Category Archives: OS

Open Source Darwin Available for Download for Mac OS

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Darwin Mac OS

Apple is one of the most profitable and successful companies in the world today, and what most people don’t realize is that the Mac operating system is being driven by free software. These components are referred to as Darwin and comprise major parts of the operating system kernel, portions of the BSD Unix and also numerous drivers.

Apple has made these pieces of software available since their OS X 10.0 version and now they are making it available for Darwin. What’s also interesting is that Darwin isn’t the only Apple software that is open source for the company. Java for Mac is open source via a partnership with Oracle as well as the company’s newest program language, Swift. These factors show that Apple is definitely aware of the technological landscape surrounding them and they are embracing it as much as possible.*

Apple also has an open source webpage which they update routinely with source code from past releases of its OS. There is an open source reference library available, along with links to tools for developers to use when coding.

The open source code for Darwin is packed with several files including a reference library, tools, and server resources. The tradition of Apple releasing its OS code has been around for many years, and that tradition is carried on with the release of Darwin.

Apple has pushing iOS developers towards its own technologies that are created in house, versus third party technologies such as Adobe Flash; which it deems inefficient. Swift, Apples newest programming language has been made open source as well, and many other companies have adopted the same coding philosophy. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Mozilla have all released their programming languages to the public much like Apple.

Apple may also be trying to get ahead of their arch rival Microsoft by making Swift available on other operating systems. This means that Apples own open source code could be used to develop apps for competing companies like Android.

A large benefit of Apple or any other company doing this is it makes the company less susceptible to lawsuits based around programming. For example, Oracle and Google are currently in a lawsuit due to the fact that Oracle is claiming Google violated its intellectual property by creating its own Java-type programming. If the code was open source, Oracle could never make that claim.

This greatly decreases the possibility of lawsuits and developers can rest assured that the project they are working on won’t cause them to be served with legal documents in the future. Developers can instead focus on writing the best code possible and pushing the limits of the programming language beyond its ceiling.

Apple is sending a large message to the technology field by making its operating systems open source and the industry is taking notice. As previously mentioned, many other companies are beginning to do the same and a trend appears to be growing towards open source code. The benefits it presents are being realized as more and more companies adopt this mentality making the future for technology a bright one.

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How to use Linux on a Flash Drive

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Flash Drive

If you are going to run Linux off of your flash drive you need to make sure it’s done correctly. There are several options in which you can utilize a flash drive to carry Linux around with you if you needed to. Nothing like having a full blown operating system in your back pocket when you need it!

Make sure you enable persistent data if you are an Ubuntu user. It will let you write a compact ISO file to boot from while giving you the ability to keep your extra installed applications and saved documents. This is also good if you utilize a large amount of systems with the USB drive because the live environment will detect what hardware is available every time it boots.

If you want, you can write a live ISO to the USB, just make sure the USB is appropriately sized for the data. Once that’s done you can use Linux from any computer that allows booting from USB media and there are also tools that can do this for you if you need assistance.

Be warned that if you do this, none of your data will be saved once you shut down the computer because with a live environment, your data is temporarily kept in RAM and not written on the USB drive or computer’s hard drive. As a result, none if it is saved when the system turns off.

This method is not recommended if you want a full Linux environment in your pocket, but it can come in handy as a means to provide security around the information you are using and sharing, knowing nothing is being saved. Financial information, classified information, etc could benefit from something like this.

Lastly, you can always do a full install to your USB. This method lets you literally put the whole Linux system in your pocket. The advantage to this being that you have your own operating system set up the way you want it with you wherever you go. It can be installed and used in any computer you come across or serve as a backup should one be needed due to a computer crash or malfunction.

The thing you will want to keep in mind with this type of USB installation is that you are going to need a USB capable of a large amount of storage. Also, since the system thinks the OS is installed normally, it will make changes to drivers and hardware you’re currently working with. This is predominantly a concern when using proprietary drivers. It’s recommended you don’t use them in this scenario as it can cause some issues with the Linux OS.

In conclusion it’s quite easy to use Linux on a flash drive if you see fit; you will just need to make sure it’s installed properly on the drive via one of the methods mentioned above. Make sure you know which method you used, and the limitations of it, so you don’t end up losing data or messing up a computer by accident. If you do this you won’t have any problems using Linux as a portable OS.

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List of Top Open Source Options For Microsoft Office

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AOO - Apache Open Office

Microsoft Office is without a doubt the industry standard when it comes to word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database management and email and desktop publishing. Regardless, there are open source alternatives available that may interest business owners, developers and users alike. Some people prefer Linux over Windows or Mac OS and everyone has their own individual tastes and standards when it comes to their computer setup and use.

Open source software has come a long way and continues to pave the way for software developers. Just because you didn’t pay for it doesn’t mean the software doesn’t contain a lot of features and support. Many of the open source options available provide just as good, if not better, tools and applications.

Below we take a look at several open source alternatives to Microsoft Office for anyone whom is interested.

  • Apache OpenOffice – This is a free open source office software suite. You can do word processing with it, spreadsheets, presentations and so on. The cool thing about it is that you can save documents in their own format or save your work in Microsoft Word format. The software also allows you to read Microsoft Word documents, so even though you are using different software you are not losing any compatibility with other people who might be sending you files via Microsoft Word. The latest version works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS.
  • LibreOffice – This software was developed by The Document Foundation. It boasts the same six applications that Apache does but its versions are different in terms of features available within the applications. LibreOffice is also considered to be more actively developed then Apache so it is evolving more quickly. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
  • NeoOffice – NeoOffice is an application for Mac OS only. It was developed with the Mac user in mind and contains features that would be considered more important to their users. It contains a Mac-like installation process and integrates with the Mac OS interface. It also allows for the use of Mac OS fonts and printing services. Support is available for the software for a fee.
  • KOffice – Koffice keeps it simple by offering an office suite with three tools; a spreadsheet, word processor and presentation application. It is open source and available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

If you are looking for an open source alternative to Microsoft Office, try the options above. Many of them appear to have the same functionality as the programs available in the typical Microsoft Office suite, but allow for open source development. Because of this, the programs offer various options that are not available with Microsoft Office and will continue to develop as a result of users contributions.

Microsoft Office will need to be careful and keep an eye on these competitors as they have the ability to evolve very rapidly due to their open source nature. If Microsoft isn’t careful, one of these open source options can take over as the “go-to” solution for office software.

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