Showing posts from June, 2007

Mandriva and PCLinuxOS

Back in February there was an exchange between myself and Adam Williamson (adamw) of Mandriva. Adam asked "What is it?" and I answered "Why it is." Basically, adamw wanted to know why I was so in love with Ubuntu (7.04 alpha at the time), and asked the rhetorical question what was wrong with Mandriva.

The last time I'd used Mandriva was back when it was still called Mandrake, so my experiences were definitely dated. I took up adamw's suggestion that I try out an early beta of Mandriva Spring 2007 Live CD. So I pulled down an ISO, burned a CD, and attempted to boot it on europa, the box with Suse, AMD, and ATI. The CD never went beyond the initial boot screens. As it approached the point where it would show the full graphic desktop the screen went completely black and the system locked up. I couldn't toggle into a command line screen to diagnose the problem. It was locked up solid. So I rebooted and forgot about it.

Recently, however, I've been thinkin…

I told you so

I wrote in an earlier post how I thought Dell's selling of Ubuntu was a joke. The number of machines was limited to exactly three (yes, three), with very little in the way of options. Turns out that folks who wanted to purchase them for business use can't get Dell's Complete Care for them, while another hopeful buyer couldn't even purchase one for business use.

Yeah. Dell knows how to sell Linux. Dell is really committed to Linux. Sure they are.

You want to know what Dell is committed to? Making money. Being number one. Making money and being number one with Microsoft products (and Intel for that matter). Here's what landed in my Yahoo inbox today. Dell goplay, where Dell ties XBox 360 gaming into their latest gaming PC running - Windows Vista. I get Dell spam all the time selling Wintel. I have yet to get one email from Dell selling Ubuntu on Dell hardware. Not one. Dell's Ubuntu site will stay up just long enough to satisfy the critics, until the critics tire a…

Vista: The train wreck that keeps on delivering

Ah, where do I start?
Don't wait for Vista SP1, pleads Microsoft (The Invistagator) - In which Microsoft begs the rest of the world to accept Vista and not make a liar out of Microsoft. Remember, uptake of Vista is double that of XP in the same period of time after release. And if you're still not convinced, "Microsoft has launched a "fact rich" program to help customers understand why they should "proceed with confidence" in rolling out Vista across all their PCs."
From the ‘I’m glad I’m not a Vista salesperson’ files (Mary Jo Foley) - In which one of Microsoft's better supporters (really!) lists three really ugly facts about Vista (remember the 'Get The Facts' campaigns?). Biggest problem is everybody is waiting for Vista SP1 before even considering moving over. Guess what the top two questions licensees have been asking about Vista? Essentially, how to legally downgrade from Vista back to Windows XP.
Google-Microsoft dust-up focuses on…

Check your facts, honey

In one of her worst editorials to date, Pamela Jones writes another long-winded preachy peace ("Goldman Sachs: Linux Will Dominate in the Corporate Data Center - and a Tip for Them") and centers her arguments around a four year old (January 2003) Goldman Sachs article titled "Fear the Penguin".

The premise of the Goldman Sachs' paper is this:
In our view, Linux has evolved into an enterprise-class operating system that will have a significant and lasting presence in the IT landscape, and its continued emergence will cause considerable changes in the enterprise IT vendor ecosystem. We believe its strongest effects will be seen in the corporate data center, where we see a shift occurring toward Linux-on-Intel servers away from the current paradigm of proprietary Unix-on-RISC systems. This paradigm shift should have significant implications for the enterprise computing market and for a broad range of vendors in both hardware and software.It's the vindication of …

Running Linux distributions with VMware Player

Just about everybody by now knows about VMware's Player. If you don't, then you should. The player is free as in beer, and there are pre-built "appliances" where complete Linux distributions are already installed and ready-to-run with the player. All you have to do is snag one and have the player run it. The system I have all this installed on is altair 4 at work, the Boxx system with the aging Athlon FX-55 and 4GB of DRAM running Windows Server 2003.

So far, using VMware Player version 2, I've downloaded and tried six different disribution appliances: Debian Etch, Fedora Core 7, Fedora Core 6, Suse 10.2, PC-BSD 1.3.0, and RHEL 4 Update 4. What follows are a trio of screen shots with the player running an FC7 distribution.

This shot (above) is a screen shot produced by Fedora's own screen capture (via Gnome). This shows the complete desktop as it would appear if my monitor were capable of completely displaying 1900 x 1440. This is the first time I've starte…

Russell Microcap to remove SCOX

It couldn't have happened to a nicer company. SCOX (The SCO Group), those fine folks from Lindon, Utah, who think that the Linux-using world owes them billions because they happen to own the tattered remains of Unix, will be dropped from the Russell Microcap come June 22nd. This follows SCOX's stock-price drop to below $1 from mid-March until late May of this year. Then the price shot above $1 on some wild speculation in the market as well as what appears to be some fairly heavy dumping of institutional investors. The SCOX stock price now appears to be on the way back down. Whether it will go back below $1 remains to be seen, but today's near 10% drop, in conjunction with the Russell news, doesn't appear to be mere coincidence. I look forward to seeing SCOX slide back below $1 and into NASDAQ capital listing non-compliance. Followed by bankruptcy. Followed by oblivion.

"I still think GPLv2 is simply the better license."

You'd think by now that the FSF would be working as hard as reasonably possible to assuage the concerns (if not the ego) of Linus Torvalds with regards to the GPL V3. But in an email exchange on lkml Linus made the critical observation that is the title of this post.

Linus further opined:
I consider dual-licensing unlikely (and technically quite hard), but at least _possible_ in theory. I have yet to see any actual *reasons* for licensing under the GPLv3, though. All I've heard are shrill voices about "tivoization" (which I expressly think is ok) and panicked worries about Novell-MS (which seems way overblown, and quite frankly, the argument seems to not so much be about the Novell deal, as about an excuse to push the GPLv3). [emphasis mine]
Yeah, you'd think the fine folks at the FSF would work very hard to win over one of open source's Most Important Developers. But they're too busy in their shrilling and panicking to really think straight.

Atlantis lifts off

STS 117 lifted off from Kennedy this evening, some time after 7:30pm. She was carrying seven astronauts and the second set of solar panels for the IIS. Once those panels are added, the IIS'll have more power capacity and it won't look lop-sided like it does now.

After all these years I still find lift-off exhilarating. And there's just something so cool to be able to step outside my front door and look down the street to the horizon and watch spaceships take off. It's like being a character in a Bradbury story.

Everything was shot with my Olympus E300, 40-150mm (at 150mm), and hand-held, manual focus and shutter-speed at 1/200. The last shot was made with exposure -2/3 stop down to better pick out the contrail against the evening sky.

Fedora 7 runs just fine on aging europa

After using one of the Qt 4.3.0 demo applications to download Fedora 7 via Bit Torrent, I burned the ISO to CD and rebooted europa into Fedora 7 Live CD. And I was very quickly and quite pleasantly surprised by one of its key features. I enabled desktop effects (System | Preferences | Look and Feel | Desktop Effects) and it worked. Nearly flawlessly. Compiz finally worked like a charm on this aging platform with the ATI 9700 Pro. Here's a few screen captures. I have never personally had Compiz perform as well as it did here on a live CD before Fedora 7. My hat's off to the Fedora developers. You guys done good.

Here I've grabbed the the corner with the mouse and the [Ctrl][Alt] keys and pulled it down to illustrate the cube.

Here I'm looking at my thumb drive (where I'm stashing screen shots) and three screens. Key sequence [Ctrl][Alt][Down Arrow].

And here I've opened up Firefox and have it sitting astride two windows. And yes, you can drag the window com…