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Appendix A

Find out about modern, specialized lightweight operating systems for old and very old computers that convert older computer systems into productive platforms, with maintained modern software.

Familiarize yourself with RSS news tickers and readers that present headlines about new articles and news as clearly as email subject lines in an email program. Save yourself the hassle of exploring new news in web page headings, let headlines (with inline texts or even complete articles) be presented in a concentrated way via RSS news tickers. The personal time gain and the effectiveness of information evaluation are considerable, in all professional and interest areas, including personal language study.

Free typesetting programs for professional document creation allow you word processing, the creation of scientific articles and books, graphical desktop publishing, web PDF documents, and e-book typesetting in the highest quality, in all languages.



Table of Contents Appendix A





A.1 Introduction to Free Software and Operating Systems
Terms and technical Facts
Increased Security with Free Operating Systems

Operating systems tend to have an increasingly extensive program code base, which increases the rate of probable errors. Closed proprietary operating systems do not offer the possibility of open quality control and error analysis. The FSF even maintains great privacy concerns (“The FSF's statement on Windows 10”). The source code of free systems, on the other hand, is completely open. Their software architecture can be subjected to a systematic error analysis.

This introduction illustrates essential terms on the subject area Free Software and contains brief profiles of popular free operating systems. In addition it is illustrated, how old computers can be turned into productive desktop computers, with the help of specialized distributions.

The Source Program Text

Operating systems and other computer programs are mainly written in programming languages that are easy for people to read, e.g. in C and in C++. This original program text, also called source code, is then translated into binary code, creating an executable program that is readable by the computer (see also “High-level programming language” and “Machine code”).

Binary Code resp. Machine Language

Above a certain size, programs that are available exclusively in binary code (machine language/machine code) can only be read and edited ineffectively. Their handling is then no longer practicable and a retranslation or disassembly is only limited, or, if parts of the program code were also encrypted, no longer possible at all. A similar situation exists when a manufacturer hermetically seals his device in such a way that the user can no longer carry out any repairs and cannot gain any insight into the mode of operation.

Free Software

Free application programs and operating systems are available free of charge, both as translated, executable binary versions and as source code. The original code may be adapted and modified, and these changes may be redistributed free of charge. Different license models are used. Non-free, so-called proprietary software, can only be obtained as binary code version.

Free software must not be confused with freeware. The term “freeware” is not clearly defined. It may or may not refer to “free software”. It tends to refer predominantly to software that is distributed free of charge, but whose program text remains unpublished. There are several categories of free and non-free software.

Source Code Control and Freedom from Back Doors

Secretly installed software backdoors could make data and industrial espionage possible, in extreme cases even targeted sabotage, especially if they are discovered by third parties.

Due to a lack of source code availability, non-free programs cannot be subjected to a public security analysis. Their operational readiness increasingly depends on activation servers of the manufacturer. If they fail, even legally purchased software will only work in a limited way or even be shut down completely. This scenario has already occurred several times in recent years, documented in numerous news archives. Among other things, thousands of operating systems only functioned to a limited extent. Even security programs already refused virus signature updates due to activation server problems.

Source code openness alone does not guarantee automatic verification of the program code structure by third parties, and, like operating systems, application programs tend to become more and more comprehensive overall source code, which constantly

increases their maintenance complexity. In addition, malicious code programs that have been analyzed have repeatedly attracted attention for their sophistication, elegance and discretion, making their discovery difficult or in some cases virtually impossible. However, the error detection probability of free software is often higher because its program text is accessible for analysis.

Corrupted electronics, known or unknown “advanced” hardware architectures with factory installed “remote maintenance functions” are the other side of the problem. Depending on the application, computer island solutions that never connect to the Intranet or the Internet are better suited to minimize the risk of industrial espionage, although it cannot be ruled out that some computer chips and hardware systems transmit data by radio even when the computer is switched off. A whole range of physical aspects must also be taken into account, in particular the problems of radiation and shielding which have been known for a long time.

Complexity and Safety versus Ease of Use

In their pure, original form, programs are controlled by text commands. Desktop-oriented operating systems and programs use graphical user interfaces with natural language menu control. This eliminates the need to learn the actual commands.

Graphical user interfaces and fully automatic functions increase the scope of the program code, which also increases the overall complexity and the number of possible programming errors. Less program code is clearer and easier to analyze.

Reducing complexity and applying cryptography consistently are the guiding principles of the OpenBSD developers (openbsd.org). Successful in use worldwide for many years, some consider this free Unix/BSD system to be the most secure operating system in the world. OpenBSD basically excludes non-free, undocumented hardware drivers.

The less complex an operating system is, the less fully automatic functions are available, the more training time is required. Normal users who are not familiar with (software)technical computer aspects full-time or as part

of a hobby unfortunately do not have this training period. When choosing a free operating system, a compromise must therefore be found between ease of use and security. Of course, GNU/Linux operating systems with maximum automatic comfort are also available, e.g. Ubuntu LTS versions, on which the Linux Mint operating system, which is particularly interesting for MS Windows users, is also based.

When using proprietary operating systems, your influence on security aspects is extremely limited. Ultimately, you remain at the manufacturer's mercy, even if you have extensive programming skills and can perform partial analysis, customization, and maintenance at the operating system code level, although this would be impractical given the size of the program code today.

Manufacturers of proprietary operating systems and application programs could theoretically offer software maintenance backdoors to certain organisations. Such access would then provide complete access to a computer system.

Free Operating System Alternatives and “Binary Blobs”

In many industries one is absolutely dependent on a proprietary locked software, since there is (still) no equivalent free alternative. The desire to earn a living by writing software and protecting it is also understandable. However, computer security is just as justified, and countless commercial software manufacturers also use completely legally open source free program code, locked away in their software architectures. Some Free Software licenses allow such inclusion in proprietary closed code.

For many areas, there are fully-fledged or, for the majority of users, completely sufficient free alternatives. A software directory reports a total of approx. 250,000 free projects (external article: “Ohloh Open Source Directory Passes 250,000 Projects”, January 28, 2009). Especially advantageous: There are not only one, but several free alternatives for numerous application purposes. Even operating systems specially optimized for very old computer generations are developed and maintained.

Most so-called free operating systems contain numerous optionally installable binary code drivers, e.g. graphics card drivers, for which the manufacturer has not published any source code or documentation. This results in security risks and maintenance problems. Although these binary code drivers may be reproduced and distributed free of charge and under a "Free Software" license, due to the source code undocumented nature of such programs, which are practically unmaintainable, they are binary blobs (OpenBSD image and text story “Blob!”). The inclusion of such drivers is not malicious, operating system distributors only intend to provide broad hardware support. However, security risks cannot be eliminated.

Dual Boot Option

Completely non-free and free operating systems can be operated in parallel on one hard disk. Some free operating systems, e.g. Ubuntu, offer a fully automatic partitioning of the hard disk during the installation, set up themselves independently beside an already existing system and install a selection menu, a so-called boot manager.


Operating System Recommendations

OpenBSD can be used as a desktop system, but the normal user needs too much training. From the large number of free operating systems or distributions – several hundred – three are short-portrait. Taking into account the desktop comfort requirements of the “standard user”, the following systems are recommended, for example, which can also be downloaded free of charge from the Internet as anISO image and tested without installation.

These distributions form a small section of the world of free operating systems, the large number of which is mainly due to specializations in application purposes and professional sectors. In specialized distributions, the underlying system architectures have been optimized for maximum performance for certain areas of use, and a specialized collection of application programs is supplied as standard, sometimes even preconfigured for certain workflows.

However, the use of free programs is not linked to the use of a free operating system, most free programs are also available free of charge in a version for MS-Windows and for MacOS.


First-class universal operating systems: Ubuntu LTS versions and Linux Mint

Based on De­bi­an GNU/Li­nux, first released in 2004, Ubuntu Linux (ubuntu.com) offers a mature, comprehensive desktop experience: fully automated installation, pre-configuration, and hardware/device detection. Since its inception, the greatest possible ease of use has been the focus of this popular GNU/Linux distribution for desktop computers and folding laptop computers, probably the most widespread worldwide.

Ubuntu is as easy to use as two popular proprietary operating systems in almost all respects; in several respects it offers far more possibilities and convenience. Many thousands of programs for different applications can be downloaded for free and managed centrally.

KDE, Cinnamon and Gnome belong to the most popular desktop interfaces, the appearance can be adapted comprehensively to personal preferences; Gnome is currently pre-installed by default (status: 2019). In addition, there are numerous other free desktop environments available, including computational power-saving ones that also run smoothly on old computers.

The choice of an LTS version is recommended. These so called “Long-​term-​sup­port”-​di­stri­bu­ti­o­ns are released every 2 years and are provided with updates and patches for five years (see also the WP-article Ubuntu version history).

Ubuntu manufacturer Canonical provides detailed information on hardware compatibility, certified complete systems, and individual components in the hardware database (Component catalog).

The widespread Linux Mint (linuxmint.com) based on Ubuntu-LTS is particularly suitable for users switching from MS-Windows. Install the fonts commonly used under MS-Windows (search term: ttf-mscorefonts-installer Linux Mint).

TrueOS and Desk­topBSD

TrueOS (trueos.org) is FreeBSD (www.freebsd.org), a true Unix in a desktop optimized version. In addition to the many thousands of freely available programs for FreeBSD (Ports system), GNU/Linux programs also run in Linux emulation mode. Users are free to choose which user interface (desktop) they want to work with.

The code audit (program code analysis, quality assurance) of free BSD systems and the resulting stability and security are legendary, many commercial software vendors use FreeBSD in-house. TrueOS offers a highly convenient installation, operation and management. Hardware support is not yet as comprehensive as Ubuntu Linux, but this is only a matter of time.

Matthew D. Fuller has written a comprehensive, in-depth juxtaposition of BSD and GNU/Linux: “BSD vs Li­nux”.

gNewSense

gNewSense (gnewsense.org, News-Blog) has set itself the goal of freedom from any black program code, binary blobs. Firefox, Thunderbird and other Mozilla products are available in a specially adapted and renamed version. gNewSense is the only truly free operating system that can be installed and used by normal users. It is one of the few 100 % bi­na­ry blob-free distributions, officially recommended by the Free Software Foundation (www.fsf.org).

The FSF takes a very sceptical view of proprietary software and proprietary operating systems, so does gnu.org.

WP-articles and -overviews: “Category:Free software operating systems”, “Com­pa­ri­son of open source ope­ra­ting sy­stems”.

Freely selectable Desktop Environment, Design Principles, Background Images

The flexibility of unixoid operating system distributions gives users complete freedom of choice. The default desktop environment selected by the respective distribution may or may not be suitable. You have the freedom to install any number of desktop environments at the same time and select them when logging in with your user account or to preset them as the default desktop environment. The distribution preselection of standard programs is not restrictive, you can install your favorite programs at any time.

Take a look at the WP-overview “Ca­te­gory:Free desk­top en­vironments”, almost every article listed in English is also available in a German version (click and select “German” on the left); take a look at the article “OpenDesktop.org”.

Desktop environments follow design philosophies, different functionality principles are applied. Among the environments offered, there is a high probability that there are also those that meet your personal preferences and requirements. Get overviews, read the WP articles “Cinnamon (software)” and “MATE (software)”.

You may already have a favorite user interface of a commercial operating system and want as similar as possible on a free operating system, including the familiar background image of current or older MS Windows and MacOS systems. These are available in the most different variants in the Internet, in more or less similar or identical image versions, as well as in original versions. For example, WallpapersWide.com offers various “Desktop Wallpapers” in different screen and resolution formats for download, including the “Cate­gory Mac” (including “OS X Yo­semi­te HD Wall­paper”, “Apple Mac OS X High Sierra HD Wall­paper”, “macOS Sierra HD Wall­paper”, “macOS Mojave Day HD Wall­paper”, “macOS Mojave Night HD Wall­paper”) and “Win­dows Wall­papers”. See also the category “Land­scape Wall­papers” "Landscape Wallpapers" (approx. 140 pages) if you like atmospheric landscapes as background.

Some Linux distributions aim to be as similar as possible to MacOS in appearance and functionality: “5 Linux Distri­butions That Look Like MacOS”.


Modern Operating Systems for old Computers
Modern Free Software for old Hardware

In the world of free soft­ware there is not only one software for numerous application areas. Often several alternatives are offered, including extremely lean programs. Strict selection of such lightweight li­bra­ries, win­dow man­ag­ers (com­par­i­son), and applications results in a performance-optimized overall system, which on the one hand covers everyday tasks and on the other hand is of interest for many educational sectors. Especially for institutions that only have small financial means, but still want to get maximum performance out of old and very old hardware, with up-to-date, modern and constantly maintained software. Entire IT infrastructures can thus be built from used hardware, including servers at the in­tra­net level.

The large number of Linux dis­tri­bu­tions is due in particular to the specialization in application purposes and occupational sectors. With regard to old hardware, this means that you can use the maximum power of your older computer. There are numerous gradations with regard to the respective total computing power consumption of the different Linux operating systems. Select the most suitable distribution for you, and then put together lightweight application programs according to your requirements and taste.


Combine old Computers with new Hardware

Collections of free, alternative driver programs, such as the printer driver collection Gutenprint<7a>, enable the parallel operation of current peripheral devices (printers, scanners, etc.) together with old computers. Internet use is also possible. If the motherboard of an old computer does not have an integrated network card, it can be made Internet compatible by purchasing a separate network card. USB network cards are available for old laptops. In general, almost all types of adapters are available, in many directions. They also allow you to use modern storage media, such as memory card readers (SD memory cards, USB mass storage devices, etc.); USB hubs are also available. The technical expansion and customization options are very flexible.

Internal hard disks can be replaced by new models with much larger storage capacities, and SSDs can also be installed for SATA and IDE connections: By using solid-state disks, the loading of the operating system, programs and data is greatly accelerated. SSDs are inexpensive and available in a variety of sizes. The use of a factory fresh hard disk, internal or/and external (USB and others), upgrades the computer system.


A large Selection of fast and lightweight Application Programs
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     Lizenz: http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/kdesupport/oxygen-icons/COPYING?view=markup

You also have many powerful alternatives to choose from when selecting programs, which run smoothly and quickly on older computers. Instead of Firefox, you can use the free Chrome variant Chromium, for example, or other, even more lightweight, fast web page readers such as Xombrero. Use ad block filters to stop power-consuming, unnecessary animations. “Comparison of lightweight web browsers”.

Email for private and business use: Use a local email program on your home computer instead of CPU-intensive web­mail if you are working with an older or very old computer, or if your Internet connection is slow or data transfer volume is limited. You save both computing power and online time. In contrast to webmail, this way of handling electronic mail also represents professional e-mail management under both protocols, IMAP and POP.

If you want a Personal Information Manager, first test whether your computer is suitable for the use of “Evolution” (official site), the often fully-fledged alternative to Microsoft Outlook. Other e-mail programs can be modularly equipped with similar functionalities, via extensions and plugins.

Get an overview of: “Category:Free email software”, “Comparison of email clients”, “Category:Free personal information managers”, “Category:Free calendaring software”.

The local email program Claws Mail (WP-article) is an excellent, lightweight alternative to Mozilla Thunderbird. All these programs can be easily tested and downloaded for free. The Lubuntu package manager gives you access to all programs for Ubuntu.

