Skip to main content

OpenSolaris 2008.05: Notes from the field

I'm subscribed to indiana-discuss@opensolaris.org. This came across the wires earlier this morning. It's a report about an installfest that was conducted in Bejing on Tuesday, May 6th.
subject: [indiana-discuss] Some Thoughts After An Installfest Event

Today in Beijing we organized an installfest event with OpenSolaris 2008.05. The machines we used are Lenovo E680A, which has an intel core-duo 1.73 GHz CPU with 1 GB memory. This was a full-day event -- we provided 45 laptops, which attracted more than 100 people during the whole event. They were instructed to install OpenSolaris 2008.05 from CD, and install some packages via IPS and traditional method. Some engineers and interns from Sun were there to provide onsite. Most of the attendees had but very little experience with Solaris previously, some of them used Linux for various periods before.

Some feedbacks:
  1. Installation was very slow. We used to install SXDE onto the same machine before, which took us less than 45 minutes to finished. Today, most of the folks spent about the same amount of time on installation. We think this is too much to install a CD.

  2. There was some problem with WIFI, don't know exactly. Some of the machines were getting IP, and most of them were not. It took extremely long for the AP selection dialog to popup after the system booted. There were several Mac and Windows machines in the same room and worked just fine during the whole day. "wificonfig -i wpi0 scan" return the correct information, but "wificonfig -i wpi0 connect AP_Name" would failed. At first we suspected that this was because the name of the AP was Chinese, but when we changed the name of the AP to English we encountered the same error.

  3. A majority of the people complained that OpenSolaris could not mount their USB drive correctly. Well, we did see some success, but a lot of failures at the same time.

  4. Compiz totally failed due to the fact that we are using integrated graphic cards. The problem is, when Compiz failed it is very difficult to turn it back to non-3D desktop. We knew how to do the trick via Alt+N key combinations, but sometimes the system was not able to response to this trick.

  5. Many people would like the shutdown button be placed at a more visible location.

  6. When connected to the networked, there was a network icon on the task bar, and it is annoying that you can change anything via clicking on that icon. Since NWAM was not yet smart enough (to pick up the AP's in a timely manner) during the show and so new to the folks, they were very unhappy about this.

  7. For those who have previously installed Solaris 10 or SXDE, they were happy about the installation procedure, and the new UI.
I will try to write more later.

Best regards,
Qingye Jiang (John)
Senior Manager
Sun Developer Network, China
Feedback like this is important, both good and bad. I'll offer my corresponding experiences on four of the posts issues.
  • Unlike 2, I had no problem with WiFi on the Gateway M685.
  • Unlike 3, I had no problems with mounting thumb drives, and I tested with various Sandisk (4GIG, 8GIG) and Kingston (4GIG) drives.
  • As noted in the prior post, I had both good and bad experiences with Compiz. The worst was on the machine with 512MB of memory, while the best was on the Gateway with 2GIG of memory (see 4 above).
  • Like 6, they're right about the confusion of using the network applet with NWAM. It could be better.
As good as I believe OpenSolaris 2008.05 to be, this is its first big release, and it does have problems. It will be interesting to see how quickly and in what manner they are addressed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…