A quick overview of what's in this special Cool Projects issue:
* Create Your Own Cloud-Based Storage Service with ownCloud
* Build a Wall-Mounted Dual-Head Power-User Desktop
* Animation and Video Techniques for Linux
* A Guide to 3-D Printer Hardware
* Revolutionize Your Storgage Strategies with ZFS and Btrfs
Detailed overview: Keeping It Cool...
Three days ago here in northern Michigan, we had a heavy frost overnight.
Those gardeners who ambitiously planted their plants early had to cover
them with tarps or tents to make sure they didn't die in the frigid night.
Yesterday, the temperature was 96°F. Michigan weather is weird. This month
is our Cool Projects issue, so even if the temperature continues to push
100°, I'll rely on the June issue of <em>Linux Journal</em> to keep things
Reuven M. Lerner starts the issue off with a great way to make your sites look nice,
even if you're not a designer. Twitter Bootstrap is a framework that has
gained lots of following during the past year, and Reuven shows
why. Speaking of "why", Dave Taylor continues down his dark path as
he describes how to cheat at <em>Draw Something</em>. If you liked the fame and fortune Dave's
<em>Scrabble</em> scripts provided, you'll likely feel right at home with his next
round of rule augmentation. In all seriousness, Dave uses some pretty cool
methods for teaching powerful scripting techniques. We won't judge him too
harshly, because it's all done in the name of education. Still, I'm never
playing an on-line game against him!
Kyle Rankin has been chatting with me over IRC for months about his new
toy. This month, you get to see the all details, as he shows off his fancy
3-D printer. Whether you try the model Kyle bought or decide a different
style is more appropriate for your needs, the concepts are fairly similar.
And as much as I resisted the idea of 3-D printing, I have to admit I sort
of want to try it myself. At the very least, printing knick-knacks as gifts
might be a way to help fund the purchase. Oh, and Kyle? My birthday is in
July. I really could use a charging stand for my phone!
Inside a hot server room, nothing is quite as
cool as Linux. In my Open-Source Classroom column this month, I talk about file serving. As far as
the "cool factor" goes, it may not be the most exciting thing
to set up, but it's a great way to introduce Linux into a traditionally proprietary
environment. Following my column, I got to review a seriously awesome
desktop computer from Polywell. The i2303 looks like a nettop but behaves
like a workstation-class machine. Find out if this little powerhouse ticks
all your boxes as well.
Amit Saha introduces a really cool project this month, ownCloud.
If you like the convenience of cloud computing, but worry about someone
else controlling your data, why not make your own cloud? Supporting
everything from file storage to music management, ownCloud allows you to
access all your data from a browser. Rather than the other end of that
browser connecting to a giant server farm, however, it can connect to your
own servers, or at least servers you control.
Sometimes systems don't come with all-inclusive components like ownCloud.
James Litton explores integrating disparate systems this month, even
if they aren't designed to do so. In situations like these, it's often just
as important to be creative as it is to program well! Rebecca
"Ruji" Chapnik follows that creativity through with her article on video art. Although many
people assume a Macintosh computer is the only way to survive in the world
of video and animation, Rebecca proves that theory wrong. Whether you want
to do screencasts, stop motion, animation or non-linear video editing,
Linux has the tools you need. Rebecca even shows how to make animated
If your idea of a cool project is more along the lines of wall-mounted
circuit boards and multi-monitor interfaces, you're in good
company. Marcin Teodorczyk shows off his wall-mounted computer and explains how he
tweaked it along with his laptop to create a Frankenstein-like computing
environment that does everything he commands. Using multi-headed Linux and
Synergy, he controls the various computers from a central keyboard and
mouse. It's pretty cool stuff.
Whether you're just starting to feel the heat of summer or
if you've never left it, the Cool Projects issue is always a refreshing read.
We hope you enjoy it; we sure enjoyed putting it together for you!
Linux Journal, currently celebrating its 18th year of publication, is the original magazine of the global Linux community, delivering readers the advice and inspiration they need to get the most out of their Linux systems.