Teletype Message: From the very beginning, communication services have been a central part of the Unix world. Free instant messaging programs, such as Pidgin, can handle numerous communication protocols, including the XMPP protocol suitable for Internet telephony. Further information: “Category:Free instant messaging clients”, “Ex­ten­sible Mes­sa­ging and Presence Pro­to­col”, “Ca­te­go­ry:Free XMPP clients”.

Office software: The slim, high-performance word processor Abiword, together with the spreadsheet program Gnumeric and free PDF applications, provides a good alternative for many basic office tasks such as

writing letters, articles, brochures, scientific papers and other types of documents. Further Information: “Ca­te­go­ry:Free word pro­ces­sors”, “Ca­te­go­ry:Free spread­­sheet soft­ware”, “Ca­te­go­ry:Free of­fice soft­­ware”, “Ca­te­go­ry:Open-source of­fice suites”, “Ca­te­go­ry:Free ac­coun­ting soft­ware”, “Ca­te­go­ry:Free plot­ting soft­ware”, “Cat­e­go­ry:Calendaring software”.

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     Original image source: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=downloads,
     Lizenz: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=license

Graphics: mtPaint is an excellent lightweight image editing software for the post-processing of photos, scanned images and documents, and for the creation of graphics. Its scope of performance is considerable and also includes the layer technique. Instructions: The mtPaint Handbook. mtpaint, XPaint and other free graphics applicationsy are also suitable for creating and editing screenshots.

If you need more graphics functionality, install the meanwhile CMYK-supporting GIMP image editing program. From the huge repertoire of free software packages you can install and uninstall any program fully automatically and try out how fast and fluid it runs on your older computer.

Diagrams, schematic and technical drawings, as well as circuit and printed circuit board designs are predominantly designed with vector graphics based programs. Also in these areas several lightweight alternatives are available, for example the free vector graphics program xfig. Overviews: “Category:Free vector graphics editors”, “Category:Free diagramming software”, “Category:Free electronic design automation software”, “Category:Free computer-aided design software”.

Practical File Management: Classic “drag and drop” of files is of course also possible under free operating systems. The powerful lightweight programs PCMan File Manager (pre-installed), ROX-Filer and Thunar stand out from the crowd of free graphical file managers due to their low resource requirements.

Free operating system distributions are traditionally excellent for learning programming. Java is supported by the free GNU Compiler Collection and the free OpenJDK. The popular, universal Python is also almost always pre-installed. By default, a large number of software and tools are included, including free text editors and network-relevant programs. They form a good basis for information technology teaching and training at educational institutions.

Learning Languages
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Even without Internet access, you can benefit from the possibilities of the computer when learning a language. Download free or free learning materials from public Internet places and save them on a USB stick.

Even video films from Internet video portals such as Youtube can be downloaded and saved and then watched at home on your computer, for example with the free add-on “Video DownloadHelper”, or with the free program “XVideoServiceThief”, with a corresponding extension for the Internet browser Chromium, or with another software. Ask the staff of your Internet cafe or other institution about the possibility of making certain basic extensions available for web browsers. Use free dictionaries and translation tools, some of which are also available in a free offline version, e.g. Beolingus and and QuickDic.

E-Letters can be created on your home computer, for example as an extensive illustrated text document file, which you later simply attach to the e-mail, or whose

text you copy into the e-mail body. Sound files for texts can also be recorded at home on the computer.

Overview of free software audio recorders: WP article “Category:Free audio editors”. In the Internet café you then take your prepared message and send your letter together with the audio file by e-mail to your language penpal. You can also download the message and sound file sent to you from your pen pal's e-mail account, save it on your USB stick and listen to it on your home computer.

Numerous resource-saving free programs are also available for MS-Windows, so that you can also use this operating system optimized for older computers, with a self-assembled selection of lightweight application programs that run smoothly and fast. However, Microsoft's security update deployment ends after a certain period of time. Modern free lightweight operating systems for old hardware, on the other hand, are constantly maintained and updated, especially for old computers.

Advanced users can check which daemons or system services are started when the computer boots, and then disable any unnecessary programs that run in the background by default.


Powerful Free Mathematics Software, also for old computers

Schools today use powerful specialized calculators. Independent of this, it is of great advantage to know the basic functions of a free com­put­er algebra system if one wants to check the solutions of complex equations and other mathematical problems with the help of the computer or illustrate them with graphs and three-dimensional graphics, in school operations, in education, in study, in science and in general in everyday working life. The Python-based Saga interfaces with a number of long-standing, mature free mathematics programs, making it a powerful, universally applicable computer algebra system. However, its resource requirements are not insignificant, which probably makes it not always performant enough on very old computer systems despite its platform-independence.

SymPy, on the other hand, is 100 % Python-based and therefore as platform-independent as possible. Together with Pyglet, it forms a modern, well-maintained computer algebra system that covers all elementary functions for mathematics teaching. Thus, even for very old computer systems and for financially weak educational institutions, a powerful, free and free mathematics software is available worldwide. Sympy is used by numerous universities, including the Mathematical Institute of Freiburg University.

Sources of information: Offical site of SymPy, doc­u­men­ta­tion, Frequently Asked Questions, WP-article “SymPy”, web presence of Pyglet.

Knowledge of Python notation is an advantage. Python (official site) is an easy to learn, universally applicable scripting and programming language that is supported in many subject areas worldwide. A large number of software programs offer Python interfaces and it can also be used server-side for functions of webpages.

Free programs for teaching and education: “Ca­te­go­ry:Free edu­ca­tional soft­ware”, “Por­tal:Free soft­ware”.


Operating System and Distribution Overviews

Xubuntu, equipped with the desktop interface XFCE, and Lubuntu with the user interface LXDE, are official Ubuntu derivatives (Debian-based). Ubuntu operating systems have the highest level of user comfort and full automation. Xubuntu is relatively resource-friendly. The first-class Lubuntu consumes considerably less computing power and memory. Since both operating systems are available free of charge, you can try out which distribution is more suitable for you.

Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crystal_Project_computer.png,
     Original image source: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=downloads,
     License: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=license

Lubuntu information: Official site">Official website Lubuntu.net, WP-article “Lubuntu”, pre-installed standard application programs, OSnews article from 01 March 2011 “Lubuntu: Finally a Lightweight Ubuntu!”, Linux magazine article from 09 September 2011 “Lubuntu: Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee”

“Operating sy­stems for really, really old com­pu­ters”, lists a very comprehensive list of specialized Linux distributions, “Lightweight Linux Distributions” contains further central references.

The operating system Con­no­chaetOSConnochaetOS is developed especially for very old computers. The included standard program collection includes application software for all basic computer tasks: Word processing, spreadsheet, web page reader (browser), e-mail program etc. (official news section).

News excerpt (Announcements) for the current operating system version 14.2, which was released on August 26, 2016, added additional hyperlinks to the text: “[...] As always it contains only free/​libre software as defined by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). We are now using our own deblobbed Linux kernel, named "kernel-free" based on the de-blobbing mechanism done by Debian GNU/​Linux. ConnochaetOS contains:

In our slack-n-free repo we provide the current versions of Iceape [renamed Internet ap­pli­ca­tion suite SeaMonkey (Browser, E-Mail, et al)] and Icedove, the brand-new qt5-​web­engine based web browsers qupzilla and otter-​browser and libreoffice 5.1.4 [...]”

Article about ConnochaetOS (June 04, 2015): “ConnochaetOS Makes Slackware Truly Free and a Bit Easier”, Jack M. Germain.

Another powerful operating system is Delicate-Linux is De­li­cate-​Li­nux: title page, (further website), forum, De­li­cate-​Wi­ki.

In addition to the graphical “desktop environments” and application programs, Linux distributions also contain “text mode software” with a “text-based user interface” as standard. They are extremely powerful and belong to the preferred tools of many users, administrators, IT professionals and scientists.

Websites and recommended articles about text mode programs: „automatisch.cc :: freie Text­mode-Soft­ware”Websites about text mode “Con­sole app­li­ca­tion”„Text-based (compu­ting)”“Shell (com­pu­ting)”“Command-line interface” An excellent introduction: Floss Ma­nu­al “In­tro­duc­tion to the Com­mand Line” “GNU Screen”“Computer terminal”.

Introductory Articles on Specialized Distributions for old Computers

Various organisations are committed to promoting educational equality, using free software and used hardware, for example “Free Geek” in the U.S.A.

Free Software traditionally enjoys outstanding international language support, including free operating systems.





Screenshot of Lubuntu 12.04

For almost every area there are several different application programs for one and the same task. The programs shown here are only a small

part of the thousands of free applications available for Lubuntu (GNU/Linux or Unix/BSD software).




A small selection of office applications.
Text shown in Abiword word processor:
Text processing programs offer extremely
extensive design possibilities, whose
effective use a longer training period
is required. Long-term stable software
proves to be advantageous here.
(Operating system) platform independence 
and the mastery of a truly 
open, suitable for archiving
document formats are further 
central criteria for use in 
heterogeneous corporate networks and administration.'

Office applications: Word processing Abiword, spreadsheet Gnumeric, calendaring software Osmo, calculator Galculator.







A.2 Keep up with the News with RSS Feed Readers

RSS, an excellent Alternative to E-Mail Newsletters
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Webpages inform their readers about new news and contributions on request. In addition to the classic e-mail newsletter (newsletter, mailing list), RSS news tickers are also very popular. These inform you either about all new contributions, or purposefully only about individual ranges of topics, articles (as well as uploaded new video films, sound files etc.), or about new reader comments, completely after your choice.

Essentially, RSS is a file that is tagged with news items, such as headlines, or text excerpts that contain a reference to the entire post. Complete articles including web links and illustrations can also be included in an RSS news ticker.

How does the reader find out about news on webpages? He "subscribes" to the individual Internet site news tickers that interest him with a program. For a better overview, news can be divided into any self-chosen news categories (politics, nutrition, etc.). Each time the application software is started, it checks whether there are any new messages. This means that the news tickers of the respective Internet pages are actively called up and checked for new entries. The desired update rhythm (hourly, half-hourly, or shorter) can be set in the program settings.

Excerpt of the RSS news overview

RSS offers advantages for readers as well as for website owners: The reader no longer has to reveal an e-mail address, instead the user actively subscribes to the user's own RSS application, but without any registration: The retrieval of a news ticker is just as (relatively) anonymous as the retrieval of a website. The website owner no longer has to worry about time-consuming registration and checking processes for mailing lists or e-mail distribution lists, the provision of an RSS news ticker is completely sufficient.

In virtually all content management systems and blog sys­tems, RSS feeds are provided fully automatically af­ter the page owner has activated them. For the entire page, for individual articles, and for their comment

areas. Many video portals also automatically publish RSS news tickers for individual channels. Manual creation using RSS editors is also possible.

With RSS, news from numerous websites can be captured at a glance: New news entries are highlighted in the overview, e.g. by bold markings and by indicating the number of unread news, as well as optionally by coloured highlights. When reading text extracts, it is possible to load the complete article into the RSS program or into a separate web page reading program (browser). Of course, articles can also be loaded completely from the outset. RSS messages can be displayed, opened and read like e-mail messages within a three-part user interface, under numerous grouping criteria.

Firefox extensions like "Morning Coffee Quantum" offer similar functionality to RSS by opening multiple web pages of a list at the push of a button in separate tabs. However, the reader himself must check the page content for news, there is no automatic compilation of news as with RSS news collectors (aggregators).

Many websites publish RSS feeds as well as RDF and Atom feeds to keep the reader up to date. Of course, modern programs like RSSOwl can also handle these formats.

In today's information overload, news tickers are a great help in exploring the essential information. It is easier to get new news from numerous web presences bundled and presented at a glance than to have to search for them in different page areas. If there is no time for news analysis, you can take a look at past news entries afterwards (like a headline archive), or run a search for personally relevant keywords

RSS news tickers are also an excellent alternative to e-mail mailing lists from the point of view of freedom and politics. They allow readers to be actively informed without running the risk of missing news due to e-mail censorship: Web site owners report time and again that newsletters on new posts or calls could sometimes not be sent or received because the sender was not compliant enough with the e-mail service provider from a political point of view.

Of course, news ticker compilations can also be exported and imported, including individually created categories and other grouping and configuration criteria. Web site owners therefore have the option of offering recommended news ticker collections for download, which readers can then import into their own RSS reader program.


Application Programs suitable for RSS

A variety of applications are suitable for reading RSS, by default or in combination with free free extensions: Web browsers, e-mail programs, stand-alone RSS programs (feed readers), or RSS Internet services. Such services (News aggregation websites) offer synchronization options (with similar advantages to the IMAP email protocol)

as well as the option to view all news bundled on a website or in a sent e-mail. However, they are not explained here.

RSS bookmark lists can of course be exported and imported.

RSS Web Browser Extensions

RSS “add-ons” for web browsers are widely used and installed in seconds.

For Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Chromium there are numerous RSS extensions (Add-ons resp. Extensions) of which four are presented in the following.

RSSPreview

RSSPreview (MIT/X11 license) restores the classic RSS capabilities of Firefox and offers additional features. Official Firefox add-on page, excerpt (11/26/2019):

Firefox has removed support for RSS in versions 64+, including the useful preview feature.

This extension attempts to recreate it.

Additional features:

Start the screenshot series on the official Firefox site to get an impression (4 screenshots).

Feed Preview

[im Aufbau]

Awesome RSS

[im Aufbau]

Feedbro

[im Aufbau]

E-Mail Clients

Free or free RSS extensions are offered for numerous local e-mail programs (MUAs), some, such as Mozilla Thunderbird, are already equipped by default for reading RSS tickers. An incomplete selection: RSS with Mo­­zil­­la Thun­der­bird, with MS-​Out­­look (see also “Introduction to RSS”), with Claws-​Mail, with Evo­lu­tion.

Recommendation for RSS reader programs: You can also use an e-mail program exclusively as an RSS reader. Use the excellent Mozilla Thunderbird as an RSS reader, official information from Mozilla: “How to Subscribe to News Feeds and Blogs”, “News Feeds (RSS), Blogs and Social ”.

RSS Readers

RSS reader programs are the first choice for “news professionals” and analysts. Many news sources can be displayed simultaneously and checked for news at a glance, pre-sorted, pre-categorized, and prepared for maximum clarity according to areas of interest.

Among the free RSS readers there are (operating system) platform-independent as well as platform-dependent programs. A small selection:

Cross-platform: RSSOwl for MS-​Win­dows, Unix/BSD and GNU/Li­nux

RSSOwl is a powerful, comfortable and extremely feature-rich, platform-independent RSS reader program.

It requires the free Java Runtime Environment, which must be installed first. The download section of the official RSSOwl page lists all language and operating system platform versions.

OpenJDK is not only free like Oracle's Java runtime environment for MS Windows. In addition, it is also true free software from the program code point of view.

MS-Win­dows: RSS-Ban­dit

RSS-Bandit is another powerful free RSS reader for MS-Windows. It requires the free Microsoft .Net Framework.

BSD/Unix, GNU/Linux

Users of unix-like operating systems ((BSD/Unix, GNU/Linux) have a large selection of free RSS applications that are not dependent on runtime environments. For an overview, type “RSS” into the package manager search box of your BSD/Unix distribution, and detailed information will appear. Two of several powerful RSS programs: Akregator and Liferea.

