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Linux Fatware: Distros That Need To Slim Down 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-in-shape dept.
snydeq writes "We need bare-bones Linux distros tailored for virtual machines or at least the option for installs, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'As I prepped a new virtual server template the other day, it occurred to me that we need more virtualization-specific Linux distributions or at least specific VM-only options when performing an install. A few distros take steps in this direction, such as Ubuntu and OEL jeOS (just enough OS), but they're not necessarily tuned for virtual servers. For large installations, the distributions in use are typically highly customized on one side or the other — either built as templates and deployed to VMs, or deployed through the use of silent installers or scripts that install only the bits and pieces required for the job. However, these are all handled as one-offs. They're generally not available or suitable for general use.'"

Comment: Re:What? (Score 3, Insightful) 247

by C60 (#39642375) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: At What Point Has a Kickstarter Project Failed?

As soon as someone says "We need X amount of money to do Y", you have to look into exactly who they are and why they need it and what they'll do with it. Those Kickstarter projects that are basically "We'd like to make an indie game that does X" really annoy me. You do? Bugger off and do it then!

I'm one of those developers who is saying "I need X to do Y". Who also just happens to be working on an indie game. Who also just happens to be using Kickstarter to fund our second stage of development. You know why I know what resources I need? I've been working in the startup industry for the last 25 years.

  Kickstarter is fairly picky about projects they let in. These days you have to either talk a good game, or really show a working proof of concept. Yeah, a few stinkers get through, but I've backed 21 projects so far, and not a single one has failed (admitedly only 3 are software). YMMV, but don't assume a group of developers are full of it because they're using Kickstarter as a funding option. It's an excellent way to guage interest and spur innovation, even if you've never heard of them before.

  Look at the project, determine if it *is* possible based on it's merits and the current technology available, investigate the people involved as much as possible and treat it like a high risk investment that might just get you a t-shirt and a nifty piece of software.

Comment: C64 ROMs, pre-1.0 linux, and black boxing (Score 1) 422

by C60 (#36746566) Attached to: How Do You Get Your Geek Nostalgia Fix?

Sure the ROMs are running in an emulator on a modern machine, but nothing beats a game of Mule with some friends for nostalgia.

Pulling out an old computer and seeing if I could get a pre-1.0 linux kernel loaded was what I did up until the hardware was finally recycled. Ahh, the days when command line skills really made the geek.

Okay, black boxing is out, but looking over old copies of 2600 is a walk down memory lane.

Hardware

ARM Chips Designed For 480-Core Servers 132

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-tools dept.
angry tapir writes "Calxeda revealed initial details about its first ARM-based server chip, designed to let companies build low-power servers with up to 480 cores. The Calxeda chip is built on a quad-core ARM processor, and low-power servers could have 120 ARM processing nodes in a 2U box. The chips will be based on ARM's Cortex-A9 processor architecture."

Comment: Re:Hundreds... time to do inventory (Score 1) 559

by C60 (#35019264) Attached to: How many microprocessors are in your home, total?
Just one drawer of my electronics tool kit destroys this poll. Mouser dropped off 20 more Atmel chips to me yesterday in fact. Not to mention the random assortment of arduinos, PC104 boards, shiva plugs, gutted iPods and sundry other widgets that live next to the tools at the top of the case. Honestly, I've got at least 50 microprocessors in a large tacklebox I keep next to the easychair in my living room. Much to my wife's dismay, particularly when I'm soldering... I think a more interesting poll would be "How many microprocessors have you cooked due to sheer stupidity, or misreading a data sheet?"

Comment: Re:Software? (Score 1) 715

by vladkrupin (#33570092) Attached to: The Last Component To Fail In My Computer Was The...

If we were to consider software failures as component failures, this poll would be a non-starter. Software fails daily. Got a 404 lately? Fail. Had to reboot your windows box? Fail. Got the latest "Here you go" or the PDF-exploit worm? Fail. Your spam filter did not catch all of your spam? Fail. Your fancy smartphone froze up and had to be power-cycled? Fail.

Half the software I use does not perform anywhere close to my expectations. I am used to it; I am a software engineer by trade, I write my own bugs, my expectations are remarkably low. As long as I can get by somehow without throwing my computer out the window, I consider it a good day.

Comment: Standalone headless devices (Score 1) 715

by vladkrupin (#33570060) Attached to: The Last Component To Fail In My Computer Was The...

My wireless routers keep croaking over and dying. Mostly the ones provided by Comcast/Verizon. I think I am on the 4th one in 2-3 years. When another one bites the dust, I pull out my old trusty WRT54G, which still works like a champ.

My print server recently went to the hardware heaven.

Most recently my Roku box started flaking. Not sure what I'll do when that one dies. Can't easily replace that with WRT54G...

Those aren't very complex devices by today's standards. What's going on here? Widespread quality control lapses? Conspiracy to keep me upgrading? The room where all this electronics is located is clean, no excess dust, I am in a fairly cool climate, so the temperature rarely rises to 't-shirt friendly'. I don't abuse/misuse/overclock the devices, even if I could.

