Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'open source'

Prakash

“Good artists borrow, great artists steal!” — Pablo Picasso said it. So did T.S. Eliot. And, more recently, Steve Jobs. Let’s face it: If something makes sense and succeeds, it gets imitated.

Though Windows 8 and Linux distributions differ greatly from each other in design, ideology and — last but not least — their primary audience, they’re all built on the same basic principles of OS design so there’s bound to be some overlap. And while Microsoft has long been accused of stealing from the open source community, according to some Linux fans, it’s getting to the point where Microsoft simply appropriates good Linux features.

I have noticed many features in Windows, which came into Linux first and Windows users don’t even know them..

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Gerry Carr

The Ubuntu Server Survey is finally ready to be published it makes for a fascinating read. It is the third survey of its kind and again it has been an overwhelming response with over 6,000 completed surveys throughout 2011 and a heartfelt thanks to all who took the time to complete the comprehensive survey.

The overwhelming impression is the widespread use of Ubuntu both geographically as you might expect with respondents from across the globe. but also in the broad range of workloads in which Ubuntu Server finds itself used. Every category from web and data servers to cloud shows up strongly albeit with a strong bias towards traditional workloads.

As we approach an LTS, again we see evidence of the popularity of the extended support releases. Given we have run this survey three times now over the past three years now we begin to see strong evidence of the switching from one LTS to the next, particularly as the deployment platform, so our user base is certainly staying with us as as we introduce new features and support them in the long term.

Virtualization and cloud are now key elements of Ubuntu use, and for the first time we see KVM overtake Xen as the preferred virtualization technology for Ubuntu users, significant as the platform was the first to make the switch to supporting KVM as the native technology. With that though, VMWare remains the most cited virtualization technology showing a healthy mixture of open source and other technologies at use in the Ubuntu user base.

The respondents consideration of cloud makes for interesting reading too. There is significant interest but the use of Ubuntu Server on bare metal remains the primary use case for most users today. There is strong recognition though of the emergence of this powerful technology and with the plans for ease of installation and orchestration in 12.04 LTS it will be interesting to see how this moves the dial in regards to uptake in the Ubuntu base. A deeper analysis  shows a bias towards larger companies (i.e. respondents with more servers) using cloud technologies which is to be expected and overwhelmingly there is recognition of the suitability of Ubuntu Cloud as a basis for those efforts.

Enjoy the full report, it would be very interesting to hear your comments.

 

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Prakash

Build on VMWare CloudFoundry, IronFoundry offers .NET support in the Cloud. Cloud Foundry is VMWare’s PaaS solution which is open sourced. Tier 3 (the company behind IronFoundry) has take the code and added support for .NET.

 

 

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Prakash

After the success of Open Courseware, MIT is planning to launch free online learning courses. MIT Open Courseware is now 10 years old, wow! The online course will be called MITx. It will not earn you an MIT degree however it will still give you a certificate of completion. The course will be free, the certificate will attract a small fee which is yet to be determined.

It will be built on Open Source and the technology developed for this will also be Open Source.

Time to learn something new ?

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John Bernard

The ‘VMware View Client Tech’ Preview for Linux is now available through the Ubuntu Software Centre. This reinforces the great work done by ecosystem partners in making their latest and greatest technology available on Ubuntu.

New devices are proliferating across all industries, with the Education sector being particularly strong. Ubuntu is the natural choice within Education for virtualization products like VMware View. PC Repurposing, getting prolonged use from existing PCs, is an obvious use case for virtual desktop technology and Ubuntu is the perfect platform.

VMware View Client Tech is available now for all Ubuntu versions from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS through Ubuntu 11.10 and works with VMware View 4.6 and 5. It incorporates VMware’s latest View Client technology with PCoIP which provides end users with top performance regardless of network conditions. Download the VMware View Client Tech Preview now at the Ubuntu Software Centre.

