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LinuxFocus: May 1998

[March 1998 Front Cover]

3D Modelers Are Running under Linux

In this issue, LinuxFocus explores several of the 3D modelers available to Linux users. In contrast to OpenGL and POVRAY, the main purpose of 3D modelers is to design three-dimensional objects which can be quite detailed, with complex geometry and textures.
Front cover is the artistic creation of Armando Sepulveda

[ Editorial | Seeking Referees | Table of Contents | Coming Soon ]

Many new and exciting things have happened since our last issue (March 1998). Thanks to the help of many volunteers and the generous sponsorship of two Spanish ISPs (Nova and CTV), we have our own domain linuxfocus.org, two servers (www.linuxfocus.org, www.es.linuxfocus.org), accounts and free access to the internet. We cannot thank enough all of the people that have made our magazine come to life. Many new groups from all over the world are expressing interest in being part of the LinuxFocus family; we welcome the enthusiastic Danish, German and Turkish groups to our editorial board. French readers can already read nearly 80% of the previous issues in their native language. Our newcomers are working hard to catch up with the oldest groups and we hope that, in near future, all groups will be working at the same pace.

LinuxFocus proudly announces that we are accepting articles not only in English and Spanish but also in German, French, Turkish and any other language we support. This month's articles were originally written in different languages. This means that there was a lot of translation work done so that they could be read by all. We strive to improve the quality of our translations in every issue, but please understand that we are all volunteers and novices in the magazine business and are learning as we go. You can help by sending us corrections, or by offering to help with the translation or revision of articles. All help is welcome.

With each LF release, we realize more and more just how much information is available on the web. Many web sites bring you the latest news flashes and rumors. It appears that there is too much superficial and dispersed information on the net, requiring inquisitive readers to bounce all over the web just to find the scraps of information they need. Our philosophy is to provide in-depth information all in one place, on issues that interest novices and new users alike. Recently, we have been focusing on graphics and graphics programming. But we are slowly exploring other areas. This month, we have two new exciting series: Real-Time Linux (an OS series) and SQL programming (database). There are also interesting initiatives going on in the Spanish mailing lists. We are experimenting with the idea of having an ongoing course on the C programming language that will bring together professional C programmers, students and curious young people. With this initiative, we hope to take advantage of the internet in an original way, and place an even greater emphasis on in-depth education by bringing together teachers and students. This project is still in its infancy, but we hope to offer this and other similar initiatives in the future.

Editors Note: As our magazine becomes more and more technical and broadens its scope we realize the need for setting up a stricter review process. This is a necessary step to improve the quality and accuracy of our articles, and therefore the information delivered to our readers. We are actively searching for potential referees for LinuxFocus, if you have one or two hours per month, are an expert in some field of Linux and would like to be part of our list of referees please write to me (Miguel Angel Sepulveda).


3D Modelers in Focus

  • pointMindsEye: 3D Modeling by Martin van Velsen (vvelsen[at]lis.pitt.edu)
    For about 2 years now there is a project going on called MindsEye. This project aims to create a Modeling/Rendering/Animation package for Linux/Unix that is equivalent with the big programs like 3D Studio Max or LightWave. So far, the development has been going very well after a rough start. Some of the implementation designs and engineering is rather unique for modeling programs.

  • pointRenderMan by Carlos Calzada Grau (ccgrau[at]disca.upv.es)
    Who has not heard of Pixar? Who has not seen "Toy Story"? Pixar developed RenderMan, a rendering interface standard. RenderMan allows modelers to specify what has to be rendered but not exactly what algorithm to use, so that modeling is independent of rendering. Learn more about this fantastic tool.

Hardware & Software Review

  • point Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 versus UNIX by John Kirch (john[at]kirch.net)
    The purpose of this article is to provide corporate managers with the information they need to make intelligent purchasing decisions relating to server hardware and software. This information is based on the experience of seasoned MIS professionals.

The Kernel Corner

  • pointReal-Time Linux by Ismael Ripoll (iripoll[at]disca.upv.es)
    The author gives us a good insight into the world of real-time operating systems. This article is written for a general audience; it is not necessarily for computer science majors. Linux users interested on using their system to control external physical devices will particularly enjoy this new series of articles on Real-time Linux.

  • pointCreating a (Somewhat Useful) Version of Linux by Mooneer Salem (mooneer[at]earthlink.net)
    Follow this article and learn how to create your own set of boot/root disks under Linux. Customize your root disks with your most-needed tools for the maintenance of your Linux system!

Software Development

  • pointThe Postscript Language by Emre Demiralp (emre[at]kardelen.fe.itu.edu.tr)
    This is the first one of a series of articles about PostScript. The main purpose here is not to teach every detail about the language, but to give sufficient instruction so that you will find PostScript an interesting and joyful programming language for document preparation.

  • pointGLUT: using Menus by Miguel Angel Sepulveda (sepulveda[at]linuxfocus.org)
    Our GL Utility Toolkit series continues, examining the windows menu programming interface with a simple example. GLUT menus allow the user to design clear, compact and portable GUIs (graphical user interfaces) for your OpenGL applications.

  • point OpenGL: the 3D Scene by Miguel Angel Sepulveda (sepulveda[at]linuxfocus.org)
    Explore the bolts and nuts of 3D rendering with OpenGL, the author gives as a first example of 3D animation. The directives examined in this issue fall into two categories, 3D geometrical transformations and matrix projection operations.

  • point Introduction to SQL. Installing PostgreSQL. by Manuel Soriano (m_soriano[at]dapsys.ch)
    This article is the first of a three-part SQL tutorial intended for novice database developers. The first part deals with the generalities of SQL, installation of postgreSQL (a freely-distributable database server).

The Graphics Corner

  • pointPOVRAY: Basic Notions by Antonio Castro (acastro[at]ctv.es)
    In our second article about POVRAY, we discuss some basic notions and start the description of the basic elements of this language.

  • point Writing Text with PhotoShop by Juan Manuel Sepulveda (jsepulveda[at]sinix.net)
  • pointWriting Text with Gimp by Phil Ross (phil[at]ryoko.cis.pitt.edu)
    The graphics corner continues to review and compare two good Image manipulation tools: Photoshop and Gimp. This month our reviewers explore the creation of text banners. Some of the techniques commonly used for making special effects with text apply to both utilities. Interestingly, the excellent text-handling capabilities of the Gimp are at a similar level as Adobe Photoshop, a commercial product.

System Administration

  • pointIntroduction to DNS by Andreas J Gundacker (ajgundi[at]aol.com)
    This article is written for all those interested in the subject of world-wide computer networks like the Internet and the World Wide Web. You may have wondered what happens behind the scenes in Netscape after you enter a URL. This article will help you to understand the name-lookup process.

  • point The X Display Manager by Joel McCarty (jmccarty[at]theshop.net)
    The X Display Manager runs as a daemon on a host machine and manages multiple X displays (remote or local) providing basic user session management analogous to init(8), getty(1) and login(1) on character based terminals.

Applications under Linux

  • point StarOffice for Linux by Ismael Ripoll (iripoll[at]disca.upv.es)
    This article overviews the applications available in the office suite StaOffice 4.0. The author tests an application for the creation of presentations (something very similar to Microsfot's PowerPoint).

Coming in the future to your friendly Screen:

  • Using Regular Expressions by Guido Socher

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