Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big Buck Bunny...

Another BIG step (if not LEAP) for Open Source... if you have not heard about Big Buck Bunny... I'm so delighted you get to hear it from my blog... much Thanks goes to Lai Kuan for spreading this wonderful news... senyum

See it at http://www.bigbuckbunny.org/

Big Buck Bunny is a 3D animation movie licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 . This means that the entire movie is FREE for you to Share, to Remix as long as you Attribute the original authors of the work. Also worthy of mention is the 3D content creation software behind the movie... Yes, its an open source software and its called Blender (http://www.blender.org). encem

For high resolution copies, go to the Download section on Big Buck Bunny site. I'm embedding the smaller YouTube movie below. Enjoy, oh yeah, its wickedly funny too. gelakguling

Friday, July 25, 2008

Certified Platespin Analyst (CPSA)

Yes! Proud to announce that I passed the exam this morning and I'm now a Certified Platespin Analyst (CPSA). menari

Many Thanks to Lewis for running an excellent Platespin workshop at the Novell Partner Academy last week in Singapore. sembah

Looking forward in using PowerRecon to help customers with their virtualization assessments, PowerConvert to migrate and protect their workloads. Can't wait to get my hands on the Forge too. encem

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Novell's Virtualization Suite in Action (Invitrogen)

It doesn't get any better than having a customer, industry analyst and a 3rd-party technology writer to all concur and give a thumbs up to your solution and strategy. sembah

Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise (with VMWare VMI support) and Platespin making the headlines today at SearchEnterpriseLinux ( http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid39_gci1321810,00.html )

Excerpts below:

Invitrogen Corp., a $1.3 billion life sciences firm based in Carlsbad, Calif., decided to adopt Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise as its platform of choice.

John Merritt said: "This conversion to SUSE isn't because we love open source. It's not about what's cool. It's because it's the right thing to do for the company."

SUSE allows unlimited virtualization, either on Citrix Systems Inc.'s Xen or VMware Inc., he said. This became an important differentiator for Novell. Red Hat was 40% more expensive than SUSE; in fact, it was more expensive than Windows...

Another advantage of Novell was Novell's March acquisition of PlateSpin ... Merritt said is the only tool that will perform physical-to-virtual migrations on Linux.

Burton Group's Jones said the two top open source rivals have adopted fundamentally different market strategies, with Red Hat committed to all-open source products and Novell adopting a best-of-breed, open or proprietary philosophy that focuses on whatever's best for the customer.

A pragmatic view on Linux & Open Source

I just read a rare interview with Linus Torvalds from Simple-Talk.com dated 17th July 2008.

Below is an excerpt of the interview that resonates with me:

On the value of open source as a competitive model bringing progressive & innovative change.
Me personally, I'm a believer in choice. Yes, it can be confusing, and yes, it can cause the market to look more fragmented, but on the other hand, it also begets competition. And competition is good ... I think that's very healthy. And I do know that the whole model means that you have to run just to keep up... And that's good. It keeps us all honest. [me: God knows we need more honesty in the software industry xpasti ]

On the value of open source being something that you can really own.
That's one of the advantages of open source, after all - you're not just buying into a "black box", you're actually buying into a whole infrastructure that you can study and really make your own.
[ me: Mine! Mine! All mine! muahahah encem ]

On Steve Ballmer's (Microsoft) prior comments that Linux is like a 'cancer'.

