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Venerable Slackware 12 gets a sporty new wardrobe

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Slackware Linux is the oldest surviving Linux distribution, and still one of the most popular. Last week's release of version 12.0 is a milestone for the Slackware team, as it marks Slackware's first use of a default 2.6.x kernel. Other new components include KDE 3.5.7, Xfce 4.4.1, Xorg 7.2.0, and GCC 4.1.2. Slackware is now nearing the bleeding edge without sacrificing stability, making this truly an exciting release.

I downloaded the first three CD-ROM images as torrents. They came in suprisingly fast for torrents, indicating many seeders.

Slackware's installer has remained largely unchanged -- a menu-driven interactive ncurses installer. The basic steps include partitioning the drive if necessary, activating a swap partition, designating a root partition, choosing software, setting up a root password, and installing LILO (or not). Slackware provides four kernel choices: the generic kernel, generic-smp (for multiprocessor/multicore machines), huge (built with about every driver in kernel), and huge-smp. I used a huge kernel for my Hewlett-Packard dv6105 notebook. With a 2.0GHz AMD Turion CPU and 512MB RAM, it boots in an impressive 30 seconds.

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Data indicates that Android picked up global market share from iOS last month

Tracking mobile web traffic, NetMarketShare computes the market share for mobile operating systems. Based on the data from last month, Android was able to widen its gap over iOS globally. Considering that the Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus weren't launched until September 25th, the recently released phones accounted for a miniscule part of the data. The new models won't have a major effect on the results until the figures for this month are released. Read more

RapidDisk / RapidCache 3.4 now available.

RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives. I pushed 3.4 into the mainline earlier this morning. Changes include:
  • Added ability to autoload RapidDisk volumes during module insertion.
  • Fixed bug in RapidDisk (volatile) volume size definition across 32 to 64 bit types.
  • Making use of BIT() macro in the driver.
  • Removed RapidDisk-NV support. It was redundant with the recently kernel integrated pmem code.
You can pull it from the git, yum, ZYpp & apt repos or download it from the SourceForge project page. To stay updated, you can follow the RapidDisk Google+ page.