Related Articles about RSS

Ca­te­go­ry:RSS •Com­pa­ri­son of feed ag­gre­ga­tors •Ca­te­go­ry:News ag­gre­ga­tors •Feed ag­gre­ga­tor •RSS edi­tor







A.3 Free Typesetting Software for the Professional
Document Preparation
Writing Scientific Literature, Word Processing, Book Creation, Graphical Desktop Publishing,
Web PDF Documents, and E-Book-Typesetting
Specialists guarantee optimum End Products

Typesetting programs offer an extremely wide range of design options, the effective use of which requires a longer familiarization period. Long-term stable free software proves to be advantageous here, since changes to operating and functional concepts occur within the framework of natural development, in contrast to proprietary software, in which a continuous purchase of new products and operating manuals is often artificially forced. (Operating system) platform independence as well as the mastering of a truly open document format suitable for archiving are further central criteria, in particular for the use in heterogeneous company computer networks and in the administration area. High-quality typesetting is even possible with old and very old computers thanks to specialized lightweight free operating systems and software.

This overview introduces you to widely used, free typesetting systems and basic document types. Extensive link lists lead to further, also powerful free program alternatives.

To ensure the technical and content integrity of your document, it is advisable to be familiar with the practical application of cryptographic checksums (electronic fingerprints). Use freely accessible language resources. Keep your readers up to date on news about your article or book with RSS news tickers.


Table of Contents


Introduction
Source and license: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/22/Oxygen480-apps-fontforge.svg/500px-Oxygen480-apps-fontforge.svg.png

The choice of the appropriate typesetting system depends on your desired end product. Do you predominantly want to create letters, articles and forms? Do you intend to write articles, a classic book or non-fiction book as well as scientific documents? Or are graphically accentuated typesetting documents the focus of your interest, such as richly illustrated magazines, illustrated books, calendars, posters, greeting cards and postcards?

Today's typesetting programs are incredibly powerful and universally applicable. You can create letters, articles (including formulas), forms, tables, flyers, posters, postcards, newspapers and even huge book projects with a single word processor. Many authors write and typeset their books with a classic word processor, and the final products have an appealing professional quality. In addition to fillable, interactive PDF documents, it is even possible to design simply designed, illustrated web pages (HTML documents) for uploading to Internet servers via ((S)FTP); and even a

single, PDF-exported, illustrated document can combine the functionality of a large-size web page if it is richly linked with internal and external hyperlinks; the web pages then open separately in the browser, in “tabs”. Alternatively, you can create texts with your favorite word processor or with a text editor, and then import them into another typesetting system, e.g. Scribus; Text import and export functions are nowadays standard functions.

Due to its wide range of functions, word processing is sometimes referred to as a “super typewriter”. Specialized typesetting systems, on the other hand, concentrate on certain types of documents; they offer additional possibilities for typographical finesse, which are usually not available in word processing.

Learning the basic functionality of a free word processor, the most universal typesetting program type, is a worthwhile time investment that will pay off all your life.

The program recommendations here are divided into four sections, although the subdivisions and designations are arbitrary in various respects:

Further references to basic technical terms can be found at the end of each section. A basic understanding

of how the style sheet (or template) works is essential for professional work with typesetting systems:


1 The Design with Templates or Style Files

You're working on a larger article or book and you've decided to set chapter headings, section headings, and subsection headings in a specific color, font size, and font. In the middle of your project, or towards the end, however, you discard your original design and choose a different font size and font.

Without style sheets, you would have to laboriously go to each chapter heading, each section heading, and each sub-section heading and reformat them individually.

Style sheets work according to a more sensible principle: the properties (size, font, etc.) of each basic article or book design element (chapter heading, section

heading, subsection heading, etc.) are defined in a separate file, the style sheet. You can use predefined style files as well as your own templates.

Without style sheets, you can always see directly what the final result will look like. This working principle is also called the “What you see is what you mean”-​principle (WYSIWYM), and is only suitable for shorter letters and documents.

For your section headings, for example, you have opted for a 12 pt serif font in black. Each time you now write another section heading, you must select it and format it again with the same properties. The result will look like this:

If you work with style sheets instead, you no longer need to laboriously format each individual text element (appearance of the section heading, etc.), you no longer need to manually number the sections. You only have to select the corresponding general outline element from a menu or even faster and more effectively: you use the

corresponding key combinations. The principle of selecting outline elements or layers and text elements in this way is also called the “What you see is what you mean” principle (WYSIWYM).

Schematically represented, your typesetting system then reads the following input internally:



Your typesetting program can see how to format the individual structure and text elements from the style sheet file. The advantage is obvious: All settings can be made centrally via a formatting file. The numbering of the outline levels is taken over fully automatically for you. If you delete individual sections, references, etc., your program will renumber and re-reference them for you. If you refer to individual text sections, then set markers beforehand, with self-selected designations. You do not write "See Section 2.4.3 on page 57" because the section numbering as well as the page number can change in the course of the design, which would also render your referencing obsolete. Instead, write, as shown schematically, “See <self-chosen

marker designation>.” Your typesetting system then auto­mat­ical­ly adds “section”, the concrete section numbering, “on page”, and the concretely calculated page number.

With WYSIWYM systems such as LyX, you have a text input window in which the individual structuring elements such as sections, sub-sections, etc. are displayed clearly distinguishable from each other for input (use of different font sizes and strengths, all freely adjustable according to personal preferences). However, the final output of the actual document only takes place at the press of a button or mouse click.


A document created with LyX, together with the PDF output
A document created with LyX, along with the PDF output
(click on it for detailed view)

Virtually every typesetting system includes pre-installed style sheets that you can use and customize to suit your personal style preferences; many more pre-defined style sheets are freely available and free on the World Wide Web, including style sheets for creating books. When designing websites, the style files that define text and typography are called CSS files, referring to the underlying stylesheet language CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): The text itself and the structure are written into the HTML file, the text element design definitions are in the CSS file.

All functions of the programs presented here can be selected via graphical menus. For effective operation,

however, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with at least some of the associated key combinations from the outset. Shortcuts are sometimes displayed directly in the graphical menus. You can also create your own keyboard shortcuts. Example search queries for corresponding lists:

The search entry LibreOffice Short­cuts leads to, among other things: “Shortcut Keys for LibreOffice Writer”, “General Shortcut Keys in LibreOffice”, to “Shortcut Keys for Spreadsheets”, “How to create your own shortcut with special keys?”, “Keyboard”, and to “Customize”.


2 Universal Word Processing with LibreOffice
Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oxygen480-categories-applications-office.svg
     Original image source: http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/kdesupport/oxygen-icons/scalable/categories/applications-office.svgz?view=log,
     License: http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/kdesupport/oxygen-icons/COPYING?view=markup

With a powerful range of functions and a worldwide user resp. support community, organized in the Do­cu­ment Foun­dation (WP article), including states and according to a (German) Heise message also the company Intel, LibreOffice offers all the prerequisites to meet professional requirements. Even DTP functions are possible. For details see the “LibreOffice Writer Features” page.

LibreOffice's user interface is available in dozens of languages and dialects, to a comparable extent as the free software Abiword (WP article) supports languages (list of Abiword user interface languages).

Further information on the Open Document Format and on free word processing programs: “Open​Docu­ment Format Alliance”, “What is Open­Do­cu­ment?”, “Open­Do­cu­ment facts”, “We Can Put an End to Word Attachments”, “Catego­ry:Free word pro­ces­sors”.

LibreOffice is subject to ongoing maintenance, further development and functional expansion, including operating concepts. Software and operating concept changes, however, take place on a natural development basis; in contrast to artificial, forced changes to programs and formats of some other manufacturers, for the purpose of the forced continuous purchase of new programs and operating manuals, whereby a part of the acquired knowledge becomes unnecessarily obsolete prematurely.

Countless reader-friendly and appealingly designed books prove that nowadays you can also create high-quality, professional books with word processing programs. However, the use of some typesetting subtleties is reserved for specialized typesetting and DTP software such as LyX and Scri­bus.

Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crystal_Project_kview.png,
     Original image source: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=downloads,
     License: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=license

The training in LibreOffice is a valuable investment that pays off in the long term and is recommended to pupils, trainees, students, merchants, scientists, civil servants and people from all professional and interest groups. LibreOffice, with its many DTP functions, is also a powerful tool for book authors to implement their works.

Find out more about other free alternatives, for example the office application Cal­ligra Suite with its word processor “Words”, or about Abi­word (WP-​article): Official site • AbiWord High­lights • AbiWord Plugins (detailed page) • AbiWord: Reviews.

Libre­Office Writer Documentation and Help Pages

Background information on the history of OpenOffice and the differences to OpenOffice.org can be found in the official questions- and answers section. The help pages for LibreOffice Writer contain extensive information; use the search function in the upper bar. “Getting Support” describes the possibilities of direct help by contact persons (mailing lists, forum). The section The section “Get Help” is a starting point to get general overviews and information about the use of LibreOffice in various areas of application. The official documentation contains the “Libre Office Writer Guide”.

A list of free extensions for Libre­Office and for Open­Office informs about functional extensions. Search: LibreOffice Writer introduction • video search: LibreOffice introduction

Read essential articles on the subject of word processing: WP article “Word pro­cessor” • “Cat­ego­ry:Free word processors” • “Category:Word processors” • “List of word processors” • “Com­pari­son of word processors” • “Com­pari­son of office suites” • “OpenDocument software”


3 Classical Typesetting in Highest Quality for Writers and Scientists: TeX, LaTeX, LyX

TeX [tεχ] and the macro system LaTeX form the most widely used typesetting system in mathematics, physics and computer science as well as in numerous other disciplines. “The Beauty of LATEX” informs about its advantages. PDF example documents can be found at the the “TeX User Group” and in a compilaton by the Association of American University Presses, presented on tsengbooks.com

For the majority of computer users, it might be unusual to create documents with a text editor and macro commands. With the cross-platform LyX graphical interface, LaTeX is as easy to use as a word processor and includes a graphical formula editor. Of course, you can also mix the modes and enter LaTeX code directly at any point of your LyX document.

Text processing and graphical DTP programs are mainly based on the WYSIWYG principle, while LaTeX and LyX are based on the markup language principle (see also (“Page description language”). The formatting of text areas, headings and other structuring elements is done indirectly (WYSIWYM). Meanwhile, word processing programs enable a comparable functionality via so-called style sheets. However, the typesetting quality of Tex or LaTeX and LyX remains unmatched, because TeX uses paragraph optimization criteria or procedures (algorithms) that are not included in word processing programs, and because the typesetting and professional-group specific subtleties and extensions are incomparably comprehensive, comprising thousands of classes, packages and package bundles.

It is best to install the complete TeX base before installing LyX. The LyX installation program already contains a TeX base system. However, if you install the complete TeX distribution with all packages beforehand, there is no need to reload individual packages later.

Free-​BSD-, Desktop-​BSD-, TrueOS- and GNU/Linux users install the base system TeX, (and sub­se­quent­ly LyX) via their package management system. MacOS users can get the MacTeX distribution from their own subpage on tug.org. MacTeX di­stri­bu­ti­on from their on subpage on tug.org.

Instructions for MS-Win­dows users:


  1. Get the MikTeX distribution first. For example, it is recommended to download the the original MikTeX-distribution on miktex.org, or ProTeXt
  2. Now install MikTeX. Decide for the complete variant, for the installation of all packages.
  3. Then go to www.lyx.org, download the LyX installer and start the installation. LyX will either automatically detect the path of the MikTeX software already installed, or ask for it.
  4. Familiarize yourself with LyX. As document class KOMAScript, “article (KOMA-Script)” and “book (KOMA-Script)” are recommended, together with “Latin Modern fonts” as standard character set. Find your favorite fonts in the LaTeX Font Catalogue. Thousands of packages offer comprehensive possibilities for numerous professions and areas of application; you can also develop your own templates, and all typographic subtleties are possible.


Text written in Calligra Calligraphy for LaTeX: Calligra Kalligraphie.

Calligraphy fonts, Fraktur fonts, Sütterlin and numerous other fonts and styles can be used universally, e.g. as artistically designed titles for websites, book covers, film and music albums, posters, greeting and gift cards. The openness of the TeX- and LaTeX-Basis enabled a momentum of its own, beauty, functionality and expressiveness, to which countless nations, professional groups and private individuals all over the world continuously contribute. Donald Knuth’s TeX interpreter is one of the most powerful computer typesetting systems and is also the most archiving-secure and durable that has ever been created. Its cultural significance is rightly equated with Gutenberg's invention of printing – free software emphasizing the beauty and freedom of individuals and nations, descriptive linguistics, and educational equality.

The following list contains various search queries for typesetting examples of various professions, for which there are often several packages available (no claim to completeness, only a tiny excerpt overall); browse through the respective documentation to see examples, and also switch to the image category of your search engine service. Many official documentations are also available in other languages, and there are numerous freely available third-party guides:


4 Graphic Desktop Publishing with Scribus: Newspapers, Magazines, Books, Pictorials, Posters, Cards

Scribus is particularly suitable for creating mainly graphic DTP products, such as newspapers and magazines, books and non-fiction books, including those with a trendy design, for picture and photo volumes, book covers, calendars, catalogues, advertising leaflets and brochures, billboards, posters, cards and postcards. Comprehensive information is available on the official

web site, scribus.net, and in the Scribus Wiki, http://wiki.scribus.net. Illustrative example projects can be found under “Made with Scribus” and “Success Stories” (all success stories from 2003 to 2017 can be selected on the right).

Inform yourself: Google search: Scribus • Scribus introduction • Scribus tutorial • Scribus examples.



5 The Creation of E-Books
Basic Knowledge for the Creation of E-Books
grayscale converted image version.
     Image source of the image file in color: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kjots.svg,
     Project site: http://www.kde.org/applications/utilities/kjots/

An e-book is a chapter- or content-structured document file that can be read on handy, specialized e-book readers as well as on ordinary computers. The big advantage of e-books lies in their adaptability. With ordinary documents, such as PDF files, the document dimensions and the positioning of the content are geometrically exact and rigid: DIN A4, US-letter, A3, B5 etc. E-books, on the other hand, adapt dynamically to the screen size of the existing output device, the text is displayed fluently, it is rearranged.

How much text appears on the monitor of a display device depends on the user's settings, e.g. the font size set. E-books therefore do not have page numbers, but bookmarks can be set, and some devices also allow quasi-page numbers to be generated. E-books can be provided with copy protection, which not only makes it impossible to make a backup copy, but also excludes printing on paper.

The technical markup language elements used to create e-book texts are essentially based on the same elements used to create Internet pages (HTML).

The e-book format EPUB is the open standard for writers and scientists. E-books created with it can be converted into other formats. However, copy-protected e-books cannot be converted, and probably the majority of e-book titles currently on the market, including .epub files, are copy-protected.

Mathematical typesetting: The current e-book specification is only conditionally suitable for writing extensive mathematical texts. Since EPUB 3, math fonts can be set natively in the markup language MathML and the graphics format SVG, is supported, so that there is no need anymore to integrate formulas and equations as graphics files, or to convert vector graphics (or function graphics) into raster images, if the target device supports Epub 3. However, mathematical typesetting with MathML is not as easy and elegant to create as with TeX or LaTeX, the required markup text for describing formulas is much more extensive.

Mozilla's “MathML Tor­ture Test” page contrasts TeX typesetting with MathML (“As rendered by your browser”), where the TeX typeface is embedded as a screenshot only, thus naturally less brilliant than in PDF,

PostScript, or DVI format, and cannot be scaled as an image when resized. Go to this page and view the markup text file, open the page source in Firefox with CTRL + U to see how complicated it is to type with MathML. Apart from that, Firefox is probably the only browser to date (2019) that can correctly and completely display MathML, including this test.