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Sonia Ouarti

Juju is Devops Distilled

Cloud deployment is different. It involves tighter devops handovers, the ability to scale services both up and down, and hybrid cloud computing: moving services between your private cloud and multiple public cloud providers.

Accelerated provisioning through IAAS has put the spotlight on friction in the deployment, configuration and management of services. This friction can only be overcome via a change in emphasis, from configuring machines to connecting services that can then be scaled independently. In other words, service orchestration.


With Juju, services can be deployed, connected, upgraded and re-used by defining them as Juju charms. Encapsulating service intelligence in charms enables you to separate deep service-specific skills from broad operations management skills.

This webinar, jointly presented by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth and Clint Byrum, a devops expert, will cover cloud deployment and devops with Juju.

 

Register Now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prakash

I have been using Quicktext as an addon for Thunderbird for a while now and find it very useful.

Recently I upgraded to Thunderbird 7 with Ubuntu 11.10. The Quicktext download doesn’t work beyond version 6. So I modified it to work with Thunderbird 7. It has been working well for me, if you want it try at your own risk.

Download Quicktext 0.9.11.1 for Thunderbird 7.

What does Quicktext offer?

Quicktext is the powerful tool to automate routine and repetitive emails. You can define actions such as Hi [FirstName], and it will pickup the first name to whom the email is addressed to. Similarly you can define templates for standard email replies. You can even define where the cursor should stop.

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Prakash

Looks like HP is going to kill webOS. HP webOS as a part of the Palm acquisition. I sometimes wonder why did HP acquire Palm in the first place?  anyways,  webOS is the new operating system which Palm decided to ditch their OS kernel use Linux as their kernel as Linux has mult-tasking. Since webOS is already based on Linux, they should open source the layer on top. How will this help?

It will make webOS live, there are thousands of applications for the Palm platform which will continue to have moment. Open Source developers can continue maintaining webOS without any cost to HP.

It will give the market a new alternative to Android, where there isn’t really much options today for phone makers. iOS is by Apple only, Symbian isn’t going anywhere and Windows Mobile is a non-starter.

If it gains Momentum, HP could start offering it to their customers. If not people could at-least use the good bits for their applications.

HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 32 GB 9.7-Inch Tablet Computer

 

 

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Prakash

Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks For DummiesEarlier Microsoft sued Android phone makers, now Oracle is suing Google for Android. Patents were to protect innovators instead its being used to stop innovation.

The big old daddies of the IT industry are going after the new companies.

The old ones have nothing new to innovate. Thy are too comfortable in their zone to make the big bold moves. These companies are eventually going to get extinct and are only resting on their past laurels. They are utilising their patent portfolios to make money and stop other companies from innovating.

HTC is paying $5 for every Android phone to Google Microsoft , yes Microsoft! Microsoft makes more money than Google on every Android phone for patents! The business models is similar to the Mafias asking for protection money. The patents hoarders are the new age Mafia.

If you don’t believe me they are going to be extinct? Do your maths. If you bought Microsoft stock 10 years back for $60, today it would be worth US$28. You would have lost more than 50 percent of your value in 10 years. This is for a company that controls the software on 90 percent of the computers.

Now Google is buying patents, not because they need them. But to have a defensive patent portfolio. You see in the tech industry the big 800 pound gorillas never get sued by other gorillas because they have a patent portfolio.

From Google’s Blog:

The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation. Some of these lawsuits have been filed by people or companies that have never actually created anything; others are motivated by a desire to block competing products or profit from the success of a rival’s new technology. The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits. It’s for these reasons that Google has long argued in favor of real patent reform, which we believe will benefit users and the U.S. economy as a whole.

Google wants to purchase patents from Nortel Network, a company now gone bankrupt (you cant live on patents for too long you see). Microsoft has a license from Nortel Network and fears Google may cancel their license.

