Sunday, December 30, 2007

Would Ulteo help OpenOffice to beat MS Office ?

Openoffice is an open source software offering its users many desktop applications as text editing and spreadsheet application. Since its appearance it was the first competitor of Microsoft Office but has never been the number one ! Microsoft Office is still the best sold Microsoft product ever! This desktop suite alone is making huge revenues and still the most desktop suite used in the world. You may say that's because integrated with Windows but it doesn't. It's sold separately from Windows. IE is integrated in Windows and couldn't beat Firefox so it's time to OOo to have some wings !

Wings.. This is what Ulteo is offering to OOo. Ulteo will allow users to use OpenOffice desktop suite on line with no installation process required. May be it will give some lazy and curious users an opportunity to give it a try. It will also allow people who were making some economies to buy a MS office suite to give OOo a try and may be they will be convinced to download OOo.

How to ?
Make sure you have:

  • A high speed network connection
  • A recent Safari,IE( 6 or 7) or Firefox(1.5 or more) browser.
  • A virtual Java machine
  • An Ulteo free account.
The desktop suite is great and can satisfy all the users need but it wasn't well introduced to users. That's what the Open source community lacks! The ability to make people try their products. If Ulteo could reach many users I'm certain that OOo will get a great step forward. Ulteo is counting (until now) 15,000 beta users. If you want to be one of them visit this page.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Best Free C/C++ IDE

The first question to ask is what does a programmer need ?
To create an application you have to make sure that all these tools are available.

  • A Text editor : To write the code source ( of any language). Basically a simple software as "bloc-notes" under Windows or "vi" under Linux is enough. The best thing is to have an intelligent text editor that make your code colorful and make your codes more comprehensive and easier to read.
  • A Compiler : to compile your source code to binary code.
  • A debugger : To help you to correct the bugs in your code.
Programming demands a lot of effort and concentration and you have to pick the tools that can make your life easier! You can look for these components separately but this will be like torturing yourself! You should pick 3 in 1 software called IDE : Integrated development environment.

Best Free C/C++ IDEsBoth of them are free and simple which make of them the best tools for beginners.
Note that both work on Windows and only Code::Blocks can run on Linux. And for Windows vista users you should follow some particular procedures to set up thes IDE or else you'll face many bugs with compiling. Nevertheless, Visual Studio Express work correctly on Vista.
For mac users, I recommend "Xcode". You can install it from the CD of Mac OS.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Phonon : where QT and KDE meet

Originally posted and verified by bluestorm

Trolltech has recently announced that its graphic library Qt will be using Phonon, he new multimedia library created by the KDE developers. This is good news for Qt4 users allowing Qt to be better and simpler and it's a good sign of a great collaboration between Trolltech and the other Free software projects.

Qt is a library which allows programmers to write graphic application codes. Basically used in C++, it's also available with many other languages (Java, Python, Ruby...). Qt is Free software and can be used in many OS (Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux, BSD...)

Trolltech is the enterprise which has developed Qt. Founded in 1994 by students. It's counting about 100 developers in Norwich, Australia, California , China and Germany. Influenced by KDE, Trolltech has made of Qt a free software by using a clever double licenses : One Free ( and free of charge) license allowing to create Only Free software and proprietary software editors have to buy a commercial license. This politic is also used by MySQL, it allows to have a free library and have a good financial sources.

KDE is one of the most famous Free desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions and the first competitor of GNOME. Allows the user to exploit many features : Desktop, menu, control panel...etc. KDE has also some applications as File explorer, Browser, Text editor, PDF reader...etc. To that purpose, the KDE project builded (on top of the Qt librairies) a framework helping programmers to create desktop application easily..

KDE Screeshots:

Phonon is a multimedia library ( sound and video) developed by Matthias Kretz, a KDE developer. KDE4 developers intend to use Phonon so any developer will be able to add a video or a sound to his application.

There are many multimedia libraries dedicated to sound and video like Xine , Gstreamer and FMOD. Phonon doesn't make the whole library from the beginning but uses the existing ones and propose some unified functionalities for all developers.

