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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 80 declined, 14 accepted (94 total, 14.89% accepted)

Submission + - Which way do I turn if I want a zero-fuss VM setup on Linux?

Qbertino writes: Out of professional need I’ve started to dabble with VM Setups last week — mostly KVM/qemu and VirtManager as a Hypervisor GUI. It’s all very open-sourcy“ — a bit flaky, convoluted and some CLI stuff thrown in. It worked, but needed caretaking and expert knowledge for the basics and there are some features that I missed or couldn’t get running. I was wondering how I could get a solid and disaster-safe VM setup up and running on Linux. Here are my requirements:

1.) Base-OS: Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, whatever)

2.) Hypervisor with stable Click-UI and following features:

2.a.) One-click Copy/Backup of VMs, preferably ones that are actually still running; reasonable disaster recovery behavior (the Hypervisor and VM shouldn’t wet their pants if not all virtual/real Hardwarefeatures are present — it should be possible for a VM to run with a standard base set of features provided by the Hypervisor — in a pinch I want to be able to Launch a backuped VM on a Laptop to rescue data and such)

2.b.) zero-fuss virtual-to-real NIC configuration and zero-fuss NIC/bridging configuration on the base OS/Hypervisor, all with a click-UI — preferably with neat network diagrams (in a pinch the system should be operateable by part-time student admins)

2.c.) copy/paste/instancing of preconfectioned VMs. Launching a fresh extra Linux or Windows installation shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so and be as idiot-safe as possible

2.d.) Zero-fuss dynamic storage management across all running VMs. (see below)

3.) Storage abstraction: I know this issue is separate from CPU virtualisation, but none-the-less the same scenario camp: I’d like to be able to virtualize storage. That is, be able to allocate storage as I wish to any VM in any size I want, with dynamic storage assignment options (max. expansion parameters and such). This probably involves two stages: combining all storage from a storage rack into one monolithic storage block with dublication across HDDs for safety and then a Hypervisor with the ability to dynamically assign virtual storage to each VM as configured. Is this sort of correct?

What experience do you guys have with storage virtualisation? As I mentioned, I have no problem with the base OS doing the first stage on its own, without some killer NAS setup that costs as much as a Ferrari, but I do prefer some Click-UI solution that provides zero-fuss storage management.

4.) Nice to have: Dynamic CPU assignment based on time and/or usage. I’d like a render VM to get extra CPUs at night and would like to time that — for example, a VM gets extra CPUs between 1 and 7 o’clock for extra rendering power while the other VMs get to share CPUs.

I’m thinking two *big* failover Linux PC setups (dublicate setup), 2-3 storage racks and one or two professional applications that do Hypervisor/VM stuff and storage as mentioned above and can also cost a little (500 — 3000 Euros).

OK, so that’s a broad overview. For perspective: The setup is for an agency with digitial and print production pipelines and the only web-consultant/web-dev as the single non-intern IT person. That would be me. I know my way around the Linux CLI and have been doing Linux since the 90ies, but do my deving and daily work on OS X and, as you can image, have no time for "scripting-masturbation“ or any setups that come to a grinding halt if I’m not around when a VM runs out of space or memory. We also have no time for downtime longer than 2-3 hours if disaster strikes.

What do you suggest? What are your experiences with FOSS setups and perhaps with proprietary pointy-clicky apps? Hoping for some educated input on this. Thanks.

Submission + - Which classic OOP compiled language: Objective-C or C++?

Qbertino writes: I've been trying to pick up a classic OOP oriented compiled language since the early 90ies and have never gotten around to it. C++ always was on my radar but I'm a little torn to-and-fro with Objective-C. Objective-C is the obvious choice if you also want to make money deving for Mac OS X, but for the stuff I want to do both languages would suffice on all platforms. I do want to start out on x86 Linux though and also use it as my main development platform. Note: The fight is only between these two. Yes, I know quite a few other PLs, but I want to get into a widespread compiled language that has good ties into FOSS and both Objective-C and C++ fit that bill.
I'm leaning towards C++ but what do you recommend? How do these two PLs compare to each other and how easy is cross-plattform development in either? (GUI free, 'headless' applications). Thanks for your opinion.

Submission + - Is there a web development linux distro? LAMP-centric perhaps?

