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+ - Has Mark Shuttleworth gone overboard? 3

Submitted by Linux Torvalds
Linux Torvalds writes: From the article on softpedia which qoutes "Mark Shuttleworth Asks Devs from Different Desktop Environments to Work Together" from Ubuntu Online Summit 2015, which begs us to ask "is he paying attention to any open source development outside of the kingdom of Canonical ?"
Canonical has already started work on making Snappy Package Manager (a replacement for apt based dpkg package manager) and Mir (a replacement for the X window server system) for Ubuntu. But since features promised by Snappy Package Manager are already available in Nix Package Manager, so essentially there is no need to make new one. Similarly Canonical could contribute to make X windows better but instead they are making a new one.
Which makes me wonder has Mark Shuttleworth gone overboard? What do you think?

+ - Book Review: Networking for System Administrators->

Submitted by Saint Aardvark
Saint Aardvark writes: (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for writing a review.)

Michael W. Lucas has been writing technical books for a long time, drawing on his experience as both a system and a network administrator. He has mastered the art of making it both easy and enjoyable to inhale large amounts of information; that's my way of saying he writes books well and he's a funny guy. "Networking for System Administrators", available both in DRM-free ebook and dead tree formats, is his latest book, and it's no exception to this trend.

Like the title suggests, this book explains networking to sysadmins — both juniors new to this career, and those who have been around for a while but don't understand how those network folks live or what they need to do their job. If you're one of the latter, you might think "Oh I've read 'TCP/IP Illustrated' — I don't need another networking book." And it's true that there is overlap between these two books. But Lucas also explains about how to work with network folks: dealing with areas of shared responsibility, how to understand where your side ends, and how to talk to a network admin so that everyone understands each other — and more importantly, is both able and happy to help the other. This is something that is out-of-scope for a network textbook, and it's valuable.

So what's in this book? Lucas takes us through all the network layers, explaining how everything fits together. From physical ("If you can trip over it, snag it, break the stupid tab off the plastic connector at its end, or broadcast static over it, it's the physical layer.") to transport and application, he shows practical examples of how the OSI model maps (or doesn't) to the world of TCP/IP. He shows the happy path and the sad path at each layer, explaining how to understand what's going on and troubleshooting failures. This is the part with the strongest overlap with those other network textbooks. If system administration is a side gig (maybe you're a developer who has to maintain your own server), you'll have enough in this book to deal with just about anything you're likely to trip over. But if you're early in your sysadmin career, or you find yourself making the jump to Ops, you will want to follow it up with "TCP/IP Illustrated" for the additional depth.

Since you'll be troubleshooting, you'll need to know the tools that let you dump DNS, peer into packets, and list what's listening (or not) on the network. Lucas covers Linux and Unix, of course, but he also covers Windows — particularly handy if, like me, you've stuck to one side over the course of your career. Tcpdump/Windump, arp, netstat, netcat and ifconfig are all covered here, but more importantly you'll also learn how to understand what they tell you, and how to relay that information to network administrators.

That thought leads to the final chapter of this book: a plea for working as a team, even when you're not on the same team. Bad things come from network and systems folks not understanding each other. Good things — happy workplaces, successful careers, thriving companies and new friends — can come from something as simple as saying "Well, I don't know if it is the network's fault...why don't we test and find out?"

After reading this book, you'll have a strong footing in networking. Lucas explains concepts in practical ways; he makes sure to teach tools in both Unix/Linux and Windows; and he gives you the terms you'll use to explain what you're seeing to the network folks. Along the way there's a lot of hard-won knowledge sprinkled throughout (leave autonegotiation on — it's a lot better than it used to be; replace cables if there's any hint of flakiness in a server's network connection) that, for me at least (and be honest, you too) would have saved a lot of time over the years.