Qt developers were so interested in the multi-platform aspect of Phonon. In fact, Qt uses the same ingredients and gives some features to facilitate software conception. ( It's easy to manage networks, SQL...etc).
Consequently Trolltech suggested to support Phonon development. Which was very convenient for KDE developers, because this will bring to them more programmers. Phonon will be integrated in the new 4.4 Qt version and the Qt developers are already improving the library
during their work time. Trolltech hopes to finish the backends early allowing to Phonon to use some multimedia systems of MacOS (QuickTime 7) and Windows (DirectShow 9).

The most important detail in this news is that Phonon will be related the KDE project. KDE developers will continue developing the library and will discuss with Trolltech developers about its evolution. The whole source code of Phonon will stay hosted with the KDE code. Instead of working on Phonon alone, Trolltech engineers will collaborate directly with KDE developers.

KDE announcing the integration of Phonon
Trolltech announcing the integration of Phonon with KDE

Saturday, December 22, 2007

eZ Publish CMS 4th version : all the features you need

CMS are Content management systems created to make creating a website an easier task. Among many others, eZ Publish has some unique criteria. It's a flexible and extensible CMS created by eZ Systems, a Norwegian company was behind the PHP eZ Components Library, eZ Publish is an ECMS ( Enterprise Content Management System) distributed under both GPL and proprietary licenses.

eZ Publish offers a great number of features: document publication, as text and multimedia files, is possible once the software is installed. Integrated solutions gives you the possibility to manage : Web shop, news, a social website, a personal website, photo gallery, forums and polls...

Mainly dedicated to enterprises, eZ Publish included many features as : Product catalog, the caddie function, tax and promotion management, sells stats and sending management using a secured payment system.

For developers, such features are implemented in eZ Publish 4: Classes and object definition, parametred and programmable workflows, WebDAV interface and clustering..

Where hides the revolution !
After many bugs corrections, the fourth version is a revolution by being the first version using PHP 5. So many new features are available as autoload, DOMDocument...
Another new thing, eZ Flow. It's a new extension dedicated to media publication using the WebDAV technologies. The import/export communication with ODF you can stream Flash and videos in eZ Publish.

eZ is more efficient with ameliorated scripts and a reorganization to the XML. The new versions also allows you to use eZ Components Library in the extensions. A great importance is given to the famous Web 2.0 by giving many features to publish pages with tag clouds, photo galleries, blogs...etc..

The eZ Publish community counts about 25000 members, composed by 2000 reference clients, 2 millions downloads and a network counting 200 partners.

Related links
Official eZ systems website
download eZ Publish 4.0
eZ components

Friday, December 21, 2007

12 Megapixels video cam... and more !!

astonished! this is how I was when I saw this "supacam"! You can call it the video cam of your dreams! I'll try to be brief so you can get its fabulous criteria easily:

  • 12GB VGA Streaming video
  • Tapeless digital movie cam
  • HD photo W/face detection
  • 15 X Zoom. 30fps @ D1 720x480
  • 6 HR personal Media player
You can get some of these extra accessories:
  • Water-proof case
  • Tripod
  • Remote control
  • Extra battery
  • Fast charge
  • Memory ( high speed SD )
It's a 12 Megapixels video cam. It means that you can make a DVD quality videos and stream it directly to the web using this cam! This cam contains a face detector so you can use it as a security cam for your baby. The Tripod allows you to use it as a web cam and the remote control will allow you to manipulate it easily for family home videos. It contains Flash and night shouting video!!
The price is $349
You can find it here

Free international calling : The real deal !!

Imagine that you can call for free! Talkster givs you the possibility to do this. All you have to do is visiting their home page and fill the forms and your call will work. You can do this either from your desktop, your phone or via sms. If you want to get more informations about how to make your free calls work visit this page.
Actually, this service is free. You may be wondering "hmm.. free things doesn't exist anymore... there must be something in return..!" Let me be frank with you : You are right ! After doing this phone call you will receive some sms ads on your mobile. There can be some surprises on these sms (prices, coupons...)
How can they make it possible?
ctually, after filling the forms, the server will search for a local phone and will make the call for you then bridges you and your contact together. This will allow you to have a good quality phone call. It makes also group calls possible! After this call Talkster will send a ad for you and for your contact, an ad that suits each country. Consequently, this service is available in a limited but a great number of country around the world. If your country doesn't appear in the list, don't worry all that you have to is filling a form asking to add your country. Tell your friends about it so they claim to add your country too. The operator will send you an email once the service is available in your country.
Now visit