Most authors set their math texts with LaTeX and probably convert them to MathML as needed using a program such as MathToWeb to insert the appropriate sections into their e-book (EPUB3) or HTML files, although there may not be a significant distribution of MathML.

PDF versus E-Books: PDF files are often referred to as e-books if they have true e-book functionality, such as a referencing table of contents and an index that allows you to jump directly to a specific section of the book, and external hyperlinks that open your web page reader in the background to load Internet pages when you click on them. However, the text of PDF files is not flexible, it does not flow and cannot be dynamically wrapped or rearranged. PDF documents therefore lack the ability to dynamically resize to the given display device, they do not have a dynamic line break. The font can be enlarged, but the document is only enlarged like with a magnifying glass, the text does not rearrange itself, it remains rigid.

Apart from that, however, all the essential e-book functions are also possible with PDF: internal and external references (hyperlinks), reference-sensitive tables of contents and keyword indexes, search functions, etc. In addition, the PDF format enables the best possible print quality.

Further information:: Criticism of proprietary e-book formats, digital rights management and copy protection mechanisms: DefectivebyDesign.org, criticism on Stallman.org. DefectivebyDesign.org, criticism on Stallman.org.

WP-​articles: “E-book”, “EPUB”, “Category:E-books”, “Comparison of e-book formats”, “Cat­ego­ry:​De­di­cat­ed e-book devices”.

Since the EPUB 3 specification, e-books can also contain video films and audio files as well as interactive functions (via Javascript). The possibilities for an e-book have become so extensive that it is sometimes referred to as a “website in a box”. Literature recommendation for the introduction to EPUB3: “EPUB 3 Best Practices[,] Optimize Your Digital Books”, Matt Garrish, Markus Gylling; O'Reilly.



Production: E-Book Editors and Quality Control

Creating e-books requires minimal typesetting skills, the technical aspects have been dramatically simplified, with the exception of book title page design, which remains as challenging from a design point of view as classic books.

Texts and books in .epub format can either be written directly using an editor in .epub format, in the pure markup language, or they can be written using a specialized graphical Epub editor, which makes them as easy to create as using a word processor. Sigil is recommended as a powerful, free e-book editor with a graphical interface, alongside the free e-book editor Calligra Author; search query for further information: Calligra Author epub.

Also existing word processing files can be converted directly into an EPUB file, for example with the LibreOffice extension Writer2epub or with Calibre.

EpubCheck, a syntax check, is recommended for quality control. There is no getting around Epub file validation, especially because some e-book reader models may be less error-tolerant than web browsers. For example,

there was already a model not mentioned here by name that aborts the display of the contents of a subfile (e.g. a chapter unit) as soon as a syntax error occurs or is read, i.e. the remaining text is no longer displayed.

Also the scaling (resizing) of certain image files for display on e-book readers may not work as desired. It makes sense to use a slightly larger image file with resolution reserves, since users of high-resolution readers will then be able to view the images in better quality; the image dimensions displayed can be specified both pixel-precisely and as a percentage of the screen width. However, once a certain file size has been exceeded, the illustration may no longer be displayed on some readers and a gap may appear, so that in the end the only solution is to downsample the file to a lower resolution.

Both of the errors listed as examples did not occur with software e-book readers. However, they may even occur with multiple hardware e-book readers. Before publishing, an illustrated book should be viewed on e-book readers from various manufacturers.


E-​Book ​Reading ­ and Management Programs
Epub Extensions for Mo­zil­la Fire­fox and Chrome

There are several EPUB-reading-extensions for Firefox, including the Freeware EPUB­Reader. Excerpt from the official description of the official website, epubread.com (July 12, 2019): “[...] EPUBReader is a Firefox addon which lets you read ePub-files just in the browser. You don't need to install additional software!
  If you click on a link to an ePub-file, you are normally prompted by the Firefox 'save as' dialog. With EPUBReader installed, the ePub-file is downloaded, processed and directly displayed ready to read.
  It runs on every operating system Firefox does (Windows, MacOS X, Linux) and is already used by more than 350,000 daily users.
  EPUBReader is available in 26 different languages: Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese. [...]”.

The manual and the “Frequently asked questions”-section contain detailed descriptions.

For the browser Chrome and its free variant Chromium the free (Open Source), EPUB3-capable e-book reader

Readium is offered. Instructions: official site readium.​org, Readium in the Chrome Web Store, on Youtube “Using the Readium Plugin for Chrome to Read EPUB and MOBI eBooks”.

The separation of words and syllables in e-books has not yet been satisfactorily resolved. In the past, many e-book readers (both hardware readers and reading programs) did not have hyphenation, which resulted in unattractive spaces in block typesetting. Some devices and programs circumvented the problem by formatting the text left-aligned (flatter typesetting), or book authors left-aligned the text from the outset. Some devices either ignored hyphenation aids contained in the text or did not work properly; EPUBReader has been considering such hyphenation aids for many years.

Meanwhile, progress has been made in word and syllable hyphenation.

Cal­li­bre: Universal E-Book Management Program

Callibre (WP-article) contains extensive functions for the administration and conversion of e-books and is also suitable as a reading program.



6 Free Text Editors and Recommended Reading on LaTeX, KOMA-Script & Co.

Text editors are the ancestors of typesetting and word processing programs. Nowadays they are mainly used in the scientific environment (mainly in computer science and pro­gram­ming), in IT-administration as well as in markup language-based typesetting, for example for LaTeX, HTML and CSS (for the conceptual delimitation read also the WP-article “Markup Language”).

The possibilities for editing and evaluating the text are great. In the Unix-world, Vim (cross-platform) and Emacs (or Xemacs) are probably the most popular editors. Besides Vim, Emacs and Xemacs Notepad++ is a free editor for the Windows-world. Read the WP-article Text editor, to inform yourself about basic functionalities and get overviews on free text editors.

Besides the graphical desktop environments and application programs, GNU/​Linux-​distributions also contain text mode software. by default. Programs with text-based user interface are extremly powerful. Their huge number of application programs forms a universe of its own. Their use gives you a high degree of system independence, as numerous applications have been ported and maintained on a wide variety of operating

system platforms. Due to their low resource requirements, text mode programs still run high performance on old and very old computer platforms, both locally and via remote access to other computer systems. More detailed information can be found in the WP-articles “telnet” (historical), “secure shell”, and “OpenSSH”. The text mode offers you the greatest possible information technology (device) independence, freedom and efficiency, very often also when using graphic-based programs, as the introductory example of “Put Yourself in Command” shows.

Web pages and recommended articles on text mode programs: WP-articles: “Con­sole app­li­ca­tion”“Text-based (compu­ting)”“Text-based user interface” • “Shell (com­pu­ting)”“Command-line interface”“GNU Core Utilities”. An excellent introduction: Floss Ma­nu­al “In­tro­duc­tion to the Com­mand Line” • WP-article: “GNU Screen”“Ter­mi­nal (Com­pu­ter)” • a German website containing a huge list of links to English websites and resources. “automatisch.cc :: freie Text­mode-Soft­ware” [free textmode software], its link list: “Web­sei­ten zum The­ma Text­mode” [websites on the theme text mode].


Literature Recommendations on LaTeX, KOMA-Script and PS-Tricks

The text mode represents the natural communication with computer programs and allows access to all their functions. Probably the majority of mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists prefer text input via macros macros over graphical formula editors (conventions). Also scientific illustrations are in most cases easier to create using LaTeX- or PostScript-​macros than using a mouse-based graphics program, thanks to the huge number of packages that are specialized in the requirements of different professions and scientific disciplines (although there are also graphic editors with tpx and LaTeXDraw etc).

The list of freely accessible LaTeX introductions is huge, as search queries for numerous languages show, here for example in English: LaTeX intro­duc­tion • creating drawings and graphics with LaTeX • drawing graphics with LaTeX • PSTricks introduction. Probably most packages and package bundles already contain an excellent documentation, and also in the internet very good overall introductions are freely accessible.

High-quality printed literature is recommended both as a detailed introduction and as a comprehensive reference work.

Herbert Voß' (interview in English) offers excellent, in-depth introductions to LaTeX, his books are available in German, some titles are also available in English. However, the German editions are the most recent. “Ein­füh­rung in LaTeX [,] un­ter Be­rück­sich­ti­gung von pdfLaTeX, XLaTeX und Lua­La­TeX” The book introduces all essential areas and aspects of typesetting with LaTeX in depth. This standard work is not only suitable for beginners. Due to its detailed overviews, tables and references, it is also a reference work for experienced users and thus remains a long-term worthwhile investment.

Two more of Voss' standard works, which are of central importance for mathematicians in particular, go into great depth and contain numerous subtleties and ramifications: “Ma­the­ma­tik­satz mit LaTeX” and “PSTricks [,] Gra­fik mit Post­Script für TeX und LaTeX”. The official PS-Tricks-​website (English) contains numerous illustrations and application examples. PSTricks is not only relevant for the scientific creation of functions and graphics, but also for the classical typesetting of formulas; read the table of contents on the Internet, look for the title in the (online) directories of libraries, or go to a scientific bookshop to look at the book in leisure.



LaTeX file in Kate and its PDF-output.
Macro typesetting with LaTeX and KOMA-Script, file opened in editor Kate, PDF-view with Evince (click on it for details). The introduction to indirect mathematical reasoning (PDF A4, PDF US-Letter) contains information on the common mathematical proof notation as well as concrete typesetting information on quantity notation, in footnote 13 on page 5. All formats are available on the title page.

Read Utroff.org to keep up to date with the latest Troff news and information.

Suche: Gnu Groff example documents




7 Free Fonts and an Introduction to Basic Concepts of Typography

The “Libertine Open Font Project” offers high-quality font files (character sets) for MS-Windows and GNU/Linux, among them the Linux Libertine, which also contains the capital ẞ (WP-article), and the Li­nux Biolinum, which can even be used to depict keys for the description of keyboard shortcuts (WP-article on the Linux Libertine).

Self-description on the title page, July 21, 2016, “LinuxLibertine.org – About us”, by Philipp H. Poll: “Glyphs and fonts are basic elements of our com­mu­ni­ca­tion and fundamental to our culture. But on the other hand they are also software products and consumer items, which are commonly copyrighted and are intellectual property of large American corporations.

While in former times one used to write his letters by one’s own hand, we nowadays com­mu­ni­cate digitally and thus require fonts for displaying of what we want to read or tell. But you will find copyrights and patents even on the most elementary fonts and often there is no support for minority languages or scientific special characters. We thus founded this project to provide you with high quality libre fonts, which can be supplemented and kept up to date by the public community.

An older excerpt from a section of the start site of the Open Font Project, as of July 27, 2011: “[...] It is our aim to support the many western languages and provide many special characters. Our fonts cover the codepages of Western Latin, Greek, Cyrillic (with their specific enhancements), Hebrew, IPA and many more. Furthermore, typographical features such as ligatures, small capitals, different number styles, scientific symbols, etc. are implemented in this font. Linux Libertine thus contains more than 2000 characters. In this huge amount of glyphs, there still may be small mistakes that we ask you to report for the improvement of the Libertine Font Family. You may also write us, if you would like to see a new feature added (see the section “Contribute” for details). [...]”

Study the easy-to-understand information of the Libertine Open Font Project to acquire the most elementary basic knowledge of typography: “Open Type” • “Specialties” • “Styles”.

Inform yourself about other free fonts and basic terms: “Category:Open-source type­faces” • “Category:Writing systems” • “Category:Typefaces”

Nations/countries/regions and their prevailing paper format: “Paper Types” • “Paper Size”


8 Free Software for the Creation of professional PDF-Documents,
Free PDF-Viewers
PDF-Symbol von pdfreaders.org.
      Image source and license for this PDF-symbol: http://pdfreaders.org/graphics.de.html

PDF (Por­table Do­cu­ment For­mat) and Post­Script (GS-View-Be­trach­ter) form the document standard in prepress. Books and magazines are mainly handed over to printers as PDF files.

Moreover, PDF serves as the standard format for letters, forms, invoices and other documents sent by e-mail in business, administration and science.

Its advantages lie in its platform independence. In the past, the viewing of a document by the recipient often required the software with which it was created (e.g. a certain word processing program), but today you only need a PDF viewer.

Besides the proprietary freeware Adobe Reader, there is a comprehensive set of free PDF-viewers listed at pdfreaders.org (comprehensive list), including the following programs also available for MS-Windows:

Oku­lar (WP-article) is one of the most powerful free PDF-viewers. It can also be used to annotate PDF documents and can handle numerous other formats, including Post­script, EPUB, and Open­Do­cu­ment. MS-Windows-user can obtain the software via KDE on Win­dows.

Sumatra PDF WP-article is an excellent lightweight PDF viewer for MS Windows. It is also suitable for older hardware and supports other document formats, including the epub format. Quickstart Manual Official manual.

Evince (WP-article) is another free PDF viewer for the MS Windows world, developed from the GNOME-desktop-project for GNU/Linux.


Creating PDF-Files
Image source and license: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oxygen480-apps-acroread.svg

Many free programs have PDF export functions as standard. In addition, many offer the option of ISO-normed PDF/A-ex­port export to create PDF documents suitable for long-term archiving.

PDF-export under Libre­Office (word processing): “File” → “Export as PDF...”. Detailed official information: “Export as PDF”.

Under LyX (typesetting program): “File” → “Export” → “PDF (pdflatex)”. Further PDF-export variants are possible. Official LyX-FAQ on PDF.

Under Scribus (typesetting program): “File” → “Export” → “Save as PDF...”.

Scri­bus- and Scri­bus-Wiki-information: “Help:Ma­nu­al PDFx3”, “Ca­te­go­ry:PDF”.

PDF-creation with Abiword (word processor) under MS-Windows requires a PDF printer driver (“Faq­Creating­PDFs”):

PDFCreator

The universal, powerful PDFCreator (freeware, (WP-article) ) is suitable as a PDF converter. It can also be used to create long-term archivable PDF/A files (“Features”). Video films on PDFCreator.

According to the section “Adware toolbar controversy” of the English WP-article “PDFCreator” there was a controversy regarding the bundling of the software with an adware toolbar. Originally it might have been sufficient to prevent the installation of a toolbar by deactivating a preset option during the installation process, or to remove the toolbar from the browser afterwards.

Other PDF printer drivers are also available: List of virtual printer software • List of PDF software.


Split PDF Files, merge, edit Metadata

The PDF Tool­kit, pdftk, enables comprehensive editing of PDF files and PDF metadata. Detailed instructions and examples in German are freely available, e.g.: “PDFtk Server Examples” • “How To Ma­nipu­late PDFs with PDF Chain [Linux]” • “pdftk(1) - Linux man page”. PDFTK Builder is a graphical inter­face to pdftk, others are listed in the WP-article “PDFtk”.

A Python-based PDF-editor: PDF-Shuffler.


Check hyperlinks of PDF files for functionality

In the past, the Firefox add-on "Linkchecker" was very useful for checking the hyperlinks of a PDF file. All you had to do was open the PDF document (or drag it into a browser tab) and select the link check function, the program marked valid links with green, broken links with red and other links with yellow.

Unfortunately it doesn't work anymore since the “Quantum”-Firefox-​version. Maybe there are alternatives that follow a similar principle. The website alternativeTo, Crowdsourced soft­ware recommendations lists alternatives to LinkChecker, where both the platform and the license can be selected.


