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Fedora 8 spins into action

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The kind, gentle part of Red Hat did its thing this week with the release of Fedora 8. And, true to form, the new operating system comes packed with a host of fine features.

For one, users can now have at some fresh "spins." These are variations on Fedora aimed at specific crowds. Each spin contains a unique set of applications. So, you can have at the GNOME and KDE spins, for example. Fresh spins include Games, Developer and Electronics Labs packages.

Users can, of course, try out the spins via LiveCDs or by booting off USB sticks.

CNET's digital camera expert Stephen Shankland has highlighted the ability to rip all mention of Fedora out of Fedora 8. The developers give you a single, avoidable package with all Fedora mentions. This makes it easier for other coders to rebrand the OS as they see fit.

Let's see. What else?

Oh yes, GNOME 2.20 is in the OS, which brings with it a tool for filling out PDFs via the Evince document viewer, a fresh Help system and a mail notification bob for Evolution. You can get KDE 3.5.8 as well.

The 0.7 release of NetworkManager fixes some wireless issues; PulseAudio is now default and "allows for hot-switching audio outputs, individual volume controls for each audio stream and networked audio," while Compiz Fusion ships for windows management.

You'll find the whole list of new tools here.

Fedora tends to push the boundaries of compatibility by installing most of the latest and greatest stuff out there. And this release is no different.

Ryan Paul over at Ars Technica has done a fine job of summing up the state of affairs. ®

Register editor Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

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