I have a hard time really seeing what the heck Ballmer is doing. First the monkey dance, then the chair throwing. At some point he called Linux 'un-American', apparently because he doesn't like the competition. Then the cancer thing. And now this fixation with Yahoo! When will it end?
... I think he tried to say that open source grows very aggressively and takes over (which is good - if you're into that whole expanding markets thing), but he wanted to put it in terms of something that grows out of control and is bad for what it is growing in. Thus: cancer. kenyit

So I can certainly see the logic of choosing that word. Do I think it makes sense? No. Of course open source grows aggressively: what's not to like? Low cost, great quality, and a lack of being shackled to some commercial company that you can't really trust further than the fact that they'll happily continue to take your money. Sure, it grows. senyum

And yes, it does grow at the cost of Microsoft, but that's called ’competition’. It doesn't make it 'cancer' any more than it ever made it 'un-American'. sembah

To read the interview in its entirety, please visit http://www.simple-talk.com/opinion/geek-of-the-week/linus-torvalds,-geek-of-the-week/

Sunday, July 20, 2008

SLED 10 SP2 can work with newer HP Printers

This entry is prompted by my previous entry for openSUSE 11 (link). I recall that I had similar challenges in setting up my home HP Deskjet F2120 printer with SLED 10 SP2. With SLED 10 SP2, the challenge was the bundled hplip driver was of a much older version and did not have the necessary support for newer HP Printers.

With an enterprise product (ie 7 years support), Novell had to keep its SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (aka SLED) 10 in a fairly "stable and supportable" state. Therfore, its kernel (2.6.16) and its associated packages are mostly static (unless there is a security or mandatory patch).

Unfortunately (for me), this means the hplip is at version 0.9.7 and another alternative version at 1.7.2. The latest hplip from source is at version 2.8.5 (as of this writing).

Here's how I got my SLED 10 SP2 to work with my new HP Deskjet F2120.

Note: You are on your own as the steps below will install a newer hplip version that does not come with the official SLED 10 SP2 package... Ergo, outside the official enterprise support scope.

1) Use Firefox to surf to openSUSE Build Service at http://software.opensuse.org/search
2) In the search field, enter hplip and select SLES/SLED 10 in the drop-down list and click Search
3) From the results, as shown below, note that there is a version 2.8.2 of hplip available.

Note: Do NOT click the 1-Click Install button. The default SLED 10 does not support this feature... most likely available in the SLED 11 timeframe. angkatkening

4) Instead, take note of the line above the 1-Click Install button (ie home:jsmeix/SLE_10). You can do so by right-clicking on (home:jsmeix/SLE_10) and select Copy Link Location.

The actual URL link is http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:jsmeix/SLE_10

5) Start YaST -> Installation Source. Select Add, followed by Specify URL... and click Next. Paste the link in step (4) in the URL field and click Next. After YaST downloads the respective meta-data and creates a new installation source, click Finish.

6) Start YaST -> Software Management. Enter hplip in the Search field. You will see the hplip package but a newer 2.8.2 version is available for installation. Select this newer hplip version and install or update (if you have a previous hplip version installed).

OOPS: You will need to re-install yast2-printer package. If you do not re-install, the YaST Printer module will hang while it re-organize its new printer database (you installed a new hplip). A re-installation of yast2-printer will overcome this problem. sengihnampakgigi

7) Plug in the USB connector of the HP Deskjet F2120 and use the Control Center -> Printers to configure and you will find the driver for F2120 is now available.

TIP: To monitor all printer definitions, status and print jobs. Use Firefox with the following link http://localhost:631

Viola! Happiness... peluk

My openSUSE 11 Journal - 3 (HP Printer)

Finally found some time this weekend to muck around further with openSUSE 11 (x64) on my ShuttlePC. senyum I needed to print a document on my home printer, the HP Deskjet F2120 (its those all-in-one type with scanner, photo-copier and printing functions).

To my horror hah, openSUSE 11 auto-detected a HP Deskjet 1000 instead of F2120??!! From the dropdown list of printers available, I could not find the Deskjet F2120 model at all. This is just crazy because I could setup my home printer with SLED 10 SP2. Hence, I know this is not a capability issue but one of configuration.

Here's how I got my HP Deskjet F2120 to work, Open YaST and Software Management. Search for a package called hplip (version 2.8.4) and install it.