More PDF-programs: “Category:Free PDF software” • “List of PDF soft­ware”.


9 Typesetting and Hyphenation

We write for the reader: Careful punctuation ensures that the writer's thoughts and concepts are clearly structured and easy to read, and that his information and messages are correctly reproduced.

Hyphenation lines create a harmonious text image in justification and ensure an effective reading flow. In the naturally developped written language rule, they ensure that the correct accents of the words to be separated are preserved as far as possible.

The naturally-grown supra-regional written German (Schriftdeutsch) is based on a set of rules that is always self-renewing, which was deliberately smashed to rob the language of its expressiveness, to deform and destroy it. Thereby among other things many thousands of words were directly destroyed, words, in which the separation and compound spelling have completely different meanings, although the conditions of language destruction will not last in the long run. Proven regulations that had previously reformed in a natural way were declared “outdated”, whereas the highly deformed written language, which was deprived of its expressiveness and thrown far back in its development, was and is praised as “new” and “modern”. The “renewed” rules and hyphenation rules, however, lead to countless errors and misunderstandings, make it difficult to read texts, despite the fact that the underlying, self-contradictory “rules” have been formally implemented correctly in computer programs (no programming errors). Thanks to free software, everyone is free to choose which hyphenation rules and dictionaries they use, free software emphasizes the freedom of the individual, the people and the nation. More information will be published in a separate article (until then a mini article with more general aspects). a mini article with more general aspects [currently only in German]).

Classical written German will continue to be written, and the language packages associated with LibreOffice and OpenOffice will also undergo ongoing maintenance, expansion and updating. Extract from the official description (11 March 2018), published on the “German (de-DE-1901) old spelling dictionaries” -project and -download page of the “LibreOffice Extensions & Templates”: “[...] This extension published by Karl Zeiler integrates dictionaries in accordance with the old rules of German spelling and hyphenation. Classical spelling rules are still valid but do no longer apply to government agencies and schools where the new ones are mandatory. This version - derived from new spelling frami and igerman98 dictionaries - has been modified by Rüdiger Brünner according to the classical spelling rules. Additionally, he enlarged the word list by many scientific technical terms. [...]”.

Under LyX, select “Document”→ “Settings...” and select “German (old spelling)”. in the “Language” section.

LaTeX/LyX: General information on “german / ngerman” (in German).

9.1 The Soft Hyphen

The word separation systems of modern word processing and typesetting systems are powerful and work as error-free as possible. However, it may happen that a typesetting system does not recognize a compound word as such or that a word protrudes beyond the edge, or that the author wishes for a different separation. For such cases you give clear guidelines.

Separation points can be set centrally in a separate reference word list or directly in the text. The soft hyphen explicitly tells the typesetting system where a word can be hyphenated. One possibility, for example, is to copy it for larger texts via Crtl + C to the clipboard and then paste it via Crtl + V into the syllable or word joints.

Read the WP-article “Soft hyphen”. It contains detailed information for operating systems as well as for word processing and typesetting systems, the table in the section "Representation on computer systems" contains an extensive list of key combinations for different programs.

9.2 Separation Points without Hyphens, protected Spaces and Words

Some text components, such as hyperlinks or directory paths, can extend over several lines. To ensure that the source information is correct, you must prevent (non-existent) hyphens from being inserted.

Use the Zero-width space to mark your word or text component with hyphens that remain free of hyphens during wrapping. The hyphenation can be disabled for parts of a word as well as for the whole word. Read the following articles to familiarize yourself with the different scenarios:

9.3 The Problem of Hyphenation in E-Books and HTML-Documents, and its partial Solution

Separation aids and optional predetermined breaking points increase reading comfort. However, an optional automatic hyphenation feature either does not exist in today's Web page readers and e-book readers, or it does not work satisfactorily.

Partly the problem can be solved, so that at least the wide gaps disappear.

Hyphenation Aids that cause a Hyphen:
  1. First write your text and then open it in HTML mode, using an editor such as Note­pad++
  2. Write the so-called soft hyphen for HTML (WP-article: “Soft hyphen” and copy it to the clipboard: &shy;
  3. Now copy this HTML-entity continuously from the clipboard into the corresponding syllable joints.

The web page reader program thus has enough syllable separation joints to avoid unattractive gaps. Certain hyphenation cases, such as the retransformation of the double consonant (from “ck” to “kk”) in German, cannot be handled with this, so that no simple hyphenation option is available: In “Zuk-ker”, the short “u” is retained, but “Zu-cker” leads to a long, incorrectly emphasized “u”.

Optional Text Breaking Points without Hyphen Triggering:

Some words urgently need to be separated, but must not be hyphenated as this would distort their content. Examples are e-mail addresses and hyperlinks where it would no longer be clear whether it is a hyphen or a part of the address itself.

Here, the space character of the length zero helps: &#x200b; (Zero Width Space). For URLs, it is best to insert it between each character of your word, if necessary.

While popular browsers take these separators into account correctly, some e-book readers and e-book software readers either ignore the hyphenation help completely, or they bypass the problem by left justify, or they use the soft hyphens separator, but do not display hyphens. Or worse, they display hyphens wherever hyphens are built in.

In general, at least a subset of the official Epub standard should be implemented bindingly on all e-book readers in order to guarantee a reliable text representation and a tidy reading comfort.



10 Free Image Editing Software and Vector Graphics Software

Images and graphics are handled in different formats. Raster images, such as photos, consist of many individual dots, each of which has a specific color. The dot structure becomes visible at high magnifications.

Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crystal_Project_package_graphics.png,
        Original Image source: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=downloads,
        License: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=license

Vector graphics consist of geometric objects, gradients and other components. They can be resized, i.e. the image is recalculated or redrawn when it is enlarged, so that there is no loss of quality (block graphics). Company logos are often created as vector graphics. Of course there are also limits: A vector graphic, which is to be applied on a house wall, is usually created separately. Vector graphics can be converted into pixel graphics / raster images. Apart from illustrations, technical applications (construction plans, circuit diagrams, diagrams, etc.) are the main field of application of vector programs.

The possible color depth of a program determines how finely shaded colors and color gradients can be displayed within an image, the higher the possible color depth, the better. Depending on the application, a high color depth can also be advantageous if the output is

only at a low color depth: When performing extensive image processing steps, fewer calculation errors (rounding errors, etc.) may occur if complex calculations have to be carried out.

Hyperlink on image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crystal_Project_colors.png,
       Original image source: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=downloads,
       License: http://everaldo.com/crystal/?action=license

Each device (monitor, printer, etc.) has its own color space. Imagine it as a color palette that defines which colors can be displayed and which cannot, and how the colors are displayed. Color spaces are standardized. A classic problem: You have an image with many color tones (large color palette), and want to output it on a device with only a limited color range (small color palette). The following questions arise: How should a color of the original image be displayed that cannot be displayed on the output device? Should the next similar color of the target color space be selected? Should a mixed color be selected? Or should the color simply be omitted completely? Another example: You want to convert a color photo into a black and white photo, in this case, grayscale tones must be assigned to the respective hues of the original image.

Software for the Raster Image Editing

For the of photos and graphics the powerful, cross-platform free painting and image editing programs Krita (krita.org) and GIMP are recommended. Both are suitable for the image preparation of professional prepress products as well as for the editing of graphics for the Internet and e-books.


Krita
JPEG-file, opened in Krita 2.9
(click for detailed view)



Software Overview:


Various Themes on Image Editing

The Internet offers numerous high-quality, step-by-step instructions on the huge subject of image editing. Think about which words or which word combinations could be contained in the information you are looking for and vary these search term combinations.

The WP-article “Comparison of raster graphics editors” contains a comprehensive overview on all free image editing programs (left column)



Vector Graphic Editors

General overview on vector graphics software: “Comparison of vector graphics editors”

Drawing Diagrams

DIA, official website • WP-article “Dia (soft­ware)” • Documentation • Google search: DIA software introduction, DIA software Tutorials; Google image search: Dia software diagrams; Google video search: DIA soft­ware Introduction, DIA software tutorials


3D Graphics

Blender is one of the most popular, widely used and powerful free 3D graphics and animation applications.

WP-article Blender (software) • Google search: Blender software, Blender introduction, Blender tutorials, Google image search: Blender software landscape; Google video search: Blender software landscape, Blender software introduction • Category:Free 3D graphics software


Various articles

WP-overview “Category: Free graphics software”, with subcategories.

Image editing and photography: “Category:​Photographic techniques”, “Category:​Pho­tog­ra­phy”, “Category:​Digital photography”

“Ca­te­go­ry:Free mul­ti­me­dia soft­ware”



11 The sovereign Use of the Keyboard, Language Acquisition

Use the opportunity to write with 10 fingers, learn the ten-finger system. This results in several advantages:

A big time saver, since you write down your thoughts in words blindly and directly, immediately, work on texts with highest efficiency and productiveness

No more distractions by unnecessary glances at the keyboard, continuous reading of telex dialogs on the screen, fast reaction times, calling of program functions by key combinations instead of time-consuming mouse clicks.

If necessary, you will also learn the original keyboard

layout and the ten-finger system for an additional language of your choice. Example: The keyboard layout(s) for French or the layout for German or the Russian PC keyboard(s) in Cyrillic. You can switch the keyboard layout in a flash by pressing a key combination or clicking the mouse. Newly learned words and phrases are written down several times in the ten-finger system of the original keyboard layout, in a word processing file, for the purpose of memorization. This also ensures immediate, fast written communication with language learning partners during direct written communication (telex dialogues, chatting).

11.1 Free Software for learning the Ten-Finger System, Teaching Articles

People of all professions write in the ten-finger system, for significant time savings and increased responsiveness, and for maximum concentration on content. Your attractiveness as a language learning partner is simply greater if you can answer your language tandem partner directly in writing in telex dialogues.

In the WP article “Touch typing”, various aspects are explained and in the German article ver­sion a com­pre-

hen­sive list of free software for the touch system and online help is referred to. Among the free programs, the free cross-platform writing trainer TIPP10 [English website version] (German WP-article) stands out. It offers a sophisticated, interactive and self-adaptive writing course.

In the Internet, countless information is available free of charge and directly. Examples: Google search for “touch system typing”, Google video search for “touch system”.

11.2 Language and Keyboard Layout

Acquire the ten-finger system not only for your mother tongue, but also for the other language you wish to acquire. There are usually several (country-specific) keyboard layout variants available for each language. The English Wikipedia article “Keyboard layout” offers a very comprehensive overview. The article itself is offered in different languages (menu on the left), other Versions may not be as comprehensive as the English original. The article contains numerous hyperlinks referring to national and country-specific Keyobard information; These subarticles can provide you with a lot of information, also in languages other than English. Always look (in each [sub] article, category, etc.) on the left for other language versions.

Modern operating systems support all common worldwide assignments. Switching is done either by mouse click or via a self-defined key combination (short­cut).

The following procedure is recommended for learning the keyboard layout of your target language:

Find the corresponding information in the WP-article “Keyboard layout” (or in one of its other language versions)

Example for German, French, and Russian: German: Jump to the section “QWERTZ”, from there follow the link “Main article: QWERTZ” (German article version: “QWERTZ-Tastaturbelegung”). The section “Austria and Germany” contains the hyperlink “Main article: German keyboard layout”. This article, “German keyboard layout”, provides comprehensive country-specific information (German article version “Tastaturbelegung”). Now click on the keyboard shown there, whereupon the WP page German keyboard layout "T1" according to DIN 2137-1:2012-06 appears. Press “More details” at the bottom right, which will take you to the File:KB Germany.svg. French: Go to the “AZERTY” section and select “Main article: AZERTY”. In this article (French version: “AZERTY”) you will find the relevant information. In the “French” section, click on the keyboard shown there, whereupon the WP page “AZERTY layout used in France” appears. Press “More details”, at the bottom right to go to the Wikimedia Commons page „File:KB France.svg“. Russian: In the Cyrillic section “6.4.2 Russian”, several keyboard layouts for Russian are shown. The separate article “JCUKEN” provides more information about the Russian standard keyboard layout.

Now click on the keyboard shown there, whereupon the WP page “ЙЦУКЕН key­board la­yout” appears. Press “More details” at the bottom right, which will take you to the Wikimedia Commons page „File:KB Russian.svg“.

There are now two ways to print the keyboard: You click on the original-SVG-​vector graphic file (German: “original file”, French: “Original file”, Russian: “Ori­gi­nal file”) and it opens in your web browser. Afterwards, go to the print preview in the browser menu: “Print” → “Print pre­view”. Now select “Landscape” for the orientation and then click on “Print”. Alternatively, you can also use a precalculated PNG-​file (different resolutions) for prin­ting. The table with the PNG versions is located under the respective SVG file.

As long as you have not yet mastered the keyboard layout of your target language, proceed as follows: 1. Print the keyboard. 2. Stick it on a firm cardboard base that you can cut or fold. 3. Attach the keyboard to your workplace so that it is always in your field of vision, or make a stand-up display.

To learn new (chapter episode) words, open a word processing file. Write down each new word to be learned in the ten-finger system, at least over several lines. Proceed word by word, paragraph by paragraph. Writing down entire texts is also useful for memorizing them.

Use the numerous instructions on the Internet to select the appropriate keyboard layout. For example, use the search query Russian keyboard or generally the search combination [target language] keyboard layout [operating system]. Keyboard layout graphics can also be found directly via the image search, for example via the Google image search for Russian keyboard, or for Russian keyboard layout.

Your language learning partner will be amazed if suddenly you can write just as fast or even faster than them. In the physical world, language is the key to the culture of peoples and to the hearts of your people. Read the comprehensive article on free, powerful online and offline dictionaries, language learning and translation projects: Freely accessible Language Resources: Dictionaries, Machine Translation, Language Courses.

Seriously striving to speak the national language of a local people involves a fundamental respect. The local people will be aware of this and, no matter how advanced your language skills are, you will be met with a correspondingly open-minded attitude.

11.3 Your National Keyboard Layout and the US-American PC-Keyboard-Layout, EFI and BIOS

Take a look at the English WP-​article “Keyboard layout”, whi­ch contains de­tailed information about your national key­board layout as well as hyperlinks to further articles about each individual keyboard character; WP-SVG graphics are also offered, e.g. on the the German PC-keyboard-layout. On the left side of the “Keyboard layout”-article, you can look up the language version that contains the relevant information for your national

keyboard version. Keyboard lay­out and EFI: In rare cases the EFI and possibly also the predecessor system BIOS or another program require an input with US-American keyboard mapping. Confirmations with “Y” (for “Yes”) and the reconstruction of already set system passwords can only be made if the US mapping is known. It is therefore essential that you file a printout of the US keyboard layout in your physical computer folder (WP-article on the US-keyboard layout, overview on the WP graphic file versions [various resolutions]).

11.4 Mechanical Keyboards

Frequent writers, authors and programmers prefer mechanical keyboards, for example the timeless, world famous Cherry G80-3000 LSCDE-2 (black version). There are worlds between PC foil circuit board keyboards and the right ones, the so-called mechanical keyboards, both in terms of writing comfort and touch precision, as well as in terms of consistent writing quality, robustness and durability of the keyboard.

Two articles about this keyboard class and its different types: “Benefits of a Mechanical Keyboard for Writers” • “Best Mechanical Keyboards For Typing – 2018 Edition”.



