of fun as you can move along the timeline of your world as quickly or as slowly as you see fit. You are mining and crafting items for yourself which can take up precious time you need to collect other valuable resources if only someone could help you. Well in Multiplayer  the entire experience changes, not because you have a friend to mine resources you also have an enemy waiting to attack you. Be careful if you find gold or diamond your friend might want those for  themselves. With a few swings of a stone sword your hard work might just become someone’s ill gotten gain.   

There are so many features in the game that just need to be experienced by the player, with the game still in development there really is a lot more content that can be added. With the over world (main seeded world) which contains villages, dungeons and very different biomes (Rain forest, Forest, Desert, Sea, Caves, Solid Ground, Mushroom) all these biomes have different creatures and blocks you would need to mine in order to build your wildest creations. The current version 1.7.2 has most of the features above along with many types of animals, all of which are interact able and can be used for food, security(Wolves), or just to admire.

So to sum up Minecraft the game is endless fun for all ages I spent roughly 2 hours a day playing Minecraft with my niece over christmas. I must say it was one of the highlights of my holidays. Fishing a close second.. I want to finish off with my top 5 favorite things to do in minecraft.

1. Wolf Pack: Using bones collected from skeletons to be-friend a pack of wolves, then running around and attacking other animals to watch the wolves attack. Same with monsters spawned.

2. Pet spawning: this is where you get two animals of the same kind and you fence them. Then you make them enter love mode. After a few seconds a smaller younger version of these animals appears.

3. Creepers: While these are monsters the creepers will just pop up on you, you will here a hissing noise followed by a big explosion. Normal reactions are “Oh Crap!”, “ARRGGHHH!” , and “NOOOOOO”

4. Traps: Setting up pressure pads connected to TNT, which can be used to destroy someones creation or simple to have fun with dispensers.

5. Mini Games: I have seen many YouTube videos with free maps you can play that have multiple mini games, designed to use normal minecraft items to advance through levels.

About Matt : (A.K.A Turtlez) Age: 26

I have been a gamer for quite a few years now close to 14. I enjoy playing both online and offline games with friends. I have been mainly a PC and Xbox gamer with a tendency to play mostly First Person Shooter games, however I have branched out recently to third person hack and slash games. I also have been enjoying 2K’s NBA2k range of Basketball games, as well as Formula 1 games. Growing up in my household my father enjoyed working with computers and IT equipment which meant I spent loads of time doing the same as a kid. I now have an IT Based job in Australia working with an IBM Mainframe as a performance tester. I still to this day enjoy getting a gaming session in on a weekend or even after dinner when the time suits me. I first cut my gaming teeth on the good old Counter Strike 1.6 and Team Fortress 2 (A.K.A Team Fortress Classic). I then moved onto the newer versions of these games years later and expanded to Battlefield 2. Now I have a list as long as a stack of cases with all the games I currently play. The major of my time is spent playing the following: Battlefield 4, Team Fortress 2 (Source Edition), or Counter Strike Source , NBA 2k13 or 2k14 Formula 1 2013 (Usually driving in full GP length races with my cousin online) GTA IV, Forza, Ryse when I feel the need for change. Matts online coordinates : Xbox Live: TurtlezPantz – Steam:  zyther (Screen Name Turtlez!) – Raptr: TM_Turtlez

About Minecraft.

Minecraft is a cross platform game. (to play it you just need Java on your machine) You can DOWNLOAD IT HERE.

There are also many completely FREE and open source alternatives to the “original” minecraft that might be more suitable for your system (or your budget) : choose from one of the many other alternatives out there in THIS list

 

 

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Podcast week : The Cyberpunk librarian podcast on Open Source Writing.

With the holidays coming up you might find yourself trapped in a family gathering that is comprised largely of people talking non-techno gibberish. While it might be perfectly normal for others to talk about “mondaine” things like ‘the game thats on tonight’ or whichever of the babes in America’s next Top model was so skinny she blew off camera on a windy day .. there is only so much you might be able to take. So time for some technological infusions into your audio-phonic subsystems. In laymen’s terms : Time for a couple of good podcasts to pull you through the holidays. Over the next week we will introduce you to 5 different podcasts you should subscribe to (aside from ours of course). We shall try to tap a variety of topics and interests but will vouch for its quality and consistency. We can however only partially vouch for your sanity or domestic peace at the christmas dinner once we are done.

Cyberpunk-Librarian-Cover-Art-520x245

 

Our first selection is a freshly rebooted podcast by friend of the show Daniel “The cyberpunk librarian” Messer on being a writer using open source tools. Aside from being cross platform geek using a variety of operating system, Daniel has also written several books and has mastered the art of using open source tools to produce his literary escapades. Episode 1 of his recently rebooted podcast describes the use of open source software to pound that brilliant idea into a literary novel that is ready to publish using only open source software. Be quiet while listening to this podcast and refer from talking, shouting and walking around .. this man is a librarian .. remember ?

 

Download and subscribe.

  • You can find the website to subscribe (along with the most evil of all podcast avatar selfies) over at http://cyberpunklibrarian.com/podcast/

 

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kw404 : Enterprise virtualisation with Proxmox.

Time to deep dive into some geeky solution for running all your favorite operating systems at the same time. We talk to Lord Drachenblut about using Proxmox to build a dedicate server for your Virtual machine needs, and do it all for free. If you ever dreamt of running all of your operating systems at the same time on a dedicated server and building your very own enterprise style datacenter .. tune in now.

Shownotes

Lord Drachenblut’s list of Vm’s.
Proxmox : http://www.proxmox.com/products/proxmox-ve
Etherpad – openvz container from turnkeylinux pulled through the proxmox interfacehttp://www.turnkeylinux.org/etherpad
mineos – http://minecraft.codeemo.com/
irssi – centos vm with irssi, ssh, and sshfs installed
murmur – debian vm with murmur server installed
big blue buttonhttp://www.bigbluebutton.org/ 
metasploitable
opennms – centos install with opennms package repo added http://yum.opennms.org/
Windows Server 2008 R2 – available from microsoft
sogo – centos install with the sogo repo added
FreeBSD 9 – freebsd 9 install, install images available from freebsd.com
postrgresDB – centos install adding postgresDB from repo
Zentyal – linux small business server distro available at http://www.zentyal.org/downloads/

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