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Recent Review Rounds

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Reviews

This past month has been quite exciting with the recent distro releases. We've seen some great work, revolutionary ideas, and even some down right radical thinking. We've seen newcomers do groundbreaking things and old dawgs learn some new tricks.

I've had a long running habit, of about 5 years now, of testing out distros as they were released then I'd write my friends and tell em what I think. I have posted my lilo config a couple times as an example to someone having trouble or questions with setting up dual or triple boot, and got many cute replies. One guy told me to get a life. Big Grin See, there have been times when I've had as many as 30 distros installed across two hard drives. These days I'm down to one. Seems my power supply can't handle the load of all my hardware, which includes an nvidia 6800 that requires it's own power cable, and a second harddrive. So right now I have 11 linux distros bootable on that one harddrive (some with several bootable kernels).

Since I've started the site, I've been posting those said thoughts of distros here instead. Some of my reviews seem to get a few hits while others seem to get a bit fewer. But that's about how it was from friends too. If it was something they became excited about, I'd get emails about this and that, even requesting more screenshots. If it wasn't interesting to them, I'd get a "oh that's nice". Big Grin That's about how it's going here. Big Grin

To the point: I've had some successes and not so successful adventures. I got stampeded by Buffalo, a distro whose name intrigued me. I didn't achieve any yingyang with Zen, whose logo was so darn cute. And my fruit went sour with Berry, whose motif was quite appetizing. All these would get to the point of starting X and then give me the big nothing. That's the way it goes, some hardware combinations just don't fly with some distro. I think this is a big advantage to livecds - one can test their hardware /before/ an actual harddrive install.

My latest tests have been going well. Should I state in public that I've never been the big Redhat fan? Did that come thru in my Fox review? I tried de-emphasize my personal slant towards Redhat and offshoots to write an objective review. And in fact, Fox has improved and purtied it up to where it's almost great. I /could/ get by with it if there weren't so many other choices, but I felt Redhat and Fedora fans should really check it out.

In the interim, I've been working on Lunar. Lunar isn't one of those quickie installs and reviews. It's requiring some work to get ready. I had a basic install from their iso in no time, but it's taken a little while to get to a kde desktop. One can compare Lunar to a stage 3 gentoo install I think. In fact, I see some definite similarities between Lunar and gentoo. Lunar is based on sorceror, but is sorceror an off-shoot of gentoo? I need to research this if I'm gonna write a review of it, but some of it's unique filesystem structure and naming conventions sure remind me of gentoo.

After I finally discovered the commands Lunar uses to install software, I was on my way. I didn't tweak any compile flags or set up distcc, but it's still kinda neato to watch it compile up your applications from scratch. I don't think Lunar is for everyone, as it's taken a little coaxing at times, but i got xorg and the kde desktop installed and running, as well as xawtv! I had to compile a vanilla kernel as I had a little trouble with the nvidia drivers. But it's default is a 2.4 kernel, so one of the next things is to see if I can convert it to a 2.6.

So, as the month draws to end, I need to get a desktop ready for the Gentoo Monthly Screenshots and finish up my Lunar for a review. I'm currently running kde 3.4.1 in gentoo and lunar has kde 3.4.0 installed. Between my real job, this site, my home upkeep, recent car trouble, and a boyfellar who accuses me of things when I conk out from exhaustion - I'm being stretched a little thin these days. I just can't seem to get everything done I'd like.

Happy Linuxin' folks.

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  • Open-source oriented RISELab emerges at UC Berkeley to make apps smarter & more secure
    UC Berkeley on Monday launched a five-year research collaborative dubbed RISELab that will focus on enabling apps and machines that can interact with the environment around them securely and in real-time. The RISELab (Real-time Intelligence with Secure Execution) is backed by a slew of big name tech and financial firms: Amazon Web Services, Ant Financial, Capital One, Ericsson, GE Digital, Google, Huawei, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and VMWare.
  • Telecom organizations boosting support for open source
    Organizational support for open source initiatives is easing the integration of platforms into the telecom world. One key challenge for growing the support of open source into the telecommunications space is through various organizations that are looking to either bolster the use of open source or build platforms based on open source specifications. These efforts are seen as beneficial to operators and vendors looking to take advantage of open source platforms.
  • Google's Draco: Another Open Source Tool That Can Boost Virtual Reality Apps
    With 2017 ramping up, there is no doubt that cloud computing and Big Data analytics would probably come to mind if you had to consider the hot technology categories that will spread out this year. However, Google is on an absolute tear as it open sources a series of 3D graphics and virtual reality toolsets. Last week, we covered the arrival of Google's Tilt Brush apps and virtual reality toolsets. Now, Google has delivered a set of open source libraries that boost the storage and transmission of 3D graphics, which can help deliver more detailed 3D apps. "Draco" is an open source compression library, and here are more details.
  • Unpicking the community leader
    Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day. Now, I have to admit, I don't usually partake in the day all that much. The skeptic in me thinks doing so could be a little self-indulgent and the optimist thinks that we should appreciate great community leaders every day, not merely one day a year. Regardless, in respect of the occasion, I want to delve a little into why I think this work is so important, particularly in the way it empowers people from all walks of life. In 2006 I joined Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager. A few months into my new role I got an email from a kid based in Africa. He shared with me that he loved Ubuntu and the traditional African philosophy of Ubuntu, which translated to "humanity towards others," and this made his interest in the nascent Linux operating system particularly meaningful.
  • Open Source Mahara Opens Moodle Further Into Social Learning
    Designers, managers and other professionals are fond of Open Source, digital portfolio solution Mahara. Even students are incorporating their progress on specific competency frameworks, to show learning evidence. Mahara and Moodle have a long and durable relationship spanning years, ―so much so that the internet has nicknamed the super couple as “Mahoodle“―. A recent post on Moodlerooms’ E-Learn Magazine documents the fruitful partnership as it adds value to New Zealander Catalyst IT’s offerings.
  • U.S. policy on open source software carries IP risks [Ed: Latest FUD from law firm against Free software as if proprietary software is risk-free licensing-wise?]

Openwashing and EEE

Q&A with Arpit Joshipura, Head of Networking for The Linux Foundation

Arpit Joshipura became the Linux Foundation’s new general manager for networking and orchestration in December 2016. He’s tasked with a pretty tall order. He needs to harmonize all the different Linux Foundation open source groups that are working on aspects of network virtualization. Joshipura may be the right person for the job as his 30 years of experience is broad — ranging from engineering, to management, to chief marketing officer (CMO) roles. Most recently he was VP of marketing with Prevoty, an application security company. Prior to that he served as VP of marketing at Dell after the company acquired Force10 Networks, where he had been CMO. Read more