Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup? 176

Qbertino (265505) writes I've been rummaging around on old backups and cleaning out my stuff and have once again run into my expert-like paranoid backups and keepsakes from back in the days (2001). I've got, among other things, a full set of Debian 3 CDs, an original StarOffice 6.0 CD including a huge manual in mint condition, Corel Draw 9 for Linux, the original box & CDs — yes it ran on a custom wine setup, but it ran well, I did professional design and print work with it.

I've got more of other stuff lying around, including the manuals to run it. Loki Softs Tribes 2, Kohan, Rune, and the original Unreal Tournament for Linux have me itching too. :-)

I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a Linux workstation on some modern super cheap, super small PC (Raspberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin. What problems should I expect? VESA and Soundblaster drivers I'd expect to work, but what's with the IDE HDD drivers? How well does vintage Linux software from 2003 play with todays cheap system-on-board MicroPCs? What's with the USB stuff? Wouldn't the install expect the IO devices hooked on legacy ports? Have you tried running 10-15 year old Linux setups on devices like these and what are your experiences? What do you recommend?

BetaNet Sues Everyone For Remote SW Activation 227

eldavojohn writes "Not to be out patent trolled by Eolas, a mystery company named 'BetaNet, LLC' is suing: Adobe Systems, Inc, Apple, Inc., Arial Software, LLC, Autodesk, Inc.,, CARBONITE, INC., Corel Corp., Eastman Kodak Co., International Business Machines Corp., Intuit, Inc., Microsoft Corp., McAfee, Inc., Oracle Corp., Rockwell Automation, Inc., Rosetta Stone, Inc., SAP America, Inc., Siemens Corp. and Sony Creative Software, Inc. for infringement of their patent entitled Secure system for activating personal computer software at remote locations. And of course, this was filed in our favoritest of favorite places: Marshall, TX (Texas Eastern District Court)."
Linux Business

A Trip Down Distro Memory Lane 238

M-Saunders writes "What did the Linux world look like back in 2000? TuxRadar has republished a distro roundup from Linux Format issue 1, May 2000. Many distros such as SUSE, Mandrake and Red Hat are still around in various incarnations, but a few such as Corel and Definite have fallen by the wayside."

Sony Offers Bloatware Removal Service — For a Fee [Updated] 231

linuxwrangler writes "First Sony packed its laptops with Microsoft Works, Microsoft Office trial version, Corel Paint Shop Pro trial version, WinDVD and more. Now it is offering to remove the bloatware. Of course marketing changed the name from 'removing the crap we stuck you with' to 'Fresh Start' software optimization. And they want you to pay $149.99 to clean up their mess — $49.99 for 'Fresh Start' on top of the required $100.00 Vista Business upgrade. You can get about $25.00 of that cost back if you select all available 'no-software' options which are only available after selecting the $149.99 'upgrade'. Wonder what they would charge to remove Windows completely." Update 11:57 GMT by SM: It seems that massive outrage at Sony's "Fresh Start" program has encouraged them to drop the fee for scrubbing your laptop of bloatware before shipping it your way.

Microsoft Apologizes To Rival 151

Geoffrey.landis writes "Microsoft apologized to rival software vendor Corel Corp. for saying that Corel's file format posed a security risk, and issued a set of tools to unblock file types that had been blocked by default in the December Office 2003 service pack. In his blog on the Microsoft site, David Leblanc says 'We did a poor job of describing the default format changes.' He goes on to explain, 'We stated that it was the file formats that were insecure, but this is actually not correct. A file format isn't insecure — it's the code that reads the format that's more or less secure.' As noted by News.com, 'it is the parsing code that Office 2003 uses to open and save the file types that is less secure.' Larry Seltzer at pcmag.com also blogs the story."

Office 2003 Service Pack Disables Older File Formats 555

time961 writes "In Service Pack 3 for Office 2003, Microsoft disabled support for many older file formats. If you have old Word, Excel, 1-2-3, Quattro, or Corel Draw documents, watch out! They did this because the old formats are 'less secure', which actually makes some sense, but only if you got the files from some untrustworthy source. Naturally, they did this by default, and then documented a mind-bogglingly complex workaround (KB 938810) rather than providing a user interface for adjusting it, or even a set of awkward 'Do you really want to do this?' dialog boxes to click through. And of course because these are, after all, old file formats ... many users will encounter the problem only months or years after the software change, while groping around in dusty and now-inaccessible archives."

Adobe May Launch Office Rival 311

Ulysees writes "According to Wired, Adobe may launch its own office-application suite, taking it into direct competition with Microsoft. Mike Downey, group manager for platform evangelism at Adobe, said: 'Though we have not yet announced any intentions to move into the office productivity-software market, considering that we have built this platform that makes it easy to build rich applications that run on both the desktop and the browser, I certainly wouldn't rule anything like that out.'" One example of what such Adobe Web-and-desktop apps could look like is provided by the Buzzword word processor, now in a closed beta. Adobe has invested in the startup developing this software.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Disney Video Used to Explain Copyright 234

Recently a pretty amazing video surfaced that used clips from Disney films to explain copyright law. It was created by Eric Faden of Bucknell University and must have taken an insane amount of time to assemble. Now you have to wonder how long before someone gets sued over it. Also here is a corel cache version as well as a link to the original page.
Book Reviews

Character Design For Mobile Devices 35

Aeonite writes "According to the Introduction, Character Design For Mobile Devices is 'the first book on the designs, the technologies, the issues, and the techniques behind character design for mobile devices and games.' Unfortunately, what could have been an interesting and unique coffee table book suffers from an unclear message, poor design, bad editing, and an authorial voice that is rather too present at times, and too oblique at others." Read below for the rest of Aeonite's review.