12 Notes on the Use of Machine Translation Systems, by the Example of DeepL

DeepL (deepl.com) represents a quantum leap in machine translation. Test the functions and fine functions, write individual sentences, copy text blocks and complete texts or upload documents to be translated and examine the results. Click on individual words in the translation text. Depending on the text, alternative formulations are also listed outside the windows.

Changes in the source text or in the translation text dynamically lead to (partial) new translations, the system continuously and directly takes into account changes and extensions made by the user. This also applies to the correction of any translation errors that may occur: If you start to reformulate something (partially) in the translated text, DeepL immediately dis­plays suggestions for sentence changes or re­for­mu­la­tions when you write the first word, including the actually correct translation if this has not been selected by the system or if the source text has not been formulated clearly enough. The system is extremely user-friendly, even with regard to incorrect input, such as typos or omitted words.

For its translations, DeepL accesses the huge data treas­ure of the context-sensitive dictionary Linguee, which it has acquired since 2007. The following lan­guages are currently supported for translation: German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Po­lish, Russian. The lan­guage of the user interface fol­lows your browser's identification, but it can also be set explicitly in the menu at the bottom left.

Machine translations can never be taken over unchecked by computers, since more complex texts may have room for manoeuvre and more subtle interpretations. However, the machine translation standard that has now been achieved is shocking. Since the translations proposed for factual texts are absolutely ready for printing, it is no longer possible to speak of raw translations. Paragraph by paragraph, polished diamonds are supplied, absolutely natural-language texts; from time to time there are rough diamonds among them, which require minimal post-processing. This system is also excellent for checking the fluency of formulations, partially verifying the grammatical correctness of individual phrases, sen­tences and sentence constructions, fine-tuning and displaying trans­la­tion alternatives.

Inform yourself: WP-​article „DeepL Translator“, DeepL Blog, „Über­set­ze Do­ku­men­te mit DeepL“.

Modern translation systems such as DeepL work context-based, analysing the contextual frame of reference to select the right terms and phrases. Once they have identified the subject area or sub-discipline in which the text is to be located, they can precisely encircle, compile and arrange the required translation elements, drawing on huge databases of subject-vocabulary-specific (man-made) translations, whereby the jargon-specific phrases, idioms and formulations of the target language are accurately selected and assigned.





If an entire, complete document is loaded for translation, as much reference frame information as possible is transferred. If individual sentences or paragraphs are entered for translation, the user must, depending on the case, add additional information for reference frame recognition, or subsequently make corrections himself, either by overwriting (partially) the translation result, rewriting or supplementing it, or by clicking on individual words in the translation to select alternative proposals. In both cases, the rest of the text may be dynamically retranslated by the system, or new suggestions may be presented in windows that appear.

Translations can also be saved as text files.

Example: We are in the field of mathematics and our title or section title to be translated is: “Ein­füh­rung in den in­di­rek­ten Be­weis”.

If we leave it at this single sentence, the system has too few points of reference or orientation to be able to determine in which subject area or in which sub-discipline the text is to be located, so that a more general frame of reference may be chosen which results in a translation that is not appropriate.


text

Translation of a document title without further frame of reference information.


By clicking on a translated word, alternative suggestions appear:



If we write the discipline, mathematics, before the individual sentence, the correct translation appears from the outset:


text

By explicitly naming the subject area, department or (sub)discipline, it is possible to provide support for sentences with little reference frame information.


However, it probably requires only in the fewest cases of such extra references, the contentwise paragraph information delivers mostly already sufficient in­for­ma­tion.

When translating, it is recommended that you keep a second tab window of the translation system open so that you can enter individual sentences or formulations separately if required.

Recommendation:

1. Enter the paragraph/text excerpt to be translated or upload a corresponding file; the free variant has a length restriction.

2. Examine the translation. If you are not yet familiar with the English (or general target language) technical terminology of your text, you might want to look up an English-language Wikipedia article on the subject, or use search engines to find the relevant texts.

With Wikipedia, you first call up the version of the topic article in your source language and from there switch to the English version of the article (or to other target language versions). Which words and phrases predominate, represent the corresponding equivalents in your target language?

3. Use the possibility to click on words to see alternatives, also pay attention to suggestions displayed below the text field. (Partial) text changes in the source text always lead to dynamic (partial) new translations in the target language translation text window. In the case of very short texts, you may have to give hints on the subject area and write in front of your text, e.g. “Mathematics: [...]”, “Physics: [...]”, “Philosophy: [...]”, etc. Sometimes, however, you may only be able to copy fragments of the translation and find out the rest by yourself.

4. Use a separate window to check further details for the main text.







Practical Application of Cryptographic Checksums
Checksum Formation with Free Software under MS-Windows, Unix/BSD,
GNU/Linux and MacOS X

Peter Jockisch, Freiburg i. Br.
peterjockisch.de


Table of Contents




1.1 Introduction

Computer files can be manipulated in many ways unnoticed. Cryptographic checksums, hash values, serve to protect your data: By forming an electronic fingerprint of a file, an always constant numerical value is created. If this value deviates at a later point in time, there is damage or manipulation. With a single mouse click, the integrity of a file can be checked at any time.

Cryptographic checksums form the basis for cryptographic signing and encryption, for website- and e-mail certificates, for the qualified electronic signature,

and for the technical understanding of revision-proof e-mail archiving, to which all merchants are legally obliged.

This introduction presents two free graphical programs for checksum generation, CyoHash and Jacksum, for file manager operation. Console-based programs are also described, they are available across operating systems and preinstalled on most Unix/BSD and GNU/Linux systems.

1.2 Functional Principle
1.2.1 Electronic Fingerprints

Humans are complex creatures. In order to identify them quickly and easily, fingerprints are often created. Computer files can be identified according to the same principle: by generating an “electronic fingerprint”, the so-called cryptographic checksum, an always constant number.

By means of standardized procedures, a fast integrity and authenticity check of files of any kind can be carried out.

Human fingerprints are created with stamp pads, electronic fingerprints with a checksum program.

Click on image to enlarge.

Fig.1: Proof of authenticity for human and computer files



1.2.2 Quality Criteria

We're looking at cryptographic checksums. They are based on hash functions, which provide hash values as a result for any file. This value is also called hash code.

A file, as well as identical copies of it, always has the same hash checksum. However, if only a single bit or character changes due to damage or manipulation, a completely different hash code should be created.

A hash-function-checksum-procedure should therefore always return different values for different computer files. Depending on the method used, the calculated checksum always has the same length. Therefore, of course, only a limited number of numbers can be displayed: There are practically an infinite number of computer files, so that it is impossible to assign a different value to each of these files with a number of fixed length.

From a security point of view, there are various attack scenarios, including forgery of documents. An attacker

would like to create a fake version of a given original file, for example a business order, with a manipulated, increased order quantity that has the same hash value checksum. After making the changes to the document, he then tries to obtain a file version with a cryptographic checksum identical to that of the original file by trial and error, perhaps by inserting invisible control characters. Such an attack, of course, uses supporting computer programs.

If an attacker actually succeeds in creating a second file (at a reasonable cost in terms of time) containing the desired manipulations and which has the same cryptographic checksum of the original file, the hash function procedure in question is “broken”. Once such a weakness becomes known, it should no longer be used. Due to continuous research work, weaknesses are detected a long time in advance.

Click on image to enlarge.

Fig.2: Checksum collision



If there were a computer with infinite computational power, theoretically any method could be broken by simply trying out all the possibilities (brute force attack). In practice, such an approach is not considered practicable in the majority of cases, since the necessary calculations are almost never feasible in a reasonable time.

Most hash functions have had a limited lifetime and have been replaced by successor functions for security

reasons. Computer generations with higher computing power contribute to shortening the service life. In addition to computational force-based attacks, however, there are also attacks with a different orientation, and it can never be ruled out that mathematical creativity can be used to launch practicable attacks today.

In the background a huge army of mathematicians works and researches, especially for intelligence services. Not all scientific findings are published.

1.2.3 Prevailing Standards in the West and Russia

Until 2016, the Western IT infrastructure was predominantly based on the SHA-1 algorithm (Secure Hash Algorithm 1). Since 2017, this algorithm has been regarded as finally broken, and the computing time required to corrupt it has fallen dras­ti­cal­ly. Experts now recommend the SHA-2 variants SHA256, SHA384, or SHA512.

The recommended successor algorithm to SHA-2, SHA-3[1], has been officially established since 2012.

In Russia and many other CIS states, GOST R 34.11-94 resp. GOST 34.311-95 were the previous hash standards in authorities and various economic sectors. [2] As with SHA-1, structural weaknesses were also found in this standard.

1.3 Do Technologies exist that are blocked to the Public?
1.3.1 Obsolete Computer Systems

All computational power-related statements in this introduction refer to publicly available computer systems and research work released to the general public. The use of the latest, most advanced computer technology is probably currently still reserved for intelligence services in order to guarantee them a computing power advantage for an effective leveraging of established encryption technology.

The widely approved encryption procedures may not be readily breakable for lower levels of government. However, at the top of the hierarchy, at the intelligence level, there should be unrestricted access to the latest computer technology. In addition, all data transferred via the Internet will probably be archived for automatic evaluation. Under this aspect, the resilience of files sent over the Internet that have been encrypted using publicly standardized technology is put into perspective.

For a long time there have been considerations that certain cryptographic algorithms raised to official stand-

ards might have inherent mathematical weaknesses which are only known to the experts of the intelligence services. A possibly existing influence of the secret services on the design of security products (software and possibly hardware backdoor problems, open questions about standards, etc.) is the subject of numerous articles on computer security, for example in “Did NSA Put a Secret Backdoor in New Encryption Standard?”. Several renowned companies have already directly or indirectly confirmed that they cooperate with intelligence services in their product development. One of the official reasons for this was the intention to optimize the technical safety of company products. It remains to be seen how much pressure was exerted on “cooperation”.

Corrupted electronics, known or unknown “advanced” hardware architectures with factory-built “remote maintenance” functions, possibly even with a wireless system built into the processor, represent the other side of the problem.

1.4 Application examples: Business world, Internet, Archiving

The comprehensive requirements for the legally recognized personal authentication, which is almost always linked to the use of proprietary software and hardware, will not be discussed here. Section 1.5 contains further sources of information on the so-called qualified signature.

The creation of cryptographic checksums not only provides clues to the authenticity and integrity of files. It also enables acknowledgements of receipt and written confirmation of the last processing status of a file, as demonstrated by the following examples.

1.4.1 Preservation of File Integrity

You create a business balance sheet and then go on holiday. For quality control purposes, make a note of the cryptographic checksum of the completed balance sheet file before departure. After the vacation, you create the checksum again and verify whether the file is intact or whether it has been damaged or manipulated.

Unauthorized access, e.g. to an accounting file, can be detected in this way. In such cases, notify the system administrators and insist on a recovery of the original file version, which will of course only be successful if the file has the noted checksum again.

The file date specification and version control systems are no substitute for cryptographic checksums, since both can be manipulated directly or indirectly. Specialized programs can change both the creation and modification dates of files, even directory-wide.

Consistency checks using checksums usually work faster, more effectively and more securely. A separate checksum program should therefore always be available.

1.4.2 Indicator for the Processing Status of a File

When leaving a company you would like to have the last processing status of a computer file confirmed in writing, example text: “Confirmation – This confirms that the file [file name] maintained by [first name, last name] has the SHA-512 checksum [concrete checksum] in its last processing status on [date]”.

Two or three different cryptographic checksum methods are recommended for this purpose. This may be more secure in the long run, one of the methods may last longer in the future. In this way, the company secret is protected and you can still secure yourself to a certain extent. Should there ever be any queries, you will have a written indication of your latest processing status.

1.4.3 Armament against White-Collar Crime, Protection against Mobbing

In the context of general quality control and whenever corruption, lies, intrigues, bullying, sabotage and white-collar crime are likely, the use of cryptographic checksums, even before presentation dates (file checks), is recommended for your own protection. Signing software is often ruled out because it is naturally coupled with encryption functions and is therefore not

tolerated on every workstation computer. Company secrets could get out encrypted or malware could get in undetected. However, a free checksum program – not to be confused with freeware [3] – can be installed responsibly on company computers if the system administrator deems this appropriate.

1.4.4 File Reference in Contracts and Confirmations of Receipt
1.4.4.1 Contracts and Acknowledgements of Receipt

For written contracts and acknowledgements of receipt, electronic fingerprints facilitate the reference to computer files. Files of any kind can be uniquely identified by their hash value, e.g. text documents, video films, recordings of conversations and interviews (sound files in general), programs, CAD files. Services that have been rendered, which are finally available in the form of a data carrier, e.g. a CD-ROM or DVD to be delivered, can also be confirmed in writing in this way.

Electronic fingerprints can also be created from archive files[4]. Acknowledgements of receipt form a broad field of application.

1.4.4.2 Image Licensing

In image-forming occupational fields, photos go through many post-processing phases until they are published, and it is usually impractical to specify specific final files in advance. However, reference files can be binding for the publication or long-term exploitation of basic artistic/image design specifications: Selection of the image detail, basic contrast characteristics, implicit prohibition of (further) "cosmetic retouching", etc. Image descriptions and miniature images of the originals are then included in the exploitation contract together with the corresponding file checksums. If possible, only use file formats that either work completely without compression or with lossless compression, formats that can also store color profile information. Of course, reference to reference color spaces requires proper color management and comprehensive preparation of the equipment pool.

Sometimes bindingly finished image files are possible. Provided there are enough resolution reserves for resizing (scaling), photos for a website can be exactly defined in all parameters. If a suitable standard is chosen (e.g. TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF), there is a high probability that the images will still be displayed by future webpage reading programs in the long term.

1.4.5 Indicator of the Authenticity of Documents, transmitted by Telephone

The recipient of a file or a data carrier sent by letter post can be informed by telephone of the hash function checksum for checking purposes. Although falsifying a voice has become much easier since the introduction of the “Adobe Voco”[5] software, it is still a time-consuming process. However, personal signing would be more convenient and secure.

1.4.6 Publication of Hash Values as alternative Proof of Authenticity

Some states only allow limited encryption and signing (personal electronic proof of authenticity). To a certain extent, cryptographic checksums can be used as an alternative stopgap:

1. First create the message or document separately as a computer file (text or PDF file, image, video, etc.). Attach the file to an e-mail and send the message.

2. Publish the hash codes of the sent documents on a webpage similar to a diary. Several reputable free (advertising-financed) webhosters are available for this purpose. Even without (X)HTML knowledge you can create websites, e.g. with free HTML editors.

Alternatively, free blog systems that do not require any technical design knowledge are recommended. A possible free service is Blogger.com, another Wordpress.com. Both are easy and uncomplicated to

use and can be used immediately, comment functions can be deactivated. When making your selection, make sure that the password you choose is SSL/TLS-secured during the login process; your user password should always be transported over the Internet via https.

Finally, create schematic entries, for example in the form checksum procedure - file checksum. There is no need for more information. For large daily entries, you could optionally add a file name abbreviation. The e-mail attachment "request.pdf" would then become “r...t.pdf” or simply “r...t”.

3. The recipient of the file can now perform a hash value comparison by calling up your webpage or blog and reading the corresponding hash code for the symbolic message.

1.4.7 Publish Documents with Hash Values

For the publication of documents on the Internet or in the Intranet (company network), it is advisable to specify hash values, possibly on a subpage, in the so-called download area. The use of a legally recognized SSL/TLS certificate[6] for the encrypted transmission of the websites with the published checksums increases

security. By comparing the hash values, users can be relatively sure that documents downloaded from reputable sources are free of malicious code (viruses, etc.), manipulation and transfer damage. Certificates issued by external instances, however, are possibly associated with residual risks.