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How to run games on Linux (sweet links)

The most important thing that make youngsters so attached to Windows and reject Linux distributions is running games. To solve this problem we give those links:

How to install any game using Wine?
This question was asked in the and largely discussed. It mainly deals with the best tools to run games on Linux such as Wine and VMware.

Linux games lists:
You can find here some Opensource games easy to set up. Those websites use lists sorted by the gaming type, developers and liscence.
Linux gamers' game list
Gnome files game list

Frank's Corner

Frank is a linux user. His blog is about how to run windows applications on Linux. In this website you can find how to run a huge list of games using Wine. Most of them need to be installed in Windows first then run them on Linux and this is his list of games that worked on Linux using Wine :

First person shooters

Call Of duty
Code Red
Delta force
Delta Force 2
Half-life 2
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2
Gunman Chronicles
Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast
Heavy Metal FAKK 2
Kingpin: Life Of Crime
Max Payne
Quake 2
Quake 3 Arena
Soldier Of Fortune
Soldier Of Fortune 2
Starsiege Tribes
Unreal Tournament
Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory


Billy Bob
Bomber Mania
Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
Galaxy Invaders
Gem Mine
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Highway Pursuit
Jazz Jackrabbit 2
Lode Runner Online
Mummy's Curse
Naval Strike
Pacmanic Christmas
Pacmanic Worlds
Sky Fire
South Park Mario Bro 2
Tank Assault


American McGee's Alice
Avernum 2
Avernum 3
Baldur's Gate
Blades Of Avernum
Blades Of Exile
Dark Earth
Exile: Escape From The Pit
Deus Ex
Diablo 2
Heretic 2
Icewind Dale
Planescape Torment
Wizardy 8
World Of Warcraft


Caesar 3
Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer: Red Alert
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Commandos - Behind Enemy Lines
Cyberstorm 2: Corporate Wars
Europa Universalis
Final Liberation: Warhammer Epic 40,000
Steel Panthers: World At War
Stronghold: Crusader
Sudden Strike
Total Annihilation
Warcraft 3
Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne
Zeus - Master of Olympus
This list is huge! If frank can do it you can do it. All you need is patience ... Now get back to work!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Every video fan must have : A free and full featured DVD ripper

Once we install the Linux on our desktop, the first thing we want to make sure it works properly is our media files : music and video files. We talked too much about music tools. It's time to have a clue about some powerful video tools.

DVD::RIP is mainly written in Perl, made to provide users an easy way to rip and transcode dvd. What makes this tool so special among others is the huge number of features:
This tool is able to support almost all major video codecs : Divx, Xvid, mpeg1, mpeg2,ffmpeg. That means that you can rip your DVD to any video type you want. It also uses Divx/Xvid multipass encoding. The transcoding process uses video filters with realtime configuration and a live transcoding preview window so you can make sure that your video is doing alright. You can also adjust every possible parameter of your zoom manually. The resizing modes are two : the fast one and high quality one.
The best thing in this tool is its manipulation of the audio data while the transcoding. It's able to rip as much audio tracks as you want to AVI/OGG/SVCD file. It also allows you to encode MP3, to maximize audio volume and range compression, to create WAV file form a selected audio track,render subtitle and create vosub... It supports OGG/Vorbis. It's easy to use your CD burning facility with this tool and much more other features
Dvd::rip home page

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Edit sounds like a pro !