Reuters:

Microsoft, which claims a “worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to all of Nortel’s patents” following a 2006 deal, said in a filing with a Delaware bankruptcy court that existing agreements should be transferred to any new owner of the intellectual property, which spans many fields.

Google has bid $900 million to buy more than 6,000 patents and patents applications belonging to Nortel, a once mighty Canadian network equipment maker that filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009.

Glyn Moody says:

I mean, let’s be consistent here: if you want to abuse the patent system, expect to be on the receiving end of similar abuse. On the other hand, rather more laudably, why not stop abusing, in which case you can take the moral high ground when others start abusing the system to attack you?

Its high time we replace the patent system with open source and let the innovation happen again.

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Prakash

What is special about the Open-PC?

  • Hardware and Software is selected by the Linux Community
  • The PC is preconfigured and easy to use by everybody
  • Telephone and Email support is included.
  • Only free software is used, including the drivers
  • Only fully documented hardware is used
  • There are different manufacturers who build and sell the Open-PCs
  • A part of the price is a donation to KDE
  • Everything, including the software, is developed in the open. Everybody can contribute.

Open PC.

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Gerry Carr

One of the benefits of the direction that’s been taken with the next release of Ubuntu is that there is no longer a need for a separate netbook edition. The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC. And the underlying technology works on a range of architectures including those common in netbook, notebooks, desktops or whatever you choose to run it on. Hence the need for a separate version for netbooks is removed.

To be clear, this is the opposite of us withdrawing from the netbook market. In fact looking at the download figures on ubuntu.com interest in netbooks is not only thriving but booming. It’s us recognising that the market has moved on and celebrating that separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer.

A return to the Ubuntu name

Which actually got us thinking about our naming conventions in totality. ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition’ arose in 2005 as a response to the launch of Ubuntu Server Edition and our desire to distinguish between the two. But desktops are no longer the pre-eminent client platform. And actually naming the the ‘edition’ after any target technology is going to have us chasing the trend. Also we were tying ourselves to some ungainly product titles – Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition for instance. User feedback also told us that people thought the edition was not for them as they had a laptop and spent time looking for a ‘Laptop Edition’.

So we are going back to our roots. From 11.04 the core product that you run on your PC will be simply, Ubuntu. Therefore the next release will be Ubuntu 11.04 and you can run that, my friend, on anything you like from a netbook to a notebook to a desktop. Ubuntu Server will be maintained as a separate product of course and named simply, Ubuntu Server 11.04.

We think this will make things simpler. When we mean Ubuntu for notebooks we will say just that rather than the more confusing, ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition for notebooks’. We are retaining the concept of ‘remixes’ for community projects and the naming convention therein. And we would love to hear what you think.

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Neil Levine

We made a small flurry of announcements last week, all of which were related to cloud computing. I think it is worthwhile to put some context around Ubuntu and the cloud and explain a little more about where we are with this critical strategic strand for our beloved OS.

First of all, the announcements. We announced the release of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on Dell servers. This is a hugely significant advance in the realm of internal cloud provision. It’s essentially formalising a lot of the bespoke work that Dell has done in huge data centres (based on a variety of OSes) and making similar technology available for smaller deployments. We attended the Dell sales summit in Las Vegas and we were very encouraged to meet with many of the Dell salespeople whose job it will be to deliver this to their customers. This is a big company, backing a leading technology and encouraging businesses to start their investigations of cloud computing in a very real way.

More or less simultaneously, we announced our formal support for the OpenStack project and the inclusion of their Bexar release in our next version of Ubuntu, 11.04. This will be in addition to Eucalyptus, it is worth stating. Eucalyptus is the technology at the core of UEC – and will be in Ubuntu 11.04 – as it has been since 9.04. Including two stacks has caused some raised eyebrows but it is not an unusual position for Ubuntu. While we look to pick one technology for integration into the platform in order to deliver the best user experience possible, we also want to make sure that users have access to the best and most up to date free and open-source software. The increasing speed of innovation that cloud computing is driving has meant that Ubuntu, with its 6 month release cadence, is able to deliver the tools and programs that developers and admins want before any other operating system.

