DoodleBorg is] running off six motorcycle starter motors. It’s using mini all-terrain vehicle wheels and has a custom chassis made out of six-millimetre thick steel that has been laser cut. It has two motorcycle batteries, and six of our wonderful PicoBorg reverse control boards which are capable of five amps per channel, ten amps in total. We’ve got them connected up, one per motor so we can individually control each of the wheels. This means we can make alternate wheels go in all sorts of directions if we want them to. There are some big crazy switches on the front that serve emergency power-offs too.
Software engineer Thomas Gibbons remembers from an early age working with his father to set up mail servers in their home in Kidderminster, England. His dad, Christopher Gibbons, a BT (British Telecom) engineer, was always eager to teach him about things he expressed interested in, he said via phone this week.
“He got me into programming as well. I'm where I am today because of my father's faith in me,” Gibbons said. “Whenever I wanted to learn something, he said 'Great, we'll learn it together.”
It basically boils down to the fact that in the open source world, the majority of work is done on open source UNIX-like operating systems such as GNU/Linux, *BSD, and somewhat recently in the IllumOS space. Each of these options are solid choices for server-side use, with varying preferences on which is the best. I think the server market share in recent years is evidence of this. However, the desktop has kind of been the peak of the mountaintop that we've yet reached. In the past few years there's been an influx of people who I think have given up on the desktop, have put down their distro of choice, and picked up a Mac because it offers a UNIX-like work environment with a nice polished "out of box" experience. I don't think this is inherently wrong or evil, but I do think that we all owe it to ourselves, and to our community, to sit back and ask: "What is this $thing lacking that makes me not want to use it?" (Though most often that $thing is GNOME3, Unity, Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, or some distro that ships with the desktop by default.)
I’m not a big hardware guy. At all. Specs mean very little to me. However, Sean’s hardware is interesting, as it’s a Novena, something he developed himself. And of course, because he’s working with Linux, he’s able to get things to run pretty well. I have no idea what the future of the Novena is, but I love that people can make new devices that will be able to access familiar software and interfaces. Microsoft is making Windows cost-free for certain devices. It’s a smarter strategy than charging manufacturers, but until they let people get under the hood of the code, they’re going to have a hard time reaching new, experimental devices. Which is actually OK with me, since I’m happy to have Linux in as many places as possible.
Rackspace has lately been in the news for its stock market gains and a potential acquisition. But over the past 16 years the company has become well known, first as a web hosting provider built on Linux and open source, and later as a pioneer of the open source cloud and founder of the OpenStack cloud platform.
In May, Rackspace became a Xen Project member and was one of three companies to join the Linux Foundation as a corporate member, along with CoreOS and Cumulus Networks.
“Many of the applications and infrastructure that we need to run for internal use or for customers run best on Linux,” said Paul Voccio, Senior Director of Software Development at Rackspace, via email. “This includes all the popular language frameworks and open virtualization platforms such as Xen, LXC, KVM, Docker, etc.”
In this Q&A, Voccio discusses the role of Rackspace in the cloud, how the company uses Linux, why they joined the Linux Foundation, as well as current trends and future technologies in the data center.