Tuesday, July 29, 2008
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).
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.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Many Thanks to Lewis for running an excellent Platespin workshop at the Novell Partner Academy last week in Singapore.
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.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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 )
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.
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 ]
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 ]
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.
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.
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'.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
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.
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.
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
To my horror , 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.
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! , 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...
Friday, July 11, 2008
It was raining outside and a traffic jam was building up... so glad to be indoors.
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.
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.
Class photos for Day 1 and 2.
Overall, a good and fruitful trip.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
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
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... here goes:
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."
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.
Monday, July 7, 2008
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.
Wednesday, July 2, 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
Been reading how 3D desktop effects turned on by default... but both KDE and GNOME seemed very 2D to me on first boot. Then I realized that I had to check the option to enable it and .... get this... 3D effects switched ON IMMEDIATELY! 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. 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 Wanna see how crazy I got? The proof is here on YouTube (link)
That's all for now...
... 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
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)
- 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
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!!!
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!
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.
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.
Since I'm more familiar with GNOME, here's what I did to get online update going:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.