Users will ultimately decide what deployment scenarios each stack best suits. Eucalyptus certainly has the advantage of maturity right now, especially for internal cloud deployments. OpenStack, meanwhile, continue to focus on rapid feature development and, given its heritage, has appeal to service providers looking to stand up their own public clouds. Wherever the technology is deployed, be it in the enterprise or for public clouds, we want Ubuntu to be the underlying infrastructure for all the scenarios and will continue to direct our platform team to deliver the most tightly integrated solution possible.

Finally we saw our partner Autonomic Resources announce UEC is now available for purchase by Federal US government buyers. This is the first step on a long road the federal deployment, as anyone familiar with the governmental buying cycles will realise. But it is a good example of the built-to-purpose cloud environments that we will see more of – with the common denominator of Ubuntu at the core of it.

Which actually raises an interesting question – why is it that Ubuntu is at the heart of cloud computing? Perhaps we ought to look at more evidence before the theory. In addition to being the OS at the heart of new cloud infrastructures, we are seeing enormous usage of Ubuntu as the guest OS on the big public clouds, such as AWS and Rackspace, for instance. It is probably the most popular OS on those environments and others – contact your vendor to confirm :-)

So why is this OS that most incumbent vendors would dismiss as fringe, seeing such popularity in this new(ish) wave of computing? Well there are a host of technical reasons to do with modularity, footprint, image maintenance etc. But they are better expressed by others.

I think the reason for Ubuntu’s prominence is because it is innovation made easy. Getting on and doing things on Ubuntu is a friction-free experience. We meet more and more tech entrepreneurs who tell us how they have built more than one business on Ubuntu on the cloud. Removing licence costs and restrictions allows people to get to the market quickly.

But beyond speed, it is also about reducing risk. With open-source now firmly established in the IT industry, and with the term open used so promiscuously, it is easy to forget that the economic benefits of truly free, open-source software. The combination of cloud computing, where scale matters, and open source is a natural one and this is why Ubuntu is the answer for those who need the reassurance that they can both scale quickly but also avoid vendor lock-in in the long-term.

More specifically, and this brings us back to the announcements, there are now clear scenarios where users can reach a point where even the economics of a licence-free software on a public cloud start to break down. At a certain stage it is simply cheaper to make the hardware investment to run your own cloud infrastructure. Or there might be regulatory, cultural or a host of other reasons for wanting cloud-like efficiencies built on internal servers.

The work we have done with OpenStack and with Eucalyptus means Ubuntu is an ideal infrastructure on which to build a cloud. This will typically be for the internal provision of a cloud environment but equally could be the basis or a new public cloud. It is entirely open as to the type of guest OS and in all cases continues to support the dominant API of Amazon EC2, ensuring portability for those writing applications.

And as we have seen, Ubuntu is the ultimate OS to deploy in a cloud and with which to build a cloud. No-one provides more up-to-date images on the most popular public cloud platforms. Our work to ensure compatibility to the most popular standards means that those guests will run just as well on a UEC cloud however that is deployed – either internally or for cloud provision externally.

So technology moves markets. Economics does too, only more so. Ubuntu has come at the right point in our short IT history to ride both waves. The scale is there, the standards are emerging and the ability to provide an answer to the choice between running a cloud or running on a cloud is more fully realised on Ubuntu than on any other OS – open source or not.

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Prakash

After Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, OpenOffice was forked to create LibreOffice. Since LibreOffice is derived from OpenOffice, they have all the feature of OpenOffice plus more.

Here is full list of features and few useful ones:

  • Import SVG pictures* into Draw and edit them interactively.
  • Import MS Works, Lotus WordPro and Wordperfect files.
  • Presentation view extension bundled by default.
  • OpenOffice quick start available. This loads the basic libraries in memories thereby speeding up startup time.
  • And lots of language packs.

