Friday, October 31, 2008

Ubuntu Linux 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) has been released

Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution (according to ranking) has officially released their stable version 8.10 (code name "Intrepid Ibex") for both Desktop and Server editions.

As you know, Ubuntu is usable in the form of LiveCD (boot from CD and use, no need installation) as well as installable to the harddisk as your computer's operating system (which can be co-exist and multi-boot with other operating systems in the computer). The minimum memory requirement to run Ubuntu 8.10 is only 256MB.

This new 8.10 release features:

  • 3G network support.
  • It can now also be put into USB thumbdrive which is convenient to carry everywhere, plug and use on any machine.
  • It introduces "Guest sessions" feature to allow users to lock down a session easily, so a guest (eg. at conferences, cafes, parties, etc.) can use the full system without interference with programs or data.
  • As a bonus, all Ubuntu 8.10 users will be able to enjoy streaming programmes from the BBC multimedia network.

Here are some of the interesting features in the Server Edition of Ubuntu 8.10:
  • Virtualization built on the Just Enough Operating System (JeOS). Apache Tomcat 6.0 and OpenJDK are now a fully supported options.
  • ClamAV and SpamAssassin are now available from the main repository providing a supported solution for spam detection and virus filtering for mail infrastructures.
  • Provides support for SATA "software" RAID controllers via DMRaid.
  • Administrators can now easily set-up an Ubuntu system to provide encrypted private directories which are automatically mounted when users login locally or via ssh. Sensitive data is kept secure even if the system is stolen.
  • The tool chain used to compile Ubuntu has been updated to include even more security features such as glibc function call fortification. Bugs in applications are even harder to be turned into exploitable vulnerabilities.
  • Uncomplicated Firewall makes it easier to manage a host firewall thanks to the addition of application profiles. Common services such as apache, bind9, cups, dovecot, openssh, postfix or samba declare which ports they use so that the administrator only enables a network service rather than a set of ports.
  • Bundled Landscape client provides a free reporting function at each login. Landscape is Canonical's lightweight system management tool for Ubuntu systems that allows automated deployment and monitoring.
Version of some commonly used software that comes with Ubuntu 8.10 are: Linux kernel 2.6.27, Compiz 0.78, CUPS 1.3.9, Evolution 2.24.1, Thunderbird, Firefox 3.0.3, gcc 4.3.1, GIMP 2.6.1, glibc 2.8, gtk+ 2.14.4, OpenOffice 2.4.1, OpenSSH 5.1p1, Apache 2.2.9, MySQL 5.0.67, postgreSQL 8.3.4, perl 5.10.0, PHP 5.2.6, Python 2.5.2, postfix 2.5.5, samba 3.2.3, xorg-server 1.5.2.

Click here for more information about the features of Ubuntu 8.10.

Ubuntu is downloadable from their website as well as using the BitTorrent P2P. You can also request for free distribution CD (original from Canonical) to be sent to you by postal mail. Click here for more information about how to get Ubuntu.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Online share trading brokerage fee for RM8.88 only at CIMB Clicks Trader

Online share trading is the current trend. In majority of the securities firms, this method usually enjoy 30% lower brokerage rate than traditional trading with phone calls to remisier.

Currently, most securities firms set the brokerage rate at 0.6% for normal below RM100k trading. A 30% discount means an online trading rate of 0.42%. Day trading rate could be lower, as well as high trading value (> RM100k per transaction), which rate is negotiable with the remisier.

It is a good news for long term investors that CIMB is currently offering brokerage fee of only RM8.88 for transactions done with their online Clicks Trader system. I say it is a good news for long term investors, because its trading limit isn't attractive, which is set to only 1x cash value only. Speculators and day traders might not be attracted by such a strict limit.

CIMB has set a condition that your Clicks Trader Account must have a minimum balance of RM10,000 before the T+3 cut-off time in order to have a trading limit and enjoy the low brokerage rate at RM8.88 per transaction.

Currently, they are running a promotion until end of year 2008 for new signups of Clicks Trader Account. The first 2 matched online purchase orders via CIMB Clicks will be free. This mean the brokerage fee will be RM0 for the 2 transactions. That would save you a total of RM17.76 in brokerage fee, not so attractive but good enough for you to use the money for a good meal.

About 4 months ago, I mentioned about hold on your money and do not dump in for investment purpose because the market was sinking then. Now, I think it is a good time for long term investors to start to plan for some bottom fishing. I also wrote about how to observe a bear's bottom. Probably you can apply that simple strategy to look for the best buying time.

For more information about the CIMB RM8.88 brokerage Clicks Trader Account, click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Burn audio CD from MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, APE, VQF, MP4 files with GoGo MP3 To CD Burner

You might have a compilation of your most favourite MP3 files ripped from various pieces of audio CD. It would be nice to burn your favourite compilation of MP3 music back into audio CD so that you could play them with CD player and/or car audio player that unfortunately doesn't support reading of MP3 CD.

I've found a freeware called GoGo MP3 To CD Burner which can perform this task. All you need to do is select and add the supported audio files into its list for up to a total of 80 minutes play time, then click the Burn CD button to create your own audio CD.

The only set back of this handy utility is that it doesn't support non-alphanumeric filenames, which include the CJK (Chinese-Japan-Korean) characters. If you intend to add those files into your list, you have to rename their filename to English first.

Click here to download GoGo MP3 To CD Burner. Its file size is just about 1MB, and it is free to use. Supported platforms are Windows 98 and above.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.