This month’s Linux User magazine features my usual group test article – this time on CD ripping packages – along with the last part of my series on becoming a contributor to an open-source project and a review of penetration testing toolkit BackBox Linux 2.01.
The group test required a methodical approach, addressing the most common needs from an audio CD ripping package: the codecs supported; the ability to deal with scratched discs; downloading of CDDB information and cover art; and handling of discs encumbered with digital restrictions management (DRM) technology.
It also provided me with an excuse to listen to some of my favourite music, of course.
Interestingly, the group test result convinced me to switch from my usual CD ripping tool to an alternative thanks to its surprising performance. It’s not often that I’ll make a move from a tool I’m used to as the result of testing like this, but it’s always welcome when it does happen.
The final part of my three-part series looking at contributing to the LibreOffice project finishes off with an investigation of how a contributor can make the leap from mentoree to mentor – a key part of any open source community. It’s something which is all too often overlooked, but as soon as you start to take your first steps on the path you begin to know more than those who start after you. As a result, you have valuable knowledge to share with the community – even though you might consider yourself a mere neophyte.
Finally, there’s the review of BackBox Linux, a distribution aimed at security and penetration testing. As with BackTrack, it’s an Ubuntu derivative but it includes a surprisingly robust suite of utilities – including documentation tools and general-purpose packages like audio utilities and even a scanner driver – which makes it a serious contender despite the immaturity of the project.
Further details on this issue are available over on the Linux User & Developer website.