You're a music fan and Linux user. the combination was a little bit hard to satisfy because proprietary sound editing software are expensive now let's find a solution. I'm trying to cater to music lovers as I did with Gnormalize now let's get a bit more professional and find some useful sound editing tools.
I'm suggesting Audacity: The Free, Cross-Platform Sound Editor
Audacity is an OpenSource software which allows you to manipulate digital audio data. The Audacity author is Dominic Mazzoni, an ex-NASA engineer and a Google engineer. Now he has a crew of 20 developers and 30 translators to help him.
The most important feature of Audacity is the ability to record digital sound via micro/cd... and treat it by manipulating and exporting using multiple filters and extra effects like pitch, tempo, noise reduction, equalizer, Fourier filters, increasing precise frequencies, compression, amplification, normalization, echo, phaser, wahwah, inversion. It also allows you to convert CDs and tapes to a digital support.
Audacity is considered as an alternative to some professional proprietary software like sound edit of Macromedia! It's also an Award winner from considered as the best multimedia project of 2007 ! It works on Linux/Unix, mac OS X and Windows.

Now what are you waiting for to get your Free copy ? ... and let us see some of your art pieces !
All you need to do is to visit the Audacity home page and you'll find all what you need to install it properly.

More screenshots here

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Playing MP3 on Linux have never been that easy !

Let's Imagine this situation : " you're a Linux newbie and you have just got the ubuntu CD. You were so happy about it , after some hustle and bustle you could install it properly on your PC then you opened your music directory looking for an old MP3 file you want to play it loud so you can celebrate your new achievement... And BING : " Cannot open this file !! " you click over and over again, you change the song and the same thing occurs. Finally you find out that your Linux can't play MP3. You curse the linux and maybe you'll blame who told you about it."

You could prevent that if you come across this article before. Maybe you should send it to your Linux newbie friends so they won't hate Linux for preventing them from playing their music because we will show you how to play all music file type.

All you need to do is to set up gnormalize. It's an audio converter and it allows you to decode these MP3/MP4/MPC/OGG/APE/FLAC file to WAV so you can play it on your PC. With gnormalize you can also extract an audio CD and output as other audio format (MP3,MP4,MPC,OGG,APE,FLAC,WAV).

This software requires some programs to be installed first. Not all of them it depend on what you need gnormalize for. We will put only what you need to play MP3 on Linux :

  1. You need perl-Gtk2
  2. You need lame
  3. You need normalize
To download this software:
RPM package ( mandriva, Fedora, RedHat...)
Debian package ( Debian, Ubuntu...)

gnormalize-0.53.tar.gz or (release notes).

With root privilege, execute the bash script commands to install gnormalize:
tar zxvf gnormalize-version.tar.gz
cd gnormalize-version/

If you need other optional features on gnormalize you can check the Gnormalize profile on and here are some screenshots of gnormalize

the author of gnormalize
Source of information

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thoughts about Google's online storage service : Google Drive

Wall street journal has revealed that Google is preparing to announce a new online storage service. This service will allow users to upload their data on google's servers and use whenever they want.
Google Drive will be compatible with PC and mobile phones. All files will be accepted : documents, music, films, pictures.. etc. Google's challenge is to make this service available all the time so they won't give the user a hard time! Google is planning to make it easy to access to the service and there will be some fees on unlimited storage. Yahoo and Microsoft have the same service but Google's project will be definitely bigger.

Some critics around the upcoming service mainly about the illicit uploads. In the opposite side some privacy defenders are upset with manipulating the users data. Some will be sent and never seen again!

Just to answer those. Google had it all : mails, photos, address book and blogs what the difference would it make if he gets our data too?! This keeps me wondering again :" Is Google a monopoly?"

Graphic solutions for web developers.

A web developer isn't a designer. You can be a PHP genius but you you're pages won't be attractive as some designers do. I feel frustrated when my own PHP chat page was badly presented while I spent hours to fix the code. I'm not a photoshop expert and I really don't have the artistic touch to treat pictures and create my own banners and buttons. Fortunately, we can find everything we need on the net.

The round corners pictures.
Round corners was my first source of frustration until I found this website which allows you to get your round picture in a second ! Round corner pictures are really sweet to present and I highly recommend it.

Curvy corners
Still dealing with the same problem here; the curvy corners. I liked the website dedicated for this issue. It gives you some tips and tutorials about making your own curvy corners and how to blend your header with the background color.