Comment: Its strange that hplip was not installed by default. Suspect this could be a 64bit thingy.
Note: Once hplip is selected for installation, it complains that some 64bit provider is missing or unavailable (I don't remember). I had the option to give up OR choose to de-install an existing hpijs driver. Since this installed driver did not work for me, I decided to flushed it. angkatkening
Reference: What is hplip? HP Linux Imaging and Printing. Check it out at http://hplip.sourceforge.net/

After the installation of hplip was completed, I plugged in the USB connector to my Deskjet F2120... and Viola! peace, openSUSE 11 auto-detected and auto-configured it and prompted me via a little bubble on the bottom right of the screen. I double-checked just in case (Control Center -> Printing) but I was already printing my document easily via the PDF reader.

I'm happy again... peluk

Friday, July 11, 2008

Xen in Thailand

Had the pleasure of speaking and teaching a SLES XEN Virtualization workshop at the IBM System x Technical University in Bangkok on Thursday(10/7) and Friday(11/7).

It was raining outside and a traffic jam was building up... so glad to be indoors. kenyit

The class has about 20 notebooks from Dell, Compaq and Lenovo.

My setup with the Geeko skinned Thinkpad T61p and a whole lot of Geeko souvenirs and FREE SLES/SLED 10 SP1 (both 32 & 64 bit) DVDs to give away. Feels good giving away software and knowing that I'm not a pirate. Gotta love it. menari

Acknowledgement & Thanks to Ross Brunson and his team for creating the baseline enablement materials. I customized it a little to include Platespin into the presentation and did live demos of Win2003 & Win2008 virtualized on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 with ZENworks Orchestrator and a little sneak peak at Platespin PowerRecon and PowerConvert. Boy... that was a mouthful. senyum

Class photos for Day 1 and 2.

Overall, a good and fruitful trip. senyum

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Radical enough for ya?

Richard M Stallman. Who? Read Wikipedia's entry here to get up to speed.

A recent report from PC World on his views of Open Source, Microsoft, Bill Gates' semi-retirement and free software movement. Read it here. Is this radical enough for you? How much and to what extent would you agree?

Personally, I would advise to read his views in its entirety (over 2 web pages) and form your own independent thought. Why?

"All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work."

"Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops"

Thomas J. Watson Jr of IBM

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Linux for housewives; XP for geeks?

No, you did not read the title wrong... This is a sign of the times... very interesting article on ZDNet -> http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=342

It references a quote from Taiwanese retailers from Nikkei Electronics Asia (an online report):
"...novice PC users there, like students and housewives, tend to buy the Linux version of the Eee PC701, while geeks go for Windows XP."

What is even more interesting is one of the comments left a Mr Flude, his research into the definition of the word "Geek" and in relation to the statement above... had me laughing my head off and (seriously) rolling on the floor... gelakguling here goes:
Pronunciation: \ˈgēk\
Function: noun

1 : a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake
2 : a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked
3 : an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity

"Retailers and contract manufacturers in Taiwan say that novice PC users there, like students and housewives, tend to buy the Linux version of the Eee PC701, while geeks go for Windows XP."

The Taiwanese are referring to groups 1 & 2."

12 Quick Hacks for Firefox 3


Just came across this little article. Some hacks are just fun while others will help with productivity.

I particularly liked the Robot mascot "easter egg"... brought a smile to my face... for about 10 seconds. jelir

Monday, July 7, 2008

Complete Step-by-Step howto for openSUSE 11


Highly recommend the above for anyone starting out with openSUSE 11 for their personal home use. Very well written with step-by-step (including screen captures) instructions to get the most out of openSUSE 11.

Have fun. senyum

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

openSUSE 11.1 roadmap published

openSUSE 11.1 roadmap has been published (see link). In summary, we should "expect" 11.1 to be generally available to the public just before Christmas 2008.

I was postulating previously (link) about SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 and its relation to openSUSE 11.x... So it looks like I'm going to get my wish. Heheh...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My openSUSE 11 Journal - 2

Let's talk User Interface.