Who would I recommend this book to?
  • If you're a sysadmin at the beginning of your career, this book is an excellent beginning; take it, read it, and build on it — both with practical experience and further reading.
  • If you're coming into system administration the back way (as a developer who has to manage their own server, say, or who shares responsibility for a networked service with other admins), I can't think of a better single source for the practical knowledge you need. You'll gain an understanding of what's going on under the hood, how to diagnose problems you encounter, and how to talk to either system or network administrators about fixing those problems.
  • If you're a manager or senior sysadmin, buy this book and read it through before handing it to the juniors on your team, or that dev who keeps asking questions about routing and the firewall; you may learn a few things, and it's always good to read fine technical writing.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Cancer treatment (Score 1) 159

by technoid_ (#36999196) Attached to: Why Some People Don't Have Fingerprints

One of the causes of ppl losing their fingerprints is cancer treatment. I am facing a bone marrow transplant/stem-cell transplant and one of the possible side effects is losing my fingerprints. I am not sure if this is directly from the transplant, or something from the strong chemotherapy I will endure before/during the transplant procedure. Along with my blood DNA being different from the cheek swab test, I will be a walking "CSI episode waiting to happen". Maybe I will just get some stick on fingerprints like in "Gone in 60 seconds". Elvis Lives!

technoid_

Comment: Worried. (Score 2) 334

by technoid_ (#36192848) Attached to: <em>Neuromancer</em> Movie Deal Moving Forward

Due to how badly Gibson's big screen adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic butchered the original story, I am worried this too will tarnish my memories of William Gibson's works. Some stories are better off not being made into movies at all versus being made into a bad movie.

While we are at it, lets ruin a few other cyberpunk classics such as Snowcrash by Stephenson and Software/Wetware from Rudy Rucker.

BTW: Get off my lawn.

technoid_

AMD

AMD Demos Llano Fusion APU, Radeon 6800 Series 116

Posted by timothy
from the onward-ever-onward dept.
MojoKid writes "At a press event for the impending launch of AMD's new Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 series graphics cards, the company took the opportunity to provide an early look at the first, fully functional samples of their upcoming 'Llano' processor, or APU (Applications Processer Unit). For those unfamiliar with Llano, it's 32nm 'Fusion' product that integrates CPU, GPU, and Northbridge functions on a single die. The chip is a low-power derivative of the company's current Phenom II architecture fused with a GPU that will target a wide range of operating environments at speeds of 3GHz or higher. Test systems showed the integrated GPU had no trouble running Alien vs. Predator at a moderate resolution with DirectX 11 features enabled. In terms of the Radeon 6800 series, board shots have been unveiled today, as well as scenes from AMD's upcoming tech demo, Mecha Warrior, showcasing the new graphics technology and advanced effects from the open source Bullet Physics library."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Berlin Wall 'Death Strip' Game Sparks Outrage In Germany 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the sweet-zombie-reagan dept.
gzipped_tar writes "According to Spiegel Online, 'A new computer game where players assume the roles of border guards and shoot people trying to escape from communist East Germany has unleashed a storm of controversy in Germany. The game's creator says he wanted to teach young people about history, but he has been accused of glorifying violence. ... The name of the multi-player FPS game, 1,378 (kilometers), was inspired by the length of the border between East and West Germany. ... [Players] choose between the roles of the border guards or would-be escapees: the escapee only has one goal — to get over the wall, but the border guard has more options, and can shoot or capture the escapee. He can also swap sides and try to clamber over the border defenses himself.' By choosing to play the border guard and kill the escapee, the player would win an in-game medal from the government of East Germany. But then the guard would time-travel forward to the year 2000, where he would have to stand trial. Jens Stober, 23, designed the game as a media art student at the University of Design, Media and Arts in Karlsruhe. He said that his intention was to teach young people about German history."
Open Source

Open Source Developer Knighted 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the knights-who-say-free dept.
unixfan writes "Georg Greve, developer of Open Document Format and active FOSS developer, has received a knighthood in Germany for his work. From the article: 'Some weeks ago I received news that the embassy in Berne had unsuccessfully been trying to contact me under FSFE's old office address in Zurich. This was a bit odd and unexpected. So you can probably understand my surprise to be told by the embassy upon contacting them that on 18 December 2009 I had been awarded the Cross of Merit on ribbon (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) by the Federal Republic of Germany. As you might expect, my first reaction was one of disbelief. I was, in fact, rather shaken. You could also say shocked. Quick Wikipedia research revealed this to be part of the orders of knighthood, making this a Knight's Cross.'"
NASA

Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-perspective-on-an-old-tragedy dept.
longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Blind Accessibility, VAXen, and BSD

Submitted by Mortimer.CA
Mortimer.CA writes: The most recent BSDTalk (#143) has an interview with Deborah Norling (who's blind) where she talks about: command-line accessibility, documentation quality, using (serial port) Braille and speech systems on old PDPs and VAXen/s, GUI screen readers, and SIMH.
Operating Systems

FreeBSD 7.0 Bests Linux In SMP Performance 288

Posted by kdawson
from the coulda-been-a-contender dept.
cecom writes "After major improvements in SMP support in FreeBSD 7.0, benchmarks show it performing 15% better than the latest Linux kernels (PDF, see slides 17 to 19) on 8 CPUs under PostgreSQL and MySQL. While a couple of benchmarks are not conclusive evidence, it can be assumed that FreeBSD will once again be a serious performance contender. Some posters on LWN have noted that the level of Linux performance could be related to the Completely Fair Scheduler, which was merged into the 2.6.23 Linux kernel." Update: 03/06 21:32 GMT by KD : An anonymous reader sent in word that Linux kernel developer Nick Piggin reran the benchmark today and came to a different conclusion: In his benchmark Linux was faster than FreeBSD.
AMD

+ - AMD/ATI's opensource efforts revealed

Submitted by mattaw
mattaw writes: Phoronix have revealed in some detail the plan of AMD/ATI to support a community written Radeon opensource driver.

To whit, they are releasing specs and some example code under NDA and an opensource library that connects to the card's BIOS. They already have XOrg developers onboard and have also attracted Jerome Glisse who reverse engineered ATI cards to make the Avivio driver (incidentally probably killing that driver but the new ATI open driver will surely benefit from his excellent work).

While not completely open, this is pretty open for starters, HOWEVER I for one am not certain of things like support for hardware video decoding or extra on board hardware (TV-Out etc.).

Checkout the final comments: "The aim of this open-source driver is not to overtake the fglrx driver but rather is designed for those who just want a working desktop with 3D capabilities and basic video playback. This new driver is ideal for FOSS enthusiasts and those wishing to run the latest development kernels and versions of X.Org."

Still there is no argument that this is a brilliant result.
Upgrades

+ - Replacing a Voice Mail System

Submitted by
mikey1134
mikey1134 writes: "I am a Network Technician for medium-sized business firm in the north-eastern US. I have been charged with creating a backup to our voicemail system. The current implementation is a Lucent Intuity Audix system running on SCO Unixware system (let the joking ensue) The system is no longer supported by the installers and the only choice offered for a redundant system is a complete replacement with a price tag upwards of $20,000. We are looking at replicating the current system, but hardware for it (PXO, cards etc.) is hard to come by. I've considered suggesting something like Asterisk but I've never personally seen a voicemail-only implimentation. Can anyone point me in the right direction for either keeping the old system going (new hardware, etc.) or failing that, suggestions for a drop-in replacement system, preferably utilizing free software."
Operating Systems

+ - ASK Slashdot: Which Linux Flavor for Servers 1

Submitted by BrownBag
BrownBag writes: First off, I'm a linux noob. My buddies and I are currently running our website on a webhost's Linux server. We've got the "AMP" part of LAMP down pretty good, and are now looking to colocate our own server running Linux. We are looking for a Linux distro that can scale well for multiple server growth (future), is rock solid, and configures well with memcache, load balancer, firewall etc. A free distro would be ideal, but if the Slashdot community recommends a Linux distro that is not free, that is fine as well, since our minds are open to grow with the right distro. I've done some searching on linux, but that is not yielding the fruit I am looking for. Our first goal would be to run it (learn it) as a localhost and configure it with Plesk or similar, to get ready for the real thing.

Don't panic.

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