Qbertino writes: I've been a linux user for more than 15 years now and in the last ten I've done basically all my non-trivial web development on Linux. SuSE in the early days, after that either Debian or, more recently, Ubuntu, if I want something to click on.

What really bugs me is, that every time I make a new setup, either as a virtual machine, on concrete hardware or a remote host, I go through 1-2 hours of getting the basics of a web-centric system up and running. That includes setting PHP config options to usable things, setting up vhosts on Apache (always an adventure), configging mod_rewrite, installing extra CLI stuff like Emacs (yeah, I'm from that camp) walking through the basic 10-15 steps of setting up MySQL or some other DB, etc. ... You get the picture.

What has me wondering is this: Since Linux is deeply entrenched in the field of server-side web, with LAMP being it's powerhouse, I was wondering if there aren't any distros that cover exactly this sort of thing. You know, automatic allocation of memory in the runtime settings, ready-made Apache http/https/sftp/ftp setup, PHP all ready to go, etc.

What are your experiences and is there something that covers this? Would you think there's a need for this sort of thing and would you base it of Debian or something else? If you do web-dev, how do you do it? Prepareted scripts for setup? Anything else? ... Ideas, unkown LAMP distros and opinions please.

Submission + - Can I trust Android rooting tools? Is there a generic approach to root Android?

Qbertino writes: After a long period of evaluation and weighing cons and pros I've gotten myself a brand new Android tablet (10“ Lenovo Yoga 2, Android Version) destined to be my prime mobile computing device in the future. As any respectable freedom-loving geek/computer-expert I want to root it to be able to install API spoofing libraries and security tools to give me owners power over the machine and prevent services like Google and others spying on me, my files, photos, calendar and contacts. I also want to install an ad-blocking proxy (desperately needed — I forgot how much the normal web sucks!).

I’ve searched for some rooting advice and tools, and so far have only stumbled on shady looking sites that offer various Windows-based rooting kits for android devices.

What’s the gist on all this? How much of this stuff is potential malware? What are you’re experiences? Can I usually trust rooting strategies to be malware-free? Is there a rule-of-thumb for this?

Is there perhaps a more generic way for a FOSS/Linux expert who isn’t afraid of the CLI to root any Android 4.4 (Kitkat) device? Advice and own experiences please. Thanks.

Submission + - MS open sources .Net (MIT and Apache 2 license), seeks porting to other OSes

Qbertino writes: On wednesday, the 12. of October 2014 Microsoft announced that they are releasing their .Net framework under the OSI certified MIT and Apache 2 open source licenses. Techcrunch reports that MS wants to work closely with the mono project and its 'business arm' Xamarin to spread .Net to other non-MS plattforms. The sourcecode is available here at the official MS Github account. In other news relyable sources from hell have reported temperatures of 20 centigrade below zero and the FAA has seen a spike in reports of flying pigs. And no, it's not April 1st.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Open Hard- & Software based Security Token Thingie?

Qbertino writes: Hoi Slashdotters. I'm just musing about a security setup to allow my coworkers/users access to files from the outside. I want security to be a little safer than pure key or PW based SSH access and some super-expensive RSA Token Setup is out of question, so I've been wondering if there are any feasible and working FOSS and open hardware based security token generator projects out there? Best with readymade server-side scripts/daemons.
Perhaps something arduino or rasberry pi based or something? Has anybody tried something like this? What are your experiences? What do you use? How would you attempt an open hardware FOSS solution to this problem? Discuss! And thanks for any input.

Submission + - Is it feasible to revive an old Linux PC setup? 1 1

Qbertino writes: I’ve been rumaging around on old backups and cleaning out my stuff and have once again run into my expert-like paranoid backups and keepsakes from back in the days (2001). I’ve got, among other things, a full installset of Debian 3 CDs, an original StarOffice 6.0 CD including a huge manual in mint condition, Corel Draw 9 for Linux, the original box & CDs — yes it ran on a custome wine setup, but it ran well, I did professional design and print work with it.

