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Journal Journal: engadget


Journal Journal: IBM'ers in San Diego?

Any IBM'ers going to PLTE in San Diego next week? At 1pm on Tuesday, one of the sessions being offered is "How to build an enterprise using only Open Source software". Should be interesting.


Journal Journal: Convicted Film Pirate Found Dead

From this, the convicted film pirate Russell Sprague was found dead in his jail cell awaiting sentencing. I can't believe our beloved /. didn't pick this up (or perhaps didn't feel it was important enough to discuss). I wanted to see how many people said "good!" and how many said "its not stealing if I wasn't going to buy it anyway!"

Ugh. I need a /. for professionals. Badly.

Linux Business

Journal Journal: Trying out Xen

I'm currently volunteering at two different places that IBM has recently donated servers and workstations to. I've been a professional VMWare ESX consultant for a couple of years now, and I'm a national leader for Grid, OS, and storage virtualization technologies in the group I work for (~800 consultants). As such, I've wanted to help the places I volunteer at get the most out of their server equipment, so I've dabbled in OSS virtualization technologies for some time now. UML was neat, but sucked without the umlbuilder frontend, and even then you were restricted to using RPM-based distros.

So I found Xen a month ago and finally went out and picked up the donated servers so I could configure them. It was funny that some guy here posted how Xen was not obscure, yet I hadn't heard of it until 2 weeks before he made that comment. Anyway, so far I like it. The VMs run at "line speed" if you will, and for once its nice to see some consistent behavior between VMWare ESX and an OSS product in that when running Xen, the "host OS" only sees 128MB of RAM (settable, of course).

We still don't have an OSS alternative hypervisor that allows guests to boot off of the physical CD-ROM drive or a loop-mounted ISO image. Since IBM is throwing their weight behind Xen, integrating SELinux into the product, why can't we close the gap and let it boot right from CDs or images?

Anyway, for those who need and understand the value of virtualization, and maintain "enterprise-class" (>2GB RAM) Linux servers for customers who would rather spend money on hardware than software, check out Xen.


Journal Journal: FreeBSD 5.3 barfs VMWare ESX

The installer for FreeBSD 5.3 doesn't even boot in VMWare ESX 2.1.1. A couple times a year, I decide to try some of the fringy stuff bandied about around here. Last week, I setup Gentoo (from stage 1) on a P2-266 w/128MB. Took about 3 days to get a gnome desktop, but at least I got there. Emerge is great for installing new software, but HTF do you query the package system to see IF a particular package is installed? You know, like rpm -q or dpkg -l?

I wanted to help my sister make a few bucks on eBay so I set her up with a Gentoo Universal CD, debian 3.0r3 i386 CDs (3 CDs), FC3 Test 3 (4 CDs), and FreeBSD 5.3, and 100 blanks. Figured I'd check out fbsd 5.3 and it doesn't even boot to the installer. Too bad its not work-related. If I find time in the day, I'll report it to VMWare support. Its a REALLY BAD barf.

Maybe this xmas I'll get my wife a nice OSX box. I can see that one being the closest to actually "just working" as Gentoo and FreeBSD zealots always claim.


Journal Journal: RIP John Peel

Anyone who knows "The Manchester Scene", and just plain Brit Rock knows John Peel. He died yesterday while on holiday in South America. Many of his live "Peel Sessions" CDs adorn my collection, and were just as important to me as the studio albums I bought.

When I took a trip to England early last year, I checked into my hotel room and turned the radio on. Sure enough, John Peel was playing Bauhaus on his retro show. It was like I was finally home.

His insight into new music will be missed.


Journal Journal: Ignorance is Bliss

About 18 months ago, IBM and HP were in a tight battle to acquire AT&T's desktop support group (PDS). HP won out. Well, within the last couple weeks, some former AT&T'ers noticed that 27,000 desktops are vulnerable to various attacks against systems running Microsoft OSes and applications. Someone else ran their own script and determined that the 27,000 figure was off to the high side by 18,000. They are now scrambling nationwide trying to figure out how to patch somewhere between 9,000 and 27,000 desktops. Carly will be notified on Wednesday about this problem since it will cost the AT&T support project a few million $ they were never expecting to spend (and can't pass thru to AT&T).

So the best minds on the project had a meeting over the weekend, and what did they decide was the culprit behind letting up to 27,000 desktops go unpatched? It was due to the Tivoli management environment that was installed years ago, but never updated. That's right, it has nothing to do with piss-poor Enterprise Systems Mangaement policies and procedures. It has nothing to do with the fact that HP didn't do their due diligence when fighting tooth-and-nail to acquire this support group. When HP and AT&T personnel are at the table and Carly's direct-reports are asking "WTF?", blame IBM. That's the best they could come up with. At that rate, their problems will never be solved.

With that head-in-the-sand attitude, I'm glad IBM didn't get that support group, and its no wonder that AT&T is in the f* hall of shame. Some people.