1.4.8 Archiving Files

When archiving files on CD-ROMs and DVDs, it is recommended that you write down the disk hash code. To check this, periodically compare the actual value with the originally noted hash value. This allows early damage to be detected. Unfortunately, regular copying

to new archiving specialist data carriers at relatively short intervals is still unavoidable at the moment.

Basic information on this topic can be found in the FAQ section of Jacksum.net.

1.4.9 Increased Security for Password Storage

There are numerous other possible applications in information technology and electrical engineering, such as a variant for the safety-enhanced storage of user account data: A plain text password can also be stored exclusively in the form of its associated hash value. If the user enters his plaintext password again, the hash value is generated again and compared with the stored one. In the event of a data intrusion or data theft, no plaintext passwords are lost for the time being.

Good contemporary hash functions work like one-way functions. They assign an individual hash value to a file. The reverse way, however, the calculation of the original file from the hash value, is not possible in a practicable time ‐ according to the current publicly known state of knowledge, in which the publicly available procedures and technologies are used as a standard.

1.4.10 Legally recognized, audit-proof E-mail Archiving

In some industries, e-mails that lead to business transactions/orders are legally regarded as commercial letters. For their archiving, a simple saving or printing is no longer sufficient; instead, revision-proof archiving must be carried out in a technical manner that excludes subsequent, undetectable manipulation of the e-mail data.

The technical implementation of most programs probably takes place with the help of cryptographic checksums. Electronic fingerprints of all incoming and outgoing e-mails are created and stored in encrypted form. If, for example, an auditor wishes to view a

particular e-mail, the stored e-mail file is loaded into the corresponding e-mail archiving program, e.g. from a CD ROM. When reading in, the cryptographic checksum of the e-mail file is formed again and compared with the originally archived associated checksum for correspondence.

Only very specific software and/or hardware solutions from certain manufacturers are legally recognized within the framework of the legal requirements. There are numerous high-quality introductory articles on this subject available in the Internet, written by specialized lawyers and IT experts.

1.5 Cryptographic Signature, Website and E-mail Certificates
1.5.1 Cryptographic Signature and E-mail Certificates

In the past, people or offices provided their documents with an additional proof of authenticity by applying complex patterns to the documents with sealing lacquer or wax and sealing stamps. Today, cryptographic keys or certificates assume the function of the seal stamp: For a document, e.g. an e-mail file, an accompanying, personal proof of authenticity, the so-called cryptographic signature, is calculated with the help of a certificate. Upon receipt of the message, the recipient's e-mail program automatically determines (using this signature, among other things) whether the document was actually created by the specified sender (certificate holder/card holder).

E-mail and website certificates therefore have an identification function with which correspondence partners and webpages can prove their identity.

Classical identity cards are issued by state authorities. E-mail and website certificates are issued by certification authorities (CAs). And this is where the two decisive differences lie: classic ID cards are all equal and officially recognized, there is only one single issuer who also functions as a certification institution: the state.

E-mail and website certificates, on the other hand, exist in different quality classes, with different meaningfulness. Only certificates of the highest quality issued by officially recognized certification bodies are legally recognised, e.g. e-mail certificates for which an identity card or passport check is carried out to ensure that the personal details in the certificate match those in the identity card, or EV website certificates.

1.5.2 Website Certificates Industry in Criticism

Webpages can be called up in encrypted form (https) so that third parties under the law cannot read the contents of the pages called up and any correspondence that may have taken place (password transfer, data transfer, etc.). Institutions above the law (intelligence services at the highest level) can presumably read everything, if necessary by means of pure computing power (with computer technology blocked to the public). If one disregards the possibility of direct or indirect backdoors in computer systems and possible inherent mathematical weaknesses in algorithms, everything currently amounts to a prime factorization, which in turn represents a pure computational power problem. Read the WP-article “Post-quantum cryptography” to get an overview of critical factors and aspects. A translated excerpt of a German article (2016/2017): “[...] To emphasize once again: Quantum computers mean the end of all currently established public key procedures for digital signatures and key exchange, among other things. This means that a considerable part of the foundation of current crypto

systems is completely broken away. Adequate replacement is not yet in sight.[...]”. (Jürgen Schmidt, “Kryptographie in der IT - Empfehlungen zu Verschlüsselung und Verfahren ”, sub-article “Elliptische Kurven Verschlüsselung”, heise Security).

The encrypted transmission of webpages is carried out with the help of (website)certificates.

The international website certificate issuer industry as a whole is now facing severe criticism. On the one hand, because it happens again and again that individual CAs (Certification Authorities) award certificates to unauthorized persons due to inadequate verification procedures at the application stage. On the other hand, due to hacker break-ins by which third parties sometimes succeeded unnoticed in issuing formally recognized certificates for various popular websites or for companies. The criticism can be summed up as follows: the current technical basis of the certificate system is too vulnerable to such errors and attacks and cannot be used effectively and quickly enough to take countermeasures. Search terms such as “SSL debacle” lead to discussion posts and articles in the World Wide Web. Extensive sources of information: www.cabforum.org; “The EFF SSL Ob­ser­vatory”: www.eff.org/​observatory.

1.5.3 The Qualified Electronic Signature

Cryptographic checksums are part of the technical basis of the personal proof of authenticity of documents, the so-called qualified (= legally recognized) electronic signature as well as of numerous cryptographic proc-

edures in general, i.e. the encryption of (message) documents. Knowledge of the relevant contact points and sources of information is an advantage.

1.5.4 Central Information Sources on Applied Cryptography

Cryptography at the international business level: Bert-Jaap Koops' “Cryptography Law Survey” provides information on the basic legal situation regarding cryptography in the individual states and administrative structures of the world. Each

entry is provided with a comprehensive source collection: www.cryptolaw.org.

The history of cryptography: Wikipedia provides detailed information on the publicly known history of cryptography, among other things: “History of cryptography”.

1.6 Further Application Possibilities

Checksums have also been used in electrical engineering for many decades, among other things to guarantee error-free data transmission.

1.7 Possibilities of Abuse
1.7.1 Fully automated Identification of consumed Content

Cryptographic checksums can also be used for questionable purposes. In the past, the media player of a software manufacturer is said to have sent unsolicited hash codes of the played files.

Theoretically, a fully automatic comparison with database tables could determine whether content used was licensed and which political films and sound files a user prefers to watch. Individual computers could be identified by a combination of features, and checksums could of course also be sent at operating system level. The same would also be possible with proprietary PDF programs.

Alternatively, free PDF viewers and free media players are available, such as the highly recommended VLC media player. However, comprehensive, maximum security always requires a free operating system basis.

In computer forensics as well as in countless other information technology areas, the formation or retrieval of cryptographic checksums is omnipresent. A thoroughly constructive application, especially with regard to the preservation of evidence in computer crimes, such as network break-ins.

In dictatorships or in occupied, foreign-controlled countries, there is a danger that "hard disk inspections" will be carried out locally or remotely. Through backdoors from software and hardware manufacturers, cryptographic checksums of all existing hard disk files can be routinely generated and then automatically compared with checksums of “indexed” and censored content, such as political educational films. In this way, it can be quickly and effectively checked whether citizens tend to cultivate their own opinions and whether they

consume political content that contradicts officially proclaimed dogmas. Freethinkers are easy to locate.

If all checksums of new and changed files created by the user are sent automatically on a regular basis, it could also be determined afterwards in which network or on which computer a document was created for the first time.

The amount of data is tiny and, if additionally encrypted, practically indecipherable. Changing the file name does not change the checksum. Other features, such as hardware and software configurations (including unlicensed programs), can also be analyzed and “reported” fully automatically.

It cannot be ruled out that computers from regime critics may be paralyzed from a distance. For example, the remote installation of a single process working permanently from the start of the computer, which consumes the entire computing power, a process which can possibly still be recognized via ps -e but can no longer be terminated, is sufficient (see also pstree). The installation of functional program errors is another possibility to partially or completely paralyze the computers of dissenters.

Sabotage measures could also be automated if statistical analyses in the background show that a high level of political educational films is consumed and that there is a “danger” of distributing or publishing critically questioning articles

1.7.2 Software Activation and Computer Identification via Electronic Fingerprints

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) lists computer features in an article on privacy that can be used to uniquely identify and recognize a computer. Such identification data will most likely be hashed and archived in a database. With some proprietary products, software activation (product activation) is linked to the determined hardware configuration. The attempt to install the purchased software on a second computer at the same time often fails.

1.8 Signing and Encryption of Files
1.8.1 Real-existing Protection with Publicly approved Encryption Procedures

It cannot be excluded that officially recommended cryptographic algorithms raised to standards have inherent mathematical weaknesses to facilitate decryption by intelligence services. Probably really advanced computer technology is kept out of the public eye or generally blocked in order to guarantee secret services a computational advantage. Under this aspect and in view of the highly probable influence on the design of company products (software and hardware back door problems), the effectiveness of the existing encryption practice is questionable; even if open, free IT infrastructure is used throughout.

Consistently applied signing and encryption, however, fend off at least some of the potential business attackers and prevent direct data access in the event of theft or loss of data media.

The reduction of complexity at program and operating system level is another central factor. In addition, old and very old computers on which still outdated proprietary operating systems and programs are installed can be modernized and security optimized with continuously updated specialized lightweight free operating system distributions.


2 Free checksum programs

CyoHash and Jacksum stand out from the large number of free graphical checksum programs. Jacksum, released under an OSI-certified Free Software license, the GPL, listed in the FSF directory and based on Java, runs on many operating system platforms (software features). It is therefore also suitable for heterogeneous IT infrastructures of company networks. Numerous internationally common checksum procedures are taken into account, the file manager integration ensures comfortable operation.

Jacksum file manager versions are available for GNOME, KDE, ROX and Thunar (Unix/BSD, GNU/Linux) as well as for the Windows Explorer of MS-Windows and the Finder of Apple Macintosh. The program author Johann Löfflmann maintains a webpage

with detailed information, Jacksum.net. Suggestions for program extensions can be submitted, the exchange among users is also encouraged.

CyoHash, an extension for MS-Windows File Manager Explorer, offers only a fraction of the algorithms, but also supports the modern SHA2 algorithms and works without Java.

Among the many cross-platform text mode programs for BSD/Unix, GNU/Linux and MS-Windows, sha1sum and shasum, respectively, is distinguished by its support of the modern SHA-2 and SHA-3 algorithms.

A comparative overview of numerous free and proprietary checksum programs can be found in the WP article “Comparison of file verification software”.

2.1 Cyohash

Cyohash is a free file manager extension for the MS Windows Explorer. Download Cyohash either from the official project page, or from a reputable program directory.

2.1.1 Checksum Formation

Point with the mouse arrow to the corresponding file and click on the right mouse button. In the menu that appears, press “Cyohash” and select a checksum algorithm, e.g. SHA-256.

A window appears showing the file name, directory path, checksum method, and cryptographic checksum, or a table listing this data. A separate entry appears for each checksum formed.

[Illustration to follow]

You now have the option of comparing the determined checksum with a target value. To do this, double-click on the respective table entry to open the corresponding window.

An application example: Program files offered on the Internet are almost always published together with their

checksums. After downloading such an executing file, preferably from the official program project page, copy the corresponding cryptographic checksum published there, paste it into the input line (“Validate:”) at the bottom of the program window and press “OK”. If the values match, the input line turns green, otherwise red.

2.1.2 Create Checksums for Multiple Files

Point either to a table entry or to an empty table line and press the right mouse button to display further functions.

You can create checksums for several files at the same time. Select the function “Hash File(s)...”. A window opens in which you can select the desired checksum method. Then press “Browse...” and a Windows directory window opens. Select the files in the corresponding directory, hold down the CTRL key and press the mouse button to highlight the individual files. Finally click on “Open”. The Windows directory window then disappears, the CyoHash window appears in the foreground, in which you confirm your file selection with “OK”. All checksums are then displayed in the table window.

2.2 Jacksum

Jacksum can be called via the file manager or as a command line program. The file manager version does not require an installed command line version, it works independently.

In the following the application is described under GNOME, KDE and MS-Windows Explorer. The installation and usage under ROX, Thunar and others as well as Apple's Finder is described in the official installation section and in the official question and answer section of the Jacksum website.

2.2.1 Installation of Java and Jacksum

2.2.1.1 Installation of Java

In Unix and unix-like operating system distributions Java is mostly already included, in the free variant OpenJDK. As an MS Windows user, you call up a search engine page, for example Google, and type in “Java” or “JRE”, which is the abbreviation for “Java Runtime Environment”. This step is not necessary if a Java Runtime Environment already exists.

Example for a Java installation under MS-Windows, in the Anglosphere:


  1. Go to google.com and enter “Java”
  2. In the first place appear the entries of the official Java manufacturer Oracle (Java.com), for different operating system platforms. Go to one of these websites and follow the instructions there or alternatively:
  3. Go back to the (Google) search menu and type “Java Runtime Environment” to go to the official download page

If the Java manufacturer offers a preselection for the (co-)installation of a Yahoo toolbar, deactivate the checkbox by clicking on it, so that the checkbox remains empty (Google search for this topic: Java installation Yahoo toolbar). Such toolbars can be removed at any time. Google search for related articles: uninstall toolbars.

2.2.1.2 Installation and Application of Jacksum under MS-Windows

Installation and use of Jacksum are described in detail in the installation section of the official program page as well as in the readme.txt files attached to the Jacksum download.

Select on the official web presence, jacksum.net, the column “Download”. In the section “File browser integration (optional)”, download the "[...]-windows-explorer-integration-[...]" file (file name varies with the software version number), a ZIP file. Open it directly by double-clicking or right-clicking. Open the uncompressed folder, read the file readme.txt or start the installation by double-clicking on the executable file “Jacksum Windows Explorer Integration.exe”. A window appears prompting you to extract all files.

[Illustration to follow]

Now go to the fully extracted folder, there you will see the .exe installation file, symbolized by a green circle.

[Illustration to follow]

Double-click to start the program installation. From then on you can right-click → “Send to” → [Procedure, e.g.: “Jacksum - 3) All algorithms”] to form cryptographic checksums. The checksum(s) appear in a separate text window.

[Illustration to follow]
2.2.2 Application under KDE Konqueror and KDE Dolphin

Open the file manager. To select the file, click the right mouse button → “Actions” → “Jacksum” → [select desired function].

2.2.3 GNOME Nautilus

Open the file manager. To select the file, right-click → “Scripts” → “Jacksum” → [select desired function].

The application possibilities of Jacksum are numerous. The command line version unfolds the full potential of this excellent software, including interaction with other programs. The provision of an open application programming interface (API) promotes broad acceptance.

2.3 Console-based Checksum Generation

In the text mode (console application) cryptographic checksums can be formed under any operating system, practically all manufacturers of proprietary and of free operating systems offer appropriate programs by default.

Since the introduction of Microsoft's Windows PowerShell, MS Windows users have been able to use basic file operation commands from the BSD/Unix world by default (comparison) in addition to the classic MS DOS commands (extended in cmd.exe). The GNU core Utilities also make it possible to use other Unix standard programs under MS Windows (List of Unix commands).