I’ve got more of other stuff lying around, including the manuals to run it. Loki Softs Tribes 2, Kohan, Rune and the original Unreal Tournament for Linux have me itching too. :-)

I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a linux workstation on some modern supercheap, supersmall PC (Rasberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin. What problems should I expect? Vesa and Soundblaster drivers I’d expect to work, but what’s with the IDE HDD drivers? How well does vintage Linux software from 2003 play with todays cheap system-on-board MicroPCs? What’s with the USB stuff? Wouldn’t the install expect the IO devices hooked on legacy ports? Have you tried running 10-15 year old Linux setups on devices like these and what are your experiences? What do you recommend?

Submission + - Would you now bet on server side JavaScript (Node.js)?

Qbertino writes: How realistic is it to place most bets on server side JavaScript / Node.js rather than a P language (PHP/Perl/Python)?

Back in the day, when Netscape had the only useful web server, server-side scripting was done with JavaScript — that was somewhere around 96 or so. Along came LAMP and got rid of proprietary solutions (for the most part that is) and somehow PHP got critical mass for being at the right place at the right time and having good documentation and a very low bar of entry.

However things have changed. Flash as a rich client technology is basically dead, just about everything web-based done client side has its logic coded in JavaScript, and with HTML 5 & CSS 3 being the go-to platform of today (also for wrapped x-platfrom mobile apps) and Node.js has recruited the remarkable V8 JS VM for serverside stuff. I’m now seriously considering the move away from PHP / Python to JavaScript for non-trivial server side development aswell. It would be so cool to have one PL for everything, and finally getting rid of PHP / mod_php doesn’t really hurt either.

I am wondering if it is feasible to bet on server side JS and Node.js in particular for large non-trivial web apps. I’m talking about Apps with the functional depth compareable to Pimcore or Typo3 here.

Concrete Example: Let’s say a client would come up to me and say he want’s a custom DTP platform that runs entirely on the web, with heavy Ajax/JS/HTML Canvas coding in the client (modern HTML 5 browsers) and a large app model in the backend (x86 Linux with print PDF generation and lots of other features).
Would you say it’s a risk worth taking to do the lions share of server side logic in JS running on Node.js with C/C++ extensions to Node.js for the speed-critical parts (Node offers some neat features in that dept) or would you suggest to play it safe and use existing PHP setups and toolkits, such as Zend or Symfony for such a thing? I’d say if the client is heavy JS lifting already, you might aswell use the same PL on the server — especially since I know how to abstract persistence and app layer, no matter the PL and could probably write the framework for all my persistence needs in a week. That would be a week in a project planned for 6 — 10 months.

Basically it would mean to restrict PHP work to quick and simple hacks on existing platforms such as Wordpress, Drupal or Typo3 and do every other from-scratch‘ project on JS / Node.js from here on out.

What do you think? Feasible or just to risky? What would you do? Have you been itching to go full force on Node.js yourself? Educated opinions of slashdotters desperately needed. Thanks.

Submission + - One Phone to rule them all

Qbertino writes: The Oneplus One, brazingly subtitled "2014 Flagship Killer", is a mobile phone specifically designed to go head-to-head with and beat the flagship products of existing behemoths in the industry and apparently also caters to the opinion leading crowd, i.e. us. It sports a quadcore 2.5 Ghz Snapdragon CPU, 3GB of RAM with a Sysclock of 1.8Ghz and 32GB (299$) / 64GB (349$) of storage, a replacable battery, a 6-lens 13 Megapixel sony camera and a 5 megapixel webcam for videochat. It runs CyanogenMod 11S based off Android 4.4 KitKat. Specs, especially when compared to pricing, blow the lid off current expectations and definitely raise the bar for next gen phones. Three concluding words: I want one.

Submission + - How do I wrap my head around (My)SQL? 1 1

Qbertino writes: Hi fellow slashdotters. I've got a problem. Basically I'm the regular Type A 80ies computer-geek, starting programming on a Sharp PC (PocketComputer) 1402 back in 1986 and been coding for money since the web-boom back in 2000-2001. There is one thing that has been bugging me ever since, and that is the developer communitys obsession with SQL as a means to automatically access persistance from the app layer. I'm not quite sure if it may just be MySQL, but the strange, human-communication-emulation syntax of SQL and it's ever-present ambiguity never fail to piss me off on a day-to-day basis.

However, I now have a job that requires me to become at least mid-range fluent in MySQL. Modifying the setup to avoid MySQLs SQL, such as adding ORM layers or frameworks, is not an option, for various reasons, some of them silly, some of them quite resonable. One being that we actually do access and analyse data direct and manually — what SQL originaly was built for.