Journal Journal: Got noticed in Manhattan

Just because I haven't said anything in a while. Work has now taken me back to staying in Manhattan. I worked at home for the last 9 months, and lived in hotels for the 11 months prior to that. So, I was driving in Manhattan yesterday, and was the lead car stopped at a red light. 52nd and Broadway, I think. I had the Murano recently cleaned, had an Alien Sex Fiend cd blaring, and had the big ole "LINUX" license plate sticking out into the crowd crossing the street. Suddenly, a guy turns, grabs the two girls with him and pointed at the plate, saying something. Then one of the girls looked up at me and caught me studying their reactions. She smiled at me, I smiled back and gave a slow, deliberate up-and-down headshake as if "that's right!" could be said in such a move. She chuckled and turned to keep walking with her friends.

It was kinda neat seeing some people do exactly what I would have done if it were me walking with my wife and a friend.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Someone quoted me! 2

Wanna see something freaky? Have you heard antislashdot? Its a site dedicated to karma whoring by copying verbatim +5 posts into a database and then making a search front-end for easy retrieval and reposting under someone else's name. Well, I decided to search on my handle to see what's out there, and I found this! Scroll down to March 10th. Its not the same as antislashdot at all. I was actually kinda impressed that they liked my post that much. Freaked, but a little proud nonetheless.


Journal Journal: MechAssault for xbox

Ok, getting closer. I picked up MechAssault for XBox over the weekend. Oh, the XBoxUSB adapter cable arrived in 3 days from Hong Kong! I've always heard good things about Lik-Sang, but I just couldn't believe that it would be that easy to order something from Asia. $13 for the cable and $20 for shipping.

I also already have a USB Combo SmartMedia/CompactFlash reader/writer, so according to, all I have to do next is copy a hacked "savegame" of MechAssault to the SmartMedia, hook it up to the XBox and use the XBox console to copy it to the hard drive, then restore the savegame in MechAssault. Apparently it'll hack the main menu and replace the Live configuration option with LINUX. Just like adding a Linux bootable partition to the old Windows NT boot loader ;-)

Two things. First, the guy at the game store asked if I will be playing this on XBox Live and I replied, "no, this is the game you need in order to hack the XBox to load Linux on it." "Uhhhh, oh!" Second, I got into an argument with my best bud because he just doesn't get that I'm not removing any XBox functionality, instead just *adding* HTPC functionality to it by running MythTV frontend under Linux. He kept saying, "its such a kickass box, why do you INSIST on loading Linux on it? You just HAVE to see Linux running on EVERYTHING, don't you?" I was trying to explain to him how MythTV splits the backend (PVR functionality, DVD player/ripper/library, MP3 player/ripper/library, newsfeed and Weather Channel "screen savers") from the frontend which is only the display piece. They can run on the same box, but they don't *have to*. He has an awesome Shuttle HTPC on his main TV running XPME, so I guess he can't possibly imagine turning an XBox into a $149 convergence box with all the functionality of his $500 PC that doesn't play any games.

The long and short of it was my explaining that with Myth, you have one or more backend servers, capturing and storing all the content and a PC connected to each TV running the display piece. You can stream different content to each TV simultaneously. And if you use XBox instead of a straight PC, you can always reboot back to XBox mode and play XBox games. He replied, "you can do all that streaming with Replay" (even knowing full well that I already have a hacked TiVO on my LAN). It ended with my asking, "okay, how many subscriptions do I have to pay for with Replay then, because with TiVO, it is PER UNIT!" "Oh, good point."

Conversation over.

Happy Easter, all, if... you... believe in all that stuff.

XBox (Games)

Journal Journal: xbox-linux as MythTV Frontend 2

I ordered the USB adapter from Lik-Sang today so that I could do the chipless Linux on XBox. In particular, I wanted to hear some comments from people who have installed xbox-linux for the purpose of running a remote MythTV frontend.


Journal Journal: New TV Technology 2

I've been giving serious thought to getting one of those 42" HD-ready plasma flat screen tv's from Gateway. I decided to do at least a little bit of research, and I found an interesting article here.

For those (like me) who have been neck-deep into computers for over 20 years but know squat about all this new TV technology :)

XBox (Games)

Journal Journal: Merry Christmas all!

Had a great Christmas.. my sister came in from Los Angeles and my mom flew up from Orlando.

Here's what I got..

1. xbox
2. grand theft auto 3 and vice city double pack
3. joy division 4-cd kit, "means to an end"
4. "24 hour party people" dvd AND soundtrack
5. smiths, the queen is dead
6. cure, disintegration
7. cure, standing on a beach
(yes, i am 33, that's all music grew up with but never bought - except joy division)
8. binary clock from thinkgeek
9. mini maglite for the car
10. 3 pairs of business socks
11. very warm land's end sock/slippers
12. a video about adopting from china
13. flight simulator 2004
14. david cronenberg's naked lunch dvd

and best of all..

15. a discovery flight and 30 mins ground school at a nearby flight school!!! w00 h00

Hope everyone had a great christmas, and have a great new year!

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