Ubuntu 11.04 will bundle LibreOffice.

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Prakash

This article has a nice list of 50 open source applications for science education.

Open Source: Astronomy and Space Exploration

1. Celestia

A perennial favorite, Celestia allows users to view the night skies from any point on earth at any time or to see how the sky would look from any point in the known universe. The interface is simple to use, and it uses real telescope imagery of stars, planets, asteroids, and other objects in space whenever possible. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

2. Stellarium

Stellarium is like having your own personal planetarium on your computer. In fact, it’s such an accurate depiction of the night sky seen with the naked eye or simple binoculars that it’s used by many planetariums. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

KStars

KStars offers the same functionality as Stellarium, plus some tools for amateur astronomers, like an observing list, FOV editor, altitude vs. time tool, and more. It comes with a default catalog of all stars up to magnitude 8, but you can expand it with a catalog of stars up to magnitude 16. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

4. PP3

An excellent tool for teachers, PP3 creates star charts that are detailed enough for use in PowerPoint presentations or books. Note that in order to use it, you will also need LaTeX. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

5. Cartes du Ciel (Skycharts)

Another option for creating star charts, Cartes du Ciel uses data from 16 different catalogs. Don’t let the French name scare you off—there’s plenty of English documentation. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

6. Open Luna

If looking at pictures of the sky isn’t good enough for you, Open Luna is an open-source project dedicated to sending actual spacecraft into space and eventually the moon. The group’s first mission is scheduled to launch next month. Operating System: N/A.

7. DevelopSpace

DevelopSpace has an even more ambitious goal—developing the necessary technology to enable a one-way trip to Mars in the near future. Students and others who get involved can contribute directly to solving the technical challenges posed by a mission to Mars. Operating System: N/A.

See the complete list.

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Nick Barcet

OpenStack today have made a number of announcements about the Bexar release of their cloud stack and we were delighted to be able to confirm its inclusion in the repositories for Ubuntu 11.04 as well as officially joining the community. We have been engaged with the OpenStack community informally for some time. Some Canonical alumni have been key to driving the OpenStack initiative over in Rackspace and there has been a very healthy dialogue between the two projects with strong attendance at UDS and at the OpenStack conferences by engineers in both camps.

In fact it is noteworthy that the OpenStack project has taken a lot of the methodology of the Ubuntu project and applied to how they self-organise and release. They have the same twice-yearly open conference to drive the definition of the project and a similar but three-monthly release cycle. It’s easy to forget that this now ‘standard’, time based, approach to open source development and release was pioneered by Ubuntu and it is gratifying to see it permeate.

But as to OpenStack technology, I know that there are many users very keen to get their hands on a more fully integrated version that Bexar on Ubuntu Server 11.04 will offer. It has always been the goal of Ubuntu with regards to cloud to offer the best integrated experience for open source cloud development and deployment. We did it with Eucalyptus for Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud for the past two years and the next release of this in April will continue on offering a great fully-supported option for businesses looking to bring cloud technology within the firewall. In fact only yesterday saw the official launch of UEC on Dell servers (www.dell.com/canonical) which offers businesses the opportunity to buy hardware from Dell with UEC baked in and fully supported by both companies.

Our aim with OpenStack over time is to make Ubuntu the best OS for clouds built on this stack, both at the infrastructure and guest levels. There is real energy and momentum building around this technology and we congratulate the guys and girls in that project for their success so far. It looks a terrific base for building out open-source based public clouds and its embracing on not just its own APIs but also the EC2 APIs. This offers great options for users and customers to remain flexible as we move towards industry-wide open standards for these types of architectures. In 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), OpenStack 2011.1 (Bexar) will be delivered as a technology preview, and Canonical will not yet be able to provide full support for it. We first want to allow our users to test it and provide us feedback before providing it as a production ready environment. Comments, feedback and reactions are welcome on the Ubuntu-Cloud mailing list, forum and irc channels (http://cloud.ubuntu.com/community/interact/).