Been reading how 3D desktop effects turned on by default... but both KDE and GNOME seemed very 2D to me on first boot. fikir Then I realized that I had to check the option to enable it and .... get this... 3D effects switched ON IMMEDIATELY! sembah Yes, that's right, no more mucking around with video settings, restarting X11 etc. The graphics card on my Shuttle XPC is the onboard Intel G31 Chipset with X3100 GMA.

Noticed improvements in the fundamental UI as well as openSUSE specific ones that focus on usability. Still in my first few days of using this so I'll post more later.


I'll admit that I'm not all that familiar with KDE... with my last production experience with KDE 3.0 (in 2004 timeframe).

KDE 4 blew me away. Its so pretty, I can just sit there admiring it... this will pass I'm sure and I'll be more productive once I get over its beauty. sengihnampakgigi The icon size are just perfect and rolling over them gives me more options (without the need to right-click)...

But it took me awhile to figure out how to turn on the 3D desktop effects though... also noticed the effects are not as fanciful compared with GNOME... I think its their usability philosophy in action... not challenging that since I do get a little carried away with 3D effects in the Beryl days... hahahah kenyit Wanna see how crazy I got? The proof is here on YouTube (link) menari

That's all for now...

My openSUSE 11 Journal - 1

At long last, openSUSE 11 arrived slightly over a week ago (20-21 June thereabouts) and I just had to try it out. Its no secret that the original SLE 10 had its roots somewhere between openSUSE 10 & 10.1. Therefore, trying out openSUSE 11 will give us a little insight/feel on SLE 11 when it eventually rolls out sometime in the middle of next year

... my hope its going to be based in 11.1... regardless of the fine quality I found in openSUSE 11, I still have my belief that one should wait for service pack 1 in any software... call me conservative... heh senyum

First up, a little more details of my setup so that you know "your mileage may vary" since this is a journal of my experience:

Operating System: openSUSE 11 (64 bit)
The Box: Shuttle XPC SG31G2 (see link)
Box Specs:
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (Desktop, non Intel-VT) @ 2.53Ghz
  • Onboard RAM of 2Gb
  • SATA HDD of 250Gb, triple-boot partition (3 OS at boot, common SWAP and DATA partition)
  • Intel G31 chipset with X3100 Graphics Media Accelerator
I installed openSUSE 11 on 2 partitions, one with the exciting/experimental KDE 4 user interface and the other with GNOME, something I'm more accustomed.

The Good:
My hat off to the openSUSE community for their technical excellence, this is by far the faster openSUSE I've seen. From boot up and installation till its completion and ready for use, it only took me 15 minutes!!! sembah

I've been reading how openSUSE has improved its software package management but I had no idea by THIS MUCH. I am so so grateful as this has been one of my bugbear with SUSE in general for sometime. Well DONE! tepuktangan

The Installation process has also been noticeably streamlined without sacrificing the power user's need to customize the install. Very pretty interface and I only had to click Next... the only part where I spent more time was the hard disk partitioning due to my triple-boot setup.

The not-so-Good:
Both the KDE and GNOME edition starts up well with no errors. Except when it tries to be helpful and offered to search for software updates online. I clicked Yes and entered my root password... after 10 minutes... nothing, the UI does not refresh. angkatkening

Since I'm more familiar with GNOME, here's what I did to get online update going:
  1. Computer -> Control Center -> System -> Sessions, disable PackageKit Update Applet. Normally, I would just do a log out/log in and this would remove the update applet. It didn't work for me as the update applet was removed but there is some background process running and I'm too lazy to figure out which one so I rebooted the system instead. jelir
  2. After a reboot and logging in, the update applet and its underlying processes are no long running. I clicked on Computer -> YaST (new in SLAB) -> enter root password -> Software -> Online Update
  3. Viola! I am now given the option to download fixes and most importantly, Firefox 3.0 since it only became available after openSUSE 11 was launched. peace