Gumstix Inc. is so proud of the embedded systems it designed with its home-grown Geppetto design tool that it wants the wider world to enjoy similar benefits. Gumstix calls the new Geppetto 2.0 the most advanced version of the company's on-line build-to-order tool for designing custom-embedded Linux systems. This new iteration of Geppetto introduces Tux-approved recommended mappings for buses, ensuring optimal compatibility between customer-created hardware and standard Linux images. In addition, version 2.0 offers an expanded module selection, improved dimensioning, faster UI and video tutorials. As part of the Geppetto announcement, Gumstix also announced the Geppetto-designed AeroCoreTM 2 Micro-Aerial Vehicle Control Board and the Geppetto-designed Pepper DVI-D single-board computer.
It's not a stretch to call Investintech.com's Able2Extract 9 PDF Converter the “Swiss army knife” of PDF converters. Not only is Able2Extract able to convert PDFs to a wide range of formats accurately, but it also features the unique ability to work across Linux (Ubuntu and Fedora), Mac OS X and Windows platforms. Investintech.com notes the ability of Able2Extract to maintain intact all aspects—images, colors, formatting and fonts—regardless of file format. Supported formats include converting PDF to OpenOffice.org, MS-Office, AutoCAD, Excel and commonly used image formats. The upgrade version 9 adds secure PDF creation, improved custom PDF to Excel conversion and an improved GUI and overall user experience.
Until the era of the Linutop computer, the word minuscule has not been a common descriptor for a full-fledged PC. That word nevertheless hits the nail squarely on the head to describe the new Linutop XS, a truly tiny Linux computer designed to reduce TCO from shipping to deployment, operation and maintenance. As Linutop's smallest and most energy-efficient computer to date, the Linutop XS weighs a mere 3.3 ounces (92 g), measures about the size of a typical playing card and operates on only 5 Volts and 3 Watts. Linutop says that the Linutop XS comes loaded with Debian Weezy and ready-to-use software, including Libre Office and Linutop Kiosk, making it an ideal system for a wide range of applications in business, government, education and the home.
The idea for JetBrains' new team collaboration tool for developers, called Upsource, originally came from the intention to make a totally different tool, IntelliJ IDEA, available from both the desktop and the Web. The final result is Upsource 1.0, a new Web-based team collaboration tool that helps developers read, browse and review code maintained in Git, Mercurial, Subversion and/or Perforce repositories. Both a repository browser and a code-review tool, Upsource 1.0 provides instant read access to code developed throughout an organization and helps improve code quality by enabling easy code review. JetBrains adds that, thanks to platform sharing with the IntelliJ IDEA IDE for Java, Java teams enjoy an additional advantage. Upsource boasts in-depth knowledge of Java code and is able to execute server-side static code analysis on Java projects, as well as provide code-aware navigation and smart search for code usages.
The new Flash Voyager Slider X1 and X2 families of USB 3.0 Flash drives expand Corsair's already formidable arsenal of memory products. Combining the speed of USB 3.0 with the functionality of a cap-less USB drive, the Flash Voyager Slider X1 and Slider X2 series share a sleek, glossy design that allows the USB cap to slide back conveniently into the drive housing, says Corsair. The company added that the Slider X1 is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities and, thanks to its USB 3.0 interface, is able to reach read speeds of up to 130MB/s. Meanwhile, Slider X2 knocks the performance up a level with read speeds of 200MB/s in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. Both Corsair drive families are compatible with Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, and they also are fully USB 2.0-backward compatible.
Hybrid GIS and Linux geeks know that the open-source PostGIS gives support for geographic objects to PostgreSQL, allowing the relational database to serve as the back end for ArcGIS, GRASS GIS and other geospatial programs. The new 2nd edition of PostGIS in Action from Regina O. Obe and Leo S. Hsu teaches readers of all levels to write spatial queries that solve real-world problems. Obe and Hsu start by getting readers' feet wet with a background in vector-, raster- and topology-based GIS, followed by a tutorial in analyzing, viewing and mapping data. Readers learn how to optimize queries for maximum speed, simplify geometries for greater efficiency, analyze rasters, vectorize rasters, better manage data utilizing topologies and create custom functions. The book covers PostGIS 2.0 and 2.1, PostgreSQL 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3 features and shows how to integrate PostGIS with other GIS tools.
Putting the subtitle Geeky Weekend Projects for the Curious Programmer onto a book is a sure way to charm one's way onto these geek-friendly Linux Journal pages. The main title of said book is Python Playground, a new book from Mahesh Venkitachalam and irreverent publisher No Starch Press. No Starch describes the book as “a collection of fun programming projects that will inspire you to new heights as a Pythonista”. Readers will learn to use Python for all kinds of playful purposes—for example, to manipulate images, build simulations and interact with hardware using Arduino and Raspberry Pi. As readers work through each project, they power up their programming skills and learn how to leverage external libraries for specialized tasks, how to break problems into smaller, solvable pieces and how to translate an algorithm into code. The fun projects include an autostereogram generator, an ASCII art maker, a Conway's Game of Life simulator, a ray casting volume renderer and an Arduino rig.
Deciso B.V. is a Netherlands-based manufacturer of networking equipment that developed and recently released OPNsense, a new, open-source firewall that reportedly “combines the best of open-source and closed-source firewalls”. Deciso adds that OPNsense brings the rich feature set of commercial offerings with the benefits of open and verifiable sources, combined with a simple, two-clause BSD license. The latter permits companies to create a branded firewall based on OPNsense, extend its features, or even create a fork and build upon the same codebase. Key features of OPNsense include load balancing, high availability and captive portal. The easy-to-use Bootstrap-based GUI makes configuring and managing the firewall a comfortable task for administrators. The kicker, boasts Decisio, is that all sources and build tools are freely available without special clauses and without licensing costs. The company also puts a great deal of value on the community surrounding OPNsense, which it says will give users, developers and businesses a friendly, stable and transparent environment.