My specific questions:
What can I do to get solid results and make measurable progress with non-trivial SQL (JOINs and beyond) whilst not constantly running into MySQL annoyances like, f.i. its bizar error messages to often?

What strategies do you recommend for a born SQL hater to grow a little acceptance and get to learn to handle the strangeness of this PL? Maybe a book of sorts that adresses issues more experience developers may have with (My)SQL? Perhaps you have some personal advice on how you tackled this problem — if you had it?

Finally, what do you recommend to get more firm and less confused with the non-trivial pieces of set theory and day-to-day data analysis ... books, online resources, games/riddles or excercises and explanations for pratice? I'd like to get quicker and more fluent at this in general.

Thanks for your input.

Submission + - What's the best State-of-the-Art FOSS Product for Java (Web) Projects?

Qbertino writes: Hi Slashdotters. After 12 years of realtive abstinence I'm looking to get my hands dirty with Java again and thought I'd do so by attempting one of the countless non-trivial Web projects on my idea list. I'm looking for something that removes a few layers of the crufty LAMP stack that so many of us got used to, in order to compensate for the Java typical hassles I'll inevitably run into. For this I'm looking for a FOSS Java Product (Framework, Toolkit, Enterprise CMS, Appserver, whatever) that has a certain set of features and attributes (see below). I've allways been keeping an eye on the PHP and Python projects on a regular basis, but couldn't say so about Java, so I need some input from you guys.

The following attributes are a must:

1.) Must be a pro-level/enterprise tool, meaning: When I learn it in the end I should be closer to typical enterprise products like jBoss, Glassfish, Oracle Whatever, SAP Whatnot, IBM Websphere, etc. with the knowledge gained. Ergo: Not some avantgarde experiment that has me crying myself to sleep once I get a gig at some Java shop that uses todays regular products, but something that prepares me for the things to come. At least a little.

2.) I'm willing to use some avantgarde stuff if it is stuff I can easyly integrate into existing enterprise toolstacks later in my career (SAP, Oracle, IBM, ect.) without having to install countless things below the regular Java level. Or obscure Java Libs that are a licencing liability to my employer/client.

3.) This one's a little contradiction with point 1: I which it to have absolutely zero fuss in integrating application and persistance. Think Zope/Plone. If I build a type/entity I want to do that exactly once and only once and I do not want to be manually editing XML in order to do so. Best would be if it had some kind of modeller where I can click together my entities and objects, maybe in some Java Application or a Web/Ajax Backend Interface (very fancy I know). I wish to avoid seperate persistance level logic programming with a specific language (read: No SQL or XML Situps!) entirely. In other words: In terms of persistance/applevel integration I really would like to leave the current state of things which to me appears to have been stuck in the early 90ies. I have no problem if this is all covered by fully automated scaffolding/crud or whatever and tons of autogenerated SQL in the background — I just would like to avoid having to deal with seperate layers alltogether whilst prototyping. Basically I'd like to stick to building my objects/types in Java and nothing else.

4.) The product should be either a one-command install on x86 Debian stable and other x86 Linux distros or should be easy to deploy manually with just a runtime as a prerequesite and a jar or something. Likewise it should be easy to deploy the required runtime environment and sub-libs on Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It should have a webserver option that is production ready and tried-and-true tested. It would be nice if that webserver option would either be an intergrated HTTP thingie inside the Java product or a first-choice integration with a FOSS HTTP Server binary that is *not* Apache, like lightHttpd or whatever the newest hype in enterprise ready lightweight HTTP-thingies is. I'd like to avoid Apache Configuration hassles just as I'd like to avoid SQL hassles.

6.) It should be established as a product — at least in the FOSS community (not just on one obscure mailinglist somewhere deep in the massive Apache Java Project grabbag) or be notably promising with a small company or dedicated team behind it. Something like PHPs ZendFW, Symphony, the Typo3 or Rails community — they've got a hang at pushing their stack in respective markets. (I.E.: Their websites don't look like shit and the projects opinion leaders actually know that marketing is important — even for a FOSS product) If it's a young but promising project I have no trouble helping out once I'm up to speed, so don't hesitate to advertise your own below, just don't ignore the requirements above completely.