Javascript effects
Actually I don't recommend to use too much javascript in your page even if you like the effect that it makes because it will slow down your page loading and your visitor will hit the "X" button before he can see anything of your content but there are some light scripts that you can use as the javascript menu.
All you need to do is to download a javascript editor like this one and start to make your own scripts or download this free javascript menu maker .
Beware that you're code must fit most browsers or else your visitors will start complaining abou the bugs on you page.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

France forbids illicit downloads

After we witnessed some acts around Peer to peer network in USA now the French government aims to make some regulations to forbid illicit download.
This will to fight unauthorized downloading come from the highest scale of the French government. It was illustrated in the statements of Nicolas Sarcozy, The president of France :

"We run the risk of witnessing a genuine destruction of culture ....."
And for describing the situation of Internet nowadays he added :
" a lawless zone where outlaws can pillage works with abandon or, worse, trade in them in total impunity. And on whose backs? On artists’ backs.”
The government was to pushed to act from the whole film and music industry so it has come to an agreement with Internet providers to warn their users with messages if they download illegally and they will cut their Internet access if they ignore the warning.
Now fighting illicit download is becoming an international movement. governments are trying to put more regulations to forbid it so what comes next ?

PHPBoost for web newbies

PHPBoost is an Open Source CMS dedicated to Web newbies, developed by a member of the francophone SDZ programming community. This CMS can be a solution for people who wish to make a dynamic website without having any PHP programming experience. Thus, newbies can install it in few clicks and easily edit their content via the Framework given by PHPboost.
These are the main criteria of PHPboost 2.0 :

  • GNU/GPL liscence.
  • strict and semantic xhtml 1.0 code
  • Multilingual
  • Easy to edit ; contains many themes and templates
  • Good users management ( groups...roles..)
  • Url rewriting
  • Automated updates

Although you can create your own design thanks to the templates system, the addons given by the CMS are enough to resond to all you needs. There is also a good documentation (fr) to help you.

try PHPboost

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Successful bloggers full story : Bryan Clark

I think it's encouraging to tell you some stories of successful bloggers. If they can do it so do you. I won't be talking about those blogging "superstars" as John Chow and others like him.. I will be talking about people who started from scratch and were so determinant to achieve their goals. I'm talking about somebody who were able to make a great success in a really short period of time. It's Bryan Clark with the "One Man's Goal" blog. Bryan's goal intended to create a respectable income by being a full time blogger within 365 days and after only four months he sold his blog for $8,500 !!

  • One Man’s Goal was 4 months old
  • Pagerank 4
  • Over 10,000 backlinks
  • 1,500 daily pageviews
  • 750-1,000 daily unique visitors
  • $941.27 Last Month
  • SOLD for $8,500
niche was about blog monetization. Traffic sources were mainly from social bookmarking sites, specially Stumble Upon. Monetization methods were from direct advertising, paid posts and adsense. Bryan Clark was so active and able to post one quality article per day. His writing style is original and able attract readers.
The blog was put on auction in site point and sold to Austin Long. You may be wondering why he put so much money in such young blog? Let me tell you that Austin was intelligent because he gained a loyal audience that he probably couldn't create it and his investment will give its fruits soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A lot of noise around Peer-to-Peer

As many of Internet users were so excited to use the file sharing system P2P. Many producers find it very difficult to live with such network by considering it a violation to their copyright. Some universities are paying money to cut P2P from their network and investing in producing anti-P2P software.

Today, the university uses a nearly $60,000 software and hardware package from Audible Magic to stop file sharing on its network and pays about $16,000 for support, maintenance and regular database updates that allow the system, called CopySense, to detect newly released music.

Peer to peer has another problem with traffic filtering efforts and data control. Comcast is having some accusations about manipulating data floods and bandwith and cut roads to P2P.
Comcast denies it has blocked any traffic outright, but admits to using "network management" techniques to handle the rising tide of peer-to-peer traffic, and thereby maintain service for all of its other customers

Will we see some regulations forbidding using this network ? We know that there are giant proprietary software makers which aren't very comfortable with P2P and they are very powerful and can easily create any rule they won't.

Is google a monopoly?