2.3.1 On-board SHA Algorithms under Unix/BSD and GNU/Linux Systems

SHA algorithms are pre-installed as standard on numerous Unix and unix-like systems, in particular the widely used, platform-independent shasum, also available for MS Windows, which supports SHA-2 as well as SHA-3 algorithms.

Open a command-line environment (shell), type “sha”, and then press the tab key for the command-line completion to see all existing SHA procedures:

> sha
> sha1sum sha224sum sha256sum sha384sum
   sha512sum shasum
> sha

Go to the appropriate directory, select a procedure, add the name of the desired file, and press Enter. In the following example, the SHA256 checksum of the test.html file is formed:

> sha256sum test.html
> e3b0c44298fc1c149afbf4c8996fb92427ae41e4649b
   934ca495991b7852b855 test.html
>

The SHA256 checksum value and the name of the associated file are displayed. Implementation and command names may vary. Virtually all Unix and unix-like systems and distributions have corresponding pre-installations. There are dozens of free programs for forming cryptographic checksums, both graphical and text-based, e.g. at sourceforge.net (WP-article).

2.3.2 Text Mode Programs for Professional Computer Use

The use of the command line environment enables highly effective work on the computer. Some applications are written exclusively for today's usually emulated text mode, others offer a text-based program interface in addition to the graphical one.

Text-based programs enable the most effective use of computers. Andreas Poisel's www.automatisch.cc offers an excellent overview (German).

In addition to the graphical “desktop environments” and application programs, Linux distributions also contain “text mode software” with a “text-based user interface”

as standard. They are extremely powerful and belong to the preferred tools of many users, administrators, IT professionals and scientists.

Websites and recommended articles about text mode programs: „automatisch.cc :: freie Text­mode-Soft­ware”Websites about text mode “Con­sole app­li­ca­tion”„Text-based (compu­ting)”“Shell (com­pu­ting)”“Command-line interface” An excellent introduction: Floss Ma­nu­al “In­tro­duc­tion to the Com­mand Line” “GNU Screen”“Computer terminal”.


Endnotes

[1] “Announcing Approval of Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 202, SHA-3 Standard: Permutation-Based Hash and Extendable-Output Functions, and Revision of the Applicability Clause of FIPS 180-4, Secure Hash Standard”, “A Notice by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on 08/05/2015”. [back]

[2] February 02, 2014, extract of the short information about the procedures supported by RHash, “Hash Functions”, extract: “GOST is a hash function defined in Russian national standard GOST R 34.11-94. It has two widely used versions with testparameters and CryptoPro ones. It’s relatively slow, but it is used for digital signature in Russian State banks and enterprises. Hash is a hexadecimal string of length 64.” [back]

[3] The term “freeware” is not clearly defined. It may or may not refer to “Free Software” (program text/source code is available, may be modified and distributed). Predominant it denotes distributed software free of charge, whose program text remains however unpublished. [back]

[4] “Packing programs” are used to create archive files or file archives, called “archives” for short. In particular, they offer the possibility of combining several individual files as well as nested (i.e. subfolder containing) file folders into a single file. Thus, for example, entire websites and extensive personal compilations of documents can be conveniently attached to an e-letter as individual files, or stored on a data carrier. WP-​article “Data compression”, packing program recommendation “7-Zip”, free data compression software: “Category:Free data compression software”. [back]

[5] Regarding the authenticity of spoken language, everyone is advised to read the sections “Technical details” and “Concerns” in the WP article “Adobe Voco”. [back]

[6] Certificates are IDs for the Internet (networks in general), mostly e-mail or website certificates. They can also be used to encrypt data transmission (“https://[...]”), which makes it relatively impossible for people and organizations subject to the law to read them. (WP-article: “Public key certificate”). [back]











A.5 Natural Written German

Article in preparation

The supra-regional standard written language enables the inhabitants of different regions of a nation to communicate with each other across dialect boundaries.

Written languages are ideally subject exclusively to natural changes. New words and spellings are created on a personal level, may resonate and spread, others are used less and less, and eventually disappear. Still others suddenly reappear after a long period of absence and enjoy active use. In this case, the language is constantly reforming itself, naturally, and in accordance with long-term principles.

Descriptive vs. prescriptive Linguistics

In a free society, such dynamic tendencies of a language are observed and recorded in a descriptive way and written down in dictionaries and rules. Newly emerging tendencies and spellings, new variants and words are, for example, noted with "recently also: [...]", words that slowly disappear from active use are marked with "outdated for [...]". In the natural dynamics of language, a "violation" of an existing spelling or rule is not excluded if a new introduction should require this. This may even lead to an exception, or to an entirely new rule, if it is widely accepted.

In general, linguists assign to descriptive linguistics a non-interfering, merely observational and descriptive docu­men­ta­tion of language and language rules.

If, however, an attempt is made on the ruling level to rape the natural linguistic dynamics of a supra-regional written language and if naturally established spellings and rules are suddenly declared invalid and “obsolete”

by decree, the written language is prescribed to the peo­ple against their will. Then the political-cultural rulers practise a prescriptive linguistic approach.

One such case is the so-called spelling reform in the Fed­er­al Republic of Germany (BRD-​End­pha­se-​Schrift­deutsch), which was forced against the will of the German people by political force. Introductory recommendations: Metapedia article “Recht­schreib­re­form” (on de.​metapedia.​org) [4] and “Grund­sätz­li­che Be­mer­kun­gen zur deut­schen Recht­schrei­bung [...]” [5] in the Scribus Wiki.

The justification of the existence of questionable political bodies and jobs through the creation of questionable new regulations is one of the motivations. The desire of some publishers to be able to sell large quantities of books after the stamping of proven language literature is another. However, the main motive behind the so-called spelling reform is to be found elsewhere.

The Expressiveness of Language determines how comprehensively Thoughts can be reproduced in the Physical World.

Thoughts, ideas and concept blocks can have great depth. They can never be fully expressed in words and language, as they are based on a much more powerful inner level of information and communication. In the outer world, however, (written) language does an excellent job of capturing and conveying thoughts and knowledge.

The more expressive a language is, the more pure and undistorted people can capture and communicate thoughts with it. In the outer world, therefore, the ex­pres­sive­ness of a language determines people's ability to communicate.

This applies both to the mediation of high-precision extremely sharply outlined contents, as well as to the mediation of more abstract contents, with which de­pending upon intention a small, large or very com­pre­hen­sive scope of interpretation is desired.

Within some language communities and language regions there has been no necessity and no need for an expanded vocabulary, com­pre­hen­sive expressions and idioms to capture certain types of thought processes. Some lan­guages and dialects therefore hardly exhibit abstract con­cepts (see also the article “Morality and Abstract Thinking” [also readable on Amren]).

The Rape of the German Language and the failed Attempt to bury it in the Grave

Behind the official formal governments and parliaments there are often other, really powerful rulers (families) who deliberately remain in the background. Their actual political influence is usually played down or hushed up by the controlled mass media belonging to them or their “partners”.

When rulers want to disintegrate a people's spiritual defensiveness and deprive a people of its cultural roots, they give instructions to enact laws and guidelines to systematically deform a people's language and dras­ti­cal­ly reduce its expressiveness. Certain thoughts should then no longer find precise linguistic expression, no longer be able to be communicated and thought of. Wedges are to be driven between generations.

Governments or the administrative representatives of the foreign rule of an occupied country then rape the natural dynamics of language and do everything in their power to rob the language of its expressiveness.

Officially, of course, the deformation of the language only takes place under the very best of intentions. The most absurd and contradictory justifications are then used to deprive a people of its naturally grown supra-regional written language and vibrant linguistic dy­nam­ics.

Taking these aspects into account, it becomes apparent how arbitrarily proven existing literature on proven written language regulations can be declared “obsolete” overnight.

To this a (translated) excerpt from the „107. Ta­ges­en­er­gie mit alexan­der” (08.09.2017), from the 95. minute: “[...] It's about trying more and more to explain the world to people with the so-called simple language. [...] We only have to become conscious, a differentiated exact language can also be exact in thinking and can distinguish. A person who can only distinguish between

love and hatred has only the possibility of classifying the world on these emotional levels. [...] because there is nothing in between. And a simple language can be

meaningful as a transition, but it cannot only not replace a complex language, but it cannot also transport a world understanding that is complex. On the contrary, it seems to offer such an explanation, but we take over some­thing that in many places is not only very imprecise, but completely wrong. So, here, too, a reprogramming via this path is planned, one could say. [...]”.

Passing a written language test may currently require knowledge of the highly politicized language regulations, so you may currently be forced to acquire a “politically correct” set of grammar and language rules. However, do not disdain language literature in natural and expressive German or corresponding textbooks in the respective languages of other countries in which similar prescriptive language tendencies prevail at present. The future stability of such sets of rules is very probable, since they reflect the naturally developed and proven central written-language rules. The essential, more enduring core that will presumably outlast the continuous, ever-changing dy­nam­ics of language.

The background powers (high nobility and high finance) are largely at home in the Anglosphere and speak English as their mother tongue. The subsequent deformation of the supra-regional German (written) language, which was violently enforced by the administration of the occupying power and with the help of the BRD mass media (the lying press [2]) towards the end of the dark age of the in­for­ma­tion monopoly around the turn of the millennium, was also intended as a preliminary stage to the originally planned abolition of the German language and the introduction of English as the NWO standard language;[3] a plan that, thanks to Donald Trump, can no longer be implemented.



Examples (under construction)
Separate and Compound Spelling

In the naturally evolved (= descriptive) written German, several spellings with the same meaning exist for some words or formulations. Examples: au­to­fah­ren and Auto fah­ren (driving a car), rad­fahren and Rad fahren (cy­cling) and similar have the same meaning, here there is only a variant spelling.

In many thousands of words, however, separate and compound spelling represent completely different mean­ings that are mostly unknown to younger generations. Examples: An An­ders­den­ken­der and an an­ders Den­ken­der, wohl­durch­dacht and wohl durch­dacht, so ge­nannt and so­genannt, etc., each mean something com­plete­ly different, separate and compound spelling have different content, it does matter whether words are writ­ten separately or together.

The Andersdenkende (dissident) has a different world view, a different view resp. opinion. The an­ders Den­ken­de usually refers to the way someone thinks, to thought pro­cesses and -characteristics, etc., although of

course it is also used in the sense of positioning a point of view resp. stance [Standpunktverortung] (“ich denke da anders”). “Hat er das Boot ge­si­chert? [Did he secure the boat?]”. a) “Er hat es wohl­ver­taut [das Schiffstau, moor­ing].”, b) “Er hat es wohl ver­taut.”, meaning a) written in one word: He has secured the boat thoroughly, meaning b) written separated: He probably tied it up (you don't know if it was secured). So genannt (so called) is a neu­tral information, sogenannt contains a critical evaluation.

More detailed information as well as many illustrative ex­am­ples can be found in “'Recht­schreib­re­form': Ge­trennt- und Zs.schrei­bung”. Detailed overview: Site Map.

The occupying power administration and its press organs [6] ordered that words must be written separated. This has distorted, and continues to distort, the content of countless texts, and numerous factual texts now contain un­in­ten­tion­al ambiguities that cannot be deciphered by context, in­stead of precise information.

Footnotes

[1] Video recommendation, in German: Alexander Wagandt visits Jo Conrad (Bewusst.tv), “Spra­che aus ver­schie­de­nen Ebe­nen be­trach­tet” [“Language viewed from different levels”], Youtube video, 41 minutes, January 01, 2012. Also of central importance: “Un­ter­schrift-​Spe­zi­al - ale­xan­ders Vi­deo zur Un­ter­schrift”, 80 minutes, October 2019.

[2] German Metapedia article “Lügenpresse”:
https://de.metapedia.org/wiki/L%C3%BCgenpresse

[3] Some of these unofficial plans included the introduction of English as a binding primary university language (not only, as has long been common practice in internationally staffed research institutes), as a man­da­tory language in the courts, and as an in­ter­na­ti­o­nal language for a “united Europe”.

The Metapedia-​article “Deutsche Sprache” (de.​me​ta​pe​dia.​org)* contains highly significant knowledge of Ger­man for both Ger­man learners and native speakers, which is not summarized anywhere

else in a comparable way, especially from a contemporary perspective. It is considerably shorter than the Wikipedia article of the same name and does not represent a treatise on aspects of linguistic history. Rather, its focus is on the description of the characteristics of German as well as the factual efforts of certain circles to abolish German. In the opinion of the author of this website, Study of Languages with Computer and Internet, reading the Metapedia-​ar­ti­cle “German language” is recommended for every Ger­man and learners of German.

[*] Metapedia-article „Deut­sche Spra­che“:
https://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Sprache

[4] Metapedia article “Rechtschreibreform”:
https://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Rechtschreibreform

[5] “Grundsätzliche Bemerkungen zur deutschen Rechtschreibung und ihrer Bedeutung für dieses Wiki”

[6] Metapedia article “BRD-Systemmedien”:
https://de.metapedia.org/wiki/BRD-Systemmedien



“Verbreitung der Deutschen Mundarten” (Distribution of the German dialects), nach Prof. Dr. W. Stammler, Maßstab 1:8000000. Bibliographisches Institut A.G., Leipzig; “Meyers Geographischer Handatlas”, “[...] siebente neubearbeitete und vermehrte Auflage [...], 1928”; Raw file, WP-article “Meyers Handatlas”

Distribution [resp. dissemination] of the German language around 1913, original maps, free and directly available at the Internet Archive.

Detailed information on these maps are also available on the presentation site of of Dokumente-des-Deutschen-Reichs.de: „Verbreitung der Deutschen Sprache“, „Die hauptsächlichsten fremden Muttersprachen im Deut­schen Reich, 1913“.

“Völker- und Sprachenkarte von Europa”, “Map of peoples and languages of Europe”, Scale 1:30 000 000. Bibliographisches Institut A.G., Leipzig; „Meyers Geographischer Handatlas“, „[...] siebente neubearbeitete und vermehrte Auflage [...], 1928“. Raw file, WP-article “Meyers Handatlas”. Also read the Metapedia article “Deutsche Sprache” (auf de.metapedia.org).


Special Videos on the German language
Fahne des Deutschen Reichs. Quelle: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_German_Empire.svg

Watch on Youtube: „Why Germans Can Say Things No One Else Can“ (4 minutes), a film of „The School of life“. Related article: „Why Germans Can Say Things No One Else Can“. Excerpt:

   “We’re hugely dependent on language to help us express what we really think and feel. But some languages are better than others at crisply naming important sensations.
    Germans have been geniuses at inventing long – or what get called ‘compound’ – words that elegantly put a finger on emotions that we all know, but that other languages require whole clumsy sentences or paragraphs to express. [...]

German version, with German subtitles: „Wieso Deutsche Dinge sagen können, die kein Anderer sagen kann.“

The Youtube channel Mo­ment­auf­nah­men provides an extraordinary video on central and fundamental peculiarities of the German language, including numerous historical aspects. “Die Le­ben­dig­keit der deut­schen Spra­che”, 26 minutes.

Translated description: “In this audio from 7/31/ 2018, the peculiarity of the German language in comparison to Romanised peoples is pointed out. The German language has always been able to maintain its continuity with its original and peculiar sources. Only this fact, according to Fichte, has produced our great German poets, thinkers and musicians. The German language is in great danger due to overshaping by foreign languages ( especially Anglicisms ). Against this, an awareness of its peculiarity and uniqueness must be awakened.







Chapter 04   <<     Table of Contents    







November 26, 2019

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