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Prakash

When I was looking at getting a new wireless router, I started looking at what users had to say about their experience. The first user reviews said the ASUS RT-N16 Wireless-N Gigabit Router is an excellent hardware with poor software. So it suggested to flash the firmware with DD-WRT.

So I decided to get this router and the first thing I did was to load DD-WRT.

Here is what I like about the router:

  • 4  Gigabit Ethernet Ports 10/100/1000Mbps
  • 1 WAN Port
  • 802.11n (Draft)  supports 300Mbps wireless (your device also has to support this)
  • 3 Antennas for extended range
  • 2 USB ports
  • Power adapter works on both 110/240 volts
  • 480 MHz processor which can be overclocked to 533 MHz

The DD-WRT firmware is very easily loadable using the router browser front-end. Its an open source firmware, it makes the router fully customisable and is extremely easy to use. You can plug in a USB hard drive and convert the router into NAS server. Or can be used to share a printer. You can read the documentation here on how to load DD-WRT.

It can also be used to share 3G connection. You connect your 3G dongle on the USB and you need to do some scripting on the router. (If you are not comfortable with command line stuff, this is not for you). You can load the scripts through the web based front end and run them or you can also telnet/ssh to the router. There  are a lot more features you can explore once DD-WRT has been loaded, like you can convert the router into a VOIP server by installing Asterisk. Happy Hacking!

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Prakash

AirJaldi is an organisation which has pioneered the art of creating mesh WiFi networks. They have managed to reach Internet to the hills in Dharamshala, where connectivity is a challenge.

Here is a full writeup about them. Some interesting quotes :)

The open-source community has also dabbled extensively in it, creating a suite of free software. Most of AirJaldi’s work, Ginguld says, was made possible by “standing on the shoulders of these open-source giants”.

“I hope we’ll be remembered for adding some beauty to this place, not as someone who bought the silicon valleys of Pamela Anderson to innocent Dharamshala,” Ginguld says. For him, the Internet is a basic freedom—as important as security, water or electricity.

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Prakash

The London Stock Exchange has said its new Linux-based system is delivering world record networking speed, with 126 microsecond trading times.

The 126 microsecond speed is “twice as fast” as its main international competitors, the London Stock Exchange said. BATS Europe and Chi-X, two dedicated electronic rivals to the LSE, are reported to have an average latency of 250 and 175 microseconds respectively. Netiher company immediately provided details. But many of the LSE’s older and more traditional rivals offer speeds of around 300 to 400 microseconds. Nevertheless, Linux is now standard in many exchanges.

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Prakash

Nginx (pronounced as? engine-X) is beating Apache as a web server in terms of performance. Its being used by WordPress, Hulu and SourceForge. As per recent Netcraft survey, its already the number 3 web server after Apache and Microsoft with 6.62 percent marketshare.

In a test carried out by Linux Journal, Nginx beat Apache by nearly double performance with less than 1/2 the resources. Its able to do this because of its architecture and yes its open source.

Web Server Worker Processes CPU Utilisation Memory Used requests served
Nginx 1 15% 1MB 11,500
Apache 4?? (threaded mode) 30% 17MB 6,500

To know more:

Official Web site

Wiki

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Prakash

If you want to jazz up your open office presentation, you can install openoffice OpenGL transition library to get very cool 3D transition effects.

On Ubuntu, just install this package

openoffice.org-ogltrans

Now you will have these additional slide transitions which you can use. You would find these at the end of the list of slide transitions.

  • Flipping tiles
  • Outside turning cube
  • Revolving circles
  • Turning helix
  • Inside turning cube
  • Fall
  • Turn around
  • Iris
  • Turn down
  • Rochade

Have Fun :) and impress your Powerpoint friends.

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