Through the last ten years google has been growing fast, gaining many loyal users and creating a huge business opportunities around it as advertising and search engine optimization. Other companies have tried to imitate the google way of work and started to create its own text advertising programs, even started to compete Google adsense in the web advertising market.

Moreover, google's page rank has become a very trusted criterion in websites evaluation. Highest PR owners sells more expensive ad spots and even in website markets as SitePoint (where people buy and sell websites) people refer to PR to fix their first price.

And here we come to the point where google used his weapons to kick his competitors by cutting down PR from their affiliates. So is that an antitrust move? PR is google's tool and he can make what he wants with it...

Google has also slammed paid links users and cut off their PR. As we all know google is responsible of the relevance of his search results and he don't want to have links to show up first because its owner paid more ! But don't you think that Google exaggerated by cutting down PR that way? I think that wasn't because of the relevance of the search engine but to make bloggers and webmasters get away for paid links programs as payperpost. Because these programs were loved by bloggers because they generate a respectable revenue and for advertisers because it creates better keyword density to their link.

Finally, I am afraid that Google gets to the point to be a beast that can not be fed and turn into a manipulator of the whole network because it started to show some signs of Power and monopoly... What do you think?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Laptop autonomy problems ... no qualified batteries to satisfy the costumer needs

For all laptop users you must have felt what I feel ! The autonomy issue that all mobile computers users are bitching and moaning about. The laptop batteries are an obstacle to fullfill the meaning of a mobile computer because you will not be able to spend the whole day without charging you laptop's battery !
A little hope .. we heard about Intel and Panasonic working on a 12hour battery two years ago but still see nothing on the market..
Instead of being a part of a crazy race of speedy processors I think that hardware constructors should have taken care of autonomy issue and be closer to satisfy the user's needs.
The American military technology laboratory has made a new invention which is a 30 years continuous power without a single recharge ! Using semiconductors and radioactive materials an energy source. So this is an extreme solution because people don't want to be infected by their radioactive laptop battery. I think they will stick with the electric wire !

Making money with free software ..

It seems to be a very famous question : how can free software developers make money to live. They spend a lot of time and effort on something that they'll never sell..

This is the main dilemma between proprietary software and free software. The problem was dealt in the REVOLUTION OS documentary that we previously recommended to watch. Actually, the documentary stated the Bill Gates's open letter where he critics amateur developers and he wonders how can a professional work -as coding complexed piece of software- be free! He stated that this kind of work will lack quality and good technical support.

Time goes and days have proved that Gates was wrong!
I don't want to compare MS products to OpenSource products because Windows is enough to prove that Bill Gates was wrong but let's discuss the money part ...
First of all Open Source developers are development lovers. Nobody forced them to code for free.. They're just looking for the honor of contributing on the Open Source community and of course they're trying to satisfy their need by coding a good piece of software. An Open Source developer is an unsatisfied user so he try to fix the code to satisfy his needs and share it with the community.
In addition, they could be paid in many other ways. For example through paid technical support. Which is The " Cygnus " firm case. It was the first firm that made a respectable revenue from selling technical support. How does it get costumers ? Some firms won't just wait an answer in a forum to know how to install Linux on their servers.It will recruit professional Linux users to install it on its device and assume the responsibility if anything gets wrong..
There another way of monetization. It's called paid documentation. If we make a web tour we will find many paid ebooks about Linux hacks and written by some linux experts.

We have also to mention that we have to be careful and not to mix the Free software concept and the free of charge meaning because Free software can be sold and bought and there are many paid linux distributions as RedHat and OpenSuse... So we have to stop mixing the term of "Free software" to "poor developers" because being a Linux savvy and an Open Source developer is very important on the professional scale and it will allow you get an important job someday!

Now I want you to read this interview with Linus Trovalds made by "First-Monday" and these are some quotes of what Linus said about what motivates an Open Source developers to code for free. ( From First-Monday)

XHTML/CSS newbies paradise tutorial

Newbies paradise a programming community dedicated for newbies where you can find free tutorials written in a unique way, very simplified and detailed rich with examples. This community is very famous in its French version, counting about 100000 member and as proof of its quality we represent you a sample of its tutorials.

This tutorial contains the following parts: