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Comment Re:Debian GNU/kFreeBSD (Score 1) 376

That's only partly true. In '94 BSD was even or ahead of Linux in terms of features.

Wrong. As one of the grandparent posts mentions, at that time Linux had shared libraries and compressed kernel, making it much more usable on desktop PCs. I know what I am talking about, I was a 386BSD and NetBSD user then, and for me those features (together with better attitude of the Linux community) were precisely the reasons for migrating to Linux.

Of course, networking at that time was more mature in *BSD. But as for overall system stability, Linux won: around 1994 it was the first UN*X I had that survived running crashme(1) on it.

Silicon Graphics

Submission + - SGI assets may be sold for $25M

UnanimousCoward writes: Several articles including this one from the San Jose Merc are reporting that SGI has agreed to sell itself for $25 million to Rackable Systems after seeking bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years. A judge still has to approve the deal. Stories like this make me feel old.
Silicon Graphics

Submission + - SGI Files for Chaper 11, plans to sell off assets

darkjedi521 writes: According to Bloomberg, SGI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy April 1st with plans to sell its assets to Rackable Systems unless another buyer is willing to come forward and pay a higher per share price than Rackable. According to the Mercury News, the sale is for $25 million, though the chapter 11 proceedings leave the possibility of sale to another entity open.

Submission + - RIP SGI

Hugh Pickens writes: "A collective shudder rippled through Silicon Valley on Wednesday morning, as Rackable Systems announced the purchase for just $25 million in cash of Silicon Graphics Inc, a company that in 1997 was pulling in close to $4 billion in revenue a year producing some of the flashiest computers on the planet for handling tough graphics jobs. SGI was forced into bankruptcy a couple of years back and has been struggling ever since but in its day it was one of the nation's fastest-growing companies, best known for building extraordinary computers that helped create special effects for the "Jurassic Park" films. SGI used to thrive by selling computers based on its own chips and operating system but its technology was undercut by cheaper graphics products from companies like Nvidia and cheaper mainstream chips from Intel. In addition, SGI made a blunder by opting to move all of its computers over to Intel's lackluster Itanium chip. By buying SGI, Rackable takes on some engineers with expertise in building large, complex systems as well as some intellectual property around graphics and server technology but regrettably for SGI, the company sold off some of its key 3-D graphics technology to Microsoft several years ago."

Comment Incremental approach (Score 1) 455

I think it is not because of an incremental approach of GNOME, but rather because of their decremental approach.

Things like replacing GDM with a rewrite that still does not match the original GDM feature-wise (it even could not do XDMCP for a long time and it cannot do auto-login for single-user systems even now), replacing Sawfish with Metacity, replacing Galeon with Epiphany, which - even with epiphany-extensions package - still cannot match Galeon (despite the fact the development of Galeon has been dormant for several years now), etc.

I guess the next decremental step would be kicking out Ekiga in favour of Empathy.

Comment Re:Is Virtualization the New OS? (Score 1) 259

How good are LVM snapshots at rolling back a hosed OS?

About the same as VM snapshots. For example, Solaris uses ZFS snapshots for OS upgrades by default.

How easy is it to:

Use the same hardware to run a test environment for that case without any virtualization products like OpenVZ/Virtuozzo or Xen/VMware etc?

It depends whether your application has any hardcoded paths in it, whether it can use e.g. different TCP ports, whether it is easy to impose ulimits on it, etc. Some can do it, some cannot. But still, it is much faster to have (say) two VMs - one for testing and one for production use, but definitely not one per application.

Comment Re:Is Virtualization the New OS? (Score 1) 259

Just a minor nitpick: for rolling back a SW upgrade, you can use LVM/FS/storage snapshots, which are as good as the virtual machine snapshots.

And of course, many HW problems affect the whole system, the virtual machines have no means of magically escaping from this.

Don't get me wrong, I also use virtual machines for many purposes. I have just wanted to point out that a "one application = one virtual machine" approach is quite insane. We already have a means of isolating applications from each other - it is called "an operating system kernel". Virtualization just brings an unnecessary overhead in this case. OTOH, running a virtual machine with _many_ applications for the purpose of live migration and whatnot - this a right use of virtualization.

Comment Re:Is Virtualization the New OS? (Score 1) 259

What do you do when you have to go down to the physical machine to patch firmware/bios? You lose all your applications, right?

Well, I patch the firmware probably once or at most two or three times in the server HW lifetime. OTOH, patching the OS kernel is way more frequent in my part of timespace. And the new kernel means server reboot, be it virtualized or not.

The point of virtualization is mostly to isolate the applications which require different operating systems or OS versions (with a minor added bonus of faster reboot time and live migration). But a separate virtual host per application is simply insane. After all, it is the operating system kernel which has been designed to provide a more-or-less "virtualized" view of the hardware for the applications. One OS image can more often than not run multiple applications without a problem.


Via Unveils 1-Watt x86 CPU 276

DeviceGuru writes "Taiwanese chip and board vendor Via Technologies has introduced a new ultra-low voltage (ULV) processor aimed at industrial, commercial, and ultra-mobile applications. Touted as the world's most power-efficient x86-compatible CPU, the 500MHz 'Eden ULV 500' processor debuted at an Embedded Systems Conference in Taipei this week. Via says its chip draws a minimum of 0.1 Watts, when idle, and a maximum of 1 Watt, making it a great candidate for consumer electronics devices such as UMPCs, PVRs, and such."

Submission + - Human diversity on the decline

jd writes: "In a study covering five different periods of history, from 300 AD to the present day, and geographically spread across much of Europe, scientists have extracted the mitochondrial DNA from a sizable number of individuals in an effort to examine changes in diversity. The results, published in the Royal Society journal is intriguing to say the least. 1700 years ago, three out of every four individuals belonged to a different haplotype. In modern Europe, the number is only one in three. The researchers blame a combination of plague, selection of dominant lineages and culturally-inflicted distortions. The researchers say more work needs to be done, but are unclear if this involves archaeology or experiments involving skewing the data in the local female population."

Self-Healing Plastic Skin 104

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have developed a form of plastic skin that can heal itself when damaged. The material relies on an underlying network of vessels — similar to blood capillaries — that carry a healing agent to areas on the material's surface that sustain damage. Unlike previous self-healing systems that relied on capsules of agent buried in the polymer and which became depleted after one use, the new system can respond to damage at the same point many times over."

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