Comment: Re:I See No Problem (Score 1) 390

by C60 (#33170856) Attached to: US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks

As a member of the military who has no fear of asking logical questions of his superiors, I asked my Communications Officer why this "ban" was being instated (it hadn't been instated at the time). The answer I recieved was that it was against the UCMJ to look at the material.
 
That answer is a gross over simplification of the truth, but it is essentially true. As a member of the armed forces, we are required to safeguard the secrets of the United States and prevent their dissemination. Therefore the simple act of viewing one of those documents in a non-secure manner without need to know represents a security spillage, and is essentially against the UCMJ.
 
As to the *reasoning* behind this, honestly? It probably has more to do with keeping DoD computers free of this material than keeping DoD employee's minds frees of this material. The .gov is trying to limit the spillage as much as possible. Doing a proper scrub is an incredibly costly and time consuming process, now multiply that across the hundreds of thousands of computers owned by the DoD... All of us soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen know exactly what's going on over there, spilled documents or not.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 5, Interesting) 245

by vladkrupin (#30796436) Attached to: Providing a Closed Source License Upon Request?

It's actually not uncommon. My current employer has a "no open source allowed without explicit approval by the legal dept, which takes an eternity and is a royal pain, so don't do it unless there's absolutely no alternative" policy. I am not kidding.

One of my previous employers had the same policy. This is not at all uncommon.

A few years ago a company found some of my code on the web. The code was released under an apache-like license. They contacted me because they wanted to buy it, but with a couple of minor modifications and under a different license. Essentially very similar scenario as the situation the OP found himself in. I agreed, made the modifications, and sold the original product plus the mods to them under a different license. I think it was cheaper for them to get the modifications they wanted, and the license they liked than develop the same code themselves.

As for me, I felt that nobody besides that company would have probably wanted those modifications anyway. That's probably not entirely true, but I convinced myself of that so that way I did not feel like I was totally selling out :) The Open Source community probably did not miss much by me not releasing those mods. I treated the modifications as "work for hire", and since I never released them, I avoided most of the possible legal difficulties. The original product stayed under the same license, of course. That company is now one of the 5 largest software companies, so I presume the practice is not unusual.

Comment: You are not really getting it, are you? (Score 4, Insightful) 245

by vladkrupin (#30712604) Attached to: Psystar Activation Servers Down?

There is no legal trick, no dirty tactic. Yes, EULAs are horrible, blah, blah, blah, I agree with all of that. But that is totally beside the point.

The point is that the software is Apple's. Period. They can do whatever they want with it. If they want to sell it, they can. If they want to open-source it, they can. If they want to attach a EULA, they can. If they want to _refuse_ to sell it to you, they can. If they want to bundle it with hardware, they can. If they want to add DRM, they can. Get it? It's theirs. They can do whatever they want.

Now, what can you do? You can: (1) Play by Apple's rules and do whatever their license allows you to do or (2) Feel free to create your own OS. When you create it, it's yours, and you can do whatever you want with it -- sell, refuse to sell, add DRM, not add DRM, etc.

Apple can do whatever they want. You (and psystar, and everyone else) can't do jack besides whatever is allowed by Apple's license. It's that simple. Tough luck.

Comment: You guys are missing the point! (Score 5, Insightful) 278

by vladkrupin (#30423970) Attached to: Widenius Warns Against MySQL Falling Into Oracle's Hands

No single entity controls the source of mysql either. It's GPL. If you want to fork it, fork it. You guys are missing the point.

The point is Widenius wants to start a new company, and wants to work off of what mysql, the company (and thousands of volunteers who have contributed to the project) have created over the past N years. He does not care if it goes to Oracle, Microsoft, some made-up nonprofit-ish foundation, or dies. He could really care less about that. He wants to build a company that will make a proprietary product and will make him money.

The thorn in his side, however, is the fact that he can't take the code that was once released as GPL and use it in his proprietary software. He either has to open up his software (which he does not want to do), or else not be able to benefit from all those years worth of effort by mysql AB and others who have contributed to the project.

If the license was just about anything but GPL (apache, BSD, whatever), he could do just that. But he can't.

What, you really think it's all about evil Oracle taking over mysql, and it's not really the license that's a thorn in Wideniuses side? Read a more in-depth analysis by someone who understands the issue a _whole lot better_ than I or just about any of you folks do. Here: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091208104422384

Comment: ATITD (Score 1) 329

by C60 (#25704925) Attached to: Non-Violent, Cooperative Games?
The MMO called A Tale in the Desert fits the bill very well. The level of competition varies, but it is an incredibly social game, very player driven, and requires a lot of cooperation to be successful. There is no violence of any sort, at least not when I was playing. It's the perfect environment for those people that have the urge to let their inner trade-skiller out.

http://www.atitd.com/

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (1) Gee, I wish we hadn't backed down on 'noalias'.

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