Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 12:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: CUDA, open source, opengl
Hack a Day linked to a program that could be of great use for anyone who manipulates and processes images, or anyone who wants to be able to make fractals very quickly. Utilizing the OpenGL Shader Language Reuben Carter developed a command line tool that processes images using NVIDIA GPUs. As we have talked about in the past on PC Perspective, GPUs are much better at this sort of parallel processing than a traditional CPU or the CPU portion on modern processors. Below is one obvious use of this program, the quick creation of complex fractals but this program can also process pre-exisiting images. Edge detection, colour transforms and perhaps even image recognition tasks can be completed with his software at a much faster speed than CPU bound image manipulation programs. If you are in that field, or looking to decorate your dorm room, you should grab his software via the GitHub link in the article.
"If you ever need to manipulate images really fast, or just want to make some pretty fractals, [Reuben] has just what you need. He developed a neat command line tool to send code to a graphics card and generate images using pixel shaders. Opposed to making these images with a CPU, a GPU processes every pixel in parallel, making image processing much faster."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Hard disk drive prices quick to rise, slow to fall @ The Register
- Microsoft's New User Agreement Bans Class Action Lawsuits @ NGOHQ
- AIDA64 v2.50 is released @ FinalWire
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | December 11, 2011 - 03:52 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: webOS, open source, hp
Sure, this title is little more than a series of bad puns. That said, HP’s situation has recently seems like little more than a series of bad jokes itself. Over the last year, HP appears to have been their own biggest public image disaster: they purchased Palm to release a tablet without much platform support; they shut down and liquidate the tablet after seven weeks; they flirt with disbanding their entire profitable division and draw intense media discussion over the death of the entire PC industry; and they sharply change their mind and keep their division long after the media damage ends. Despite that spiraling-out-of-control story, HP has just recently made a surprisingly sensible decision: Open Source WebOS.
WebOS… Web Open Source… I get it now!
Obviously, we cannot tell exactly how good of a long-term decision it is for HP to support WebOS as an open project with the details we have now. A number of questions, not the least of which being about what open source license HP will use for their operating system, shroud the fate of WebOS as an open source platform. While I will not get excited yet, as I will not assume sensibility on the part of HP, it is entirely possible that HP can displace Android and Meego as the open mobile operating systems. Then again, it is entirely possible that HP can just crumble under Android and its other competitors and go back to cramming drops of ink into plastic containers and building large servers for corporate clients.
Depending on the license, as well as other factors, what do you think of WebOS as the open platform of choice?
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2011 - 05:56 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: software, pdf, open source, mozilla, firefox, browser
One of the most useful features in Google’s Chrome web browser is the built in PDF reader. It is a feature that I use almost every day, and although I keep an install of Firefox’s Aurora browser as a backup I have yet to return to using Firefox as my main browser since first checking out Chrome.
For now though, the team has released PDF.js as a browser extension for the open source browser. In addition to the extension download, the source code is available on GitHub for anyone to view and edit.
PDF.js displaying a Dell service manual in PDF format.
As it is now, the PDF.js add-on rather basic, but is definitely off to a good start. You are able to navigate by sections or page thumbnails accessible by a mouse-over pop-up menu on the left of the window. Along the top are buttons for previous and next page, navigating to a specific page, zooming in and out, downloading, printing, and searching the PDF document.
During some informal testing using a 94 page Dell service manual in PDF form, scrolling was smooth enough until hitting a new page upon which there was a bit of lag. Navigating to specific pages was rather quick, however.
The PDF reader is off to a good start and I may have one more reason to switch back to Mozilla’s browser soon enough. What do you guys and gals think about built in PDF support, is it something you find useful during your daily browsing? If you're interested in checking it out for yourself, the extension is available for download here. Simply download this "pdf.js.xpi" file and install it (choose the Firefox or Aurora executable for installation if Windows does not assign the .xpi extension to Firefox automatically) using Firefox. Now navigate to a PDF file on any webpage to have it automatically open using PDF.js.
Subject: Editorial | May 21, 2011 - 08:41 PM | John Davis
Tagged: Red Hat, open-source, open source, linux, Fedora
In a continuation of our effort to embrace and report on the open-source community, PC Perspective has contacted another very interesting Open-Source project. This week we selected Fedora and their Project Leader Jared Smith.
(Image courtesy of Fedora)
Fedora is self-described as:
Fedora is a Linux-based operating system, a collection of software that makes your computer run. You can use Fedora in addition to, or instead of, other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows™ or Mac OS X™. The Fedora operating system is completely free of cost for you to enjoy and share.
The Fedora Project is the name of a worldwide community of people who love, use, and build free software from around the globe. We want to lead in the creation and spread of free code and content by working together as a community. Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat, the world's most trusted provider of open source technology. Red Hat invests in Fedora to encourage collaboration and incubate innovative new free software technologies.
Fedora also lists its features as the following:
- 100% Free & Open Source: Fedora is 100% gratis and consists of free & open source software.
- Thousands of Free Apps!: With thousands of apps across 10,000+ packages, Fedora's got an app for you.
- Virus- and Spyware-Free: No more antivirus and spyware hassles. Fedora is Linux-based and secure.
- Worldwide Community: Built by a global community of contributors, there's a local website for you.
- An Amazingly Powerful OS: Fedora is the foundation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a powerful enterprise OS.
