Saturday, December 23, 2017

Top ten in 2017 (part 2 of 2)

Following up from part 1, here's the rest of my favorite blog articles from this year:

6. Debian and GNOME usability testing
Intrigeri emailed me to share that "During the Contribute your skills to Debian event that took place in Paris last week-end, we conducted a usability testing session" of GNOME 3.22 and Debian 9. They have posted their usability test results at Intrigeri's blog: "GNOME and Debian usability testing, May 2017." The results are very interesting and I encourage you to read them! Here's an overview.
7. FreeDOS is 23 years old
In the 1980s and early 1990s, I was a huge DOS nerd. I loved DOS, and used it for everything. I wrote all my class papers in WordPerfect or shareware Galaxy Write on MS-DOS, and did all of my physics lab analysis using the As-Easy-As shareware spreadsheet. I just though DOS was a great little operating system. So I wasn't pleased when Microsoft said they were going to "kill" MS-DOS with the next release of Windows (Windows95). In June 1994, I announced an open source software project to create our own compatible implementation of DOS, which became the FreeDOS Project. In June 2017, FreeDOS turned 23 years old. See also our free FreeDOS ebook.
8. A look back at Linux 1.0
The Linux kernel turned 26 years old this year. To celebrate, I installed one of the first true Linux distributions: SoftLanding Systems Linux 1.03, featuring the then-new Linux 1.0 kernel. I wrote about it on Great to go back to explore what Linux looked like in 1994.
9. How I put Linux in the enterprise
I used to work in higher ed. In the late 1990s, we moved to a new student records system. We created an "add-on" web registration system, so students could register on-line—still a new idea in 1998. But when we finally went live, the load crushed the web servers. No one could register. We tried to fix it, but nothing worked. Then we had the idea to move our web registration to Linux, which rescued our failing system. I wrote about the experience on, and shared some lessons you can apply to your own Linux migration.
10. Reflection on trip to Kiel
This summer, I attended the Kieler Open Source und Linux Tage in Kiel, Germany. I shared two presentations: a history of the FreeDOS Project, and how to do usability testing in open source software. Here is my summary of that trip.

And here's looking forward to a great 2018!

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