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How About an Open Source Library System?

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Working with school systems one thing you will notice in almost every case is a pathetic library…there is just not enough money for books. Each district has a budget for books which is often augmented by a Library Fair or some type of way of selling stuff to get money for the Library. But still there just is not enough money for kids to have books.

If you go to your local school and dig into the finances for the library you will see one of the greatest American Crimes. I found that the school system I was working with was paying twice as much money each year for a Library automation system than they provided for books! Can you believe this, kids loosing the opportunity to read so librarians have a scanner to read bar codes and a pretty screen to track book check outs. Ok….so you probably do need a check out system but the cost is not acceptable.

In rural areas kids do not have a town library, if they want to read books they access the school library. If fact in many small towns the school library is all there is for the people in that community as well. So for a small town a free library automation program is really a necessity.

Open Source does provide some interesting options for Library programs. The best one I found was the Evergreen Library System This system is a very full featured system that will do everything you need and is actively developed. If you want to get up to speed quickly you can download a VMWare image and have a library system running in a few hours. It has directions for compiling Evergreen, not for beginners, and it also has directions for Windows and Linux client setup. There are forums, documentation and chat for problems. It actually has more support than the former program that required you to pay for support.

Cost Comparison
I did the research for a small school system using an Open Source Library system like Evergreen and the school would save over $12,000 in 10 years. Doesn’t sound like much…well $12,000 in this school system for books would transform the lives of many young adults. I did the research for a bar code reader which will work with the system for only $150. The only real cost for the system is the time to learn how to set it up and learn how to use it.

Ubuntu 8.10 New Install Features

September 29, 2008 Leave a comment

The new Intrepid Ibex install provides several new features which will make it easier to install Ibex. One of those new features is a new interface for understanding how to do a “Manual ” installation. Most of the time the option “Guided” install is done because users are frustrated with how to create partitions correctly. The new interface is more graphical and intuitive which will help in the process.

The Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex install will be easier for most people using the new installer. See the full article Here

DragonFly BSD 2.0.1

September 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Belonging in the same operating system class, DragonFly BSD is based on the same Unix ideals and APIs as BSD and Linux. DragonFly forked from FreeBSD in 2003 and focused on re-writing most of the major kernel subsystems until 2007. Since then, DragonFly BSD has created and released HAMMER, a new file system that solved numerous existing issues and provided new capabilities to DragonFly BSD. HAMMER was included with the July, 2008 release of DragonFly BSD 2.0. DragonFly BSD is now focused on its ultimate goal, providing native cluster support in the kernel.
The 2.0.1 release of DragonFly was released yesterday, incorporating recent improvements to Hammer, including the new cleanup utility.

RIP Linux 6.8 (Recovery Is Possible)

September 28, 2008 1 comment

RIP Linux is a system designed for the purpose of booting, repairing, and when necessary rescuing your system. The lightweight tool fits on a CD-ROM or USB drive, takes 256 MB of RAM, and a 586 processor to run. RIP Linux 6.8 support a variety of different file types, contains several utilities for system recovery, and also has IDE/SCSI/SATA, RAID, LVM2, and Ethernet network support. Click Here for a complete description of RIP Linux 6.8

Modify Your Command Prompt

September 12, 2008 Leave a comment

You may find that you want to modify the prompt. This can help you create visibility for special features or just modify it to something more useful. You can view the default settings for the prompt by using this command:

echo $PS1

As stated above it will show user, hostname, location and definition whether it is a normal user or root.

Create a single character

PS1=”$ ”

The space behind the $ is enforced by placing the quotes so it does not run into your text. The $ is typically used to show that it is a normal user not the root user indicated by the “#”.

Change options for the prompt

\d : the date Weekday Month Date format
\h : the hostname up to the first ‘.’
\A : the current time in 24-hour HH:MM format
\u : the username of the current user
\w : the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
\$ : if the effective UID is 0, a #, otherwise a $


Create a colored prompt

You may want to create a color prompt that you can use for visibility. In this example the hostname has been dropped to make a shorter prompt and the prompt is turned red but the commands that you enter will be black. The export command will change these features.

mike@ub:~$ export PS1=’\e[0;31m[\u:\w]\$ \e[m '
[mike:~]$

This will color the prompt but not any commands that you enter.

List of Color codes
Color Code
Black 0;30
Blue 0;34
Green 0;32
Cyan 0;36
Red 0;31
Purple 0;35
Brown 0;33
Blue 0;34
Green 0;32
Cyan 0;36
Red 0;31
Purple 0;35
Brown 0;33

Replace digit 0 with 1 for a lighter color.

Make Changes permanent
All of the changes you make will be lost when you close the terminal or log out. Here are directions to make them permanent.

Ubuntu
# uncomment for a colored prompt, if the terminal has the capability; turned
# off by default to not distract the user: the focus in a terminal window
# should be on the output of commands, not on the prompt
#force_colored_prompt=yes

The .bashrc file in each user’s home directory allows you to change the default for the prompt to a color prompt by uncommenting the line:

#force_colored_prompt=yes

Unfortunately a typo in the line must also be corrected so that it should read:
force_color_prompt=yes

Ubuntu or CentOS
Place your custom prompt in the user .bashrc file with this command:

export PS1=’\e[0;31m[\u:\w]\$ \e[m ‘

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