- Share it with Friends!: Fedora is free to share! Pass it along to your friends and family, no worry!
- Beautiful Artwork: Compute in style with many open & beautiful wallpapers and themes!
- Millions of Installations: Fedora has been installed millions of times. It's a large community to join!
(Image courtesy of Distrowatch)
I have used Fedora since it was Fedora Core, which has been almost eight years now. Fedora is a community-supported distrobution that is sponsored by Red Hat. Fedora is known for being on the leading edge of technology at the time of shipment. Their release cycle is every 6 months and they are very transparent as to what will be included and excluded. Fedora has a huge community and tries to involve everyone and encourages participation. If you need any help with using Fedora or have any questions, they can be answered by; Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Documentation, IRC, and Mailing Lists.
Now that you have a brief idea about Fedora, lets get to the interview:
(Hit that Read More link for the details!!)
Subject: Mobile | May 16, 2011 - 04:27 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: open source, arduino, Android
During Google IO, Google announced for their Android cell phone operating system a new Open Accessory API. This API is currently supported on Android 2.3.4 and 3.1 (Honeycomb) for cell phones and tablets respectively. This Open Accessory API is a "complete solution" of hardware and software for an Android ADK (Android Accessory Development Kit). On the hardware side of things, Google's reference design uses an Arduino board as well as USB host circuitry from Circuits@Home. using the Google ADK or Open Accessory compatible boards from Microchip and RT Corporation compatible boards, developers are able to offer hardware accessories that are able to communicate over USB (and Bluetooth in the future) to software applications.
The interesting part about Open Accessory is that when first plugging an Android phone into an Open Accessory piece of hardware, the hardware is able to indicate to the phone what software applications it needs in order to interact with and be controlled by the phone.
According to Hugo Barra, “with the ADK, we are welcoming hardware developers into the Android community, and giving a path to building great Android accessories quickly and easily.” He emphasises that the openness of Android Open Accessory means that there are no NDAs, no licensing fees, and no approval process in building the hardware or accompanying software.
Along with the ADK comes Android@Home, which is a new open wireless protocol that will allow "every appliance in your home" to communicate with your android phone.
Google wants to ramp up the imaginations of developers, and encourage them to develop new methods of notification systems and more immersive game-play. Much as the popular Parrot AR.Drone has augmented reality gaming aspects, Google wants to encourage game developers to utilize Android@Home to make their games more immersive by using the environment. During the IO presentation, they demonstrated flickering lights while playing Quake which reacted to gunfire in the game.
By choosing to go open source for not only the software but the hardware behind the Android Open Accessory API, they will enable as many people with as many ideas as possible to have a chance to develop accessories for the Android platform. This freedom of imagination will encourage innovation, and in a competitive OS market, innovation is good for the consumer.
You can read more about the Arduino and how it may affect Apple's way of dealing with third party accessories over at Make.
Subject: Editorial | May 13, 2011 - 02:06 PM | John Davis
Tagged: pc-bsd, open source, freebsd, bsd
In an effort to embrace the open-source community and to bring to light some of the latest up and coming projects and their advances, PC Perspective has attempted to reach out. We have contacted some of the hottest and most interesting Open-Source projects out there with the intentions of trying to find out more. This week we selected PC-BSD and their Lead Developer and Founder Kris Moore.
(Image courtesy of PC-BSD)
PC-BSD is a FreeBSD based Unix-like distribution that has been made very easy to install with lots of software pre-installed like Flash and an easy to install package called, pbi's. PBI's can be installed just like a Microsoft Windows EXE files, by using a click to install.
The PC-BSD is self described as:
PC-BSD is a complete desktop operating system, which has been designed with the "casual" computer user in mind. It offers the stability and security that only a BSD-based operating system can bring, while at the same time providing a comfortable user experience, allowing you to get the most out of your computing time. With PC-BSD you can spend less time working to fix viruses or spyware and instead have the computer work for you.
Installing the system is simply a matter of a few clicks and a few minutes for the installation process to finish. Hardware such as video, sound, network and other devices will be auto-detected and available at the first system start-up. Home users will immediately feel comfortable with PC-BSD's desktop interface, with KDE 4.x running under the hood. Software installation has also been designed to be as painless as possible, simply double-click and software will be installed.
PC-BSD also lists the features as the following:
- Fully functional desktop operating system, running FreeBSD 8.x® under the hood.
- Optional 3D desktop effects and acceleration
- Graphical system installer, makes the system installation process effortless.
- Support for many native languages.
- Stability & Performance that only UNIX offers.
- Safe from Viruses and Spy-ware that plague other systems.
- Self-Installing software packages, makes loading programs a snap!
- Graphical tools for system administration and support.
- Professional E-mail and Phone Support from iXsystems available.
- Friendly and helpful support community.
- Online Update Manager - Downloads and installs updates for your operating system, without touching your installed programs.
(Image courtesy of Distrowatch)
I have personally used PC-BSD for a little over a year now and can say that the operating system is very stable, with a few minor hiccups along the way that is not unlike any other distribution. The community is very gracious and courteous and any questions that you may have can either be answered by the forums, via the handbook, or by their IRC (Internet Relay Chat)[#pcbsd].
Now that you have a brief idea of what PC-BSD is lets get into our interview:
(Hit that Read More link for the details!!)
Get notified when we go live!