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Linux for PVRs and Pocket PCs, DB Tuning Without the Database

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 11/17/2003

Hello, Linux newsletter subscribers. As autumn continues to strike, Portland and its environs are afflicted with falling leaves glued to the pavement by falling water. While it's a pleasant enough view out of your editor's second-floor office, it's rather a mess for long, constitutional strolls. This is why we have OSCON in the summer!

All picturesque descriptions aside, let's dive right in to what's new in the world of open source, as seen passing through this week:

As governments, corporations, pundits, and zealots argue the merits of open source operating systems on the desktop (where "Linux" is a synecdochal metonomy), plenty of people are using Linux in embedded devices — perhaps none as trademark-dilution-worthy as TiVo. Of course, once you know the magic inside the device, you're halfway to building your own personal video recorder on a spare Linux box. Joe Stump examines your options (and several knowledgeable readers weigh in) in The State of Home-Brew PVRs on Linux.

If set-top devices aren't your thing, how about hand-held devices? Though the world seems to be migrating to wireless-enabled laptops, low battery consumption, dedicated applications, and very small footprints make Pocket PCs appealing for certain applications. As in the previous paragraph, why not run Linux (or *BSD, per a couple of recent Michael Lucas stories)? John Litter explores The State of Linux on Pocket PCs.

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If you're more interested in getting your applications to work faster (especially if they involve a database of some kind), don't fret. Before you pull out your query analyzer and decompose the hairiest, ugliest, query into interchangeable pieces, trying to trick the optimizer into doing the right thing, are you sure you know the real problem? What if you're running into OS limits? Steven Hauser makes his ONLamp debut with Quick and Dirty RDBMS Tuning, explaining that sometimes, you can find more improvements outside of the database.

Instead of summarizing this week's new weblogs, there's a new From the Editors List feature this week, entitled Wireless Mail on the Road. It features signatures, banter, and at least one editor admitting he uses a laptop as a server.

Since one of three articles promised for this week has mysteriously traveled forward in time at least two weeks, your editor has learned his lesson about making promises for next week, except to say that you'll like it.

Or your money back,

Technical Editor
O'Reilly Network and Linux Devcenter Top Five Articles Last Week

  1. Installing Oracle 9iR2 on Red Hat 9
    While Oracle's understandably proud of their Linux support, Oracle 9i is unsupported on the latest and greatest Red Hat. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, just that you'll have to do a little tinkering. Roko Roic demonstrates how to install Oracle 91R2 on Red Hat 9.

  2. Printing for the Impatient
    While Unix has roots in document formatting and layout, configuring printers has always required more black-arts arcana. This hasn't been helped by the appearance of low-cost commodity WinPrinters. Fortunately, tools like Ghostscript, gimp-print, and Apsfilter make configuring printers much easier. Michael Lucas demonstrates quick and dirty -- and working -- printer configuration.

  3. Understanding Network I/O: From Spectator to Participant
    By design, the Internet is a simple network; any endpoint can serve any client. Even better, it's easy to write a client or a server, if you understand a few things about network programming. George Belotsky demonstrates the essential concepts with Python.

  4. The State of Home-Brew PVRs on Linux
    A TiVo is basically a Linux box with some extra software (and a nice service). That's something a competent hacker could replicate. Joe Stump explores the state of the home-brew PVR (personal video recorder) community on Linux as of late 2003.

  5. GBA Programming with DevKit Advance
    Emulation has opened up game programming to realms of hobbyists. While it's possible to build amazing games on all sorts of obsolete platforms, it's also possible to build them on modern ones, including the GameBoy Advance. Howard Wen explores DevKit Advance and interviews its lead developers.

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