Bonus points if the product has a braggable enterprise customer/user list and a real shot at pissing into the soup of the established players (Oracle, SAP, IBM, etc.).

Number 6 and 7 are nice to haves:

6.) Native integration with a well-established seasoned Ajax Toolkit like Sencha/Ext3, jQuery UI, Tipco GI or something of the sort. Perferably with a FOSS interface builder along with it.

  7.) Built with zero-fuss Mobile App integration (Android & iOS) in mind, since I think we all agree that that is the next big thing. Perhaps Android/iOS Libs already in place/available or something like that.

Thanks for you input, it's allway a great help.

Submission + - Late-ish Career Boost via degree: CS or Business Informatics?

Qbertino writes: Hoi Slashdotters. I'm in my early 40ies and after a little more than 10 years of web, scripting and software development as a freelancer and some gigs as a regular fulltime employee I'm seriously considering giving my IT career a boost to be more able to move up the food chain by getting a degree. I'm your regular 80ies computer kid and made a career switch to IT during the dot-bomb days. Now I'm with quite a bit of programming and project experience but sans a degree and find myself hitting somewhat of a glass ceiling with maybe a little age discrimination thrown in there — i.e. at my age you're either moving up the ladder or out. Since I'm in Germany, degrees count a lot (70% of IT staff have a degree) so getting one seems fitting and a nice touch to my portfolio. However, I'm pondering wether I should go for CS ('Informatics / Informatik' in German) or Business Informatics.

I'd like to move into Projekt Management or Technical Account Management and am in a little dilemma: CS gives me the pro credibility and proves my knowledge with low-level and tech stuff and I'd be honing my C/C++ and *nix skills and emphasising my tech cred. BI would teach me some bean-counting skills, I'd be doing modelling, ERP with Java or .Net all day (creepy, I know) and give me some BA cred but I'd lose karma with the T-Shirt wearing crew and the decision makers in that camp. Help me make my move with some educated opinions please. I'm leaning a little toward BI because I suspect that's where the money is in my case, but am not quite sure wether a classic CS degree wouldn't still be better — even if I'm wearing a suit. Any suggestions?

Submission + - LSE drops .Net for Linux & Solaris Solution

Qbertino writes: reports (text in German) that the London Stock Exchange will drop its .Net based trading software solution for a Linux/Solaris alternative. Its mostly performance and cost issues that bring Microsofts prime example for the feasibility of .Net for large installations to a grinding and unpleasant halt. What really gives the .Net camp a major blow in the TCO arguement though, is that amoung 20 evaluated solutions the one chosen was buying the entire Sri Lanka based company MilleniumIT that offers the chosen alternative for the equivalent of 30 Million Euros. In comparsion, the mere rollout of the current insufficient .Net infrastructure cost LSE the equivalent of 65 Million Euros. ... 'gues I'll continue stearing clear of .Not.

Submission + - Ton Roosendahl recieves Honorary Doctorate

Qbertino writes: BlenderNation, a Blender News site, reports that Ton Roosendahl, lead developer and founder of the Blender Project, will recieve a PhD HC at the University in Leeds (UK) today. Blender isn't just a flagship open source project, it also has gained a solid reputation in the scientific community. Honor whom honor is due, i say. He very much deserves it. I'm sure the Blender community as a whole is happy and proud for and with him.

Submission + - 3rd Blender Open Movie Project 'Durian' Announced

Qbertino writes: After 2 Blender Open Movie projects (Elefants Dream and Big Buck Bunny), both of which where huge successes for the blender communtiy and did a remarkable job at achieving the target goals, the blender foundation has announced it's third open movie project codenamed 'Durian' which is to be another animated short film made with an entirely FOSS production pipeline with Blender at its core. This time with an epic setting, an action-oriented presentation and a heroine as main character. The scenario rollout will be provided and overseen by the renowned dutch comic artist Martin Lodewijk. To all artists, blenderheads and 3D programmers: If you want to participate, now is your time to apply. The project team will be finalised and announced by June 20th this year. Shortly after the project will start in Amsterdam and go for the usual 6 to 9 Months. With Blender versions and projects increasing in quality and impact in leaps and bounds at each iteration, this is yet another gem from the Blender crew to look forward too. Especially with Blender 2.5 coming up with a large redo and overhaul of core components and features.

"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein