Tuesday - November 19, 2013
Enterprise software vendors want you to believe that they can customize their software to fit your company's particular needs. That promise is also one of open source software's chief claims to fame. So is the make-it-your-way vendor promise a better option than what the open source community offers? Is a business owner with specialized software needs better off hiring a programmer or paying his own IT staff to do double duty as a software development center?
The answers often depend on corporate financial resources and in-house talent.
Monday - November 18, 2013
When open source software was still getting established in the enterprise five years ago or so, there was a lot of discussion about so-called open core ripoffs. The concern was that anyone and everyone was proclaiming an association with open source software, even if most or all of their products were proprietary. Today, a similar debate has arisen about devops.
Friday - November 15, 2013
If you've been trying to keep an aging all-in-one printer out of the graveyard, forget it. Move on. I've been banging my head against the wall with a bunch of space-hogging Dell printers. I had an 8-year-old, office-grey laser printer for manuscripts and an equally old and grumpy faded-white scanner-fax-printer inkjet combo for which the cartridge nozzles kept drying out, still half full of ink.
Thursday - November 14, 2013
PCLinuxOS is as close as a distro can get to masking all the technical things that scare people away from the Linux OS. It makes installing and using the distro beginner-level easy. That says a lot for attracting both new and experienced users. PCLinuxOS offers several very good desktop options. It also makes a solid choice for more experienced Linux users.
Wednesday - November 13, 2013
Vendor lock-in has been such a standard part of enterprise IT over the years that it often goes unnoticed and unquestioned. Recently, however, that lock-in mentality has followed enterprises to the clouds. One might not think that vendor lock-in would exist for those who use open source software or open cloud solutions. Think again.
Tuesday - November 12, 2013
The popularity of cloud storage is growing rapidly, and few would deny that open source technology is driving individual and business users to the clouds in droves. Yet enterprise adoption decisions are often hindered by competing technologies for public and private clouds. Often, it is less a question of open or closed source and more an issue of service and cost.
Monday - November 11, 2013
Patent warfare is a veritable fixture of the mobile world these days, sadly, and -- by virtue of Android -- that heaps a whole lot of mess within the boundaries of the blogosphere's Linux territories. We've seen plenty of skirmishes come and go already, of course, but the latest example is being called nothing short of "thermonuclear" war.
Friday - November 8, 2013
The Tibetan government, law firms in Thailand and human rights groups in Sudan are all using a relatively new encrypted communications tool -- one that fits easily, if not cheaply, onto your smartphone. Silent Circle is an encrypted voice, video, text and file-transfer protocol that's available in app forms for Android devices, among others.
Thursday - November 7, 2013
Ubuntu's latest desktop OS release, Ubuntu 13.10, is more of a plain-Jane release than its "Saucy Salamander" nickname might otherwise suggest. This release comes six months after the Raring Ringtail version, which was also a bit of a yawner in terms of offering any must-have-the-upgrade enthusiasm. Like the last release, Ubuntu 13.10 also does not deliver much "wow."
Wednesday - November 6, 2013
We all back up our PCs, right? Okay, well, we should back up our PCs, right? Well, smartphones and tablets have become so ubiquitous that we need to back them up now too. It's time. Important photos, videos, contacts and music are now strewn across small, easy-to-lose, easy-to-break, highly pilferable devices. Fail to back up this stuff at your peril.
Tuesday - November 5, 2013
One of the big attractions behind the growing popularity of open source software is the ability to get it and use it for free. In a world of ever-rising costs in pretty much every other aspect of business and life, "free" is an offer that's increasingly difficult to refuse. Support is one area, however, where "free" may not be all it seems -- particularly for enterprises.
Monday - November 4, 2013
Ever since Burger King hit the proverbial nail on the head with its famed "Have It Your Way" slogan back in 1974, everyone has known that people like to -- well, have it their own way. Customization has been a growing trend, but until recently, smartphones were a glaring exception. Linux Girl can no longer even count the number of times she's asked for a big "L" and an image of Tux emblazoned on her device.
Friday - November 1, 2013
I know, from correspondence that I receive, that readers of this column are pretty global, spread all over the world and in some pretty distant places. That's why I was intrigued when I came across VoIP Android app Yuilop. Here's an app that promises to provide the hitherto unknown Holy Grail of international voice and text calling: free calls to overseas cellphones.