LJ Archive


Issue Number 11001000!

Shawn Powers

Issue #200, December 2010

That's binary for 200, of course. I mean, sure, we've been around for a long time, but not since 914,740 BC! Back then, the latest technology was “Wheel 2.0: Round Edition”, and although it was great at the time, it was a hard sell on newsstands—especially since newsstands hadn't been invented yet.

This is an exciting issue, and we thought it would be great to include our readers in it as much as possible. If you check out the UpFront section, you'll see a couple articles that are reader contributions. We've got a list of 200 things you like to do with Linux and some reader profiles for you as well. Do you ever wonder who else is a Linux Journal fan? Now you can meet a bunch of them!

This is also our annual Readers' Choice issue, where you all vote on your favorite applications, gadgets, columns and so on. To find where you skew along the average readership line, be sure to read the results. A few of them surprised us.

Sure, all this reader contribution is great, but to be honest, we didn't want to be outsourced completely. So we included a hearty helping of articles as well. Reuven M. Lerner reminisces about the early years of Web development and guides us through its progression. Some things certainly have changed, and some things really haven't! Add to that Dave Taylor's column on creating your own turn-by-turn directions from the command line, and you've got a bunch of programming information in just two articles.

Mick Bauer is back this month with the next part in his series on transparent firewalls. Firewalls obviously are great for security and protecting your network from snoops. Kyle Rankin is probably happy about that, as he might get teased if anyone snooped in and saw his pretty pink server. He says it's part of his beer-making rig, but all we can see is pink. Check out his Hack and / column and decide for yourself.

If you'd rather celebrate the 200th issue by buying tech toys, we totally understand. In fact, we have some great reviews on products we'd like to own ourselves. The ZOTAC ZBOX, reviewed by Steven Evatt, is a tiny little computer designed for (or at least often repurposed for) making home entertainment computers. With its onboard ION chipset, it packs a punch in its tiny enclosure. Bill Childers reviews the Barnes & Noble's Nook. Bill and I both bought one of these Linux-based devices at about the same time. He loves his, and I hated mine. Check out his review to see where you stand on the highly hackable e-reader.

If all that seems a bit too fluffy for your technology taste, you might just love Alejandro Segovia's in-depth piece on parallel computing with NVIDIA's CUDA technology. Video cards are great for gaming, but it's amazing how powerful they can be when you use them for straight up mathematical processing. Alejandro shows how to take advantage of the little powerhouse sitting inside your computer case.

Video editing in Linux is a really hot topic, especially with everyone desiring to upload the next great viral video to YouTube. Several great video editors exist, and although they all are good at what they do, each one seems lacking in one area or another. Canonical has decided to put its faith in PiTiVi, a simple video editor installed by default in new Ubuntu systems. As with any video editing software, PiTiVi has a learning curve. Jono Bacon shows us how to get started quickly with PiTiVi, and he demonstrates that although it may not be the most complex video editor available, it's very usable.

We always argue here at Linux Journal about which issue is our favorite. For some of us it's the Cool Projects issue; others prefer the Web Development issue. One thing we can all agree on is that the Readers' Choice issue is always fun. Even Bill Childers and Kyle Rankin get along fairly well in this month's Point/Counterpoint column. Of course, they tend to argue with the readers this time, so I'm not sure it counts as peaceful. (And for the record, I'm with the readers. Pidgin is an awesome IRC client, no matter what Bill and Kyle say!)

So whether you frame this issue of Linux Journal because you're in one of the UpFront pieces or roll it up to swat a fly before reading it, we hope you enjoy the 200th issue. Hopefully, we'll be talking about world domination 200 issues from now, but until then, we hope you all party like it's 914,740 BC!

Shawn Powers is the Associate Editor for Linux Journal. He's also the Gadget Guy for LinuxJournal.com, and he has an interesting collection of vintage Garfield coffee mugs. Don't let his silly hairdo fool you, he's a pretty ordinary guy and can be reached via e-mail at info@linuxjournal.com. Or, swing by the #linuxjournal IRC channel on Freenode.net.

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