Decent Multi-Format SVG Converter? 27

gbulmash asks: "I've been messing with the graphics in the Open Clipart Library and it feels as if SVG is a standard like 'meatball' is a standard. Most of the graphics render just fine in Inkscape, but you'll get 5 different renders in 5 different applications. For example, one of the Baby Tux drawings renders differently in Firefox, Corel Draw X3, Illustrator, and Inkscape, and generates error messages from Batik's rasterizer. If I use Inkscape to export to EPS, the EPS opens in Illustrator pretty much like the SVG does, but (and this may be a problem with Corel) doesn't import well into Corel Draw X3. Is there an application that can render SVG images as well as Inkscape can, but will also produce an output to EPS & SWF that looks like the render? Is there something that can output to a more normalized SVG that will render more faithfully in Illustrator or Corel for the sake of conversion to EPS and SWF?"

Dealing With The Always-Breaking Family PC? 204

Corby Ziesman asks: "I am sure many on Slashdot are entrusted to maintain computers for their family members. I've built a few computers for my sister over the years; however she constantly complains to me that 'something's wrong' with the computer, and claims that it 'just stopped working' all by itself. She blames the computer I built, calling it 'a piece of crap', yet it works flawlessly once I start using her old computer after she has upgraded. I've considered revoking her access to Windows, and giving her Ubuntu Linux or something, however she has a lot of games and art applications like Corel Painter that require Windows. How do I get her up and running, so that I don't have to keep fixing the computer every month? I'm tired of digging in the registry, checking the processes for spyware, and all that. I have also tried to educate her about how to use a computer intelligently, but she seems to lack common sense when it comes to what software is suspicious and bloated, and what is trustworthy. So I ask the Slashdot community: how do you cope with your family members who have a talent for torturing computers?"

Dropping Linux Helped Restore Corel Profitability 245

basotl writes "Newsforge is reporting that Corel attributes part of its financial comeback to dropping Corel Linux and its Linux office suite. Though they are not currently offering products for Linux, they are interested in prospect in the future." From the article: "Looking back, Brown describes the decision to drop Corel Linux as 'a successful strategy for Corel and an early step toward the refocusing of our business. At the time we knew that Corel's core focus was moving away from the operating system to concentrate more on our application offerings, and this would almost certainly have an impact on the level of service we could afford to customers and users of Corel Linux.' Nor, as a company struggling to regain profitability, was Corel inclined to try to develop the GNU/Linux market by continuing to support WordPerfect for Linux."
The Courts

U.S. Justice Dept. Chooses Corel over Microsoft 390

peg0cjs writes "The Justice Department, which challenged Microsoft Corp. in courtrooms for nearly a decade over antitrust violations, will pay more than $2 million each year to buy business software from Corel Corp, according to this article from CANOE. 'The Justice Department will make WordPerfect software available to more than 20 organizations inside the agency, but not the FBI or Drug Enforcement Administration, which use Microsoft's Office business software exclusively, said Mary Aileen O'Donovan, a program manager in the Justice Management Division.' According to the article, the deal is worth up to $13.2 million over five years for Ontario-based Corel. Has sanity finally set in, or is this just a blip in Microsoft's dominance in controlling government software decisions?"

Microsoft's Martin Taylor Responds 627

We passed on your requested questions for Martin Taylor, Microsoft's global general manager of platform strategy, and we got a slew of them. Instead of emailing your questions to Martin, we did this interview by phone and added in a few follow-up questions. You can listen to an MP3 of the call, read the transcript (below), or both.

Xandros Open Circulation Edition Released 18

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like those ex-Corel Linux folks over at Xandros have finally got around to making Version 3 of their free (as in beer) distro available for download. All updated stuff under the hood, including a sync with the latest Debian Sarge. Free downloads through Xandros Networks and a good selection of default applications makes this a very desirable alternative to Linspire. It's no-cost to download using BitTorrent, but if you want the instant gratification route of http download, you can pay for that."

Jeremy White's Wine Answers 208

This almost turned into a "State of the Wine Project" discussion, but that's where your highest-moderated questions led, and Jeremy responded with his usual wit, wisdom, and candor.

Corel To Test WordPerfect For Linux 426

prostoalex writes "CNET News says Corel will introduce a native Linux version of its WordPerfect Office product on April 15th . This will be a pilot project, as Corel executives want to find out whether it's worth competing with the other products (namely StarOffice and OpenOffice)." The piece mentions: "Corel previously produced a Linux-native version of WordPerfect 8, released in 1998, and offered a Linux-translated version of WordPerfect 9 in 2000, when Linux was still a cornerstone of the company's broader strategy."

Slashdot Top Deals